However, there is one member of the Oilers that may be playing himself right out of town in Sam Gagner. Gagner will be a restricted free agent after this season, and has scored three goals and five points overall in Edmonton’s last five games. The young star has 25 points for the season in 26 games, and it is likely that the Oilers may not be able to sign him to the kind of contract that he is going to want.
Gagner is only 23-years old, but Edmonton has the problem of having several young stars who they picked high in the draft over recent years that are going to require the same kind of big contract. The Oilers can’t pay everyone, so a decision is going to have to be made about Gagner.
I would think that the best solution would be to consider trading Gagner away and picking up someone who can be under team control for longer with similar ability.
Edmonton is going to be forced to make some sort of move, because letting Gagner slip away without getting some sort of return for him is unacceptable. The Oilers are much better than they have been in quite a while, but with that success come hard choices. The first hard decision seems to have arrived with their young center.