The Blue Jackets have officially signed center Sam Gagner to a one year contract, the team announced. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports that the deal is worth $650K. The signing should come as little surprise as it was reported over the weekend that Columbus was nearing a deal with the 26 year old.
Last season was the worst of Gagner’s career. He played in 53 games with the Flyers, recording just 16 points (eight goals and eight assists) while averaging just 13:52 per game. After clearing waivers, he spent some time with Philadelphia’s AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley, picking up a goal and five assists in nine games. That marked the first minor league action for Gagner as he originally made the jump to the NHL straight out of junior.
This will be the fourth different team Gagner has suited up for in as many seasons despite spending seven seasons with Edmonton to start his career. Overall, he has played in 615 NHL games between the Oilers, Coyotes, and Flyers, scoring 124 goals and 228 assists while playing an average of 16:56 per game.
Gagner was ranked 46th on PHR’s Top 50 UFA list. We predicted that he would be forced to sign a cheap one year deal in the hopes of re-establishing his value but we figured he would have landed a $1MM contract. He’ll likely battle for a bottom six roster spot with Columbus along with youngsters from their Calder Cup winning AHL team.
[Related: Blue Jackets’ Depth Chart]
With the signing, the Blue Jackets now have just over $3.8MM in cap space according to Cap Friendly. However, that figure only factors a minimum-sized roster of 20 players so their actual amount of space to work with is lower than that.