Coyotes acquire Sam Gagner from Lightning

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The Arizona Coyotes did not wait long to find a new center.

Arizona acquired center Sam Gagner from Tampa Bay on Sunday night, about 90 minutes after the Lightning picked him up in a trade with Edmonton Oilers and two days after the Coyotes parted ways with Mike Ribeiro.

“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions,” Gagner said on a conference call from his home in Muskoka, Ontario. “I was talking to my agent, and he had said when Tampa traded for me that there might be something else going on. So it was something that I was prepared for. I wasn’t really expecting to be traded (again) today.”

Arizona also acquired right wing B.J. Crombeen in the deal that sent a sixth-round pick to Tampa Bay.

“It came together in a hurry,” Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said.. “I think there’s three of us that feel pretty good about our day so far. …

“We are very pleased to acquire a talented, young center like Sam Gagner. “He has the intelligence, character and skill set we were looking for and we believe he has further growth in his game. We look forward to welcoming Sam to Arizona.”

The Coyotes thought they had the playmaking center they had coveted last offseason, signing Ribeiro to a four-year, $22 million deal.

It didn’t pan out.

Ribeiro had an inconsistent season, finishing with 16 goals and 31 assists while struggling with personal problems. He also was a healthy scratch in two key road games late in the season.

Arizona initiated a buyout of Ribeiro’s contract on Friday, citing “behavioral issues.”

Gagner should be a solid replacement.

The No. 6 pick in the 2007 draft, he had 10 goals and 27 assists in 67 games last season while battling through injuries.

“I hold myself to higher standards than that,” Gagner said.

He had 101 goals and 194 assists in 481 games in seven seasons with the Oilers.

“We didn’t have much success as a team and there’s going to be a lot of changes that come from that,” Gagner said.

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