GAGNER: THIS IS GOING TO BE CLOSE

The Oilers have a day left to sign Sam Gagner before he hits arbitration. The club has a long standing tradition of signing their players just days before the hearing (most famously for me Jason Smith and Todd Marchant, 2000 summer) but this looks like it might actually go to court.

Since the lockout, the Oilers have had several notable cases and only one ended without the Oilers and the player signing.

  • July 12,2006: Oilers sign Shawn Horcoff to a three-year, $10.8 million contract.
  • July 21, 2006: Oilers sign Jarret Stoll to a two year, $4.4 million contract.
  • July 25, 2006: Oilers sign Ales Hemsky to a six year, $24.6 million contract.  The deal took him three years beyond unrestricted free agency and kept him in Edmonton until the end of the 2011-12 season (and of course he re-signed with the club). The Hemsky story is here.
  • July 20, 2007: Oilers sign Joni Pitkanen to a one-year. $2.4 million contract, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing that had been scheduled while he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
  • July 21, 2009: Oilers sign D Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year, $3.15 million contract, avoiding salary arbitration.
  • July 14, 2010: Oilers sign L JF Jacques to a one-year, $615,000 contract.
  • July 27, 2010: Oilers sign C Gilbert Brule a two-year contract worth $1.85 million per season
  • July 31, 2010: Oilers sign G Jeff Deslauriers to a one year $1.05 million contract
  • July 12, 2011: Oilers trade Andrew Cogliano to Anaheim. He had filed for arbitration on July 5.
  • July 5, 2012: One year to the day after Cogliano files, Sam Gagner also files for arbitration

 One case (Cogliano) ended up in a trade. Gagner would appear to be a larger part of the club than Cogliano, especially considering the club’s depth chart at center. I imagine the gap between the two clubs on a one year deal must be significant and hopes for a long term contract may be dashed based on appearances. It is my guess a long term deal will be more expensive one year from now, although the new CBA may offer its own plot twist.

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59 Responses to "GAGNER: THIS IS GOING TO BE CLOSE"

  1. bookje says:

    The Oilers and Gags are working towards a mutually agreeable long term deal, but they have a short term deal settled as a backup.

    Source: No ‘leaks’ to the media about Gagner being a moody entitled uncoacable player who is a problem in the dressing room.

  2. godot10 says:

    I agree with Bookje. Arbitration in this case is a non-issue, since a one-year number is probably not a problem. The problem is finding a long term number.

  3. Clay says:

    I don’t know if players attend the arbitration hearings or just their agents, but I imagine Gagner walking into the room wearing a tshirt that says “1 Game 8 Points. Konichiwa, Bitches!”

  4. Traktor says:

    If Gagner is worth more a year from now then pay him more a year from now.

    Overpaying 1M for a good player isn’t going to hurt the club. Paying 4.5M long-term for an average player with consistency issues might though.

    1 year deal please.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Just sign the guy 3-5 years at 3-3.5 M per and be done with it already.

    the team needs to sort out this in-house crap so they can move on to deal with the rest of the gaps in the team.

  6. cdean says:

    I am hoping for the multi-year deal, that take Gagner past RFA by a few years or more.

  7. bookje says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Just sign the guy 3-5 years at 3-3.5 M per and be done with it already.

    Exactly, it’s like I tell my friends who don’t have a girlfriend or wife, just grab Maxim’s top one hundred, pick one and marry her. I dont see why this has to be difficult. Idiots!

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bookje,

    Are you saying all those unsolicited summons to appear scantily clad before my house that I’ve been sending to Kate Upton were a fool’s errand?

    Now you tell me!

  9. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Just sign the guy 3-5 years at 3-3.5 M per and be done with it already.

    the team needs to sort out this in-house crap so they can move on to deal with the rest of the gaps in the team.

    Why would Gagner agree to anything under than what Perron got which was 4 x $3.81 million?

    I’m sure the Oilers would be overjoyed at 4 years @ < $3.5 million. Ain't going to happen this summer.

  10. gcw_rocks says:

    If they can get a 4-5 year deal under $4M they should do it. If Gagner wants more than $4M but less than $4.5M and they beleive the new CBA will include a roll back, they should consider it. If Gagner wants more than $4M and they don’t beleive a contract roll back will be part of the new CBA, then they should shoot for the 1 year deal and see if Gagner really has the break out year the good folks at CnB keep insisting will happen.

  11. nathan says:

    bookje,

    Will not go to an arbitrator. Source: Arbitrators can give out a 2 year deal to the end of RFA status.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: Why would Gagner agree to anything under than what Perron got which was 4 x $3.81 million?

    I’m sure the Oilers would be overjoyed at 4 years @ < $3.5 million.Ain’t going to happen this summer.

    Well… he may not, but the Oilers would probably counter that Perron’s 42 points in 57 games (21 goals) is better than Gagner’s 47 points in 75 games (18 goals).

    Also, maybe I was led astray by TSNs comparables. They pointed to Okposo (45 points, 79 games, 2.8 Cap Hit) and Foligno (47points, 82 games, 3.06 cap hit)

    those seem on the low side from what everyone else is talking about… but I figured splitting the difference between Perron and Okposo and arriving at 3-3.5 (depending on the term… that is assuming Gagner takes less money, more term) was fair…

  13. remlap says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I would tend to agree with you on the salary for Gagner. I don’t think we can have Perron as a comparable, at least as far as points are concerned. Maybe they are closer than that if you look at advanced stats?

  14. raventalon40 says:

    1. Gagner+Paajarvi to Montreal for Subban and a pick
    2. Whitney+prospect to Nashville for Legwand and a pick
    3. Prospect+pick(s) to Philly for Meszaros or Timmonen

    Rationale:

    1. RFA for RFA. Pick might be a low one, like 6th or 7th, but it’s worth it for a PP stud like Subban. I know that neither of Gagner or Paajarvi have likely reached their potential yet – but I feel the same way about Subban as well – and he’s an established NHL big minutes D-man.
    2. Nashville is going to be hurting without Suter and Weber. Nashville feels like Legwand is their Horcoff, but unlike Horcoff, Legwand has two working shoulders and would give us 3 established centerman up the middle.
    3. Philly will need to clear cap space.

    And this is how I would see the lineup on opening night (if there is an opening night)

    Hall – Nuge – Eberle
    Hartikainen – Legwand – Yakupov
    Smyth – Horcoff – Hemsky
    the 4th line…etc.

    Meszaros-Subban
    Smid-Petry
    Schultz(N)-Schultz(J)
    Potter
    Sutton/Peckham/Fedun/Teubert…etc.

    Not to mention there are still UFA’s out there superior to Eager, Potter and Sutton which could make some of these fringe players possible trade bait. Although I’m admittedly kind of an Eager fan.

  15. raventalon40 says:

    I kind of agree that Gagner’s comparables from his draft year and beyond (Perron, Voracek) show that he is a good player and has potential still. He is consistent and could get better.

    But if I see a chance to make the team better, I would trade him.

  16. Gerta Rauss says:

    Traktor:
    If Gagner is worth more a year from now then pay him more a year from now.

    Overpaying 1M for a good player isn’t going to hurt the club. Paying 4.5M long-term for an average player with consistency issues might though.

    1 year deal please.

    Agree 100%-if Gagner has this breakout season we’ve been waiting for and puts up 60+ points that’s a nice problem to have.

    And does anybody know if the Oilers elected for a 1 year arb ruling…2 years..? Gagner filed for arbitration so the club has the option of selecting the term.

  17. Beaker says:

    raventalon40: Whitney+prospect to Nashville for Legwand and a pick3. Prospect+pick(s) to Philly for Meszaros or Timmonen2. Nashville is going to be hurting without Suter and Weber. Nashville feels like Legwand is their Horcoff, but unlike Horcoff, Legwand has two working shoulders and would give us 3 established centerman up the middle.

    Nashville, being Nashville, is not going to trade a player who makes less real dollars than his cap hit (legwand) for a player who gets paid more than his cap hit (Whitney). You might trade Horcoff for legwand though, (especially if they match Webers offer) but I know that doesnt actually add to center depth but may give us a bit more cap room… I dunno.

  18. nathan says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Did not know that. Team would select 1 to force another RFA contract beyond this one.

  19. Gerta Rauss says:

    nathan,

    Yeah-if it’s club elected arb the player can choose term, if it’s player elected the club can choose.

    I’m guessing the Oilers would have chosen 1 year…that’s why they might be dragging their heels on this. If they can’t agree to terms with Gagner they may just take their chances with the arbitrator, knowing it’ll be a 1 year deal either way, and they’ll still have 1 RFA year left to decide long term.

  20. nathan says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    If it’s down to 1 year they’ll probably split the difference in the elevator.

  21. raventalon40 says:

    Beaker,

    For the most part I would agree with you. For the most part I think Nashville has to match. I can even see a situation where Nashville matches and Philly agrees to trade Nashville a larger package than the one given up in the offer sheet.

    With regards to Horcoff for Legwand, probably not going to happen. I see the Whitney for Legwand as more plausible because (even though they would be paying 5.5 for a 4.0 dman instead of 3.5 for a 4.5 centerman – an increase of 2.5 in payment for 500k capspace) because of the picks and prospects that may be involved in that deal. I mean, if Nashville is going to retool, why wouldn’t they go all out?

    If we gave them Plante, or Davidson, or someone else and/or a pick, plus whatever they get in the Weber deal, at least losing Weber is not so bad.

    Hell, throw in Omark as a sweetener.

  22. raventalon40 says:

    I just read in Willis’ article:

    “The Predators need to be able to match that first year because they aren’t able to trade Weber in Year One; the current collective bargaining agreement stipulates that in any situation where a team matches the offer sheet to one of their restricted free agents, they must retain his services for the next season.”

    So, I retract my previous statement.

  23. Beaker says:

    I feel bad for Nashville fans this summer. Granted I’m an Oiler fan so I can’t feel too bad for them.

  24. godot10 says:

    nathan:
    bookje,

    Will not go to an arbitrator. Source: Arbitrators can give out a 2 year deal to the end of RFA status.

    Nope. It is the team’s option whether it is a one or two year arbitration.

  25. nathan says:

    godot10,

    Yeah. Gerta explained that the player’s filing gave Oilers the choice

  26. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Well… he may not, but the Oilers would probably counter that Perron’s 42 points in 57 games (21 goals) is better than Gagner’s 47 points in 75 games (18 goals).

    Also, maybe I was led astray by TSNs comparables. They pointed to Okposo (45 points, 79 games, 2.8 Cap Hit) and Foligno (47points, 82 games, 3.06 cap hit)

    those seem on the low side from what everyone else is talking about… but I figured splitting the difference between Perron and Okposo and arriving at 3-3.5 (depending on the term… that is assuming Gagner takes less money, more term) was fair…

    Okposo is only on his 2nd contract. Gagner is on his 3rd. If you look at the last 3 years of Okposo’s contract, whcih correpond to where Gagner is right now…Okposo is earning 3 years for $11 million.

    Nick Foligno only has one year over 40 points. Gagner has 5.

  27. nathan says:

    raventalon40,

    Year. The need to pay out 26M in bonus money before they can trade. If Phillies does not sweeten Gratton-style I think the Pred will match anyways.

  28. Beaker says:

    C’mon Oilers/Gagner…. Do something I wasnt something Oilers related to really discuss.

  29. Ducey says:

    What? I thought Gagner was already signed.

    Oilersinsiderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr told me so. He even put #CONFIRMED at the end of his tweet.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: Okposo is only on his 2nd contract.Gagner is on his 3rd.If you look at the last 3 years of Okposo’s contract, whcih correpond to where Gagner is right now…Okposo is earning 3 years for $11 million.

    Nick Foligno only has one year over 40 points.Gagner has 5.

    Well, again… these are TSN’s comparables. I’m happy to re-evaluate them.

    Okposo is on his second contract, but he is only an NHL year behind Gagner, and his second contract is five years, not 2 as in Sam’s case. So I’m not sure what to make of that point.

    Does the number of contracts affect dollars in all contexts? I can’t imagine it does universally.

    If two players were each under contract for five years (one on a single contract, the other on 5 separate one year contracts) all other things being equal, who would be more valuable? I have no idea if it even matters.

    The difference would seem to be years spent in NHL, RFA/UFA status, production, up-side and health.

    Okposo is a year older (plus a couple months), a year shy in experience, seems to match Gagner on production, loses on health.

    Not sure it’s the best comparable, but it’s not that far off. His deal (as you note) has him getting 3.67M for his last three years… but that is slanted because his contract seems to spread the money out to manage the cap (down to 2.8M), which is what I was referring to (cap $ not actual money… hence suggesting more term, less money).

    If Sam got something like 3, 3.5, 3.5, 4 that would even out to 3.5 cap hit over 4. I don’t think it is that unreasonable.

    Good point on Foligno’s production. They are clearly projecting him to maintain his current pace and to improve on it.

  31. Gret99zky says:

    Going to arbitration leads to bad blood. See Weber, Shea.

    I would rather the two sides meet in the middle than de-value each other in plain sight.

  32. prairieschooner says:

    I have reason to believe that the Oilers are creating a mountain out of a mole hill.
    Gags was not looking for a home run deal by any stretch of the imagination, which then makes me think that term is the issue.The dollars are nowhere near an issue.

  33. godot10 says:

    The Oilers aren’t making a mountain out of a mole hill. Some fans are.

    There is nothing wrong with a one-year deal, arbitrated if necessary. It gives both parties the chance to see the new CBA. Gagner wants to be part of the rebuild. He doesn’t want to price himself out of Edmonton. Waiting a year doesn’t hurt either side.

  34. prairieschooner says:

    Any time you put the decision making process into someone elses hands you give up control of the situation.
    No business gives up control if they do not have to.
    The Oilers are potentially giving up their control.
    If it goes to a one year arbritated amount is that the baseline for future negotiations?

  35. spoiler says:

    I’m confused.

    Won’t the arbitrator just award Gagner whatever Wellwood got?

  36. Gerta Rauss says:

    prairieschooner,

    Yes-assuming an arbitrator awared $x on a 1 year term, that same amount would be the baseline for (at least) 1 more year(the last year of Gagner being eligible for RFA) After that, he’s a UFA and the market would set his salary.

    If the Oilers are more concerned about term(and they should be imo) then a 1 year arb ruling is fine-yes, the dollar amount is out of their hands, but the arbitrator has to use comparables when issuing his ruling….it’s not like he’s going to award Gagner $8M a year or something nutty-it’ll be in the $3/3.5/4 range, and if it is 1 year, I’m sure the OIlers would be fine with that.

  37. Gerta Rauss says:

    spoiler,

    pfffft…..if he’s lucky….

  38. Wolfie says:

    I missed the boat in the last thread. Does anyone know if the Preds can still trade Weber prior to the 7 day deadline? Or is it limited to either Philly or Nashville now that he signed the offer sheet?

  39. Gerta Rauss says:

    Wolfie,

    Everything I have read states that Nash can trade with Philly only.

    Or match the offer, Or take the 4 draft picks.

  40. Boondock says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Wolfie,

    Everything I have read states that Nash can trade with Philly only.

    Or match the offer, Or take the 4 draft picks.

    They technically can’t trade Weber to NAS, they can trade the picks they get back to Philly for another package and agree not to match the offer sheet.

  41. nathan says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    The basic idea is that there is a contract now and if Nashville doesn’t pick it up, Philly has to. The contract cannot have a NTC other than the mandatory year.

  42. Gerta Rauss says:

    Boondock,

    Thanks-I’ve seen it stated in several places but nobody elaborated on the process.

  43. nathan says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Boondock is right. The link I posted in the last thread describes the Gratton deal as trading the compensation back:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=19970821&id=5vAvAAAAIBAJ&sjid=w_wDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5727,91946

  44. franksterra says:

    So just to lower the tone here to Oiler fanboy level, who shakes out of the Philly D (if Weber ends up there, as is likely) and are we interested in them. Should we add Meszaros to the Tyutin-Sekeras list?

  45. Bos8 says:

    The Oilers do not have a dominating center. Until they do, they cannot compete with the big boys. Gagner is not part of the solution therefore waiting for the “Hosanna Moment” continues to exacerbate the problem.

    RNH can compensate and has room to improve in all facets. He can be carried in the physical portion.

    Oilers – too much small – That’s it.

  46. DeadmanWaking says:

    Ducey,

    Oilersinsiderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr told me so. He even put #CONFIRMED at the end of his tweet.

    Instantly I heard the sound of Winston Niles Rumfoord–at the end of one of his brief materializations to harass his dour ex-wife Beatrice–fading back into the chronosynclastic infundibulum with a red-shifted tweet:

    Bred by Martians–like farm animals #CONFIRRRRRRRRRR RRRMMMMMMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMMMED.

    Just like the universe to spoil your pith. Beatrice: “Life sucks. #SOITGOES”

  47. Ducey says:

    Bos8:

    Oilers – too much small – That’s it.

    Geez, I wish someone would have told Adam Oates, Dave Gagner and Claude Giroux (among others) that. Its too bad they wasted their time playing hockey.

    You get that Gagner is just 6 months older than Adam Henrique, right?

    And how did NJ do without a “dominating” (read “big”) center?

  48. Wolfie says:

    nathan:
    Gerta Rauss,

    Boondock is right. The link I posted in the last thread describes the Gratton deal as trading the compensation back:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=19970821&id=5vAvAAAAIBAJ&sjid=w_wDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5727,91946

    I understand this scenario. My question is a little different though. Say San Jose offers a package to Nashville for Weber. Can they do that deal and let San Jose decide if they want to match the Philly offer? Or has the trade window for Weber closed for good now that the offer sheet is signed?

  49. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ducey: Geez, I wish someone would have told Adam Oates, Dave Gagner and Claude Giroux (among others) that.Its too bad they wasted their time playing hockey.

    But those guys are RNH in our scenario. When they were on successful teams, those teams all had big centres as well. That’s what RNH needs, not another smurf like Gagner. It is a proven fact that small centres can play against “the big boys” if and only if there are larger centres sitting on the bench at the time.

    Unless I’m misunderstanding Bos8′s argument.

  50. Lowetide says:

    lol. Ah. Man. haahahaha.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    Wolfie,

    trade window is closed as far as I understand it-Nash and Philly are the only 2 teams left in the race now

  52. franksterra says:

    "Steve Smith",

    I would imagine they also had a big winger or two as well, someone who could impose their will on the boards, in front of the net, in scrums. Long term Gagner=the need for such a LW. which is fine as long as it happens. A strong 3rd line C helps too. A Gagner Domino Effect, or is that too pessimistic a take?

  53. franksterra says:

    Well c’mon. Look at the roster. Look at who’s in the system. Gagner at a good price and term, yay. Really. Then we get the supplements, no?

  54. "Steve Smith" says:

    franksterra,

    I was going to answer this post, but in doing so I had to look up some players’ size, and then I got distracted by how awesome it was that Wikipedia infoboxes list players’ weights in stone (among other units).

  55. franksterra says:

    Stone? I can never remember if it’s 14 or 16 lb/stone.

    Do they measure height by hands?

  56. DeadmanWaking says:

    It might have been funnier for Beatrice to write: “Life sucks. #SHITHAPPENS” but the humour is easily missed.

    Red-shifted hashtag. #BIKEFISH

    If you kiss a tadpole, sometimes it turns into a frog with a unicycle. #TEASTRAINER

  57. DSF says:

    Ducey: Geez, I wish someone would have told Adam Oates, Dave Gagner and Claude Giroux (among others) that.Its too bad they wasted their time playing hockey.

    You get that Gagner is just 6 months older than Adam Henrique, right?

    And how did NJ do without a “dominating” (read “big”) center?

    They lost.

  58. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    franksterra,

    I was going to answer this post, but in doing so I had to look up some players’ size, and then I got distracted by how awesome it was that Wikipedia infoboxes list players’ weights in stone (among other units).

    Weight by stone is not really that unusual in the UK. They do funny things over there.

  59. Lowetide says:

    It’s true. Prince Charles face is made entirely of stone, and it came at great expense! Poor commoners.

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