Well, the wait for us fans is over.. Sam Gagner has been re-signed to a 2 year deal reportedly worth $2.275M per season. I really like this deal. If I’m not mistaken, Gagner will be arbitration elegible at the end of this deal, however he will still be a Restricted Free Agent. That also leaves the Oilers with $9.768M of cap space, including Studly Wonderbomb, and without any reached bonuses taken into account (about $6M cap space left if all bonuses are reached). I think we’re still sitting comfortably, compared to what we’re used to.
Sam Gagner has shown signs of improvement since his first year. He’s show flashes of greatness, between periods of cooling off. I’d expect this year to be a very good one for him, as he’s been challenged by Tambellini, and I think he’ll answer the call. I think also he’ll be given more opportunity on the top line and top powerplay, playing with the likes of Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, and perhaps some time with Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle. I’m going to predict a 60+ point season for Gagner this year.
Some have called into question his ability to be a number one center. I’m not one of them.. I just think it is a matter of time for this kid. He likely won’t show it 100% next year, but by the time he’s ready to sign his next contract, I think he’ll be getting a good raise.
Great that this one is done.. next stop – Andrew Cogliano.