Jul 9, 2013, 1:53 PM EDT
But today, a couple of weeks (and a whole lot of other Oilers news) later, a deal has yet to be signed.
According to general manager Craig MacTavish, the next step in the process could be arbitration.
“I would think that Sam would (go to arbitration),” MacTavish said. “We’re still hopeful that we can get a deal done soon.”
Gagner, 25, finished second in team scoring last year with 14 goals and 24 assists.
For the Oilers, the problem with going to arbitration is that the maximum term that could be awarded is one year, which would leave the talented center — who’s already got six NHL seasons under his belt — a pending unrestricted free agent.
We’ve seen these games of chicken before in RFA negotiations. If Gagner truly wants to be in Edmonton, it’s hard to imagine the two sides don’t negotiate a long-term deal by themselves.
Still, we’ll be keeping an eye on this story. A trade isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Of note, the deadline for players to file for arbitration is tomorrow at 5 p.m. If Gagner does file, a deal could still be reached after that, prior to the actual hearing.
- NHL hockey ops explains no-goal call 16
- Jack Adams Award finalists to be announced tonight 3
- Video: Flames stun Ducks in OT to get back in the series 9
- Video: Controversial no-goal call on Flames 14
- Video: Crawford, Kane help Blackhawks push Wild to brink of elimination 53
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 1
- Prust apologizes for all the stuff he said about referee Watson 49
- Flyers will be ‘extremely patient’ with youngsters, but ‘want a winner as soon as possible’ 25
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight 16
- Holtby outduels Lundqvist as Caps take series lead 52
- Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits (103)
- ‘You can’t win,’ ex-NHL ref Fraser says of Prust incident (83)
- Lightning’s Bishop silences Red Wings in hard fought Game 7 (81)
- Babcock won’t discuss future yet, but sees challenges ahead for Wings (79)
- New York second: Capitals stun Rangers for 1-0 series lead (76)