Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A Reset For Sam Gagner

03/18/2020 at 4:24pm EDT

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Sam Gagner grew up a hockey brat, the son of long-time NHLer Dave Gagner. Dad played in six different NHL cities before Sam was 10 years old.

Gagner, his two sisters, and their mother Jo-Anne, packed up and followed Dave from Minnesota to Dallas, to Toronto, to Calgary, to Florida and finally to Vancouver, where Dad played out his 946-game, 714-point NHL career. It was a hockey life that produced an 844-game NHL career for Sam, and a four-year stint at Dartmouth University for sister Jessica, who is two years younger.

But it also meant changing schools, and a revolving door of friends throughout the Gagner kids’ youths. Not necessarily a bad way to grow up, but certainly different, is the best way to describe what it’s like to be raised in an NHL hockey family.

So if Sam Gagner, whose wife Rachel had their third child in September, gets anything out of this “pause” that the NHL is on, it’s that life as a normal family man isn’t so bad.

“That’s the silver lining,” Gagner said over the phone from his Edmonton home, the voices of his kids — aged four, two and six months — audible in the background.

“I was reading something the other day about, as a society, maybe it’s time for a re-set. Focus on our families, the things that matter, and just try to stay healthy. Those are the main things, and as a family, that’s what we’re trying to do.


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