Sam Gagner

Gagner, Oilers going down to the wire in contract talks


On June 25, it was reported that the Edmonton Oilers had made restricted free agent Sam Gagner a contract offer.

But today, a couple of weeks (and a whole lot of other Oilers news) later, a deal has yet to be signed.

According to general manager Craig MacTavish, the next step in the process could be arbitration.

“I would think that Sam would (go to arbitration),” MacTavish said. “We’re still hopeful that we can get a deal done soon.”

Gagner, 25, finished second in team scoring last year with 14 goals and 24 assists.

For the Oilers, the problem with going to arbitration is that the maximum term that could be awarded is one year, which would leave the talented center — who’s already got six NHL seasons under his belt — a pending unrestricted free agent.

We’ve seen these games of chicken before in RFA negotiations. If Gagner truly wants to be in Edmonton, it’s hard to imagine the two sides don’t negotiate a long-term deal by themselves.

Still, we’ll be keeping an eye on this story. A trade isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Of note, the deadline for players to file for arbitration is tomorrow at 5 p.m. If Gagner does file, a deal could still be reached after that, prior to the actual hearing. 

Related: Stars acquire Horcoff from Oilers for Larsen, pick

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.