Oilers Vs. Wild Postgame: “There Is Some Room For Improvement”

Jonathan Willis
March 16 2010 10:32PM

Oilers: 2

Wild: 4

The title comes courtesy of Gene Principe, who used that term to describe the Oilers season to date. It also applies to the Oilers’ effort against Minnesota tonight; they played miserably for the first two periods, were gifted a 5-on-3 power play which gave them some life, and then reverted back to form.

Oilers Three Stars

1. Sam Gagner. With Ales Hemsky out and Lubomir Visnovsky sent away in exchange for Clubfoot, Sam Gagner has been the Oilers’ best player down the stretch and that held true tonight. In an evening where most of the team had checked out mentally before stepping on the ice, Gagner was sharp in both ends of the rink and was easily the most imaginative Oiler offensively, too. He finished with two assists and now has 19 points in 25 games since January 1, along with a respectable minus-3 rating.

2. Cal Clutterbuck. Yes, that’s right: Cal Clutterbuck. I know if I were Wild coach Todd Richards I’d want to find something blunt and beat him over the head until the stupidity was all poured out. Clutterbuck can be an effective agitator, but he did his very best to giftwrap the game for the Oilers tonight, taking the additional penalty to give them the game-changing 5-on-3 at the end of the second, and then taking another incredibly stupid penalty on a disciplined Theo Peckham with minutes left on the clock. Aside from Sam Gagner, no player on the ice tonight did as much to try and help the Oilers win.

3. Aaron Johnson. A decidedly ‘best of the rest’ selection, Johnson had a relatively low event night where he stood out on account of a couple of smart shots (including a lethal wrister that Harding had to be sharp to stop) and a decided lack of boneheaded own-zone plays.

Of Note

The Sportsnet panel decided early on to praise Andrew Cogliano for his play over the Oilers road trip (where he’s admittedly had his best offensive effort this season) but bizarrely continued to heap the plaudits on regardless of how clueless Cogliano was in his own end. After a great chance in the game’s first minute, Cogliano took a needless penalty and botched a 2-on-1. Those were both relatively trivial sins, but his inability to take the guy in front of the net contributed to two goals against on the evening – and that was decidedly non-trivial.

Speaking of the Sportsnet panel, Mike Brophy’s take on the Craig Anderson signing says pretty much everything one needs to know about him as an analyst – he picked up a paper, looked in the “Transactions” section, and thought, ‘Hey, Anderson might be Colorado’s backup.’

John Scott and Zack Stortini had a running battle before both were set aside in the third period. The linesmen prevented a fight between them in the first period, which I thought was a shame. It took place right after Stortini fired a shot, blew by an ineffective Scott and looked dangerous before Marek Zidlicky bumped him out of the crease. Scott may be huge, but he’s no great shakes as a hockey player.

Tom Gilbert, Man’s Man, must have read Brownlee’s article before playing tonight, because he was as physically aggressive as I’ve seen him. He led off with a vicious hit on Robbie Earl, dumped Owen Nolan, dumped Earl again later on and got into a tussle with Mikko Koivu in the third. Unfortunately, while the physical edge was nice to see, both he and Whitney were decidedly unimpressive in their own end.

Jeff Deslauriers was fairly good through the first two periods, making 22 saves while allowing two goals to keep the Oilers in it, but when the Oilers started applying pressure in the third he came apart, allowing two goals on just four shots.

Ethan Moreau took a brain-dead penalty, cross-checking Clutterbuck three times in the back of the neck despite the fact that a) the referee was standing right there and b) Clutterbuck was a non-threat, but he also drew two penalties with some strong efforts, so he probably deserves some slack (tonight, anyway).

After recording only eight points (and going minus-14)in his first 19 games, Martin Havlat’s come alive for the Wild, recording 41 points and a plus-9 rating over the last 44 games. Barring poor health (always a risk) he’s going to be a key player with Minnesota for the rest of his contract.

I like Theo Peckham. I’ve been a fan of his since practically the first time I saw him play, and he had some good moments tonight, including a great hip-check on Andrew Ebbett and some disciplined play when hit by Clutterbuck late in the game. On the other hand, he also seemed not to realize that Ebbett had snuck behind him on the latter’s goal, and along with Moreau wasn’t far back enough to cover Antti Miettinen on his breakaway (he missed the net). I think he’s going to be an NHL player for a long time, but like both Ladislav Smid and Matt Greene it’s probably going to be a while before he’s a good one.

Marc Pouliot’s been very good since coming back from injury.

And just to end things on a positive note, I’m going to go back to Sam Gagner. He’s been a difference maker on this team, despite a lack of support from other lines and some *ahem* interesting wingers, and barring injury there’s no reason he can’t be a star for the next 15 years. He’s a special player, certainly the best the Oilers have developed since Ryan Smyth, and I have very high hopes for his continued growth. Big picture, he’s the most significant player currently in the system.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 17 2010, 01:36PM
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Red Deerian Convert wrote:

The players were already signed prior to tambellini (khabibulin is an exception). That was what I was arguing.

Lowe already shows that he is incapable of being a GM, keep him in public relations or something that he can't screw up.

And Bulin is the single biggest reason the team is in 30th.

Souray/Horc are on Lowe, Bulin is on Tambellini.

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#52 Chris.
March 17 2010, 01:37PM
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@Senator Theo

IMO, Sam could have used another year in JR. He would have put up sick numbers, would have been forced to take on a bigger leadership role, and would have been used in more situations like penalty killing, shot blocking, etc.... Even the fancy pants London Knights lean on their 18 year old offensive players to develop a rounded game and provide leadership.

As it is, Sam DID NOT help this team make the playoffs in any of the last three seasons... and he is already an RFA. Properly managed 20 year old assets: should not be so close to being NHL pension eligible (Unless their name is Ovechkin or Crosby).

But this isn't just my opinion... Lowe and Tambellini have both admitted (in reference to Eberle questions) that the organization has been guilty "in the past" of rushing their young players... and they don't want to make the same "mistake". (Paraphrased... but I'm sure you listen to the same interviews I do.)

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#53 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 17 2010, 01:38PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

As valid as your points on Tambo are, how many times does a GM put together a mediocre team, try and sign every UFA in the league by throwing around insane offer sheets, give a bunch of 3rd and 4th line guys 20 times more money than they are worth, then get replaced, but instead of being fired, gets promoted and still has a say in running the franchise?

It's the most backward scenario ever, and BOTH Tambellini and Lowe are to blame for the last 4 years.

Edit: I see, later on, you also said they need to share the blame. Carry on. *really wish I got more than 4 hours sleep*

I have no problem saying everyone and anyones job should be on the line when you are a 30th place team.

What I take issue with is people that want to deflect all (or at least the vast majority) of blame off of the guy that's been GM for 18 months and onto a guy that had the team in a far better position.

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#54 Crash
March 17 2010, 01:38PM
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Jamie B. wrote:

I don't buy it. If Gagner had been playing for the OHL's version of the Regina Pats, then sure. But he had 118 points as a 17-year-old. Another year with the Knights, even without Pat Kane, would have just taught him how to play 35 minutes a night of Rob Schremp hockey. There's nothing well-rounded about the games of offensive players from the Knights.

X2...totally agree

Gagners development hasn't been hurt one iota

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#55 Senator Theo
March 17 2010, 01:45PM
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@Chris.

Maybe I misunderstood your tears.

If your crying has more to do with his contract status right now than his development as a hockey player, then I totally understand.

It would be nice if we had 1 more year before RFA status with Sammy, especially when you look back now at the team's performance during that time. That's easy to see now, but I'm sure Lowe thought he could spark some magic by bringing him in early that first year.

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#56 VMR
March 17 2010, 01:46PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I have no problem saying everyone and anyones job should be on the line when you are a 30th place team.

What I take issue with is people that want to deflect all (or at least the vast majority) of blame off of the guy that's been GM for 18 months and onto a guy that had the team in a far better position.

I dont think anyone here has said Tambellini doesnt deserve some of the blame but even if he deserves most of the blame for the team sitting in 30th and getting a better prospect this year than they would drafting 6-10th under Lowe the question becomes who hired him? If he's so bad then that's yet another mistake Lowe made. I hear far more hate for Tambellini than I do for Lowe and I dont think you can call for one to be fired without taking down the other.

Personally I feel like a fool for saying it but I think they deserve two years to see if they can start to turn this thing around. That might not even be enough time but the only other option is to can them both and bring in a whole new management team.

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#57 Chris.
March 17 2010, 01:49PM
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Crash wrote:

X2...totally agree

Gagners development hasn't been hurt one iota

So you know for a fact that Gagner wouldn't have been any better had he been given more time in development leagues...

I'm not sure how you know this...

But I do know that having Sam here the last three seasons did not push the Oilers into the playoffs... I also know that because of his mishandling: Sam will achieve UFA status at a very young age...and this may be a problem when the Oilers are finally ready to contend.

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#58 Matt Henderson
March 17 2010, 02:02PM
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@Chris.

You havent provided proof that he WAS mishandled. Either he reaches UFA when he's 25 or if they went your way he reaches UFA at 26. Both are very early.

Sam didnt push the Oilers into the playoffs, but neither do lots of young players. That has nothing to do with his development. He's pathing to have a fine career in the NHL, had he stayed 1 extra season in juniour then the Oilers could have had 1 extra year guaranteed before he hits UFA status. I find it hard to see how playing 1 extra year in a league where he's hands down the best forward would have helped him learn anything about how to play in the NHL.

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#59 Crash
March 17 2010, 02:03PM
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Chris. wrote:

So you know for a fact that Gagner wouldn't have been any better had he been given more time in development leagues...

I'm not sure how you know this...

But I do know that having Sam here the last three seasons did not push the Oilers into the playoffs... I also know that because of his mishandling: Sam will achieve UFA status at a very young age...and this may be a problem when the Oilers are finally ready to contend.

It takes more than ONE player to make a team...ONE player is not going to push a team into the playoffs...if so the Atlanta Thrashers would have been constantly making the playoffs...Who knew how many injuries this team would have...no one thought the Oilers would be a 30th place team.

I do know that amongst the 2007 1st round draft picks that aside from Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner is the most productive player in that group. What did the extra year in junior do for Jakub Voracek? How about the extra 2 yrs of college for James Van Riemsdyk? Or how about the extra years of lower end development for Kyle Turris, Thomas Hickey, Karl Alzner, Zach Hamill, Logan Couture, Keaton Ellerby?

Has any of that helped those players come in and now tear up the league and lead their respective teams to the playoffs?

It's just like Menacer said: If your crying has more to do with Sam's contract status right now than his development as a hockey player, then I totally understand.

"It would be nice if we had 1 more year before RFA status with Sammy, especially when you look back now at the team's performance during that time. That's easy to see now."

Fact is you don't hold players back that are NHL ready for fear of them becoming RFA's one year sooner. No team does this with players that are ready for the NHL.

So you know for a fact that Sam was mishandled? I don't think so. He is one of the best of the class of 2007 and his 1st 3 yrs in the show matches or beats many of todays top end players.

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#60 Chris.
March 17 2010, 02:05PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Maybe I misunderstood your tears.

If your crying has more to do with his contract status right now than his development as a hockey player, then I totally understand.

It would be nice if we had 1 more year before RFA status with Sammy, especially when you look back now at the team's performance during that time. That's easy to see now, but I'm sure Lowe thought he could spark some magic by bringing him in early that first year.

It's my opinion or theory that Sam would be a better overall player today if he had paid his dues in the development leagues. a)Based on the leadership void in the Oiler locker room: it wouldn't have hurt for Gagner to have been "the man" on a JR, and then AHL squad. I wish he had that experience on his resume before we stick a C or A on his jersey next season. b) Time in development leagues helps with general humility. I honestly don't think this is much of a problem with Sam... but it must be hard to keep your ego completely in check when you have been an NHL regular since 18. Gagner isn't that great to have been annoited the organizational golden boy.

The mismanagemnt of his future contract status is a fact. It's not arguable. The Oilers will be paying too much, too soon, for a good player that they actually drafted.

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#61 freshpotofcoffey
March 17 2010, 02:07PM
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My understanding is that they don't want to bring Eberle up in part because the fans view him as the saviour of the future, and it might kill his confidence to have him go pointless in 5 games or something like that. So why not something like this? They tell him:

"We're going to bring you up for 2 games, just to give you a taste of what NHL action is like (at least, the joke version that is Oilers hockey). No matter what happens, you score 10 or you do nothing, you're back to Springfield after those 2. So don't feel any pressure to perform, just go out and get a feel for it."

I imagine it opens his eyes a bit to where he needs to be to play in the NHL next season, without putting a ton of pressure on him. And I understand we can play him for up to 9 games before some clock starts ticking, so we're fine on that front.

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#62 Chris.
March 17 2010, 02:12PM
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@Crash

Opinions, opinions, and opinions. You don't know if Gagners development was acclerated, or hampered by being fast tracked into the NHL... Neither do I. (But based on opinion we clearly disagree... but how to prove it either way...?)

What I do know is that Gagner wouldn't be an RFA already if he had played another year in JR. I also know that Gagner has never has been given much of a chance to round out his entire game... and that is too bad.

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#63 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 17 2010, 02:13PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Maybe I misunderstood your tears.

If your crying has more to do with his contract status right now than his development as a hockey player, then I totally understand.

It would be nice if we had 1 more year before RFA status with Sammy, especially when you look back now at the team's performance during that time. That's easy to see now, but I'm sure Lowe thought he could spark some magic by bringing him in early that first year.

"It would be nice if we had 1 more year before RFA status"

That might not be the case (ie their could be a silver lining in bringing him in at 18). As discussed earlier Gagner should be resigned in the 3 range. If he had one more year theirs a chance he could break-out and be a 70+ point player, then we'd be looking at 4.5+ and probably over 5.

Best case scenario they get him for 3 years now (so this contract expires with one more year as an RFA) in the 3 range and he matures into a 70+ point player over that contract.

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#64 Crash
March 17 2010, 02:18PM
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Chris. wrote:

Opinions, opinions, and opinions. You don't know if Gagners development was acclerated, or hampered by being fast tracked into the NHL... Neither do I. (But based on opinion we clearly disagree... but how to prove it either way...?)

What I do know is that Gagner wouldn't be an RFA already if he had played another year in JR. I also know that Gagner has never has been given much of a chance to round out his entire game... and that is too bad.

IMO, Gagner was ready for the NHL...going back to junior IMO would not have helped him be a better NHL player today.

As I mentioned Gagner is doing better than the entire 1st round class of the 2007 draft aside from Patrick Kane...to me that's something to hang your hat on.

The future for Sam is bright and maybe it will be a long one in Edmonton. Time will tell.

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#65 Crash
March 17 2010, 02:23PM
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freshpotofcoffey wrote:

My understanding is that they don't want to bring Eberle up in part because the fans view him as the saviour of the future, and it might kill his confidence to have him go pointless in 5 games or something like that. So why not something like this? They tell him:

"We're going to bring you up for 2 games, just to give you a taste of what NHL action is like (at least, the joke version that is Oilers hockey). No matter what happens, you score 10 or you do nothing, you're back to Springfield after those 2. So don't feel any pressure to perform, just go out and get a feel for it."

I imagine it opens his eyes a bit to where he needs to be to play in the NHL next season, without putting a ton of pressure on him. And I understand we can play him for up to 9 games before some clock starts ticking, so we're fine on that front.

My guess is...and this is only a guess. The Oilers still have 12 games left this season. If Eberle were to play in more than 9 games with the Oilers this season then the 1st year of his entry level contract would be counted this year.

So they send him to Springfield until they have less than 10 games left and then sometime during that last 9 games he gets the call up. Unless he is really struggling down on the farm.

He did play 9 games there last year averaging a point per game.

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#66 Chris.
March 17 2010, 02:40PM
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@Crash

Tambellini basically announced yesterday on Stauffers show that Eberle will "finish" with Springfield... I believe Eberle is already 19... and has done it all in Jr's... I'd bet money he makes the show next season with Hall/Seguin dividing the burden of expectation.

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#67 lenny
March 17 2010, 02:45PM
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Willis said about Gagne: Big picture, he’s the most significant player currently in the system.

NONSENCE! How many did he scored? Does he hit opponents, does he go around them, thru them, good in his own zone? Non of this! R. Nilson is ten times better but nobody want to see that. Why?

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#68 Matt Henderson
March 17 2010, 02:50PM
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@lenny

Lenny, quit eating your glue stick and go back to the corner. You're disturbing the rest of the class.

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#69 Chris.
March 17 2010, 02:52PM
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lenny wrote:

Willis said about Gagne: Big picture, he’s the most significant player currently in the system.

NONSENCE! How many did he scored? Does he hit opponents, does he go around them, thru them, good in his own zone? Non of this! R. Nilson is ten times better but nobody want to see that. Why?

Predergast? Is that you?

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#70 Crash
March 17 2010, 02:52PM
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Chris. wrote:

Tambellini basically announced yesterday on Stauffers show that Eberle will "finish" with Springfield... I believe Eberle is already 19... and has done it all in Jr's... I'd bet money he makes the show next season with Hall/Seguin dividing the burden of expectation.

I hadn't heard that..not sure why they wouldn't give him some NHL games this year...oh well.

I believe you are correct and that Eberle and Hall/Seguin will be here next season unless one or both really craps the bed in the pre season.

I will definitely agree with you that fickle fans can sometimes come down too hard too quickly on players here. I for one don't, never have or never will sit in the stands and boo players...I've never really seen a purpose for it...I think the only time I ever booed was when Mick McGeough waved off that tying goal the Oilers scored against Dallas a couple of years back in the last minute of play when he ruled that Horcoff had made a glove pass when he won the draw back to the point.

In any event...I sure do hope the fans will be patient and let the players improve as they go. I know I'm looking forward to being in the stands to watch Eberle, Hall/Seguin perform alongside Penner, Brule, Gagner and a healthy Hemsky next season. Who knows maybe even MPS but I have my doubts on whether he will make an appearance next season.

In any event IMO it will be fun to watch them.

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#71 lenny
March 17 2010, 02:56PM
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@Matt Henderson

Why? Because it is inconvenient? It goes against what Willis said? Please tell me why Gagner is better then Nilson.

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#72 Matt Henderson
March 17 2010, 03:00PM
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lenny wrote:

Why? Because it is inconvenient? It goes against what Willis said? Please tell me why Gagner is better then Nilson.

Since I hope that no one could honestly be this stupid, I'm just going to call it like it is.

You are a troll. Go away.

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#73 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 17 2010, 03:01PM
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lenny wrote:

Why? Because it is inconvenient? It goes against what Willis said? Please tell me why Gagner is better then Nilson.

Jokes?

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#74 lenny
March 17 2010, 03:03PM
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Archeologuy, why does it take you so long to answer my question? If you cant answer that, then tell me how is Gagner better then Brule?

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#75 lenny
March 17 2010, 03:06PM
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And I did not call anybody any names, just asked questions. I guess when you don't have answers you call people names!

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#76 Dan the Man
March 17 2010, 03:06PM
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lenny wrote:

Why? Because it is inconvenient? It goes against what Willis said? Please tell me why Gagner is better then Nilson.

2 questions:

1.Did you escape or are you out on a day pass?

2. Do they let you watch hockey in your padded cell?

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#77 BarryS
March 17 2010, 03:07PM
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Just a note: UFA does not automatically mean gone.

I my opinion the oilers could do worse than making Sam the Captain right now. He works hard, takes coaching instruction, and it seems to me at least once this year challenged the whole opposition bench to fight. It is not likely they will be able to find a captain on the free agent market. It seems to me having him learn the details of bring captain while the teams learns to be an actual hockey team, would not be a bad thing.

As well Glencross left because he wanted to, he signed for the same money. Players leave because they want to. A matter of a hundred thousand means both sides did not want to make the deal. Give it up.

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#78 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 17 2010, 03:10PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Since I hope that no one could honestly be this stupid, I'm just going to call it like it is.

You are a troll. Go away.

Come now, Archaeologuy. You're not being fair here.

It shouldn't be a stretch to suggest that Nilsson is better than Ga....

Ha! Couldn't do it with a straight face.

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#79 lenny
March 17 2010, 03:11PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

2 questions:

1.Did you escape or are you out on a day pass?

2. Do they let you watch hockey in your padded cell?

Yes you can keep attacking me but out team is in 30th place and untill you recognise who is good and who is not they will continue to be 30th.

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#80 Dan the Man
March 17 2010, 03:11PM
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How about this?

Career totals:

Gagner: 220 GP - 44 G - 87 A - 131 Pts

Nilsson: 244 GP - 35 G - 81 A - 115 Pts

Not a HUGE disparity right?

Now keep in mind it took Nilsson parts of 5 NHL seasons to accomplish what Gagner did in less than 3.

Also keep in mind that Nilsson is 4 Years older than Gagner.

Now tell me who is better?

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#81 Chris.
March 17 2010, 03:11PM
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@Crash

I believe that ultimately Eberle will somewhat prove my position regarding Gagner's developmnent.

Eberle had the chance to play huge minutes in all situation last season with Regina... Meanwhile, Gagner at the same age, played very limited, very sheltered minutes with the Oilers. Eberle will have the benifit of bonding with many of the players in the Oiler system, and Eberle will benifit hugely from the specific tutelage of Rob Daum to close out this season. (I'm pretty sure Gagner's development was not the principal duty of the beleagered Oiler coaching staff the last three seasons) Unlike Eberle, Gagner has never worn the C. Gagner has never killed penalties. Gagner has never, and will never be sent down. (Don't underestimate the motivational nature of this threat)

Ultimately, I believe, Eberle, though lacking the same draft pedigree, will have a real chance to equal or surpass Gagner as an NHLer... and this is because skipping steps in player development is as stupid as skipping steps in a full organizational rebuild. I'm sure you will provide more examples of players who made the jump directly... but the fact is, most of those players were "the men" on their respective CHL squads. Gagner never really had that chance.

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#82 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 17 2010, 03:14PM
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lenny wrote:

Yes you can keep attacking me but out team is in 30th place and untill you recognise who is good and who is not they will continue to be 30th.

I knew I should have made Dan the Man my goat for this year. I guess I just didn't realize the blame for the current state of affairs rests solely on his shoulders.

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#83 Dan the Man
March 17 2010, 03:15PM
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lenny wrote:

Yes you can keep attacking me but out team is in 30th place and untill you recognise who is good and who is not they will continue to be 30th.

So the Oilers success comes down to MY ability to recognize talent?

You know I secretly hope they would listen to some of my suggestions but I'm pretty sure thy don't.

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#84 Matt Henderson
March 17 2010, 03:16PM
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@Chris.

you start getting into gray territory when you compare different players to prove that extra time in the CHL would have helped a player who came to the NHL at 18.

Different guys need different experiences. No one will ever be proven right.

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#85 Matt Henderson
March 17 2010, 03:17PM
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@Dan the Man

FDTMNF!!

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#86 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 17 2010, 03:17PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

you start getting into gray territory when you compare different players to prove that extra time in the CHL would have helped a player who came to the NHL at 18.

Different guys need different experiences. No one will ever be proven right.

Such is the case whenever you compare alternate realities. How does the old saying go?

If a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its ass when it hops.

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#87 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 17 2010, 03:20PM
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@Matt Henderson

I always wonderd what the "N" stood for?

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#88 Dan the Man
March 17 2010, 03:21PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

I knew I should have made Dan the Man my goat for this year. I guess I just didn't realize the blame for the current state of affairs rests solely on his shoulders.

Hey man, don't blame me....I thought I assembled a solid team but how could I have possibly predicted all of the injuries.

And FYI I plan on taking Vladimir Tarasenko with our first overall pick this year. Hall and Seguin are overrated.

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#89 Wanyes bastard child
March 17 2010, 03:22PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I have no idea what the entire thing stands for...

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#90 lenny
March 17 2010, 03:22PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

How about this?

Career totals:

Gagner: 220 GP - 44 G - 87 A - 131 Pts

Nilsson: 244 GP - 35 G - 81 A - 115 Pts

Not a HUGE disparity right?

Now keep in mind it took Nilsson parts of 5 NHL seasons to accomplish what Gagner did in less than 3.

Also keep in mind that Nilsson is 4 Years older than Gagner.

Now tell me who is better?

Now we can at least talk. Nilson played parts of 5 seasons or complete 3 seasons for 2 different teams and being traded is never good. He played for Islenders anyway and they never developed anybody. His development started here. So it is about the same time as Gagner but less games played.

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#91 Matt Henderson
March 17 2010, 03:23PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I always wonderd what the "N" stood for?

Fire Dan The Man Now F@*(#^s

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#92 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 17 2010, 03:31PM
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lenny wrote:

Now we can at least talk. Nilson played parts of 5 seasons or complete 3 seasons for 2 different teams and being traded is never good. He played for Islenders anyway and they never developed anybody. His development started here. So it is about the same time as Gagner but less games played.

Pretty weak man, Nilsson isn't a young player anymore he's just a player.

At this point, odds of him being anything more then a 1 dimensional .5PPG player are slim to nill. While Gagner still has a good shot at being a legit 1st line center.

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#93 lenny
March 17 2010, 03:32PM
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Dan the Man what no answer? Then what about Brule? Willis why are you so quite suddenly?

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#94 Dan the Man
March 17 2010, 03:32PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Fire Dan The Man Now F@*(#^s

Not now, I need more time to asses the team.

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#95 lenny
March 17 2010, 03:35PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Pretty weak man, Nilsson isn't a young player anymore he's just a player.

At this point, odds of him being anything more then a 1 dimensional .5PPG player are slim to nill. While Gagner still has a good shot at being a legit 1st line center.

Like Horkoff?

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#96 Matt Henderson
March 17 2010, 03:41PM
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lenny wrote:

Dan the Man what no answer? Then what about Brule? Willis why are you so quite suddenly?

1) You're a troll

2) Brule has 67 points in 215 games. As a reclamation project he is doing well this year.

3) Are you really surprised that anyone would avoid trying to reason with someone who thinks Nilsson is better than Gagner?

4) "Willis why are you so "quite" suddenly". I think you mean "Quiet", and you should double check your definition for the word "suddenly". Willis hasnt posted once on this thread. He hasnt suddenly gone anywhere.

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#97 Dan the Man
March 17 2010, 03:41PM
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lenny wrote:

Dan the Man what no answer? Then what about Brule? Willis why are you so quite suddenly?

You're not really presenting an argument, you're making excuses.

Since I'm not an expert in evaluating NHL talent and I'm pretty sure that you aren't either, let's look at it another way.

How many other GM's in the league would have interest in having Gagner on their team?

I would say about 29.

How many other GM's would have interest in having Nilsson on their team?

I would say zero.

At his current salary I don't think he'd be claimed on waivers. There is even talk that the Oilers may buy him out this summer. How often have you heard of players that should be in their prime being bought out?

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#98 Chris.
March 17 2010, 03:42PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

you start getting into gray territory when you compare different players to prove that extra time in the CHL would have helped a player who came to the NHL at 18.

Different guys need different experiences. No one will ever be proven right.

I fully admit I can't prove this either way... I'm responding to this quote by Crash:

Gagners development hasn't been hurt one iota

Gagner needs to be a leader on this team moving forward... I'm saying it's too bad the Oilers, by fast tracking Gagner, deprived him of the leadership experience in either the CHL or the AHL.

*I think I beat this to death... and now back to shopping for a suede Oiler tux to wear to the playoffs in 2015.*

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#99 Crash
March 17 2010, 03:54PM
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Chris. wrote:

I believe that ultimately Eberle will somewhat prove my position regarding Gagner's developmnent.

Eberle had the chance to play huge minutes in all situation last season with Regina... Meanwhile, Gagner at the same age, played very limited, very sheltered minutes with the Oilers. Eberle will have the benifit of bonding with many of the players in the Oiler system, and Eberle will benifit hugely from the specific tutelage of Rob Daum to close out this season. (I'm pretty sure Gagner's development was not the principal duty of the beleagered Oiler coaching staff the last three seasons) Unlike Eberle, Gagner has never worn the C. Gagner has never killed penalties. Gagner has never, and will never be sent down. (Don't underestimate the motivational nature of this threat)

Ultimately, I believe, Eberle, though lacking the same draft pedigree, will have a real chance to equal or surpass Gagner as an NHLer... and this is because skipping steps in player development is as stupid as skipping steps in a full organizational rebuild. I'm sure you will provide more examples of players who made the jump directly... but the fact is, most of those players were "the men" on their respective CHL squads. Gagner never really had that chance.

While I don't think Gagner has been given prime minutes especially PP minutes with Oilers I think Gagner hasn't just had sheltered minutes with the Oilers...it was in his rookie season that the kid line was pretty much forced to be the top line and from what I remember he made out quite well. I think in fact everytime Gagner has been given an increased role on a scoring line or as a regular on the 1st PP unit he has performed quite admirably. I wish the Oilers would stop screwing around and make him the number one center already...I felt they should have done that last year.

Now that the old guard is finally being removed and we don't have a coach who thinks that Horcoff has to have top minutes there will be room for younger talent in bigger roles. Eberle is coming into a different situation than Gagner. The younger guys are going to be counted on more going foward than they were in the last few years so Eberle won't have to wait to get his chance like Gagner did.

I agree that Eberle stands a chance of being Gagner's equal, maybe even better but it won't have anything to do with the extra year of junior. So what if Eberle doesn't turn out to be equal or better than Gagner...does that mean it was a bad decision to give him an extra year of junior and that he should have been in the NHL last year? Of course not...you put players on your NHL team when they are ready to be on the NHL team...it's as simple as that.

As far as Gagner not being the man in London...I'd have to say that is argualble...even if he wasn't the man...he was right up there and on the junior team that played the Russia series.....he was the man.

You keep talking of these steps to developing players and it being stupid to skip them and yes there are many many examples of players who skipped these so called steps that you speak of but I won't list them. The fact is these steps are available only if needed and in Gagners case they weren't needed.

As far as being a captain..I woudn't be surprised to see it happen here sooner rather than later...the guy shows quite a bit of leadership IMO now. I do believe that he did spend time on the PK under MacT and Eberle will also likely never be sent down to the AHL. He has only played there due to playing an extra year of junior and having his last 2 junior seasons cut short due to being on a bad team.

Long winded...sorry about that

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#100 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 17 2010, 03:57PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

1) You're a troll

2) Brule has 67 points in 215 games. As a reclamation project he is doing well this year.

3) Are you really surprised that anyone would avoid trying to reason with someone who thinks Nilsson is better than Gagner?

4) "Willis why are you so "quite" suddenly". I think you mean "Quiet", and you should double check your definition for the word "suddenly". Willis hasnt posted once on this thread. He hasnt suddenly gone anywhere.

Ha-ha, this was my favorite part of his rambles:

"Willis why are you so "quite" suddenly". I think you mean "Quiet", and you should double check your definition for the word "suddenly". Willis hasnt posted once on this thread. He hasnt suddenly gone anywhere."

It's as if he thinks his claims of Nilssons superiority to JW have complete stumped him.

"Wow, what a ground breaking point....how I refute that???"

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