FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Center Sam Gagner, hoping for some stability for himself and his pregnant wife, wants to remain with the Flyers.
General manager Ron Hextall is trying to figure out whether he wants Gagner to stay.
Welcome to a bizarre chapter in shaping the Flyers' 2015-16 roster.
The Flyers acquired Gagner, 25, and a conditional draft pick from Arizona Saturday for defenseman Nick Grossmann and the final two years of Chris Pronger's contract.
In a conference call with reporters Sunday, Gagner called the Flyers a storied franchise, "and if I get a chance to play there, it'd be very exciting."
Hextall said Saturday he needed more time to go over the cap numbers and he wasn't sure if the club would buy out Gagner, who finished tied for second on Arizona with 41 points last season and led Coyotes forwards in goals (15) and points.
The buyout period ends Tuesday at 5 p.m.
After making the trade, Arizona general manager Don Maloney was blunt about the 5-foot-11, 202-pound Gagner.
"We didn't think he could play center at the National Hockey League level for us," he said.
Gagner is aware of the comment.
"I feel like I have a lot to prove. I have a lot of people to prove wrong and plan on doing that," he said. "I'm as motivated as you can get."
Gagner, drafted sixth overall by Edmonton in 2007, has been inconsistent during his eight-year career. He said it was an "adjustment period" for him in Phoenix, and that he was "emotionally invested" during his seven seasons with the Oilers.
He was selected one pick before Columbus took Jake Voracek in the 2007 draft.
Gagner said the uncertainty of his situation was "not the best of times." He and his wife, Rachel, a doctor, are expecting their first child.
If the Flyers keep him, he might center the second line, which features right winger Wayne Simmonds. Gagner, whose dad, Dave, scored 318 goals in a distinguished NHL career, said he was willing to move to the wing if needed.
"I think I would be a great fit" in Philly, he said. "I still feel I have some good hockey left . . . and I can be a strong player in this league."
Gagner, who in 2012 became the 16th player in NHL history to register an eight-point game, has good speed and he was 2 for 8 (25 percent) in shootouts last season, which would rank as the third-highest percentage among Flyers who had more than one attempt in 2014-15.
The Flyers gained about $5.1 million in cap space in the deal, assuming they keep Gagner and his $3.3 million cap hit. He has one year left on his contract, with Tampa Bay paying part of his deal.
The Flyers are about $6.4 million under the $71.4 million cap. If they bought out Gagner, the payments would be spread over two years and they would gain about $2.7 million in cap space - and have a little over $9 million available to spend.
"I think Philly likes me," Gagner said. "It's just a matter of finding the dollars that work."
Hextall has said he will not buy out 35-year-old Vinny Lecavalier, but that might change with the addition of Gagner.
Breakaways. Pronger is a lock to be named to Hockey's Hall of Fame on Monday, and former Flyer Mark Recchi has a good chance to be selected. Ex-Flyers Eric Lindros and Jeremy Roenick are among those who will get consideration. . . . The free-agency period starts Wednesday.