Sam Gagner celebrating with the Oilers
Photo credit: Edmonton Journal

Insider reveals the real reason why the Oilers waived Sam Gagner

Published March 6, 2024 at 9:34

Earlier today, the Oilers made a bit of a shocking move by placing the veteran fan favourite Sam Gagner on waivers. Now 34 years old, Gagner is back on the Oilers this season on a league minimum contract, and has produced nicely in very limited minutes. None of that really matters though, as an Oilers insider revealed that the team waived Gagner because he doesn't fit Knoblauch's desired lineup.

If Gagner doesn't get claimed on waivers, the Oilers plan on trying to keep him with the NHL club as an extra forward instead of going down to Bakersfield for the year.

While the Oilers do gain some cap space by sending Gagner through waivers, they could've sent down several other forwards like Connor Brown, Derek Ryan, or even the waiver-exempt Dylan Holloway over the Gagner, who's been the most productive of the bunch. Despite outscoring every other bottom six player, Knoblauch believes the Oilers best lineup doesn't include Gagner, and that's the true reason why he's been sent down.

If this is the last Oilers fans see of Gagner for a while, it'll be a disappointing end to his tenure in Edmonton. With the expectation being that the Oilers could trade for multiple forwards at the deadline, it could be harder for Gagner to find his way back into the lineup down the stretch, but he will serve as quality depth in the AHL.

It's very possible that Gagner isn't thrilled with being on waivers and the potential of having to move to a new city and begin playing for a new team again in his age 34 season. Last time a hometown veteran was waived like this was Jason Spezza, who actually said he would retire if anyone else claimed him. Teams could very well be interested in Gagner, which is leading fans to wonder, could Gagner do the same thing to stay in Edmonton?

We'll have to wait until after the deadline to see how everything pans out, but all Oilers fans are hoping that Gagner hasn't played his last game yet. Hopefully the 1000 game veteran can make his way back into the lineup at some point.
March 6   |   618 answers
Insider reveals the real reason why the Oilers waived Sam Gagner

Should the Oilers have waived Gagner?

Yes, doesn't fit the lineup anymore17328 %
No, he's better than other players37460.5 %
See Results7111.5 %
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