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 

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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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#201 Naky
July 22 2013, 08:23PM
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Wish people would stop harping on the NTC. There was a really good personal reason why Gagner wanted and needed the comfort and security of not being traded for at least two years, which was the minimum amount of time needed. Not gonna get into his personal life, but it wasn't so much about the money or the length of the term (though they would be nice too) but that bit of security was really important to him. This is likely what MacT was referencing when he said he didn't fully understand the terms that Gagner's camp had laid out to him before so the deal could get done sooner.

Knowing everything involved, you wouldn't be slamming MacT or the Oilers for the NTC but instead congratulating them on being classy gentlemen when they could have played hardball businessmen. It's the little things like this for players that can go a long way to making the city more desireable for players to come in the future.

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#202 Jesse
July 22 2013, 09:21PM
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@Naky

Pregnancy? LOL, I kid.

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#203 Hair bag
July 22 2013, 10:48PM
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@Jesse

Not far off

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#204 Hair bag
July 22 2013, 11:06PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

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)

You're way too Serious Gordon! If this magical, physical, two way second line centre is out there ripe for the picking - who is he and how do you suggest we get him??? Ganger is the best option we have at this time, not too mention he is still only 23, wants to be in Edmonton and brings a lot of intangibles to the table. Could he be better on face offs and defensively - of course! But right now guys like you need shut up and give the kid a chance and don't give me that bs about he's had 6yrs because he was mishandled from day 1, he should have been sent back to junior and allowed to develop properly. But he wasn't and I think he is now just finally going to come into his own. If anything he should be commended for his perseverance after the sh!tshow he has been through for the last 6yrs with the debacle the Oilers have been. Many other careers have been completely ruined in lessor circumstances.

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#205 Jesse
July 23 2013, 06:18AM
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@Hair bag

Ah, engagement then.

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#206 OttawaOilFan
July 23 2013, 08:37AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

He gave up being the youngest ever UFA in a season where the Cap would likely jump by 6 million, he only took a 3 year deal, and he only has a NTC in 1 of those 3 years.

He couldnt have done the Oil more favours given his contract situation.

He held all the cards and decided to give some back to MacTavish.

You mean like "Go Fish"?! I like that game!! :-)

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