GAGNER’S CONTRACT

This is the week we find out what Sam Gagner and the Edmonton Oilers think of each other. My own feeling is that he’s part of the cluster that will be a strong contender (someday) but price point will be an issue.

Sam Gagner is a tough contract to figure. Despite being very young he’s flown through entry level and now two years past it; the next contract could be one year, three, five. Or he could be dealt.

What say you? What contract (and cap number) would you consider fair for Sam Gagner? Or would you prefer the club to trade him for need?

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29 Responses to "GAGNER’S CONTRACT"

  1. dessert1111 says:

    4 years, 3.75 per? If you don’t want him in a year, I think he could be dealt at that amount. Signing for just one year might be the best play for the Oilers, but it doesn’t send a good message to Gagner or the rest of the bunch, I don’t think.

  2. blackdog says:

    They have plenty of need but they can’t rob Peter to pay Paul unless the deal is a homerun. So if the return is a big C who can also score or a young top pairing guy (in other words it would have to be Gagner ++ going the other way) then its not a move the Oilers can make with their current depth at C. Even if Belanger bounces back both he and Horcoff are almost done. And Lander is not ready yet and even if he makes it its unlikely he will be a top six guy.

    Sign Gagner. He’ll put up his 45-50 points, maybe more. He may be a fit longterm, maybe not. But they need him right now.

  3. Henry says:

    4 years, 16M is about one third over an average salary at this cap level. It buys a couple years of free agency and isn’t so big that you can’t trade him later if something really attractive comes up. Include a signing bonus pre CBA to keep Sam happy.

    Trading him for D leaves a hole at C, already thin when the injuries come. If a Hall experiment at centre works, great. But do the experiment before drawing conclusions first.

    Gagner was a bad defensive player early on and now is much much better. It would be nice to actually witness where his development tops out as a two way guy.

  4. mumbai max says:

    3 x 4. Long enough to send a positive message. Short enough to be low risk/moveable.

  5. remember reijo says:

    a hair under hemsky’s first big extension. 5 years, 20 million. The asset would still be movable with the chance that the contract becomes a value one if he develops even more. 4 million a year isnt that expensive for a second line center…or even a backup plan to a second line center.

  6. sliderule says:

    I would say four years 16 million but I think he will be traded before Friday .

  7. Clay says:

    blackdog:
    They have plenty of need but they can’t rob Peter to pay Paul unless the deal is a homerun. So if the return is a big C who can also score or a young top pairing guy (in other words it would have to be Gagner ++ going the other way) then its not a move the Oilers can make with their current depth at C. Even if Belanger bounces back both he and Horcoff are almost done. And Lander is not ready yet and even if he makes it its unlikely he will be a top six guy.

    Sign Gagner. He’ll put up his 45-50 points, maybe more. He may be a fit longterm, maybe not. But they need him right now.

    This.

    And I’d add that if he were 6’3″ and 220lbs, he’d already have a long-term deal.

  8. remember reijo says:

    I grudgingly admit he could be dealt. When a team finishes 30,30 and 29 you cant fall in love with everyone. Id rather keep Hemsky over him i guess that would be the consolation to myself.

    Many years ago in highschool I had a friend who worked in the big cattle stockyard just outside of Strathmore. He said he had a female cow loving co-worker who would always name her favorite cows and then cry when they had a date with their maker. If you dont name the cow you get less attached when they load her on a truck he’d keep telling her.
    I have a Gagner jersey.I’ll be a little sad if that truck comes for Sam this week regardless of who we get.

  9. Downright Fierce says:

    5×3.8 would be ideal IMO

  10. Ducey says:

    This is his last RFA year, correct?

    Its tough for the Oilers because the CBA might change to extend RFA contracts and noone knows if this would grandfather in a guy like Gagner.

    If I were the Oilers I might just take my chances with a 1 yr deal. You can always extend him once the dust settles on the CBA.

  11. Traktor says:

    Fans of Shawn Horcoff should be the first to recognize that scoring points isn’t everything in today’s NHL but they are the first to point out where Gagner sits in the point standing among centers.

    Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Smytch ect have all proven they can produce offensively without Gagner.

    Gagner on the other hand is very mediocre without elite wingers. He is a passenger on this team.

    IMO when you are playing with Elite wingers and you skills are limited to PP and offensive zone starts against scrubs and you can only chip in 45 points that is not impressive at all.

    Edmonton could be better off with a more rounded center even if he chips in less offensively.

    I would offer Gagner a 1 year contract or look to trade him.

    Locking up Gagner to a long-term contract before the Hall’s and Eberle’s is like paying Pisani when Smyth hasn’t been inked yet.

    If Gagner scores 95 points this year and his contract demands go up to 7.5M that’s a good thing.

    1 year and prove you can handle playing against Kopitar and Getzlaf every night.

  12. DawnM says:

    No problem with 4 or 5 yrs @ $4 mil

    He’s not expendable right now. Don’t see any other teams trading a big body 40 pt centre for Gagner in the immediate future. Besides, spend all that time developing a young player just to trade him at 22 when he should just be starting to come into his game? Mental.

  13. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    3yrs at 4m per would work for me.

    I’m not sold on him but we don’t have a better option waiting in the wings–or maybe we do if Hall can make the switch. Either way a short deal allows us flexibility and that is something we’ll need in a few years. If we haven’t found a better option by the time Gagner’s deal is up in 2015 and we still want him here then, hopefully, our team’s growing success will be enough to convince him to stay.

    I don’t think we need to be concerned about locking him up long term.

  14. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Traktor,

    I don’t think many would argue that a more well-rounded center would benefit this team more than Gagner (such as Shawn Horcoff circa 2005-08). However, there are no other options – on this team or in free agency. I’m a fan of Gagner, and like LT I think he can be part of the future. A guy who can consistently put ~45 points every season is no slouch in the league. Plus he IS getting better defensively every year.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to trade Gagner+ for an all-round center, but I wouldn’t just get rid of him without replacing him first/at the same time (not that that’s what you were saying, but many have). Same reason I wouldn’t trade Hemsky without bringing in a Top 6 veteran winger to replace him – like him or not, Hemsky is capable of doing a lot of the heavy lifting, and (if you assume Smyth is going to be on the 3rd Line) is the only veteran offensive winger.

  15. Traktor says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    Traktor,

    I don’t think many would argue that a more well-rounded center would benefit this team more than Gagner (such as Shawn Horcoff circa 2005-08).However, there are no other options – on this team or in free agency.I’m a fan of Gagner, and like LT I think he can be part of the future.A guy who can consistently put ~45 points every season is no slouch in the league.Plus he IS getting better defensively every year.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to trade Gagner+ for an all-round center, but I wouldn’t just get rid of him without replacing him first/at the same time (not that that’s what you were saying, but many have).Same reason I wouldn’t trade Hemsky without bringing in a Top 6 veteran winger to replace him – like him or not, Hemsky is capable of doing a lot of the heavy lifting, and (if you assume Smyth is going to be on the 3rd Line) is the only veteran offensive winger.

    Putting up 45 points generally has value but less so when you factor in who he has been playing with, what type of minutes he is playing, and who he is playing against.

    To put things in perspective Anson Carter scored 33 goals playing with the Sedin’s and wasn’t even re-signed by the Canucks. Two years later he was playing in the Swiss league.

    I don’t see the Swiss league in Gagner future but lets remember who stirs the drink on this team.

    I understand the idea that you shouldn’t trade someone without having a replacement ready but on the hand there isn’t much opportunity to upgrade center when you have long-term commitments with Gagner, Horcoff, and hopefully RNH.

  16. gcw_rocks says:

    I would be looking at a 1 year deal of ~$3M if the team is uncertain of his role going forward or his ability to progress, otherwise I would shoot for a 4-5 year deal in the $3.5-$4M range. If I was his agent, I would not settle for less than $4M on a deal with term.

  17. Ducey says:

    Traktor,

    I don’t think its unusual for a 22 year old to struggle with defence and to put up big numbers.

    Had he played 4 years in the minors/ college and come out with his season last year, people would be thinking he is a future star.

    The boxcars have not improved much but faceoffs, shootouts, quality of comp all continue to improve. The Sedins had the same sort of development curve.

    He will be 23 this season and his age is a huge factor in his favour.

  18. bookje says:

    I would sign him for 6 years at at $2 million per year, but that’s just because I would be a totally awesome GM.

  19. Gerta Rauss says:

    Oilers re-sign Peckham a moment ago
    1 year $1.075M

    I’ll have to redo my D pairings because every version I’ve done has Theo traded.

  20. Gerta Rauss says:

    And a 1 year deal for Gagner-he’ll still be an RFA after next year and if he puts up big points, that’s a nice problem to have. If he doesn’t,well, after 6 years in the league, what you see is pretty much what you get…you have to ask yourself if he is the answer to the Oilers needs at 2C considering the kids will be getting paid next summer as well.

  21. Traktor says:

    Ducey:
    Traktor,

    I don’t think its unusual for a 22 year old to struggle with defence and to put up big numbers.

    Had he played 4 years in the minors/ college and come out with his season last year, people would be thinking he is a future star.

    The boxcars have not improved much but faceoffs, shootouts, quality of comp all continue to improve.The Sedins had the same sort of development curve.

    He will be 23 this season and his age is a huge factor in his favour.

    I think he has some untapped potential but what the Oilers need and what Gagner can become are two different things IMO.

    I’m not trying to hate on Gagner but if we’re building around Hall, YAK, RNH, and Eberle then Gagner’s skillset becomes less important. It doesn’t mean Gagner isn’t useful but perhaps he could be even more useful for another organization. Columbus might be a good fit.

  22. Maverick says:

    One year deal $4m a season. Gives the organization another season to see what shakes out with the up and coming kids. In two years I have a tough time seeing both Hemsky and gagner still members of the oilers.

  23. franksterra says:

    A lot rides on the money and term of this contract (to state the obvious). Looking at the roster and the system as a whole, the #2 LW slot becomes vital from Oct 2012- ??, if we figure Sam is #2 with some combo of Yak or Hemmer on RW. ebs should be stapled to RNH. A Kulemin 2-way guy, or a Hartnell Rising goal scoring agitating hitter. As much as I hope other Harski or MP can take that role and make it theirs long term, I have my doubts (I’d be happy for them to emerge as really strong long term 3rd line options).

    I suspect the brass will make a move for another Dman before camp, but will be content to run Smytty-Harski-MP through that LW spot for months, looking to trade at some point later in the year, biding time until a deal works to their advantage.

  24. Dipstick says:

    I don’t think Gagner is solely getting his points because he has high quality wingers. Who were his line mates in his rookie year. Yes, that was a bit of an outlier, but it shows that the guy has some ability. Looking at the depth chart, I don’t see a lot of possible second line centers pushing him out the door. He deserves to be given the option of signing a contract that will keep him around while the team matures. After all, he is less than a year older than Eberle.

  25. slopitch says:

    I’m torn on Gagner. He’s not great 5 on 5 and I’d rather give Nuge the PP and offensive min. But he’s still young enough to develop. I’ll agree with Traktor on one year deal. Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsen, Gilbert … He’s the last of the Mohicans.

    I’d be fine with Hall at C 5 on 5 and using Gagner to a team that could use him more. He’s an upgrade on Mike Fisher. Gagner for Giordano? Gagner for Gormley+? I liked how Dallas moved Riberio for Eakin and a pick. Love that Eakin player. The price of established D is high. Can they find the next McDonough or Gardiner? Gagner is a good player. Hard to committ long term still though

  26. russ99 says:

    Let’s see how Samwise improves under Krueger before moving him for pennies on the dollar.

    I still suspect many of our players can have better offensive years this year than they did under Renney’s stifling system – the one that forced Gagner to be a checking line RW for a good part of the season, which quite obviously he is not…

  27. Cactus says:

    Ducey:
    This is his last RFA year, correct?

    Its tough for the Oilers because the CBA might change to extend RFA contracts and noone knows if this would grandfather in a guy like Gagner.

    If I were the Oilers I might just take my chances with a 1 yr deal.You can always extend him once the dust settles on the CBA.

    This is a prudent position. He either needs a 1 year deal or something in the 4-5 year range. I am a bit worried about a 1 year deal however. Assuming he stays healthy, 60 points aren’t outside the realm of possiblity here given the firepower up front on this team. Unless RFA years get extended in the new CBA, he could be looking for 5x5M this time next year.

    And to those urging a trade, that’s a waste of time unless you’ve got a brilliant deal to get a better 2nd line C back. Problem is, the list of players that are better is probably no more than 50 and at least half of that list is franchise guys like Malkin and Crosby.

  28. godot10 says:

    I sort of think it is going to be a one year contract, because the Oilers will want to see the new CBA before doing a long term deal.

    They will want to know what the cap is, and if the number of years till UFA status changes, which affects how many UFA years they might or might not be buying.

    I think Gagner would probably be happy with one year also, since he hasn’t had the breakout year yet.

    I don’t think Gagner is a huge flight risk. I think he probably wants to be part of the rebuild. So one year for both the team and the player makes a lot of sense.

    So I’m expecting a one year deal. And if not one year, then a 4 year deal.

  29. Mike Modano's Dog says:

    Trade for need

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