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 

 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#51 Oilcruzer
July 22 2013, 06:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

A modified NMC and $23m over 5 is the right deal.

Avatar
#52 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 22 2013, 06:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Dude, trollbait much? Ignore madjam, it's painfully obvious what he's doing. Gagner for Weber straight up? Wouldn't take Crosby because he might get injured?

I'd say your troll-fu is weak madjam, but you got a few people to bite.

Avatar
#53 dv.asteroid
July 22 2013, 07:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Gagner, Hemsky, and Marincin for Crosby. It makes sense...we lost the great one via trade so acquiring sid the kid the same way is poetic justice. Boldest trade ever. Please make this happen universe.

Avatar
#54 EHH Team
July 22 2013, 07:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
MKE wrote:

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

Agreed.

There might be value to him with the NTC. Perhaps four years at $4.5M with an NTC compares with $5M without one. A $4.5 contract seems fair to the Oilers, and not an overpay.

Avatar
#55 EHH Team
July 22 2013, 07:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
mlcsellil wrote:

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.

I hope so.

Avatar
#56 oilerz
July 22 2013, 07:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
EHH Team wrote:

Agreed.

There might be value to him with the NTC. Perhaps four years at $4.5M with an NTC compares with $5M without one. A $4.5 contract seems fair to the Oilers, and not an overpay.

You're late bud, already been announced.

Three years of Sammy Snowpants at $4.8m with NTC.

Avatar
#57 oliveoilers
July 22 2013, 07:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

yay! not even breakfast yet! Not bad figures either.

Avatar
#58 SrCain
July 22 2013, 07:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Bahahaha omg you were serious!?! Gagner for weber straight up. Hey thx man, it's pouring rain on a Monday morning and I can't stop laughing.

Avatar
#59 EHH Team
July 22 2013, 07:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
oilerz wrote:

You're late bud, already been announced.

Three years of Sammy Snowpants at $4.8m with NTC.

okay then. Probably close enough.

Avatar
#60 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 22 2013, 07:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

3 years is pretty reasonable. Woulda liked closer to 4, 4.5 but no use splitting hairs over less than a million I guess.

Avatar
#61 Spydyr
July 22 2013, 07:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Has the NTC been confirmed?

Avatar
#62 Reagan
July 22 2013, 07:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

A decent deal. Decent money. Would have liked a fourth year... They can always extend the deal.

Avatar
#63 Spydyr
July 22 2013, 07:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Gagner also has a no-trade, no-move clause that kicks in next season.

From the Journal. So there is still hope for some of us .

Avatar
#64 Dennis
July 22 2013, 07:57AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

So can we consider this a bit of a hometown discount. Shorter term with a bit lower money. I think that if it was a 4 or 5 year deal, the money may have been a bit higher, especially in the last couple years.

Avatar
#65 Clyde Frog
July 22 2013, 08:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
SrCain wrote:

Bahahaha omg you were serious!?! Gagner for weber straight up. Hey thx man, it's pouring rain on a Monday morning and I can't stop laughing.

Shhh, it's a genius and BOLD move; the type Madjam is famous for.

It also allows Nashville to buy 4 years of player age and the points are almost a wash... Weber is almost a 50pt guy and Sam is a 50pt guy!

Looking at that alone I'm almost against this trade from an Edmonton standpoint, but I am sure Madjam has vetted this trade with at least 43 hours of testing in NHL13.

Avatar
#66 madjam
July 22 2013, 08:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

First comment on this article ! Who's the jerk using my handle (name), It's not the first time either I have noticed .

Avatar
#67 oliveoilers
July 22 2013, 08:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
madjam wrote:

First comment on this article ! Who's the jerk using my handle (name), It's not the first time either I have noticed .

I agree. Pseudo-madjam has much better grammar and syntax.

Avatar
#68 Peter
July 22 2013, 08:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

TSN reported that the deal has both NTC and NMC in it. I think this is a fair deal. It's fine with me.

Avatar
#69 Lofty
July 22 2013, 08:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I like the fact that the no trade clause doesn't kick-in until next summer. If it becomes obvious that the team needs more size up front, I would think Gagner could be moved at the deadline for more than he was worth under his old expired contract.

Avatar
#70 michael
July 22 2013, 08:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Good deal for both sides. Cap geek reports we have 24 players signed with 1.3 million in Cap Space left. Love the cap management by MacT. No more defenceman signings.

Next. Trade Hemsky.

Avatar
#71 Justin
July 22 2013, 08:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Oilers still need a 2nd line C.

Avatar
#73 Darren
July 22 2013, 08:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I guess Oilers couldn't get any value back in a trade with Gagner. So they signed him.

How is the 2014 draft looking ? Another lottery pick.

Avatar
#74 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 22 2013, 08:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jason Gregor

Gregor, you think they'd trade Brayden Schenn? His mean streak intrigues me more than Couturier.

Avatar
#75 rickithebear
July 22 2013, 09:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Sam gagner is a 46% FO Center. which is a concern in the pocession game. But! Gagner was: top 20 in scoring for centers. (1st line) top 10 centers for PP production (1st line) top 3 PK GAA centers (1st line) last year.

There was no center top 10 in all three.

Sam gagner was the only center top 20 in all three.

Ryan Getzlaf was top 30 in all 3.

Tyler Bozak and D. Roy were top 40 in all three.

Avatar
#76 rickithebear
July 22 2013, 09:32AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I keep reading Gagner is not a 1st line center?

So if the only center top 20 in points: pp production; PK results is not a first line center. then who is?

J. toews had a down year on PP or he would be his usual top 20 in all three. But he is clearly not a 1st line center!

Avatar
#77 Butters
July 22 2013, 09:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@rickithebear, yes, but shouldn't the Oilers be trying to get bigger and crappier players in the top six? You know, players that get a lot of hits, the most non-subjective stat in pro sports.

Avatar
#78 Clyde Frog
July 22 2013, 10:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
rickithebear wrote:

I keep reading Gagner is not a 1st line center?

So if the only center top 20 in points: pp production; PK results is not a first line center. then who is?

J. toews had a down year on PP or he would be his usual top 20 in all three. But he is clearly not a 1st line center!

No, no, no...

Production is the most misleading stat....

What you need to look at is height, see he is shorter than 6'2" so there for he is a terrible hockey player.

Sure he put up points, played the PK and more; but all of that is not really real! Because it was not accomplished by someone over 6 feet tall.

Avatar
#79 Dangilitis
July 22 2013, 11:04AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Taylor Gang

I don't have to creep dickhead because I've met her and know of her plans. I assume oilers management know gagner as both the player and person and could have used this when they negotiate e.g. We know you want to stay here and we want you to stay here let's get this done. Get over yourself buddy...

Comments are closed for this article.