Sam Gagner

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Sam Gagner
Sam Gagner 2012.jpg
Gagner with the Edmonton Oilers in 2012
Born (1989-08-10) August 10, 1989 (age 32)
London, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Detroit Red Wings
Edmonton Oilers
Arizona Coyotes
Philadelphia Flyers
Columbus Blue Jackets
Vancouver Canucks
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 6th overall, 2007
Edmonton Oilers
Playing career 2007–present

Sam William Gagner (born August 10, 1989) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round, 6th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and played there for the first seven years of his NHL career. He also played one season each for the Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Vancouver Canucks before returning to Edmonton in 2019, he was shipped to the Detroit Red Wings on the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline and re-signed for 1 year after the COVID-19 shortened season.

Playing career[edit]


Gagner played midget hockey with the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) in 2004–05.[1] He scored 173 points and was awarded the Buck Houle Award, a Marlboros team award given for outstanding on ice performance and leadership.[2] The same season, he made his junior debut, playing 13 games for the Milton Icehawks of the OPJHL, scoring 15 points. His dad was the coach of his minor hockey career.[3] In 2005–06, he joined the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and scored 46 points in 56 games, second in team scoring.[4] Along the way, Gagner played with future NHLer John Tavares on the Marlboros and later the Icehawks. As early as 2002, the pair also honed their skills and became friends on a backyard rink built by Sam's dad Dave in Oakville.[5]

Gagner originally committed to play hockey at the collegiate level for the University of Wisconsin–Madison,[citation needed] but later decided to stay closer to home by playing for a Canadian major junior hockey team. Considered a first round talent, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s London Knights selected him in the fourth round of the 2005 OHL Entry Draft on a flyer, as his commitment to play college hockey deterred many OHL teams from drafting him. Joined by future NHL stars Patrick Kane and Sergei Kostitsyn on the Knights' top line in 2006–07, Gagner scored 118 points in 53 games, fifth in OHL scoring. He also captained Team Burns/Bergeron (Red) in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game to a 5–3 victory over Team Bowman/Demers (White).


Edmonton Oilers[edit]

Gagner was drafted in the first round, sixth overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. On October 1, 2007, he was then signed to a three-year, entry-level contract with the Oilers. He played his first NHL game on October 4 in a 3–2 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks and earned his first NHL point, assisting on a goal scored by defenceman Tom Gilbert.[6] On October 20, Gagner scored his first career NHL goal against Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames.[7]

As the NHL's youngest player in 2007–08,[8] he tallied 49 points in 79 games playing between wingers and fellow rookies Andrew Cogliano and Robert Nilsson on a combination dubbed the "Kid Line." During the season, Gagner participated in the 2008 NHL YoungStars Game in Atlanta as part of All-Star weekend and was also named the NHL Rookie of the Month for February.[9] As part of a month-long scoring stretch in which he scored 13 points in 12 games, he also established an Oilers team record for the longest assists streak by a rookie with nine in eight straight games.[10]

The next season, 2008–09, he recorded his first career NHL hat-trick and added an assist for a four-point game in an 8–1 win against the Colorado Avalanche on March 19, 2009.[11] He finished his sophomore season with 16 goals and 41 points in 76 games. In the following two campaigns, he posted 41- and 42-point efforts.

On March 9, 2011, Gagner severed a tendon in his left hand while facing the Washington Capitals when teammate Ryan Jones caught him with a skate blade while jumping over the boards. Requiring surgery, Gagner was sidelined for the remainder of the 2010–11 season, as well as one month into the following campaign, making his return to the Oilers line-up on October 22, 2011. Several months later, on February 2, 2012, Gagner scored four goals and four assists against the Chicago Blackhawks, tying the team record of eight points in a game, previously set by Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey.[12] The feat also made him the 13th NHL player of all time to score eight or more points in a single game, and the first since Mario Lemieux did it in 1989.[13] Two days later, Gagner scored two goals and added an assist in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings, setting a new Oilers record with 11 consecutive points, previously held by Gretzky, who scored ten consecutive points twice his career.[14] Gagner finished the season with 47 points over 75 games, with nearly a quarter of his output having occurred in that two-game stretch.

During the 2012–13 NHL lock-out, Gagner signed with Klagenfuter AC of the Eishockey Liga in Austria.[15] On July 22, 2013, shortly after the end of the 2012–13 season, the Oilers signed Gagner to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $4.8 million.[16]

Trade to Arizona[edit]

On June 29, 2014, the Tampa Bay Lightning acquired Gagner in exchange for Teddy Purcell. Gagner, however, only spent an hour as a member of the Lightning before then being acquired by the Arizona Coyotes, along with B. J. Crombeen, in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.[17]

During the Coyotes' training camp ahead of the 2014–15 season, Arizona Head Coach Dave Tippett experimented utilizing Gagner on the right wing instead of his natural centre position, where he played in a pre-season, 5–4 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings.[18] On December 23, 2014, Gagner scored two goals and two assists against his former team, the Oilers, in a 5–1 Arizona victory at Rexall Place in Edmonton.[19] With Arizona, Gagner found chemistry playing on a line with centre Martin Hanzal; the two combined for 16 points in just five games in December and January 2015.[20]

Philadelphia Flyers/Columbus Blue Jackets[edit]

On June 27, 2015, Gagner was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers along with a conditional third (2017) or fourth (2016) round draft pick in return for Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger.[21] Coyotes general manager Don Maloney explained the trade as being due to a belief in the organization that Gagner "couldn't play centre at the NHL level".[22]

On August 1, 2016, Gagner signed a one-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.[23] Following a resurgent season with the Blue Jackets where he set a career high in points with 50, Gagner signed a 3-year $9.45 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks.[24]

Vancouver Canucks and return to Edmonton[edit]

Prior to the 2018–19 season, after attending the Canucks training camp and pre-season Gagner was placed on waivers by the Canucks on October 1, 2018.[25] He cleared waivers the next day, and was loaned in order to be closer to his family to the Toronto Marlies, affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.[26] Gagner scored 15 points in 15 games with the Marlies before he was recalled by the injury-struck Canucks on November 18, 2018.[27] He registered 1 goal and 3 points in 7 games before Vancouver returned to health and he was returned to the Marlies on December 4, 2018.[28]

Through 43 games with the Marlies, Gagner was among the team's top scorers with 37 points. He was traded by the Canucks in a return to his original draft club, the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for Ryan Spooner on February 16, 2019.[29] During the 2019–20 season, Gagner recorded five goals and seven assists in 36 games for the Oilers.[30]

Detroit Red Wings[edit]

On February 24, 2020, Gagner was traded at the NHL trade deadline from the Oilers, along with second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner.[31] He added one goal in 6 games with the Red Wings before their season was prematurely ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic suspending play.

On September 26, 2020, the Red Wings signed Gagner to a one-year, $850,000 contract extension.[32] On July 28, 2021, the Red Wings signed Gagner to a one-year contract extension.[33]

International play[edit]

Sam Gagner (Super Series).jpg
Gagner with Canada at the 2007 Super Series
Medal record
Representing  Canada
Ice hockey
World Championship
Silver medal – second place 2008 Canada
World Junior Championship
Gold medal – first place 2007 Sweden
Spengler Cup
Gold medal – first place 2012 Davos

Gagner competed for Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden, playing in all six games as the youngest player on the team,[34] helping Canada to their third of five-straight gold medals.

Later that year, upon being selected in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Gagner competed in the 2007 Super Series, an eight-game series between Canada's and Russia's national junior teams commemorating the 1972 Summit Series. He scored 15 points and was named series MVP, as Canada defeated Russia 7–0–1 in the series.

After Gagner's 2007–08 rookie season with the Oilers, he made his senior international debut with Canada in the 2008 World Championships in Canada as a reserve. Gagner played in one preliminary game as Canada was defeated in the gold medal game by Russia.

Personal life[edit]

In his rookie year, Gagner lived in a house provided by Oilers captain Ethan Moreau, along with teammates Andrew Cogliano and Tom Gilbert. In the summer of 2009, Gilbert bought his own house while Gagner and Cogliano each got apartments in Edmonton in the same complex.[35] During the off-season, Gagner goes back to his hometown of London, Ontario.

Gagner is the son of former NHL player Dave Gagner, who spent 15 seasons with the Rangers, North Stars/Stars, Flames, Maple Leafs, Panthers and Canucks. Due to his dad's career, Sam Gagner grew up in Minneapolis, Dallas, Toronto, Calgary, Miami, Vancouver and Oakville.[36] His sister, Jessica Gagner, played hockey for the Dartmouth Big Green women's ice hockey program.[37]

Gagner married longtime girlfriend Dr. Rachel Linke[38] in Muskoka, Ontario, on July 12, 2014. They have three children.[39]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Toronto Marlboros AAA GTHL U16 89 63 110 173 56
2004–05 Milton Icehawks OPJHL 13 5 10 15 10
2005–06 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 56 11 35 46 60
2006–07 London Knights OHL 53 35 83 118 36 16 7 22 29 22
2007–08 Edmonton Oilers NHL 79 13 36 49 23
2008–09 Edmonton Oilers NHL 76 16 25 41 51
2009–10 Edmonton Oilers NHL 68 15 26 41 33
2010–11 Edmonton Oilers NHL 68 15 27 42 37
2011–12 Edmonton Oilers NHL 75 18 29 47 36
2012–13 EC KAC EBEL 21 10 10 20 8
2012–13 Edmonton Oilers NHL 48 14 24 38 23
2013–14 Edmonton Oilers NHL 67 10 27 37 41
2014–15 Arizona Coyotes NHL 81 15 26 41 28
2015–16 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 53 8 8 16 25 6 0 2 2 8
2015–16 Lehigh Valley Phantoms AHL 9 1 5 6 4
2016–17 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 81 18 32 50 22 5 0 2 2 2
2017–18 Vancouver Canucks NHL 74 10 21 31 35
2018–19 Toronto Marlies AHL 43 12 25 37 12
2018–19 Vancouver Canucks NHL 7 1 2 3 4
2018–19 Edmonton Oilers NHL 25 5 5 10 10
2019–20 Bakersfield Condors AHL 4 2 2 4 5
2019–20 Edmonton Oilers NHL 36 5 7 12 10
2019–20 Detroit Red Wings NHL 6 1 0 1 2
2020–21 Detroit Red Wings NHL 42 7 8 15 15
NHL totals 886 171 303 474 395 11 0 4 4 10


Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2006 Canada Ontario U17 5th 5 6 7 13 0
2007 Canada WJC 1st place, gold medalist(s) 6 0 0 0 8
2008 Canada WC 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 1 0 0 0 0
Junior totals 19 12 16 28 16
Senior totals 1 0 0 0 0

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
Toronto Marlboros
Buck Houle Award 2004
All-Rookie Team 2006
CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game 2007
First All-Rookie Team 2007
Third All-Star Team 2007
CHL All-Rookie Team 2007
NHL YoungStars Game 2008
Rookie of the Month (February) 2008
Super Series MVP 2007


  • Edmonton Oilers Most Points in a Single Game – 8 (shared with Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey)
  • Edmonton Oilers Most Points in a Single Period – 5 (shared with Jari Kurri)


  1. ^ "Sam Gagner". Hockey's Future. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  2. ^ "Buck Houle Award". Toronto Marlboros. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  3. ^ "Sam Gagner". Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  4. ^ "2005-06 Sioux City Musketeers". Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  5. ^ "Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada: The backyard rink that bonds Tavares and Gagner -".
  6. ^ "Stoll scores in shootout to lift Oilers to victory over Sharks". USA Today. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  7. ^ "NHL Roundup". International Herald Tribune. 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  8. ^ "Gagner happy to be part of Team Canada". 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-28.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Gagner named rookie of the month". The Globe and Mail. 2008-03-04.
  10. ^ "Oilers snap losing streak with win over Avs". The Globe and Mail. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2008-08-19.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Gagner leads Oilers in romp over Avalanche". National Post. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-03-19.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers - Boxscore - February 2, 2012". Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  13. ^ "Hockey Hall of Fame- Records and Rankings". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  14. ^ "Gagner picks up three points, Oilers down Wings in SO". 2012-02-05.
  15. ^ "Sam Gagner heads overseas, to play for Klagenfurt in Austrian League". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  16. ^ "Gagner, Oilers reach deal, avoid arbitration". Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  17. ^ "Sam Gagner traded to Coyotes". 2014-06-30. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  18. ^ Odland, Kristen (September 23, 2014). "With a fresh start, former Edmonton Oiler Sam Gagner aiming for big things in Arizona". Calgary Herald. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  19. ^ Van Diest, Derek (December 23, 2014). "Coyotes forward Sam Gagner regains his scoring touch in match against the Oilers". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. ^ McLellan, Sarah (January 5, 2015). "Coyotes' opposites attract when it comes to Martin Hanzal, Sam Gagner". AZ Central. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "Flyers acquire Sam Gagner from Arizona". Philadelphia Flyers. June 27, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  22. ^ "Flyers' Sam Gagner 'can't play center at NHL level' says Coyotes GM". Yahoo. June 28, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  23. ^ "Blue Jackets sign center Sam Gagner to one-year contract". Columbus Blue Jackets. August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "Canucks sign forward Sam Gagner to three-year deal". 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  25. ^ "Sam Gagner loaned to Marlies". Toronto Sun. October 2, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  26. ^ Cory Wilkins (October 2, 2018). "Canucks loan Gagner to AHL Marlies". theScore. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  27. ^ "Canucks recall Gagner". Vancouver Canucks. November 18, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  28. ^ "Vancouver Canucks send Sam Gagner back to Toronto Marlies". December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "Canucks acquire Ryan Spooner from Oilers for Sam Gagner". Vancouver Canucks. February 16, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  30. ^ "Oilers acquire Andreas Athanasiou from Red Wings for Gagner, two picks". Yahoo! Sports. February 24, 2020. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  31. ^ Kujawa, Kyle (February 24, 2020). "Detroit acquires Gagner and two second-round picks from Edmonton". Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  32. ^ "Red Wings sign Sam Gagner to one-year deal". Detroit Red Wings. September 26, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  33. ^ Kujawa, Kyle (July 28, 2021). "Detroit agrees to terms with center Sam Gagner and goalie Calvin Pickard". Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  34. ^ "Team Canada Roster/Information". Hockey Canada. Archived from the original on May 28, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  35. ^ Jones, Terry. "Cogs: 'It was pretty shocking'".
  36. ^ Inside College Hockey - The Recruiting Trail
  37. ^ "Jessica Gagner Biography". Dartmouth Big Green. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
  38. ^ Grady, Lora (12 January 2015). "Women of the NHL: Dr. Rachel Linke on life with Coyotes' Sam Gagner". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  39. ^ "Dania Assaly on Instagram: "Thank you to the amazing bride and groom for an incredible weekend of celebration. So lucky to have you share your love with us! Wishing…"".

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Andrew Cogliano
Edmonton Oilers first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Alex Plante