Sam Gagner signed just before his arbitration hearing this morning. One year, don’t yet have the terms but I’ll guess between $3.1 and $3.7 (update: according to Darren Dreger, it’s a one year deal for $3.2M).
I’m not certain the Oilers management group delivered what we’d hoped–value contracts from the quality RFA’s with term. The Dubnyk deal is for two years and then he’s UFA; the Petry deal is exceptional value but as speeds tweeted last night why not tack on three years to it? Gagner’s deal is one year,but why not go five years times $4M?
Gagner’s likely to have a solid year, which will make buying future free agent seasons more expensive next summer. This deal could be a severe miscalculation, and if 89 does have a career season (50+ points) then signing him in the same summer as Hall and Eberle need their 2nd contracts will be a lot for this management team to handle successfully.
I think it’s important to remember a couple of things about Samwise: he’s still just a kid despite the NHL experience. He’s clearly “one of the boys” in the group that would include Hall and Eberle, but is he one of management’s long term choices?
I think that’s the question this morning. During the RE series, we discussed Gagner’s status as a trade option:
- That was a tremendous night against Chicago. It was a spectacular evening, one we won’t forget for a long time. 8 points is historic–tied with 99 and 7 from the Glory team–and honestly it couldn’t have come at a better time. With Darren Dreger saying the same words every 15 minutes he’s on tsn–”the Oilers aren’t offering Gagner but they badly need defenseman and that’s the name mentioned by other general managers”–the timing of the outburst bordered on perfect.
What does it all mean?
I expect it means Gagner isn’t on the “A” list for the cluster. Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yakupov, I’d guess Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Oscar Klefbom. Somewhere between black and white lies Sam Gagner. This might be his last contract as an Oiler. Today was a missed opportunity.