$AM GAGNER: GONNA GET PAID

Robin Brownlee
July 19 2013 05:10PM

After six NHL seasons of being a loyal and productive company man with the Edmonton Oilers, doing his job and never, that I've heard, uttering so much as a discouraging word about an employer that's been a gong show more often than not during his tenure, Sam Gagner is gonna get paid. And he should.

The only questions about the pending pay day are how much Gagner will get and in what increments he'll get it as he and the Oilers stare down a scheduled arbitration hearing Monday morning – a hearing that'll likely never convene.

If, in the highly unlikely event the hearing does go ahead, or if the sides agree on a one-year pact before the hearing for, say, $4.75 million, then Gagner will become the youngest UFA in NHL history at the end of next season, meaning the Oilers will simply have delayed the day he cashes in, here or elsewhere.

The way I see it, given what GM Craig MacTavish has already said about wanting to lock up Gagner long-term, what makes sense is announcing a new multi-year deal before the hearing, having a nice big group hug as a photo-op and then moving on.

If that's what the Oilers want, as I suspect it is, and they want to buy Gagner's 2013-14 RFA season and, say, four UFA years, then it's going to cost them $25 million, minimum, to do it. My, how that'll make the Gagner haters squirm.

ALL THE FINE PRINT

So, after six seasons toiling for an organization that's been a laughing stock most of the time, and that's missed the playoffs seven straight years, Gagner's in a rare position at the age of just 23. Coming off a one-year contract that paid him $3.2 million, he can negotiate a one-year deal with the Oilers or take one from an arbitrator and then be an UFA going into 2014-15.

The question about what Gagner is worth to the Oilers, and on the open market, has been a topic of hot debate, especially in the last couple of days. I see it one way – my interpretation of the market says it'll take that $5 million per. Others, like Jason Gregor, see it differently.

All kinds of "comparables" have been thrown out in argument of one number or another that fall well outside the relatively narrow scope of comparables in arbitration hearings as defined by the CBA. Some people look only at points. Others argue Gagner's worth based on size or his place in the pecking order in Edmonton – practical issues, but not necessarily issues that matter even a bit in an arbitration hearing or at the bargaining table.

The most comprehensive analysis I've seen on the subject has been done by Tyler Dellow and can be found here. My argument as to Gagner's worth is far less structured and, like that of many fans, much of it falls into the category of not mattering a bit in an arbitration hearing or at the bargaining table, as well.

THE WAY I SEE IT

To repeat my opening sentence, I view Gagner as a loyal and, yes, productive company man who brings exactly the kinds of qualities that MacTavish has said he values. Gagner's a good, not great, player. He's a good teammate. He's a player who cares about the guy next to him and has shown he'll stand up not only for himself, but his teammates as well. He's a good pro.

I've always found Gagner mature beyond his years. When he performs well, he downplays it or shares credit with others. When he stinks, and there's been more than one night when he has, Gagner owns it and makes no excuses. That holds true on the record and off it. Often, those are two different stories.

I haven't seen Gagner bristle once as younger players like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov have come in with more fanfare and taken over the marquee. Some other veterans have. Not Gagner, who isn't exactly without pedigree as a sixth overall pick.

When I add in some of the intangibles I'm talking about to comparisons I see in the piece Dellow wrote, I don't think it's a stretch to believe that Gagner is a reasonable buy at $1 million less a season than Hall and Eberle just signed for. That means $5 million a season.

Ka-ching. Pay the man.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#2 Craig1981
July 19 2013, 09:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

I'd be willing to bet Gagner outscores Weiss over the next five years, and by a reasonably substantial margin in years 4 and 5.

The only guy willing to take that bet on here, would stiff you when you won, Brownlee

Avatar
#3 DSF
July 19 2013, 06:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Overpaying a player because "he doesn't complain" is nonsense.

Chris Stewart was signed today for a cap hit of $4M over two years.

Chris Stewart is a better hockey player than Sam Gagner by any metric.

I can see paying Gagner $4.5M as a loyalty bonus.

Anything over that is a big overpay.

Avatar
#4 Tyler
July 19 2013, 09:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

At 30 years old, Weiss is a finished product who has scored .60 PPG in his career playing 17:59 a night on a team that's been far better than the teams Gagner has been on. Gagner, 23, has played 58 seconds less per game on a team that's been the dregs of the league since he broke in and has scored .62 PPG. He's not all he can be yet.

Also, even assume that they're exactly the same player. What's likely to be better? Ages 24-28 on a five year deal or ages 30-34 on a five year deal? Everyone seems to ignore that UFAs are almost always guys on the downslope and Gagner isn't.

Avatar
#5 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 19 2013, 09:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Well done. DSF wins this battle of reasoning in a landslide. Like you mentioned, with overpays being the constant, the Oilers will never have the necessary depth to become/remain competitive. Perhaps Bettman could allow for teams in these B and C markets one marquee contract to not count against the cap, in an effort to level the playing field.

I'm hoping this enters the room on Monday in order to force a decision. This will be the beginning of the end for Sam here in Edmonton. Give him the one yr 5.5 kiss of death deal. With the holes in his game, he'll suffer the same fate as 10 and 83.

Avatar
#7 Craig1981
July 19 2013, 09:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
DSF wrote:

Oh, I don't disagree.

But Gagner did nothing to reverse that situation.

Good players do,

hummmm 2007-08 season Tampa Bay as last (Vincent Lecavalier and St. Louis we on the team)

2006-07 Flyers were last Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were on that team

2005-06 Pens were one point from last (Sidney Crosby AND Mario Lemieux were on the team)

You maybe want to admit you are wrong on that one?

Avatar
#8 TayLordBalls
July 19 2013, 06:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Feb 2nd, 2012 Gagner scored four times and assisted 4 times to match Wayne Gretzky’s club record for points in a game.

And I don't think he's reached his full stride yet.

Avatar
#9 Bucknuck
July 19 2013, 06:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@Taylor Gang

Our value contracts are Ebs and Hall at 6M. They would get a LOT more than that on the free agent market.

Avatar
#10 They're $hittie
July 19 2013, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

DSF just shut up.

Gagner has better vision, skill, passing and play making than stewart, so sorry not all metrics. He also plays a harder position on a worse team.

Not comparables.

Please go away and never come back

EDIT: you also lost all credibility when you said Mueller is better than Yakupov

Avatar
#11 Rama Lama
July 19 2013, 05:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

If ever there was a guy who deserves to be compensated, it's Gagner! Like you said Robin, the kid never complains and just goes about doing his job, professionally and with class.

I just cannot fathom the Oilers putting him through this process for no reason, perhaps like some professional writers have suggested, that the no trade clause is the sticking point?

Is there any other reason why the Oilers would not want to lock up player? I'm totally confused.

Avatar
#12 Bucknuck
July 19 2013, 06:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

He's gonna get paid. Either by the Oilers or another team. I think it would be foolish to lose him just as he is hitting his prime.

Avatar
#13 DSF
July 19 2013, 07:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

"When I add in some of the intangibles I'm talking about to comparisons I see in the piece Dellow wrote, I don't think it's a stretch to believe that Gagner is a reasonable buy at $1 million less a season than Hall and Eberle just signed for. That means $5 million a season."

Please, pay attention before going off as you tend to do..

The "doesn't complain" reference you took out of context isn't a reason to pay Gagner $5 million. Other factors and the circumstances in this case will likely put him at or over that on their own. My point is, he's also a solid guy and has been a loyal player who wants to stay here, which counts for something, whether you choose to recognize it or not.

I read the Dellow piece quite a while ago and he has some salient points.

The problem is, the Oilers overpay almost everyone and, at some point, need to find value contracts, not pay every player slightly more than market value.

Over paying 5 players by $500K means you can't bring in another $2.5M player when you need one.

Death by paper cut.

Being a "solid guy" and "wanting to stay here" is nothing more than Edmonton's inferiority complex and, while it's a noble sentiment I suppose, it is also very poor cap management.

In my earlier comment, I allowed $500K for the "intangibles" you're promoting but, based on production and Gagner's lack of other "intangibles" like faceoff prowess, defensive play and inability to win puck battles, Gagner is NOT a $5M player.

I expect the Oilers will pay him that much and that will be just one more small reason they remain uncompetitive.

Avatar
#14 DSF
July 19 2013, 07:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

"In my earlier comment, I allowed $500K for the "intangibles" you're promoting but, based on production and Gagner's lack of other "intangibles" like faceoff prowess, defensive play and inability to win puck battles, Gagner is NOT a $5M player.

I expect the Oilers will pay him that much and that will be just one more small reason they remain uncompetitive."

This is the kind of automatic out you leave yourself time after time. You state your case -- sometimes reasonable, often not. "Sam isn't a $5 M player." If the Oilers pay him that, they're fools and they've overpaid. They don't understand the market as well as you do.

If Sam takes a 1-year-deal or is handed one in an arb hearing and then becomes an UFA, the GM who gives him $5MX5 or slightly more -- and somebody will -- is a boob who doesn't get it either. You're never wrong, this way, are you?

Sam will get $5M per season in any multi-year deal.

I don't doubt that he will.

The issue is whether or not the Oilers should be the team to overpay him.

What you haven't addressed is that virtually every successful team has players on value contracts and, when Hopkins, Yakupov and Schultz, who are all likely "better" players than Gagner want to get paid, the Oilers will be hooped.

MacT has to decide whether or not he wants to be the "boob".

Avatar
#15 OilFanInBC
July 19 2013, 08:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

I've been reading comments on this site for a while and I can't tell if DSF is an Oiler fan who says what he says because the team has been bad for so long and he's bitter or if he's a troll making comments for attention.

Avatar
#16 Hayek
July 19 2013, 08:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

2nd line centre who is below average defensively, poor at faceoffs, and poor in the cycle.

If you want to point out positives without acknowledging the negatives, then $5M/season doesn't seem outrageous.

Looking at what Gagner actually brings compared to other NHL players means if he gets paid over $4M/season he likely will not live up to a contract.

If we feel we need to overpay, fine, but we better be confident the contract will be tradeable without having to eat salary in a deal.

RNH needs to be extended this year, Yakupov and Shultz next year. Overpaying for Gagner means that one of these superior players may be forced to be dealt.

Opportunity cost.

Avatar
#18 Tyler
July 19 2013, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

No evidence to support it.

I submit the pro-rated 60 point season he had this year as evidence in support of the point. He did this with horrific possession numbers that were almost certainly linked to goofy tactics.

Avatar
#19 Terran
July 19 2013, 09:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@DSF

"He had 2 second assists in the teams last 10 games

SMALL sample size."

Why yes, yes it is...

Avatar
#20 Taylor Gang
July 19 2013, 09:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
DSF wrote:

Pro rating a Gagner season is a fool's paradise.

He had 2 second assists in the teams last 10 games..

SMALL sample size.

In their last ten games, they won 2 games.

Like most NHL players, Gagner is not a one man show.

Hardly a fair argument

Avatar
#21 Oiler63
July 20 2013, 01:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

28 years old Travis Zajac making 5.75 a year with NTC scored 20 points last season. I'm having a hard time seeing why Sam can't make 5.

Avatar
#23 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 20 2013, 10:01AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@15w40

That may not be such a bad thing. The Oilers have been guilty of some redonkulous contracts in recent years. Lowe has given core type contracts to support type players, trying to pass them off as leaders, and we sure know now, they weren't. Oilers received a bag of pucks for Horcoff, and a soon to be a similar return for Hemsky. Gagner's in this same boat, he's not able to lead with the holes in his game.

MacTavish is going to make a decision here, and that decision is between RNH, and Gagner. Edmonton can't afford to have two centers without a complete game down their middle. Hopkins is effective and getting better at both ends, so there's really no decision to be made there. It's probably a blessing in disguise the Oilers hands are being forced on this Gagner issue now. The last thing they can afford now is to have yet another support type getting paid as a leader on this hockey club.

MacTavishs kind words in regards to Gagner this summer, we're obviously made to see what kind of value he has on the market. He's found out, the rest of the league see him as a support type as well. If it were up to me, i'd let him walk after the arbitrators decision. Use those funds more wisely, let Sam line up and play against you, and eat him for dinner like Steve Ott often has. Now if we could only find a way, to make Steve Ott an Oiler.

Avatar
#25 I am the Liquor
July 20 2013, 10:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

Sounds easy. What buttons on the controller does MacTavish have to tap to make this happen?

Its just another example of waiting too long to make a decision on moving a player.

Ales Hemsky is exhibit A. Now it appears we are going down the road of no return with Gagner. He should have been moved last year.

As far as the "sounds easy" comment goes, it may not be, but that is Mact's job. If he isnt up to the task then he really is no better than who he is replacing.

Avatar
#26 Dockstaff
July 20 2013, 10:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@nuge2nail

Nuge2Nail wrote: We have to sign Gagner for 4 x 4.25 or trade him. He's not good enough defensively, or physical enough to earn 5 mil.

Absolutely agree. 4M/yr is my max.

Avatar
#28 Fresh Mess
July 19 2013, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Ganger has been extremely well compensated for his contributions to the Oilers.

Avatar
#29 Jeff Chapman
July 19 2013, 05:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Robin Brownlee said:

Ka-ching. Pay the man.

--

Preach.

Avatar
#30 toprightcorner
July 19 2013, 06:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I would prefer a 4 year contract so Gagner and Eberle don't expire the same year. it will be important to stager Hall, Ebs, Nuge and Yaks contracts as signing two in the same year may be difficult. At $5 mill a year it needs to be a clean contract without any NMC. if he wants that then I say $4.5 mill. Then he is also a tool if in a couple years we need to make a significant move for a deep playoff push or someone who fills our needs at the time better than Gagner becomes available.

Avatar
#31 bazmagoo
July 19 2013, 06:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I've been torn on what to think about Gagner and have been flip flopping the past few weeks. He won me over when he dropped the mitts with Beauchemin after he ran Hall. His offensive numbers are steadily improving and he brings a positive attitude to the rink all the time. One thing that's rarely talked about is his pedigree, he was the #6 overall pick and is the son of a former top NHLer.

I think 5 years at $5 million would be palatable to me as long as there isn't a NMC/NTC included. With any combination of Hall, Eberle, Yak or Perron on his wings he's likely to continue putting up solid numbers moving forward, making him an appreciating asset. Hopefully Eakins can instill some defensive mojo into his game and Sam can steadily improve in the faceoff circle or learn to play on the wing.

Avatar
#32 bazmagoo
July 19 2013, 06:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@toprightcorner

"I would prefer a 4 year contract so Gagner and Eberle don't expire the same year."

Eberle starts his 6 year extension this year.

Avatar
#33 Nick
July 19 2013, 06:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

At 5M per year he better work harder to earn his pay. If not, he's going to get treated like Hemsky.

Avatar
#34 Kodiak
July 19 2013, 06:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Gagner. A good guy, a hard worker, mature for his age, puts up points. Is that enough to give him $5m+ a year? I still say no. You can ice 12 forwards like Gagner and not win. Players need to fill a certain role and I don't see Gagner filling our 2nd line center role behind Nuge the way we need him to. He's not big or physical and he's weak defensively. A good guy who works hard and puts up some points but not someone you shell out big money to put in a role he's not a great fit for.

As far as getting paid by an arbitrator, there are too many close examples to Gagner making less than $5m. Arbitrators aren't paying for UFA years either, so I'd guess he'd get $4.5m or less

Avatar
#35 michael
July 19 2013, 07:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Saytalk wrote:

The delays in getting the deal done are probably due to whether the contract includes an NTC. $4.5M/year for a 2C that can't backcheck will mean he has to be traded as soon as Nuge and Yak get their extensions.

Do arbitrators look at Corsi?

"The sky is falling". Chicken little said. Gagner has earned the 5x5 and with no disrespect to Yak and Nuge they have not put up the numbers longterm as Gagner. You hope Yak and Nuge will continue to progess as per the draft ranking. But in comparison you already have a bird in hand with Gagner. You know what your getting and to be frank 1 season does not entitle YAK to a 6 million dollar contract. The numbers for Yak will need to continue to improve over the next 2 years for him to get a 6 million dollar contract. I for one hope it does. Lastly what do you think the cap will be 2-3 years from now? I see it at 80-85 million. The league will add revenue via new TV contracts. HRR will increase as the NHL increases its gate revenue through new teams and relocating others(NYIslanders),new arenas coming online. The league is in growth mode coming out of the lockout. Look forward not backward.

Avatar
#37 Taylor Gang
July 19 2013, 07:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Bucknuck wrote:

Our value contracts are Ebs and Hall at 6M. They would get a LOT more than that on the free agent market.

That's not a fair comparable, players always get overpaid in FA.

Maybe Hall will be a value contract, but Ebs is on the money.

Avatar
#40 fuzzy muppet
July 19 2013, 08:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@DSF

I agree with DSF for once. Stephen Weiss is a better player than same Gagner and he got 4.9 million.

Sam Gagner shouldn't get more than 5 million on any deal. He will get that as a free agent, but then that becomes another team's problem.

The real issue to me is they better have a plan in place to replace him when/if he does go.

Avatar
#41 DSF
July 19 2013, 08:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

But Gagner should see it your way and take the hit now -- take less than he can get using the leverage of being a UFA in 12 months -- because of what Yakupov might do? Good grief.

Now, you carry on, as you tend to do.

I don't disagree that Gagner should use all the leverage he has.

I would too.

The issue is whether or not MacT wants to be the "boob" who caves to that leverage.

I'd lob an offer to Grabovski, promising him 2nd line minutes, and tell Sam to go pound sand.

Grabovski is a better hockey hockey player.

Avatar
#42 Tyler
July 19 2013, 08:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

All of the talk about what Yakupov, RNH and JSchultz will want kind of misses the point: they're going to be RFAs when they do their next deal. We'll see if Hall's deal serves as a cap - I'm not so sure it will. If Yakupov scores 40 next year, I'm not convinced he'll take the $6MM deal.

That being said, the point is this: say that Gagner's a 60 pt guy in a second line role with lots of PP time. That's a hell of a hockey player and worth a fair amount of money. I'd expect that he'll be in the black +/- wise provided that they can sort out whatever the hell went wrong this year.

If that's the player he is, anything below $6MM is probably a fair deal, with the possibility of looking like a steal if the cap's at $80MM three years from now.

Avatar
#43 Tyler
July 19 2013, 08:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

And for all the talk about Gagner being below average defensively, I've got some numbers that are ahead of anything else out there I think. They say he's not that bad.

Avatar
#44 DSF
July 19 2013, 09:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Taylor Gang wrote:

In their last ten games, they won 2 games.

Like most NHL players, Gagner is not a one man show.

Hardly a fair argument

Did Gagner's lack of production as an impact player affect that record or does he always get a free pass because the Oilers suck?

Avatar
#45 Zarny
July 19 2013, 09:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

The sticking point is reported to be the NTC which makes sense.

Gagner was tied for 34th in league scoring last season. $5M over 5 yr sounds fair.

The problem is Nuge & Gagner are probably the two smallest 1-2 C in the league. The Oil probably have the smallest top 6 F in the league.

Maybe it gets the job done to make the playoffs but think about what Chara would do to them over 7 games. It wouldn't be pretty.

If your need is to get bigger there is logic in trading Nuge or Gagner. If Nuge has the higher offensive upside Gagner seems to be odd man out.

With future cap implications trading a top 6 F over the next 3-4 years seems likely. Eliminating a good, but not great, player from the list could necessitate trading a great player.

I like Sam but in the top 6 F he could be ranked 6th. That's not the player you promise not to trade.

Avatar
#46 Terran
July 19 2013, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
DSF wrote:

Yes it is.

But that was a 10 game stretch where the Oilers could have made the playoffs.

Did Sam step up or disappear?

It's a rhetorical question :)

Huh, you should maybe let Gagner know that it was solely on him to carry the team.

Unless, are you saying that we should now get rid of Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yak, and the rest of the team as well? Why didn't any of them carry the team to the playoffs? Why was it Gagner's job to single-handedly hoist the team on his shoulders and carry them across the finish line?

I mean, Gagner only got 3 points in the last 7, (funny how you're saying 2 in the last 10...) so dump him, right? Yak only got 1, so he's gotta go too. Hall and Ebs, only about 5-6 each. Why, that's less than a ppg, so they're obviously garbage. Why, there were games in that stretch where they didn't record a point at all! And these bozos make $6 mil a year?

If you want to talk about small sample sizes, don't take 1/5 of the season-and give erroneous totals to boot-as a representative of the whole. I'm sure if someone brought up the fact that Gagner tied Gretzky's point record for one game, you'd be all over that like a fat kid on cake as not being a true representation because it's such a small sample size.

Avatar
#47 Spydyr
July 19 2013, 09:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Oil4Life wrote:

if you argue numbers and value without reading the attached article. you have little to no basis for your arguement.

I have been watching hockey for over 40 years.Played for over 30.Some of us don't need an article to see a player for what he is.

Avatar
#48 Walter Sobchak
July 19 2013, 11:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I'm somewhere between Brownlee and DSF, both have very valid points.

I'm torn here, I like Gagner, I don't mind a bit of an overpay, but the question should be, is Gagner at 5M what the Oilers actually need?

The Oilers need a second line centre with skill, size, toughness, and defensive acumen. (Complete two way centre)

Gagner has the desire, the competitiveness, the skill, but he lacks so many critical elements to his game.

I follow Delow a fair bit and his research on faceoffs in the OZ, NZ and the DZ , the correlation to how bad the Oilers get outshot and the scoring chances they create against them.

I admit, I'm not the best at interpreting advanced language, but it seems to me that this is a massive ongoing issue with the Oilers that has to get rectified, if your MacTavish your not trading RNH or Gordon.

If your hoping Gagner advanced numbers get better when history shows he's been fairly consistent where he is at, I think that's a tight rope to walk.

Is Gagner right for the Oilers needs? IMO no.

Avatar
#49 Naky
July 19 2013, 11:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

The pink elephant in the room that nobody wants to address can be underlined by this quote:

"The Oilers need a second line centre with skill, size, toughness, and defensive acumen. (Complete two way centre)"

Yes, yes we do and this is not something Sam does. But the pink elephant I mentioned is that nobody is trading this guy away. Name a team in the league right now that wants to trade their second line center that has skill, size, toughness, and defensive acumen. Even cap crunched teams would likely bury a contract in the minors before just giving a player like that away. All teams need this player, and so we're left going full circle again to the fact that we still need a quality second line center that can at least make plays and put up points and while MacT has overloaded on defensemen, he has clearly not realized that we're just as thin at center and completely ignored it. So we're "stuck" with Sam.

So what do we do. Well, we pay him, we give it reasonable term in the form of 4 or 5 years max, and if need be we overpay a little to ensure that there's no contract silliness in the form of NTCs or NMCs that hamper the ability to move him two years down the road for that top flight d-man or center we need if one comes available then. But right now? There just simply aren't any. When our best bet is hoping to outbid every other team in the league for Couturier when Philly inevitably starts their cap crunch fire-sale (assuming they include him in that fire-sale, they really might not), things are not really looking good for us in terms of trade options for what we need.

Avatar
#50 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
July 20 2013, 12:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

To Ottawa or Washington.

Comments are closed for this article.