Earlier this month, Oilers GM Ken Holland mentioned that he’d like to add more depth to his roster although, for the time being, he doesn’t have the cap space to do so once he re-signs RFA Ryan McLeod. But that hasn’t stopped him from having discussions with free agents and Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal reports that one of the players they’ve spoken with is veteran winger Sam Gagner.
The 33-year-old is no stranger to Edmonton having played for them on a couple of occasions in the past. He spent seven years with them after being drafted by them sixth overall back in 2007 before returning in 2019 for parts of two more seasons. With 317 points in 542 games with them, he sits 21st on their all-time scoring list.
Gagner hasn’t done a lot of scoring in recent years, however, with just one season of more than ten goals since 2016-17. Fortunately for him, the one time he did that since then was last season with Detroit when he put up 13 goals and 18 assists in 81 games, all but two of those coming at even strength. That type of depth scoring should be appealing to some teams but right now, it’s not a desirable market for veteran role players with so many teams at or near the cap ceiling.
Gagner is 33 games shy of reaching the 1,000 games played mark. At this point, it’s likely that he’ll have to settle for a minimum contract if he wants to have a chance of getting to that mark in 2022-23. A return to where it all began certainly makes some sense for the Oilers but only if they can find a way to free up enough cap space to bring him back for a third stint with the team.
Detroit should have brought Sam back. A Much better player than Adam Earne or Philip Zadina.
Stevie Y is clueless!