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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#1 Wax Man Riley
November 25 2010, 10:39PM
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I'll be the fist to say that I wouldn't mind being behind that either.

I still think Gagner is young and I believe that he is a very smart player. To me it looks like he has been concentrating on his positioning and defensive game this year, trying to be a better all around player. He will have a long NHL career at center.

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#2 Archaeologuy
November 25 2010, 10:40PM
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A win followed by a rational post? This will not do. No sir.

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#3 Big Perm
November 25 2010, 10:41PM
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Fistly, Gags has yet to play in the playoffs. But when he's easily knocked off the puck in the regular season, you wonder how he'll react to big D-men being extra mean in the quest for Lord Stanley's cup.

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#4 Wax Man Riley
November 25 2010, 10:41PM
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Also.... I'll say it. About the Avs game .... That right there, is what you call a win.

Great play and pass by Eberle, and way to go Hall, going aaaaaallllll the way up top on Budaj with a laser.

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#5 CM
November 25 2010, 10:41PM
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Agreed...

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#6 Big Perm
November 25 2010, 10:46PM
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Secondly, maybe Gags ought to slim down even further this season by losing the stache.

He isn't our one problem, but he'll only add to the overall lack of elite forwards the team will require to one day soon be competitive in the NHL playoffs.

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#7 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 10:47PM
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I have to admit, it appears Sam Gagner's arrows are pointing up, Oh wait a minute, I was doing a handstand.

No need to die on that sword there is still time to save yourself.

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#8 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 10:50PM
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@ Lowtide,

Do you think the Oilers could of gotten a 1st round pick for Gagner this past draft, and if so how high.

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#9 Bacon Nachos
November 25 2010, 10:50PM
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I like Penner, and I thought he was great last season, but even then he's shown stretches of inconsistency. More importantly, but Penner simply does not give all his effort every game. To compare him with a guy like Peckham, who also is not renowned for exceptional skating ability, and is even younger and more inexperienced, he amazes me every shift by skating hard and keeping a simple game, and producing decent if not great results. Sometimes it gets to a point where it is NOT the coaches responsibility to light a fire under a player constantly.

Gilbert can't play defense, and despite his size, apparently does not know of it.

I like Cogliano's work effort, but this is a professional league. We don't give out A's for only effort, there have to be some results.

Trade 'em all. Eventually.

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#10 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 25 2010, 10:54PM
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"The pack of hyenas that makes up the irrational portion of the Oilers fanbase"

One of the best lines I've seen on the net!

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#11 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 10:59PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"The pack of hyenas that makes up the irrational portion of the Oilers fanbase"

One of the best lines I've seen on the net!

Which means the people that beleive in Gagner/Gilbert are RATIONAL!, someone should trademark that koolaid!

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#12 Oilchange64
November 25 2010, 10:59PM
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On an unrelated note, the Flames are only 2 points ahead of the Oilers. Compare the rosters & just think about that for a minute.

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#13 Wanyes bastard child
November 25 2010, 11:01PM
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Firstly, Hall from Eberle reminded me of the Crosby from Iginla goal to win the gold medal. Both wingers with heads down, hear the call from their teammate, 'almost' no look pass to set up a nice goal, win the game. In both cases you can hear clearly over the TV the call from said teammate to said winger. Awesome stuff!

Secondly, LT, with all your great hockey blogs and writing im starting to think your one of those old men that also cruises the internet for pics of hawt women... that is a fine piece of ass on display there ;) Also, I have to wonder if this was a post in response to Baggedmilk complaining about corsi over on your site?

Thirdly, I really hope Renney can keep the boys motivated like this and we roll into the SJ game with something to prove.

GO OILERS*

*I was never on board the ELPH wagon!

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#14 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 11:01PM
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Oilchange64 wrote:

On an unrelated note, the Flames are only 2 points ahead of the Oilers. Compare the rosters & just think about that for a minute.

That's a good thing for Calgary, they just don't know it yet.

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 25 2010, 11:02PM
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C-DOG wrote:

Which means the people that beleive in Gagner/Gilbert are RATIONAL!, someone should trademark that koolaid!

ZZZZZzzzzzz

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#16 Archaeologuy
November 25 2010, 11:03PM
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Everyone knows that if you arent a point a game by 21 you never will be.

Signed, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Martin St Louis, Brad Richards, Henrik Zetterberg, and Jarome Iginla.

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#17 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 11:04PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

ZZZZZzzzzzz

HAHAHAHA!!!!! For real that was funny I can picture your face when you read it.

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#18 David S
November 25 2010, 11:05PM
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So. I guess this is where that pack of hyenas hangs out.

"Do you think the Oilers could of gotten a 1st round pick for Gagne this past draft"

(a) Its Gagner. Sam Freaking G.A.G.N.E.R.

(b) *mega facepalm*

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#19 Wanyes bastard child
November 25 2010, 11:06PM
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C-DOG wrote:

I have to admit, it appears Sam Gagner's arrows are pointing up, Oh wait a minute, I was doing a handstand.

No need to die on that sword there is still time to save yourself.

Hello Shadi, how are you doing?

Pleasantries aside I would like to say one kind word of advice to you, his name is Sam FREAKING GAGNER!!!

Im not just pointing at you, sorry if you feel this way because i've seen this blatant misspell of his last name from many others, but to see you do it in three consecutive posts I felt obliged to mention it.

SAM FREAKING GAGNER, with an R on the end.

Thank you, moving on.

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#20 Wanyes bastard child
November 25 2010, 11:07PM
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@David S

We are on the same page :P props to you.

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#21 GSC
November 25 2010, 11:09PM
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Let's get something straight here: Horcoff was deservedly last year's victim. His production was crap, his +/- abysmal, and given his salary he wasn't providing bang for the buck.

Or am I just a hyena from the irrational portion of the fanbase?

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#22 book¡e
November 25 2010, 11:09PM
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Who is this Gagne guy so many of you are discussing and what does he have to do with Sam Gagner?

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#23 Devon
November 25 2010, 11:09PM
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@ Lowe Tide

Since your bringing up Gagner where do you see him fitting in long term especially if the Oilers do draft another center where does Gagner fit considering the Oilers still have to pay Horcoff? Does he still have enough skill to be a number one center or is best we can hope for a number two guy behind some other young talented center?

Also it's amazing what a little extra ice time will do for you. Brule's been a bit of a forgotten player he was given all that money and been shoved to the third line along with Pajarvi which isn't doing much for there stats. But both looked really good tonight.

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#24 Jeff
November 25 2010, 11:12PM
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To hell with everyone else. Go Sam!

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#25 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 11:14PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Hello Shadi, how are you doing?

Pleasantries aside I would like to say one kind word of advice to you, his name is Sam FREAKING GAGNER!!!

Im not just pointing at you, sorry if you feel this way because i've seen this blatant misspell of his last name from many others, but to see you do it in three consecutive posts I felt obliged to mention it.

SAM FREAKING GAGNER, with an R on the end.

Thank you, moving on.

You mean a Jim Rome GAG(finger deep in my mouth)-N-ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Which one is it GANGER or GAGNER? Or did I miss something else.

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#26 Travis Dakin
November 25 2010, 11:17PM
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David S wrote:

So. I guess this is where that pack of hyenas hangs out.

"Do you think the Oilers could of gotten a 1st round pick for Gagne this past draft"

(a) Its Gagner. Sam Freaking G.A.G.N.E.R.

(b) *mega facepalm*

And it's "Do you think the Oilers could HAVE"

Anyway, It's hard for the average fan to see that the 3-4 lines make much of a difference. When I was a kid I used to hate Craig MacTavish because he didn't score. As I grew up, I looked back and realized that I was an idiot.... Like too many Oilers fans.... Idiots!

Point is, Gagner is supposed to be our number one centre soon and he just doesn't produce enough of what the pack of hyena's sees. G-A-P. It's ridiculous. People think that if he scored more like say, Stamkos last year, the team would be great. The Bolts were great last year, right?

Third and fouth line guys just aren't sexy. But not having good ones is deadly. Remember the last really good 3rd line centre we had, Stoll (speaking of sexy!)? How is he doing lately?

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#27 Steve Smith
November 25 2010, 11:18PM
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Also, to "beg the question" does not mean the same thing as to "raise the question", or "ask the question", or "invite the question".

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#28 jeanshorts
November 25 2010, 11:18PM
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GSC wrote:

Let's get something straight here: Horcoff was deservedly last year's victim. His production was crap, his +/- abysmal, and given his salary he wasn't providing bang for the buck.

Or am I just a hyena from the irrational portion of the fanbase?

That part makes sense.

What didn't make sense was the people hanging all the Oilers problems pretty much soley on his one half-working shoulder.

We all need someone to complain about. Seems more and more every year people are just drawing names out of a hat.

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#29 GSC
November 25 2010, 11:25PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

That part makes sense.

What didn't make sense was the people hanging all the Oilers problems pretty much soley on his one half-working shoulder.

We all need someone to complain about. Seems more and more every year people are just drawing names out of a hat.

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?

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#30 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 11:26PM
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@Wanyes bastard child

Well played, if you know what I mean.

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#31 DSF
November 25 2010, 11:26PM
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What is indisputably irrational is to continue comparing a player like Sam Gagner to other mostly marginal NHL players on the second worst team in hockey and using that comparison to proclaim Gagner is "right on time".

That works really well in Special Ed classes but, if a player who was drafted in the expectation that he would produce offense, might have a 20 goal season in his fourth season in the league is just a little sad.

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".

It's unfortunate LT than you need to resort to calling those who question your propensity for calling mules thoroughbreds hyenas.

Duchene's relCor is pretty good too, not that that means much.

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#32 Wanyes bastard child
November 25 2010, 11:28PM
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@C-DOG

Well played on your part too

;)

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#33 jeanshorts
November 25 2010, 11:28PM
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@GSC

HORCOFF MAKES TOO MUCH MONEY!

There, horse officially beaten. Now, can we start having sex with the corpse already?

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#34 C-DOG
November 25 2010, 11:31PM
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DSF wrote:

What is indisputably irrational is to continue comparing a player like Sam Gagner to other mostly marginal NHL players on the second worst team in hockey and using that comparison to proclaim Gagner is "right on time".

That works really well in Special Ed classes but, if a player who was drafted in the expectation that he would produce offense, might have a 20 goal season in his fourth season in the league is just a little sad.

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".

It's unfortunate LT than you need to resort to calling those who question your propensity for calling mules thoroughbreds hyenas.

Duchene's relCor is pretty good too, not that that means much.

~ Oh be quiet you Hyena ~, He's only 21 and is in his 4th year and is 2nd in his draft class in scoring and corsi, desjar, blah blah, etc...............

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#35 Wanyes bastard child
November 25 2010, 11:31PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

HORCOFF MAKES TOO MUCH MONEY!

There, horse officially beaten. Now, can we start having sex with the corpse already?

We are on ON and not your site, so I can't say the first thing that came to my head over this comment :(

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#36 Cervantes
November 25 2010, 11:39PM
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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.

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#37 GSC
November 25 2010, 11:46PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

HORCOFF MAKES TOO MUCH MONEY!

There, horse officially beaten. Now, can we start having sex with the corpse already?

I was worried that you'd never ask...

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#38 Beer + Wings
November 25 2010, 11:56PM
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Hear, hear, LT

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#39 Archaeologuy
November 25 2010, 11:59PM
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@Cervantes

"Not any fault of Sams, but for the good of the 2014 Oilers, he needs to be moved."

For the good of the 2014 Oilers I sure hope he isnt moved. This team is in desperate need of 4 quality players down the middle and currently can boast 2 in the entire organization. Gagner and Horcoff*.

If, hockey gods willing, the Oilers manage to get a true #1 C then that will likely mean that a 36 year old Horcoff wil be the #3 in 2014. Since there is no one currently playing C in the entire organization that looks like a real #2 NHL C, Gagner better not get dealt until a better option is gained.

*This is subject to the status of a chronicly wonky shoulder

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#40 Muji 狗
November 26 2010, 12:02AM
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dat ass...

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#41 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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#42 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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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 Travis Dakin
November 26 2010, 02:04AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I have come to the conclusion that most of the frequent penis riders on this site are a bunch of hypocritical sheep.

They prop and support eachothers asinine comments as truth and team up on people who didnt care to spell check the two sentences they typed.

I dont know where the nerves are found to call others names and insult their opinions, when in reality they just recycle others peoples thoughts and opinions they believe (not know) are right.

"eachothers" is two words. "Other" should also have an apostrophe and an "s" at the end, since their comments is possessive. (each other's)

In fact, this entire post is a grammatical abomination.

The point of all of this is that if you are whining about Sam Gagner or Shawn Horcoff at this point, then you are blaming the wrong players. If you can't see that, then that tells us all, quite a lot about you as a fan of hockey.

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#47 Bucknuck
November 26 2010, 02:19AM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

I have come to the conclusion that most of the frequent penis riders on this site are a bunch of hypocritical sheep.

They prop and support eachothers asinine comments as truth and team up on people who didnt care to spell check the two sentences they typed.

I dont know where the nerves are found to call others names and insult their opinions, when in reality they just recycle others peoples thoughts and opinions they believe (not know) are right.

Where does all this venom and hatred come from? Your posts are distinctly negative and full of bile. Some of your points may be valid but I wouldn't know as I can't get past all of that negativity. Case in point is the post I have quoted here. Your first sentence almost made me skip over the rest of what you said. Your second comment didn't get any better. And your third sentence was so hypocritical when read directly after the first sentence that it actually made me laugh.

You hate Horcoff. I get it. A lot of people disagree with you. I am one of them. I like him as a player and as an Oiler and I think the Oilers would suck a lot harder without him.

Supporting opinions that happen to jive with our own isn't recycling other's ideas. If a lot of people believe a thing then MAYBE, just MAYBE, there might be something there.

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#48 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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#49 Rogue
November 26 2010, 03:55AM
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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.

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#50 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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