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Abel to Yzerman

Another Year Of Sam Gagner In Detroit

added 10:43am, Calvin Pickard gets a year too....

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RWBill's avatar

Damn.  I’d have to look up how many games he actually played.

42.  That’s more than I remember and for good reason.  7-8-15.  Not really impactful on the scoreboard.  Is he the new Cleary-locker-room-presence guy?

This does again reflect that the braintrust isn’t really confident that whatever young talent they have isn’t NHL ready.

Posted by RWBill on 07/28/21 at 10:43 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I don’t like it.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/28/21 at 10:46 AM ET


Cleary-locker-room-presence guy?

According to twitter he’s the model veteran lockerroom guy. Cheap 1 year depth signing

Posted by MZ2215 on 07/28/21 at 10:48 AM ET


Totally expected. Yzerman will continue to sign inexpensive, short-term deals for stable vets until our future young core is ready to take the reins. I’m guessing Ryan extension is forthcoming.

Posted by godblender on 07/28/21 at 10:49 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

How exciting.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 07/28/21 at 10:51 AM ET


I don’t like it.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/28/21 at 10:46 AM ET

I’ll wait to see what happens with glendening/helm/ryan before making any judgements. I’ve currently got it graded as “meh”

Posted by MZ2215 on 07/28/21 at 10:52 AM ET

Paul's avatar


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/28/21 at 11:08 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

It’s Cleary 2.0 without a doubt.  Both competed, but both were about 3-5 years removed from productive years and were an expensive blocker for prospects.  Maybe I’m just jealous I don’t get paid $1mil to be a “locker room guy”, I don’t know.

If we see Ryan/Filpula/Helm get signed, then I’ll be angry.  As of now I’m just disappointed, but expected some of this.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/28/21 at 11:09 AM ET

Paul's avatar

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with center Sam Gagner and goaltender Calvin Pickard on one-year contract extensions.

Gagner, 31, appeared in 42 games for the Red Wings in 2020-21 and ranked among team leaders with seven goals (T7th), 15 points (T8th) and 88 shots (5th). The 14-year NHL veteran made history last season after notching his third career hat trick on Feb. 25 vs. Nashville, becoming the ninth player in NHL history to go nine-or-more years in between hat tricks. He also logged his 300th NHL assist on March 11 vs. Tampa Bay. After making the NHL as an 18-year-old in 2007-08, Gagner has totaled 474 points (171-303-474) over his 886-game NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers, Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks and Red Wings. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound forward has seven seasons of 40-or-more points under his belt, most recently with a career-best 50 points (18-32-50) with Columbus in 2016-17. Gagner has also appeared in parts of three American Hockey League seasons with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Toronto Marlies and Bakersfield Condors, totaling 47 points (15-32-47) and 21 penalty minutes in 56 games between 2015-20.

Originally drafted in the first round (sixth overall) by Edmonton in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Gagner split his junior career between the United States Hockey League’s Sioux City Musketeers (2005-06) and Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights (2006-07), logging 46 points (11-35-46) in 56 USHL games and racking up 118 points (35-83-118) in 53 OHL games prior to being drafted. The London, Ontario, native has also represented Canada internationally on several occasions, notably winning gold medals at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2012 Spengler Cup, along with a silver medal at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Pickard, 29, played six games for the Red Wings in 2020-21, logging a 2-1-1 record, 3.16 goals-against average and 0.874 save percentage, spending most of the season on the team’s taxi squad. He also played three games for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, posting a 1-1-1 record, 3.33 goals-against average and 0.882 save percentage. Prior to the start of the NHL season, Pickard played in six games with the Vienna Capitals of Austria’s IceHL, sporting a 3-3-0 record, 1.96 goals-against average and 0.919 save percentage. Pickard has played nine games for Detroit over the last two seasons and has made 113 appearances in his NHL career, owning a 34-53-10 record, 3.01 goals-against average, 0.904 save percentage and four shutouts with the Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Arizona Coyotes and Red Wings.

Entering his 10th professional campaign, Pickard also played 33 games for the Griffins in 2019-20, notching a 17-12-4 record, 2.86 goals-against average, 0.903 save percentage and three shutouts. In 236 AHL games with the Lake Erie Monsters, San Antonio Rampage, Toronto Marlies, Tucson Roadrunners and Griffins since 2011-12, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound netminder has a 111-84-20 record, 2.65 goals-against average, 0.913 save percentage and 15 shutouts. Originally drafted by the Avalanche in the second round (49th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Pickard spent his entire major-junior career with the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds from 2008-12, totaling a 91-120-27 record, 3.29 goals-against average, 0.909 save percentage and 12 shutouts. The Moncton, New Brunswick, native has also represented Canada at the 2016 and 2017 IIHF World Championships, winning a gold and silver medal, respectively.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/28/21 at 11:10 AM ET


It’s a 1 year deal, not a big deal

Posted by VPalmer on 07/28/21 at 11:25 AM ET


Gagner could easily end up the 13th forward, not playing most nights. They had to have a little more depth at forward until Berggren, Raymond are ready for NHL play. They can waive or trade Gagner if he isn’t needed.

Posted by evileye on 07/28/21 at 11:50 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Solid character guy, Cheap, responsible defensively,  not a needle mover offensively.

I’m guessing Steve would like a legitimate lottery shot at Shane Wright next Summer.

Make the team better, but not too much better… wink

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/28/21 at 11:53 AM ET

The Meal's avatar

If it was between Gagner and Glendenning, I’d have preferred Luke.

This isn’t anywhere close to a Cleary situation (yet). Let it run four extra years before we throw around callbacks to that situation.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 07/28/21 at 12:06 PM ET

Shanny_Fan's avatar

1 year at 850K is no risk. If he’s bad or someone steals his roster spot then he can be waived or buried in the A without affecting the team or the cap.

Posted by Shanny_Fan on 07/28/21 at 12:51 PM ET


This isn’t anywhere close to a Cleary situation (yet). Let it run four extra years before we throw around callbacks to that situation.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 07/28/21 at 12:06 PM ET

Not yet, but Gagner’s 20-21 numbers look very similar to Cleary’s 12-13 season. If Cleary’s time here ran 4 years too long, we’re getting into the ‘2 years too long’ territory for Gagner.

Posted by MZ2215 on 07/28/21 at 01:06 PM ET


Out of all the UFAs, he was the one I was most akin to bringing back.  Glendenning will be missed, but I think its important to shift away from that.  Don’t you guys remember the years we were so bad offensively that Glendenning was like our top C in ice time as a “shutdown” guy lol. 

Anyhow, Ill miss him, he’s a warrior and deserves his chance to be that warrior in the playoffs somewhere.  Good luck to the Stars.

Gagner is a) cheap, b) extremely versatile c) Good guy.  Would I have rathered the spot go to a young guy with upside, maybe, but I can hold out hope on that, but I think its a nice signing.  As long as Ryan, Helm, Filpula don’t suddenly join him!

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/28/21 at 01:10 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com