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Sam Gagner talks about his future

Elliotte Friedman had an interesting note in his 31 Thoughts column earlier this week about Sam Gagner and what he’s been up to during the lockdown.

Since the Red Wings, who acquired Gagner from the Oilers ahead of the trade deadline back in February, won’t be returning to play this summer, Gagner has shifted his focus to the future. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent once the playoffs finish up this summer and while he’d like to keep playing, he isn’t sure if he’ll find another opportunity.

As a result, Gagner has been spending his time taking business courses online, helping himself for a potential career after hockey. Gagner told Friedman that he’d like to work in hockey after his playing days are over, particularly in the player development side of the operation.

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15. When I began a conversation with Detroit’s Sam Gagner, he was finishing a 75-minute online Harvard Business School class. Dominic Moore sold him on the idea, and Gagner was reviewing a case study. Is he thinking about his life after hockey?

“More recently than I ever have in the past,” Gagner answered. “I’m always going to try and stay in the game in some capacity, and the development side appeals to me. I’ve had to try and develop myself — grow in a lot of different ways — and I like the idea of helping other kids. I’m not sure I’d want to coach.”

Make no mistake about it, though — he still wants to play.

“I’d play another 10 years if I could, although I’m not sure they’ll let me,” he laughed.

Personally, I would love to see Gagner finish off his career with the Oilers. But, if that doesn’t happen, it would also be nice to see Gagner find himself a gig working on the player development side of an NHL team. Maybe there could be a role for him in Edmonton.