RISK FOR BOTH GAGNER AND OILERS

Jason Gregor
July 21 2013 10:05PM

The Edmonton Oilers and Sam Gagner are less than 18 hours away from an arbitration hearing, but are both sides willing to take the risk that comes with accepting a one-year deal?

Make no mistake there are risks for both sides.

OILERS....

  • By accepting a one-year deal there is the potential that Sam Gagner can play out his contract and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. After seven seasons of developing the former 6th overall pick in 2007, the Oilers could loss him for nothing.
     
  • They could trade him during the season, and at least get an asset or two in return, but if he gets injured he's untradeable.
     
  • They have no one in the organization ready to replace Gagner. They would be dealing from a position of weakness.
     
  • The perception that a young player doesn't want to stay in Edmonton could be harmful.
     
  • Gagner has a great season and the Oilers would have to pay him $5.75 million for eight years.
     
  • They sign him long term, and he never becomes more than a 55 point player.

GAGNER...

I sense from many fans that Gagner is in a great position, and he has nothing to lose by accepting a one-year deal. I'm not sure that is the case. I'd agree Gagner has more leverage, but he still has some risk.

  • Injury is the biggest risk for Gagner. He is very competitive, he doesn't play on the perimeter, and an injury will impact his next contract. Look at how many players who are one year from  unrestricted free agency, yet end up re-signing before the final year of a deal. The security of a long-term deal combined with the risk of an injury in the final year of a deal, is too high more many players.
     
  • He has another up and down season, and doesn't establish himself as a consistent point-producer and two-way centre.
     
  • Will Gagner's stock be higher next summer if he only puts up 50 points this season?

    This past season only three UFA forwards received more than $5 million in AAV salary over a four-year term. Mike Ribeiro got $5.5 mill for 4 years, Nathan Horton inked $5.3 million for six years and David Clarkson got $5.25 over 7 seasons. Gagner doesn't bring size or toughness like Horton and Clarkson, but his game is similar to Ribeiro.

    Ribeiro is 33, but he tallied 49 points in 48 games last year and in his last 9 seasons he has played 669 games and scored 572 points. He's averaged 0.85 points per game, while in the last 6 seasons Gagner has played 414 games and scored 258 points, 0.62 points per game.

    Clearly Ribeiro won't be more productive in his mid 30s as his was his previous nine seasons, but if Gagner doesn't have a 60-point season, is it a guarantee he'll get more than $5 million/season?
     
  • Is the grass always greener? Gagner likes Edmonton, his girlfriend is from here and he's becoming more of a leader every year. The organization speaks and thinks highly of him, but is it certain he will have the same success and opportunity elsewhere if he leaves after this year?

STILL A CHANCE....

Last year, Gagner and the Oilers reached an agreement on the morning of his scheduled July 20th arbitration date, so it is still possible they can avoid an arbitrator.

Both sides would rather avoid the hearing and sign a multi-year extension, and if a no-movement clause is a sticking point, why not meet in the middle and give Gagner one in the final year of a three-year pact. He can't have one next year, (NMC can't kick in until a player is eligible to become a UFA), so spliting the final two years would seem reasonable.

A source told me the Oilers have offered a multi-year deal at $4.5 mill/year, so you know there if room to negotiate and get close to $5mill/year.

This is the most intriguing contract negotiation in recent Oilers' history, because no one is certain what type of player Gagner will become.

Was last season's 38 points in 48 games a preview of his future offensive production?

Or was the fact that he didn't produce late in the year, during the most important ten-game stretch of the season, a sign of  what the future holds?

PARTING SHOTS...

  • The Oilers need Gagner, and their lack of future offensive centremen has them in a weak bargaining position, however, the question still remains unanswered if the Oilers can win with Gagner and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as their future top-two centres.
     
  • The rational part of my brain believes both sides can live with a three-year deal. It allows the Oilers more time to see what Gagner becomes, and Gagner could still test the free agent waters at very young age. It makes the most sense.
     
  • Unfortunately, I've come to realize that rarely do we use the words rational and NHL negotiations in the same sentence.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Yourmomthinksimhot
July 21 2013, 10:13PM
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Sam Gagner for Ryan Strome. The rebuild isn't over yet, at least not with this team. One more year of developing everybody, plus acquiring better bottom six forwards, and maybe acquiring another top 4 dman, will hopefully mean playoffs in '14. Definitely not going to see them this year... at least not with this team

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#2 Oscar
July 21 2013, 10:16PM
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4.5x5 is a very fair offer by the Oilers. I think Gagner is getting bad advice from his agent. Gagner likes it here but if he wants more than 4.5 million I hope MacT trades him. If Hall and Eberle don't have NTC than why should Gagner expect one.

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#3 v4ance
July 21 2013, 10:18PM
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I threw this out in another message board... would you trade Gagner straight up for Kadri?

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#4 Jackson
July 21 2013, 10:19PM
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What good as a 1 dimensional center. His 5V5 stats are weak. He scores points on the powerplay. I'd much rather have a guy like Bryan Little as the 2nd line center . Oilers don't need a center that can't play a two way game.

It's not the money it is the fit.

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#5 Oscar
July 21 2013, 10:22PM
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Jackson wrote:

What good as a 1 dimensional center. His 5V5 stats are weak. He scores points on the powerplay. I'd much rather have a guy like Bryan Little as the 2nd line center . Oilers don't need a center that can't play a two way game.

It's not the money it is the fit.

"It's not the money it is the fit"

That sums the situation nicely.

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#6 Jackson
July 21 2013, 10:25PM
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@v4ance

Oilers I would bet have tried to trade Gagner but the return is too low.

Your not getting Bryan Little or Sean Couturier straight up for Gagner.

Most teams want a more complete player if they are paying 4.5 m and higher for a second line center.

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#7 T__Bone88
July 21 2013, 10:26PM
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I get the feeling that the agent representing Gagner is doing a who blinks first tactic. Gagner's agent knows how much he means to the Oilers in regards to top six depth and is banking on MacTavish caving and gives him a 5x5million type deal. I hope MacTavish does not cave in a stick to only a 4.5 million type salary. There is so many players signed to long term contracts that do not help in Gagner's favor: Oshie, Perron, Voracek. Hopefully this gets settled before the hearing is scheduled and Gagner is signed to a multi-year deal.

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#8 DSF
July 21 2013, 10:29PM
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v4ance wrote:

I threw this out in another message board... would you trade Gagner straight up for Kadri?

Toronto wouldn't.

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#9 Dave
July 21 2013, 10:43PM
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In some ways this negotiation will show whether MacT has the aptitude to be a top-drawer GM. Fumble this negotiation and the after-affects may be long-term.

That would be a moot point if Lowe is the one with his spoon in the soup and we know what a mess he has made of prior negotiations.

I hope they sign Gagner and cut out the needless drama already. This sloppy handling of Gagner may have formed a cloud over the off-season and this team needs a positive change of culture starting with Lowe and his out-sized ego.

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#10 bwar
July 21 2013, 10:44PM
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So in summary, Gagner leaves before the start of next season and the Oilers are left with a gaping hole in the middle of the second line.

Very unfortunate to see that this situation has progressed the way it has. Hopefully MacT gets some return for Gagner or one of our other forwards magically turns into a center.

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#11 admiralmark
July 21 2013, 10:48PM
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I'll say this again.. I dont understand why a player won't take a deal that pays him 90% of what the market holds?

1) The difference between $4.5 Mill and $5 Mill is not going to exactly cause him any hardship. 2) Being paid slightly less means that when you have poor years the fans will cut you some slack. 3) If you want to be with a team because you like the city, you like youre teammates etc which has been reported. Then take the lesser deal in exchange for a NMC(If this is not being offered then bad on MacT). 4) Take a little less allows the team.."Your Team" to better acquire more players around you. Setting an example as such may even spur more of your teammates to do the same and in turn bring in more talent with the saved cap space...What a novel idea hey? Save Cap space, get better players, win more games... Why is this such a bad idea?

If this was not a Capped League then all bets would be off here. But to be a player that supposedly wants to win a Cup and yet to deny that if every player squeezes every last penny they can out of the team at contract time is not going to affect your chances of winning said Cup is short sighted.

Take the lesser $$ Gagner. Ask for a NMC as a bonus for leaving a little money on the table if thats the concern. Instantly endear yourself to the fans and your team-mates. Makes sense to me?

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#12 Taylor Gang
July 21 2013, 10:49PM
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T__Bone88 wrote:

I get the feeling that the agent representing Gagner is doing a who blinks first tactic. Gagner's agent knows how much he means to the Oilers in regards to top six depth and is banking on MacTavish caving and gives him a 5x5million type deal. I hope MacTavish does not cave in a stick to only a 4.5 million type salary. There is so many players signed to long term contracts that do not help in Gagner's favor: Oshie, Perron, Voracek. Hopefully this gets settled before the hearing is scheduled and Gagner is signed to a multi-year deal.

Absolutely he is. If I was Gagner's agent I'd do the same. Now, say we had signed Grabovski at the start of free agency. Do you think that Gagner would be playing hardball? But he knows the Oilers centre depth; everybody knows the Oilers centre depth. What he doesn't realize is that it's really hurting the team. What message is he sending to the team if he doesn't want to be a team player? I get it's only a contract but what you ask for says a lot about yourself, such willingness to take a hometown discount

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#13 spawnlauncher
July 21 2013, 10:51PM
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How many forwards have received contracts for 5 plus million a year without ever having scored 20 goals in a season? Not saying Gagner shouldn't, I'm just curious.

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#14 Quicksilver ballet
July 21 2013, 10:57PM
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With or without Sam, MacTavish still needs to be pursuing a Couturier type. At 4.5 on a 5 yr deal, Gagner will make a fine 3rd sometimes 2nd line center.

Jason, do you feel Marincin, along with the first in 2014, would fetch Couturier and Meszaros?

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#15 Gret99zky
July 21 2013, 10:58PM
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Do they sign Gagner longterm at +5M and risk losing one of the other wonderkids in the future?

Or do they trade Gagner at low value and hope they don't mess up future negotiations as bad as this one by giving the player all the leverage?

Guess we'll see.

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#16 Mr common sense
July 21 2013, 11:01PM
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I don't like this situation one bit, this guy is NOT elite in ANY regard; speed, shot, accuracy, physicality, passing, hitting, skill, face offs, defensive zone coverage, one on one ability, finesse, consistency, durability, ruggedness, highlight ability, hockey IQ, pp specialist, pk proficiency, shot blocking, shut diwn capability, NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING. The city and media has lost it's marbles. The two prevailing arguments FOR him is that we have no organizational depth at C (that failure is now making us make a bad decision) and that 6 yrs is not enough time to see the potential of an offensive player? Is this a joke? Not one person is saying "Sam Gagner is Unreal and deserves elite money because he is all-star, Olympic calibre talent. Hogwash, deal him tomorrow 8am and use Smid and 1st rounders to get a C

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#17 Dangilitis
July 21 2013, 11:17PM
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The question is where is his girlfriend going. She just finished her med school and started residency as of July 1st, a large commitment (from 2-7 yrs depending on training program). Oilers should hopefully have researched this, as well as how serious the relationship is, and where she is working during her residency. If she's staying in Edmonton, that should be a feather in MacT's cap, as she can't move like Gagner in 1 year.

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#18 Taylor Gang
July 21 2013, 11:38PM
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Mr common sense wrote:

I don't like this situation one bit, this guy is NOT elite in ANY regard; speed, shot, accuracy, physicality, passing, hitting, skill, face offs, defensive zone coverage, one on one ability, finesse, consistency, durability, ruggedness, highlight ability, hockey IQ, pp specialist, pk proficiency, shot blocking, shut diwn capability, NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING. The city and media has lost it's marbles. The two prevailing arguments FOR him is that we have no organizational depth at C (that failure is now making us make a bad decision) and that 6 yrs is not enough time to see the potential of an offensive player? Is this a joke? Not one person is saying "Sam Gagner is Unreal and deserves elite money because he is all-star, Olympic calibre talent. Hogwash, deal him tomorrow 8am and use Smid and 1st rounders to get a C

Did you just copy and paste this? I swear to god you said this verbatim in another blog.

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#19 Taylor Gang
July 21 2013, 11:39PM
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Dangilitis wrote:

The question is where is his girlfriend going. She just finished her med school and started residency as of July 1st, a large commitment (from 2-7 yrs depending on training program). Oilers should hopefully have researched this, as well as how serious the relationship is, and where she is working during her residency. If she's staying in Edmonton, that should be a feather in MacT's cap, as she can't move like Gagner in 1 year.

Creep much? Come on there's a fine line between getting a negotiating edge and just stalking someone's life.

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#20 DnDon
July 21 2013, 11:39PM
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Gregor

Like others, this is not a good situation for the Oilers. Big overpay and more than a three year contract for Gagner is the last thing the club needs.

"...the question still remains unanswered if the Oilers can win with Gagner and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as their future top-two centres."

The answer is no, Gagner isn't a first or second line centre. You don't think so? This is the expressed opinion of MacT as he believes Gagner better fits as a winger. Gagner really doesn't fit into MacT's vision of the new Oilers.

Presently, Nugent-Hopkins is either a first or second line centre, depending on the Oilers acquiring a real NHL centre for either the first or second lines (Grabovski?). The Oilers recruited a third line centre in Gordon, but presently don't have either a first or second NHL fourth line centre.

Are the Oilers prepared to pay Gagner +$% million per for three years for a bottom six winger? I would hope not. Look out how it worked with Hemsky.

Resolving this decision will determine if MacT proves he is a qualified NHL GM.

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#21 Zarny
July 21 2013, 11:47PM
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I believe reports that the biggest hurdle is a NTC.

If you want to get bigger, the smallish C behind RNH on the depth chart seems a logical choice.

If you have to trade a top 6 F in 2-3 years due to cap issues I'd recommend the guys ranked 5th or 6th.

It's a short list and Sam is on it on both accounts. You can't give him a NTC no matter what.

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#22 madjam
July 21 2013, 11:50PM
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We should just trade Gagner for Weber

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#23 Racki
July 21 2013, 11:56PM
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I'd give him a NTC in a heart beat, so long as it brought the salary down to the right value (for a NTC, I'd say down to around $4m/season).

Gregor noted that he can't have a NTC/NMC until the 2014-15 season, which means if they really wanted to be dick-ish about it, the Oilers could "Visnovsky" him off to another team before that clause kicked in, anyways (although that has nothing to do with why I'd do this kind of deal).

But really, I think at $4M/season, I'd have no problems with him on a NTC or NMC, even if I do prefer him on the wing to center. I think at that price, you could afford to go out and get a temporary 2nd line center like Grabovski, and have Gagner play on the 3rd line wing until PP time comes along. And if someone gets injured, he could fill in anywhere in the top six.

Just my 2 cents on that. I know people get all wrapped up in salary figures and where guys slot in the lineup, but I would have no problems hanging on to Gagner at $4m.

Now that said, I doubt that even with a NTC/NMC he'd take $4m. If he did though, that would be fantastic. I think I'd tolerate a NTC/NMC as long as it came in under $4.5M somewhere.

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#24 Zarny
July 21 2013, 11:56PM
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@admiralmark

I expect Gagner would take 90% of his market value.

He asked for $5.5M in arbitration but the art of negotiation is that your first bid is a little higher than what you actually will sign for.

The problem is that Gagner wants a NMC and it could kill the Oilers.

Their top 6 F need to get bigger and they're going to run into cap problems. Unless you're moving Hall, Ebs, RNH or Yakupov...Gagner is one of two options. You can't give him a NMC and that is reportedly the biggest hurdle.

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#25 Romanus
July 21 2013, 11:59PM
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madjam wrote:

We should just trade Gagner for Weber

You may need to throw in Omark.

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#26 madjam
July 22 2013, 12:02AM
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Romanus wrote:

You may need to throw in Omark.

Omark has no trade value. You wouldn't have to add anything in the trade. Nashville has Jones coming in as a replacement and they get a center. The biggest thing is is that it saves Nashville money. Makes sense for both sides.

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#27 kgo
July 22 2013, 12:04AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Creep much? Come on there's a fine line between getting a negotiating edge and just stalking someone's life.

All is fair...Rachel is so tight with her family I doubt she'd ever leave Edm. Anyone who has seen her knows that Gagner, or any man, wouldn't take any amount of money to risk losing her. That NTC is worth more to Gagner than he's letting on.

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#28 Josh Oiler - (The Underground Hockey Insider)
July 22 2013, 12:16AM
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GIVE THE MAN 5.25m/year at 6 years with a NTC?

There's 29 other teams in the NHL that would take Sammy Gags for that?

THE GUY IS ON 23 Years OLD PEOPLE???

This guy will be a 80point/year player for the next 5 years!!!! WATCH!

MacTavish is smart enough not to mess this one up? At least I hope not!

I MEAN C'Mon ... Sammy Gags on a line with Yak City and Perron?? Can't anyone else fathom the destruction and fear this 2nd line will put into the hearts and souls of opposing teams??

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#29 kgo
July 22 2013, 12:19AM
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I wonder how many posts have been made by Jeff, Sam's agent over the past 3 days.

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#30 MKE
July 22 2013, 12:23AM
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madjam wrote:

Omark has no trade value. You wouldn't have to add anything in the trade. Nashville has Jones coming in as a replacement and they get a center. The biggest thing is is that it saves Nashville money. Makes sense for both sides.

What planet are you on? No way Nashville makes that deal.

Not to mention the Oilers don't have the cap room to pull it off. Even if they could then they would be left with no cap room to fill their massive hole at center

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#31 MKE
July 22 2013, 12:29AM
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Josh Oiler - (The Underground Hockey Insider) wrote:

GIVE THE MAN 5.25m/year at 6 years with a NTC?

There's 29 other teams in the NHL that would take Sammy Gags for that?

THE GUY IS ON 23 Years OLD PEOPLE???

This guy will be a 80point/year player for the next 5 years!!!! WATCH!

MacTavish is smart enough not to mess this one up? At least I hope not!

I MEAN C'Mon ... Sammy Gags on a line with Yak City and Perron?? Can't anyone else fathom the destruction and fear this 2nd line will put into the hearts and souls of opposing teams??

It's too much. Especially if you are offering a NTC. MacT has to do what is best for this team right now.

If he wants a NTC he has to sign for a cap hit in the range of 3.9 million.

You can't handcuff yourself going forward paying someone 5 million or more who isn't yet proven. He's "proven"...but not at a 5 million doller level.

The open market might give him that. But MacT still has to do what is best for this team and play hard ball.

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#32 Taylor Gang
July 22 2013, 12:35AM
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madjam wrote:

Omark has no trade value. You wouldn't have to add anything in the trade. Nashville has Jones coming in as a replacement and they get a center. The biggest thing is is that it saves Nashville money. Makes sense for both sides.

Lol I thought you were trolling.

We'd stand a better chance at getting Yandle and even the chances of that is slim at best. Weber is premier talent in the NHL at the prime of his career. They won't just trade him for manlets like Gagner. Yakupov and a mid-range prospect may get their attention... Not saying I'd want to.

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#33 Taylor Gang
July 22 2013, 12:36AM
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MKE wrote:

What planet are you on? No way Nashville makes that deal.

Not to mention the Oilers don't have the cap room to pull it off. Even if they could then they would be left with no cap room to fill their massive hole at center

THANK YOU, some sanity in this place

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#34 MKE
July 22 2013, 12:36AM
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@Taylor Gang

You are right but there is no way I'd want to give up on yak city.

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#35 MKE
July 22 2013, 12:42AM
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@Taylor Gang

Not the first time you and I have seen eye to eye lol.

I do like to dream but I prefer to do so sober.....and not on crack where I start talking about Omark for Crosby

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#36 madjam
July 22 2013, 12:43AM
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MKE wrote:

Not the first time you and I have seen eye to eye lol.

I do like to dream but I prefer to do so sober.....and not on crack where I start talking about Omark for Crosby

Wouldn't want Crosby, high chance of injury.

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#37 MKE
July 22 2013, 12:48AM
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madjam wrote:

Wouldn't want Crosby, high chance of injury.

So you won't do Omark for Crosby, yet you think Gagner for Weber is even plausible?

You must be high on something

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#38 Muji
July 22 2013, 12:56AM
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If I'm Gagner, I'm asking for a NTC because I'm tired of playing for loser teams and I'd hate for the upstart Oilers to trade me to some crap team just as they're about to turn the corner (i.e. just as they're about to pay for Yakupov, Shultz, etc.)

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#39 MKE
July 22 2013, 01:01AM
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Muji wrote:

If I'm Gagner, I'm asking for a NTC because I'm tired of playing for loser teams and I'd hate for the upstart Oilers to trade me to some crap team just as they're about to turn the corner (i.e. just as they're about to pay for Yakupov, Shultz, etc.)

If he wants to be here then he needs to sign a deal that gives the team the ability to sign everyone.

So if he wants the NTC he can't get as much money.The team needs guys who want to be here for the right cap hit

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#40 madjam
July 22 2013, 01:07AM
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MKE wrote:

So you won't do Omark for Crosby, yet you think Gagner for Weber is even plausible?

You must be high on something

No, you can't get anything for Omark. I'm just saying that I'd rather not have Crosby on my team. I'd rather Toews, Malkin, etc.

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#41 MKE
July 22 2013, 01:12AM
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madjam wrote:

No, you can't get anything for Omark. I'm just saying that I'd rather not have Crosby on my team. I'd rather Toews, Malkin, etc.

I know you can't get anything for Omark. You also can't get Weber for Gagner.

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#42 mlcsellil
July 22 2013, 01:34AM
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MacT has to clean up another mess that Tamby left behind. I would walk away from Gagner in favour of another 2nd line center in a heartbeat. For 6 years I think Gagner has played his best, and I think we will continue to see more of the same. He is no where close to being a complete player. Looking ahead to the next couple seasons (of the current roster) of the guys that are going to need contracts, I think there are guys coming up that are far more valuable to the Oilers than Sam. Let him go sell his wares some where else. 5.5 and a NT/NM--Sam Gagner and his agent are drinking too much koolaid.

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#43 MKE
July 22 2013, 01:46AM
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mlcsellil wrote:

MacT has to clean up another mess that Tamby left behind. I would walk away from Gagner in favour of another 2nd line center in a heartbeat. For 6 years I think Gagner has played his best, and I think we will continue to see more of the same. He is no where close to being a complete player. Looking ahead to the next couple seasons (of the current roster) of the guys that are going to need contracts, I think there are guys coming up that are far more valuable to the Oilers than Sam. Let him go sell his wares some where else. 5.5 and a NT/NM--Sam Gagner and his agent are drinking too much koolaid.

And you replace him with....

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#44 RJ
July 22 2013, 02:25AM
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Hey Sam, let's remember that this negotiation is not about business, it's about family/team/community. So take the following terms:

1) let the team set the value of the contract so that it best suits the team;

2) a medium-term deal that suits the team's needs (three years or so)

3) waive the right for a NMC/NTC.

And once you've committed to the team, and we have a favorable contract (AAV & term), then we will give you the best zone starts, ample time on the pp, put you in the best position to succeed from a ppg standpoint.

Then we'll trade you to the highest bidder for that big center or top-2 defenceman we always wanted.

Sorry Sam, it's just business.

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#45 Throttlehead
July 22 2013, 03:01AM
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madjam wrote:

We should just trade Gagner for Weber

Weber has by far the worst contract in the NHL, he will make 20 million a year for the next three years and is almost a 8 million cap hit till he is forty. That is RIDICULOUS, and not worth it.

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#46 Devolution
July 22 2013, 03:30AM
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admiralmark wrote:

I'll say this again.. I dont understand why a player won't take a deal that pays him 90% of what the market holds?

1) The difference between $4.5 Mill and $5 Mill is not going to exactly cause him any hardship. 2) Being paid slightly less means that when you have poor years the fans will cut you some slack. 3) If you want to be with a team because you like the city, you like youre teammates etc which has been reported. Then take the lesser deal in exchange for a NMC(If this is not being offered then bad on MacT). 4) Take a little less allows the team.."Your Team" to better acquire more players around you. Setting an example as such may even spur more of your teammates to do the same and in turn bring in more talent with the saved cap space...What a novel idea hey? Save Cap space, get better players, win more games... Why is this such a bad idea?

If this was not a Capped League then all bets would be off here. But to be a player that supposedly wants to win a Cup and yet to deny that if every player squeezes every last penny they can out of the team at contract time is not going to affect your chances of winning said Cup is short sighted.

Take the lesser $$ Gagner. Ask for a NMC as a bonus for leaving a little money on the table if thats the concern. Instantly endear yourself to the fans and your team-mates. Makes sense to me?

I think that players probably do think this way but I am quite sure that agents don't.

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#47 Maverick
July 22 2013, 05:31AM
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Its the mix on the team. This is what we know:

Hall - Great young left winger, talk of him might being a center but it looks like he will be a winger.

Eberle - Good young right winger

Hopkins - Number one or high number two center

Yakupov - dynamic winger, probably right winger or a rover type player.

Gagner - 2nd line center or 2nd line winger? GM thinks he is a winger and has mentioned it, has played center for 6 years in the NHL. So what is Sam Gagner?? After 6 years you have to know by now what he is, doesn't matter if he is 24 years old, he is mature in NHL years, lots of in game experience. The age thing doesn't fly with me, he is mature, has lots of game experience, seen lots of different scenarios even at a young age. But he has "warts" in his game and 24 or not, 6 years in the league not sure if he will ever be able to shed those "warts". On this team he is the odd man out, I think it a short deal and than he is traded. Something's got to give and he is the one getting moved out first.

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#48 Oiler Al
July 22 2013, 05:51AM
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Should have been signed last year or dealt in the off season .

Gagner has Oilers over the barrel right now, and if they want him for long term they will have to pay dearly.[ The team probably has no back up plan to fill their voids at center, yes I think they are short two guys at that position if they dont sign Gagner]

Oilers gave him the chance to circle jerk the team until his free agency period... smart move on his agents part.

PS.. This is not a $5.5 million player, not even a $5.

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#49 mlcsellil
July 22 2013, 06:21AM
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I'm sure neither side wants to go into a meeting today, but I'm willing to bet that MacT has a back up plan. There is no way he's prepared to be handcuffed to a contract he doesn't want. MacTavish is smart and will do the best thing for the team. I'm waiting for an announcement regarding a bold move that will centre (no pun intended) around Gagner. Just because MacT hasn't said anything, doesn't mean there isn't anything to be said.

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#50 Oilcruzer
July 22 2013, 06:30AM
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A modified NMC and $23m over 5 is the right deal.

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