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.
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.
- 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.
- July 21: Oilers sign D Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year, $3.15 million contract, avoiding salary arbitration.
- 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
- July 12: Oilers trade Andrew Cogliano to Anaheim. He had filed for arbitration on July 5.
- July 5: One year to the day after Cogliano files, Sam Gagner also files for arbitration.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO SAMWISE?
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.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
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?