After spending his first seven seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, the was traded to the Arizona Coyotes, dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers and then signed a one-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fortunately, the most recent year was an impressive one for Gagner. He followed up a 16-point season in 2015-16 with a career-high 50 points in 2016-17. His plus-10 rating was also the best of his career.
His play helped the Blue Jackets earn a franchise-best 108 points in the regular season before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.
The question was where the 27-year-old would go next after rejuvenating his career in Columbus. He clearly thought highly of the squad but failed to commit going forward.
"It's a team that's on the rise," Gagner said of the Blue Jackets in April, per Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch. "And as the year went on I felt like more and more a part of things and a big part of things. Yeah, I'd like to come back, but we'll see where things go."
It appears the Canucks offered him a better opportunity, and he will now try to make an impact offensively on one of the top lines.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets will turn to younger centers like Alexander Wennberg, Boone Jenner and William Karlsson.