Sam Gagner’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for this Friday, but the chances are slim an arbitrator will decide his next contract. Last year 24 players filed for arbitration, but only Shea Weber sat in front of an arbitrator, and he was awarded a record-setting one-year $7.5 million deal.

In the past two years 55 players have filed for arbitration, but only six went the distance.

Weber was the only one in 2011, while Tim Kennedy, Clarke MacArthur, Blake Wheeler, Antti Niemi and Jannik Hansen all faced an arbitrator and "won" in 2010.

Hansen was awarded $825,000 for one year and stayed with the Canucks while Wheeler got a one-year, $2.2 million deal with the Bruins.

Kennedy was awarded $1 million on a one-year, one-way contract from the Sabres. He won his case on July 29th, but on August 2nd the Sabres put Kennedy on waivers. No one claimed him and the next day the Sabres bought him out at $333,333.00. He signed a one-year $550,000 with the Rangers later that month, but spent the entire year in the AHL. He ended up making $883,333 that year.

MacArthur was awarded a one-year $2.4 million deal, but the Thrashers walked away from it and he became a UFA. He ended up signing with the Leafs for a year at $1.4 million.

Niemi was awarded $2.75 million, but the Hawks elected to walk away due to their tight cap situation. Niemi ended up signing for one year with the Sharks for $2 million.

Even though MacArthur, Niemi and Kennedy "won" their cases with an arbitrator they ended up making less money playing for other teams. I wonder if that is why so few players end up in front of an arbitrator, because even if they win, they can end up losing.


Gagner will likely make between $3.1 and $3.5 million on his new deal, but the better question is how long will his new contract be?

Most arbitration cases end up being one-year deals, so a multi-year deal from the Oilers will instantly be more enticing as long as it is a legit offer.

History suggests there is a good chance the Oilers and Gagner could still sign a long-term deal despite their impending arbitration date.

In 2008, Brooks Laich signed a three-year, $6.2 million deal to stay with the Capitals, Dennis Wideman signed a four-year, $15.75 million pact with the Bruins, Valtteri Filppulla inked a five-year, $15 million deal with the Wings while Pierre-Marc Bouchard signed for five years at $20.4 million.

In 2009, Kyle Brodziak and Tuomo Ruutu signed three-year deals with Minnesota and Carolina, while Travis Zajac and the Devils agreed to a four-year deal before their arbitration hearings.

David Perron filed for arbitration this year, but he signed a four-year deal with the Blues later that day.

My best guess is that Gagner signs for one year, but the Oilers might be better off signing him for three. They wrap him up at a decent price and it likely would make him more attractive to a trading partner. It is easier to trade for a player when you know he won’t be a UFA the next season.


The Oilers announced via twitter that they have inked Theo Peckham to a one-year deal worth $1.075 million. The Oilers now have seven D-men on one-way deals, and Justin Schultz on a two-way.

Whitney, N. Schultz, Petry, Smid, Sutton, Potter, Peckham and J. Schultz could all start the season with the Oilers if they choose to keep eight defenders.

In 2010, Peckham was the Oilers 2nd most consistent blueline before Nathan Horton KO’ed him with a heavy shot. Peckham wasn’t the same player last year, but I like this signing.

The Oilers depth has been an issue the past few years, and signing Peckham gives them some needed depth on the backend. He needs to regain his on-ice swagger and confidence. If Peckham shows up at camp in great shape and ready to compete for a job on the 3rd pairing he could be a solid addition.

The onus is on Peckham to be ready come September, or whenever camp starts, and prove to the Oilers that he can be as reliable in 2012/2013 as he was in 2010/2011.

  • Wax Man Riley


    Well there are tweets out there that a deal was done, though some say 3 yrs for 10 mil and some are now saying 4 yrs for 13 mil. Nothing from solid sources though so it could be a load of bunk.

  • Concur

    I am curious that there has been no news of what either side has been doing in the negotiations. Usually the media has some knowledge or speculation about what each side is asking for or has been offered. Strange to only have silence and only an expectation to get the deal done.

  • Wax Man Riley

    @Wax Man
    It was insiderr, so probably BS. Others are stating 4 yr now. Some non-official Oilers twitter page even has it in French. LOL. Wait to hear I guess.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Hey, like I said, dubious sources so probably BS but you gotta think it would be somewhere in that range, no? Maybe not as many years, but price point.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I heard Gagner signed for Parise $$…y’know never won a cup but sure tries hard and a real good team player.

    I kid I kid, I hope they get Samwise locked down for nothin less than 3 @ 3.5 per

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Give Gags a one year deal. Watch play his ass off. Then trade him for someone at the dead line. He need to adjust his attitude! Plus we need size up front.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    David Perron. Does that name ring a bell? I bet it rings one with Sam Gagner and his agent. If he isn’t their submitted comparable I would be very surprised.
    Perron is a second line winger for St. Louis, 6-0, 180, not a big hitter but a solid, skilled player.

    Perron was a first rounder who has played five years in the league. His best seasons are 50 and 47 points, his PPG average is .60 (SG’s is .61.) He had a major injury which cost him most of the 10-11 season and the beginning of last season but ended up scoring 42 points in 57 games.

    Perron filed for arbitration when Gagner did and then signed a 4-year-deal for $15.25 million, just over $3.8 million a year. You may believe the Blues paid too much or that Perron is a better player but on paper he looks like Gagner’s twin brother, except that he isn’t a center and recovered from a major injury.

    I predict Gagner signs for something similar.

    I don’t know who the Oil’s chosen comparable is but given the history of arbitration hearings this looks like the winner to me.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    If the Oilers spread out the offence – Gagner can be very effective. Hall and Eberle have had success with Gagner(8 point night) and the line has shown chemistry. Gagner Plays with Oiler Heart, and we can never have too many players like that. Nuge would be huge for Hemsky and Yakupov – he has the ability to make his linemates better. Nuge creates easy offense and seems like he always makes the right play.


    3 years – 10.2 Million would make me happy – Get it done.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    A TRADE WITH CHICAGO IMMINENT ? Chicago actively seeking a second line center . Horcoff , Landers, Gagner ?

    Chicago,like us ,has insufficient quality depth at center if injury bug develops . Gagner supplies us some good depth .

  • vetinari

    How are we doing on the 50 man list now that Peckham has signed and Gagner’s all but guaranteed a spot? Are we close? Will this give Tambi incentive to do a two for one or three for one trade?

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination to Follow

    Sorry guys – too much negative thoughts, posts and comments over the last 5 years for me. I post that simply to be remind everyone that we have a team that is about to begin dominating.

    If I keep getting the same feedback I will stop – I have recieved lots of feedback from posters on here who love it… so thats that.

    Onto Oilers News for the day… I heard Sam Gagner is looking for 5 years X 3.75(online searching – no sources obviously).

    I dont like the term or dollar, again 3 years X 3.4 would be fair. Oilers should make an offer for Kuba/Roszival/Kubina soon and if an upgrade at D is available they can always make Andy Sutton available to go the other way. Im torn on Sutton to me he seemed solid when he was on the ice, but I love big mean Dmen so maybe im wrong and he is too slow?

  • nuge2drai

    itchy trigger finger there….

    there are a couple of reasons why;

    1-we have zero depth at center.

    2-he is consistent. despite people thinking he should be a PPG guy, 40-50 points is nothing to sneeze at.

    3-we have all the leverage. if he stays, he’ll have Hall, Eberle, Hemsky and Yakupov as possible wingers. Any other teams have an opening on their top two lines with wingers like that?

    4-we have the chance to have an Oiler product blossom before our eyes. after watching pretty much any talent the Oilers had walk away or be given away, it would be refreshing to see someone the Oilers drafted, and groomed, play in here in his prime.

    5-who else is going to protect our stars? Ben Eager??? puh-leeeze

  • nuge2drai

    OK, some of you make valid points, 3.5 @ 3 or 5 yrs is a good deal. Sam has really good potential to be a great 2nd center (8 pt night, followed by what a 4pt? 3 pt??) he needed that and after that night he scored more points in the last few months than most all year. He could very well be the 2nd coming of Ryan Smyth, he has heart, grit and loves edm, and every game, whether he scores or not plays his a$$ off. these are the kinds of ppl we need on the team. I for one hope fora long term Contract, lets show the guys who care about the Oilers that we care about them too. Also, Tambo and even Hall reported something about him returning to his natural spot at Center, if needed so that makes a good 3rd center if needed.

  • 2004Z06

    Sam Gagner is not the second coming of Ryan Smyth. Smith is an gritty, in front of the net, dirty goal scorer. Gagner is much more of a finesse player that could never take the punishment Smitty does in front of the net. Pajaarvi could and should be the next Smitty. Big and strong, just needs to get past the fear factor. I would sign Gags to a 3 or 4 year deal at 3.5 per. Then I would package him with a prospect/pic for a top 4 D man. I would then sign a guy like Arnott to a 2 year deal at 2.5 per. He would be the big power center on the second line while our prospect centers develop in the minors. He is a good leader and plays 70+ games per season. Not to mention he is way better in the face off dot than Gags. I like Gags, be we need to be bigger on the top 2 lines. Can’t have two small centers as your #1 and #2.

  • 2004Z06

    Until someone makes the case on here I will continue to maintain that David Perron of St. Louis, who just signed a 4 year, $15.25 million deal to avoid arbitration is the best comparable to Sam Gagner.

    Look at the numbers and the basic player profiles and it is obvious. People like Stauffer keep making ridiculous comparisons to contracts signed 4 years ago etc. but it is the Perron deal that established the market for SG. They were both taken in the first round, same year, when straight into the league and their numbers are very, very similar on a per game basis, despite the fact Perron missed more than 90 games with a concussion dished out by Joe Thornton and only returned for the last 57 games of last season.

    The Oil might get less on a one-year deal but it they want length they will have to cough up Perron money.