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Coyotes trade Gagner and draft pick for Nicklas Grossmann

The Arizona Coyotes announced Saturday the team made a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers for defensemen Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger in exchange for Sam Gagner and a draft pick.

The pick is a conditional fourth round draft choice in 2016 or a third round pick in 2017.

In Grossmann the Coyotes are getting a veteran from Sweden who has recorded 10 goals, 69 assists, 79 points and 288 penalty minutes over his 10-year NHL career. This past year for the Flyers, he scored five goals and notched nine assists and 14 points.

“He’s a defenseman Dave Tippet knows and likes,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney said. “[He’s a] big defender, hard defender, very good penalty killer.”

This fits into the Coyotes’ plan to beef up their defense that was under evaluation last season.

“We just have to defend better in front of Mike Smith,” Maloney said. “This is the first step of starting to retool our defense, we’ve got some good pieces, a lot of young pieces with Mike Stone, Connor Murphy, [Klas] Dahlbeck, some of those other things we’re doing. We just thought he was a nice fit for us.”

Gagner’s 2014-15 stats for the Coyotes were 15 goals, 26 assists 41 points and 28 PMI over 81 games. The forward spent the other seven years of his career with the Edmonton Oilers and scored 116 goals, 220 assists and 336 points over 562 games.

“At the end of the day we didn’t think he could play center and the National Hockey level for us,” Maloney said about Gagner. “We thought by moving his money around, we’ve got a couple young players we can put in his place that we can grow with.”