The Edmonton Oilers have avoided arbitration with centre Sam Gagner, inking the young centre to a 3 year deal just hours before the hearing was set to start. Gagner has spent his entire NHL career in Edmonton after being taken in the first round, 6th overall, of the 2007 NHL Draft.
The deal is said to be worth $14.4 million, for an annual cap hit of $4.8 million per season.
Shortly after news broke, Gagner tweeted from his @89SGagner account:
“So happy to remain an Edmonton Oiler for at least three more years. Thanks to everyone for the support”
Gagner, 23, scored 14 goals, 24 assists, for 38 points in 48 games with the Oilers last season. He was the Oilers second leading scorer this past season, behind only Taylor Hall, who had 50 points. Over his 6 year NHL career he has scored 91 goals, 167 assists for 258 points in 414 games, playing on some weak Edmonton squads over the years.
During the 2011-12 Season, Gagner tied a long-time Oiler team record by scoring 8 points in a game on February 2, 2012 vs the Chicago Blackhawks. The game was the first 8 point game in the NHL in 23 years, and tied a team record held by none other than Oilers and NHL legend Wayne Gretzky. Hall of fame defenceman Paul Coffey also had an 8 point night for the Oilers, showing the absolute elite company that night put Gagner amongst.
In locking down Gagner, the Oilers continue to build the young core of forwards which also includes Jordan Eberle, and former first overall picks Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov. The Oilers also acquired David Perron from the St. Louis Blues in a trade earlier this summer as new GM Craig MacTavish begins to put his stamp on the club.
Gagner is the son of long time NHLer Dave Gagner, who is mostly known for his time with the Stars, but also played for 5 other NHL teams. He is currently Director of Player Development for the Vancouver Canucks.
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Main photo credit: bridgetds via photopin cc