Sam Gagner and the Offer Sheet

Lowetide
July 02 2010 06:30PM

The hardest thing to do in hockey is score goals. It is even more difficult when you're a teenager. Sam Gagner is a young man who can impact offense at the NHL level (at a young age) which makes him a very valuable asset. If you're an NHL team looking for a solid young center, a kid who can make things happen even at a tender age, Sam Gagner might be your man.

Gagner is a difficult player to project because he's so young. #89 doesn't have blazing speed, isn't huge and can't shoot the puck with great velocity or lightning release. What is there, then, to recommend him? A lot. Grey matter. Sublime vision, butter passes. Sam Gagner writes cheques with his passes that no linemate (save Dustin Penner) can cash. With all of the ridiculous talent on the wing this fall (Hall, MPS, Eberle) one imagines a Gagner-Penner tandem could produce this season's Calder trophy winner.

Allow me to post some numbers:

  • Boxcars: 68gp, 15-26-41
  • Shots: 170
  • Plus Minus: -8
  • Corsi (Rel): 10.9 (2nd to Penner)
  • GF-GA ON: 37-43
  • 5x5/60: 1.56 (4th among regulars)
  • 5x4/60: 5.74 (1st among regulars)
  • Quality of Competition: 12th F
  • Quality of Teammates: 1st F
  • FO %: 47.4% in 709 FO's
  • Offensive Zone FO %: 48.8 (4th easiest F)

This tells us the following: good boxcars (2nd on the team despite missing much of the season); solid plus minus (only three forwards posted a better number) and a ridiculous Corsi number (Oiler fans should be thrilled with that Corsi at 20). His production at EV strength in a lost season was solid but unspectacular, but his PP number screams "give the kid a chance" and one hopes Renney tosses Shawn Horcoff from the 1PP this fall. The Qual Comp/Qual Team means he was playing in ideal circumstances, which is laughable if you watched even a few Oiler games this season. Having said that, he delivered offensively and defensively based on those softer minutes. His faceoff percentage needs work but is improviing and he had a nice offensive zone faceoff number.What does it all mean? Sam Gagner is a solid young player developing quickly. He is a restricted free agent and could be an offer sheet target.

What would a team offer him? Below are the offer sheet numbers and the compensation required to sign a specific player:

  • $1,020,348 or below: No compensation.
  • $1,020,348 to $1,545,981: A third-round draft choice.
  • $1,545,981 to $3,091,963: A second round draft choice.
  • $3,091,963 to $4,637,944: A first-round choice and a third-rounder.
  • $4,637,944 to $6,183,925: A first- a second- and a third-rounder.
  • $6,183,925 to $7,729,907: Two First-round choices, a second-rounder and a third-rounder.
  • Over $7,729,907: Four first-rounders.

These numbers are for 2010, the new numbers would be a little higher because of the new cap total. A rival NHL team could offer Sam Gagner a long term contract at 3.091M per season (or this year's version of that number) and risk only a 2nd round pick (based on these numbers please correct them if they're wrong or you have an update). Should Edmonton match, an opposition GM has effectively disturbed Edmonton's cap budget moving forward ala Vanek/Buffalo. Should Edmonton refuse to match, your club has a fine young center at an inflated (but not catastrophic) price. The offer sheet is a very expensive item for an NHL club, and I find it curious that the Edmonton Oilers haven't been more aggressive in getting Samwise signed to a contract this summer.It is a calculated risk; Steve Tambellini's cautious approach to spending this summer may end up having a major silver lining.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 Jaredadams
July 02 2010, 06:35PM
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Well i just really hope that Tamby does end up signing Gagner. I think 3-3.5 mil for 4 years sounds like a good deal or sign him to a one year deal and let him have a big pay day and long term contract next year.

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#2 Smytty777
July 02 2010, 07:06PM
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Jaredadams: I don't think you can do a 4 year deal as that would leave Gagner a UFA at the end. I would do a 2 or 3 year deal (Gagner would still be a UFA) or a massive length deal in the 10-12 year range.

Ideally a 3 year deal for $6M, as that would have some serious value in year 3 that the Oilers could hopefully cash in on (along with Hall, Eberle and Paarjarvi.

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#3 Smytty777
July 02 2010, 07:07PM
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@Smytty777

Typo above, I meant that Gagner would still be RFA after a 2 or 3 year deal.

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#4 Dave
July 02 2010, 07:09PM
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Nice to see you on ON Lowetide. I always enjoy reading your blogs.

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#5 Muji 狗
July 02 2010, 07:23PM
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It's crazy how young he is. Already with 3 full years of NHL experience and he's the same age as Eberle (20). Granted, Gagner is an 1989 birthday (Eberle is a 1990) and will turn 21 this year. But still.

Definitely need to sign him to a short term deal, continue watching him develop, and then reward him appropriately.

I hope Renney treats him well. Quinn started him on 4L last year for some reason.

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#6 Nate Full of Hate
July 02 2010, 07:27PM
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Brian Burke should sign Gagner..

Wait...

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#7 Oilertown
July 02 2010, 07:30PM
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Anyone tries to offer sheet Gags and I will FREAK THE F#$@@%K OUT. Very important piece of the rebuild I might say

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#8 DangerMan
July 02 2010, 07:31PM
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Good call on this one LT. I could see someone whipping up something on Gagner. Which just could make everything worse. We'll have to see how this one plays out.

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#9 striatic
July 02 2010, 07:51PM
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fear!

don't scare me like this LT : [

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#10 R.A. Slapshotzky
July 02 2010, 08:02PM
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Wow Lowetide! Nice job ON.

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#11 David S
July 02 2010, 08:08PM
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I dunno. Seems like a prudent business move. We all know Sam is something special. He's qualified so my guess is he'll negotiate a 1 year deal in the $1.2m ballpark. If he has a breakout year, which is entirely possible, he gets the offer sheet money next year.

The Oilers aren't really taking a risk because as I see it "Should Edmonton match, they have a fine young center at an inflated (but not catastrophic) price."

He's gonna get paid sooner or later. The team just doesn't want to break open the vault until they have to.

Still, I can't help but wonder why the team doesn't negotiate a decent long term contract now to see if they can get another Hemsky-esque value deal. Unless of course they tried and Sam wanted a one-year deal knowing he's gonna blow the doors off the place next year.

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#12 nye
July 02 2010, 08:11PM
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Posted by kdb209 http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=794557 http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=63234

OFFER COMPENSATION $1,020,348 or below None

Over $1,020,348 to $1,545,981 Third-round choice

Over $1,545,981 to $3,091,963 Second-round choice

Over $3,091,963 to $4,637,944 First-round and third-round choice

Over $4,637,944 to $6,183,925 First-round, second-round and third-round choice

Over $6,183,925 to $7,729,907 Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice

Over $7,729,907 Four first-round choices

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#13 David S
July 02 2010, 08:11PM
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BTW LT - really great to see you here. I hope the Madjams and Nate Full of Hates around here don't discourage you too much. There's alot of readers here who were daily Lowetide visitors, myself included. You were the guy that got the phrase "actual NHL'ers" embedded in my head.

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#14 nye
July 02 2010, 08:13PM
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It looks like you have the numbers for this summer already.

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#15 lowetide
July 02 2010, 08:20PM
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nye: I think they change with the cap, those were last year's (as in 2010--which is this year) number. So if someone signed Gagner now, they'd be dealing in 2011 years.

Whew. Well, I'm confused. :-)

David S: Thanks! I'm not terribly worried about the negative posts. There were LOTS at my blog, they serve as a reminder not to take myself too seriously. As long as the posts are insightful and move the conversation forward then I don't mind a shot or two (famous last words).

Anyway, your point about the Oilers accepting the Gagner offer sheet is well taken. One suspects they won't let him go.

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#16 nye
July 02 2010, 08:29PM
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kdb209 is pretty solid with all things CBA. He says...

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?p=26593596#post26593596 Last year the compensation levels were:

OFFER COMPENSATION $994,433 or below None Over $994,433 to $1,506,716 Third-round choice Over $1,506,716 to $3,013,434 Second-round choice Over $3,013,434 to $4,520,150 First-round and third-round choice Over $4,520,150 to $6,026,867 First-round, second-round and third-round choice Over $6,026,867 to $7,533,584 Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice Over $7,533,584 Four first-round choices ...

I'm pretty sure the compensation levels he found posted on NHL.com along with a list of RFAs for this summer would be the compensation levels for RFAs signed to offer sheets this summer.

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#17 Chamucks Deluxe
July 02 2010, 08:30PM
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@David S

Yeah there are some douches around here, but its easy to scroll down. In all honesty I like that LT is writing on ON because he will probably be compensated for his efforts. But either way I'm totally stoked to have LT anywhere as long as he writes. Talks about hockey the way my own father would.

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#18 Chamucks Deluxe
July 02 2010, 08:35PM
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I'd also like to add, that it is a little easier to interact with Lowetide here than it would be at his site, I read the comments alot and as much as I would love to get in there... Well, getting cut down by someone for pretty much anything you say doesn't work out very well.

People here will be idiots, people over there will be arrogant, elitist and stubborn.

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#19 SirFozz
July 02 2010, 08:36PM
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David S wrote:

I dunno. Seems like a prudent business move. We all know Sam is something special. He's qualified so my guess is he'll negotiate a 1 year deal in the $1.2m ballpark. If he has a breakout year, which is entirely possible, he gets the offer sheet money next year.

The Oilers aren't really taking a risk because as I see it "Should Edmonton match, they have a fine young center at an inflated (but not catastrophic) price."

He's gonna get paid sooner or later. The team just doesn't want to break open the vault until they have to.

Still, I can't help but wonder why the team doesn't negotiate a decent long term contract now to see if they can get another Hemsky-esque value deal. Unless of course they tried and Sam wanted a one-year deal knowing he's gonna blow the doors off the place next year.

$1.2? Boogaard makes over 1.6.

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#20 Nate Full of Hate
July 02 2010, 08:38PM
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lowetide wrote:

nye: I think they change with the cap, those were last year's (as in 2010--which is this year) number. So if someone signed Gagner now, they'd be dealing in 2011 years.

Whew. Well, I'm confused. :-)

David S: Thanks! I'm not terribly worried about the negative posts. There were LOTS at my blog, they serve as a reminder not to take myself too seriously. As long as the posts are insightful and move the conversation forward then I don't mind a shot or two (famous last words).

Anyway, your point about the Oilers accepting the Gagner offer sheet is well taken. One suspects they won't let him go.

I'm all for numbers but creating fictitious stats is a joke...

Here's are some numbers...

In the last 2 drafts there have only been 3 left wingers drafted in the 1st round (edmonton has 2 of them)

There have only been 13 LW drafted 1st round since the lockout.

The Oilers will use the "left wing unlock" in 2010-11

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#21 OilBaron
July 02 2010, 08:41PM
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Holy crap do you think it's possible someone will take him off our hands??? I dared to dream the 5-8 smurf would be missing from our line up next season. He's a 10 goal 30 point man regular strength, there is ZERO to be excited about.

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#22 nye
July 02 2010, 08:42PM
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Put the bottle down and turn off the computer, Nate.

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#23 David S
July 02 2010, 08:46PM
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Chamucks Deluxe wrote:

I'd also like to add, that it is a little easier to interact with Lowetide here than it would be at his site, I read the comments alot and as much as I would love to get in there... Well, getting cut down by someone for pretty much anything you say doesn't work out very well.

People here will be idiots, people over there will be arrogant, elitist and stubborn.

Yeah. That's a common problem with legacy blogs and not just Lowetide. I've been reading Oilers blogs since the heyday of Battle of Alberta and there will always be a core group that's pretty mean to new guys at those sites. I posted once in a while at Lowetide but it just didn't work out. MC79 is the same way. Insightful commentary but the crew there will eat you alive if you don't get your Corsi numbers straight.

This format is changing. The old crews are finding their club houses are breaking down as the popularity of the medium expands. I imagine it must chafe alot of butts.

Cheers to guys like Alan, Willis, Brownlee and Gregor who just want to write quality work and let the insider crap fall by the wayside. Life is way to short to get swallowed by internet nepotism. It is after all, just the internet.

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#24 Nate Full of Hate
July 02 2010, 08:47PM
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By your math teams should have been lined up for Kyle Quincey at 3.09 long term...

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#25 Nate Full of Hate
July 02 2010, 08:49PM
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nye wrote:

Put the bottle down and turn off the computer, Nate.

You mean water bottle right?

I'm at the Riverbend Herbal Magic location getting my swell on with Brownlee.

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#26 David S
July 02 2010, 08:50PM
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Nate Full of Hate wrote:

I'm all for numbers but creating fictitious stats is a joke...

Here's are some numbers...

In the last 2 drafts there have only been 3 left wingers drafted in the 1st round (edmonton has 2 of them)

There have only been 13 LW drafted 1st round since the lockout.

The Oilers will use the "left wing unlock" in 2010-11

Not much else to say. This is just frickin' hilarious.

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#27 Racki
July 02 2010, 08:54PM
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Hmm, Gagner isn't worth the salary it would take to convince me (if I were GM) not to match the offer.. yet. Meaning, I probably wouldn't want to match anything in the brackets above the 4.6M range (and really, I'd hate like hell to give him anything much more than 3M per for now), but the compensation up until $6.1M would be crappy in return for Gagner.

Basically in a round about way, what I'm saying is, pleasepleaseplease no one offersheet Gagner ;)

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#28 jake
July 02 2010, 08:55PM
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These offer sheets are a lot to do with potential. They are risky. Gagner signing a 3M dollar offer sheet and Edmonton only getting a 2nd rounder has me feeling a little queasy I must say, after what I think has been much good news in terms of on ice changes in the last week or so.

Question (might be dumb one, not sure) - suppose a team offers Gagner a 3M dollar contract for 3 years, can the Oil come back and not only match but offer him 3M for 5,6,7 years, or does it have to be the exact numbers as the offer sheet team?

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#29 joe strong
July 02 2010, 08:57PM
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they will get him signed....I'm still shaking my head over 1.6 boogard is getting...sather use to be one of the best gms & I always wondered"if he had a big budget what could he do?"....he's turned into a complete fool! Can't believe he still has a job

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#30 Hemmertime
July 02 2010, 09:06PM
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@jake

If he agrees to the terms of the other team it has to be the same contract. He can certainly leverage RFA offers he gets in contract talks with the Oilers though. But as soon as pen goes to paper that is his contract, be it with the team offering or us.

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#31 lowetide
July 02 2010, 09:06PM
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Joe Strong: That's an excellent point that applies to Kevin Lowe, too. He followed the Sather template in his early years as GM, came out of the lockout will about 8 really good value contracts and then had that stunning trade deadline.

But in the summer of 2006, he had money and people to reward. He didn't call Ryan Smyth, instead rewarding Fernando and Roloson and others. No complaints, but he should have take care of Smyth with that money and it cost Lowe.

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#32 Jamie B.
July 02 2010, 09:08PM
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Uh. I could be very confused here, but does Gagner fall under the category of players the team can decide to take to arbitration, which means he's protected from an offer sheet? Something like that?

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#33 Oilchange64
July 02 2010, 09:09PM
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This site has long been my primary source for Oiler info & I often wondered "Who is this Lowetide others speak of?". This proves you will be a nice addition to my daily ( or hourly, sorry work) reading. Great insight.

Off to go camping. Really glad I got that iPhone for Christmas so I can keep up...

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#34 speeds
July 02 2010, 09:10PM
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Here's the link for the RFA compensation numbers this summer, via the nhl's site:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=63234

jake:

When an offer sheet comes in, a team either matches it as is, or declines to match. There's no more negotiation, the offer sheet is the contract that player will have, it's just a matter of where he'll play at that point.

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#35 speeds
July 02 2010, 09:17PM
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There's probably something to be said for having Gagner take the next step offensively before signing him to a 3+ mil contract, but there's also something to be said for signing him to such a contract now.

The Oilers don't really need the cap space this season, so it probalby makes sense to sign him longer term now if that keeps the long term hit lower, as you might well need the cap room in two years.

Obviously we don't have the information now that we'll have next summer when it comes to Gagner's 4th NHL season, but if the choice is between signing Gagner to:

(a) 1 year deal at 1.5 mil this summer, followed by a 4 year deal at 4 mil per (17.5 mil total)

or

(b) a 5 year deal at 3.5 mil this summer (17.5 mil)

it makes sense to do the 5 year deal now and save a bit of cap room going forward when you might need it. That said, you might have better information if you wait a year.

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#36 Nate Full of Hate
July 02 2010, 09:27PM
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speeds wrote:

There's probably something to be said for having Gagner take the next step offensively before signing him to a 3+ mil contract, but there's also something to be said for signing him to such a contract now.

The Oilers don't really need the cap space this season, so it probalby makes sense to sign him longer term now if that keeps the long term hit lower, as you might well need the cap room in two years.

Obviously we don't have the information now that we'll have next summer when it comes to Gagner's 4th NHL season, but if the choice is between signing Gagner to:

(a) 1 year deal at 1.5 mil this summer, followed by a 4 year deal at 4 mil per (17.5 mil total)

or

(b) a 5 year deal at 3.5 mil this summer (17.5 mil)

it makes sense to do the 5 year deal now and save a bit of cap room going forward when you might need it. That said, you might have better information if you wait a year.

Take your foot off the break speedy....

Try 4 years @ 3.25 and even that's pushing it.

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#37 jake
July 02 2010, 09:30PM
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speeds wrote:

There's probably something to be said for having Gagner take the next step offensively before signing him to a 3+ mil contract, but there's also something to be said for signing him to such a contract now.

The Oilers don't really need the cap space this season, so it probalby makes sense to sign him longer term now if that keeps the long term hit lower, as you might well need the cap room in two years.

Obviously we don't have the information now that we'll have next summer when it comes to Gagner's 4th NHL season, but if the choice is between signing Gagner to:

(a) 1 year deal at 1.5 mil this summer, followed by a 4 year deal at 4 mil per (17.5 mil total)

or

(b) a 5 year deal at 3.5 mil this summer (17.5 mil)

it makes sense to do the 5 year deal now and save a bit of cap room going forward when you might need it. That said, you might have better information if you wait a year.

Thanks for the breakdown. Like I said, these offer sheets are risky. Some crystal balling required. I think I do the 5 yr. deal now and gamble because same total dollars spent but your cap hit is lower for when guys like Hall, MPS etc. come knocking. No, on 2nd thought, maybe best do the one year....oh well maybe the 5......interesting it will be, with this youngling.

Maybe they luck out and get him for 5yr, 3M per?

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#38 fuzzy muppet
July 02 2010, 09:32PM
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I've mentioned this before on lowetide Jason spezza at this age (20-21) had a 55 point season. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation for gagner this year.

Maybe all thee hullabaloo about getting a number one center is overblown. I'm happy with a solid third liner that can do the dirty work. Jeff halpern please

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#39 lowetide
July 02 2010, 09:32PM
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speeds: Interesting. Did we have more than 3 seasons on Hemsky before the big contract?

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#40 lowetide
July 02 2010, 09:35PM
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OT-Incredibly, the Oilers were 4th on the list of teams with cap penalties this past season. It'll be applied to next year's cap.

http://www.capgeek.com/news/20100702-nine-nhl-teams-face-salary-cap-penalties-performance-bonuses.php

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#41 nye
July 02 2010, 09:43PM
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@LT

Hemsky was signed for one year coming out of the lockout. He put up 77 points and then signed current contract.

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#42 LoDog
July 02 2010, 09:47PM
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David S wrote:

I dunno. Seems like a prudent business move. We all know Sam is something special. He's qualified so my guess is he'll negotiate a 1 year deal in the $1.2m ballpark. If he has a breakout year, which is entirely possible, he gets the offer sheet money next year.

The Oilers aren't really taking a risk because as I see it "Should Edmonton match, they have a fine young center at an inflated (but not catastrophic) price."

He's gonna get paid sooner or later. The team just doesn't want to break open the vault until they have to.

Still, I can't help but wonder why the team doesn't negotiate a decent long term contract now to see if they can get another Hemsky-esque value deal. Unless of course they tried and Sam wanted a one-year deal knowing he's gonna blow the doors off the place next year.

Meh I just wanted to quote this part: Hemsky-esque value deal

Call me madjam but 6 years 24 million sounds about right to me.

I think thats at least a year into free agency.

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#43 Heavyd
July 02 2010, 09:52PM
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Doesn't the new free agency rules are new. I don't think you have to be 27. I think after your entry level deal, then you sign your second contract, after that contract, then if you have played a certain amount of games, then you can become a free agent before you are 27. And since Gagner started at 18, then this might happen to him.

I might be wrong.

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#44 nye
July 02 2010, 09:53PM
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6 years would be two years of UFA.

Hemsky was three years of UFA. IIRC, the lockout year counted and Hemsky played three (four counting lockout) before signing for six.

Current standard is 7 years or 27 years old.

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#45 Woodguy
July 02 2010, 10:00PM
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speeds wrote:

Here's the link for the RFA compensation numbers this summer, via the nhl's site:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=63234

jake:

When an offer sheet comes in, a team either matches it as is, or declines to match. There's no more negotiation, the offer sheet is the contract that player will have, it's just a matter of where he'll play at that point.

Speeds,

Assuming the player signs the sheet right?

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#46 OilerPunch
July 02 2010, 10:13PM
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Thanks Lowetide for this as I was wondering why the Oilers haven't signed Gagner yet. It is almost as if management decided to wait until the draft and then multitask and go crazy and do everything at once. BTW glad to read you here at ON!

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#47 Dustin
July 02 2010, 10:19PM
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Every year there are lots of talented young players prime for an offer sheet, & this year is no exception.

Moulson, Hjalmarsson, Hornqvist, Fleischmann, Halak, Neal, Downie, M. Staal, Niemi, I. White, Stewart, Raymond, Little, Harding, Hanzal, Setoguchi, Girardi, Ladd, Mueller, Ryan, Price, Wheeler, E. Johnson

With so many options & the "gentleman's agreement" between GM's when it comes to offer sheets, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it with Gagner.

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#48 Senator Theo
July 02 2010, 10:21PM
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Gagner was the one player that had me salivating last year on a last place team. He has a first line center ceiling, and an second line center floor.

Last time I checked, we weren't flush at the center position. a guy that's 20 years old and has the resume that Gagner does...I don't think we should be letting him go ANYWHERE!

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#49 Senator Theo
July 02 2010, 10:30PM
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I can't even believe that some people are talking about getting rid of Gagner as a good thing (not directed at you, LT).

Every year all we talk about is getting skilled centers (sorry Hall) - we have a skilled center that IS 20 YEARS OLD!! Some fans are mad that he isn't already Crosby or Malkin and are ready to ship him out.

I don't know why, but I'm always surprised at the shortsightedness of Oilers' fans.

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#50 dunciano
July 02 2010, 10:34PM
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I don't think he's worth $3 mill/ year

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