Dreaming

Lowetide
October 13 2010 05:08PM

Patience is required in order to let things develop in their own time, especially when it comes to youth. One minute kids are failing again and again, the next minute they've mastered the discipline and moved to a new level. When it comes to predicting hockey players and their futures, patience is a vital part of the plan.

I've noticed  a disturbing trend among the msm early this season. Although patient with the three kids, comments like "it is time for Sam Gagner to step up and I didn't see it tonight" and "this is Gagner's chance and despite the two points he hasn't impressed" have been sliding into our living rooms and vehicles via television and radio.

Deep breath. We need to remember that everyone drafted 2006+ is (or should be) considered a developing player or prospect. Jeff Petry (drafted in 2006) is just starting his pro hockey career, Sam Gagner (drafted in 2007) is 21 years, 2 months old. There are miles to go before the race is run.

If we go back to the beginning, we can re-set the expectations: Gare Joyce, in his wonderful book Future Greats and Heartbreaks:

  • On the morning of the draft, there's all kinds of cross-talk and scuttle-butt about Columbus's plans for the 7th overall pick. One thing is certain: The Blue Jackets would feel much better about their pick if it were sixth, and all the more so at No. 4 or No. 3. The way the Blue Jackets and a lot of other teams see it, there's an elite group of six draft-elgibiles: Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk, Kyle Turris, Sam Gagner, Jakub Voracek and Karl Alzner. After this group, there's a significant fall-off. Last year, the Bue Jackets ranked seven players "top 10's." This year, just six made the grade.

A "top ten" was defined early in the book as a possible draft pick who could be a difference maker, someone who could develop into a first line NHL player, maybe an All-Star, definitely someone who can contribute to a winning team.I think we need to place Gagner in that context, a top flight young player who can contribute to a winning team. He certainly helped on October 22, 2009 and he can help this season too. However, we need to be patient with him. Prospects don't develop in parallel lines with past HOFers, they take their own path based on all kinds of factors (including quality of team).

I think this comes from the idea that in being patient with the three kids up front it will fall to others to lead the way. I agree. Shawn Horcoff, Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky, those men are completely capable of having a consistent impact on the team (positively) pretty much every night. I believe Sam Gagner will get there. But expecting him to develop into that 1line C overnight (as if turning on a switch) is unreasonable.

If "Sam Gagner isn't developing as I hoped" then perhaps you need to examine whether or not your hopes are reasonable. How much of the offense is vanRiemsdyk carrying in Philly? Voracek in Columbus? The Edmonton Oilers have chosen to fast track yet another generation of kids. That's not Sam Gagner's fault. I think he'll continue to develop and should pass the 50-point mark this season. If you're looking for 70 points from him, I'd suggest that is beyond reason. According to nhl.com, exactly 15 centermen had 70 or more points last season, while 43 had 50 or more points.

I think Sam Gagner should end up in that group of men over 50 points this season, but 70 seems a stretch. With that in mind, I think pointing to Gagner after 2 games as an underachiever borders on the ridiculous.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Steve Smith
October 13 2010, 07:28PM
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You know why people have these expectations of Sam Gagner? It's because the Oilers refuse to fill the roster with Actual NHL Players, for whom such expectations would be reasonable, and we think to ourselves "well, somebody's got to play centre against the toughs, and Horcoff's busy babysitting" and then we look at the lineup and conclude that it must be Gagner's job, and so we blame him when he can't do it, despite the fact that there's really been no indication in his career so far that he can do anything against the toughs.

He may be able to do it at some point in his career or he may not (though in Stu we trust, so I'll say that he probably will be able to), but it's just idiocy of the Oilers to thrust him into this situation now.

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#2 DC
October 13 2010, 06:34PM
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Gagner will be a very good player on a very good team in the years to come. Should be a leader in the future on this Oilers team. Still only 21, and remember only Kane has more points than Gagner from that draft class.

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#3 book¡e
October 13 2010, 06:40PM
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Gagner is only about 9 months older than Eberle. It seems as though a lot of people forget that when assessing the two players.

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#4 OneManPillage
October 13 2010, 07:16PM
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Good post Lowetide, couldn't agree more.

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#5 Steve Smith
October 14 2010, 06:41AM
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@Crash

That's actually a fair pet peeve, and I probably run afoul of it from time to time, so I'll acknowledge the following:

1. It's too early to say for sure that Sam Gagner won't emerge as a legitimate #1 centre this year, after spending last year doing pretty well (but not very well) against soft minutes.

2. It's too early to say for sure that Taylor Hall won't be a contributor at the NHL level this year, after playing in junior last year.

3. It's too early to say that Jordan Eberle won't be top-six a contributor at the NHL level this year, after playing (mostly) in junior last year.

4. It's too early to say that Andrew Cogliano won't produce the kind of numbers this year as he did during his first two years, when his shooting percentage was abnormally high, after a really brutal season last year (when his shooting percentage was abnormally low).

5. It's too early to say that Magnus Paajarvi won't be able to play tough NHL minutes, after spending last year in Europe.

6. It's too early to say that Gilbert Brule can't repeat last year's numbers, now that he's no longer guaranteed good linemates and easy opposition.

7. It's too early to say that Ryan Jones won't establish himself as a regular NHLer after being waived last year.

8. It's too early to say that Colin Fraser can't be a regular checking centre, after spending much of last year as a healthy scratch (on, admittedly, a very deep club).

9. It's too early to say that Steve MacIntyre can't play hockey. Actually, no, that one's pretty much established.

10. It's too early to say that Shawn Horcoff won't return to form, after a brutal season last year.

11. It's too early to say that Tom Gilbert can't be a top pairing guy, after spending last season as a (very good) second pairing guy.

12. It's too early to say that Ryan Whitney can't anchor a defense, after being sent away by two other teams for being unable to do just that.

13. It's too early to say that Ladislav Smid can't be the top guy on a second pairing, after spending the rest of his career under the mentorship of an established veteran.

14. It's too early to say that Kurtis Foster can't play second pairing ES minutes, after spending last year as a third pairing guy and power play specialist.

15. It's too early to say that Jim Vandermeer can't play every night, after being a a healthy scratch a lot of last year (some of it for reasons not strictly related to his play, granted).

16. It's too early to say that Theo Peckham's not ready to spend a whole season in the NHL, after putting up pretty lousy numbers in his limited callups in years past.

17. It's too early to say that Nikolai Khabibulin can't recover the form he showed from 1998-2002, when in the rest of his career he's been no better than average.

18. It's too early to say that JDD will never be better than a below-average NHL backup, when he spent last year as a below-average NHL backup.

19. It's too early to say that Devan Dubnyk's not ready for the NHL, when he spent most of last year, other than the last few games, looking like he's not ready for the NHL.

It's too early to say any of those things, and if you see me doing so, as you very well might, please call me on it. I'm certain that some of those things will turn out to be false (I'm most optimistic about 3, 10, 11, 12, 15, and 19, but that's just me). But I don't think it's too early to say, based just on the law of averages, that a good many of those things will turn out to be true, and the Oilers' plan for success this year seems to rely on pretty well all of them being false.

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#6 Steve Smith
October 14 2010, 10:49AM
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@Crash

That it's hard to know just yet is exactly my point. But let's assume, generously, that every player has a 70% chance of playing up to the level the team expects (i.e. Taylor Hall has a 70% chance of contributing at the NHL level, Colin Fraser has a 70% chance of succeeding as a regular checking centre, etc.). In reality, the percentage is probably different for every player, and probably ranges between 20% and 80% or so (except for MacIntyre, who has roughly a 0% chance of becoming a hockey player all of a sudden), but I'm being deliberately generous. Even if we assume that 70%, we're looking at an expected five or six of the guys on my list who fall short of expectations, and the way this team is built, five or six of those guys falling short of expectations puts the team in big trouble. And that's before we even talk about injuries (presumably the Oilers will have roughly the same injury luck as other teams, but teams with a deeper pool of veterans are better equipped to cope with those injuries).

As for impatience with prospects, I'm advocating patience with prospects. It's the Oilers who are saying to Sam Gagner "Be a first line centre right now" and to Hall, Eberle, and Paajarvi "even though we've never seen you play so much as an NHL exhibition game, we're going to base our marketing around the assumption that you're ready to step in right now." That's impatience. Patience is saying "Hey, Jordan Eberle looks great, but we need to be prepared for the possibility that he needs some seasoning in the AHL, and when he's in the NHL we should play him with reliable veterans against soft opposition." Patience is the opposite of what the Oilers are doing.

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#7 Traktor
October 14 2010, 12:46PM
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Oh.. and if you want to know why fans have unrealistic expectations of Gagner it's probably because some of the supposed "brighter minds" of the oilogosphere have been calling him the next Doug Gilmour or Vincent Damphousse.

Damphousse had 94 points his 4th year in the league. Gilmour had 105.

I guess the people trumpeting those comps didn't actually believe what they saying.

Here's a better comp

Mike Comrie at 20 years old: 33 goals

Sam Gagner at 20 years old: 41 points

Gags will be lucky to ever get to the level of Mike Comrie who signed for a mere 500k with the Pens.

Horcoff/Gags is worse than the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-2 combo

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#8 Ender
October 13 2010, 05:10PM
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Lowetide wrote:

But expecting [Gagner] to develop into that 1line C overnight (as it turning on a switch) is unreasonable.

Are you insinuating that Magnus PI won't be our top-line LW by December? HOW DARE YOU, SIR?!!

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#10 Stevezie
October 13 2010, 05:28PM
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Exactly, well said. Let's all take a second to be thankful the Oil weren't able to trade up to get Turris.

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#11 Vince
October 13 2010, 05:43PM
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I'm from Halifax so I was sure Voracek would be ours but that changed when LA took Hickey, given Gagner's summit series heroics I didn't mind getting him instead.

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#12 a lg dubl dubl
October 13 2010, 05:48PM
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I for one thinks Sam is off to a pretty good start to the season. He looks like he's been playin with a chip on his shoulder, he seems quicker on his skates, takes a hit just as good as he gives them out and actually knocks guys off the puck this year! Just because "he's only got 2 assists" doesnt mean he's not producing. Sure he might not be as good on the draw as Horcoff YET but he will get better Gagner doesn't have it in him to take fo's lightly.

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#13 @NateInVegas
October 13 2010, 05:57PM
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I was about to give up on Hall after 2 games now I'll reconsider.

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#14 Manfly
October 13 2010, 06:01PM
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Stevezie wrote:

Exactly, well said. Let's all take a second to be thankful the Oil weren't able to trade up to get Turris.

well we still don't know what Turris can do so i won't judge him yet. he is having a slow start to his NHL career though isn't he? (though maybe they are wishing they took the next best player which would have been Alzner).

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#15 Chris.
October 13 2010, 06:09PM
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@ Lowetide:

My concern with Sam Gagner is the tool box. Sam is a good young player with all kinds of smarts and vision on the ice; but after three full offseasons of training as an NHLer: his overall footspeed and shot are still well below the standard required if he is ever going to be a consistant "difference maker" in this league.

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#16 book¡e
October 13 2010, 06:16PM
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I am pretty disappointed in Gagner this year as well, just like every year. Of course, my expectation is that he is going to come clean out my garage and perhaps that is unreasonable because I don't know him and never asked him. However, that is what I am looking for and until he comes and cleans out my garage, I will remain utterly and bitterly disappointed in him.

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#18 Woodguy
October 13 2010, 06:24PM
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I disagree Chris, he looks noticeably faster this year. Certainly fast enough to play at this level.

Thanks for giving out much needed context L.T.

He's trending well and over half the readers here (myself included) were still living with their parents at age 21, not going into the 4th year of a professional career.

Context is everything.

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#19 Manfly
October 13 2010, 06:31PM
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good point, Woodguy. i had just completed my 1st year of living on my own at 21!

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#20 PerryK
October 13 2010, 06:37PM
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Gagner will probably figure it out and learn to play with Hemsky given sufficient time together, because he is a very smart hockey player.

Yet, I would like to see them split up for their sanity! Two right handed shots that like to control the play, instinctively end up in the same spot and it happens over and over again.

I would like to see Gagner play with Penner and Brule. Hemsky can be slotted with Paajarvi and Cogliano (can you imagine the high speed plays!). May be these lines will have more balance on them that way. Might make 3 productive lines.

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#21 Chris.
October 13 2010, 06:37PM
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Woodguy wrote:

I disagree Chris, he looks noticeably faster this year. Certainly fast enough to play at this level.

Thanks for giving out much needed context L.T.

He's trending well and over half the readers here (myself included) were still living with their parents at age 21, not going into the 4th year of a professional career.

Context is everything.

Sure Sam is fast enough to play at this level... but is he first line fast; difference maker fast?.

Last game my buddy said to me that Penner sure looks fast for a big man. I said sure: he's skating next to Gagner. Just watch the two of them on the ice next game... Penner just may be the faster of the two when he's really trying.

I like Sam. This is the first time I've criticised him as a player.(I criticised management plenty for bringing him up as an 18 year old) However, now that Gagner is in his fourth season, has a new contract, plays on the first line, and is being counted on to generate offence, as well as be an example for a new batch of rookies: some measured critism is fair. It is said that players are made in the offseason. I had hoped the much talked about thinner Sam would be faster... and that the much talked about reworked shot would have more sting... I just don't see it... at least not yet.

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#22 Tha Legion
October 13 2010, 06:48PM
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I'd be content with Samwise getting hurt right now, that way I could say that he went out a ppg player :) all kidding aside he's a fine young talent and I personally believe he can break 60 pts but I never stop drinking da koolaid

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#23 Chris.
October 13 2010, 06:52PM
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Please bear in mind I'm not saying Sam is a bad hockey player, a really slow hockey player, or a player that won't continue to develop, produce, and contribute to this teams sucess.

However the big question reamains: will Sam Gagner become a contributing top six forward on an elite, Stanley Cup winning team?

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#24 DC
October 13 2010, 07:05PM
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@Chris.

I believe he will...... But I to drink aforementioned Kool-Aid

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#25 Jamie B.
October 13 2010, 07:17PM
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@Chris.

When Penner's really trying? So that's, what, 12 percent of the time? Penner IS fast, once he gets up to speed, but again, how often does he show that? Let's accept Gagner's faults, he's small and gets knocked over. Which is why I really hate it when Penner stands around and waits for Sam to go into the corner to get the puck. Something about that doesn't seem right.

I agree, Gagner should be looked to for more offence, which is why I'm pleased he has two points in two games. Does the quality of his linemates contribute to that? Obviously, it contributes to anyone's game. But so far, in this extremely small sample size, he's done what's expected of him. I think people are just restless because he hasn't gone beyond that. Let's wait a few more games (like 20) before we judge that.

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#26 spOILer
October 13 2010, 07:20PM
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I'm not so sure where he was drafted should matter.

As far as saying we have yet to see the best Gagner will be, it's important.

But as far as saying "is he what the Oilers need at that position?" and "is he the solution 2-3 years from now", I don't think his pedigree should play so big a part.

I too see a toolbox lacking. A lack of size usually has to be made it up for with above average speed, and vice versa. I don't think he's fast enough--right now. Now I do think Gagner will be a better player than he is today, but the question is, how much better? After three years of building, can we see how tall this structure is going to be? The height that the base can support? Will he be a better skater than he is today? Will his shot improve enough to make a difference? Can he find enough time and space against the vaunt as he develops? Can he hold off faster and bigger vaunt centres when they have the puck?

Patience is very important in developing a team, but so is being open to trade opportunities and maximizing the value of the assets you have. Can you get more from him today then you can as an above average, but not elite, second line centre down the road?

He won't be helped by the media and Internet much either. While his boxcars will show some improvement given linemates and TOI, will it be enough for the 1st line centre crowd? How much will he lift his linemates game and how well can he stop the bleeding? He's going to have his detractors.

Gagner's placement on the top line, possibly before being ready, is gonna be heavy ammo for those detractors. He never knocked it out of the park on the 2nd line, so expectations should, but won't be tempered by the opp he will face. Thornton, Sedin, Toews, Getzlaf, Datsyuk etc. Tough rowing. The pundits might flay him.

But maybe there's an important point there:

Will he ever be able to master that level of player basically just on smarts? And if not, is he a keeper over what we have?

I'm willing to give him some of this season to show me; I just wish he wasn't skating uphill.

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#27 spOILer
October 13 2010, 07:21PM
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Gagner, Brule, Cogliano, Eberle, Omark...

How many guys this size can we keep?

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#28 spOILer
October 13 2010, 07:29PM
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Oh and two points in two games is nothing to bitch about. That's just asinine.

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#29 YessButt
October 13 2010, 07:44PM
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@Jamie B Re: Your comments about Penner.... You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

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#31 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 13 2010, 08:14PM
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Excellent blog. The deluded Oiler fan tied of hate is already starting to turn on Sam. As you said some context is needed.

Last thing we need is to run Gagner out of town in the next year or two, only to watch him become a solid 25/75 first line center elsewhere.... while we scratch our head wondering why we don't have a solid 1C.

Not only is he the 2nd highest scorer from his draft class, he's one of only 6 to play 100+ NHL games. Most of his class are still prospects.

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#32 jake
October 13 2010, 08:15PM
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Steve Smith wrote:

You know why people have these expectations of Sam Gagner? It's because the Oilers refuse to fill the roster with Actual NHL Players, for whom such expectations would be reasonable, and we think to ourselves "well, somebody's got to play centre against the toughs, and Horcoff's busy babysitting" and then we look at the lineup and conclude that it must be Gagner's job, and so we blame him when he can't do it, despite the fact that there's really been no indication in his career so far that he can do anything against the toughs.

He may be able to do it at some point in his career or he may not (though in Stu we trust, so I'll say that he probably will be able to), but it's just idiocy of the Oilers to thrust him into this situation now.

Just about sums it up. Well thought out post.

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#33 Aitch
October 13 2010, 08:26PM
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OneManPillage wrote:

Good post Lowetide, couldn't agree more.

Yes, how does one give "props" to a post?

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#34 MattL
October 13 2010, 08:34PM
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Yes yes, that's all very interesting, but who's the babe?!

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#36 David S
October 13 2010, 08:57PM
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Steve Smith wrote:

You know why people have these expectations of Sam Gagner? It's because the Oilers refuse to fill the roster with Actual NHL Players, for whom such expectations would be reasonable, and we think to ourselves "well, somebody's got to play centre against the toughs, and Horcoff's busy babysitting" and then we look at the lineup and conclude that it must be Gagner's job, and so we blame him when he can't do it, despite the fact that there's really been no indication in his career so far that he can do anything against the toughs.

He may be able to do it at some point in his career or he may not (though in Stu we trust, so I'll say that he probably will be able to), but it's just idiocy of the Oilers to thrust him into this situation now.

Nicely said Steve.

The people calling Sam out after two games are the same bunch who ignore the fact that he's running at a PPG pace. Obviously both positions are simply preposterous this early in the year, but whatever makes you feel good I suppose.

Sam's a notorious slow starter. Lets give him 20 or so before nailing him to the wall shall we? He's visibly improved and learning a new system for the second time in two years. I'd bet money he tops 60 this year playing where he is right now.*

*Although I do tend to lose alot of bets.

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#37 MattL
October 13 2010, 09:04PM
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@Lowetide

I knew I recognized that cheek bone and upper-lip combo...

Uhhh, and good post or whatever.

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#38 ubermiguel
October 13 2010, 09:09PM
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Deborah Harry? Damn. Who'd believe that fresh faced young lady would eventually be the first person to rap in a video on MTV.

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#39 Oilcruzer
October 13 2010, 09:23PM
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spOILer wrote:

Gagner, Brule, Cogliano, Eberle, Omark...

How many guys this size can we keep?

No more than 5.

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#40 Chris.
October 13 2010, 10:24PM
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Sam has two points in two games! The Oilers have two wins! Well that must mean the Oilers will get 82 wins and Sam will get 82 points and it is a genius move playing Gagner as a first line center at just 21 years of age! (Props to Steve Smith BTW)

I stand behind my tool box argument and caution Oiler fans against speculating too optimistically about Gagner's high end potential. To date, the Oilers have played two inferior opponents... It's not fair to expect Gagner to produce much against Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose, etc... Based on what I've seen so far, I expect this to be a tough year for Gagner: less than 50 points against tough opposition (or a trip back down the depth chart). Book it.

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#42 SkinnyD
October 13 2010, 11:12PM
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Sam isn't a prototypical #1 center at first glance - he may never be an all-world like Toews. But perhaps if he's being all smart and creative out there and making beautiful music with Penner and Hemsky and they're all 50-70pt lads, we could consider that as being a difference-maker? And he'll only get better against tougher competition, even if he struggles at first.

Methinks Blondie was dreamy as a brunette... :)

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#43 Jonathan Willis
October 13 2010, 11:13PM
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spOILer wrote:

Gagner, Brule, Cogliano, Eberle, Omark... How many guys this size can we keep?

Cleary, Filppula, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Williams, Draper.

It really depends how good the players are. Besides, I'd be willing to bet that five years down the line it's just Gagner and Eberle still on the team.

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#44 HOFFFF
October 13 2010, 11:20PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Well if he plays a full season with Penner and Hemsky and DOESN'T get 50 points then thats an answer too.

Sam isn't developing as fast as Penner did. Penner only has 120 games on Gagner and 62 more goals. Sam better step it up if he wants to break 60 pts a season like the young Dustin Penner. :)

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#45 C-DOG
October 13 2010, 11:24PM
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@Lowetide

Have you taken into consideration that Sam might be an early developer physicaly. Sam said he came into the league at 190lbs, bumped up to 198lbs and now back to 190 for speed/ quickness.I would be more confident if sam had come in to the league weighing 170 and put up 49 pts and now is 190, but this might be as big, strong and fast he will ever be.

The promising players in his draft class are heading in an up swing and have not been given the oppertunity Sam has gotten, those players are starting to fill out and you will see them flourish this year.

He is playing with 2 very good players because there is no real competition at centre, if the Oilers play Hall at centre and Gagne doesn't get 1st line icetime and 1st p.p time and is battleing with Horcoff for gravy minutes, fans would realize exactly what he is, at best a second tier player.

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#46 Crash
October 13 2010, 11:37PM
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Chris. wrote:

Sam has two points in two games! The Oilers have two wins! Well that must mean the Oilers will get 82 wins and Sam will get 82 points and it is a genius move playing Gagner as a first line center at just 21 years of age! (Props to Steve Smith BTW)

I stand behind my tool box argument and caution Oiler fans against speculating too optimistically about Gagner's high end potential. To date, the Oilers have played two inferior opponents... It's not fair to expect Gagner to produce much against Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose, etc... Based on what I've seen so far, I expect this to be a tough year for Gagner: less than 50 points against tough opposition (or a trip back down the depth chart). Book it.

Chris, I'm going to save this little clip of yours...this is my pet peeve on this site...when guys step up and already have it all figured out. So it's impossible for Gagner to have any good games offensively against Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose...really? David Jones can pop 3 pts against Detroit but Sam stands no chance?

I happen to think you are selling Sam wayyyyy short. What he lacks in speed and a heavy shot he makes up for with smarts and a high end hockey sense that you can't teach. Sam has produced better than anyone in his draft class other than Patrick Kane and people continue to slag Sam. He's producing at a better clip than many of todays stars produced at in their first 4 yrs in the league too....have a look back at Henrik Sedin...did you have him all figured out 3 yrs into his career too?

You say based on what you've seen so far? 2 whole games huh?....For my money the Oilers as a whole looked pretty damn good against Calgary and as a whole they all looked rather listless against Florida with the exception of Khabby...I've noticed Sam paying particular attention to his responsibilities in his own end of the rink quite often and so far has produced a point in each game. But still we're talking about 2 freakin games, 2, just 2 and already we are starting with the Sam bashing...it's no wonder players don't want to come into a fish bowl like this one.

Anyway, I've booked it, Sam isn't going to produce 50 pts this year, cuz you said so...anything else?

*shakes head in bewilderment*

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#47 andrewmk20@hotmail.com
October 13 2010, 11:55PM
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With the exception of 1st overall pick Patrick Kane none of the 2007 Draft Class has yet to reach it's potential. Generally that's how it normally goes. The first overall pick is usually considered the most NHL ready. Thus far I've been okay with Gagner's performance. He's looked a lot better in his puck pursuit and was definitely better than his linemates Hemsky and Penner in Florida. He is only 21 and has so many more years ahead of him. Given the fact that he has shown progress in his preparation and his on ice ability that's pretty good. Especially when Van Riemsdyk and Turris are definitely behind him in their development.

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#48 Milli
October 14 2010, 12:04AM
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I like Sam alot, I like his compete level. This kid has talent, but, more than that he has smarts and drive. He will be a good NHLer. Lots of guys have talent, but lots lack smarts and drive.

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#49 pelhem grenville
October 14 2010, 05:00AM
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for lowtide ...you and your hot women...

you disavow all lechery as well, don't you sir!

keep up the good work!

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#50 book¡e
October 14 2010, 07:12AM
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HOFFFF wrote:

Sam isn't developing as fast as Penner did. Penner only has 120 games on Gagner and 62 more goals. Sam better step it up if he wants to break 60 pts a season like the young Dustin Penner. :)

But he's 5 years older and simply entered the league at an older age. That seems to be an important factor left out of your analysis.

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