Gagner, 33, will be joining the seventh team in his long, successful career that has resulted in more than 500 points and nearly 1,000 games. Perhaps best known for the incredible eight-point game that he had in 2012, the versatile center has been an effective middle-six player for some time.
Last season was actually something of a renaissance for Gagner after his career appeared to be winding down. In 81 games with the Detroit Red Wings, he scored 13 goals and 31 points while logging more short-handed ice time than any other player on the team.
It’s that penalty-killing prowess that the Jets may be interested in, given they finished 28th last season in that category, allowing a goal 25% of the time. Since they lost Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny, two of their PK centers, there should be plenty of opportunities for Gagner to take over that role.
With Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Adam Lowry in place down the middle, Gagner may end up playing some wing at even-strength as well, depending on how things shake out. While he has played center a ton in his career, the last few years have seen him line up on the wall quite a bit as well.
It isn’t a real difference-making signing for the Jets but Gagner does represent a nice veteran add on a minimum contract, with the potential for a bit of surplus value if he can fill a need on the everyday roster.