The Edmonton Oilers had one of the young stars file for arbitration last week in Sam Gagner. The clock is now ticking towards the arbitration hearing that is said to be an unpleasant experience for both the player and the team so if both sides want to get a new deal done prior to the meeting, they’d best get working on it now.
Jason Gregor of the Edmonton Journal suggests that a new contract will get signed before the two sides have to square off and plead their case. Gagner filed for arbitration last season and inked a new deal just hours before the scheduled hearing. Gregor is going off of the past success that both the Oilers have had along with the rest of the league when it comes to avoiding the nasty hearings that have gotten personal in the past.
It’s still hard to believe that Gagner could be an unrestricted free-agent next season and that he’s only 23-years old. Already considered a veteran on the team, Gagner is just now coming into his own in terms of finding his NHL game that saw him post a career best points per game average last season.
He earned $3.2 million last year on a one-year deal. He’ll get a raise this summer, no questions asked whether Craig MacTavish gives it to him or the moderator in the arbitration hearing decides to. The length of the deal could be the sticking point but at least we know that Gagner wants to stay in Edmonton long-term.
The arbitration hearings are set to begin on July 22 in Toronto and no word yet as to when Gagner is scheduled to take the floor. Meaning a new deal needs to be ironed out in the next week to three weeks depending on when the Oilers and Gagner are assigned to be in Toronto. Plenty of time to get a new deal done but will it be for multiple years? Or will Gagner be allowed to potentially test the free-agent waters next summer? So many questions and so few answers as of right now.
For now, we want to know if you think Sam Gagner and the Oilers will go to arbitration or if they’ll settle prior to the scheduled hearing.
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