Samwise

Lowetide
November 25 2010 10:32PM

The pack of hyenas that makes up the irrational portion of the Oilers fanbase has found new prey. They have moved past Shawn Horcoff, last year's victim. They've beaten up on Tom Gilbert this fall, but the quality of the blue overall is so bad that pointing a finger at 77 seems both cruel and dangerous. It looks like the new whipping boy is none other than former golden child Sam Gagner.
 

Sam Gagner is 21 years old. He has played his entire NHL career on a terrible team, and each season managed to be one of their top 5 scorers. He's also improving in some secondary areas, to the point where the Edmonton Oilers may actually have two NHL calibre centers (the other being Horcoff).

Let's begin our look at Sam Gagner with the two loudest voices in the crowd currently:

  1. He doesn't deliver enough offense
  2. He doesn't deliver anything else

Let's start with the offense. If we can agree that the best judge of offensive ability is even strength scoring, then Gabriel Desjardins dandy 5x5/60 metric gives us a quick look into how things are going.

  1. Ryan Jones (2.24 in limited play)
  2. Ales Hemsky (2.11)
  3. Sam Gagner (2.03)
  4. Dustin Penner (1.98)

The complete list is here and as one might expect the young rookies are well down the list. No surprise, the NHL is the toughest league on the planet and the Oilers are running those kids out there at an incredible clip. All those 15 minute nights add up unless you're delivering offense consistently.

WHAT ABOUT CORSI?????

Jim Corsi's measuring stick is a terrific help when trying to figure out who's helping over the course of a season. We certainly need to view this puppy through an adjusted lens, but the overall picture is pretty damn clear. Here are the relCorsi numbers for Edmonton's forwards so far this season:

  1. Taylor Hall 15.6
  2. Dustin Penner 15.2
  3. Jordan Eberle 12.0
  4. Sam Gagner 9.4
  5. Shawn Horcoff 6.8
  6. Ales Hemsky 3.9
  7. Andrew Cogliano 0.0
  8. Steve MacIntyre -7.0
  9. Gilbert Brule -7.3
  10. Zack Stortini -8.6
  11. Ryan Jones -18.2
  12. Magnus Pääjärvi -19.4
  13. Colin Fraser -19.8
  14. JF Jacques -35.9

The top 2 lines (Horcoff-Hall-Eberle and Gagner-Penner-Hemsky) were doing exceptionally well considering the nuclear disaster that is the Oilers blueline. Cogliano, MacIntyre, Brule and Stortini are below sea level relCorsi but there are lots of reasons for that and I don't think we can blame any of them for sins real or imagined so far this season.

Ryan Jones, Colin Fraser and Pääjärvi are getting killed by this measure and I'm prepared to admit that Fraser has been a very disappointing player. You may wonder about Jones appearing so high in scoring and so low in Corsi, but that imo has a lot to do with low time on ice per game and luck. If Jones can deliver the kind of offense shown in 5x5/60 all season long he's going to have a career.

GAGNER IS WAY BEHIND

No. He's right on time. Sam Gagner's entire NHL career has been played outside the playoffs. It's ridiculous to blame the youth of a team for not winning; the real culprit here is a lack of depth blue and 3-4 line forwards who can play the game to something near even.

Losing organizations blame their best players (example: Montreal Expos dealing Gary Carter) and hopeless organizations trade their youth (example: NYI, Maple Leafs) miles before they're ready.I've seen and heard a few things over the last week or so in regard to Sam Gagner's inability to step forward. I find it amazing that people feel this way, since he is:

  • on pace for his first 20-goal season
  • leads the team in EV scoring (5-5-10)
  • is playing 14.5 minutes a night at even strength and is managing a 5x5/60 number above 2.00

The Edmonton Oilers have a lot of problems. Sam Gagner isn't one of them.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 TSN 1260.
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#51 David S
November 26 2010, 12:16AM
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Cervantes wrote:

Sam Gagner is young. He is talented. He is likely to be a 50-60 point top9 centre.

He is also not large. He is not physical. He is not very good at faceoffs. He is not a penalty killer. He can't run a power play. He can't carry a line.

I like Sam, he's a good player, a good kid, and will have a decent NHL career. But he's also exactly what we keep saying we DON'T want. He's a small, soft, skill forward. A good one, but still, doesn't fill a notable need on this team going forward. We have plenty of small skill forwards. We have plenty of playmakers. We have some good centres coming up that will fill our Top9 roles.

Sam is an excellent *asset* right now to obtain for us what we DO need going forward... a larger, tougher, more versatile forward. PK, Faceoffs, size and grit. There's enough skill around that we don't need someone with great offensive skill... but this team will not be crying out in 3 years for a 5'10" playmaking centre with a 45% FO and no PK time. We have been, and will be, crying out for a tough-minutes, 55%FO PKer who won't look out of place with Top9 minutes and PK time we can count on.

Sam is a great player heading into his prime, but this team needs someone different. Not any fault of Sams, but for the good of the 2014 Oilers, he needs to be moved.

"Sam is a great player heading into his prime..."

You may have a point there. ~By 2014 Sam will almost certainly be washed up, as most NHl'ers are at 25.~

I recommend reading what you typed in that white box before you hit "Post a comment". Or maybe ask your little brother to read it back to you. Its the only way you'll understand how ridiculous things like this sound.

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#52 David S
November 26 2010, 12:22AM
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Here's an excellent post that sheds further light on how ~bad~ Sam Gagner is...

http://oilersnation.com/2010/11/25/samwise

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#53 Alex M
November 26 2010, 12:54AM
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Wow I love when the mob shows up to burn the witch of the week. I'm hoping some of you wake up to realize how ridiculous you sound. Who's next on the list? Jordan Eberle being a lazy, no talent, hussy? Or is that the week after you roast Ryan Whitney? I can never keep track...

Quite simply Sam Gagner is a part of this teams future, not only is he talented but he has shown leadership qualities despite his young age. The oilers would be foolish indeed if they got rid of him over the more worrisome cases on the team.

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#54 Aleslav Smidsky
November 26 2010, 01:00AM
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Can I get a list of teams in the NHL that Gagner and Horcoff would/could be 1st and 2nd line centers respectably?

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#55 HOFFFF
November 26 2010, 01:09AM
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Sam Gagner, second line forward. Nothing more, perhaps a little less. Theres a hundred of them. Moving along....

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#56 Wax Man Riley
November 26 2010, 03:41AM
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@Death Metal Nightmare

I'll use the age excuse one more time. He plays on a line with Penner. It could be argued that Penner is coming into his prime at 28 years. Gagner is 21 years old. Right there is a 7 year difference before he comes into his prime. I'm not saying he will ever be Crosby, or even Malkin, we all know that isn't in his cards, but a good 2nd line center that plays well defensively and has an offensive upside has a lot of value.

When you think of it, there aren't many Crosbys or Malkins out there.

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#57 Mitch
November 26 2010, 06:52AM
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On a team that doesn't have any size, and most of all can't win any battles in the tough area's of the ice which eventually win you hockey games, is Sam Gagner the answer I say no. I don't look at all these quirky stats, are the battles been won in the corners, are the loose puck battles been won. Does he show a scores touch all these things are important for the role he is playing. No speed as well. Sam development was hurt buy beening rushed because the oilers had no offense and he was next in line in prospects,what has he done since being a rookie. With the prospects coming up over the next 2 yrs Sam Gagner could be used to help shore up weaker areas. Sam Gagner will not score more than 55 points in a season, it's not enough.

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#59 Horcsky
November 26 2010, 07:18AM
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So... JFJ is... not... helping? Small sample size but holy !@#$ Jacques, could you make it any more obvious that you ignore the puck out there?

At least he had one sweet elbow/head check on a d-man last night.

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#61 John Chambers
November 26 2010, 07:54AM
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"You never had the makings of a varsity athelete" -Corrato Soprano

I'm one of the hyenas who accused Gagner of "not making it happen" the other day. Yes he's got youth and some nice stats going for him, and yes he's learning the defensive side of the game, but the boy / man has not developed that gear that finds a way to take the puck to the net with a 220lb defender in the way.

It's not really his game ... he's a quick skater and slick puck-mover. This is also why I doubt that Gags will ever be a #1 centre on a good team. That doesn't suggest that he won't be a quality centre in this league.

In short, the Oilers can't be a playoff team until that person is on the roster. It may be Gags ... we all certainly hope that he develops into that player ... but we're not seeing it yet.

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#63 rubbertrout
November 26 2010, 08:13AM
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GSC wrote:

That's another thing I take issue with, the "Horcoff was injured" argument.

If his shoulder was that much of a problem, why in the hell did he play last season? It was a lost cause from December (if not sooner) onward, so why didn't the Oilers make him rest and heal up if his shoulder was so wonky?

I never bought the injury excuse.

And he was never the sole problem with this club last season, but he was hardly part of the solution.

Dead horse, have we whipped you enough yet?

~don't you remember this franchise forces you to play hurt?~

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#64 book¡e
November 26 2010, 08:28AM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Who are the scientists that think Gagner is a problem? Sometimes I think Oilers "fans" pick on someone for the sake of picking on someone. Ridiculous. Nice article LT.

What, you can't be serious. Are you suggesting that the majority of Oiler fans are ill informed louts who just jump on attack bandwagons without giving that decision rational thought?

Shame on you and your elitist Oilers Nation attitude!

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#65 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 26 2010, 08:44AM
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Rogue wrote:

I think Sam will be ok. I wonder if he may be rethinking the "I am Quicker than stronger thing" The only issue I see is soft down the middle. It is an absolute must to have a big stud 1st line center and a dominating 4th line center, as we will have Gags and probably Horc as #2 and 3. I see no way we can deal Horc in 2 or 3 years.

"I think Sam will be ok. I wonder if he may be rethinking the "I am Quicker than stronger thing"

I've been thinking that since game one of the season, I don't remember him being so easy to move in the past and his added foot speed doesn't seem to be compensating.

Hopefully he'll have an offseason like Horc where he corrects the errors in his way.

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#66 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 26 2010, 08:46AM
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book¡e wrote:

What, you can't be serious. Are you suggesting that the majority of Oiler fans are ill informed louts who just jump on attack bandwagons without giving that decision rational thought?

Shame on you and your elitist Oilers Nation attitude!

Pretty much.

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#67 Milli
November 26 2010, 08:54AM
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Good write LT. It is amazing to think that Gagner is only 21! I think one reason people get after him is because we as a team have a number of small forwards, some of which will need to be traded if we want to play a more physical game. So Gagner should develop into a solid #2 center, but I don't know where say Cogs fits down the road. Although Cogs had a hell of a good game lastnight!!!!

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#68 C-DOG
November 26 2010, 09:02AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Let's say they draft Couturier this summer. His skill set isn't similar to Gagner's, so I think they could eventually be 1-2 with Horcoff on a checking/mentor line.

Nugent-Hopkins is a little more difficult, because the Oilers would be very small down the middle.

As for having enough skill to be a #1 C, yes certainly I think Gagner has that ability. This season, Tyler Seguin is likely to score more points than Taylor Hall. Why? Supporting cast. If Seguin plays 15 minutes a night and some of them are with those skilled veterans, then the numbers will flow.

The Oilers don't have that kind of depth in terms of quality. So the numbers will be less impressive because the scoring chances will be fewer.

That's part of Gagner's problem, imo. Last night was a perfect example. Take Gagner from Penner and Hemsky and throw him over to MPS and Jones. The other two linemates look improved from previous games--they have a better center--but Gagner doesn't get near the number of 5 bell chances. He is most certainly not driving the bus offensively as he will in a couple of seasons.

The encouraging thing for the Oilers is that 6 of their forwards are doing well relCorsi. That's news. And Sam Gagner is part of that group. We should remember that.

I disagree with your point that Seguin will outscore Hall because of better players around him. Just because the Oilers are a bad team it doesn't mean they are all bad players and Hall has to do it himself, he will always play with the top players on this team, Seguin doesn't see the ice in the last minutes of close games, remember his coach Julien, Julien won't live with the mistakes that Renney would, they have a contending team and are bringing him along slowly and they play the most boring/ safe system in the league, and he's getting 12min/game. They don't have elite puck movers, they are a good team because of the d-fensive play not their offensive play, just ask Kessel how fun it is for young players playing for Julien. Its just like the MPS/Hall argument, he's played aginst men so he should be farther along, what about the north american ice issue, more physical games, you can play against men but if the game isn't physical than it doesn't matter.

To take your logic Gagner would put up more points on a contending team even though he would be playing 5 min less/game and with 3rd line players. The Oilers problem is more keeping the puck out of their net not scoring. Was Samuelson a more productive player on the 3rd line in Detroit or on the 1st 2 lines in Vancouver, my beleif is the better the team the more you have to spread the wealth of icetime/oppertunity. An elite forward on a bad team would play 20-22 min, on a great team 18-20, and the offence wouldn't be run through him all the time, there would be more options.

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#69 Justin
November 26 2010, 09:07AM
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Agreed, Sam Gagner is a valuable. He has hockey sense, something which many of the old oilers forwards did not. However, it seems that every young player coming into the league these days puts on 5-15 pounds within the next two years of his developement. What did our boy Sam do? He lost 5 pounds, and his strength on the puck shows it. He looks like a boy playing with men and on a nightly basis gets pushed around. This guy needs to put on weight in a big way.

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#70 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 26 2010, 09:14AM
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@DSF

"A player like Matt Duchene, who we got to see tonight, is "right on time" despite being almost two years younger than Gagner.

Duchene, the 19 year old, had a dreadful start to his sophomore season but currently has 20 points in 22 games, is plus 7, is winning 51.2 percent of his faceoffs, plays fewer minutes than Gagner and can actually produce on the powerplay is "right on time"."

Great couple of paragraphs... really sums up the deluded expectations of some Oiler fans.

I'd say Matt Duchene is "far ahead of schedule", you know seeing how he's the highest scoring teanager in the league.

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#71 Ryan2
November 26 2010, 09:17AM
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@ Lowetide - Was your post today a response to Spector's rant on the Gregor show last night re: Gagner? I was shocked that he ragged on someone other than Penner or Cogs for a change. LOL.

It is amusing to see how the expectations for Sam have waned over the past three years. Back then, there were only a couple of us that were saying he is a #2 centreman at best while the majority of fans (and bloggers) were still on the bandwagon that he is the long term answer at #1.

Now we are seeing him for what he is - a young, small, (highly?)skilled, not overly fast, complementary player best suited for the #2 pivot spot, if not #3 on a team with a good faceoff man in the #4 spot. Sam can improve his face-offs a bit with experience, but the fact is he will always have trouble with o-zone and d-zone draws against bigger opposition. Such is life for small centremen in a game where every year the best young players are bigger faster stronger.

He is also easy to move off the puck due to size and a lack of "greasiness" (for lack of a better word) - notice the difference between Gagner and Eberle in winning battles in tight. Eberle tends to come out with the puck while Gagner does not. Sam is also still a liability in his own end defensively (notice how often Penner covers for him down low).

If the Oilers somehow land Couturier and Pitlick (or someone else) develops as a bigger/stronger #2 centreman in a couple of seasons, where does that leave Gagner? Horcs will still be under contract, and while the cap hit would be out of whack he would likely still have value as a #4 centreman. Realistically, Cogs is better suited for the #3 role than Gagner (however, I expect him to be gone by then) and if Lander can fill the #3 role like Stoll did then the Oilers would have no use for either smurf in that spot.

This scenario could leave Gagner as the odd man out down the middle - not big/strong enough to be a #3 and not able to outcompete the other players for the #2 and #1 spots. Would this be a travesty? No, just the reality that in professional sports there is always someone looking to take your spot. However, Gagner could still have decent trade value for the team which would be good news.

FWIW, the argument someone threw out about how he stacks up re: Corsi and production for his draft year does not matter for the simple reason that it was a weak draft. It is sort of like arguing about how good Whitney looks on the Oilers blue-line this year..........

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#72 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 26 2010, 09:26AM
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I wonder if Blues fans are dogging on Berglund?

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#73 C-DOG
November 26 2010, 09:28AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

One thing that seems clear is that Oiler fans go balistic when second line talent is FORCED to play a first line role.

Even if Gagner is a career second liner.... second liners are important and valuable people. It's called depth and all great teams need it/have it.

I actually don't mind if Gagner is on the first line, as long as he's playing the rw with an elite centre and a big left winger with skill. My problem is the position not the player.

The problem with that, is that they are stacked on the wings. He should of been traded before the draft for the highest possible 1st rnd pick avail, say 10-20. Where they could of drafted one of those promissing d-men(Fowler,Gormely,Forbort,Tinordi)that is what this team needs, and if someone is going to say they couldn't get that high of a pick for him, than that means the other teams in the league don't beleive in him. Every year that goes by his value will drop.

Remember when Comrie was traded for Perry and a 1st, this window is closing.

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#74 King Mob
November 26 2010, 09:36AM
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have another donair, Gagner.

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#75 Quicksilver ballet
November 26 2010, 09:45AM
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Never thought it would be possible to get a bacon strip or two on a thong like that, she has to do a better job cleaning up after she has a bowel movement.

Gagner strikes me as a Marc Savard type player, can we wait another 4 yrs or so for him to take that next step, don't think so. I'd include him with Penner if it landed us another top 4 pick this summer.

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#76 D-Man
November 26 2010, 09:50AM
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Ryan2 wrote:

@ Lowetide - Was your post today a response to Spector's rant on the Gregor show last night re: Gagner? I was shocked that he ragged on someone other than Penner or Cogs for a change. LOL.

It is amusing to see how the expectations for Sam have waned over the past three years. Back then, there were only a couple of us that were saying he is a #2 centreman at best while the majority of fans (and bloggers) were still on the bandwagon that he is the long term answer at #1.

Now we are seeing him for what he is - a young, small, (highly?)skilled, not overly fast, complementary player best suited for the #2 pivot spot, if not #3 on a team with a good faceoff man in the #4 spot. Sam can improve his face-offs a bit with experience, but the fact is he will always have trouble with o-zone and d-zone draws against bigger opposition. Such is life for small centremen in a game where every year the best young players are bigger faster stronger.

He is also easy to move off the puck due to size and a lack of "greasiness" (for lack of a better word) - notice the difference between Gagner and Eberle in winning battles in tight. Eberle tends to come out with the puck while Gagner does not. Sam is also still a liability in his own end defensively (notice how often Penner covers for him down low).

If the Oilers somehow land Couturier and Pitlick (or someone else) develops as a bigger/stronger #2 centreman in a couple of seasons, where does that leave Gagner? Horcs will still be under contract, and while the cap hit would be out of whack he would likely still have value as a #4 centreman. Realistically, Cogs is better suited for the #3 role than Gagner (however, I expect him to be gone by then) and if Lander can fill the #3 role like Stoll did then the Oilers would have no use for either smurf in that spot.

This scenario could leave Gagner as the odd man out down the middle - not big/strong enough to be a #3 and not able to outcompete the other players for the #2 and #1 spots. Would this be a travesty? No, just the reality that in professional sports there is always someone looking to take your spot. However, Gagner could still have decent trade value for the team which would be good news.

FWIW, the argument someone threw out about how he stacks up re: Corsi and production for his draft year does not matter for the simple reason that it was a weak draft. It is sort of like arguing about how good Whitney looks on the Oilers blue-line this year..........

You make some pretty good points about Sam... The only thing is that Pitlick is said to be about two years away and Lander still has question marks over his foot speed... I think Spector's rant was more about where Sam needs to be by the end of this year... To be an effective #2 center - he'll need to break that 50 point barrier this year... The big question mark will be when Pitlick and Martindale are ready for the big club... Both are big, physical and are capable of putting up numbers... Will they be better than Sam?? Sam will definitely have to step up his game to keep that roster spot (as a #2 center). He does have the desire and has game smarts, but will his physical tools have developed so he 'can hold his own' by the time he's 23??

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#77 Quicksilver ballet
November 26 2010, 09:51AM
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Speaking of whipping boys, late seventies (WHA) when the building was much quieter than it is today, the Oilers had a tall thin lanky d'man named Ray MacKay. That was the worst whipping boy scenario i've ever seen. The fans were ruthless, everyone would take turns heckling the awkward looking defenceman during stoppages in play. Pre Gretzky era for this guy.

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#78 Lawndemon
November 26 2010, 09:53AM
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@book¡e

Yeah I think that pretty much sums it up. I don't think I fall into the category of "Elitist Oilers Nation" either since I've never posted here before.

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#79 madjam
November 26 2010, 10:06AM
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CHEMISTRY LACKING ? F = mass times accelleration . Face it, the force is not strong with a diminutive lineup unless they turn on the jets . Unless they are moving fast they'll be playing from their -ss .

Is Gagner big enough down the road at center on first or second line despite seemingly having perhaps the skill ? If he was dynamite on faceoffs then he probably would be .

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#80 jr_christ
November 26 2010, 10:17AM
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Gagner is 21... that's still incredibly young for an NHL with an average age of approx 27.

Reference taken from the following:

http://www.quanthockey.com/Distributions/RookieAgeDistribution.php)

I know this is his 4th season, but he's still a kid. It's obvious he won't be a Crosby or Malkin or Ovechkin. However, it took Iginla 6/7 years to become a force in the NHL and Gagner is one of the highest scoring players under the age of 21 years (surprising fact: remember Jimmy Carson - he was one of the top as well).

Give him a chance before you start throwing him under the bus. If we start ragging on him he'll be gone and start playing into his mature years with another team.

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#81 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 26 2010, 10:18AM
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GCW wrote:

Lowetide,

My problem with Gagner is more around fit, rather than progress. If, projecting out a couple of years, your top two LWs are Hall and Paajarvi, and your top RW is Eberle (I was not a booster going into the season, but the kid impresses me with his hockey sense), where does Gagner fit?

The team's top line is small, and Gagner can't win a face off to save his life, so he doesn't fit as the number 1 centre. If we were talking about playing with 2 serious power forwards on either wing one of which could win face-offs, my view might be different, but that's not what is going to happen in Edmonton.

The face off problem and with Pitlick and Martindale in the system suggests we have a second line centre coming, so we don't NEED him there. And we have the untradeable Horcoff if neither is ready/pans out.

My assumption is hemsky is gone before the end of next year, which would open a spot for Gagner on the RW, except he is small and while his offence is okay, its not so awesome as to offset his weaknesses/size limitations.

Which leaves me with this conclusion: If you can get 50-60 points out of Gagner as a second line RW, or get 50 points out of an Omark or some other player (I had hopes for Brule which are fading), aren't you better off trading Gagner for a strong defensive prospect (Cowen from Ottawa would be nice) to shore up an area of weakness? Seems to me, the Oilers would be much better off going that route than blindly holding on to Gagner because he was a high pick.

As a team FO are an issue, but individually they are blown out of proportion.

Even bumping Gagner's current 45ish % win to an elite 55% range would only give the team an extra 5 FO wins ever 4 games (roughly).

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#82 Horcsky
November 26 2010, 10:38AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

As far as faceoffs go, it also looks like certain individuals have improved much since the start of the year. With Horcoff up a couple percent to 49, and Cogs up a whole bunch to 43, it seems like a safe bet both have been above 50% the last little while.

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#83 DSF
November 26 2010, 10:53AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"A player like Matt Duchene, who we got to see tonight, is "right on time" despite being almost two years younger than Gagner.

Duchene, the 19 year old, had a dreadful start to his sophomore season but currently has 20 points in 22 games, is plus 7, is winning 51.2 percent of his faceoffs, plays fewer minutes than Gagner and can actually produce on the powerplay is "right on time"."

Great couple of paragraphs... really sums up the deluded expectations of some Oiler fans.

I'd say Matt Duchene is "far ahead of schedule", you know seeing how he's the highest scoring teanager in the league.

I guess if you want to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have a point, of some kind.

Why, instead, wouldn't you look at all the players 21 years of age or under who are currently more "right on time" than Gagner since the obsession seems to be with age rather than years of experience?

Here's a few:

Stamkos Duchene Couture Kane Ennis Skinner

The expectation of drafting someone in the top ten is that they will be able to put up points when playing in an offensive role...normally they wouldn't have been drafted there if they can't.

When you get fed as much PP time as Gagner, the expectation is that you will be at least able to produce.

Gagner has been getting 3:02 PPTOI/G, second only to Hemsky's 3:07 and has managed to produce ONE PP point.

That Sam is able to produce 5V5/60 of 2.03 is nice and all (it's actually 1.95 this morning) but it's only impressive when compared to the other players on a team that ranks 27th in the league 5V5/FA.

Take that out in the real world for a spin, couple it with his dreadful performance on the PP, his GFON vs. his GAON and his 44% on the dot and you have a very underwhelming player.

Don't know if you caught the pre-game show on TSN last night but Bob McKenzie is of the opinion that both Cogliano and Gagner could (should) be traded before the end of this season.

What the hell does Bob know?

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#84 Horcsky
November 26 2010, 10:55AM
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@DSF

Interesting, what was MacKenzie's reasoning for unloading Gags?

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#85 Terry
November 26 2010, 10:57AM
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I personally think that Sam Gagner lacks the physical tools to be an impact player in this league. His offensive awareness is very good but he isnt a good skater and is small. Why haven't we seen any growth for him in 4 years? (he got 49 pts in year 1 but hasnt been able to exceed it yet). Because he is what he is, a 60 point player at best who lacks the physical tools to succeed at this level. Face the facts Lowetide.

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#86 o@hotmail.com
November 26 2010, 10:59AM
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Totally agree with your comments. Gags is a good kid but some Oilers fans are so delusional that I cant help but shake my head. He is not an impact player and never will be unless he gets bigger and faster.

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#87 David S
November 26 2010, 11:03AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

As a team FO are an issue, but individually they are blown out of proportion.

Even bumping Gagner's current 45ish % win to an elite 55% range would only give the team an extra 5 FO wins ever 4 games (roughly).

Assuming he takes roughly 50 face-offs a night - which is ridiculous in its own right. Pointing to the fact that the FO % thing is massively overblown. As Sam becomes stronger and more experienced, this will become even less of an issue.

I think the more important stat would be to see how many important FO's (eliminating neutral-zone draws, which Sam seems to be pretty good at) he's winning, which to my eye anyways is significantly less. This problem would easily solved by inserting Brule into the C position for important faceoffs. Thus it seems Sam is being educated in the position, so maybe we should back off the expectations of him being a fully developed C, which he's obviously not.

People forget that Sam was thrown into the deep end probably two years before he should realistically have touched NHL ice. That's management's fault, not Sam's.

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#88 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 26 2010, 11:04AM
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DSF wrote:

I guess if you want to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have a point, of some kind.

Why, instead, wouldn't you look at all the players 21 years of age or under who are currently more "right on time" than Gagner since the obsession seems to be with age rather than years of experience?

Here's a few:

Stamkos Duchene Couture Kane Ennis Skinner

The expectation of drafting someone in the top ten is that they will be able to put up points when playing in an offensive role...normally they wouldn't have been drafted there if they can't.

When you get fed as much PP time as Gagner, the expectation is that you will be at least able to produce.

Gagner has been getting 3:02 PPTOI/G, second only to Hemsky's 3:07 and has managed to produce ONE PP point.

That Sam is able to produce 5V5/60 of 2.03 is nice and all (it's actually 1.95 this morning) but it's only impressive when compared to the other players on a team that ranks 27th in the league 5V5/FA.

Take that out in the real world for a spin, couple it with his dreadful performance on the PP, his GFON vs. his GAON and his 44% on the dot and you have a very underwhelming player.

Don't know if you caught the pre-game show on TSN last night but Bob McKenzie is of the opinion that both Cogliano and Gagner could (should) be traded before the end of this season.

What the hell does Bob know?

Yes, their are a few playing at an elite level and handful more playing at a very good level. But if you are looking at top 10 picks from the last 4 years then that's 40 guys and you've listed 6.

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#89 Horcsky
November 26 2010, 11:07AM
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@David S

Definately agree with faceoffs being overblown. The idea that 45% is bad and 55% is excellent is silly. Either way, you only get the puck off the draw roughly half the time. It's getting it back when you don't win that's this teams problem. . . or giving it away promptly in your own zone after a faceoff win.

Side Note: It is awesome to be home from class to watch the Flames/Flyers game. I hope it's a broad street beatdown coming to the Flames.

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#90 james
November 26 2010, 11:19AM
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Lowetide, its true that throughout the years Oil fans always seem to pick on one player, whether its Arnott, Poti, Horcoff or now Gags. All i have to say is those who question Horcs game don't understand hockey, and those that see Sam Gagner as a bust know their stuff. The amount of pp time gags get spoon fed to him is crazy.

Regards

James

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#91 DSF
November 26 2010, 11:30AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Yes, their are a few playing at an elite level and handful more playing at a very good level. But if you are looking at top 10 picks from the last 4 years then that's 40 guys and you've listed 6.

Okay, your turn to come up with another 6...it isn't hard.

Notice you totally ignored all my points.

Any reason for that?

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#92 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 26 2010, 11:41AM
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DSF wrote:

Okay, your turn to come up with another 6...it isn't hard.

Notice you totally ignored all my points.

Any reason for that?

Go ahead, list the top 10 picks better them him since he's been drafted. You aren't going to get much past 10 names.

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#93 Oilers4ever
November 26 2010, 11:57AM
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You guys and yer darn CORSI numbers.. most of us non-technical fans look at 3 stats.. goals, points, plus minus... the rest of that crap doesn't matter and it's greek to most of us.. for what Gagner is expected to do, he's doing fine this year.. the numbers will come.. he's still a kid...

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#94 Woodguy
November 26 2010, 11:58AM
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DSF wrote:

I guess if you want to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have a point, of some kind.

Why, instead, wouldn't you look at all the players 21 years of age or under who are currently more "right on time" than Gagner since the obsession seems to be with age rather than years of experience?

Here's a few:

Stamkos Duchene Couture Kane Ennis Skinner

The expectation of drafting someone in the top ten is that they will be able to put up points when playing in an offensive role...normally they wouldn't have been drafted there if they can't.

When you get fed as much PP time as Gagner, the expectation is that you will be at least able to produce.

Gagner has been getting 3:02 PPTOI/G, second only to Hemsky's 3:07 and has managed to produce ONE PP point.

That Sam is able to produce 5V5/60 of 2.03 is nice and all (it's actually 1.95 this morning) but it's only impressive when compared to the other players on a team that ranks 27th in the league 5V5/FA.

Take that out in the real world for a spin, couple it with his dreadful performance on the PP, his GFON vs. his GAON and his 44% on the dot and you have a very underwhelming player.

Don't know if you caught the pre-game show on TSN last night but Bob McKenzie is of the opinion that both Cogliano and Gagner could (should) be traded before the end of this season.

What the hell does Bob know?

Don't know if you caught the pre-game show on TSN last night but Bob McKenzie is of the opinion that both Cogliano and Gagner could (should) be traded before the end of this season.

I remember Bob saying "one of" Gagner or Cogliano due to basically being the same type of player.

Bob was talking about their size and inability to win battles.

Its funny because one of the Oilers' best players for getting possession on the boards is one of their smallest in Eberle.

Then Cogliano comes out and wins some battles early.

No question they need to be bigger down the middle, but Sam can be a good #2C on lots of NHL teams. I'm not sold that he's a #1, but its waaaay too early to come to any conclusions.

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#95 Lummeropenet
November 26 2010, 12:08PM
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There will be very few trades made with this team involving top six at this time (my prediction). ST will not make a trade just for the sake of a trade. The rebuild will give this crew every opportunity to improve or fail even if it means an other lottery pick. (yahoo!)

Sit back and enjoy the ride. If you are old enough to remember the 79-80 season, no big trades back then either.Eventually BJ McDonald, who had a 46 goal and 48 assist season was traded. After all they drafted the flying Fin #17.

A couple good draft years will bring Stanley # 6 to River City.

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#96 Woodguy
November 26 2010, 12:33PM
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@DSF

DSF,

Its interesting that you mention Couture.

He was drafted 9th after Gagner was drafted 6th.

Unlike Gagner, the Sharks didn't rush Couture and after playing 25 games last year, he's now a full time NHL'er.

This year's boxcars:

Gagner 21gp 5g 6a 11pts -4 Couture 20gp 8g 4a 12pts +3

5v4 TOI/60

Gagner 3.01 Couture 3.18

So they look very similar, although Couture is better on face offs.

Why do you think Couture is so much better than Gagner?

I think its a good example of wasting young player's RFA years. San Jose has 2 more years of Couture as an RFA.

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#97 DSF
November 26 2010, 12:36PM
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Woodguy wrote:

Don't know if you caught the pre-game show on TSN last night but Bob McKenzie is of the opinion that both Cogliano and Gagner could (should) be traded before the end of this season.

I remember Bob saying "one of" Gagner or Cogliano due to basically being the same type of player.

Bob was talking about their size and inability to win battles.

Its funny because one of the Oilers' best players for getting possession on the boards is one of their smallest in Eberle.

Then Cogliano comes out and wins some battles early.

No question they need to be bigger down the middle, but Sam can be a good #2C on lots of NHL teams. I'm not sold that he's a #1, but its waaaay too early to come to any conclusions.

Lots of teams?

Which ones?

I would think not many...and none of them are good teams like say, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit, Vancouver, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Carolina, Colorado, STL or even Buffalo, or Nashville.

Maybe Toronto or Ottawa or NYI when Weight passes on.

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#98 @Oilanderp
November 26 2010, 12:41PM
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Steve Smith wrote:

Also, to "beg the question" does not mean the same thing as to "raise the question", or "ask the question", or "invite the question".

How Tautological[TM]

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#99 FastOil
November 26 2010, 12:59PM
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Gagner's physical tool kit will always limit him. He looks like a kid on the ice because he has a short body, his shoulders are a foot lower than a lot of players, and that lack of leverage and reach, combined with poor acceleration make him easy to play against.

He's too small and slow to be more than a complimentary offensive contributor, and small and slow don't often work well on third or fourth lines.

He may enjoy a nice NHL career. I think the Oilers need game breakers and franchise players, to return to the elite level in the NHL.

I would trade Sam, Hemsky (he'll be gone before we're any good anyway), any veteran but Whitney and Penner (need to keep the big skill players) to acquire high first round picks and bring in some more elite talent in areas we have holes.

If Steve-o can do that, in a few short years we'll be enjoying the playoffs, done the way the last time the team was great.

If he doesn't, I fear we'll have another decade of "rebuilding" and see RFA's heading out town just when they get productive.

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#100 Woodguy
November 26 2010, 01:47PM
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DSF wrote:

Lots of teams?

Which ones?

I would think not many...and none of them are good teams like say, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit, Vancouver, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Carolina, Colorado, STL or even Buffalo, or Nashville.

Maybe Toronto or Ottawa or NYI when Weight passes on.

DSF,

Look at my post I say Gagner can be a good #2.

I was projecting him, like when he's 23 or older.

I think very, very few 21 year olds can be good anything.

The ones who can are pretty special.

If you don't think Gagner is that special, that's fine. There are very few, but that doesn't mean Gagner won't have value or be good.

You can look at tons of good players who were fringe contributors or not even in the NHL at 21.

Patrick Sharp's 21 year old season was a total of 3 games in the NHL.

Jeff Carter's 21 year old boxcars were:

62gp 14g 23a 37pts -17

Datsyuk: Ak Bars Kazan-Russia 42gp 9g 18a 27pts

Coming to a conclusion on a 21 year old is not a smart idea.

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