Sam Gagner played 14 games from late December to late January and put up eight points. There was some speculation that the Edmonton Oilers were interested in trading the 22-year-old center who wasn’t living up to the expectations that came with being the No. 6 pick in the 2007 draft.
Then, Gagner put together a special night Thursday in the Oilers’ 9-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks – four goals and four assists. The eight-point night tied him in Edmonton history with two guys named Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey.
It was a career night for Gagner, who played for Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
“I didn’t see it. I was watching the Jersey game but I heard about it this morning,” Hunter said. “That’s unbelievable what happens in a game. You never know. He wasn’t having the season that he wanted to have. To come up with that game will give him a lot of confidence.”
Gagne had 118 points in 53 games with London. That’s quite the pace.
But did Hunter expect this kind of performance?
“He was very skilled with us, and they brought him up real young and sometimes you lose your confidence,” he said. “I think that’s give him a lot of confidence. It’s good for him.”