GAGNER SIGNS FOR THREE YEARS

Jason Gregor
July 22 2013 08:29AM

 

The Oilers and Sam Gagner agreed to a three-year extension hours before their scheduled arbitration hearing.

Yesterday, I wrote that a three-year deal made the most sense for both parties, and it seems they agreed.

Gagner will make $4.4 million this coming season and $5 million in 2014 and 2015, so his cap hit will be $4.8 million and he has a NMC, but it won't kick in until year two. (NMC usually includes a NTC, so I didn't write both), and like I wrote last night it might not include year three.

This deal works well for both sides.

Craig MacTavish made it clear the past two months that Gagner is the type of person and player the Oilers need. They like Gagner's leadership abilities and his desire to win. If Gagner can continue to progress offensively and improve his overall game, this will be a very good deal for the Oilers.

In three years, the salary cap could be at $75 million and giving Gagner another million a season shouldn't be a strain on their overall cap.

Gagner wanted to stay in Edmonton. He wants to win in Edmonton, and a three year deal only takes him two years into unrestricted free agency. Gagner will still be able test the free agent market as a 26/27 year old. (He'd be 26 when he signs a new deal, but 27 when the season starts).

I see this as a rare win-win for both sides.

The Oilers now have 14 forwards, 9 D-men and 2 goalies who will fight for a job on the opening day roster.

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Jones-Gordon-Hemsky
Smyth-Lander-Joensuu
Brown-Eager

J.Schultz-Ference
Smid-Petry
N.Schultz-Grebeshkov
Potter-Larsen
Belov

Dubnyk and Labarbera

Oscar Klefbom will also be in the mix, but unless he has an outstanding preseason, I'd expect him to start the season in the AHL. He only played 11 games last season, so it makes sense to let him get used to the North American game in the AHL.

Wil Acton and Ryan Hamilton are also expected to compete for a job on the 4th line, and both of them are on two-way deals. Hamilton is scheduled to make $600,000 in the NHL and $300,000 in the AHL, which usually means the organization feels he has a better chance than Acton of making the team.

The Oilers need another centre, but they don't have much cap space left. If you believe Eager and Potter start in the minors the Oilers would have about $1.8 million in cap space.

The Gagner signing was good, but MacTavish still needs to  find some more depth down the middle.

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
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#51 Spydyr
July 22 2013, 10:15AM
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Mac-T did good again.

He retained a tradable asset. If they cannot move Sam to the wing by bringing in a solid number 2C then he can be moved for one. Perhaps with a little sweetener in there a prospect , one of the many 5-6 defencman , Hemsky or Shultz the elder.

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#52 PutzStew
July 22 2013, 10:20AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Hey Jason I posted this in the other thread but I'll repost it here so we're on the same page. Do you think Philly would trade Brayden Schenn? I like that he has (somewhat of) a meanstreak, and I think he's the lesser prospect of their two young centers.

Of course they would for the right price. You should be asking, what would edmonton have to give up to get hime, and I don't think you would like the response.

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#53 Bleak Winter
July 22 2013, 10:24AM
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I like it. Whether I like Sam as a player or not, or as part of the ideal winning roster, it doesn't matter, I think that it was a smart and reasonable move given the circumstance.

The one thing that strikes me about all of Gagner's past contract negotiations is that the Oilers have been in a position that they have to pay for what they hope he will become instead of what he's proven he is. There has always been a strong leap of faith quotient. That's probably true of most players, but you really notice it with Gagner, and never more than now.

Given the extra leverage that Sam had this year, I really thought we were facing a no-win situtation. Sometimes there are only two ways out of something, and it's either damage control, or just plain damage. But kudos to MacT, I think he found a third way that was close enough to a win-win as we were ever going to get.

I have no doubt in my mind that we could very well have been shipwrecked with this one had a certain recent GM still been at the helm.

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#54 oilerjed
July 22 2013, 10:29AM
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Glad this got done before I went camping, now I can drink rye in the woods in peace. One more trade to go MacT and then we can roll the dice for next season.

This is a good contract for both sides IMO, quality guys cost money and neither side got greedy. Would like to have a few years more. Seems like Sam is always having to prove himself to management.

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#55 PutzStew
July 22 2013, 10:39AM
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Steven wrote:

Wakey-wakey people.

Bottom line: the Oilers won't go anywhere as a team with Gagner as a number 2 center.

If the Oilers actually want to build a competitive team they need a center who can win face-offs and play defence.

More mediocrity to come. But hey, keep congratulating yourselves.

So are you saying this team is going to mediocre because of the Gagner signing?

Just clarifying

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#56 Steven
July 22 2013, 10:40AM
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PutzStew wrote:

I'll help start this off..

BUT HE"S TOO SMALL

BUT HE'S NOT PHYSICAL ENOUGH

BUT HE'S NOT NAMED SCHENN

BUT HE SHOULD PLAY CENTER

BUT HE CAN'T GROW A BEARD

BUT HE CAN GROW TOO GOOD A BEARD

ETC.

ETC.

I actually agree with you and really like Gagner as a player but just thought I'd get the whining out of the way.

That 17th in center scoring to be an really great tell and you are right, that is a number 1 center on most teams. thanx for the info.

Call it whining, but those things sorta matter, you know, if you want to uhh win.

Sorry, I should be more patient with Oiler fans. They haven't seen a winning team in a decade. They don't know what it looks like anymore.

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#57 Bleak Winter
July 22 2013, 10:43AM
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Steven wrote:

Wakey-wakey people.

Bottom line: the Oilers won't go anywhere as a team with Gagner as a number 2 center.

If the Oilers actually want to build a competitive team they need a center who can win face-offs and play defence.

More mediocrity to come. But hey, keep congratulating yourselves.

Probably not, but they also weren't going to win anything with any of the currently available UFA's or anything we could trade for, if the trading pieces are Gagner, Hemsky, or our AHL prospects.

They weren't going to win anything by letting him walk and making due with a band-aid replacement, either. They also weren't going to win anything if they paid him like he was the long-term solution and he turned out not to be.

Bottom line: They bought some time, mostly, and a reasonably serviceable 2nd line Center, meanwhile.

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#58 PutzStew
July 22 2013, 10:43AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

If I was Kevin Lowe, i'd pull that chromed steel hockey stick (that he received for playing 1000 nhl games) down off his mantle, and let Sam borrow it to work on his draws the next couple months.

Don't be coming to camp Sam till you wear out/break that 10 lb steel stick. When you come to camp in the fall, using your team issued 8 oz composite will seem like you're holding a feather.

If it'll help, i'll send him a 4'x8' sheet of 1/4" puck board to emulate the ice surface. Anyone know where a guy could purchase a 4x8' envelope? #ijustwannahelp

Never going to happen. He has that locked up with his 6 Stanley cup rings in a Batcave like safe in his basement. At night he locks him self in it, puts on his old gear and Jofa helmet, looks at him self in a mirror and keeps repeating to him self, "I know winning", "I know winning", "I know winning"

In other words I can't see him giving the stick up anytime soon.

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#59 Asian on Oilers Nation
July 22 2013, 10:55AM
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Love the deal. Definitely a fit for both player and team. I would like to see the top two lines as follows: Hall - Gagner - Eberle Perron - RNH - Yakupov

The first line gets the tougher minutes while the second line gets the easier minutes. I think Hall and Eberle, being the workhorses they are, will for sure improve defensively and Gagner works just as hard, if not, harder. They all have the work ethic, the smarts on D will come eventually. Expect the 2line to get lots of points and goals.

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#60 PutzStew
July 22 2013, 11:00AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Wakey-wakey Steven. We all know this! The point here is that we bought some time to find a legit big #2 C and avoid losing Sam as an asset for nothing next year.

We can wish in one hand and crap in the other. See which fills up first.

Everyone screaming for a big, strong, defensively responsible, puck possesion, face off winning #2 C is great, but teams aren't giving those away because everyone is looking for one and there are none available in FA.

Sam is our ONLY 2C option right now!

You might want to add....

BecauseRNH might be starting the season on the IR, Gagner might be the only top 2 center we have right now.

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#61 fig pucker
July 22 2013, 11:02AM
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Steven wrote:

Wakey-wakey people.

Bottom line: the Oilers won't go anywhere as a team with Gagner as a number 2 center.

If the Oilers actually want to build a competitive team they need a center who can win face-offs and play defence.

More mediocrity to come. But hey, keep congratulating yourselves.

it would be great if i won the lottery this week to. just which big and skilled no. 2 center were they supposed to replace him with? let's see, no young prospect ready to step up to the big league in our systm fits the bill. no one availabe in free agency or on the trade block fits the bill. hey wait let's trade hall,nuge, eberle and yaks to pittsburgh for crosbey or malkin (being sarcastic) losing a few of those guys will help move the team in the right direction. we all wish gagner was like joe thorton, he's not, he's the best player the oilers have available for 2nd line ceter at this time.

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#62 NJ
July 22 2013, 11:03AM
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Anyone critiquing this deal needs to give their heads a shake. The money is okay for an okay player. There are options to move him if he doesn't further develop his defensive game this year, and maybe better offensive numbers this year with Perron/Yak actually boost his trade value. Tell me, what is your better option? The oilers are NOT winning a cup this year. There are 6+ new faces on the team, and I think MacT hasn't painted himself into a corner at all with the lineup. The Gagner negotions could've been a disaster. We can afford to be patient one more year with Sam. If we're stuck with him for 3 more, that's the worst case scenario.

"I don't like Sam, he's random comment here", is not a valid statement until you tell us what you would do to ship him: AND because of your analysis of said player, which GM would take a injury riddled Hemsky and Gagner (too small, not productive, poor defense), plus a mid level prospect for a blooming, big, defensive, power centre. IF that deal were available, my guess is that MacT would've been all over it.

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#63 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
July 22 2013, 11:04AM
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Steven wrote:

Hometown discount? Good lord.

I am not trolling. I am being critical. As one should be. I love the Oilers, and sometimes being critical is an expression of love.

You see. Fans like me, and others you may refer to as trolls have a mature kind of love for the Oilers. Like how a father may yell at their child for doing something dangerous, out of love. Whereas fans like yourself love them no matter what and see any dissent as "trolling." This is a childish love, like how a toddler sees Mommy as good no matter what.

Some fans need to wake up a smell the coffee, namely: that the oilers suck.

Good to know that you're a bigger fan than I am. We didn't even have to whip them out to measure.

Good lord. Get off your damn horse and go back to yelling at clouds.

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#64 geoilersgist
July 22 2013, 11:10AM
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I'm glad he is resigned. I don't think anyone could ask for a much better contract for him.

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#65 The Heist
July 22 2013, 11:44AM
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“We as an organization have to start rewarding people who really embody the characteristics that we hold in high regard going forward,” said MacTavish. “Sam, in my mind, really fits that."

Slap the C on his chest. The kid wants to be here. Put away the negativity that most of you feel because of this whole arbitration ordeal, its a business.that's his agents job. Thank you mark and JW for pointing out that faceoff stat. He's really not that bad, and he will improve. I could keep going, but if all you have against him is his height then don't say Sams a bad player.

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#66 Mark-LW
July 22 2013, 12:21PM
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DSF wrote:

Uh, no.

Last season he was -14.4 in Corsi On. That was 10th among Oiler forwards who played 20+ games.

He was -4.3 in Corsi Rel. That was 9th among Oiler forwards who played 20+ games.

Like others have already pointed out, I was not referring to this past partial season. And like Rom mentioned, this past season was a overall sink for the entire team. Tyler Dellow has made some pretty convincing arguments (part one here: http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5811) for the reasons being tactical.

Through Tyler's analysis and knowing that Gagner's two previous full campaigns (seasons played at age 21 and 22) had more promising Corsi results, I'm willing to overlook this past season.

Of course it could be that this past partial season is the real indicator, but I have my doubts.

Thanks for responding to what I didn't say though, as usual.

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#67 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
July 22 2013, 12:45PM
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DSF wrote:

Always call em as I see em.

That may be true.....but your tone and approach has been a little different lately...yes? No?

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#68 The Soup Fascist
July 22 2013, 12:52PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

Just so I got this right; you misread what I said, you think Gagner is good to above average and overpayed, and you have no sense of humour?

I think my sense of humour is intact. In fact I think it is downright HILARIOUS that you believe a 25 year old Gagner, putting up close to the same ppg rate he did last year, would not have gotten a long term $5 million plus per year contract from an NHL GM, had he gone to free agency in 2014. That was a good one!

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#69 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
July 22 2013, 01:01PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Holy crap, the sky is falling, the sky is falling. I just prop'd a DSF post!

That's what im talkin about!

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#70 lucky
July 22 2013, 01:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah. I think this is a win-win deal.

To me, Gagner is likely a $4.5M player but, given the leverage Gagner had, I think MacT did very well here.

Avoiding another Horcoff-type contract and not risking losing Gagner for nothing next season is a very good compromise.

DSF nails it. The danger was losing the player for nothing, alienating him (or the other players watching), or alternatively getting him run out of town ala Horcoff. Good deal at justifiable numbers. Next item on the agenda?

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#71 Steven
July 22 2013, 01:09PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Well he has been on the job for a total of 2 months and has spent the majority of that time cleaning up his predecessors mess. I would hardly call it being impotent. What price would you pay? We aren't giving up one of the Fab 5 just yet and no one wants anything else we have. Yes anything is for sale providing you have currency and we don't!

Many Oilers fans have been critical of the players/ownership/management at times(including myself) so you certainly aren't accurate in your comments regarding fans refusal to see the reality of what the Oilers are currently.

Rome wasn't built in a day after all. How about we wait until the season starts to assess Mac T's "bold" summer?

Or did you expect we would go from bottom feeder to cup champs overnight? Now that would be unrealistic!

The biggest conceit of Oiler fans, in my opinion, is this presumption of eventual winning. The language on some of these posts is indicative of this. You often here "when we start winning", or "when we win the cup" etc. as if it's an eventual certainty. Oilers fans need to purge themselves of this nonsense in order to have sober analysis of the team. The "rebuild" is nothing but clever marketing, and you've all been duped.

You've all been convinced that winning is actually losing; that more patience is needed, not better management; and that a competitive team is just around the corner.

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#72 DSF
July 22 2013, 01:26PM
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Mark-LW wrote:

To people who were worried that Gagner would end up with a Horcoff-esque contract and become un-tradeable:

If you adjust for salary differences at the time their contracts were signed, Gagner would have had to be rewarded a cap hit of $6.2 million, far more than the low 5's that people were sweating.

Then there is the fact that Horcoff's contract started for his age 31 season, obviously past his prime years. And then consider that Horcoff never showed even close to Gagner's offensive potential at a young age (it wasn't until Horcoff's fourth season in NCAA where he cracked a point per game).

There is always the risk that the bottom could completely fall out from him, but I would take my chances on a 6 season .62 points per game player who is not yet 24.

Trying to compare Gagner's situation to Horcoff's is quite ridiculous IMO.

The actual dollars and cap hit (unless exorbitant) were not the issue with Horcoff as much as the term of his contract and the MNC that it contained.

Has Gagner been signed to a 7 year deal at anything over $5M it would have been just as much an albatross contract as Horcoff's given his inconsistency and spotty defensive play.

As it is, the Oilers are only risking 3 years on a contract where they are not likely to win much of anything anyway.

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#73 They're $hittie
July 22 2013, 01:27PM
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Ok, can the Gagner posts, and trade Gagner comments stop now. He is signed and has a NTC. So we can all stop now right?

And before someone points out the NTC does not start until next year, think about if he got traded. What does this do to the oilers reputation.

SO THE GAGNER POSTS CAN STOP NOW? RIGHT?

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#74 DSF
July 22 2013, 01:28PM
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@They're $hittie

NO!!!

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#75 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
July 22 2013, 01:28PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Trust me on this Steven......this ( " as if its an eventual certainty " ) is what winners do!

Incidentally....it's also the reason that Canucks fans feel like they MIGHT eventually win a cup some day!

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#76 They're $hittie
July 22 2013, 01:30PM
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@DSF

I am actually enjoying what DSF has to say today. Maybe he is just thrilled that Gagner has signed also.

Is it a full moon?

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#77 DSF
July 22 2013, 01:43PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Could you list 10-20 2nd line two-way, gritty, tough to play against centers currently in the league?

Looking at the 31-45 Centres in production last season (and ignoring that Gagner was 17)

You get this list:

31 Vincent Lecavalier

32 Bryan Little

33 Joe Pavelski

34 Jonathan Huberdeau

35 Jordan Staal

36 Tyler Ennis

37 Lars Eller

38 Kyle Turris

39 Derick Brassard

40 Frans Nielsen

41 Tyler Bozak

42 David Desharnais

43 Derek Roy

44 David Backes

45 Mark Letestu

Which largely lacks Centres like the ones you describe... Do they not grow on trees?

Your list is a little wonky. because it's based totally on points.

Ryan Kesler

Saku Koivu

Logan Couture

Jeff Carter

David Krecji

Evgeni Malkin

Derek Stepan

Ryan O'Reilly

Those are the types of players Sam is competing against as #2C

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#78 messyEH!
July 22 2013, 03:43PM
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Now that Gagner is signed.Lets start the"Run The Nuge out of town campaign". I mean he's not as good as Crosby, or as big as Crosby. So it must be time to trade him. He cab only avoid tripping on the blue line for so long. Oh yeah his FO% is lower than Gags. I hear he is the 1st one of the clip clop table when it really matters.

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#79 Serious Gord
July 22 2013, 08:33AM
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BIG mistake.

Nice guys with skill sets the oil has in surplus should be traded - not given NTC contracts.

Classic case of 'falling in love with the inventory.'

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#80 Smokey
July 22 2013, 08:38AM
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Stangely reasonable contract, makes you wonder why Sam did not take the one year arbitrators award and and go to FA.

Any idea of the terms of the NMC.

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#81 Jackson
July 22 2013, 08:38AM
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Given Gagner had very little trade value, Oilers needed to sign him. Perhaps at some point Oilers will find a 2nd line C. I've said it before it is not about the money it is about the fit. At least Oilers again will have a lottery pick.

Well Oilers continue on their quest to build a good regular season team.

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#82 oilerz
July 22 2013, 08:39AM
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Three more years of Snowpants, three more years in the basement. Way to go Klowe and MacT. Winning teams never have a player like Gagner as their top centreman.

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#83 Dave
July 22 2013, 08:41AM
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I like three year deals for players that you do not know exactly what you are getting. Amount and term are fine.

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#84 Dennis
July 22 2013, 08:41AM
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Ei8HTYSE7EN wrote:

Glad to have Gagner back at a great price.

5 year deal would have been better but this works for me.

I think a longer deal would have cost them a lot more money in the final years. Sam took a bit of a discount with the shorter term.

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#85 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 22 2013, 08:43AM
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Hey Jason I posted this in the other thread but I'll repost it here so we're on the same page. Do you think Philly would trade Brayden Schenn? I like that he has (somewhat of) a meanstreak, and I think he's the lesser prospect of their two young centers.

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#86 Serious Gord
July 22 2013, 08:47AM
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@Jason Gregor

That surplus exists on the wings. Gagner fills a spot with capabilities we don't need. 60 percent of the ice time will now have no physical presence at center OR the wings. The biggest weakness this team has has NOT been addressed.

(The sycophancy of the sports reporting world in Edmonton never ceases to amaze. As someone who in years past listened to and read the sports media of the NE US it truly is remarkable the free ride hockey execs get here)

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#87 EHH Team
July 22 2013, 08:53AM
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I have to believe MacT will be trying very hard to make a trade. He won't want to take the team into the season so close to the cap. He should want to give all players, including Eager & Potter, a chance to make the team on merit, and not be forced to bury them at OKC.

Would Hemsky (with some salary retained) plus Potter or Nick Shultz be enough to get a cheaper decent right winger to replace Hemsky?

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#88 Spydyr
July 22 2013, 09:03AM
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Doesn't Mac-T keep stating he sees Sam as a winger?

The Journal reports the NMC-NTC kicks in next year.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Gagner+seals+three+year+million+deal/8691270/story.html

There is still time to get the second line center the team needs.

Gagner on the wing sure, fine. Second line center not so much.

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#89 Felt
July 22 2013, 09:03AM
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I'm wondering how long it will take for most of the Oilers fans to turn on Gagner and want to trade him.

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#90 Clyde Frog
July 22 2013, 09:07AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Doesn't Mac-T keep stating he sees Sam as a winger?

The Journal reports the NMC-NTC kicks in next year.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Gagner+seals+three+year+million+deal/8691270/story.html

There is still time to get the second line center the team needs.

Gagner on the wing sure, fine. Second line center not so much.

An RFA can't have a NTC/NMC so the clause couldn't kick in until Sam was technically in his Free Agent years.

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#91 Harlie
July 22 2013, 09:09AM
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Decent signing, I like everything about Gagner except his size. Not much we can do about that now, get some points Gags, we need em'!

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#92 Spydyr
July 22 2013, 09:10AM
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Felt wrote:

I'm wondering how long it will take for most of the Oilers fans to turn on Gagner and want to trade him.

Some would have liked to see him traded already.

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#94 Smokey
July 22 2013, 09:12AM
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Any actual word on Nuge's ETA rather then assumption. With the drunken buying frenzy of MacT for overpriced surplus defencemen added to his assortment of pre-overpaid defence there is little quid for paying for an actual center now that we overpaid Gagner. Not looking like a playoff team for sure if Nuge ain't back by Nov or fully healthy by December.

Wonder what shakes loose with Hemsky, Nick Schultz, and all our decencemen now? I don't buy MacT is going to eat salary of Hemsky if hes getting a lesser player. Still think Hemsky to NJ to play with Jagr and Elias would rock. Nick Schultz, we may on the other hand have to eat salary. Wonder if Schultz will get sent out for picks.

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#95 madjam
July 22 2013, 09:16AM
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Well done MacT. and welcome back Gagner . I pegged one year settlement half way point @ $4.385 M and it ends up $4.4 M . Taking normal increase with no term beyond a year and Gagner would have increased to $4.84 on second year and $5.32 on third year . Well done MacT.-impressive !

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#96 Smokey
July 22 2013, 09:18AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Ya, who needs a centerman that can put up 60-7p points thats one of the most fit players in the NHL

Gagner one of the fitest players in the NHL? Love these ficticious made up statements that make rounds. Im not saying hes not up there, just these statements have come up only on Oiler blogs.

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#97 Todd
July 22 2013, 09:20AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You must not been listening closely on my show. I've said for years they need more size up front. MacTavish has said it since he got hired, but teams don't just give away big, strong, skilled forwards.

Signing Gagner for 3 years, doesn't mean MacTavish loves the make up of his team, but getting Gagner on a 1-year deal in arbitration would have been idiotic. He could then walk for nothing next season.

You evaluate each signing separately. Gagner's deal is one that allows Oilers to see if he can progress, and it gives them time to fill out other spots on the team. His contract is also easily tradeable. If he has a good year this year, teams will want him, and his NMT won't kick in until July 1st next year.

Two years of a NMT for a player who is 25 and 26 isn't that hard to work around. Also hearing the final year of deal might not include a NMT, only year two. Which is what I wrote yesterday.

Your idea to not sign Gagner, because the wingers are too small, would weaken the team, not make them better.

^^ THIS

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#98 Craig1981
July 22 2013, 09:27AM
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@Smokey

Na, I will say it about others too. Cammalleri has reputation for training hard as does Chara. Its not that their aren't others, but it is something that makes him unique compared to most.

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#99 Jeffff
July 22 2013, 09:27AM
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Michael dal Colle Oilers 2nd line Center

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#100 The Soup Fascist
July 22 2013, 09:28AM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

An RFA can't have a NTC/NMC so the clause couldn't kick in until Sam was technically in his Free Agent years.

You are correct. However, I suspect that there may be a handshake deal in place with Gagner that he is going nowhere unless he gives a nod to the trade.

I would prefer that the Oilers had the option to move him, should a good trade scenario come into play, but I expect Sam has received assurances that he will be here the full three years.

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