What Will Sam Gagner’s New Contract Look Like?


Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Montréal’s David Desharnais has just been awarded a new deal worth fourteen million dollars over a four year period. As with most things, some folks are OK with it, some aren’t so much.

Desharnais’ new deal got me thinking about Sam Gagner.

Gagner is just 23, yet he’ll have completed his sixth year in the NHL when this year ends.

Let’s take a look at his numbers this year, his numbers career-wise, some numbers with decimals, and some numbers with dollar signs around them.


Six years in the NHL for Gagner, and up to and including today, he’s got 245 career points in 392 career games, which works out to .625 points per game, or about 5 points per eight games.  Jamie Benn (.73 PPG) and Patrick Kane (.94 PPG) are the only two regulars who have a better points per game average than Gagner, although Gagner has played nearly 150 more games than Jamie Benn. Gagner is just a whisker above Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek (.61 PPG).


As for this year, Gagner has 25 points in 26 games, good for 27th in the league.  He’s got 10 goals on seventy shots, giving him a shooting percentage of 14.3.  That’s a little high, but it’s not so high that he’s likely to regress as hard as Jordan Eberle has this year.  Gagner is averaging nearly a point per game, and it’s not all a stretch that he could average   He’s leading the Edmoton Oilers in scoring so far, and that’s pretty impressive considering who else is in the top six.  I sure didn’t have Gagner picked to lead the team in scoring this year, and I doubt many others did.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has had difficulty finding the net this year, and Sam Gagner has helped pick up a bit. With 25 points, Gagner has had his hand in just about 40% of the team’s 64 goals so far.

Gagner might not be at point per game at the end of the year, but he’ll likely be close.


One of the biggest complaints I have about this year’s Oilers (and last year’s Oilers, and the ones before that) is how they’re getting shellacked in the shots category nearly every game.  Gagner’s Corsi-On (-13.68) is a lot lower than you’d like a top six player to have, but when compared to his RelCorsi (-1.7) it shows that  he’s not the root of the problem.  The Oilers have been out-chanced a total of 25 of 27 games this year, and when any of 4, 14, 93, or 91 aren’t on the ice, everyone else drops off to some degree.  Fortunately for Gagner, his drop off isn’t a whole lot.

Quick and dirty:  Gagner isn’t the big reason why the Oilers yield a boatload of shots.  If you want something to bust his chops for, here.


Whatever he’s signed for, the Oilers will want to make this one count.  So will Gagner. This is Gagner’s last year of restricted free agent eligibility,  so I would imagine his deal will be four or five years.   Gagner’s deal was worth 3.2M this year, and he’s going to get a raise.  He’s outperforming every year of his career so far, which is something you want.  My only wish is that the Oilers don’t strap themselves in the future.  There’s always the chance (however small) that Gagner takes a look around and sees two guys making $6M each next year, and he’ll want to be closer to them than closer to

If I had to throw a dart, I’d say four or five years averaging around 4.5-4.75M per.


  • Kris Versteeg was given a four year deal (4.5 M avg)  in Florida after a 46 point season in Toronto/Philly.  That might not be a solid one to open with, because Dale Tallon was going nuts at the time, and now he’s got a fire sale going on.
  • Ville Leino – no, not this one either.  Ugh. Leino was given a 6 year deal in 2011 averaging 4.5M a season after a 53 point season with Philadelphia.  Suffice to say this one hasn’t worked out all that well yet.
  • Andrew Ladd was given a five year deal by Winnipeg in 2011 at a 4.4M ave after a 50 point season.
  • Loui Eriksson was given a six year deal by Dallas in 2010 at a 4.25M average after a 71 point season.

What do you think Sam Gagner’s next contract will look like?

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