Monday, July 22, 2013
What Gagner's new deal means
By Luke Lapinski
Just 24 hours ago, it seemed arbitration might be inevitable for Sam Gagner and the Edmonton Oilers. Reports had the former first round pick (No. 6 overall in 2007) looking for $5.5 million per season, while the club was offering $3.5 million. As it turns out, the two sides have agreed to a three-year deal on their own.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the new contract brings a $4.8 million annual cap hit through the 2015-16 season. That makes Gagner one of just seven Oilers -- Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Boyd Gordon, David Perron, Ladislav Smid and Andrew Ference are the others -- locked up beyond the 2014-15 campaign. While Eberle and Hall are widely considered key young building blocks for the franchise, Gagner sometimes slides under the radar to a certain degree. He won't turn 24 until next month though, and is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 0.79 points per game (14 goals and 24 assists in the shortened 48-game schedule). On top of that, he delivered a memorable eight point outburst in a game against Chicago in the 2011-12 campaign. If he continues in this direction, he's more than capable of playing a significant role in Edmonton's revival -- both in the present and the future.