During tonight’s Hotstove portion of the HNIC pre-game, Elliotte Friedman told the nation "Sam Gagner’s name is out there" and suggested the Oilers would find him a place he’d be comfortable with playing (if a transaction were to be completed). It sounds very much like the team and player have decided a move could be made if it fits for all sides, although specifics weren’t covered in the brief report.


Gagner’s season went sideways in a hurry one autumn night in Vancouver, and the impact has been felt by player and team all season long. I don’t for a minute believe that the Kassian stick incident led us to this day, but it probably hurried it along.

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Bottom line: Craig MacTavish has to make plans for next year. He has to ask questions:

  1. Is Dallas Eakins the coach of next year’s team?
  2. Do the Oilers need to improve up the middle?
  3. Has Mark Arcobello done enough to make Gagner expendable?
  4. Will the organization have the same number of similar talents in the top 6F next season?
  5. Can they get value for Gagner?
  6. Is Gagner a part of the future with Eakins in charge?

Those are tough questions, but the news today suggests that they exist in the organization and Sam Gagner (who perhaps Gagner has questions about his future as an Oiler) may be heading out of Edmonton during the season.

What does it all mean? Well, you never get full value in these situations, so prepare to be disappointed with the return. On the other hand, the Oilers will be going to market next summer with more money and will very likely arrive at training camp next fall with a bigger lineup.

We wait.

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  • **

    I told everyone yesterday!!!

    Lindy Ruff was available and the Oilers didn’t move!

    Brian Burke could have also been had as GM!


    Sam Gagner and 2014 1st round pick for David Clarkeson.

    • D-Unit

      For Burke to be the Oilers GM, Klowe would have had to be gone.

      Also, Burke most likely would have had to have the POHO job, which would be a good thing.

      I would love to hear Burke give true assessment of the Oilers players, Bobby Ryan style. Coaches and Management too.

        • Oiler63

          Joshy…judging buy your intelligent comments the only comedian is you. I suspect you have never played sports based on your comments. Accountability comes from the players on the ice. Thats right. The ones that are accountable for heart, desire, loyalty, hard work and production. In return they get fame, recognition, an opportunity to play in an elite league and wealth i.e. juicy pay checks. Quit blaming the coaches “intel” man!

          • Oiler63


            Haha I’ve never been called that before. YOU MUST BE A HOCKEY PLAYER!!! I’d like to know on what level?

            Look here Primo Pasta and Sauce, there are some coaches you’d run thru a brick wall for….. And some you’d take a piss on…. Accountability??

        • Bryzarro World

          Don’t you think that was pretty funny?
          I think Clarkson and his contact would be better here than in Toronto, it looks like he has the playing in front of the home town syndrome.

  • Slapshot

    Roster for next year, if UFA breaks our direction

    Hall 6 RNH 6 Ebs 6 –
    Perron 3.8 P. Stastny 5.5 Yak 3.75 –
    D Winnik 2.5 Gordon 3 Downie 3
    Smyth 1 Arco 1.5 Brad Boyes 2

    Ehrhoff 4 Shultz (3×3)
    Ekblad 3.75 Ference 3.25
    Nurse 1.7 Petry 2.75 MAX


    Leave 2.25 for YAK extension (7 years 6 mill if he earns it) Leaves 6.25 for a goalie to GET AND ACTUAL GOALIE!!!!
    Spend 5 on a goalie 1A and 1.25 goalie B

    You’re welcome MAC T. What say you nation?

    • CMG30

      i love your optism, and love the choices you chose for players!! but by end of next year yak wouldn’t have earned 6 million..around 4 will be good, but i like that you went and put stastny and winnik and downie…3 guys with size and talent!! i like the boyes depth signing as well

      buttt i wouldn’t resign ryan smyth, id leave that spot open for maybe travis ewanyk if hess ready maybe mitch moroz…its been trashed a lot but i like the idea you got going…ehrhoff…..lets only hope we can snag him!

    • Slapshot

      One huge thing you overlooked in your little scenario. No UFA is going to sign here unless you overpay an old player like Ference. Edmonton will only be able to attract B and C level free agents so do not ever count on the UFA breaking your direction

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Lots of talk of firing Lowe, but WHO replaces him. The President of hockey operations is critical to the vision and the standard for the team for the next ten years. It is one thing to hate on Lowe, but getting the highest quality to replace him may not be that easy.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    is Eakins coach next year?….yes

    do the Oil need to improve up the middle….year in and year out they do.

    has Arco done enough to make Gags expendable?….no

    will the Oil have the same similar talents in the top 6 next year?….yes, unless management can get over their fear of trading Yak or Ebs.

    can they get value for Gagner? I doubt they ever really will. even when he had his 8 point night, we still wouldn’t have gotten his true value.

    my 2 cents.

  • reaperfunkss

    DO NOT LET MACT MAKE A TRADE!! He is stupid. the problem is incompetence at the top so why let a fool make a trade for this team?

    Not gonna get anything for Gagner anyway and Arco has not shown to be a replacement yet.

    • Serious Gord

      Its what Edmonton teams do…hand the reigns to the geniuses (not so much)…look at what Tillman did for our Eskimos….or rather what he did for the Argonauts…lol

  • reaperfunkss

    I miss Cogliano…Great third line centre with a great defensive game who can also put the puck in the back of the net.

    Ducks got him at a steal for a second round pick.

  • Serious Gord

    What is wrong with all you people? Kevin Lowe is not to blame, why don’t you apply for the president or GM job if you guys think you can run an NHL team? Hockey Canada has Lowe on board for years with international hockey, if he is so bad they would not hire him. Katz own over a billion dollars pharmacy empire, do you think he does not know how to let people run his business? It’s the coaches that run the team, that’s where the wins and loses count. This team has too many coaches over the years that are screwing with the development of the players. Eakins is the wrong guy there now, worst in goals against, power plays and penalty kills are worse than previous years. The team is not winning, he is screwing up Yakupov (look what happened when he got more ice time, he scored each of the last 2 games) and now Sam Gagner (he broke his jaws and now he is in the dog house). We are keep trading players away and then they blossom else where. Eakins screwed up Nazem Kadri over here in Toronto too, because it’s his way or the high way style of coaching. So big deal if he can bike in a marathon in Denver that has nothing to do with winning hockey games. That’s the bottom line, score goals and allow less goals against and win games. I m a fan living in Toronto, it’s so sad to see Oilers are not doing well right now. Ralph Kruger was doing a fine job last few years there getting the players playing. I don’t see them are having fun out there playing this year.

    • reaperfunkss

      Hello all. I am Vance (in LA) and this is my first excursion into this sphere of anonymous insults, rants, insights, observations, personal attacks, unfounded rumour and humour. It has been both disappointing and enlightening.
      I must first take exception to the promo proclaiming Mr. L Tide as a ‘shining contributor for over a century’. By my count it is only 83 years, 4 months. Only the great John Short can lay claim to such longevity. Then again, King John is the only reporter alive who actually covered the original 26 mile run from Marathon to Athens live in 490 BC. His interview with Pheidippides is legendary and still controversial, considering he was the only contestant and died immediately after his victorious interview with John. Let us not blame him.
      As for Dallas Eakins? Tis strange how quickly the tide can turn. Wasn’t it just yesterday he was the wave of new young thinking? Of aggressive offense? The opposite of past ‘defence first’ coaches? Utilizing the offensive talents of this young roster?
      And then we were introduced to “the swarm”, a magical trick in the AHL that was exposed as ridiculous against the best in the world. Then the 5 forward powerplay that would change hockey, and digressed to the most shorthanded goals in the league. And now we witness defencemen coming up the boards with the puck and pulling a 360 degree to get separation from the forechecker. That laughter you hear isn’t mine: that’s Mike Babcock and Ken Hitchcock. They just can’t help themselves. I think it’s cruel.
      But to question Dallas Eakins value is more than fair; every aspect of the team is worse. PP,PK, 5 v 5, but most condemning, the ‘kids’ have stagnated. The very future of this franchise have either taken a step sideways or backwards. And Lord knows Yak has struggled, but I didn’t realize that he was drafted for his checking and defence. Stupid me.
      Eakins is far from the only problem this team has, but it is apparent he is one of many. Which means he is part of the problem.
      MacT had to know he was taking a chance with an inexperienced AHL coach, and a very weak supporting staff. So why give the guy a 4 year contract? He wouldn’t have signed for 2? Perhaps the NHL needs to implement an entry level contract restriction for coaches, to protect them from themselves.
      Gagner? Oh my word. We’ve known for 5 years what he is; smart, tenacious, committed and not a top 2 center, too slow for 3rd line checking, and too small for 4th line banging. His trade value? In my world, zero. But considering the Oilers just got a 17th round pick for Linus Omark, Gagner might just get you Stamkos. I dunno.
      Tis indeed the winter of our discontent. After 8 years, it’s beginning to feel like the Ice Age of our Discontent.

      A better year to you all.
      Thanks for reading.

      Vancee in LA

  • Nuge&Connorvs.Sam&Sean

    Is Dallas Eakins the coach of next year’s team? At some point, they have to give the coach time and his very own assistants. That should be priority.

    Do the Oilers need to improve up the middle? Of course they do. Is this a trick question?

    Has Mark Arcobello done enough to make Gagner expendable? They cannot have two small centers in the top two. This has been said over and over.

    Will the organization have the same number of similar talents in the top 6F next season? Let’s just hope for the best on that one.

    Can they get value for Gagner? If Sam plays with Hall, thus improving his numbers, yes.

    Is Gagner a part of the future with Eakins in charge? I think it is a little obvious that a Dallas Eakins kind of team is far from what the on-ice product is at the moment. Let’s face it, they should have never let Tom Renney go. Wether we liked him or not. That move right there, is one of the reasons for the current state of the team.

  • What happened to MacT’s gentlemen’s agreement that he never should have made? I’m very down on Gagner’s game, but MacT made his agreement to not trade him public.

    That said, I guess he did tell Krueger he would find him coaching help and then told the media how Krueger is not at fault for last season and he needs to be given good players and then stabbed him in the back to jump on a total fraud manufactured by the Toronto Hype Machine.

    This Oilers management group has a pretty lengthy history of backstabbing and having no class. People think it’s the weather that scares teams away. That a tiny bit of it, but that’s nothing compared to the bad reputation of Lowe and MacT. I would never want to work for them either.

    • Jodes

      This will only happen if Sam agrees to the deal, no one is going back on their word, his fiance is a Dr so it would also have to be somewhere that would work for her, Vancouver or Toronto?

    • Jodes

      But if Gagner goes to MacT and says “I want to do what’s best to help the team/get me out of here” then the agreement is null don’t you think?

      I will agree on how he sh*t canned Krueger. That was classless. Should have manned up and did it right from the start.

      Time for both of them to go..

      • Jodes

        Yup, if Gags initiated the conversation MacT is off the hook. I think that is very unlikely though. Gags is pretty comfortable in Edmonton and fought pretty hard to get his NTC and agreement to not be traded this year. Likely the MacT started up the conversation and has agreed to move Gags to a place he is OK with. Gags technically has no power in the situation, so I guess he can consider himself lucky he will have any input at all, but I’m sure he’s still not very happy about it.

  • No free agent worth a damn will come here after witnessing the mess that is the Oilers.

    As for Gagner, if a legit two way center isn’t coming back in this deal then why make it?

    So Gagner fetches a Gardnier or like type player who fills a role on the back end, it still leaves a gaping hole at center, unless the Oilers do plan on drafting another small center.

    In this case the Oilers just played marry go-round.

    Gagner has to be package for a group of players, that fit a specific need for the Oilers.

  • Slapshot

    The value of all players on the Oilers decreases every year. I feel sorry for players like Gagner so many coaches lost his compete level. It will happen to all the Oilers a couple more years Hall heart will be gone.

    This team is a place players go to die. Can’t wait to see how many years it will take for Nurse to lose his heart.

  • Jodes

    Well just when I thought I couldn’t post anymore, I decide to come back, so here we go. There are too many what if’s in this situation.. Was Sam “rushed” back? Did the coaching staff expect way to much from him when he returned? Has he like many on the team just stopped listening to Eakins?

    Or maybe the rumour all those years ago of him wanting out have just finally come to fruition?

    Sad to say, but I think Sam Gagner (apart from one night against Chicago) is the 2nd coming of Mike York.. Lots of potential, but just not enough to get over the next hump, regardless of what team you play for.

    If he is traded, I don’t think it will work out for either team.

  • Serious Gord

    She can be a doctor there, she just can’t leave here for two more years during her practice. Hence NTC.

    Merfer, I hope some day you are in a position where you’re given a raise and a transfer (or you lose the job entirely) but your significant other can’t follow you so you know what that might be like. Pro sports or not, there’s always a human element involved where you should treat people as you wish to be treated.

    In the end, it’s just a game. There’s no need to be a hateful person about it. The organization has finally done something classy for a player who has been a loyal soldier for them and if they’re both agreeable on the movement because things have been worked out, then great. Otherwise, I fully hope they uphold it and try to redeem some semblance of honor in that management group.

    • D-Unit

      Not sure if you are aware of this, but many people work and live in different places than their wives, and families live, especially in Alberta. Some who get home a few days or a week a month to spend times with their wives and families, others who when they leave for work aren’t sure when they will get to come home again. Also, the vast majority of them don’t make 4.8 million dollars a year, or won’t make that in there entire career, and don’t have A doctor wife at home.

      Don’t give us the “human element” argument. Life isn’t fair, and can be rough at times, we have to get over it, and if Sam can’t, we can add that to the list of reasons he doesn’t belong with the Oilers.

      • Serious Gord

        No kidding life isn’t fair. I won’t make $15,000,000 in 5 lifetimes and that’s just his last contract. You cannot tell me she can’t finish her medical degree or practice in some other city. Please, thats crap.
        I know he doesn’t want to disturb her right now, OK,then he should start playing like someone who wants to stay on this team, not the garbage that he has been producing.
        I know he can play a lot better than this. When you go out and get paid like this you need to start producing or accept the consequences.

    • JDP

      Grow up. Suck it up. Your an effing millionaire. And it is your job. The world is tough, wear a helmet

      There are those of us who have had to go through a lot worse. While earning a lot less.

    • camdog

      Do you believe Cogliano turns into that type of hockey player if he had remained in Edmonton?

      On a side I do believe if you put Gags on the wing or with some big wingers he can be a productive player. However I don’t believe that Gags playing with small, defensively weak wingers is a means of success for him. The balance is off with this team, has been for 8 years and nobody’s done a thing to correct this imbalance, why???

      • Slapshot

        Anaheim signed Cogliano to a 4 year contract extension this afternoon,his name can be added to the long list of players who have left this gong show and went to other teams to have success.Gagner on the right team will be added to that list.

    • D-Unit

      Well, when the team a guy like Cogliano, goes to, is like Anaheim it makes a huge difference.
      A decent player going to a GOOD team is the key.
      Would Cogliano be the player he is if he was in Buffalo, or the Islanders or another bottom feeder team?
      If you put Gagner on a Stanley Cup caliber team, he could probably excel somewhat too, but he won’t be a 2C on one of those teams.

  • Once again the Oiler brain trust hang on and hang on and hang onto their deficient player waiting for god knows what?! Until the rest of the entire NHL knows just how useless they are. Sam Gagner has not been an answer since ever. Maybe it wasnt his fault being brought up early. But the team HAS to get better at assessing this and unloading the player while there is still an iota of value. A smallish C that cant win a draw if his life depends on it and has zero defensive IQ… I’m sure the phone is ringing off the hook for him?! As it stands we are going to literally get sweet @%$& all for this player. But I would still take it.

    • vetinari

      I would do that deal and throw in a case of Alberta beef T bone steaks and a box of Cuban Cigars.

      Lowetide I am so frustrated with Eakins right now that I am the last person to ask about his future with this franchise.
      I posted earlier today some of my feelings towards the man. The numbers are against him. But are the numbers a product of the players not grasping his system. Or are they a product of system play that does not work. Eakins is an issue for the off season. I just can’t put all this mess on the players. Eakins has a few personality issues that rub me the wrong way.

      The Oilers trade Gagner at this point it opens the can of worms at center. Would sam Rheinharts name be then in the mix.Or alternatively would Paul Stastny’s or O’Reilly.

      Either way I don’t see MacT doing anything before the trade deadline.

      The season is a write off. The question for me is who on the Oilers will step up to the challenge and show that despite the record they have pride.

  • S cottV

    Who thinks that part of Gagne’s discontentment was being passed over for Captain by Eakins?

    Eakins player management skills remind me of Mike Keenan. Basically he has none.

    Tampa Bay tonight. Wonder what they think of -32/wc-39 this am as they get up for the morning skate. Maybe they’ll stay in the hotel and forfeit this one.

  • the rake

    One of the biggest mistakes last summer was resigning Gagner, I like the guy, but he has reached all he will ever be, and his trade value is dropping fast. He may be a 50 point guy, but that is as high as he will ever achieve, and he brings nothing else to the team that warrants his salary. Poor skater, poor shot, terrible defensively, terrible faceoff guy, no physicality. If he was getting a point a game maybe you keep him, but he is nowhere near that. Arco is the same guy at a quarter of the price.
    Time to start packaging some of these guys to try and get things moving in the right direction.
    Boston may be looking for a veteran d-man for the playoffs, does Nick Schultz and Gagner and possibly a prospect get you Paille and Bartkowski.
    Maybe a deal with Washington to get Joel Ward and Karl Alzner.
    Management has to start now to make some moves, they need to bring some guys in now to get familiar with one another rather than waiting until the offseason and having to start all over again next year and getting off to another brutal start.
    MacT says he is not afraid of making bold moves, lets see some.

  • Zarny

    It’s funny how haters completely lose perspective. Not to mention clearly don’t understand the value of offense in the NHL.

    In 2011-12 no team had more than 7 players with 45 pts or more. Most teams only had 1-3. The LA Kings had 3. Chi only had 4. 55 pts would have led the Blues in scoring. Between the lockouts 30th in scoring for C was 62, 60, 56, 58, 57, 57 and 53 pts.

    Gagner is 24 and just entering his prime. His career pt/gm over a full season is 50 pts and last year was on pace for 65 pts. He may have tailed off, but even if he dropped to 0.5 pt/gm he still finishes with 55. More likely closer to 60 pts which puts him at the bottom of 1C offensive production without ever having played a game in his prime.

    So anyone who thinks Gagner has no value is clueless. The Leafs gave Bozak $4.2M @ 5 yrs and some think Gagner for another 2 yrs is a problem? Good grief.

    Most teams are dying for skilled F who can score 50-60 pts. The Oilers have extra and need other types players. By virtue of three #1 draft picks Gagner happens to be the most favorable guy for Edm to trade.

    • the rake

      Gagner has trade value. You can tell that from the amount of traffic on the interwebs and forums. Lots of different teams fans want him.
      I have said for a while Gagner and Ebs have got to go. They do not make this TEAM better. They could be package to bring us in some solid depth. MacT should be working the phones.

      • the rake

        Totally agree. Gagner will be gone this year, Eberle will be the guy that is moved close to or on draft day, really depends on where the Oil are picking, but if it is in the top 2, this will be the one and only chance that they may have a shot at getting Weber.
        Nashville may take Eberle, the Oiler’s first (which could get them Eckblad), and probably a prospect to make the deal.
        For the naysayers saying there is no way Weber ends up an Oiler, you maybe surprised. If Nashville misses playoffs, they will need to also make some serious changes, and one thing they need is skilled offensive players.

      • Zarny

        I don’t think it’s a matter of “having” to trade any player.

        Eberle and Gagner both make Edm a better team.
        The problem is that they make Edm better the same way Hall, Nuge, Yak and to a lesser extent Perron do. To varying degrees, they all do the same things well and right now have the same weaknesses in their game.

        The problem is the mix of players. 1-2 of the top 6 F need to be changed for size and strength and a top pairing D. So it becomes a process of elimination.

        Hall and Nuge look like keepers. So you’re moving 1-2 of Perron, Eberle, Yakupov and Gagner.

        Gagner and Perron are my 2 picks in that order. Not because they are bad. They are simply 5-6th skill wise 2 yrs from now.

        You might need more value than Perron to get one of the moves done so it’s Eberle or Yakupov. You can keep or trade either one. It all depends on what’s being offered in return.

  • D

    Obviously I’m not the GM, so my opinion is about as valuable as a bucket of John Nance Garner’s Vice Presidency. But here goes:

    Is Dallas Eakins the coach of next year’s team?

    Man I hope not.

    Do the Oilers need to improve up the middle?


    Has Mark Arcobello done enough to make Gagner expendable?

    Mark needs to show he can perform consistently at the level he started with this season. If he can do it for two seasons, then the answer would trend towards yes.

    Will the organization have the same number of similar talents in the top 6F next season?

    Not if making the playoffs is their goal.

    Can they get value for Gagner?

    No. But I bet Oil management don’t overvalue him now as much as they did over the summer.

    Is Gagner a part of the future with Eakins in charge?

    I don’t believe that the Edmonton Oilers can win the Stanley Cup with Gagner as the #2 centre.

  • outdoorzguy

    So how does a Toronto based reporter get this scoop and not one Edmonton “reporter” even had a sniff? The reporters in town are just as bad as the team. They deserve each other.

  • **