GAGNER SATURDAY

Today’s Gagner post will be followed by a ‘Gagner Sunday’ and ‘Gagner Monday’ post unless he’s signed (likely) or traded (extremely unlikely). Now there is some news so let’s get to it.

dreger gagnerfriedman gagner

I think it’s important to understand this is a starting point, and while it does offer a glance into value perception that’s also a flawed view. The Oilers and Sam Gagner have posted an ask based on their own interests, and there’s every chance the long term contract number lies between $3.5M and $5.5M.

I also think we’d be silly not to at least acknowledge that the Edmonton Oilers may be saying goodbye to Sam Gagner this weekend. Oh, they may employ him at center for the coming season, or until the deadline, but if you’re team building and have to decide which of the big 5 forwards to flush (Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yak, Gagner) then chances are the answer is ‘the first guy who forces my hand’ if you’re Craig MacTavish.

Last year, I bitched and moaned about what  a terrible move Tambellini made in not signing Gagner, and the reasons are now before us. In every way possible, the Oilers are getting the crappy end of the stick. If you look at it this way:

  • The Oilers invested a very valuable pick in Gagner
  • Advanced him to the NHL immediately
  • Endured the growing pains as he developed in the NHL
  • Employed Sam as a mentor and older brother to the heart of the cluster
  • The next team he plays for is going to enjoy his skills for the heart of his career

The marker is coming due at a truly horrible moment. That’s on (previous) management. What can MacTavish do? Bite the bullet, sign him long term and begin the internal process that will better prepare the organization for the day when Gagner (or one of the other forwards) will be traded.

That’s the play here.

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88 Responses to "GAGNER SATURDAY"

  1. Nostradumbass says:

    Could not agree more.

    People who are talking comparables for Gagner don’t get it

    We handed Gagner and his agent a golden ticket and its time for them to cash in

    The only leverage the Oilers have is that Gagner camp might be a little hesitant to play a one year and risk injury

    Oilers wait until Monday to see if there is a little budge and then sign him long term

    The only other move is trade

  2. serum114 says:

    I think it is important to note that the 3.5 and 5.5 numbers are for arbitration–his one remaining RFA year. As Jonathan Willis pointed out on Twitter, if we split the difference and peg the value of that year at 4.5, what are UFA years worth? 5.5? That seems reasonable to me.

    Then, on a 4-6 year deal, with one RFA year and the rest UFA, I think the contract value is more in the 5.25-5.5 range.

    As I mentioned yesterday, I expect and would endorse a 6 year, 33 mil deal (or similar). That said, if there is concern on the Oilers front that he won’t be key to the cluster long term, perhaps we see something more like a 3 year contract with an AAV in the 5.0-5.1 range and an NMC.

    Still, I don’t see this being a player that genuinely wants to leave or one the Oilers genuinely want to move. Because of that, I would be very surprised if a deal–a compromise on both sides no doubt–is reached in the coming days.

  3. Gret99zky says:

    keep the first guy who forces my hand?

  4. Zipdot says:

    I wish there was something that we could do to help make this happen, heh. To sit and watch this unfold is excruciatingly painful. How about a 5×5?

  5. helden dave says:

    If they meet at 4.75, that’s my max value for Gagner on THIS team moving forward. If more, trade.

  6. DBO says:

    I think you bite the bullet on Gagner long term for more money but do not give him a NMC or NTC. That is your sell. There are offensively starved teams out there, and when the cap goes up you will be able to move him for more value. You need him this year, but you will definitely be able to parlay him into a high end player form a team that needs a solid #1/2. On Nashville he is a #1. ON Phoenix he is a #1. There are a few teamw where he can be a #1, so a $5.25 cap hit is not prohibitive.

    Bite the bullet. Sign him 5 years at $5.25, no clauses. Gives you a solid #2 this year, and options going forward.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Zipdot:
    I wish there was something that we could do to help make this happen, heh.To sit and watch this unfold is excruciatingly painful.How about a 5×5?

    If you get him at 5 times $5M then the pressure point is Eberle but you at least have a chance to save the entire cluster for the next couple of years. RNH and Schultz are up next.

  8. Bank Shot says:

    Jiri Hudler signed for $4 last season. If Gagner truly believes he’s worth 5+ I can’t help but think that it’s due to seeing Horcoff and Hensky struggling to drag their wallets around while getting less then impressive results on the ice.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Factotum had an interesting post in the last thread:

    FACTOTUM says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:40 am
    As a pretty one-dimensional player, Samwise can reasonably be judged by boxcars. Fair?
    Leading scorers from Gagner’s draft class not named Kane, with career PPG and 2013-2014 salary (minimum 200 games):
    Benn 0.734 $5.0M
    Couture 0.720 $3.0M
    Voracek 0.624 $4.5M
    Gagner 0.623 ?
    Pacioretty 0.622 $4.0M
    Perron 0.582 $3.5M
    Van Riemsdyk 0.536 $3.75M
    Simmonds 0.474 $2.8M
    BTW – of these, the only player who has never had a 20 goal or 50 point season: Sam Gagner.
    Looks to me like somewhere between $4.0 and $4.5M would be reasonable for one year, if that’s what it comes to.
    Damn Tambellini for giving Gagner the hammer like this.

    He’s got a mix of RFA and UFA year contracts in there, but every one of those players is signed into UFA years so its interesting to have a look.

    Kane is also important to have in there.

    If we are looking at what Gagner should be signed to long term, it looks like this:

    Kane 0.95 $6.3MM (started in 2010, ends 2015)

    Benn 0.734 $5.25MM (starts this year – goes from 4.5-5.75 in 2017)

    Couture 0.720 $6.0MM (starts in 2014)

    Voracek 0.624 $4.25MM (started last year 3.5 – goes to 4.5 end 2016 – Nice contract)

    Gagner 0.623 ?

    Pacioretty 0.622 $4.5MM (starts this year 4.0 – goes to $5.0 ends 2019 – great contract for MTL, this is what a smart bet looks like. Balances them shitting the bed on PK)

    Perron 0.582 $3.8MM (started last year $3.0 – ends $4.5 in 2016)

    Van Riemsdyk 0.536 $4,25MM (started last year at $2.5 – ends 2018 at $5.0)

    Simmonds 0.474 $3.975MM (starts this year at $2.8MM – ends in 2019 at $5.0)

    All of this makes the obvious miss at signing him long term last year more painful.

    With all but one of Gagner’s contract years being UFA its tough to see any number starting with a 4 in AAV over 4 years that would work for him.

  10. mumbai max says:

    This is not about ‘winning’. This is about being smart. Sign him for whatever is required to get long term and no NMC. Lets say 5.5 x 6. Hopefully less, but not necessarily. Then keep him, or trade him at our leisure. Look at the UFA numbers this year. When the cap goes up next year, his 5.5 will look like good value. Just sign him, and take over the leverage. It provides all the possible options. Letting him go to arbitration means we pay him approx the same for next year anyway, (give or take) but lose at least 50% of his market value. Go to the last minute, and sign him for whatever it takes. Regain control of the situation

  11. Hammers says:

    Negotiations are so much fun . Everyone thinks Sam has the upper hand but I’m not so sure . McT is no dummy so he either signs for say $ 23.5 for 5 or he may get traded . I just don’t want to see a NTC no matter the final cost .NTC’s are for guys over 30 not 24. Worse case scenario is he gets traded and to give another team a shot that needs to be today or early tomorrow .Good Luck McT .

  12. 3rdlinecentre says:

    I don’t see how this doesn’t get done and it isn’t in the range of $5.25M – $5.5M for 5 years. The issue I would assume is related to a NTC/NMC and whether that’s in or out. If Jeff Skinner who is two years younger (but a reasonable comparison in my mind although @ LW) gets $5.75M AAV for 6 years, why would Gagner give up more UFA years for less money?

    The OIlers will need to gamble to some extent that the cap move up over the next two years, or ensure that they have tradable contracts to look at moving along if they get stuck against the cap ceiling in the near term. I think that Gagner is a reasonable bet at somewhere in the $5.25M range assuming he doesn’t have a full NTC/NMC included.

  13. Kirby says:

    Most likely wishful thinking:

    5 Years
    4 + 4.4 + 4.84 + 5.32 + 5.44 = $24M
    AAV = $4.8M/Year
    NMC Year 2-4, Limited NMC Year 5

    RFA Year is a bump from prior years. Years 2-4 is a hometown discount ranging from $500K – $1M per year, offset by the full NMC. Final year pays at value, limited NMC. Gagner gets to stay in Edmonton, and sets up a nice window for the Oilers to hopefully contend within. At the end of the deal, Gagner is a 28 year old UFA, and with expected jumps in cap space (combined with hopefully, an increase in Gagner’s overall game and stats) sets himself up nicely to cash in on a very lucrative deal ranging from 5-7 years with Edmonton or another team. The Oilers get a cap friendly number to work with this year, and potentially extreme value in later years with an increasing cap.

    It’s a win-win in my opinion. To bad I am not either Sam Gagner or Craig MacTavish, or both in this circumstance.

  14. Hammers says:

    Kirby:
    Most likely wishful thinking:

    5 Years
    4 + 4.5 + 5 + 5 + 5.5 = $24M
    AAV = $4.8M/Year
    NMC Year 2-4, Limited NMC Year 5

    RFA Year is a bump from prior years. Years 2-4 is a hometown discount ranging from $500K – $1M per year, offset by the full NMC. Final year pays at value, limited NMC. Gagner gets to stay in Edmonton, and sets up a nice window for the Oilers to hopefully contend within. At the end of the deal, Gagner is a 28 year old UFA, and with expected jumps in cap space (combined with hopefully, an increasein Gagner’s overall game and stats) sets himself up nicely to cash in on a very lucrative deal ranging from 5-7 years with Edmonton or another team. The Oilers get a cap friendly number to work with this year, and potentially extreme value in later years with an increasing cap.

    It’s a win-win in my opinion. To bad I am not either Sam Gagner or Craig MacTavish, or both in this circumstance.

    Not really wishfull thinking as close to real value Today . Sam must decide does he want a shot with this group of guys or to move on . He must see what McT has added for the upcoming season and that means a shot at playoffs .

  15. justDOit says:

    I’ve heard stories of players being threatened with a trade to a really bad team if their contract demands weren’t curtailed. Advantage: Gagner!

    And here’s a great link for all those Brit prog-rock aficionados out there:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0t1CDzHdsg

  16. RexLibris says:

    justDOit:
    I’ve heard stories of players being threatened with a trade to a really bad team if their contract demands weren’t curtailed. Advantage: Gagner!

    And here’s a great link for all those Brit prog-rock aficionados out there:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0t1CDzHdsg

    So you’re thinking he’ll go to Calgary then?

  17. justDOit says:

    RexLibris,

    Nice one! I set em up, you knock em down…

    But really, over the past four seasons, I doubt there is a team that can rival our beloved Blue, White and Orange!

  18. Numenius says:

    When I see Gagner asking for $5.5 I’m tempted to lower my opinion of him, but then I remind myself that he’s high-balling it just like the Oilers are low-balling it for $3.5.

    The question is, what is the real number he’s willing to settle on, whether for this year or for a longer term deal?

    You’d think (hope) that he’s learned the lesson of Horcoff that if you’re obviously overpaid, the fans turn against you.

  19. VanOil says:

    In general I hate long contracts (even for myself). But in the unusual case of Sam Ganger I think the Oilers should use his young age to advantage. Even going to 8 years means you are still buying only prime years from a 23 year old player.

    I would offer 6 to 8 years at 5M per. With 1M being in performance bonus. My understanding is that non ELC bonus count against the Cap, but they still provide incentive for a player who is now set for life and makes him trade able to a Cap floor team should he under perform. 3 to 4 years out this would appear to be a value contract that could be easily traded as having the opportunity to setup Yakupov will ensure his box cars remain strong.

    On a side note I recently noticed Hockey Futures had Yakupov’s probability of success rated as C. I am not sure of the criteria they use so I must assume it means it must be the amount of Crack you need to smoke not to see him as a future all star.

  20. Jon K says:

    Gagner may one day be the subject of a cautionary tale in the NHL: How not to manage NHL draft picks.

    Rushed to the NHL at 18 at the cost of free agency years, complete reluctance to overpay long term despite a good track record of solid work ethic and dedication to the team, and an inadvisable reliance on the belief that the player wouldn’t walk away from a “good situation”.

    I’ve heard Stauffer and Tencer both indicate that they belief Gagner wants to settle down here, citing his initial ask for the NTC and the fact that he has a local girlfriend. Though we don’t know it with absolutely certainty, but if the Oilers went into this hoping that Gagner would negotiate on those bases they’ve made another grave error.

    Not that I think the Gagner camp has a particularly good argument in support of their asking price (look to Voracek’s contract, for example), but they are doing their best to maximize the ample tools that the team has handed them.

    I can see the deal ultimately being culminated at 4 years x $5.0 or 5 years at $5.25, but I could also see Sam leaving the team in the next year. In either case we can probably tag either the cap premium or the loss of Sam as the cost of management’s inability to effectively manage a significant asset in the 6th overall pick. Shame.

  21. rocket says:

    Remember that Howson did the Smyth trade. If can’t agree, Howson will not hesitate to trade Gagner

  22. Lowetide says:

    rocket:
    Remember that Howson did the Smyth trade.If can’t agree, Howson will not hesitate to trade Gagner

    The mistake there is in doing it quickly. I’m not in favor of trading Gagner–seriously, I don’t think it should be an option–but if you’re going to do it make sure all 29 teams get a chance to put forward their best available offer.

  23. Puckberger says:

    I dont get how this guy gets more term and money than Chris Stewart just because his attitude maybe better, you pay top end money for intangibles, not just good character.

    I like Gagner, hes a pro for sure, but theres talk of him eventually not even playing center on this team!

    If the Oil had any other options at 2nd line center i would have moved him along for other pieces

  24. rocket says:

    Lowetide,

    agreed

  25. Maverick says:

    I’m probably in the minority but if Gagner really thinks he would get $5.5M from MacT he’s playing a dangerous game. First one to blink?? If it goes sideways I think we will see the bold move MacT was talking about. The option of trading Gagner just went up, 60-40.

  26. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: The mistake there is in doing it quickly. I’m not in favor of trading Gagner–seriously, I don’t think it should be an option–but if you’re going to do it make sure all 29 teams get a chance to put forward their best available offer.

    I suspect that leg work has already been done.

    MacTavish is thorough and I suspect he’s broached this topic with almost all of the other GMs.

    As I mentioned in the other article’s thread though, the trick is that the trade needs to bring back a 2C, and who makes that swap? I mean aside from Mike Milbury.

  27. iHockeyWpg says:

    If Gagner goes UFA, I bet he signs with the Islanders so he can play with his best buddy John Tavares.

  28. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Would it be the time to Move Gagner, Omark, Petry, Hemsky(-2.5M) next year for say Hanzal, Moss and Yandle. It can definitely help both teams and moves out another possible arbitration hearing next year while giving Phoenix more skill and us a big #2 centre, Gordons running mate for line 3 and #1-2 D.

  29. Mjolnir says:

    Kirby,

    I think everyone would be happy with that. More than fair for everyone involved

  30. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: I suspect that leg work has already been done.

    MacTavish is thorough and I suspect he’s broached this topic with almost all of the other GMs.

    As I mentioned in the other article’s thread though, the trick is that the trade needs to bring back a 2C, and who makes that swap? I mean aside from Mike Milbury.

    You’re not going to get 100 cents on the dollar unless the team that’s dealing for him has a long term deal in place. That’s clearly not the case, so we’re talking about getting less than complete value. I hate that idea as a strategy.

  31. Bar_Qu says:

    If I’m Gagner, I don’t care what the playing situation is, I just make sure I get paid. The Oilers goofed up and they should have to pay for their mistake (the realities of the CBA they helped bring in).

    Gagner ultimately realizes this is a business, so we can’t be too harsh on him for maximizing his salary. I think a # in the 5.25/5 range gets it done, and i think the Oil should sign that today.

  32. Gordo says:

    At what AAV on a long-term deal does Sam’s trade value become:

    a) less than the value of having him for this year + the cap space saved next summer?

    b) less than the value of having him for part of the year + the return he would demand at the trade deadline?

    6 million? More? The price point on a long-term deal would have to be outlandish for me to even consider a 1-year deal if I were MacT. How did the price at which Gagner fits into Edmonton’s salary structure after next year become the maximum price the Oilers should be willing to sign him for? Should they not be unrelated from an asset management standpoint?

    Regardless of the decision to keep or eventually trade Gagner, signing him long-term maximizes his value. Granted, so too was the case last year. What am I missing?

    Great site. I’ve been coming here since ’07 and finally decided to comment. Thanks to all who contribute to the comments section and make my mornings at work much more enjoyable.

  33. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Lowetide,

    So than the only answer is get a multi year deal done even if MacT doesn’t like the terms and just make sure the NTC doesn’t kick in until the season starts. Then you Market him to all 29 teams.

  34. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: You’re not going to get 100 cents on the dollar unless the team that’s dealing for him has a long term deal in place. That’s clearly not the case, so we’re talking about getting less than complete value. I hate that idea as a strategy.

    So do I. But the music is playing and we’re running out of chairs.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Lowetide,

    So than the only answer is get a multi year deal done even if MacT doesn’t like the terms and just make sure the NTC doesn’t kick in until the season starts. Then you Market him to all 29 teams.

    Yes. If Gagner wants $5.5M he’s gone, it’s just a matter of getting full value. If he gets $5M on a 5 year deal, maybe you can make that work, or at least for a couple of years. Then you might be locked in for three years on a deal that is noxious, but the new CBA allows for taking on some of the contract.

    I’m not terribly concerned about his losing value though. Gagner should be good through 30. After that, check his footspeed because his hands will never slow down.

  36. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Lowetide,

    I think this should be called the Holmgren Manuever.

  37. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Thing is at $5mil and 5 years he may have more trade value next year.

  38. PunjabiOil says:

    I think it’s just negotiation. They’ll likely settle before Monday. Gagner is already tweeting to Perron:

    Sam Gagner ‏@89SGagner 15 Jul

    @DP_57 Good times those were :). Hopefully we can re-create that winning feeling in Edmonton.

    -His long-time girlfriend just got into residency program at the U of A.

    Lets not forget Ryan Smyth went into arbitration and signed right before the process. It’s all part of the negotiation and usually deals are agreed at the 11th hour.

    The only thing that could be a potential hold-up IMO is Gagner requesting a NTC, but MacT isn’t willing to give it to him.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Thing is at $5mil and 5 years he may have more trade value next year.

    Yes, and MacT will have had a year to figure out best available options.

  40. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Lowetide,

    I think this should be called the Holmgren Manuever.

    No.

    I believe THIS is the Holmgren Manoeuvre:

    http://youtu.be/ES_rxYm3qsE

  41. Hockeyman 99 says:

    “Human Sacrifice, Cats and Dogs living together, mass hysteria!”

  42. mustang says:

    If I was MacT I would be willing go 5 to 6 x 4.75, that’s reasonable for Sam. He’s a good young player with a lot of the characteristic a team is looking for. Size is a little bit of an issue but not much of one, like the saying goes ” It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Sam has that fight and will within.

  43. godot10 says:

    I find all this hysteria about an arbitration where the arbitrator can choose any number somewhat hilarious.

    The Oilers offer $3.5 million. Gagner asks for $5.5 million. If the arbitrator had to pick one of the two, it would be a problem. But he will probably choose a number in the middle for one year, or MacT and Gagner will spit the difference themselves on the steps of the building before the hearing on Monday.

    Patrick Berglund is following the Gagner playbook to a T in St. Louis, one year behind Gagner, and Doug Armstrong is a competent GM.

    Gagner believes in his own potential. He needs a one year contract so he can get a long term contract with the Oilers next year for closer to $6 million. A one year contract, gives the Oilers one more year to de-risk a long term contract to Gagner. Win-win.

    Gagner is 23. He has no reason to settle for a long term underpay contract like a 28 year old player does. He can roll the dice. It is also different from guys like Hall and Taveres who have 4 RFA years on their contracts. Gagner and Berglund are young just short of top tier players who are forging a new and different path to maximize their long term value.

  44. Bar_Qu says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    “Human Sacrifice, Cats and Dogs living together, mass hysteria!”

    That movie only gets funnier over time.

    Kind of like ST’s tenure as GM.

  45. Gordies Elbow says:

    Lets see if I’ve got this…

    5.5m, one-dimesional, too small, OMG?!? Is Gagner crazy?

    Now, take a deep breath. I’m glad his agent is asking for $5.5m on a one year deal. While he has the hammer, it shows that Gagner doesn’t really want to leave.

    If what’s been reported is true (and I think that it is) Gagner’s agent (Jeff Jackson) went high, on a one year deal. If Gagner wanted out, Jeff likely would have gone with a middle of the road number (4.5-4.7m would be my guess) and have Gagner ride out the contract. If he went with a lower number, it may facilitate a trade later in the season, and that’s something they would have taken into consideration. Jeff Jackson is a former AGM with the Toronto Maple Leafs, partner with Heenan Blaikie LLP, and player with Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Quebec Nordiques and Chicago Blackhawks. He’s a bright guy, and knows the comparables would be difficult in arbitration to get Gagner $5.5m. So, if that’s the case, why would he ask for it? What advantage would be gained by leaking it to Dreger and others?

    First, why (in my opinion) he’s asking for it. He’s creating an “anchor” for the longer term deal. An “anchor” is a numeric value that influences subsequent numeric estimates and outcomes. When people make judgments, their final estimates are often assimilated to‚ that is, become more similar to‚the initial anchor value. He’s creating the perception of risk, and driving up the expectation. Edmonton’s negotiating committee (likely led by Howson) intentionally went with a lower value ($3.5m is likely less than market, looking at comparables like Perron.) They’re in the process of establishing a range.

    Second, why the leak? This is to apply pressure, which also will influence the decision process. Both sides seem to like to use this tactic, and they’re being careful to keep to the script. Also a very good sign in a negotiation.

    Smart, well thought out tactics, and consistent on both sides.

    If I were a betting man, I’d say we’re looking at $22.75-25.75/5, with an NMC for 4, and limited NTC for 1. $4.85 cap AAV, plus or minus $300k. Gagner has leverage, and Howson’s buying term.

  46. Магия¹º says:

    Mac is genius if he pries a nickel out of Sam’s fingers. Nothing is getting past the son of a NHL player/manager.

  47. striatic says:

    Gordies Elbow: They’re in the process of establishing a range.

    it is a little late to be in any kind of “process”, but oh well, at least we’ll know what is going on by Monday.

  48. BlacqueJacque says:

    Last year’s Gagner deal marks the point where I lost all faith in Tambellini. Until then I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Inexplicable contract. The only way it could have been worse is if it was a two-year that took him,to UFA status.

  49. striatic says:

    Магия¹º: Mac is genius if he pries a nickel out of Sam’s fingers. Nothing is getting past the son of a NHL player/manager.

    everything Gagner says seems so calculated, even the positive stuff about the Oilers and his teammates.

    surely most of it is heartfelt in origin but it is so calculated in application that i’m never sure if he actually wants to be in Edmonton or whether he is playing a larger game when it comes to his contract and position in the league.

  50. Lewis Grant says:

    There is no closer comparable to Gagner than Jakub Voracek. Indeed, I’d bet that few players in league history are such close comparables. Drafted 6-7 in the same year, in fact I believe we actually considered taking Voracek over Gagner. Their scoring totals are almost identical every single year up to this year. This year, Voracek had 46 and Gagner 38, so Gagner should be just a little behind Voracek.

    Voracek is getting $4.25M, signed through 2016 (presumably one UFA year; Voracek started later). Factor in slight cap inflation, call it even, and sign Gagner for $4.25M with maybe a slight bump up for UFA years.

    That’s his value.

    If he won’t accept something close to that, trade him. Hate to see him go, but he has not proven himself even close to the Hall/Eberle level. (If he argues that he scored as much as Eberle this year, gently remind him that Eberle scored 76 at age 21.)

  51. Магия¹º says:

    striatic: or whether he is playing a larger game

    It’s a long game and the family knows every corner of it.

  52. G Money says:

    Lewis Grant: Voracek is getting $4.25M, signed through 2016 (presumably one UFA year; Voracek started later). Factor in slight cap inflation, call it even, and sign Gagner for $4.25M with maybe a slight bump up for UFA years.
    That’s his value.

    Two small, ok massive, problems with your reasoning:

    1. Voracek signed his $4.25M long term contract last year after putting up 49 points in 78 games. Conversely, young Sammy signed a $3.2M contract after putting up an almost identical 47 points in 75 games.

    2. Voracek’s $4.25M contract bought three years of RFA and one year of UFA, while whatever contract Sammy signs will buy only a single RFA year.

    Apples and oranges, my friend, apples and oranges.

    I don’t think ANYONE, Voracek or the Flyers, imagined Voraceck would put up almost a PPG this last season. What that does is make it a huge value contract for the Flyers. But it hardly sets a comparable for Gagner this year.

  53. Ryan says:

    Gordies Elbow,

    wow. good read. who the heck are you? I mean is that a new handle? I don’t remember seeing it more than a few times recently.

    That’s a great dissection of the current situation.

  54. Pablo Aimar says:

    Going forward Gagner will be the 6th best forward on the team. Can you pay the 6th best forward on your team over 5 million bucks? I don’t think so. And I wonder what things would look like if Clarkson had taken the ludicrous offer that was apparently on the table.

  55. "Steve Smith" says:

    Pablo Aimar:
    Going forward Gagner will be the 6th best forward on the team.

    Who are you ranking ahead of him besides the 3 #1s and Eberle? Perron?

  56. Lewis Grant says:

    G Money: I don’t think ANYONE, Voracek or the Flyers, imagined Voraceck would put up almost a PPG this last season. What that does is make it a huge value contract for the Flyers. But it hardly sets a comparable for Gagner this year.

    Well, the contracts of all similar players need to be taken into consideration, whether they are overpays or value contracts. Why should the most recent overpay set the market?

    In regard to the ‘massive’ RFA/UFA distinction, I mentioned that I’d be willing to bump up Gagner a little for the UFA years.

    But as for the UFA comparables, I don’t think we can’t just look at what people get on the open market. It’s actually surprising how few players actually make it to the UFA market without re-signing, especially those who are relatively happy (and, say, have a long-term girlfriend) in the city. The player takes a chance with free agency too.

    Even if we do look at recent UFA signings, how could Gagner expect to get more than Weiss or Filppula?

  57. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: Who are you ranking ahead of him besides the 3 #1s and Eberle?Perron?

    Was just about to ask the same thing. My list:

    1. Hall
    2. Nuge
    3. Yak
    4. Eberle
    5. Gagner
    6. Perron
    7. Gordon

    and then the doors open and we step into the elevator shaft.*

    *this assumes Hemsky isn’t on the team. If he’s on the team, then Hemsky goes somewhere in the middle there.

  58. striatic says:

    Pablo Aimar: Can you pay the 6th best forward on your team over 5 million bucks?

    if he’s taking it out of Taylor Hall’s share, then i suppose you can.

    i am really loathe to give Gagner 5.5 though. 5×5 works. photocopy the Filppula contract.

  59. bendelson says:

    Lowetide,

    And by somewhere in the middle, I assume you mean between Perron and Gordon. Correct?

  60. gogliano says:

    I like Gagner fine but this team has four forwards who are well clear of Gagner talent wise. A bad long term contract is a lot scarier than losing a second line forward who has yet to prove he is a difference maker.

    If Gagner is playing hardball I’d try to lock him up to a two year contract. The time for a long term deal was last season, before Gagner blew up his counting stats. Two years fits with the core: Next year RNH comes up and then in two years Yakupov comes in for his big deal. So 2 years is safe for the team’s salary structure even with some overpay. It allows us to see where the cap is going and how Gagner is developing as he hits his prime. 2 years is nice on Gagner’s end because it allows him to position for a big contract if he excels for two more years.

    If he still pushes for the one year contract then you know he wants to use his UFA leverage to the fullest possible extent and is seriously looking at bolting.

    In which case trade him yesterday.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Was just about to ask the same thing. My list:

    1. Hall
    2. Nuge
    3. Yak
    4. Eberle
    5. Gagner
    6. Perron
    7. Gordon

    and then the doors open and we step into the elevator shaft.*

    *this assumes Hemsky isn’t on the team. If he’s on the team, then Hemsky goes somewhere in the middle there.

    I imagine a battle royale between the elevator shaft crew for who gets to exit on the 14th floor and who ever’s left to slip into the nothingness of the 13th.

  62. Numenius says:

    Gagner’s tactic of asking for $5.5 and letting it slip is genius, and effective not just with management.

    A few weeks ago most of us here wouldn’t have been happy with paying him anything $5 AAV or over. Now it seems the majority would be happy with $5 to $5.25 AAV.

    You’re not just negotiating with management, you’re negotiating with fans.

    Now all he has to do is say, ok, I’ll take $5 AAV and everyone will feel ok about it in contrast with before.

  63. theres oil in virginia says:

    LT, you’ve got to get Willis on your show next week…unless you’re still going to be bumming around in your underwear next week!

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/7/20/sam-gagner-getting-down-to-brass-tacks

  64. Lowetide says:

    Numenius:
    Gagner’s tactic of asking for $5.5 and letting it slip is genius, and effective not just with management.

    A few weeks ago most of us here wouldn’t have been happy with paying him anything $5 AAV or over. Now it seems the majority would be happy with $5 to $5.25 AAV.

    You’re not just negotiating with management, you’re negotiating with fans.

    Now all he has to do is say, ok, I’ll take $5 AAV and everyone will feel ok about it in contrast with before.

    I think that’s just about how it’ll go.

  65. Quicksilver Ballet says:

    Nothing to do now but wait for a verdict, and hope the Oilers land on their feet with this deal.

  66. Gordies Elbow says:

    Ryan,
    Thanks!

    Not a new handle, just never posted before. Have been an Oiler fan since the Gretzky years, and have been impressed with the quality of posters here. As to the above post, I’ve been involved in a few difficult negotiations, and this doesn’t strike me as one of them. They’re pretty much following the script, and will hammer out a deal late Sunday, I expect.

    Deals like these are usually deadline driven. There is a risk that it could go sideways at the end, but each side is using the media to telegraph their moves, and the parties look to have played to the script so far. Biggest sticking point will be the NMC/NTC. The Oilers management group will try to avoid the precedence of giving them out. They’ll pay more dollars to avoid, but at this point and time, the Gagner camp will be trying to gauge the value.

    What is an NMC worth, per year? 10 team-NTC?

    I’d say around, 8-12% of contract value. Somewhere between 380k and 580k per year, $1.95m-2.91m. I’d guess that Howson blinks first, gives better than average, and a NMC. Gagner will be overpaid, but that’s to be expected as Howson’s buying 4 years UFA.

    Do you think an NMC is worth more or less? Or that Edmonton should/shouldn’t offer them?

  67. striatic says:

    Numenius: A few weeks ago most of us here wouldn’t have been happy with paying him anything $5 AAV or over. Now it seems the majority would be happy with $5 to $5.25 AAV.

    personally i’ve had Gagner pencilled in at 4.75 since start of last season. an extra 250k isn’t that big a deal.

    it does piss me off though, since if i had him at 4.75 there is no way Tambo shouldn’t have had him locked in there a ways back.

  68. Numenius says:

    Lowetide: I think that’s just about how it’ll go.

    I’m still hoping it’s just a little lower so I’m really ok with it, though. :)

  69. theres oil in virginia says:

    Gordies Elbow:
    Ryan,
    Not a new handle, just never posted before. Have been an Oiler fan since the Gretzky years, and have been impressed with the quality of posters here.

    Yes, but are you Richard Cloutier?

  70. cabbiesmacker says:

    Gagner’s not worth anywhere near $5M per season for what he brings to the table. Soft as baby poop second line C that predates the PP and 4 on 4.

    If Tambellini had an opportunity to sign him at his real “today” worth, $4M per, and could have stretched it out over 5 years then yes, he’s at fault.

    Stupid Oilers for ignoring the C position as long as they have. Now with no real C’s in the barn MacT is forced to sign a pig. It’s looking more and more every day like he’s managed to accomplish the unthinkable and make the upcoming version of the Oilers even worse than they were last year.

    WTF were you thinking was going to happen at C when you told the world Horcoff was down the road man? Then you sign his supposed replacement who in actuality is a weaker player. Well done MacT. Really well done.

    Outside of Perron and Ference there’s been zero done to improve the 13/14 version of this team

  71. striatic says:

    Gordies Elbow: What is an NMC worth, per year? 10 team-NTC?

    i think the NMC is what is stalling out this deal. other than Ference no one on the Oilers has one and i imagine MacT doesn’t want to set a bad example with RNH, Schultz and Yakupov coming up soon.

    personally i like NMCs, but hate full term NMCs with a passion. giving a player some stability in their personal life and the ability to plan ahead a few years in exchange for lowering cap hit is a good thing for all involved, but you get murdered if you you make the NMC full term.

    give Gagner a 2 to 3 year NMC on a 5 to 6 year contract and i’m cool with it.

  72. dangilitis says:

    His girlfriend was a medical student a couple of years ago (should be done this year). She goes on to residency afterwards. That can be anywhere in Canada or USA but it is usually for a set time period (2-5 yrs). That is a big commitment and he probably wants to stay close. They should find out where she is going to be and if its Edmonton, use it as leverage. If not, then maybe he’s already packed his bags and is on his way out of town as soon as the final RFA year is over.

  73. cabbiesmacker says:

    striatic:

    . 5×5 works. photocopy the Filppula contract.

    Why? Gagner isn’t close to being as good.

  74. lance says:

    Unless the Oil are willing to open chequebooks ala Anaheim then hardball with sam may go a long way to future negotiations. I think they have to be ruthless in this one else future contracts be generally at the player’s discretion. Iggy owned the Flames for years. This one is the go to because Sam they can mostly afford to lose.

    Any word on where are Bogo and the Jets? I wonder if swapping sam for Zach will send a message through both rooms that these are man negotiations, that pushing parameters sometimes comes with a cost.

  75. Kitchener says:

    Comments mood here: Earnest concern. 5 to 5.5 long term okay.

    Comments mood at TSN (http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=428062): Laughter. 3.5 to 4.5.

  76. striatic says:

    cabbiesmacker: Why? Gagner isn’t close to being as good.

    Gagner is younger, and was better offensively last season. 5 years for Gagner eats up more of his prime earning years whereas 5 for Filppula takes him a little bit beyond that.

    they aren’t the same player, but they are similar, fill the same slot in the lineup and most of the pros and cons of each player balance out.

  77. Quicksilver Ballet says:

    Is 22.5 over 5 yrs already taken in the pool?

  78. Pablo Aimar says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    “Steve Smith”,

    I did rank Perron ahead of him. At best its a wash and the point still stands. Gagner is a complimentary player on this team and will be going forward.

  79. godot10 says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Last year’s Gagner deal marks the point where I lost all faith in Tambellini.Until then I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.Inexplicable contract.The only way it could have been worse is if it was a two-year that took him,to UFA status.

    So is Doug Armstrong an idiot also. He was forced to sign Patrick Berglund to a one year contract just like Tambellini was forced to sign Gagner to a one year contract.

    You can’t force a player to sign a contract, or a long term contract.

    Gagner was going to cost as much last year, as he is going to cost this year, and as he is going to cost next year on a long term deal if Gagner has a normal Gagner year.

    The motivation of some 23 and 24-year olds who believe that they have another level who already have financial security and who are smart is a lot different then a late 20-something veteran looking for their final big payday.

    Gagner has absolutely no reason to lock in a low number.

    It doesn’t look very good on the Oilers and MacT for leaking the $5.5 million dollar number.

    Tambellini has zero no trade contracts, and he signed the beauty Hall, Eberle, and Smid contracts. And he left MacT with essentially maximum cap flexibility going forward.

    MacT’s first contract out of the gate was a 4-year NMC to a declining 30-something defensemen. Lowe, MacT, and Howson are back…the guys who gave you the Horcoff, the Moreau, the Pisani, and the Staois contracts, and they are back at it with the Ference contract.

  80. cabbiesmacker says:

    striatic: Gagner is younger, and was better offensively last season. 5 years for Gagner eats up more of his prime earning years whereas 5 for Filppula takes him a little bit beyond that.

    they aren’t the same player, but they are similar, fill the same slot in the lineup and most of the pros and cons of each player balance out.

    We don’t agree at all. VF can play both ends of the ice, against strong competition. and win faceoffs. Three things Gagner can’t do well at all. VF has also had a 60 point season. Gagner hasn;t hit 50 in 6 years

  81. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”: Who are you ranking ahead of him besides the 3 #1s and Eberle?Perron?

    I’d have Perron ahead of Gagner as well.

  82. Gret99zky says:

    godot10,

    Good points. Petry also has a nice contract.

  83. G Money says:

    cabbiesmacker: We don’t agree at all. VF can play both ends of the ice, against strong competition. and win faceoffs. Three things Gagner can’t do well at all. VF has also had a 60 point season. Gagner hasn;t hit 50 in 6 years

    Gagner was 19th in the league (I dropped anyone playing less than 1/4 season, or 12 games) in PPG for centres and -6 this last year on a team that was in the bottom third for GFGA. Filppula was 88th (say that again if you like, roll it off the tongue so you can absorb it) in scoring for centres in PPG and -4 on a team that was top third for GFGA.

    Gagner is 23 and can expect to get better. Filppula is 29. The one year he had 66 points, his PPG rate was awfully close to what Gagner did last year, and this last year Filppula scored at about half the rate as Gagner. The questions now are – when does Filppula start to backslide, and has he already started?

    You can argue Filppula is “better” if you like, the numbers – the ones that matter when it comes down to it – are strongly in Gagner’s favour. The fact is that the $5M that Filppula got is a terrible contract and will unquestionably hurt the Lightning a few years from now.

    What’s galling about it is that same contract is now a huge stumbling block as a comparable for the Oilers to try and negotiate any value out of Gagner’s UFA years.

  84. cabbiesmacker says:

    G Money:

    You can argue Filppula is “better” if you like, the numbers – the ones that matter when it comes down to it – are strongly in Gagner’s favour.

    No, actually they aren’t

    Quite convenient that you choose last year, and a 48 game sample. Was that all YOU could absorb?

  85. cabbiesmacker says:

    G Money: Gagner was 19th in the league (I dropped anyone playing less than 1/4 season, or 12 games) in PPG for centres and -6 this last year on a team that was in the bottom third for GFGA.Filppula was 88th (say that again if you like, roll it off the tongue so you can absorb it) in scoring for centres in PPG and -4 on a team that was top third for GFGA.

    Gagner is 23 and can expect to get better.Filppula is 29.The one year he had 66 points, his PPG rate was awfully close to what Gagner did last year, and this last year Filppula scored at about half the rate as Gagner.The questions now are – when does Filppula start to backslide, and has he already started?

    You can argue Filppula is “better” if you like, the numbers – the ones that matter when it comes down to it – are strongly in Gagner’s favour.The fact is that the $5M that Filppula got is a terrible contract and will unquestionably hurt the Lightning a few years from now.

    What’s galling about it is that same contract is now a huge stumbling block as a comparable for the Oilers to try and negotiate any value out of Gagner’s UFA years.

    Try rolling higher qual comp than Datsyuk in the 11/12 ( a full) season off your tongue maybe?

    PPG? That’s hilarious. VF got as much PP and 4 x 4 time as Gagner? Doubtful.

    Since you seem to like 48 game samples how does VF’s 55% FO % look to you?

    Every year people think Gagner will be better in the upcoming. every year he disappoints.

  86. Rondo says:

    Gagner seems like he is going to be expensive in the long run, maybe too expensive.

    What about trading him for Bryan Little ? Cheaper and better all around game.

  87. DeadmanWaking says:

    I’d offer $4m per year with a $3000 bonus for every face-off he wins. Every damn one.

    741 * 0.5 * 3000 = $1.1 million. So if he clears 50% in the dot he gets to write the middle digit on year-end government paperwork.

    550 faceoff wins per season is achievable among the guys batting north of 0.560. Then he’d clear $5.5 and we’d thank him for it. If he’s Samwise, he’ll tip his flanks and locks with all the prime rib they can eat and stay late after school to re-tape their sticks. For home games, the zebra could slick the puck with three large right before the organist flashes the bat signal just in case he forgets.

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