In the post lockout-era, Edmonton has been quite good at avoiding arbitration. They often sign their player before the hearing begins, but have been known to trade the player before the hearing too.

2006 Summer

The year Edmonton went to the Stanley Cup final there were three young players who were eligible for aribitration. In each case, the Oilers signed them before the hearing:

  • July 12: Oilers sign Shawn Horcoff to a three-year, $10.8 million contract.
  • July 21: Oilers sign Jarret Stoll to a two year, $4.4 million contract.
  • July 25: Oilers sign Ales Hemsky to a six year, $24.6 million contract.  The deal took him three years beyond unrestricted free agency and kept him in Edmonton until the end of the 2011-12 season (and of course he re-signed with the club). The Hemsky story is here.

2007 Summer

  • July 20: Oilers sign Joni Pitkanen to a one-year. $2.4 million contract, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing that had been scheduled while he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

2009 Summer

  • July 21: Oilers sign D Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year, $3.15 million contract, avoiding salary arbitration. 

2010 Summer

  • July 14: Oilers sign L JF Jacques to a one-year, $615,000 contract.
  • July 27: Oilers sign C Gilbert Brule a two-year contract worth $1.85 million per season
  • July 31: Oilers sign G Jeff Deslauriers to a one year $1.05 million contract

2011 Summer

  • July 12: Oilers trade Andrew Cogliano to Anaheim. He had filed for arbitration on July 5.

2012 Summer

  • July 5: One year to the day after Cogliano files, Sam Gagner also files for arbitration.




Sam Gagner would appear to be a part of the future. He’s just 9 months older than Jordan Eberle and has proven he can play with the skilled men on the roster. Gagner’s strength (imo) is his cerebral play–an outstanding passer, he had a rollercoaster 11-12 that included a "game for the ages" that we’ll all remember a long time.

On the other hand, Gagner’s filing comes at a time when the Oilers may be looking for a trade asset to cash for an NHL defenseman who can grow with the young cluster. Cogliano’s exit had to do with a numbers game–there wasn’t room–but for Gagner its a different story. The Oilers need him to play center on the 2line, but they also need him at a reasonable cap number based on his abilities and performance.

It’s a sticky wicket for both sides. 


It was a spectacular evening against Chicago, one we won’t forget for a long time. 8 points is historic–tied with 99 and 7 from the Glory team–and honestly it couldn’t have come at a better time. With Darren Dreger saying on tsn–”the Oilers aren’t offering Gagner but they badly need defenseman and that’s the name mentioned by other general managers”–the timing of the outburst bordered on perfect.

Will the Samwise luck hold this summer? Will he sign a multi-year deal like some of those listed above? Is he destined to be a part of the Glory Days 2.0?

We wait. 

  • Brownlee loves the word meow


    Briere – 5.10 180 lbs
    Crosby – 5.11 200 lbs
    Datsyuk – 5.11 198 lbs
    Helm – 5.11 192 lbs
    Kane – 5.11 180 lbs.

    So size didnt stop these guys from being at the top of their game. This is a very small sampling, but there are others playing center at this size and are not run out of the league.

    Gagner, needs to develop his upper body some leg strenght. A summer with Gary Roberts ie; Stamkos and others, would turn him into a different player. He’s got the heart and talent, needs to work on some of his muscles etc.

  • Clyde Frog

    Oh Billy…

    First ouch!

    Second lol, couldn’t make that list could you?

    Secondly no-one is championing him as a 1st line all star, but sure tie me to that.

    Crawl back to your cave of hate and have a calming tea of evil with DSF.

    The fact is Gagner is a functional 2nd line centre and tossing spite at him is just sad.

    But if that’s all you have I’ll leave you to it…

    Oh lol.

  • Clyde Frog

    Gagner in my mind is very weak on the puck. Too many times we see him pushed off or outworked for it. I do like his willingness to get dirty but he does need to get more physically stronger. His size and frame liken him to a Doug Weight or Mike Comrie comparable, his skill and passing game is undoubted. This guy might be our second best shootout artist after Eberle.

    Weight and Comrie played bigger then they were, Weight was the apex for what a sub six foot center should be. He played big and he played mean, Gagner on the other hand gets pushed around way too much. Physical stature aside his game isn’t revolved around being an imposing force. Hes more of a sneaky skill guy who can burn you with getting to an open area. He won’t kill with footspeed and he wont run you over, if he can get a bit more stronger and faster hes forever going to be a player who will be questioned. RNH is dominant with his incredible vision, Gagner needs to find his ying to that yang.

  • Clyde Frog

    Size doesn’t matter ? Tell that to L.A.. Why do you think we are drafting size so frequently now ? Elite talent can get away with size discrepancy , but not to many beyond elite , and that includes Gagner i believe as not being elite .

  • Spydyr

    Sam has the requisite skill to be an effective 2 nd line centre……of that there is no doubt!

    He only lacks speed and that can be over come with the appropriate training. I say it is far too early in his career to judge him properly and playing with some skill players will make this player a 50 to 60 point player this upcoming season. Shifting some ice time from Horcoff to Gagner will also help…….IMHO this will benefit both players.

    Horcoff is incapable of playing an offensive game but has better defensive upside…….Gagner is better offensively but not as good defensively. Unless we find another Jordan Stall type of player ( maybe zarkov in a couple of years) we should all chill.