Hall and Seguin: why not both?

Robin Brownlee
March 18 2010 03:31PM

Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin? Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall? With the Edmonton Oilers a dead-cinch for one of the top two picks in the 2010 Entry Draft, it's a great debate.

But, while the argument over who the Oilers should take, assuming they retain the first overall pick in the lottery, rages on in Edmonton and on fan sites around the internet, let's throw a wrench in the works with one question: why not both?

If you're Steve Tambellini and you've just stepped to the podium at The Staples Center in Los Angeles and called Hall's name with the first pick, is there any reason you wouldn't walk across the floor and ask Boston GM Peter Chiarelli what it would take to get his pick, second overall, via Toronto?

Or, if Toronto was to climb over Carolina in Eastern Conference standings and the Hurricanes moved into the second slot, is there any reason you wouldn't tap Jim Rutherford on the shoulder and ask him what it would take for his pick?

Is there any one player on the Oilers roster right now you wouldn't trade for Seguin? Any two players?

At the very least, wouldn't it be worth asking?

What's too much?

If Chiarelli said, "Gimme Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner," would you make that move to get Hall and Seguin? If Rutherford said, "It'll take Hemsky and Dustin Penner," would you say, "Done deal?" If not, why not?

With the Oilers in rebuild mode, would landing Hall and Seguin be worth two more years of Hemsky and Penner? Do we know if Hemsky or Penner will even be here after 2011-12, when their contracts expire? I don't, especially when it comes to No. 83.

Yes, Hemsky's got a palatable cap hit of $4.1 million for two more years, but what are the Oilers going to win in that span?  Again, do you see Hemsky re-signing here when his deal is up?

With Penner, is he ever going to be more than what he is now, a 25-30 goal scorer? I'm not saying that's chopped liver, not at $4.25 million, but what kind of player will Penner be in two years, at age 29?

What of Gagner? He's only 21, but what's his top end? Do you see him as a 60-point player one day? Is he a 70-point guy? Does Seguin project higher as a centre? You tell me.

The way I see it, if Tambellini is serious about a rebuild, about laying a real foundation this team can build on and about reversing the direction this franchise is headed without taking 3-5 years to become a contender, taking a run at Hall and Seguin is worth a shot.

If the Oilers keep the first pick in the lottery, Tambellini needs to ask the question.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#251 Ryan2
March 19 2010, 11:11PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You've missed the point on some things I said and tried to argue others with what I think are stretches as examples.

-- You completely missed the boat with "my logic." I wasn't saying that there aren't any players on losing teams that aren't worth having. I was saying that when you are a 30th-place team that has won nothing, you assess everything and nobody is untouchable.

-- I didn't say Gagner has done nothing in the context of managing the points he has. I'm saying he's done nothing, YET, to show he can even be a consistent 65-point player. I'm looking for progression, building from one season to the next. He's been about the same for three seasons. Might we see it? Yes. But not yet.

-- You've done a deft job with players you're comparing Sam to in their first three seasons, but don't forget I was covering the Oilers when all the players you mentioned broke in.

Each of them found "another gear" in their development and, in two of the four cases, that gear involved a physical aspect that Gagner does not have at his disposal. While Thornton was tall, he was a pencil when he came up and somewhat gangly and awkward. He was also given very limited ice time. He played nowhere near as much in his first two seasons as Sam has in his first three. When he filled out that frame, things started to happen.

Iginla's ascent can be traced directly to his ability to create room for himself with physicality. As he matured, if Jarome couldn't go around you, he'd go through you. Sam will mature as well, obviously, but he won't ever be the physical specimen Jarome is. Yes, Sam can create room using his head instead of brute force, but it's not like Jarome just bulls around without thinking as well.

And both the Sedins, while not possessing the same physical tools as Iginla and Thornton, are still considerably bigger than Sam. That aside, they are clearly special in terms of playing with and reading each other after a lifetime of being linemates.

-- As for your points totals over the first three seasons, keep this in mind in terms of average ice time in each of those seasons and project the difference in total minutes over each of those seasons.

Gagner 15:40, 16:45, 16:22 (this year so far)

Thornton 8:05, 15:20, 21:18

H Sedin 13:31, 12:48, 13:57 D Sedin 12:59, 12:21, 12:26

Good points and comparisons, Robin. The only problem with Thornton is that he does not really have an extra gear (as the Olympics showed) and he plays like he is Gagner's size on most nights. LOL

To the posters who are mentioning the Hemsky Penner Gagner line had a big night against Columbus, take a look at the highlights and you will see that it was Hemsky and Penner who had the big night, with Gagner in tow. He has great puck sense and skill, but is not fast enough to play on the top line of a contender. However, if we can keep him as a #2 centreman and find a bigger faster skilled #1 for the long run then that will work nicely as well.

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#252 Thor
March 19 2010, 11:33PM
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It could all depend on who, besides the Oilers, has the other pick, be it #1 or #2. I would hazard a guess that Carolina, Columbus or NYI would be tempted by a Hemsky+ or Penner+ type offer, if not Boston themselves.

There is always the 2011 1st round pick that can be used as well. There is no guarantee either way that the Oil will or will not finish in the lottery next year. But as far as what I have read and the rumors I've heard there isn't going to be another Hall or Seguin type player for the Oilers to pick in the 2011 draft.

Would a Hemsky/Penner + 2011 1st rounder sufficiently entice the likes of Columbus or Carolina if they are sitting with the #1/#2 pick? Add Cogliano is necessary. There are too many smurfs as it is and new rookies looking for spots as well.

If there is a strong possibility that Hemsky or Penner aren't going to re-sign in 2 years then trade them for something NOW. If Edmonton does a really fast rebuild and is looking like a contender then they are welcome to re-sign back with the Oilers in 2 years. If not, then there WILL be others. Hemsky and Penner aren't the only two players out there that will be available in the next few years.

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#253 Crash
March 20 2010, 12:40AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You've missed the point on some things I said and tried to argue others with what I think are stretches as examples.

-- You completely missed the boat with "my logic." I wasn't saying that there aren't any players on losing teams that aren't worth having. I was saying that when you are a 30th-place team that has won nothing, you assess everything and nobody is untouchable.

-- I didn't say Gagner has done nothing in the context of managing the points he has. I'm saying he's done nothing, YET, to show he can even be a consistent 65-point player. I'm looking for progression, building from one season to the next. He's been about the same for three seasons. Might we see it? Yes. But not yet.

-- You've done a deft job with players you're comparing Sam to in their first three seasons, but don't forget I was covering the Oilers when all the players you mentioned broke in.

Each of them found "another gear" in their development and, in two of the four cases, that gear involved a physical aspect that Gagner does not have at his disposal. While Thornton was tall, he was a pencil when he came up and somewhat gangly and awkward. He was also given very limited ice time. He played nowhere near as much in his first two seasons as Sam has in his first three. When he filled out that frame, things started to happen.

Iginla's ascent can be traced directly to his ability to create room for himself with physicality. As he matured, if Jarome couldn't go around you, he'd go through you. Sam will mature as well, obviously, but he won't ever be the physical specimen Jarome is. Yes, Sam can create room using his head instead of brute force, but it's not like Jarome just bulls around without thinking as well.

And both the Sedins, while not possessing the same physical tools as Iginla and Thornton, are still considerably bigger than Sam. That aside, they are clearly special in terms of playing with and reading each other after a lifetime of being linemates.

-- As for your points totals over the first three seasons, keep this in mind in terms of average ice time in each of those seasons and project the difference in total minutes over each of those seasons.

Gagner 15:40, 16:45, 16:22 (this year so far)

Thornton 8:05, 15:20, 21:18

H Sedin 13:31, 12:48, 13:57 D Sedin 12:59, 12:21, 12:26

Don't you have to also factor in how good the teams are that each player played on? And also don't you have to factor in PP time?

And with the Sedins, it took them 6 seasons before they cracked the 55 point barrier. I have this feeling it won't take Sam that long...

I think you hit the nail on the head...Sam can and will create room and create offense due to high end hockey sense and skill...

I do believe people are selling him short on his skill level and as he begins to mature and get close to his prime you will see his numbers climb.

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#254 Crash
March 20 2010, 12:47AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Pick 1 guy on the list? What list? I didn't look at a list. I've been a part-time Bruin fan (not so much in recent years, but I actually liked them better than the Flames in my younger years), so Thornton is a guy that immediately jumped to mind. Do I think Gagner will measure up to the Sedins? No. Iginla? No.

I see Gagner as a really good #2 (on a really good team) or a not-so-much #1 (on a poorer team). The kid has heart & skill, that there is no doubt. Would I actively look to move him? No. Is he untouchable? No.

IIRC, Bob Stauffer has used the name Brendan Morrisson to (favorably) compare him. Even Marc Savard's name has been mentioned. But I've never heard anyone suggest Henrik Sedin.

No one is untouchable....everyone has a price

I wasn't comparing Sam Gagner directly to Henrik Sedin....I was comparing scoring numbers of some pretty high end NHLers when they were younger to Gagner's early numbers...

So we differ in opinion...that's fine but it took the Sedins 6 yrs as pros before they broke the 55 point barrier....

I don't think it's much of a stretch to suggest when Sam is in his mid 20's and reaches his prime that he will be every bit as good as the Sedins are. He's already well ahead of the pace that the Sedins set from the start of their careers and the Sedins were 20 yrs old when they started.

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#255 madjam
March 20 2010, 08:44AM
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I'd like to see Oilers get Hall, Taylor , Fowler and Neidereiter this draft . In order to do that, Oilers might have to include an Eberle ,Cogs and one or more other diminutive prospects . Gagner should be a keeper , however . Hemsky also stays put, unless someone would take Horcoffs contract in the deal . Every one is forgetting about R.Nash , whom i feel is still our best prospect from last season . A.Plante not that far away either. Gagner may be only diminutive player team will go forward with .

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#256 Rob
March 20 2010, 10:35AM
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Robin, Is it worth a shot? Yes. Is it likely? Hell no. What lays in store with next years draft? With the Oil being a lottery team again for at least 2-3 years who are the up and coming talents? I heard somewhere that next year is supposed to be an above average draft year.

I read earlier this year that Hemsky was the 30th best player in the league. You will get interest but I think a subsequent Oiler #1 pick would have to be part of the deal. Penner has to be one of the players who wants out of Edmonton. His play during this march of futility has been an abominable indictment of his character and commitment. If I were Tambo I would move him in a package or in any other viable way I could to better the team. How can he not be a blight in the dressingroom?

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#257 Robin Brownlee
March 20 2010, 11:33AM
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@Rob

Penner is not a "blight" in the dressing room. For any struggles he's had, and there have been many in the second half, he doesn't piss and moan and he's well-liked.

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#258 Bombstradamus
March 20 2010, 12:33PM
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Penner Brule Hemsky Eberle Gagner Hall MPS Horcoff Potulny ????? ????? ?????

Souray Whitney Gilbert Smid ????? ?????

Khabibulin JDD

I think that team could be good next year, or at least progress enough to be good the year after. With Gagner and Brule both top 6 picks, MPS a top ten, Eberle a great 22, and Hall a number one, aren't we in year 2 or 3 of a rebuild? Throw in the idea that a still young Penner and Hemsky could enter the top 20 scoring race if healthy. It's all speculation, but it's damn good juice.

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#259 Robin Brownlee
March 20 2010, 01:21PM
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Bombstradamus wrote:

Penner Brule Hemsky Eberle Gagner Hall MPS Horcoff Potulny ????? ????? ?????

Souray Whitney Gilbert Smid ????? ?????

Khabibulin JDD

I think that team could be good next year, or at least progress enough to be good the year after. With Gagner and Brule both top 6 picks, MPS a top ten, Eberle a great 22, and Hall a number one, aren't we in year 2 or 3 of a rebuild? Throw in the idea that a still young Penner and Hemsky could enter the top 20 scoring race if healthy. It's all speculation, but it's damn good juice.

Top 20 in scoring? Pardon? Hemsky's best season, 77 points in 2005-06, left him eight points out of the top 20. And Penner, an 80 points-plus player? No chance. None.

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#260 Bombstradamus
March 20 2010, 02:03PM
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Top 30 then? Doesn't a point per game get you close? It's pure optimism, I'll admit. I just really believe this was Hemskys year. A healthy Hemsky and Khabibulin would have left the Oilers in a much different position right now.

My point was that the oilers have sucked and drafted quite high over the past few years. It doesn't quite feel like the start of a rebuild. It feels like the middle of a Columbus or Florida rebuild.

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#261 Rusty Duggan
March 20 2010, 02:21PM
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Stop thinking about trading Hemsky. Make him our Captain going forward. This is his team now. Trading Hemsky to get a grade A prospect sounds sexy... if your looking at the situation after losing a gazillion games and not seeing Hemsky for months now. We can't go too far off the deep end. We have many first rate prospects, and young players coming up. The league has only one Hemsky and he is ours. How many prospects must one team have, and how much longer would it take to rebuild the team minus Hemsky. He is and always should be an Oiler. Trading Hemsky would be a big mistake.

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#262 Skidplate
March 21 2010, 10:37AM
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Very interesting comment in an article by Kevin Paul Dumont on Boston.com

"The Oilers dangled Dustin Penner and Tom Gilbert Boston’s way before the trading deadline. They could come calling with Ales Hemsky or Sam Gagner or Andrew Cogliano."

This was for Toronto's 1st round pick. If it is true, then we are underestimating the value GM's put on these draft choices. With the state Boston is in, I would have thought they would have done that deal. I remember reading somewhere that Boston's management doesn't think this is their year, so maybe thats why they didn't make any significant trades.

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#263 Robin Brownlee
March 21 2010, 02:23PM
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From Matty at The Journal Sunday:

Courting Boston

"The more I think about, I feel Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini has the chance of a lifetime to get Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin in the draft, to get the No. 1 and No. 2 picks.

He has to convince the Bruins, if they're the other team, to give the pick up and he should have everybody on the Oilers in play if Boston asks, along with every prospect available except Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, along with the first pick in Round 2 (No. 31). And if he has to take back, say, a Dennis Wideman at $3.5 million on defence, so be it. Nothing against Edmonton's best player, Ales Hemsky, an unrestricted free agent in two years, or any current Oilers who continue to show some good fight in tough times, with a hugely depleted lineup, but how many chances does a GM have to hit one not just out of the park, but onto the street?

The Bruins need help, now. They need offence, now. Their fans aren't patient. Now, if it's Carolina that finishes second-worst, that's a different story. The Bruins spend to the cap and won't be scared away by contracts; not so much the Hurricanes, who are rebuilding. The jury, by the way, is still out on who's better, Hall or Seguin."

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#264 Skidplate
March 21 2010, 03:03PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

From Matty at The Journal Sunday:

Courting Boston

"The more I think about, I feel Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini has the chance of a lifetime to get Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin in the draft, to get the No. 1 and No. 2 picks.

He has to convince the Bruins, if they're the other team, to give the pick up and he should have everybody on the Oilers in play if Boston asks, along with every prospect available except Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, along with the first pick in Round 2 (No. 31). And if he has to take back, say, a Dennis Wideman at $3.5 million on defence, so be it. Nothing against Edmonton's best player, Ales Hemsky, an unrestricted free agent in two years, or any current Oilers who continue to show some good fight in tough times, with a hugely depleted lineup, but how many chances does a GM have to hit one not just out of the park, but onto the street?

The Bruins need help, now. They need offence, now. Their fans aren't patient. Now, if it's Carolina that finishes second-worst, that's a different story. The Bruins spend to the cap and won't be scared away by contracts; not so much the Hurricanes, who are rebuilding. The jury, by the way, is still out on who's better, Hall or Seguin."

Exciting times indeed.

It sure would get the fans excited about next year if we got both Hall and Seguin...... That is until the season was half over and we were eliminated from the playoffs.

We have high expectations in these parts, but if we show some patience, 3 -5 years from now we could be a strong contender.

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#265 Skidplate
March 21 2010, 03:15PM
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Hey Robin, do you have a link to the story? I can not find it.

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#266 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
March 22 2010, 08:37AM
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@Robin Brownlee

So is this a real story or him flinging some crap again? I noticed he likes to play trade rumor monger from time to time.

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#267 Davey
March 22 2010, 03:10PM
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Robin's story is bang on. Why not get both? Penner won't be here in two years. I actually think Hemsky would come back but at a huge raise no doubt. I'd even throw in our 2 second round picks. If you walk out of the Draft with both Hall and Seguin, you win and wou win big regardless of who you draft in later rounds.

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#268 Andrew
March 24 2010, 07:14PM
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i agree with the above posts. While the likelihood of Edmonton getting another top 3 pick is unlikely, given the way teams have to use the draft to build a successful squad in the NHL. It is more likely if Toronto finishes 29th.

Boston is a squad that is either going to contend now or has to rebuild as Chara and Savard are 33 and Thomas is 35. While their secondary players are all around 23-27 years of age they need these three to remain a contender so they have maybe a 2 year window before these players begin to really decline. I would say that Penner would be a good fit for this squad as his size would work well in tandem with Lucic and with Savard dishing the puck he would be able to put away somewhere between 25-35 goals a year consistently as he has better touch around the net than Lucic.

Moving Hemsky makes sense as well as he is a good player that showed he can put up points at a point per game level. However the problem with Boston is the salary cap as they are right up against it. If Boston did accept a deal with Edmonton the Oilers would have to take guys like Sturm, Ryder, and Wideman the other way and the Oilers would be required to move prospects and picks to Boston. 2nd/3rd rounders and guys like Omark who have solid potential.

Moving Gagner is intriguing as his father didn't actually start reaching his potential until his mid twenties. If you look at Gagner Senior's stats his first 70 point campaign came with the North Stars in 88-89 at the age of 24. Sam's numbers through the first three years are actually better than his Dad's. While Sam may not become a PPG player if seems really harsh to peg him as a bust at the age of 21 with only 3 years of pro hockey for a team that's been in shambles. I mean look at Visnovsky, he leaves Edmonton and scores 5 goals in 9 games for the Ducks and while he isn't going to keep up at this clip it just shows that Edmonton is a team that scores very little so any player on this team is probably not scoring at the rate they could if they were on any number of average to above average clubs.

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