AND SO IT BEGINS...

Jason Gregor
October 15 2010 03:52PM

I’m glad to see that things have returned to normal in the Nation and around Edmonton when it comes to the Oilers. After a summer where many said they’d be happy with a rebuild and were just going to enjoy the games, it only took three games for people to start questioning many players on the Oilers.

Actually it didn’t even take three games before people were suggesting that Sam Gagner will never pan out, and now, after the Oilers first loss of the season people are clamouring for the return of the Macblender….Ah good to see things are back to normal.

Let’s start with Gagner.

What are realistic expectations for the 6th overall pick in 2007? Can he be a true number one centre?

I think it is too hard to look at other players and project that Gagner should be like them. It is a fascinating angle, but one that ultimately is hard to accurately predict since he is on a different team, with different players and even a different era.

But we need to find some line/number that Gagner should attain this season, to show he is improving and is a player the Oilers should continue to groom.

Would 55 points be a fair number?

That would be a career-high for Gagner, but is it enough to be considered a number one centre? I think that term is what causes lots of debate.

Sidney Crosby, Henrik Sedin and Nick Backstrom are bonafide number one centres, but they are at the upper echelon of the scale. Gagner isn’t close to being one of them, and might never be, but does that mean he can’t be a solid asset for the Oilers?

This is Gagner's fourth season and it is reasonable to suggest he increases his production and improves his faceoffs.

In 2008, his rookie season (I use the year the season ends, just to be clear. No one says the Oilers won their first Cup in 1983/1984, they say in 1984!) there were 30 centres with 55 or more points. 25 teams had one guy with 55+, while only five teams didn't have a centre with 55 points.

In 2009, 32 centres had 55+ points, from 24 different teams, and last season 33 centres had 55+ points from 25 different teams. (Keep in mind this is 100% accurate because there is the odd guy listed as a C that plays W and vice-versa, but it is pretty close. Positions from NHL.com)

The Oilers haven't had a centre with 55 points since Gagner came into the league, but if he reaches 55 that would put him in the conversation as "first-line" centre. Of course, he'd be at the lower end. If he gets to 65 points that puts him around the top-20 mark.

If you want to say the Oilers don't have a top-ten #1 centre, no one will argue that, but I don't think 55 points is unrealistic for Gagner, and if he reaches that and more that will put him in the top 30.

I thought Gagner and Hemsky were the two best forwards last night for the Oilers. Gagner has three points in three games, and he hasn't been dominant in any of them, but last night was his best. I don't think anyone can say with certainty that Gagner has no chance of being a top-30, first line centre. He doesn't look like he'll be top-ten, but I think 55+ points is not only realistic, it has to be a necessity for him this season.

MACBLENDER RETURNS

He doesn't look like he'll be top-ten, but I think 55+ points is not only realistic, it has to be a necessity for him this season. After only three games many were calling for some line juggling in Lowetide's article.

I don't think the current lines will stay together the entireseason , but is three games enough time to build come chemistry? Tom Renney said at the start of the season, that his biggest challenge will be to remain patient, and allow his young team to grow and mature. He could do that by juggling the lines, but I don't think it necessary just yet.

HALL TO JUNIOR?

I don't see any scenario that has Taylor Hall returning to junior after nine games. None, Zero, Zilch. Hall will undoubtedly struggle at various point this year, but that is part of the learning experience. While he doesn't have a goal yet, he has missed three glorious chances and if he burys even one of those, I don't think anyone is wondering if the Oilers would send him back to junior.

Clearly he needs to adapt parts of his game. He won't be able to dominate, not right away anyways, like he did in junior, and he will need to approach defenders from different angles, but I suspect the kid will figure it out.

I'm excited to be able to watch a potential great player learn and adapt to the best league in the world. Hall is very competitive and has a deep inner drive to succeed. It might take him some time to understand how to get in better shooting lanes, penetrate the zone, how to beat defencemen or get shots off quicker, but I'll be stunned if we don't see progress rather quickly.

Oiler fans have a rare opportunity to watch the evolution of a very talented young player, emerge into a great player. The process won't be quick, and it will be filled with growing pains, but it should be entertaining

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 baggedmilk
October 15 2010, 03:56PM
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I wrote about this also on JSBM.

What you fail to notice, Gregor, is that you're wrong. The Oilers must win now, the parade route has been planned, and the Oilers MUST be successful.

Also, Tyler Seguin has a goal so it's obvious the Oilers drafted the wrong guy. What are you thinking? Give them time to adapt to the world's best hockey league? Pfft. You're crazy, Gregor, you're crazy!

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#2 Robin Brownlee
October 15 2010, 04:08PM
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Those who believe Hall should have been returned to the OHL before the season started will be in a full froth if Hall doesn't get much done in his first nine games -- send him back!

Fans who wanted Hall here but expected him to produce at a Patrick Kane rookie pace off the hop will be wondering out loud if he's a bust -- should have taken Seguin!

Those who expect it'll take Hall months, not days, to make the transition to the NHL, are wondering what all the fuss is about after just three games.

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#3 Ender
October 15 2010, 04:11PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Also, Tyler Seguin has a goal so it's obvious the Oilers drafted the wrong guy.

See?!! See?!! I'm not the only one! baggedmilk sees it too! We drafted the wrong . . . guy . . .

[listens to mom whispering in ear]

No, mom, he wasn't being a smart-ass . . . was he?

[blushes and runs off into the canola field of the damned]

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#4 Golden Seals
October 15 2010, 04:13PM
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Taylor Hall won't return to junior. Steven Stamkos didn't look like much for a good portion of his rookie season. But when it clicked for him, does anyone remember the struggles he went through.

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#5 dohfOs
October 15 2010, 04:21PM
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Great read, even though it feels like I've read most of it before. Gagner has been good so far, his line have been our best overall, especially in the last game. Gagner have an issue is on the spot but that's nothing new. He'll do just fine. I see no reason why we would break that line up as of yet.

The only change I'd like is to put Brule as a centre in that 3rd line. But that's about it. Sure I'd like to try someone else on a wing (Omark, Giroux, claim Brunnstrom off waivers or similar, perhaps even try Jones on that line) but I don't see that happen and I don't wanna give up on Cogs just yet. Ain't easy to shuffle them around either if you don't feel like ending up losing someone on waivers.

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#6 Bucknuck
October 15 2010, 04:24PM
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Gagner is my goat. I hope he makes me look like a moron for picking him as my goat... but he won't. He gets pushed off the puck too much, and he doesn't make me jump out of the seat like Hemsky does. Therefore he sucks... or something.

I hate having goats as I want to cheer for everyone on the team.

I have to say oilers hockey is way more fun to watch this year with Hemsky back and Horcoff playing well and the three kids all learning. I LOVE being an Oiler fan right now, and that is after losing to the Wild.

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#7 Gord
October 15 2010, 04:34PM
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Why are people going off the deep end? The comments never cease to amaze me here. This is a team that is rebuilding. The Oilers will struggle because this team has a roster full of guys with little to no NHL experience and no playoff experience. Thank fully the vets in the lineup have stanley cup rings or have played in the finals. They have the experience of what it takes to go all the way. They will teach these kids/youngsters what it takes to be successful in the NHL. No one can learn this in 3 games so relax.

If that isn't selling it for you, take a look at what position the Penguins finished in Crosby's first year. They played a roster full of rookies, let them experience many different situations and allowed them to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. The team finished near the bottom again but the players learned from their experience. Low and behold, most of those guys are now successful NHL players.

The only concerns the fans should have is if games are exciting and the kids are improving. Don't judge improvements game by game, but in blocks of 10. If the team wins, fine. If the team loses, we get another good draft pick, great! We still need that stud d-man to be a true contender. I just hope none of you guys get injured jumping off the bandwagon in the meantime.

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#9 Jmask5
October 15 2010, 04:49PM
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I know its early but so far our 3 best forwards have been Penner, Horc and Hemmer. Coincidence? No. These are the most NHL proven guys we have up front. I think we should separate them among the 3 lines.

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#10 Helmethead
October 15 2010, 04:50PM
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Hemsky-Gagner-Hall - Let Hall drive the D-Men back and crash if necessary. Gagner is good on the boards but tends to lose the puck but with strong puck support by Hall, they can win the battles down low and dish to Hemsky on the half wall or in the corners. Hemsky is the obvious set up man but needs a possesion forward like Hall to dig the corners and get puck control...(Hemsky 90pts, Gagner 73pts, Hall 56pts)

Eberle-Horcoff-Paarjarvi - Eberle has the hands and Horcoff the grit. The odd faceoff win by Horcoff could spring Paarjarvi in on the right wing with Horcoff crashing and Eberle lingering around the net. Look for Paarjarvi to get some slot shots/goals with Horc in the corner and Eberle sneaking in off the wall...(Eberle 65pts, Horcs 83pts, Paarjarvi 66pts)

Penner-Cogliano-Stortini- Penners size should help Cogliano gain the blue line which translates into "dirty" goals. Have Penner go wide and dump to the center with Cogs and Storts going hard to the net. Whack and Hack for goals here...(Penner 66 pts, Cogs 55 pts, Storts 40pts)

Jones-Fraser-Brule(McIntyre)- Fraser should win HIS faceoffs and dish to Brule on the wings. Brule's speed should create chances and if Jones is aware going hard to the net, this could be a GREAT LINE! Throw in big Mc and there's potential for 6-15 goals each...(Jones 33pts, Fraser 40 pts, Brule/McIntyre 36/27 pts)

just the way I SEE it...thoughts?

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#11 spOILer
October 15 2010, 04:57PM
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For the sake of a simple and clear narrative though, I think you are over-simplifying the various different views on both Gagner and Hall.

My position on Gagner, for example, has nothing to do with his boxcars.

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#12 Death Metal Nightmare
October 15 2010, 04:57PM
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Gagner - moderately smart, has drive, but is deftly underwhelming in critical areas to dominate in the league. hes too off balanced by deficiencies. he could be an OK second liner, but at the same time, if he got a little bit more gritty and smart on both ends of the ice he'd be a solid two-way center in some sort of Matt Cullen mold. lets hope thats wrong.

it would be kind of nice if this team had a player with actual balls as a vet who wants to shoot/score and get violent every so often. weening these kids along with the passive Hemsky/Penner's, or Horcoff's robot hands is troublesome. yeah, theyre nice "role players" for your top 6 but theyre not dudes that really drive teams and want to blast the other team in the face. strangely enough, theres hardly any players left like that anymore.

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#13 MattL
October 15 2010, 05:03PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

John Tavares was great out of the gate last year, with 15 goals in 31 games, then he only scored two goals in his next 34 games.

Matt Duchene scored 3 in his first 26 games, then scored 20 in the next 40.

It will interesting to see how Hall develops or struggles.

HENRIK SEDIN

21yrs old: 29pts............ 22yrs old: 36pts.......... 23yrs old: 39pts.......... 24yrs old: 42pts.......... 25yrs old: (44 games during lockout in Sweden) 36pts

Each of the NHL seasons he was playing 76-82 games. I'm guessing Oilers fans would have traded him at some point during this run before he did the following:

-75pts -81pts -76pts -82pts -112 pts Hart Trophy, MEGA STUD.

SAM GAGNER

21yrs old: Turned 21 a couple of months ago. So far, scoring at a point per game. Already has 3 full seasons of NHL experience under his belt scoring more PPG than H. Sedin in his first 4 seasons, despite starting 3 years younger.

~TRADE HIM!!!!!~

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#14 Helmethead
October 15 2010, 05:10PM
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It will interesting to see how Hall develops or struggles.

OR struggles? I think Hall will get 55+ points. He'll develop as the team grows and gives him more/less responibility. He's a proven winner and after 3 games, even though he's stretched his ice time, once he gets into a groove, I think he'll produce AND in spades...

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#15 brocktw
October 15 2010, 05:12PM
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Thanks Robin for the pep talk. You brought me back to reality.

As for Gagner the poor kid is twenty one years old. Look at a 20 year old they're small, light & wimpy. In 3 or 4 years he is going to be a lot more mature & then we can start to judge him. If he is still losing a majority of puck battles, then its time to call him a bust.

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#16 Ender
October 15 2010, 05:15PM
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@MattL

Props aren't enough; that was a really well-thought-out take. Very nicely put together.

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#17 jeanshorts
October 15 2010, 05:19PM
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Golden Seal beat me to it, but I was going to say does anyone remember a man with a glorious alpha-mullet proclaiming that some hot shot named Stamkos was "not ready for the NHL"? Seems to me he finished his rookie year off not too badly, and won some sort of goal scoring award last year. I'm no paleontologist but I'm going to go out on a limb and say another year in Jr wouldn't have been the best thing for him.

I seriously can't get my mind around why people think sending Hall down to skate circles around 16 year olds is going to help him in any way, other than the default "another year to get bigger and stronger". Is he going to get smaller and weaker playing in the NHL?

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#18 upper-deck-drunk
October 15 2010, 05:23PM
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@ Robin Brownlee

Hey Robin, just got home from Herbal Magic, hopefully I can do what you've done with your life!

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#19 Let's Rebuild
October 15 2010, 05:27PM
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Using the three game measuring stick, Clarke MacArthur was the greatest free agent signing of the summer. Time will be the great equalizer.

Also I believe Stamkos was a healthy scratch in his rookie year (cost the coach his job) so should he have been sent down to the juniors? It took time for him to figure out where to be and time for St. Louis to find him.

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#20 RossCreekNation
October 15 2010, 05:29PM
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I wish I could afford to go on Herbal Magic! It's cheaper to be round... fml.

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#21 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 15 2010, 05:29PM
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Great blog, sometimes it's embarrassing being an Oiler fan.

I'd agree 100% on Gagner, I'm looking for 55ish points this year, should be enough to show progress but still a reasonably attainable number.

I doubt he'll be top 10, but could deffinitly see him in the 11 - 20 slot production wise in 2-3 years.

67-71 67-78 70-78

Points over the last 3 years would get you in that range. Looks pretty resonable for a guy with 49 at 18 and a 50 point pace at 20.

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#23 Shaun Doe
October 15 2010, 07:06PM
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@ Jason Gregor

Regardless of how we feel and how you feel, have there been any rumblings of a roster shuffle leading into Saturdays game?

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#24 Ryan14
October 15 2010, 07:12PM
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Why are people so excited about a 20 year old "because he is so full of potentia"l and at the same time write off a 21 year old? Is 364 days, 23 hours the allotted time you have to develop.

Fans interchange first round pick and top end player like they are synonymous. They expect a first round player to be an impact player within a couple seasons. Outside the Ovechkins, Kanes, Malkin's, Crosby's(*shudders*) players need to adapt and adjust to the NHL. The Getzlafs, keith's, Richards, St. Louis' of the NHL develop into that. They aren't immediate game breakers, or Rocket Richard winners, that is what they develop into.

I look forward to Gagner, Hall, Eberle, Pajaarvi, Larsson* developing into those.

*Dare to dream.

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#25 Matt Henderson
October 15 2010, 07:40PM
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I was beginning to think I was in some Bizarro land last night when people went into full blown Gagner Panic. Isnt Gagner running 3 points in 3 games? Didnt he bust his hump last year to move from the 4th line to 1st?

What is there to panic about? Why are fans considering trading away the team's 1st line centre when the organization has precious few quality centres?

I get that some people are fair-weather fans that cant handle a long term rebuild, but what's the fuss? The kid is good, he's been good for 3 years already, and he's been getting better each year.

The rebuild didnt start last year. It started when we drafted Gagner, we just didnt know it. Luckily for us the Oilers managed to grab 2 sweet prospects MUCH later in the draft then they should have in the two subsequent years. That's 4 forwards who cant legally rent a car without a grown up injected into the lineup.

I think that part of the problem has been people using the word "Smurf" way too much. Fans have been brainwashed into thinking that every centre in the league should be 6'2" and 215 pounds. Hey, it would be nice to have a refrigerator that can play, but that is not the norm. There is a ridiculously long list of Star players who are Gagner's size and speed, yet delusional Oiler fans are under the impression that Gagner is defective because he isnt the size of a professional wrestler.

I get the desire for a legit #1 centre. I realy do. I wanted Seguin here, not Hall. I just want someone who is in the pro-trading-Gagner camp to tell me who the Oilers should get in return for Sam and how the move will help the Oilers get better down the middle.

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#26 Stack Pad Save
October 15 2010, 07:42PM
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I think the media guys are making up the McBlender rumblings and that people are hating on the kids. One e-mail to a radio show or 1 idiotic post does not represent the majority of fans. EVERY person that I have talked to about the Oilers loves what the rookies are bringing to the table. You would have to be an idiot not to notice the skill that these kids have, they are all making small mistakes, but when they get the puck they all have electric looking play making skills, not unlike Hemsky. I think people should be more worried about is the fact that on the Paajarvi, Brule, Cogliano line, the only one who appears to back check is Paajarvi. Also, watching Horcoff and his hands of stones and legs of quicksand, made me proud that I picked him as my goat. Why do people hate on last place and Gagner? When we get the first overall pick again next draft after Knabiboosin gets injured or goes to jail we will need Gagner to be are number 2 center.

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#27 Team Hallsy
October 15 2010, 07:45PM
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Nice article Gregor. I found myself being happy last night after a loss, because realistically we can't expect wins this year. We're just along for the ride. It was a fun, decent road game. Great experience for the kids, we hit some snags, but we had some good moments too. That top line looked like a top line last night. Dominant. I noticed Hall last night too, toward the end, he was taking shots and skating hard. Good sign. I am happy win or lose this year, its just fun to watch a great team starting out.

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#28 bdhs
October 15 2010, 07:49PM
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The Sedin example is excellent.

Before Crosby and Ovechkin did it only five rookies scored 100 + points in NHL history.

Six if you include Gretzky.

If you can name the five without looking them up you win a prize.

Point is these guys take time to develop. They have their ups and downs, sometimes before they even make the NHL. Remember the WJC when Toews was the shootout hero? He had been drafted 3rd overall that summer and going into the WJC he had four goals total. Playing college.

Joe Thornton had what, seven points as a rookie? He barely saw the ice.

Its going to take time for all of these kids. Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Gagner, Smid, Peckham, Brule, Cogliano.

Some will become good players. A few will crap out. Hopefully some become great. (Hopefully all! ;) )

Lets not sweat it. Patience.

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#29 Team Seguin
October 15 2010, 07:49PM
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I'd be happy with 50 pts from Gags, he looks like a developing player, steady, not up and down, but steadily good. I'd be happy with a Tavares year from Hall. 40-50 pts is great for a rookie. If you think we lost picking Gags at 6, how about Turris at 3? Gags was a good pick, and will be a good player for years. Look how long it took Sedin to develop, but he turned out not too badly.

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#30 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 15 2010, 08:12PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I wish I could afford to go on Herbal Magic! It's cheaper to be round... fml.

just put the f-ing fork down.

there, i saved you a pile of money

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#31 Victoria
October 15 2010, 08:18PM
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I've been having my doubts about Gagner, but I think it would be a huge mistake to trade him.

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#32 ubermiguel
October 15 2010, 08:25PM
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bdhs wrote:

The Sedin example is excellent.

Before Crosby and Ovechkin did it only five rookies scored 100 + points in NHL history.

Six if you include Gretzky.

If you can name the five without looking them up you win a prize.

Point is these guys take time to develop. They have their ups and downs, sometimes before they even make the NHL. Remember the WJC when Toews was the shootout hero? He had been drafted 3rd overall that summer and going into the WJC he had four goals total. Playing college.

Joe Thornton had what, seven points as a rookie? He barely saw the ice.

Its going to take time for all of these kids. Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Gagner, Smid, Peckham, Brule, Cogliano.

Some will become good players. A few will crap out. Hopefully some become great. (Hopefully all! ;) )

Lets not sweat it. Patience.

I got stuck and had to look it up:

Selanne; Mario Lemiuex; Hawerchuk; Peter Stastny; Juneau

Totally forgot about Juneau, his rookie season was over-shadowed by Selanne's.

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#33 The Other John
October 15 2010, 08:41PM
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The Oiler management group/ownership decided that we are going to get 70+ games of Hall, Eberle, MPS results be damned. So get used to that. This is not a particularly difficult issue, do you want your young guys struggling in the show or dominating at lower level. I think there are good arguments in favor of both propositions.

The argument is moot, however, because the Oil touted them all off season as "can't miss" and someone would have egg all over their face if they had to go into the owner and said........er, boss I made a mistake and think XXX is overmatched in the show.

Put simply, ain't gonna happen!! Well not unless KLowe can off load the blame for that mistake onto the EIG or someone else.

So they young 3 are gonna be here sink or swim. Ditto Gagner

Now the UNFATHOMABLE issue is how the bleep can anyone be surprised when we cannot win a defensive draw killing penalties when we have a roster full off centers who cannot beat my grandmother on a face-off (Horcoff excepted). Did I mention my granny has been dead for 14 years. P.S. My granny also has better lateral movement than #2, ...........did I mention my Granny is dead? That is bad but if you had 87 year old bad hips, do you think it would behoove you to NOT TO PINCH at every opportunity. Vandemear if you cannot figure out the "don't pinch" rule, pull a George Costanza and just do the exact opposite of whatever your instincts tell you to do.

Tambellni feel completely free to trade Cogliano for anyone who can win a right handed face-off in our own end and kill a penalty. Seriously!!

Now I do not mean to disagree with the experts because I am not one myself, but where is it written that a rebuild consists of taking all of your young players and just blindly throwing them out there whether they can sink or swim. Not sure that would be the best "development" model to follow but....... Someone has surely sold the Oiler fans that this is what a rebuild consists of but to question that proposition does not mean you are jumping off the bandwagon.........maybe it just means you can recognize that we still don't have a RH center that can win face-offs.

Wish management could figure that out

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#34 baai
October 15 2010, 08:49PM
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i think the time its going to take for this team to turn into whatever its going to look like should be relished. there are good players out there but they need to be supported.

tambo did a good job clearing the stage for the kids to come in and grab a roster spot but my gripe, and im sure lots of peoples' gripe, is with the 3rd line centerman.

it doesn't look like cogliano's going to be a centerman on this team (he said three games into the season). his positioning is terrible and my socks win more faceoffs than he does. granted, no one's winning faceoffs right now , but that just means you need someone who can.

ok, back to work.

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#35 Grumpy OM
October 15 2010, 09:12PM
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Three years from now this team will look different than it does now. We should all relax and enjoy the process. If you want to see a young exciting team as they grow and learn how to win watch the Oil. If you want to to see a young exciting team as the win watch the OIL KINGS. Be patient hockey fans of E-TOWN and enjoy the ride .

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#36 King Mob
October 15 2010, 09:27PM
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Jumbo Joe scored seven points in his rookie season.

Seven. Three goals, four assists.

Seven.

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#37 Biowolf
October 15 2010, 09:43PM
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Hall, Gags, Cogs ? Its the D, stupid. Big trouble. And our best D man is in the minors. Because he bruised some egos upstairs. Waive them.

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#39 99thOilerfan
October 15 2010, 09:59PM
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So...

Ok, every time some body starts the trade the young gun, I think of....

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8459429

A former oiler, that became a Captain of an NHL team, and a part of a Cup winning team..

All because, we could not wait for him to develop, so we ran him out of town...

Peace out..

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#40 Butters
October 15 2010, 10:20PM
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Hall reminds me of Hemsky when Hemsky was a rookie. He was always visible, often involved in the the play, just not always productive. Like Hemsky, Hall might not score a ton of points in his rookie year. Give him time, he is a future 80 point player imho.

Gagner is a ppg player so far. A small sample of games granted, but he is not the problem with this team. The Oilers need answers but they have already mandated that they want to draft and develop them. Give the rebuild a few years not days.

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#41 Crash
October 15 2010, 11:01PM
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Tyler Pitlick had a 3 point game tonight vs the Oil Kings and....

Everyone's favorite player Linus Omark went pointless yet again tonight for the third straight game (something Eberle never did during his time in the AHL) as OKC lost in OT.

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#42 chartleys
October 16 2010, 12:09AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Those who believe Hall should have been returned to the OHL before the season started will be in a full froth if Hall doesn't get much done in his first nine games -- send him back!

Fans who wanted Hall here but expected him to produce at a Patrick Kane rookie pace off the hop will be wondering out loud if he's a bust -- should have taken Seguin!

Those who expect it'll take Hall months, not days, to make the transition to the NHL, are wondering what all the fuss is about after just three games.

Those who at least believe there is possibly merit in considering another year in the OHL for Hall, rather than piddling around on a middling squad, are honestly just laughing at the blinding ignorance.

The smug finger in the rib just kills me here. Thank you oh wise one. The fuss isn't three games in, the fuss is they have 9 games to test drive him around the block and make a decision. Is he going to get better regardless of where he plays?

YES

Is it worth starting the lease on the truck, knowing that it's going to be a few years before you need the thing?

ENTIRELY UP FOR DEBATE

I realize there is no point to actually try to debate anything with Bill O' Brownlee so I won't bother.

I can't seem to remember but there was someone on here just a little while ago talking about trying to let this issue die...Paraphrasing, it was something like "I'm just not going to write anything about it or acknowledge his arguement as it gives him more print..."

For the life of me, I can't exactly recall that smug fellows name. Maybe you and he should sit down, have a chat and figure out what exactly the party line is.

Facepalms for everyone!!!

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#43 MattL
October 16 2010, 03:04AM
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chartleys wrote:

Those who at least believe there is possibly merit in considering another year in the OHL for Hall, rather than piddling around on a middling squad, are honestly just laughing at the blinding ignorance.

The smug finger in the rib just kills me here. Thank you oh wise one. The fuss isn't three games in, the fuss is they have 9 games to test drive him around the block and make a decision. Is he going to get better regardless of where he plays?

YES

Is it worth starting the lease on the truck, knowing that it's going to be a few years before you need the thing?

ENTIRELY UP FOR DEBATE

I realize there is no point to actually try to debate anything with Bill O' Brownlee so I won't bother.

I can't seem to remember but there was someone on here just a little while ago talking about trying to let this issue die...Paraphrasing, it was something like "I'm just not going to write anything about it or acknowledge his arguement as it gives him more print..."

For the life of me, I can't exactly recall that smug fellows name. Maybe you and he should sit down, have a chat and figure out what exactly the party line is.

Facepalms for everyone!!!

The improvement you'd get from Hall in juniors isn't close the improvement you'll get from having him in the bigs this year.

He was the playoff MVP two years running, what else is he going to learn playing against even YOUNGER oponents?

The problem with junior is that the relative opposition gets WORSE each year, not BETTER as you get older.

The "let him finish junior" argument dies when a player has already proven to be better than the 19 and 20 year olds in the league.

Do you want him to learn how to better score goals against 17 year olds (which is a completely useless skill to have as a professional hockey player)? Or do you want him to learn how to play against the best of the best (which pays significantly better in the long run)?

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#44 MattL
October 16 2010, 03:08AM
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Ender wrote:

Props aren't enough; that was a really well-thought-out take. Very nicely put together.

Awww shucks, you're just saying that because I have a beard like Riker.

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#45 chartleys
October 16 2010, 09:07AM
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@MattL

Question:

Are 18 year old kids even close to fully grown mentally or physically?

So there is absolutely no possible way another WJ, another year in the OHL (maybe at center), 20 games in the AHL and likely AHL playoffs (after 9 games in the NHL) could be of any benefit to this kid? No possible way? It is actually going to harm his development and likely ruin the kid? The only thing to be done is to start the clock and let him figure it out with the club? Despite the fact that a 20 year old Eberle (who did go back to junior) and a 19 year old MPS look a lot more composed out there?

Yes, look at Stamkos you say? By the same token, don't look at Bobby Ryan you also say?

I guess I never looked at it that way...I'm totally sorry I didn't realize when debating a point it has to end completely in black and white and you only state things in a factual matter that support your arguement AND NEVER EVER CONCEDE that the other sides arguement has any merit.

I honestly was not 100% on sending him back, but the more I see from the anti camp, the more I think it's most likely the best idea. The only thing I wonder about is what this arguement would look like if Tamblowe had stuck to last April's message of "we're not rushing anyone" and not gotten carried away dispensing kool-aid.

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#46 Robin Brownlee
October 16 2010, 09:21AM
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@chartleys

Listen up, "chartleys."

Nod in agreement with whoever you want (although directing the term "smug" my way, given the think tank you frequent makes me laugh out loud). It follows, then, you feel compelled to come here (do you ever visit this site to actually take part in the discussion or is it more a case dropping off a dissertation on who is wrong and why?) to brown-nose and apple-polish in an effort to impress your learned friends.

The point, which you missed or choosed to ignore, is is pretty straightforward: it's too early to draw any conclusions on Hall, but many fans are doing exactly that.

-- Some in the group of fans who believe Hall and the Oilers would be best served by him playing another year in the OHL will point to his so-so start as validating their point. I'm saying three games (or nine) is too early to draw that conclusion.

-- Another group of fans, those who expected Hall to burst out of the gates the way Patrick Kane did three years ago, are perplexed why that hasn't happened. Was Hall over-hyped? Is he a bust? Too early to say.

The other group (probably the largest), one that thinks it best Hall plays here and didn't expect him to tear it up right away, is sitting back and waiting. We, like the other groups, won't know for many seasons how the kids is going to turn out, but I'm not going to draw any conclusions from three, nine or even 30 games.

Party line? You'd know about that.

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#47 chartleys
October 16 2010, 09:46AM
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@ MattL

I appologize in advance for the aggression in that last post. I'm not specifically trying to rail against you or anything.

I am just totally at a loss on this and many other points that people seem to be making.

Will I be completely pissed if Hall plays the whole year up here?

No.

Am I convinced that another year, as described above, will see the ruin of Hall and that a 20 year old debut of a guy on the long track will be significantly worse than a 20 year old pounding it out in the NHL?

Not even close.

Would I prefer to see any major contractual decisions that have long term implications be delayed until Lowe and Tamblo are not anywhere near this franchise?

Absolutely, 100% certain of it.

Does it make a ton of sense to stagger the big three's ELCs?

So many tons.

Despite the fact that I believe both sides of the conversation have merit, does one side seem extremely fox news like in the presentation of their arguement?

Yup.

Does the misrepresentation of opinions as factual arguements really piss you off?

Yup.

Does this truthiness coupled with smug, mocking disdain for anyone without a similar opinion REALLY piss you off?

Yes, Brownlee is looking more and more like the back of a horse.

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#48 madjam
October 16 2010, 09:48AM
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CLARITY . No problem cutting the youngsters slack and patience . As for rest of club i'm not about too. We rebuild every year like all clubs do . If the rest of club that is lagging i'm not prepared to cut them patience and slack like youth. So don't confuse being patience with older players in same scenario as with the youth .

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#49 Robin Brownlee
October 16 2010, 10:12AM
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@chartleys

You've pretty much run the table with "smug" and "blinding ignorance" and "Bill O'Brownlee" and, now, "the back of a horse."

Anything else you need to get off your chest before you get gone?

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#50 DC
October 16 2010, 10:13AM
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Gagner is good, he will be very good. Hall will be fine, he will learn the ways. Paajarvi needs better linemates, Cogliano is my goat so far this year. Oh and Khabby......well.....wow.

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