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February 15, 2012 | 11:01am ET
Gagner likely staying
TheFourthPeriod.com

After signing defenseman Andy Sutton to a contract extension, and announcing that Ryan Smyth won't be traded, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini stated that Sam Gagner won't be auctioned off, either.

According to the Edmonton Journal, Tambellini is getting calls about Gagner, but with the 22-year-old pending restricted free agent stepping into the No. 1 centre role, it would surprise many to see him go.

"I've said from the outset that I believe in Sam. He's played a lot of different roles for us over the last year and a half and I was so happy he had a couple of nights where you saw the potential come to reality. It was a lot of fun," Tambellini said.

"I am not looking to sell anything that hurts our team and I hope Sam's part of that (rebuild)."

Gagner's recent outburst of 15 points in the last eight games, when given quality ice time and linemates, solidified his position in Edmonton.

In 48 games with the Oilers this season, Gagner has collected 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points.

Meanwhile, Tambellini wouldn't say if he was getting interest in netminder Nikolai Khabibulin from the struggling Chicago Blackhawks, who could look to acquire help in between the pipes and on the blueline prior to the deadline.

"Nik is a proven goaltender who's won a Stanley Cup. I don't have any plans to move Nik at this point, but I'm sure I'll get a lot of calls on a lot of different players," Tambellini added.

Khabibulin, who earns a $3.75 million salary for next year, has registered a .917 save percentage and 2.52 goals-against average in 32 games this season.

More Trade Deadline Info 
List of Trades |
No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses | Top 25 Available Players | Team-by-Team Cap Info

 
 
 
 
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