EDMONTON - General Manager Craig MacTavish said Tuesday that the Oilers are discussing the possibility of a long-term contract extension with centre Sam Gagner.
The 23-year-old recorded 14 goals and 38 points this past season. While the 2012-13 campaign was a shortened one due to the work stoppage, Gagner set a new career high with a points-per-game percentage of 0.79.
"The conversations that I've had with Sam and his representative Jeff Jackson have been extremely amicable," MacTavish said. "At some point, we as an organization have to start rewarding people that really embody the characteristics that we hold in high regard."
Gagner, a restricted free agent, is coming off a one-year deal that paid him $3.2M. He could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.
"There are a lot of reasons why we want to get Sam on a long-term contract," MacTavish said. "Am I optimistic that will happen? I think I am at this point, but there is a price point, too. We'll have a decision to make. Certainly I like the player and like a lot of things about him.
"He's gone through a lot of lean years here and he's a big part of the solution moving forward.
"I hope we can get a deal done."
The 5-foot-11, 199-pound pivot has recorded 91 goals and 258 points in 414 career games over the past seven seasons. His 38 points last season were second only to Taylor Hall, who led the orange and blue with 50.
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com | Follow me on Twitter @ryandittrick