Could Sam Gagner become trade bait this summer? Is oft-injured Sabre Jochen Hecht considering retirement?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis wonders if Sam Gagner would still be with the Oilers if he hadn’t had an eight-point game against Chicago on February 2, noting Gagner has had 14 points in 22 games since, pointing out he would’ve been on pace for 42 points in 66 games if he hadn’t had that big game. Willis bears Gagner no malice, but wonders if he still has a future with the Oilers, or becomes a trade chip this summer for a defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Willis noted, Gagner is a restricted free agent this summer, and the cost of re-signing him could be a factor in whether or not he remains an Oiler. Gagner is a consistent 40-point forward, and is only 22, but after five seasons, he’s yet to show if he’s finally ready for that offensive breakout that’s been expected of him for some time.
BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl recently reported oft-injured Sabres forward Jochen Hecht, who’ll be a UFA this summer, doesn’t feel as though he’s done and isn’t considering retirement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unfortunately for Hecht, that decision could be made for him, at least as far as his NHL career is concerned, as his injury history could significantly dampen interest in him this summer. I doubt the Sabres will re-sign him.