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Gagner, Oilers reach deal, avoid arbitration

Monday, 07.22.2013 / 1:06 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

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Gagner, Oilers reach deal, avoid arbitration
The Oilers announced Monday the club has agreed to terms on a new three-year deal with restricted free agent Sam Gagner.

The Edmonton Oilers announced Monday the club has agreed to terms on a new three-year contract with restricted free agent center Sam Gagner. Financial details of the deal were not released, but TSN is reporting the total value at $14.4 million for an average annual value of $4.8 million. The contract reportedly includes a no-movement clause in the second season.

The deal avoids a salary-arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday afternoon.

"It's nice to get something done," Gagner told Sportsnet. "I wanted to be an Oiler and to get something done. I'm pretty happy we were able to avoid going in there [arbitration hearing room] and getting a deal done. It's a good feeling."

Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish said Gagner's desire to remain with the organization resonated with him.

"I know Sam doesn't want to go anywhere -- he's an Oiler," MacTavish told Sportsnet. "He was fearful that if he did sign a long-term deal without any control he wouldn't be able to stay in Edmonton and see this whole thing through to a high level of competitiveness. I understood that argument."

Gagner, 23, was second on the Oilers last season with 38 points in 48 games. Taken by the Oilers with the sixth pick of the 2007 NHL Draft, Gagner has 91 goals and 258 points in 414 NHL games, all with the Oilers.

As a part of a core group that includes Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz, Gagner said he feels he's ready to raise his level of play as expectations have been raised for the Oilers.

"They believed in me," Gagner said. "I was part of their core going forward. That gives me confidence, but the end of the day it's about me going out and showing what I'm capable of. I feel I have lot left to prove. Last year was a good year for me, but there's a different level I want to get to."

Quote of the Day

The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
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