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Free Agency Rumor: Jackets to sign Gagner

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In a surprise move, the Jackets may be close to adding another center

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported Saturday afternoon that the Jackets are close to signing a deal with center Sam Gagner.

A former first round pick by Edmonton, Gagner has struggled in the last two seasons with Arizona and Philadelphia. However, some have identified him as a good value signing.

We won’t know more details until the signing is official, but there will have to be a corresponding move at some point. There is the cap issue (though his contract would not take up all of the remaining space), and also the matter of already having 50 contracts.

On this roster, Gagner adds center depth. Boone Jenner could move back to wing, but I doubt Gagner would bump Dubinsky and Wennberg from the top 2 lines. He would be more likely to replace Gregory Campbell in the depth chart.

More to come once this signing is made official...