There will be no Sam Gagner homecoming this season.
The Winnipeg Jets announced on Friday that they’ve signed Gagner to a one-year contract worth $750k, the league’s minimum salary.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) September 2, 2022
There had been speculation back in August that the Oilers were looking to bring back Gagner for a third go-around with the club. He posted an Oilers shirt on his Instagram story out of the blue and Tom Gazzola added fuel to the fire by saying on Twitter that there was smoke to the situation.
Gagner, now 33 years old, is still an effective player. He played in 81 games for the Detroit Red Wings in 2021-22 and scored 13 goals and 31 points while spending a lot of his time in defensive zone situations.
Given he’s always been a well-liked teammate, can still produce offensively and fare adequately defensively, and wasn’t going to command much of a salary, Gagner seemed like a sensible depth addition for the Oilers.
It’s difficult to say if they were willing to give Gagner a contract or if they wanted him to come to training camp and play some pre-season games on a professional tryout instead. Regardless, Gagner has found himself a deal with the Jets, so the homecoming is off for now.