Monday, October 1, 2007

Oilers sign Gagner to three-year deal

TSN reports that the Oilers have signed everyone's favourite Proudfoot to a three-year entry-level deal today worth the maximum $875,000 per year with an annual signing bonus of $87,500.

This makes Gagner the first rookie in 14 years to make the Oilers in his draft year since Jason Arnott. I don't know if this is a testament to how well he's played or how shallow the forward ranks are in Edmonton this year — it's probably a little bit of both. But I think we can all agree that Gagner has earned his shot. MacT certainly seems high on the guy:

"I like the way Sam thinks the game mentally. I don't know if there was one time in the pre-season where I had to talk to Sam when he came off the ice about where he should be (defensively)," said Oiler coach Craig MacTavish.

"You can tell he's been well-coached by his dad. That's invaluable."

That's a big thumbs-up from a coach who's not prone to hyperbole. Gagner will be in the lineup opening night against the Sharks, playing on a line with Cogliano and Pouliot, says Matheson. He'll probably get his nine games and return to the OHL, but it'll be interesting to see what happens if we get to Game Eight and Samwise has six or seven points under his belt.

Exciting stuff.

Black Dog and Scarlett have their takes up, and the latter also notes that Hockeybuzz has Patrick Thoresen listed on waivers. Too bad if that's true. I know this league is long on hard-working energy wingers with limited offensive potential, but I've got a shiny toonie that says he doesn't make it to the minors. Blue Jackets sure could use a guy like Thor.

UPDATE 6 p.m.: Tencer is reporting that the Oilers have released Anson Carter. No real surprise here.


Kirk said...

Anyone see that Smith is the Flyers' new captain? For some reason, that stings a little.

Anonymous said...

Cool thing is that the Oil can keep him up for as long as 40 games and then send him to the AHL and it still doesn't count towards his first year(UFA status wise). Good news for the Oilers as I now believe that they will keep him as long as he is useful and then send him to the Falcons for a higher level of competition than the OHL as he has already shown he is past that skill level. Good day for the OIl.

Pleasure Motors said...

Zach Stortini had better not be on our opening night roster if Patrick Thoresen ends up somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Gagner, Cogliano and Pouliot sounds like a reasonable line, except that they're all centres.


Temujin said...

Both Gagner and Cogliano looked good in that game against the Canucks the other night. And I won't shed any tears for Anson Carter. How must it feel for him to be cut from an Oilers roster that can be considered "shallow" at best. Karma's a bitch.

Alex said...

I'm not really sure why Stortini is even getting much consideration. Reports are that he isn't hitting much in camp and he still has a lot of work to do on his fighting before he's a real valuable enforcer. So he's hardly bringing any energy. Thoresen on the other hand, the guy can play the game so well even if his offensive game might need a bit of work in the AHL.

So yeah if Stortini makes this team but Thoresen gets claimed on waivers, I am going to cry.

Chris! said...

Stortini hasn't really earned his spot at all, but he's the closest thing the Oilers have to an enforcer, even if he's not all that good a fighter.

My guess is they feel the need to keep him around to make sure Souray focuses on scoring goals and doesn't end up breaking his hand on someone's face.

Stortini is an expendable punching bag on a small and not very tough team.

cjl said...

I don't think you can put Gagner in the AHL, even with the 40 games, can you? Isn't there a 20-year-old age limit?

If so, then they'd just have to sit him for half the season to avoid the contract issue.

Steve said...

Actually, they can send him back to junior after forty games, and effectively delay the start of the contract by a year. It would really be a no-brainer, if it didn't put the Oilers at their maximum number of contracts.

Rod said...

Um, no. Once Gagner plays ten games in the NHL, the first year on the deal ticks off. Pretty sure he's up here all year too (though I could be wrong on that part).

The 40 games thing is just in regards to the new CBA rules for UFA eligibility down the road.

So, looking at this season:
- beyond 9 games, it'll count as his first year on the three year deal
- beyond 40 games, it'll count as a year toward the 8 necessary for initial UFA status (I think it's 8 now...)

In any case, the kid's earned the nine game look. Looking forward to it.

Kirsten said...