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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#53 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 14 2010, 07:27AM
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Chris. wrote:

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?

~that depends. when are we trading him to chicago or pittsburgh?~

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#54 speeds
October 14 2010, 08:14AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

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.

Don't forget Hudler, he may even be smaller than the rest of them.

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#55 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 08:16AM
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C-DOG wrote:

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.

I wish Shadi would realize exactly what he's doing: Guessing and proclaiming his guess as fact.

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#56 Chris.
October 14 2010, 08:39AM
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@Lowetide

People say again and again that fans need to manage their expectations. I have mine well managed. Sad thing is... the Oilers (and most of the players) have still found ways to fall under my conservative estimates for four years running.

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#57 Crash
October 14 2010, 10:05AM
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Steve Smith wrote:

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.

You're a smart guy Steve, I bow down to you.

1. Gagner may not be ready by this year to be a full time legit #1C, it may or may not take a year or so. Heck, maybe it'll never happen but I'm optimistic given his skill and hockey sense it will and I'm not ready to declare Gagner as a player who can't get it done.

2. Yes, you are correct. It was too early to declare Stamkos a 50 goal scorer going into year 2 of his career too just ONE year removed from junior. I'm not saying Hall is guaranteed to score 50, I'm just saying we don't know what he is capable of.

3. Yes again, in fact it looks as though Eberle will be a top six contributor this year. But it's early, who knows, but I'm thinking his arrows are definitely pointing up.

4. Cogliano is a tough call. Given the young depth on the team he may be in tough due to the number of guys who have appeared to step ahead of him on the depth chart. But again, it's only game 2.

5. Paajarvi - Another rookie on a learning curve...they're all on learning curves but the arrows are up arrows. Much of this seasons success does depend on just how good these young guys are. This is a question that has yet to be answered. There is NO guaranteed answer.

6. Yes, it's too early to say how Brule will play out this year. Stop already with all this easy minutes crap...you'd think that none of the other teams in the league ice any good players given all these easy minutes that all of the Oilers outside of Horcoff had last year.

7. Ryan Jones is being asked to just play a simple role as a 4th line player. He has the size, so why couldn't he be a 12th, 13th forward in the NHL? Are you suggesting all players plucked off waivers can never play in the NHL?

8. Colin Fraser isn't being asked to be a regular checking center. He's the 4th line center being asked to provide some energy and to hopefully step up and kill some penalties.

9. Steve MacIntyre's role here is to ensure that other guys on the team can play hockey. He does it well.

10. While I doubt that Horcoff can return to the same form that gave him the best years of his career, I am optimistic that he can contribute positively in a reduced role, but yes it is too early to tell.

11. It could be that this will be a defense corp by committee, not a defined top pairing, second pairing etc. They may not be world beaters but I don't think they're as bad as people are making them out to be. Time will tell.

12. See 11...I see you have Whitney all figured out. How do you feel about Visnovsky, who btw has also been moved twice in his career?

13. Don't players approaching their primes usually get better? Isn't Smid improving every year?...is it possible for him to be improved?

14. See 11 and 12.

15. Chances are you're right, but can we wait and see?

16. Peckham is a prospect and he's not here to put up numbers. He's supposed to provide some stability and toughness. Can we not wait and see if he is able to provide this before declaring him a complete and utter failure?

17. I refer to you once again. If you say Khabby's career has only been averaged I bow to your superior knowledge.

18 and 19. With regards to JDD and Dubnyk. You already have it figured out after they've both played less than one full season in the NHL? I think Dubnyk showed over his last 10 games last year that he just may have it in him to be a good NHLer....but again, hard to say just yet..but if you've already got it figured out then I guess once again I bow to your superior knowledge.

Of course it's unrealistic to expect miracles on every single point. But to act like you know which one's will be a fail and which one's won't, especially when it comes to kids in development is a bit premature just 2 games into the season isn't it? If you make enough doomsday predictions some of them are sure to come to fruition. Then you can pat yourself on the back and tell us how you knew it.

I don't think it's really necessary for the Oilers plan for success to rely on every single point being a positive one. You think maybe we can wait for awhile, and just see how things turn out, instead of stating negatives like they are already facts?

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#58 magisterrex
October 14 2010, 10:10AM
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Great article; well-reasoned. With 2 whole games under his belt, and a point/game average in them, it's a bit odd to hear the anti-Samwise chant start up.

I'd be happy with 50 points this season. Even happier at 70, but I know that's not very realistic. 9 months older than Eberle...Samwise is rapidly becoming Old Man Oiler.

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#59 Steve Smith
October 14 2010, 10:12AM
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@Crash

So I write a long list of things that it's too early to say, and acknowledge that some will turn out to be true and that some won't, and that I don't know which is which, and your response is...to accuse me of "having it all figured out"? Alrighty, then.

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#60 Crash
October 14 2010, 10:18AM
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Steve Smith wrote:

So I write a long list of things that it's too early to say, and acknowledge that some will turn out to be true and that some won't, and that I don't know which is which, and your response is...to accuse me of "having it all figured out"? Alrighty, then.

I took your post to be sarcastic to those that are being optimistic as your statements at the end of many of the points seemed to indicate.

If I misread it then my bad...

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#61 Steve Smith
October 14 2010, 10:21AM
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@Crash

In general, inferring sarcasm in my posts is a good idea, but in this case I was being completely earnest.

I think virtually every player on this team is being asked to fulfill a role that they have not successfully fulfilled in the recent past. I think that it is a given that some will succeed, and that some (probably most), won't. I don't know which is which, though I have my hypotheses.

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#62 Crash
October 14 2010, 10:26AM
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Steve Smith wrote:

In general, inferring sarcasm in my posts is a good idea, but in this case I was being completely earnest.

I think virtually every player on this team is being asked to fulfill a role that they have not successfully fulfilled in the recent past. I think that it is a given that some will succeed, and that some (probably most), won't. I don't know which is which, though I have my hypotheses.

I agree it could be hard to argue with those that are established vets and have never produced but when we are talking about prospects and totally brand new players it's kind of hard to know just yet.

It's also kind of early yet to tell which roles some of the players are going to be asked to handle. I'm sure when we hit some of the rough patches that there will be experimenting and changes.

I apologize, it's just the negativity in here sometimes floors me. Along with the impatience of many of young players in the throws of development.

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#63 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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#64 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 11:29AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I wish Shadi would realize exactly what he's doing: Guessing and proclaiming his guess as fact.

I never mentioned fact anywhere, I am giving an in depth opinion on why I don't like a certain players skill set instead of just saying so and so just sucks like other posters.

Why is it that people you agree with can project players and the ones you disagree with are just guessing?

And I was was trying to get lowtides opinion about the weight issue I brought up.

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#65 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 11:35AM
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C-DOG wrote:

I never mentioned fact anywhere, I am giving an in depth opinion on why I don't like a certain players skill set instead of just saying so and so just sucks like other posters.

Why is it that people you agree with can project players and the ones you disagree with are just guessing?

And I was was trying to get lowtides opinion about the weight issue I brought up.

"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."

You are saying if he wasn't playing with Penner/Hemmer people would realize that he is a 2nd tier player ("at best" I might add, which makes your claim especially ridiculous).

That is a guess.

As a side note, he hasn't spent a whole pile of time in his career with Hemsky/Penner, so to try and say that his line-mates are masquerading his true ability is pretty foolish.

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#66 traktor
October 14 2010, 11:58AM
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Fans will be asking for one more year of Gagner for the next 5 years.

Hell, fans are still crying for Horcoff to get one more chance and he's a 5.5 million Dom Moore.

2007 was a one of the worst drafts in a long time time and I bet the biggest reason people think Gagner has bright future is because he played with Pat Kane in the past.

I suspect we will hold onto him until he has zero value like Pouliot, Schremp, O'Sullican ect

That's the Oiler way.

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#67 Steve Smith
October 14 2010, 12:19PM
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@traktor

Oh, good, it's Traktor; I've been wondering about your take on Horcoff. Do you think he has any chance of earning his salary this year?

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#68 Crash
October 14 2010, 12:29PM
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Steve Smith wrote:

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.

You are assuming you know what the team expects. What does the team expect? You are the one talking about expectations. I don't have any "expectations". I only have optimism of what I think are possibilities and what I hope for.

I don't expect Gagner to score 75 pts this year but do believe he is a very good player and will be for years to come. And that he hasn't tapped his full potential yet. But others come on here and they already have it completely figured out of how bad he is.

I don't understand your logic when you talk of patience with the prospects. Giving a good prospect an important role isn't saying we are impatient. In fact if you have a team with the ability to give young players plenty of ice time it's a bonus. I'm quite sure that if Eberle or any prospect really needs some seasoning in the AHL that they will get it. But just sending someone down to the AHL just for the sake of it says nothing about patience.

Patience means allowing players to play and learn through their mistakes without ragging on them or punishing them. Being patient is teaching and throwing them back out there in different situations to learn.

You do realize that there are tons of successful players in the NHL that have played very little to no time of AHL hockey? In fact most of the elite players in the NHL have spent very little time in the AHL. Sending players to the AHL is for players that aren't ready for the NHL and chances are the longer a player has to spend down in the AHL, the less likely that player is going to become one of the elite players in the league.

So I respectfully disagree that the Oilers are being impatient.

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#69 traktor
October 14 2010, 12:38PM
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Steve Smith wrote:

Oh, good, it's Traktor; I've been wondering about your take on Horcoff. Do you think he has any chance of earning his salary this year?

Too early to tell.

For all we know Tambellini could pick up Crosby and Malkin and put them on a line with Horcoff.

Horcoff very well could break is 22 goal career high.

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#70 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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#71 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 12:47PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"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."

You are saying if he wasn't playing with Penner/Hemmer people would realize that he is a 2nd tier player ("at best" I might add, which makes your claim especially ridiculous).

That is a guess.

As a side note, he hasn't spent a whole pile of time in his career with Hemsky/Penner, so to try and say that his line-mates are masquerading his true ability is pretty foolish.

Take a look at his ice time for the last 2 and half years p.p and otherwise he gets more gravy minutes than any other prospect. Last year he centered Penner( best player last year) more than any other centre.Check your facts.

The point of my post was to suggest that he might have already phyicaly matured at an early age, but if you insist.

After 1 game on the 4th line last year he was bumped up. If you recall early in the year in back to back games against CHI & NASH Cog's was the best player on the ice and the Oilers chose to keep him with Stortini and Moroeu for more than half the year. In the end of the year Cog's was given the same same oppurtuinity as your boy that you will eventualy die on the sword for, Cogs produced at an even better rate 15 point in 20 games, a 61 point pace, not bad I might add for a person who knows the team didn't fully beleive in him, imagine what he could of done if he had their confidence, those are facts.

Either way neither one is a top line player. I am not sure sure if you ever heard the saying, putting up numbers on a bad team, that is what we have here. Look at Dominic Moore, in T.O he wanted more money than Burke would offer and Burke said he is getting those points on a bad team, how many would he get on a good team and that would prove his worth. Fast forward a couple of years he's a million dollor checker.

Let me guess your response,"You are Still guessing those are not facts, even though I don't have any facts to prove you wrong."

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#72 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 12:54PM
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Traktor wrote:

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

Couldn't agree more, I have been saying that for a while.

It shouldn't be a suprise the Oilers get outshot more often than not being so thin at centre and defence.

Oilers centres should be: Hall,Brule,Horcoff and Fraser. If Hall can't play centre then they drafted the wrong guy and are in trouble.

Comrie might of been 21 when he scored 33, but still a good comp, plus that was the clutch and grab era. Sam would of had a hard time adjusting in that era.

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#73 Chris.
October 14 2010, 01:21PM
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@Crash

I don't expect Gagner to score 75 pts this year but do believe he is a very good player and will be for years to come. And that he hasn't tapped his full potential yet. But others come on here and they already have it completely figured out of how bad he is.

I think it is you sir who already has it completely figured out: Sam Gagner is already a "very good player" who "hasn't tapped his full potential yet".... Hmmmmmmm....

This whole argument is about nothing other than different levels of expectation, and varying opinions of where young Sam is at as a player. There is no need for all the frustration.

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#74 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 03:22PM
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C-DOG wrote:

Couldn't agree more, I have been saying that for a while.

It shouldn't be a suprise the Oilers get outshot more often than not being so thin at centre and defence.

Oilers centres should be: Hall,Brule,Horcoff and Fraser. If Hall can't play centre then they drafted the wrong guy and are in trouble.

Comrie might of been 21 when he scored 33, but still a good comp, plus that was the clutch and grab era. Sam would of had a hard time adjusting in that era.

Hall is not a centre. Period. Not this year anyway. He isnt even close to good enough defensively yet for that job. He still hasnt figured out that he cant take minute long shifts and Horcoff is trying to explain how to help out defensively as a LW.

What have you seen from him that suggests he's ready to play the most responsible position on the ice? Nothing.

They may well have drafted the wrong guy, but that doesnt mean Hall should play the wrong position. He should be a very successful player one day, soon I hope, but he wont be a Centre any time in the near future.

Gagner earned the #1 spot late last year and played well. In two games he has 2 points. Can we please stop pretending like this guy is sh*tting the bed out there?

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#75 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 03:50PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Hall is not a centre. Period. Not this year anyway. He isnt even close to good enough defensively yet for that job. He still hasnt figured out that he cant take minute long shifts and Horcoff is trying to explain how to help out defensively as a LW.

What have you seen from him that suggests he's ready to play the most responsible position on the ice? Nothing.

They may well have drafted the wrong guy, but that doesnt mean Hall should play the wrong position. He should be a very successful player one day, soon I hope, but he wont be a Centre any time in the near future.

Gagner earned the #1 spot late last year and played well. In two games he has 2 points. Can we please stop pretending like this guy is sh*tting the bed out there?

Hall doesn't have to be a centre right now but should be given an oppertunity eventualy.I am willing to live with his mistakes at centre during a rebuild.

If you want to go by late last year than Cog's should be that guy, he finished last year better than Gagne.

I never said he is sh*tting the bed now, I just don't beleive he should be playing centre long term.I am all for letting him rack up some easy points right now, but trading him later.

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#76 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 03:50PM
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@C-DOG

"The point of my post was to suggest that he might have already phyicaly matured at an early age, but if you insist"

And you use the fact that intentionally lost 7lbs as proof of that?

I do think losing wieght was a mistake, however it's not like he can't gain it back. And if he was actually 198 at 20, thiers no reason he can't be 210 at 25.

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#77 Traktor
October 14 2010, 04:09PM
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"I do think losing wieght was a mistake, however it's not like he can't gain it back. And if he was actually 198 at 20, thiers no reason he can't be 210 at 25."

If Gagner got to 210 pounds he would be slower than Jason Allison.

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#78 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 04:12PM
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@C-DOG

Trade him for what? Is there another centre that we could get back that will be with the organization for a guaranteed 4 years that will have a better upside and contract?

Playing against the opposition's best defenders every night on the 1st line doesnt strike me as easy.

Jesus. In one sentence you suggest that, in the spirit of the rebuild, you're fine with the team playing young guys in situations where they will make mistakes. Then in another sentence you suggest the team ought to trade a 21 year old centre who has proven to be 2nd highest scoring player from his draft year.

Are we rebuilding or not? If we are then what the hell do you plan on accomplishing by trading the team's best young centre? Do we have different definitions of "Rebuild"?

My definition goes something like "Changing the dynamic of a team by accumulating younger players and prospects via the draft and trades, usually accompanied with several years of losing. Generally these teams select high in the draft as a result of their losing and as such pick better young players. After several years of rebuilding the team generally has a core group of young players who can help the team win again."

How again does getting rid of the team's young players help the end goal?

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#79 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 04:12PM
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@C-DOG

"Take a look at his ice time for the last 2 and half years p.p and otherwise he gets more gravy minutes than any other prospect. Last year he centered Penner( best player last year) more than any other centre.Check your facts"

Last year Sam spent about 41% of his EV time with Penner and about 9% of his time at EV with Hemsky (8% with all 3 together).

The year before he spent about 13% of his EV time with Hemsky and about 7% of his time at EV with Penner (1.79% with all 3 together)

His first year Gagner spent about 19% of his time at EV with Penner and about 14% of his time with Hemsky (.54% with all 3 together)

Now, considering his production has been roughly the same for all three seasons, I think it's a pretty big stretch to say he's been riding Penner/Hemsky's coat-tails.

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#81 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 06:44PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Trade him for what? Is there another centre that we could get back that will be with the organization for a guaranteed 4 years that will have a better upside and contract?

Playing against the opposition's best defenders every night on the 1st line doesnt strike me as easy.

Jesus. In one sentence you suggest that, in the spirit of the rebuild, you're fine with the team playing young guys in situations where they will make mistakes. Then in another sentence you suggest the team ought to trade a 21 year old centre who has proven to be 2nd highest scoring player from his draft year.

Are we rebuilding or not? If we are then what the hell do you plan on accomplishing by trading the team's best young centre? Do we have different definitions of "Rebuild"?

My definition goes something like "Changing the dynamic of a team by accumulating younger players and prospects via the draft and trades, usually accompanied with several years of losing. Generally these teams select high in the draft as a result of their losing and as such pick better young players. After several years of rebuilding the team generally has a core group of young players who can help the team win again."

How again does getting rid of the team's young players help the end goal?

Very easy, you get rid of the ones you don't beleive in, and play the ones you do and live with there mistakes. Being patient with someone you don't beleive in doesn't make sense to me.

Stop using 2nd most productive player in his class , he got a chance and was rushed on a horrible team, Vorachek,Sutter ,Peron and maybe even Couture will end up better than him in my opinion and were taken after him. Mike Bodeker and Nikita Filatov have more points than Eberle does that mean they are better than him, NO!

Trade him for a younger prospect say d-man to help build in another position. If he can't get you that, than that means he has little value.

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#82 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 06:53PM
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@ OB1 Hall

He was given 1st line duties without earning it this year and is curently playing with them, and has always recieved top 2 line minutes p.p. or otherwise and you can't argue that.I like how you only mention ev time as if he doesn't benifit from 1st p.p. time.

I see you have no comments regarding what Cog's did in the last 20 games of last year.

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#83 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 08:29PM
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@ OB1 Hall

He was given 1st line duties without earning it this year and is curently playing with them, and has always recieved top 2 line minutes p.p. or otherwise and you can't argue that.I like how you only mention ev time as if he doesn't benifit from 1st p.p. time.

I see you have no comments regarding what Cog's did in the last 20 games of last year.

How on earth has he not earned it? I do think Horc is still the better all around center for the next year or two. But I'd much rather have him with 2 rookies then Gagner.

Gagner scored 60% of his points last year with Penner on the ice, Penner/Gagner were on the ice together 57% of Gagner's total ice time (all situaions)

Looks to me like he produced at basically the same clip with and without Penner.

Why would I comment on Cogliano? He's irrelavant to Gagner, where he's got his points, who he's produced with and what his potential is.

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#84 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 08:35PM
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@C-DOG

Oh, hey, look at that. Gagner's got another point in today's game. He was also 2 inches away from a goal that hit the post. But yeah, it's time to give up on him.

~I sure wish the Oil had selected Logan Couture instead. I would have much rather had his career 10 points in the line-up.~

EDIT: Seriously? Filatov? I hope you wake up from this terrible dream land you live in where you can claim that Filatov > Eberle is the same argument as Gagner > Couture.

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#85 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 08:42PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

How on earth has he not earned it? I do think Horc is still the better all around center for the next year or two. But I'd much rather have him with 2 rookies then Gagner.

Gagner scored 60% of his points last year with Penner on the ice, Penner/Gagner were on the ice together 57% of Gagner's total ice time (all situaions)

Looks to me like he produced at basically the same clip with and without Penner.

Why would I comment on Cogliano? He's irrelavant to Gagner, where he's got his points, who he's produced with and what his potential is.

The whole point about Cog's is that anyone with decent talet can produce the same as Gagne did given similar oppertunity.

60% is on the fist line 40% on the second line, still only a 40+ point producer, thanks for using your #'s to prove my point.

When all said and done decent players putting up points on a bad team.

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#86 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 08:48PM
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I like how you only use Couture when I mentioned 4 players. You Actualy want to give Gagne credit for those 3 points realy, the puck happned to touch his stick before 2 players did all the work, thats my point about decent players getting points on bad teams , there are no real options so in default they get those minutes, your braging about hitting the post on an empty net after a great feed from Hemsky ,O.K. A #1 centre would of put it away.

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#87 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 08:55PM
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@C-DOG

You're right, Joe Thornton never hits the post. Ever.

Your argument is a joke at best. You cant even spell the guy's name correctly.

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#88 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 08:59PM
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@Archaeologuy

You can tell when you have lost an argument When you start talking about spelling.

Please tell me how to spell can't.

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#89 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 09:08PM
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@C-DOG

~You win. I concede. Despite proving that he can produce in the NHL before he was legally allowed to drink on American road trips, Sam Gagner was a blown pick. The Oil should trade him. He can only get points on a losing team.~

Rebuilding is pretty tough when you dont have the patience for it. What makes it worse though is prematurely jettisoning perfectly good young players because they dont meet your warped standards.

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#91 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 09:21PM
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@Lowetide

That's what drives me crazy. So what if he might not develop into that prototypical #1 centre? I'm pretty sure most winning teams have solid #2 centres.

The 2014 Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers still need Offensive depth down the middle. If Gagner is bypassed by someone else as #1 by that time then surely he could still be helpfull to the club on the 2nd line.

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#92 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 09:30PM
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Agreed. Gagner has been progressing since his rookie season and has posted offense in his first three seasons. A good reflection of that fact is where he ranks on the team each season in points.

Gagner's a solid bet to be a quality NHL player. Beyond that, who knows? But it is way too early to suggest he's a bust.

I have never stated he is a bust, I have always said he would be a second line player at best not bust.

Trading him later this year while his value might be at it's highest since he is cheap and young would help in other areas. Thats hardly calling him a bust. I don't beleive in slow/small centres and the wings are full, so thats why I suggest trading him.

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#93 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 09:38PM
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@C-DOG

"The whole point about Cog's is that anyone with decent talet can produce the same as Gagne did given similar oppertunity"

Which is a bunch of balogne.

I'm going to touch back on your point about his prime ice-time. So we've now had 3 NHL coaches giving him prime ice time... yet you think you've figured it out that he doesn't deserve it. Good job Shadi!! You've outsmarted 3 straight NHL coaches.

"60% is on the fist line 40% on the second line, still only a 40+ point producer, thanks for using your #'s to prove my point"

And 50th for PPG amoungst centers (min 41+ games)....at 20!!!

"When all said and done decent players putting up points on a bad team."

Just another lame excuse, if we were a top team you'd be claiming the only reason he put up points is because he's on a top team.

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#94 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 09:41PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

That's what drives me crazy. So what if he might not develop into that prototypical #1 centre? I'm pretty sure most winning teams have solid #2 centres.

The 2014 Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers still need Offensive depth down the middle. If Gagner is bypassed by someone else as #1 by that time then surely he could still be helpfull to the club on the 2nd line.

Exactly, if by some miracle we can land another young center that will still be better then Gagner in 2-3 seasons, we'll be in fabulous condition with a chance at having the most explosive collection of forwards in the league.

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#95 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 09:43PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Agreed. Gagner has been progressing since his rookie season and has posted offense in his first three seasons. A good reflection of that fact is where he ranks on the team each season in points.

Gagner's a solid bet to be a quality NHL player. Beyond that, who knows? But it is way too early to suggest he's a bust.

I just can't belive people are starting to write him off just a few months past his 20th Bday.

We've spent months talking re-build and patience and now one of the candidates for new whipping boy is 21 years old.

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#96 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 09:51PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

The guy's had 3 different coaches in 4 years, had to play in front of AHL goaltending, been buried on the 4th line only to fight back to #1, and become a better defensive player every year (if the advanced stats mean anything) all while consistently puting up points on a brutal team, but NOW is the time to give up on him?

I dont get it. Some people just arent going to be pleased.

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#97 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 14 2010, 10:01PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

The guy's had 3 different coaches in 4 years, had to play in front of AHL goaltending, been buried on the 4th line only to fight back to #1, and become a better defensive player every year (if the advanced stats mean anything) all while consistently puting up points on a brutal team, but NOW is the time to give up on him?

I dont get it. Some people just arent going to be pleased.

I will grant them that I've "saw him bad" so far this year, I think he made a big mistake losing lb's.

However I "saw him good for a good chunck of the last 200+ games"

I think it needs to be beat into peoples head: 21 years old 21 years old 21 years old 21 years old 21 years old 21 years old 21 years old

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#98 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 10:08PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I dont know if it was a mistake to lose pounds. Time will tell.

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#99 C-DOG
October 14 2010, 10:14PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"The whole point about Cog's is that anyone with decent talet can produce the same as Gagne did given similar oppertunity"

Which is a bunch of balogne.

I'm going to touch back on your point about his prime ice-time. So we've now had 3 NHL coaches giving him prime ice time... yet you think you've figured it out that he doesn't deserve it. Good job Shadi!! You've outsmarted 3 straight NHL coaches.

"60% is on the fist line 40% on the second line, still only a 40+ point producer, thanks for using your #'s to prove my point"

And 50th for PPG amoungst centers (min 41+ games)....at 20!!!

"When all said and done decent players putting up points on a bad team."

Just another lame excuse, if we were a top team you'd be claiming the only reason he put up points is because he's on a top team.

No, he wouldn't put up good #'s on a good team, because you can't have a good team with Gagne as its #1 centre thats an oximoron.

It doesn't matter if 3 coaches beleived in him, the point is the team is weak at centre and all 3 coaches didn't have much better options and 2 have been fired.

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#100 Archaeologuy
October 14 2010, 10:18PM
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@C-DOG

The team is weak at centre so the solution is to get rid of the best young centre on the team?

Uh...come again?

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