Sam Gagner is in a wonderful spot this summer and could become the youngest UFA in the history of the N.H.L. Gagner has filed for arbitration and if he doesn’t come to terms with The Edmonton Oilers an arbitrator will determine his value on a one year contract.
Gagner has all the leverage in contract talk with MacT. He has two very good options.
Option one is to go to arbitration and get awarded a one year deal. The year after he would be a UFA and able to sign wherever he chooses and for top dollar. Free agency is a crapshoot but good players create a bidding war and generally get a premium dollar and term. This in my opinion is the best option for Gagner. Why would he sign long term in Edmonton if he can get more thru free agency…?
Option two is to use his leverage and have MacT pay top dollar by buying his free agent years. This will be costly for The Oilers but they have little in the way of options other than to try and lock up Gagner long term. They either pay for those free agent years or they risk losing him for nothing via free agency. I’m assuming it’s quite the pickle for Oiler management.
Gagner holds all the cards and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. It sure sounds like Gagner would like to sign long term here but I can imagine him agent begging him to take the one year deal leaving him as the youngest UFA in league history next summer.
I for one hope he signs a long term contract for just under $5 million per season but he just might end up forcing The Oilers hand and making them pay more for his services. Time will tell and I hope to see Gagner in Oiler silks for years to come.
Keep the faith!