Anyone know what 'Gagner' means in French? Photo courtesy communities.canada.com

Value Buys


The bad contract.  It’s everywhere.  Almost every team has at least one, and over the past few years, they’re popping up everywhere.

An overpay.  An outlandish offer sheet.  How could they give this player that amount of money over that period of time?  Are they crazy?

On the other side of that token, who has a value contract?   Who is likely to provide the best value for the cap hit?

Here are three worth looking at.


Colin Fraser just might be the best contract on the 2010-11 Edmonton Oilers. Photo courtesy vancouversun.com

COLIN FRASER – $925K cap hit @ 2 years

Colin Fraser is one of the new additions to the Oilers, and he’s a player that this team badly needs.  Fraser will likely see time on the fourth line, and he’ll be relied on to win faceoffs a bit more than he was on Chicago last year.  His win percentage at the dot was right about 49 per cent in 2009-10, and we all realize faceoffs are one statistic that the Oilers need much help in. If Fraser can play in 70 games this year as he did in 2009-10, he’ll be a solid investment in Edmonton for at least he next two years.

MARTIN GERBER – $500K cap hit @ 1yr

What’s going on in Edmonton’s crease?  Who knows?

Edmonton has a glut of goaltenders, some or all who will see action in the NHL this year.  The whole Khabibulin mess could iron itself out, maybe Khabibulin can play 60 pain free games, and maybe his legal woes won’t catch up to him until the end of next season.


Martin Gerber - Photo courtesy Sports Illustrated

Then again, maybe not.  Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Deslauriers are two other candidates that will

likely see time in the NHL this year, but if the stove gets really hot, then Martin Gerber will be on call.  Gerber was on the Hurricane bench in 2006 for their Stanley Cup victory, and also has time in Anaheim, Ottawa, Toronto.  Gerber is likely to start the season in the AHL, but don’t be surprised if he’s pulled up sometime during the year, especially if Khabibulin is unable to play for whatever reason.  At $500K at the NHL level, that’s a great investment for a guy to have on call.

SAM GAGNER – $2M cap hit @ 2 yrs

One of Steve Tambellini’s very good moves this offseason was to lock up centre Sam Gagner for a reasonable price and contract length.

At the conclusion of his current contract, Gagner will still be a restricted free agent, and the contract that will likely define his career will bebased on the upcoming two years of expectations.   A veteran of three NHL seasons at 21 years of age, Gagner is a definite write-in for the 2C position, although he may have a chance to open the season as the team’s top centre, a notion that should only help to serve in motivating Shawn Horcoff.

Have an Oiler that you think fits the “value buy” mold? Let me hear from you in the comments!

The Joey Moss Cup takes place on Tuesday, and the first preseason game of the year takes place on Wednesday against the Canucks. Who’s ready?

Tags: Colin Fraser Contracts Martin Gerber Sam Gagner