In a recent report by Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, he suggests there is a strong chance that the Edmonton Oilers will look to re-sign fourth-line center Sam Gagner next season.
After moving him at the trade deadline to the Detroit Red Wings, the Oilers moved a sizeable salary to help accommodate the incoming salaries from players like Andreas Athanasiou, Mike Green and Tyler Ennis. That said, Gagner was a veteran everyone liked and played a role on the team as a leader and depth forward.
Spector suggests because the team is looking for lower-cost contracts for the bottom-six, and because of uncertainty surrounding next season’s cap, the deal would be a short-term contract worth under $1 million. He writes:
Gagner wants to continue his NHL career, but no matter where he plays he will be a sub-$1 million player on a one-year deal. With the cap issues faced by NHL teams, Gagner’s agent will have to work to find him a place that is a better fit than Edmonton.
But, there’s another silver lining to signing again with the Oilers. Spector goes so far as to suggest general manager Ken Holland sees Gagner as a future member of his front office staff. Ideally, if he retires an Oiler, his move to management or an executive position becomes an easy one. If true, this isn’t a new tactic for Holland, who did something similar with Dan Cleary, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby in Detroit.
Edmonton Is Home For Gagner
For Gagner, he’s been quite open about how much he loves it in Edmonton as it is where his family has a home. The thought here is that if he could get in with an NHL team, sign one-year contracts as long as he’s performing and then join the front office, it might be an attractive offer.
Spector says, “Gagner is at the point in his career where the person is as important as the player. And he can still fill a limited on-ice role. You want him on your team.”
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