I’m tempted to boycott Foxy Friday until someone produces a photo of Crosby and Sutter as Maverick and Goose. Like a hunger strike, or a tantrum in the candy aisle at Target.
Yet I can’t do that when on of our favorite faces has returned to a) it’s former adorableness and b) the game of hockey. So this week, it’s finally time for #TeamSam.
Sam Gagner is 24. He seems more like 29, according to Lindsay, probably because he is the Nanny Green Socks to all these Muppet Babies.
Let’s start at the beginning. Sam is from Oakville, Ontario and his dad Dave Gagner spent 15 seasons in the NHL. Sam played junior for the London Knights on the same line at Patrick Kane.
He is old-timey BFFs with his near neighbor, John Tavares.
I know. Shut up, Pants.
Gagner was drafted 6th overall in ’07. He had 49 points in 79 games that season, alongside former Foxy Friday Andrew Cogliano and Robert Nilsson on the Oilers first installment of the Oilers’ Kid Line. Here are Sam’s career stats, which don’t mention that he once scored 8 points in a single game.
Nowadays being 24 makes Sam a grizzled veteran on the Oilers. But like all the boys in the band, he’d had a few run-ins with bad luck, sharp things and probably walls/chairs/puppies. In 2011, a teammate’s skate severed a tendon in his hand [story]. This pre-season, Vancouver’s Zack Kassian bashed Sam’s face in with a stick, resulting in a broken jaw for Sam and an 8-game suspension for ZK. Also a lifetime ban from Foxy Friday.
We hate broken jaws. In a morbidly curious way, we appreciate a selfie of said broken jaw posted to Twitter – but will still put it behind this link because it’s horrifying. Thanks, Sam.
Luckily, the resilience of Sam’s youth is strong. He rejoined the Oilers lineup Tuesday after missing 13 games, having a plate and six screws put into his face and without four of his teeth [link]. That’s hockey.
went as late-2013 Crosby for Halloween will wear a big visor/jaw protector combo until at least the Olympic break. After all this, and his first game back, Sam looks just fine to us [video].
In fact, he still looks like:
Except when his hair is long, and he resembles:
Over the summer, Gagner signed a $14.4, 3-year contract extension with the Oilers. Then he made an even longer term deal with his girlfriend and got engaged. This wedding will melt Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/my heart. His fiancee is a doctor, no less – these spaztastics ought to keep her busy.
Will Sam go for Movember under that helmet jaw guard? We can’t say we hope so, but it doesn’t take much to win against this team.
We could go on for days – and we will. For now, here’s Sam on Ask an Oiler.
As for hockey, the Oilers are, well, the Oilers (read: last in the west). So let’s hope for more of these:
None of these:
And maybe a few of these:
Before summer comes around again.
If you’re not following Sam on Twitter (@89SGagner), then how can you expect to see awkward photos of #TeamRNH and #TeamSchultz playing guitar? Or RNH wearing pants made from the khaki equivalent of a tin foil marathon blanket for Halloween? Really, get on this.
Happy Friday!Tags: Edmonton Oilers, sam gagner