Skip to content

Oilers’ Gagner enjoys “high pace” of Austrian league

Dec 31, 2012, 1:50 PM EST

Sam Gagner AP

Don’t put Sam Gagner on the list of locked-out NHLers disappointed with their time playing abroad.

The Edmonton forward has been plying his trade with Klagenfurter of the Austrian League during the work stoppage, and recently told the Edmonton Sun he’s thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“It was a good opportunity for me to play and develop as a player,” Gagner explained. “It’s a league with a really high pace, so it forces me to really move my legs and I think that’s a really good thing for me going forward.”

The 23-year-old is currently on hiatus from Klagenfurter — he was part of Team Canada’s Spengler Cup-winning side — and it’s unclear if he’ll return to Austria, or head back to North America to wait for the start of the NHL season.

Either way, Gagner’s time in the EBEL (Erste Bank Eishockey Liga) has been a positive.

He racked up 10G-8A-18PTS in 19 games and also reunited with former Oilers teammate Andrew Cogliano, now with the Anaheim Ducks.

Cogliano also relished his time in Austria, albeit in a different manner than Gagner.

The Ducks forward joined Klagenfurter last month and described the experience as a reality check, citing long bus rides, small crowds and questionable officiating that made him appreciative of what he has in the NHL.

“It really does humble you,” he told the Toronto Star. “I know when I go back I won’t be taking much for granted. I can see myself playing even harder now [with the Ducks] and make sure I’m fighting for my job every game because we have it really good back home.

“We do things in the NHL that guys here wouldn’t even imagine.”

Latest Posts
  1. Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc

    Jan 27, 2015, 10:45 PM EST

    Maxim Lapierre AP

    Both players are unrestricted free agents after this season.

  2. Halak, Islanders beat the Rangers for a third time this season

    Jan 27, 2015, 10:15 PM EST

    Travis Hamonic, Jaroslav Halak AP

    Okposo missed his first game due to an upper body injury.

  3. Video: Habs’ Emelin ejected for hit on Stars’ Spezza

    Jan 27, 2015, 9:30 PM EST

    Alexei Emelin. Alexei Emelin.

    Received a major penalty and a game misconduct for boarding.

  4. Stars’ Nichushkin begins skating

    Jan 27, 2015, 8:30 PM EST

    Valeri Nichushkin Valeri Nichushkin

    The 19-year-old underwent hip surgery in November.

  5. Video: Mason replaces Emery in the Flyers’ net

    Jan 27, 2015, 8:05 PM EST

    Steve Mason AP

    The Philly starter allowed two goals on the first four shots.

  6. Report: Canucks take Markstrom off the market

    Jan 27, 2015, 7:35 PM EST

    Jacob Markstrom Jacob Markstrom

    Jim Benning was “exploring” a trade for the goaltender.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Hurricanes (7:30 p.m. ET)

    Jan 27, 2015, 6:30 PM EST

    J.T. Brown, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Drouin AP

    Tampa has won both meetings between the two clubs this season.

  8. Coyotes could give Domi his NHL debut this season, says Maloney

    Jan 27, 2015, 5:06 PM EST

    Phoenix Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks Phoenix Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks

    “There’s a potential even to bring him to Arizona for at least a cup of coffee at the end of the year.”

  9. Isles begin life without Okposo, but get Grabovski back tonight

    Jan 27, 2015, 3:33 PM EST

    Mikhail Grabovski, Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Okposo Mikhail Grabovski, Lubomir Visnovsky, Kyle Okposo

    He’ll play on the top line with John Tavares and Josh Bailey against the Rangers.

  10. The Wild don’t want to stress themselves out thinking about the standings

    Jan 27, 2015, 2:20 PM EST

    Dallas Stars v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    “We know what the standings look like. That’s no secret. But we can’t make up all those points this week.”

  11. Report: Oilers owner tried to use Hamilton as leverage in arena negotiations

    Jan 27, 2015, 1:38 PM EST

    Daryl Katz Getty Images

    We already knew he tried to use Seattle for the same purpose.

  12. Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM (Updated)

    Jan 27, 2015, 1:23 PM EST

    Martin Brodeur Getty Images

    And so ends one of the most storied goaltending careers in NHL history.

Featured video

Who will excite most in All-Star game?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Letang (4192)
  2. E. Malkin (3747)
  3. S. Crosby (3529)
  4. S. Bobrovsky (3052)
  5. P. Hornqvist (2929)
  1. C. Price (2904)
  2. J. Ortio (2441)
  3. T. Johnson (2286)
  4. P. Rinne (2154)
  5. Z. Rinaldo (1899)