from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Gagner traded a likely playoff team for one that has been eliminated, but also traded being a healthy scratch for a lineup spot. He practiced Wednesday with Valtteri Filppula and Tyler Bertuzzi.
“Your perception is everything,” Gagner said. “There’s always opportunity. The way I look at it is just that. I’m excited about the opportunity for growth here. I think that the year hasn’t gone the way the guys have wanted, but there is still an opportunity here for us to establish something where we create an identity, we create a culture, and I want to be a part of that. That’s my mindset coming in.”
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Ken Holland, who left his position as Wings GM last May and took the Oilers job, sold Gagner on Detroit. So did Yzerman.
“I talked to him right after the trade,” Gagner said. “Kenny put me on the phone with him. He just said there’s opportunity here for me and I just have to come in and take it. I’ve felt really good this year, felt like I’ve played well. I”m excited to get some power play time and show what I’m capable of there.
“I can kind of fill a leadership role and help the guys get through it. That’s what I’m hopefully here to do.”