Sam Gagner #89 of the Edmonton Oilers is congratulated by teammates Ryan after Gagner scored a goal against the San Jose Sharks in the second period at HP Pavilion on January 31, 2013 in San Jose, California.
(January 30, 2013 - Source: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)

Oilers, Gagner avoid arbitration — agree to three-year, $14.4 million contract


The Edmonton Oilers and 23-year-old forward Sam Gagner waited until the last minute to avoid arbitration. The two sides had a hearing scheduled for this morning, but the Oilers announced that they have agreed to a three-year contract.

The deal comes with a $4.8 million cap hit, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Gagner was asking for $5.5 million in arbitration while the Edmonton Oilers countered with $3.5 million.

Gagner has never recorded more than 49 points in a single season, but he did well during the shortened campaign with 14 goals and 38 points in 48 contests. He also showed a flash of brilliance on Feb. 2, 2012 when he scored four goals and eight points in a single game. That was part of a five-game hot streak where Gagner netted eight goals and registered seven assists.

With Gagner locked up, he’ll join Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, David Perron, and Boyd Gordon as the only forwards the Oilers have signed to one-way contracts through at least 2015-16.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

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The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith