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Dave Gagner is reportedly not interested in Edmonton Oilers GM job

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Photo credit:businessage.com
Zach Laing
3 months ago
Days after a report surfaced that the Edmonton Oilers could look to player-agent Dave Gagner as their next general manager, he has reportedly shot down his interest in the soon-to-be vacant role.
This is according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who said Saturday night during a headlines segment.
“Gagner said this week that he’s not interested in the job, and wouldn’t pursue it if it was open,” Friedman said. “So, I think you can remove his name from that kind of speculation.”
Drafted by the New York Rangers 12th overall in 1983, Gagner owned the OPJHL’s Milton Icehawks between 2001 and 2006 before he was hired as an assistant coach for the OHL’s London Knights in 2006. Holding the role for two seasons, in 2008, he joined the Vancouver Canucks as their director of player development through the 2012-2013 season.
Gagner’s links to the Oilers are real, given not only his son Sam’s history with the club but he has connection with CEO Jeff Jackson, too, dating to the latter’s days at Wasserman Group. Gagner still works there, serving as the director of player development, representing 25 players with active contracts, including Oilers in Greg McKegg, Connor Brown, and Evan Bouchard.
With a 15-year playing career and another three decades in and around the game, there’s no doubt that with a strong Rolodex Gagner could provide some a lot for an NHL team. But that being said, with where the Oilers are at, they will likely look towards someone with more experience in NHL front offices.
The person Jackson should be relentlessly calling until he accepts the role is that of Eric Tulsky, who has been the Carolina Hurricanes’ assistant general manager since 2020. His journey to the NHL was far from normal, having a B.A. in chemistry and physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He got his start in hockey blogging about analytics, before the Hurricanes hired him as an analyst in 2014, growing with the team since.
He’s widely considered one of the brightest young minds in the game, and somebody who has interviewed for GM roles previously.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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