GAGNER/OILERS LIKELY TO SETTLE

Jason Gregor
July 16 2012 11:30AM

Sam Gagner's arbitration hearing is scheduled for this Friday, but the chances are slim an arbitrator will decide his next contract. Last year 24 players filed for arbitration, but only Shea Weber sat in front of an arbitrator, and he was awarded a record-setting one-year $7.5 million deal.

In the past two years 55 players have filed for arbitration, but only six went the distance.

Weber was the only one in 2011, while Tim Kennedy, Clarke MacArthur, Blake Wheeler, Antti Niemi and Jannik Hansen all faced an arbitrator and "won" in 2010.

Hansen was awarded $825,000 for one year and stayed with the Canucks while Wheeler got a one-year, $2.2 million deal with the Bruins.

Kennedy was awarded $1 million on a one-year, one-way contract from the Sabres. He won his case on July 29th, but on August 2nd the Sabres put Kennedy on waivers. No one claimed him and the next day the Sabres bought him out at $333,333.00. He signed a one-year $550,000 with the Rangers later that month, but spent the entire year in the AHL. He ended up making $883,333 that year.

MacArthur was awarded a one-year $2.4 million deal, but the Thrashers walked away from it and he became a UFA. He ended up signing with the Leafs for a year at $1.4 million.

Niemi was awarded $2.75 million, but the Hawks elected to walk away due to their tight cap situation. Niemi ended up signing for one year with the Sharks for $2 million.

Even though MacArthur, Niemi and Kennedy "won" their cases with an arbitrator they ended up making less money playing for other teams. I wonder if that is why so few players end up in front of an arbitrator, because even if they win, they can end up losing.

HOW LONG WILL DEAL BE?

Gagner will likely make between $3.1 and $3.5 million on his new deal, but the better question is how long will his new contract be?

Most arbitration cases end up being one-year deals, so a multi-year deal from the Oilers will instantly be more enticing as long as it is a legit offer.

History suggests there is a good chance the Oilers and Gagner could still sign a long-term deal despite their impending arbitration date.

In 2008, Brooks Laich signed a three-year, $6.2 million deal to stay with the Capitals, Dennis Wideman signed a four-year, $15.75 million pact with the Bruins, Valtteri Filppulla inked a five-year, $15 million deal with the Wings while Pierre-Marc Bouchard signed for five years at $20.4 million.

In 2009, Kyle Brodziak and Tuomo Ruutu signed three-year deals with Minnesota and Carolina, while Travis Zajac and the Devils agreed to a four-year deal before their arbitration hearings.

David Perron filed for arbitration this year, but he signed a four-year deal with the Blues later that day.

My best guess is that Gagner signs for one year, but the Oilers might be better off signing him for three. They wrap him up at a decent price and it likely would make him more attractive to a trading partner. It is easier to trade for a player when you know he won't be a UFA the next season.

PECKHAM SIGNS

The Oilers announced via twitter that they have inked Theo Peckham to a one-year deal worth $1.075 million. The Oilers now have seven D-men on one-way deals, and Justin Schultz on a two-way.

Whitney, N. Schultz, Petry, Smid, Sutton, Potter, Peckham and J. Schultz could all start the season with the Oilers if they choose to keep eight defenders.

In 2010, Peckham was the Oilers 2nd most consistent blueline before Nathan Horton KO'ed him with a heavy shot. Peckham wasn't the same player last year, but I like this signing.

The Oilers depth has been an issue the past few years, and signing Peckham gives them some needed depth on the backend. He needs to regain his on-ice swagger and confidence. If Peckham shows up at camp in great shape and ready to compete for a job on the 3rd pairing he could be a solid addition.

The onus is on Peckham to be ready come September, or whenever camp starts, and prove to the Oilers that he can be as reliable in 2012/2013 as he was in 2010/2011.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 nuge2nail
July 16 2012, 09:18PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

If the Oilers spread out the offence - Gagner can be very effective. Hall and Eberle have had success with Gagner(8 point night) and the line has shown chemistry. Gagner Plays with Oiler Heart, and we can never have too many players like that. Nuge would be huge for Hemsky and Yakupov - he has the ability to make his linemates better. Nuge creates easy offense and seems like he always makes the right play.

Yakupov|Hopkins|Hemsky Hall|Gagner|Eberle Smyth|Horcoff|Hartkainen Eager|Belanger|Petrell

3 years - 10.2 Million would make me happy - Get it done.

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#52 madjam
July 17 2012, 08:17AM
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A TRADE WITH CHICAGO IMMINENT ? Chicago actively seeking a second line center . Horcoff , Landers, Gagner ?

Chicago,like us ,has insufficient quality depth at center if injury bug develops . Gagner supplies us some good depth .

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#53 vetinari
July 17 2012, 10:18AM
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How are we doing on the 50 man list now that Peckham has signed and Gagner's all but guaranteed a spot? Are we close? Will this give Tambi incentive to do a two for one or three for one trade?

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#54 Greg Stink | ESPN
July 17 2012, 11:04AM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

A one year deal takes him to UFA status. Then he walks for nothing after being groomed for 6 years.

Right, I forgot about his UFA status, that would have bad news written all over it. I just hope they don't go too high on a long term until he's actually stepped up his play and proven he can produce points accordingly. Best for both sides that way.

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#55 Pouzar99
July 17 2012, 11:07AM
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No, UFA status kicks in after 7 years. He woul still be an RFA next year after a 1 year contract.

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#56 David S
July 17 2012, 12:07PM
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@nuge2nail

Dude, you have some good thoughts but that ODTF thing MUST DIE.

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#57 Asian on Oilers Nation
July 17 2012, 02:30PM
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@David S

Agreed. It's getting a bit irritating to read. Plus, we all know there will be ODTF so no need to keep saying it :-)

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#58 PeOiler
July 17 2012, 03:41PM
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I'm actually looking forward to the day nuge2nail forgets his catchy lead in. He will feel stupid. Everyone will laugh.

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#59 nuge2nail
July 17 2012, 03:45PM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

Sorry guys - too much negative thoughts, posts and comments over the last 5 years for me. I post that simply to be remind everyone that we have a team that is about to begin dominating.

If I keep getting the same feedback I will stop - I have recieved lots of feedback from posters on here who love it... so thats that.

Onto Oilers News for the day... I heard Sam Gagner is looking for 5 years X 3.75(online searching - no sources obviously).

I dont like the term or dollar, again 3 years X 3.4 would be fair. Oilers should make an offer for Kuba/Roszival/Kubina soon and if an upgrade at D is available they can always make Andy Sutton available to go the other way. Im torn on Sutton to me he seemed solid when he was on the ice, but I love big mean Dmen so maybe im wrong and he is too slow?

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#60 PeOiler
July 17 2012, 03:54PM
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@nuge2nail

Although I dislike the ODTF, I find your comments well thought out and you express your opinion clearly.

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#61 loosemoose
July 17 2012, 05:54PM
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Sign this kid for as long as you can right now.

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#62 loosemoose
July 17 2012, 06:02PM
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itchy trigger finger there....

there are a couple of reasons why;

1-we have zero depth at center.

2-he is consistent. despite people thinking he should be a PPG guy, 40-50 points is nothing to sneeze at.

3-we have all the leverage. if he stays, he'll have Hall, Eberle, Hemsky and Yakupov as possible wingers. Any other teams have an opening on their top two lines with wingers like that?

4-we have the chance to have an Oiler product blossom before our eyes. after watching pretty much any talent the Oilers had walk away or be given away, it would be refreshing to see someone the Oilers drafted, and groomed, play in here in his prime.

5-who else is going to protect our stars? Ben Eager??? puh-leeeze

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#63 Sirjohn
July 18 2012, 06:26AM
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OK, some of you make valid points, 3.5 @ 3 or 5 yrs is a good deal. Sam has really good potential to be a great 2nd center (8 pt night, followed by what a 4pt? 3 pt??) he needed that and after that night he scored more points in the last few months than most all year. He could very well be the 2nd coming of Ryan Smyth, he has heart, grit and loves edm, and every game, whether he scores or not plays his a$$ off. these are the kinds of ppl we need on the team. I for one hope fora long term Contract, lets show the guys who care about the Oilers that we care about them too. Also, Tambo and even Hall reported something about him returning to his natural spot at Center, if needed so that makes a good 3rd center if needed.

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#64 2004Z06
July 18 2012, 09:29AM
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Sam Gagner is not the second coming of Ryan Smyth. Smith is an gritty, in front of the net, dirty goal scorer. Gagner is much more of a finesse player that could never take the punishment Smitty does in front of the net. Pajaarvi could and should be the next Smitty. Big and strong, just needs to get past the fear factor. I would sign Gags to a 3 or 4 year deal at 3.5 per. Then I would package him with a prospect/pic for a top 4 D man. I would then sign a guy like Arnott to a 2 year deal at 2.5 per. He would be the big power center on the second line while our prospect centers develop in the minors. He is a good leader and plays 70+ games per season. Not to mention he is way better in the face off dot than Gags. I like Gags, be we need to be bigger on the top 2 lines. Can't have two small centers as your #1 and #2.

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#65 Pouzar99
July 18 2012, 05:22PM
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Until someone makes the case on here I will continue to maintain that David Perron of St. Louis, who just signed a 4 year, $15.25 million deal to avoid arbitration is the best comparable to Sam Gagner.

Look at the numbers and the basic player profiles and it is obvious. People like Stauffer keep making ridiculous comparisons to contracts signed 4 years ago etc. but it is the Perron deal that established the market for SG. They were both taken in the first round, same year, when straight into the league and their numbers are very, very similar on a per game basis, despite the fact Perron missed more than 90 games with a concussion dished out by Joe Thornton and only returned for the last 57 games of last season.

The Oil might get less on a one-year deal but it they want length they will have to cough up Perron money.

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