It seems most players will never make it to arbitration. They hold out, and eventually they’ll have a contract that they can allow themselves to be happy with before an arbitrator is even needed. The same happened here for Sam Gagner and the Edmonton Oilers.
Gagner came off of last season’s one year deal worth $3.2 million, and was seeking a pay check of $5.5 million this offseason. The Oilers and Gagner were able to agree upon a 3 year deal worth $14.4 million, that will pay Gagner $4.4 the first season, and $5 the next two. Gagner will carry a cap hit of $4.8 million for the next three seasons.
Gagner is only 23 years old and has an incredibly high ceiling. He has all the potential in the world playing in Edmonton. The former 6th overall pick, has played in the NHL since the 2007-2008 season. He has a total of 258 points in 414 career games. Last season, in only 48 games, Gagner tallied 14 goals. Putting him on pace to score more than his career high of 18 goals. Gagner’s career high in assits and points came in his rookie season. He scored 13 goals and added 36 assists for a total of 49 points.
Gagner is a solid player for the Oilers, but his asking price was a huge $5.5 million. The Oilers were able to get him down to a number they were a little happier with just moments before the arbitrator would have been there to sort out the mess. Is Gagner worth a cap hit of $4.8 million? A point every other game? You tell me what you think, I think the price tag may have been a bit high, but Edmonton needs to keep the pieces they have and continue to build around them. Did they overpay in the sense that they wanted to keep a veteran leader after trading away their overpaid captain to the Dallas Stars?