Report: Oilers looking to bring back veteran Sam Gagner

And just like that Gagner's NHL career comes full circle.


According to a report from Kurt Leavins of The Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers have had discussions with veteran free agent forward Sam Gagner about returning to Edmonton on a one year deal.

The 33 year old Gagner was once seen as a player whom the Oilers could build around early on in his career and was part of the team's young core that featured players like Jordan Eberle, Andrew Cogliano, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Now, only Nugent-Hopkins remains in Edmonton and he's one of the team's veterans supporting the new young core of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Gagner's departure from the Oilers back in 2014 signaled a bit of a changing of the guard in Edmonton, one that eventually netted the team McDavid and a new era.

If indeed Gagner does end up back in Edmonton, it would be his third go around with the team who drafted him 6th overall way back in 2007. He played with the Oilers initially from 2007 until 2014 and then in 2019-20. He has bounced around the NHL and the AHL the past few years, but has put up surprisingly consistent numbers along the way. He scored a very respectable 13 goals and 31 points in 81 games with the Detroit Red Wings last season, his best campaign in five years. He's a speedy player who has always been able to rely on his foot speed and his quick thinking to put him in the right position. He's never going to match the improbable 8 point night he put together in 2012 and he's never going to run players through the boards, but he can be a reliable depth option capable of chipping in some points while playing a defensively responsible game. Given that the Oilers are cap strapped and are in need of some quality veteran leadership, I think they could do a lot worse than Sam Gagner.