The Edmonton Oilers and center Sam Gagner have agreed on a one-year, $3.2 million contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for Friday.
"It's obviously a long process but … I'm really excited it's over with," Gagner told the Oilers' website. "Arbitration is something you want to avoid if you can. I'm just happy something got done and I'm signed up for next year."
Gagner, 22, set a career-high last season in goals (18) and was a plus-5, the first time in his five seasons he had a positive plus/minus.
The highlight of his season came Feb. 2, when he had four goals and four assists in the Oilers' 8-4 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was the first eight-point NHL game since Mario Lemieux on Dec. 31, 1988, and Gagner joined Lemieux as the only players to score eight points in a game with one on each of his team's goals.
Gagner said there had been talks for a longer-term contract, but for now, he said he and the club are happy with this deal.
"I think at the end of the day this kind of worked out for the best," he said. "I think there's still an opportunity to stay in Edmonton long term. I need to have another good year this year and continue to solidify myself as a good NHL player and reach new levels. I'm excited about that opportunity and excited to get going next year."
Taken by the Oilers with the sixth pick of the 2007 NHL Draft, Gagner has 77 goals and 143 assists in 366 NHL games.
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues and T.J. Oshie avoided an arbitration hearing Friday after agreeing to a five-year, $20.875 million contract late Thursday night.
The 25-year-old Oshie, who is coming off of career highs in goals (19), assists (35), points (54) and games played (80), was a restricted free agent who made $2.35 million on a one-year contract in 2011-12. He was the Blues' first-round pick (No. 24) in the 2005 NHL Draft. His 54 points were tied for the team lead last season.
"We're obviously excited to have T.J. under contract as he enters the prime of his career and to know that we'll have him through that portion," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "It's very rewarding and we think he's a big piece of our team from last year and he's a big piece moving forward."
St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie, who is coming off a 54-point season, avoided arbitration Friday by signing a five-year deal with the club. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Blues and Oshie were set to have an arbitration hearing Friday at 10 a.m. ET, when both sides would have presented their respective cases for a contract, which would be either a one- or two-year term of the team's choice. A deal between the two sides at some point leading up to the hearing always seemed like the most likely end result.
"Arbitration is just a tool that both sides have available to them," Armstrong said. "It's just a piece of the process. We exchange briefs and we get an idea where each side is coming from. I think everyone's comfortable with the business side of it that you try not to have any hangover of emotion based on an arbitration hearing.
"We knew today at 9 a.m. (CT), we were going to put T.J.'s fate in someone else's hands and we both decided it was best to try and see if we can work out something together."
After playing in only 49 games during a 2010-11 season that included some off-ice issues, the Blues gave Oshie a one-year deal to prove himself. Oshie proved worthy of a long-term commitment with a solid season that helped the Blues to the second-most points in franchise history with 109. Adding veteran coach Ken Hitchcock also was a catalyst in Oshie's success.
"We certainly thought he had a good, productive season last year," Armstrong said of Oshie. "A lot of the things that we were looking for as far as consistency on the ice, the ability to play 80 games was there. I also think with the coaching change, I think he embraced the new coach and someone with Ken's experience obviously he became a valuable player for our franchise with the amount of ice time he got. He and David Backes mirror each other. We know what David means to our team, so I just felt knowing Ken was here and knowing what T.J. means to the team and how he's coached by Ken just made it a natural movement to get him signed for a longer term as possible and we were able to do that."
Add this contract to the recent signing of David Perron to a four-year deal, and the Blues now have a good portion of their core group under contract for the long term. Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk will be restricted free agents after the 2012-13 season and are likely the next targets for long-term deals.
The Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to terms with forward Tim Wallace on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Wallace $700,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 at the minor-league level.
"Tim is a versatile forward and played well with Tampa Bay to finish the year," Ron Francis, Carolina's vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement Thursday. "He has a good amount of pro experience and should challenge for a spot with the Hurricanes in training camp."
Wallace, 27, split the 2011-12 season between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring three goals and adding six assists for nine points in 49 games. All three goals and five of the six assists came in 16 games with the Lightning after Tampa Bay claimed him on waivers from the Islanders on Feb. 23.
After playing four years of college hockey at Notre Dame, Wallace signed with Pittsburgh in the fall of 2006 and played five seasons in the Penguins' system before signing with the Islanders as a free agent last summer. Wallace has scored three goals and earned eight assists for 11 points in 79 career NHL regular-season games with Pittsburgh, the Islanders and Tampa Bay. He has 84 goals and 157 points along with 307 penalty minutes in 328 AHL regular-season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport.
Nashville Predators All-Star defenseman Shea Weber has agreed to an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers announced the signing in a release Thursday morning.
TSN's Darren Dreger, who first reported the story, says the deal is for 14 years and more than $100 million. Those terms were not confirmed in the club's press release.
Nashville has a week to decide whether to match the offer. If they Predators opt not to do so, it is believed they will receive a package of four first-round draft picks from the Flyers, although compensation depends on the annual average value of the contract. The Flyers' first-round pick has been no higher than No. 20 in each of the past four drafts.
Dreger reported Nashville was working on a trade and it's believed several deadlines passed before the Flyers grew tired of waiting and Weber -- a restricted free agent -- signed the offer sheet.
Weber, the runner-up for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, has one year remaining before he's eligible for unrestricted free agency. He turns 27 on Aug. 14 and is coming off a season in which he scored 19 goals and added 30 assists for 49 points. He was a First-Team All-Star for the second straight season and barely lost the Norris to Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.
Weber has played his entire NHL career with Nashville, which picked him in the second round (No. 49) in the 2003 NHL Draft.
The signing comes just two weeks after the Predators lost their other All-Star defenseman, Ryan Suter. He signed a 13-year, $98 million contract with the Minnesota Wild on July 4.
The Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Kyle Quincey have agreed on a two-year contract that will keep the sides from taking part in a scheduled arbitration hearing. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, but TSN is reporting Quincey will be paid $3.55 million in 2012-13 and $4 million in 2013-14.
The hearing had been scheduled for July 25.
Quincey was acquired by the Red Wings on Feb. 21 as part of a three-team trade that saw Quincey go from Colorado to Detroit, Steve Downie go from Tampa Bay to Colorado, and a prospect and a 2012 first-round pick go from Detroit to Tampa Bay.
The Ottawa Senators on Wednesday re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jim O'Brien to a two-year contract that the team says is worth $1.275 million, an average annual value of $637,500.
"It’s nice to have a contract, but I’m looking at it like any other year," O'Brien told the Ottawa Citizen. "I have a lot to prove to myself and my teammates."
O'Brien split the 2011-12 season between Ottawa and the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. After scoring seven goals and adding seven assists for 14 points in 27 games at Binghamton, he was called up by the Senators on Feb. 3. O'Brien scored three times and added three assists for six points in 28 games. He scored his first NHL goal in Ottawa's 6-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 15.
The 23-year-old also played in each of the seven playoff games of Ottawa's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers. His lone point was an assist on Kyle Turris' game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4 on April 18.
"He showed the rest of our young guys in the organization that if you work had and you’re a good citizen and do what we ask you to do in Binghamton, we will certainly call you up and give you a chance," assistant general manager Tim Murray told the newspaper.
The native of Maplewood, Minn., was Ottawa's first-round pick (No. 29) in the 2007 NHL Draft, He has six points in 34 NHL games and 78 points in 183 games at the AHL level, where he helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.
The Senators also announced they have signed defenseman Eric Gryba to a two-year, two-way contract.
Gryba, 24, spent last season with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. He established career highs in goals (five), assists (15) and games (73), and recorded 98 penalty minutes.
"He made big strides last year ... so we just expect him to get better and better," Murray told the newspaper. "I believe he can come to training camp and compete for a job at the (NHL)."
I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.
— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday