RE 10-11: Skill Forwards

Lowetide
September 01 2010 05:07PM

There are 6 slots for 7 skill forwards on the 10-11 Oilers depth chart. Penner, Hemsky, Gagner and Hall are a lock, but the rest of the group is a moving target. It is so fluid we may well be having the same conversation one year from now.

In a very real way, the Oilers could have made life much easier for themselves if they'd chosen Tyler Seguin #1 overall. I'm not arguing the pick (Taylor Hall is a solid #1 overall selection) but we're left with a depth chart deep on both wings and soggy in the middle. In the previous look at reasonable expectations (the foot soldiers) I named Shawn Horcoff and Jordan Eberle among the group that will be asked to play a specific role outside the top 6F and 1PP. I'll list the top 7 candidates for the two offensive lines below, but we should acknowledge that both Horcoff and Eberle could push their way onto the top 6F's at any time before or during the season.

  • LW-C Dustin Penner: I think we should start by talking about the possibility of Penner playing center this coming season. His FO percentage wasn't terrible (48%) compared to the rest of the group and he has had a season over 50% (in fewer sorties). My personal preference would be to keep Penner on LW (he's very effective there) but from a roster point of view it makes sense. Penner is the straw that stirs the drink in the offensive zone, and an absolute giant of a man when he has the puck and a lane. He is the ultimate Coke Machine when he's on his game and an extremely valuable hockey player who creates powerplay after powerplay just by maintaining possession in dangerous areas. It is a pure tragedy that the best hockey of his career is likely to be played deep in the NHL's second division. Reasonable expectations: Outrageous minutes on the PP and a lot of work on the 1line at 5x5. This player is a stud and Renney has shown a willingnness to run those types ragged in the past. 81gp, 35-35-70. Dustin Penner is a big part of this hockey club.
  • RW Ales Hemsky: I believe Ales Hemsky is the best player on the Oilers hockey team. He's a splendid talent, worth the price of admission all by his lonesome. Unlike a more cerebral player (like Sam Gagner, as a for instance) Hemsky is pure reaction, reflex and skill: he was touched by God. He is not a perfect player (turns the puck over at the blueline, needs to shoot more) but he's got game, gumption and will crank it up no matter the opposition. That's a lot to like. Hemsky's injuries are a big concern, especially considering the huge number of games missed this past season. He is the most physical of Edmonton's skill wingers (although Taylor Hall may give him some competion. NOTE: I've listed Brule as a center here) and he is outstanding on the PP. One imagines Hall (or MPS, or Eberle) cashing more of those butter goalmouth chances than Shawn Horcoff has in the past after 83 has delivered a wonderful pass. I think Renney will rely on Hemsky in all situations this season and would be shocked if this player gets less than 4.5 minutes a night on the powerplay. Reasonable expecations: 60gp, 18-48-66 and a steady diet of skilled rookies auditioning for the role of Hemsky's wingman. 
  • C Sam Gagner:  On October 22, the Oilers played Gagner with Penner and Hemsky, with predictable results. Penner was the first star, Hemsky 2nd and the kid third star. The totals for that line: 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points.
    Dustin Penner: "That would have to be the best game of my career, certainly statistically. The stars lined up for me and my linemates tonight. It feels really good. I don't know the last time I was on a team that bounced back from down as much as we were. That's one of the games where you know the true meaning of momentum." The game highlights are here. Gagner is a cerebral player with a wonderful imagination. His first three NHL seasons have been frustrating for some, but a closer view (Corsi) suggests a steady improvement in terms of moving the puck in the right direction. He's worked very hard over the summer and recently signed a two-year deal that I suggest will be a bargain for the Edmonton organization. Injuries are a concern, but the arrows are strong and positive for Samwise. Reasonable expectations: 80gp, 16-37-53. If they can find a rookie winger to cash his passes--AND they can find a way to use them against the soft parade--Gagner could have a monster season at age 21.
  • L Taylor Hall: Taylor Hall scored 14-32-46 on the PP and 4-1-5 shorthanded last season in the OHL. Doing simple math, that makes his EV number last season 57gp, 22-33-55 (.965). That EV number is exceptional compared to other juniors with similar numbers. Let's use Steven Stamkos (a nice comparable overall) as an example: 61gp, 23-23-46 on the PP (basically the same, Hall played 4 fewer games and had a lot more assists but the same point total); 5-3-8 on the PK and that makes his EV number in his draft year 61gp, 30-21-51 (.836). A lot of numbers, but bottom line is Hall did more damage at EVs than Stamkos and that remains true for several juniors in their draft year (Sam Gagner is another). That EV number is excellent. Hall has swagger and skill and you get the sense that he's going to cut a wide swath as an NHL player. I would only caution that it is unlikely to come all at once: the last 18-year old to score 100 points for Edmonton was Wayne Gretzky for the WHA Oilers. Reasonable expectations: 74gp, 20-20-40 and much better if Renney can fix the PP with Hall an integral part of it.
  • C-R Gilbert Brule: Sometimes when a team is historically bad it is easy for fans to overlook real growth. Last season--in the middle of a monumental clusterbleep season--young Gilbert Brule ripped of the shackles that held him back and kicked out the jams at the NHL level. He's still 5.10 and he's not a complete player, but Brule brings some grit, skill and attitude. Plus he can win faceoffs (or at least he won 52.6% of 274 sorties last year). If Dustin Penner stays at wing, I suspect the top 2 centers on the team with be Sam Gagner and Gilbert Brule. Reasonable expecations: 75gp, 18-22-40. If Brule can deliver another season just like the last one, Oiler fans should start including him on that list of outstanding young players who could be here when the Stanley returns.
  • L Magnus Pääjärvi: I often talk about arrows and how many are pointed up or down. All of the arrows in his quiver are positive: speed to burn, pro experience, he's a shooter on  a team with puckhandlers and he's more physically mature than the other kids. PLUS he played defense as a kid ala Bengt Gustafsson so there might be some awareness of the overall game. I cannot wait to see him in pre-season. Reasonable expectations: 66gp, 12-18-30 and some breathtaking dashes into enemy territory. If he has some element of a two-way game, this guy could be a major part of the club within a couple of seasons. 
  • C-W Andrew Cogliano: I've listed him here because it makes sense that the organization will try him on the skill lines. He has three seasons of NHL experience and should be posting better numbers, but the organization should try him with some skilled men for half a season before sending him away for 10 cents on the dollar. If Cogliano can come to camp and find some chemistry with one or two of the kids, Edmonton`s 4th line might be a "kid line" that gets more minutes on nights when things are clicking. He was on that kid line that went supernova spring 2008. I see him as being more of a winger than center, but it seems he and the organization still hold out hope that he can play the center position. Reasonable expectations: 82gp, 10-20-30 and one final effort to find a role in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.
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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 Team 1260.
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#51 Aleslav Smidsky
September 02 2010, 10:31AM
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Paajarvi Gagner Hemsky

Eberle Hall Penner

1st two lines

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#52 Archaeologuy
September 02 2010, 10:34AM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

Penner is the Centre for your 2nd line?

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#53 Aleslav Smidsky
September 02 2010, 10:58AM
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@Archaeologuy

No, I figure Hall.

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#54 Archaeologuy
September 02 2010, 11:01AM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

Ballsy

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#55 Harlie
September 02 2010, 11:07AM
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this would be my first two lines..

Hall Horcoff Hemsky Penner Gagner Eberle

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#56 Harlie
September 02 2010, 11:08AM
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bad formatting...

1st - Hall Horcoff Hemsky ............................... 2nd - Penner Gagner Eberle

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#57 Aleslav Smidsky
September 02 2010, 11:11AM
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Harlie wrote:

bad formatting...

1st - Hall Horcoff Hemsky ............................... 2nd - Penner Gagner Eberle

Fcuk Horcoff.

The 3rd line got his name all over it.

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#58 Shadi
September 02 2010, 11:15AM
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Laughing Pug wrote:

Shadi, your 4-hour-free-car-wash-blitz-on-draft-lottery-day bonanza was one of the best things to ever happen to the Oilers as a franchise. Dig deep and find another Oilers related reason to do it again.

Besides, it was good luck.....right?

Kind of, I wanted a franchise centremen, if they win the lottery next year I'll do it again.( Couterier. Hopkins, Rask and maybe Larrson D)

The people comparing Gagner to Datsuyk or that he will be a legit #1 C. Datsuyk is impossible to nock off the puck,plays a great 200' game, he has amazing balance and is a great skater even if he does not have blazing straight away speed.

Seperate your emotions for the team and think with your heads so you can be honest with your evaluations and you will regognize Gagner is a nice prospect with a huge heart but not a #1 C that will ever lead to a cup.

Not Hating just realizing!

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#59 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 02 2010, 11:24AM
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Shadi wrote:

Kind of, I wanted a franchise centremen, if they win the lottery next year I'll do it again.( Couterier. Hopkins, Rask and maybe Larrson D)

The people comparing Gagner to Datsuyk or that he will be a legit #1 C. Datsuyk is impossible to nock off the puck,plays a great 200' game, he has amazing balance and is a great skater even if he does not have blazing straight away speed.

Seperate your emotions for the team and think with your heads so you can be honest with your evaluations and you will regognize Gagner is a nice prospect with a huge heart but not a #1 C that will ever lead to a cup.

Not Hating just realizing!

Ridiculous statement to make with a 21 year old.

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#60 Harlie
September 02 2010, 11:29AM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

we'll see I guess. I'm betting he has a better year. But who the F knows. I still would try him up in the middle for the start of the year and see what happens.

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#61 Ender
September 02 2010, 11:49AM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

Hall in the center; I can't see it this season. He'd have to really shine there in training camp.

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#62 Shadi
September 02 2010, 12:03PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I don't doubt Gagner will put up points considering he has the best group of established and younng winger prospects in the N.H.L.

Until he can improve his skating like a young Jaret Stoll did, I am not fully buying in. Remember the way the game is now played your top centres have to be as good in the d- zone as they are in O-zone.

Take a look at the centremen in their division, Stasney,Dushene, O'reily,Sedin, Kessler,Koivu and young guys like Grandland and Hodgsen.

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#63 Boris
September 02 2010, 12:03PM
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@Lowetide

I liked the post but I have just one question, with the top 6 you suggest and the point projection stated...the Oilers will score 129 goals from their top 6 this year. I am not a stats guy, but I think that if you consider that the top 6 should score 66% of the goals, then we are in for another great draft pick next year.

Where would 129 goals from the top 6 stack up to last years Oilers and other teams?

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#64 swany
September 02 2010, 12:17PM
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I'll play 1st line of MPS Penner Hemsky second line of Hall, Ganger' Eberle 3rd line of Omark,Horc, Brule that's three lines that can score and back check with SPEED not position. 4th line of J.F.J. Frazer Storts Cogs will be delt with Souray for something just don't no what.

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#65 Let's Rebuild
September 02 2010, 12:41PM
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Shadi wrote:

I don't doubt Gagner will put up points considering he has the best group of established and younng winger prospects in the N.H.L.

Until he can improve his skating like a young Jaret Stoll did, I am not fully buying in. Remember the way the game is now played your top centres have to be as good in the d- zone as they are in O-zone.

Take a look at the centremen in their division, Stasney,Dushene, O'reily,Sedin, Kessler,Koivu and young guys like Grandland and Hodgsen.

You should read Gregor's article recently about his interview with Gagner. He lost weight over the summer so he could gain a little more speed. As Lowetide indicated, "Arrows pointed the the right directions"

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#66 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 02 2010, 12:43PM
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Shadi wrote:

I don't doubt Gagner will put up points considering he has the best group of established and younng winger prospects in the N.H.L.

Until he can improve his skating like a young Jaret Stoll did, I am not fully buying in. Remember the way the game is now played your top centres have to be as good in the d- zone as they are in O-zone.

Take a look at the centremen in their division, Stasney,Dushene, O'reily,Sedin, Kessler,Koivu and young guys like Grandland and Hodgsen.

Still a pretty baseless statement considering almost all of his fellow top 15 picks from 2007 are just now even getting their feet wet in the NHL.

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#67 madjam
September 02 2010, 01:05PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

So you're saying that the Oilers are trying not to replicate themselves and they would prefer not to be like one of the last 3 Stanley Cup Champions?

No !! They want to replicate the original Oiler template and avoid being a one shot Stanley Cup winner . They are trying to build a sustainable dynasty (i repeat sustainable ). Upgraded AHL club will be good to develop (beyond Hall of course ) this years crop of junior rookies and next two years of rookies . We improved there but not so they would necessarily get dibs on this years group of so called rookies . Some of present young AHL talent destined for the rebuild may also make the group youth movement this year over AHL players of the elder variety. Elders Giroux and possibly Belle might make squad if not enough youth can handle the transition . Plante , Peckham and Reddox not what i call elders by the way .

The only real thing we added to front end was who ? Thats being held for the group of youth , not the new AHL upgrade . Same can be said of backend . Where possible they prefer to go with long range plans and youth . Original Oilers only had LOWE and not much else on backend .

While Oilers are looking and planning to repeat the Dynasty , most of you are thinking one year shot .

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#68 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 02 2010, 01:10PM
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madjam wrote:

No !! They want to replicate the original Oiler template and avoid being a one shot Stanley Cup winner . They are trying to build a sustainable dynasty (i repeat sustainable ). Upgraded AHL club will be good to develop (beyond Hall of course ) this years crop of junior rookies and next two years of rookies . We improved there but not so they would necessarily get dibs on this years group of so called rookies . Some of present young AHL talent destined for the rebuild may also make the group youth movement this year over AHL players of the elder variety. Elders Giroux and possibly Belle might make squad if not enough youth can handle the transition . Plante , Peckham and Reddox not what i call elders by the way .

The only real thing we added to front end was who ? Thats being held for the group of youth , not the new AHL upgrade . Same can be said of backend . Where possible they prefer to go with long range plans and youth . Original Oilers only had LOWE and not much else on backend .

While Oilers are looking and planning to repeat the Dynasty , most of you are thinking one year shot .

Two words: Salary cap.

It's almost impossible to build a Dynasty now.

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#69 madjam
September 02 2010, 01:15PM
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Bravo , one a few that gets it . Could be an exciting year to be an Oiler fan with your roster . Not sold on letting Cogs go , however .

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#70 shadi
September 02 2010, 01:20PM
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@Let's Rebuild

I beleive for the most part being a great skater has a lot to do with genetics, you either have it or you don't, again for the most part!

I did read the article, and still beleive he's a 2nd line C at best. But hey I have been wrong before, and it is just my opinion, although strong, but just my opinion.

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#71 wiggleswag
September 02 2010, 01:32PM
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Because I can,

First - Penner, Gags, Hemmsky Second - MPS, Brule, Cogs (min. 2 years pro) Third - Hall, Horcoff, Eberle (have to learn) Fourth - Frazer at center, rotate wingers.

Hall, Eberle will get chance on PP.

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#72 shadi
September 02 2010, 01:33PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Of the players that have played more than 1 year in the league from that draft (Kane,Voracheck,Sutter and Peron) have all improved from their 1st year more than Gagne.I understand players develop at different paces. Just my opinion

I worry that he projects into a Comrie more than a 1st line centre. Remember all the buzz about the undersized Slower skating centre( Comrie) after his second year with the Oil and his first year with the Coyotes.

Again just my opinion.

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#73 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 02 2010, 01:48PM
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shadi wrote:

Of the players that have played more than 1 year in the league from that draft (Kane,Voracheck,Sutter and Peron) have all improved from their 1st year more than Gagne.I understand players develop at different paces. Just my opinion

I worry that he projects into a Comrie more than a 1st line centre. Remember all the buzz about the undersized Slower skating centre( Comrie) after his second year with the Oil and his first year with the Coyotes.

Again just my opinion.

Ya their are some guys that get substantially worse through their early to mid twenties. I'd have to guess they are in the minority though.

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#74 TigerUnderGlass
September 02 2010, 08:50PM
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Shadi wrote:

Kind of, I wanted a franchise centremen, if they win the lottery next year I'll do it again.( Couterier. Hopkins, Rask and maybe Larrson D)

The people comparing Gagner to Datsuyk or that he will be a legit #1 C. Datsuyk is impossible to nock off the puck,plays a great 200' game, he has amazing balance and is a great skater even if he does not have blazing straight away speed.

Seperate your emotions for the team and think with your heads so you can be honest with your evaluations and you will regognize Gagner is a nice prospect with a huge heart but not a #1 C that will ever lead to a cup.

Not Hating just realizing!

At 20 Datsyuk was not "impossible to (k)nock off the puck". At 20 he was in Russia and was still 3 years away from a whopping 35 point season.

I'm not saying Gagner is Datsyuk, that is pretty unlikely, but it is exceedingly unfair to compare the mature version of Datsyuk with young Gagner. Do you "realize" that?

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#75 @NateInVegas
September 02 2010, 09:31PM
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I would compare Sam Gagner to Daymond Langkow.

Sam has excellent hockey IQ...

He's easily knocked off the puck and doesn't win races/battles for the puck, (like Gretzky/Datsyuk)

When was the last time he scored outside 10ft from the net?

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#76 shadi
September 02 2010, 09:58PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

Do you actually remember how Datsyuk's skating and balance was or are you assuming that. If Gagne was in Detroit's org. He would of yet to have "sniffed" the ice at the J.L.A.

Remember when Datsyuk was a rookie he had a bunch of hall of famers ahead of him. Ever since the 50th game of Gagner's career he has been given top 6 and p.p. min 95% of the time.

If you agree he's unlikely to be like Datsyuk,Which basically means he wont be a franchise #1 centreman than what's your point.By the way his most impressive run was when he was 18 & on the right wing with Cog's.

Second line forward at best, thats not a horrible thing.

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#77 TigerUnderGlass
September 03 2010, 12:13AM
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@shadi

Do you actually remember how Datsyuk's skating and balance was or are you assuming that. If Gagne was in Detroit's org. He would of yet to have "sniffed" the ice at the J.L.A.

No I don't remember and neither do you. This is precisely my point. You say Gagner wouldn't have made Detroit's team back then, but Datsyuk hadn't "sniffed" the ice yet either at Gagner's age. Datsyuk was a 6th round pick playing in Russia's 2nd division at 20, who astoundingly developed into a top player.

Remember when Datsyuk was a rookie he had a bunch of hall of famers ahead of him. Ever since the 50th game of Gagner's career he has been given top 6 and p.p. min 95% of the time.

Not sure what this has to do with my point that Datsyuk wasn't as far along as Gagner at the age of 20.

If you agree he's unlikely to be like Datsyuk,Which basically means he wont be a franchise #1 centreman than what's your point.By the way his most impressive run was when he was 18 & on the right wing with Cog's.

What's my point? Are you serious? Let us look at my post again to see if we can decipher that mystery for you.

I said:

it is exceedingly unfair to compare the mature version of Datsyuk with young Gagner.

Was that really not clear enough?

Aside from that I'd like to point out that his most impressive run was not when he was 18. You could only believe that if you think goal and assist totals are the only things that matter. He was a vastly superior player this past year in comparison to his rookie year.

Second line forward at best, thats not a horrible thing.

Let me ask you this, Where do you think Datsyuk was projected at the age of 20 while playing in Russia? (where he was not even in the top division if I remember correctly)

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#78 shadi
September 03 2010, 01:01AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

Now Gagne is a "Vastly superior player" WOW. Your expectations are way lower than mine,Just were do you project him because we are going in a sensless circle.

Were you get drafted does not always matter. I guess improvement means something different to you than me.

I don't think you were the one to first compare the 2, and it is unfare to compare them, not because of age but because of natural talent, Gagne will never be in the same statosphere as Datsyuk.

Remember the amazing line in London Gagne,Kostytsan and Kane. Maybe 2 of those guy's # were proped up little.

Try to seperate emotion when evaluating talent, that is what I have done. I hope to be wrong on this point because there is not a bigger fan than myself, only time will tell.

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#79 Shadi
September 03 2010, 01:56AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

One last point about Datsyuk, in his "Whopping 35 point Season". Brett Hull predicted Datsyuk would become a superstar once given the chance, he was playing with an old Hull and the plugger Deveroux. That is why Detroit was not that concerned when Federov left after the 02-03 season. Check it out with a media member if you don't beleive me.

What is so wrong with making a prediction and putting yourself out there and calling your shot instead of being a "monday morning wait and see I told you so hind sight is 20/10 Quaterback". It did not hurt me last year when I was the first guy to predict the Oil would end up with Hall or Seguin back in November when the team was at .500 and after the 5 game winning streak in December when they were 2 games over .500. The entire team 1260 can vouch for that.

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#80 Jerk Store
September 03 2010, 08:20AM
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Shadi, I guess I am guilty of starting the Gagner comparison to Datysuk in post #39. This was in response to Nate's suggestion that Gagner was not fast or strong enough - nor would he ever be - to be a number 1 center. I was clear that Gagner would likely never be in Datysuk's realm of 97 points and a Selke, but the point is NO ONE outside of Ken Holland et al would have said that about Datysuk at 23, let alone 21. Please don't even try to justify that. I am impressed with your Pollack-like scouting skills that allow you to forecast that a 21 year old with great pedigree and 3 years NHL experience is toast in his quest for a #1 center job. However, I would like to wait until he stops shaving with tweezers to fully be on board with your evaluation. Finally, I find it ironic that you use Brett Hull in your argument against young Sam's potential. This is the same guy who was the son of a long-time NHL'er who was cut free from an Alberta-based Nhl team in his early twenties who went on to become a generational goal scorer in the league. (Que early nineties "hit" ..."Things that make you go Hmmmmm" ...for effect). ~So yes, it does seem like an excellent idea to abandon this CRAZY Gagner caper before it goes any further~. Btw, I am one step ahead of you Shadi ... I am NOT saying Gagner is the next Brett Hull. Let's not get another 20 posts in that direction. And yes I know I am a jerk ... sorry.

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#81 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 03 2010, 08:30AM
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shadi wrote:

Do you actually remember how Datsyuk's skating and balance was or are you assuming that. If Gagne was in Detroit's org. He would of yet to have "sniffed" the ice at the J.L.A.

Remember when Datsyuk was a rookie he had a bunch of hall of famers ahead of him. Ever since the 50th game of Gagner's career he has been given top 6 and p.p. min 95% of the time.

If you agree he's unlikely to be like Datsyuk,Which basically means he wont be a franchise #1 centreman than what's your point.By the way his most impressive run was when he was 18 & on the right wing with Cog's.

Second line forward at best, thats not a horrible thing.

I think the major issue is that most people (obviously you included) don't know how much production you typically get from "1st/2nd liners" etc.

Considering the "averge" 2nd line LW/C/RW (45th in scoring at their respective position) scored 37/48/42 points last year and the 31st highest scoring LW/C/RW put up 46/57/48 points, it's flat out ridiculous to say Gagner will be a 2nd liner "at best"

Dispite the delusions of the Oiler fan, not every "1st line" center puts up 80+ points. Heck, last year the 15th highest scoring center in the league only put up 70 points (who oddly enough was Datsyuk himself)....

...But I suppose that's a ceiling far too high for a guy with 3 40+ seasons by age 20.

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#82 TigerUnderGlass
September 03 2010, 11:01AM
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Shadi wrote:

One last point about Datsyuk, in his "Whopping 35 point Season". Brett Hull predicted Datsyuk would become a superstar once given the chance, he was playing with an old Hull and the plugger Deveroux. That is why Detroit was not that concerned when Federov left after the 02-03 season. Check it out with a media member if you don't beleive me.

What is so wrong with making a prediction and putting yourself out there and calling your shot instead of being a "monday morning wait and see I told you so hind sight is 20/10 Quaterback". It did not hurt me last year when I was the first guy to predict the Oil would end up with Hall or Seguin back in November when the team was at .500 and after the 5 game winning streak in December when they were 2 games over .500. The entire team 1260 can vouch for that.

Yes, and that season happened when he was 23. When he was 20 he was playing in Russia2.

BTW, saying he isn't going to be as good as Datsyuk is hardly "putting yourself out there".

it is unfare to compare them, not because of age but because of natural talent, Gagne will never be in the same statosphere as Datsyuk.

I would love for you to find a single person who believed that Datsyk had as much natural talent as Gagner at the same age.

Were you get drafted does not always matter

It does when the topic of discussion is what expectations are held for players 18-20 years old.

Now Gagne is a "Vastly superior player" WOW. Your expectations are way lower than mine

This is the problem isn't it. You seem to believe that to become a 1st line player Gagner should already be as good as other top line players were at a much older age. I believe Gagner should merely be as good as other top line centers were when they were 20 years old, and he actually fits in quite nicely so far.

Try to seperate emotion when evaluating talent, that is what I have done

I am the one asking you to make a logical comparison. You are the one comparing a player in his prime to a player still just starting out.

You are the one making the leap that since Gagner cannot improve. He just finished his 20 year old season and now he can never get stronger? Why do you allow for improvement by Datsyk from 20-23 but none for Gagner?

Will Gagner become a Datsyk? Not likely, because Datsyuk is a top 5 player in the league and almost nobody will become that good.

However using Datsyuk as a comparable to demonstrate that Gagner still has a plenty of time to improve makes sense because it shows that Gagner is further along than some people want to believe.

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#83 Archaeologuy
September 03 2010, 12:00PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

It's a shame that you have to explain to people that NHL players dont generally peak at 20.

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#84 shadi
September 03 2010, 12:11PM
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To all,

Not the the the type of 3some or 4some I ever invisioned.

When I say 2nd or 1st line player, I mean on a championship calibre team, not were the average is for the 31st or 15th place scorer. Those are my expectations. 1st line centre has to be regarded as a consences top 10 C in the league at both ends.

I totaly agree that it is not fair to pre-judge the kid at 21. He has a lot of time to prove me wrong. But I don't look at the situation and say well at 20 so and so only did this or that. High draft picks are given more attention. I also figure in oppertunity given, Body types, Sam also said himself that he has never been a great athlete his whole life, considering that his speed and strength, I don't think his mind will over come that to become an elite player.

It is all about projecting, I said the same thing last draft about Tavares before his draft to the pipeline show. Tavares will be good but not a great typical 1st overall pick. Dushene has aleready passed him but the jury is still out.

I beleive the Robitile's, Cicirelli's and Oates's of the world will never be as sucssesfull in todays game as they were in the past. If you are not a great skater you better be "STRONG LIKE BULL". Or have amazing balance like Kane or the forbidden artist I am no longer allowed to mention.

You are all absolutely right about making a leap on Sam's potential, I am just projecting , is that not allowed on this sight . Can't we just respectfully disagree.

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#85 Shadi
September 03 2010, 12:13PM
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Forgive my horrible spelling.

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#86 Shadi
September 03 2010, 12:26PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

It's a shame that you have to explain to people that NHL players dont generally peak at 20.

I never said that he has peaked, just that his ceiling is not as high at both ends of the ice as people wearing rose colored glasses think.

Hopeing someone is going to a 1st line centre for your favorite team that you are emotionally attached to is one thing, but reality is something else.

That is something I learned from Brownlee a few years ago.

He never grew up an Oilers fan and can seperate emotion when evaluating.

But hey, you don't have to do that because emotion is a part of being a fan. So I respect that.

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#87 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 03 2010, 12:26PM
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shadi wrote:

To all,

Not the the the type of 3some or 4some I ever invisioned.

When I say 2nd or 1st line player, I mean on a championship calibre team, not were the average is for the 31st or 15th place scorer. Those are my expectations. 1st line centre has to be regarded as a consences top 10 C in the league at both ends.

I totaly agree that it is not fair to pre-judge the kid at 21. He has a lot of time to prove me wrong. But I don't look at the situation and say well at 20 so and so only did this or that. High draft picks are given more attention. I also figure in oppertunity given, Body types, Sam also said himself that he has never been a great athlete his whole life, considering that his speed and strength, I don't think his mind will over come that to become an elite player.

It is all about projecting, I said the same thing last draft about Tavares before his draft to the pipeline show. Tavares will be good but not a great typical 1st overall pick. Dushene has aleready passed him but the jury is still out.

I beleive the Robitile's, Cicirelli's and Oates's of the world will never be as sucssesfull in todays game as they were in the past. If you are not a great skater you better be "STRONG LIKE BULL". Or have amazing balance like Kane or the forbidden artist I am no longer allowed to mention.

You are all absolutely right about making a leap on Sam's potential, I am just projecting , is that not allowed on this sight . Can't we just respectfully disagree.

"1st line centre has to be regarded as a consences top 10 C in the league at both ends"

If you would have stated that you don't see Sam as ever being a top 10 center in the league, I don't think you would have gotten much resistance.

It's statments like "2nd liner at best" that draw negative attention, and rightfully so IMO.

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#88 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 03 2010, 12:28PM
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Shadi wrote:

I never said that he has peaked, just that his ceiling is not as high at both ends of the ice as people wearing rose colored glasses think.

Hopeing someone is going to a 1st line centre for your favorite team that you are emotionally attached to is one thing, but reality is something else.

That is something I learned from Brownlee a few years ago.

He never grew up an Oilers fan and can seperate emotion when evaluating.

But hey, you don't have to do that because emotion is a part of being a fan. So I respect that.

"I never said that he has peaked, just that his ceiling is not as high at both ends of the ice as people wearing rose colored glasses think."

I'm sorry but you are flat out guessing.

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#89 Shadi
September 03 2010, 12:33PM
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Jerk Store wrote:

Shadi, I guess I am guilty of starting the Gagner comparison to Datysuk in post #39. This was in response to Nate's suggestion that Gagner was not fast or strong enough - nor would he ever be - to be a number 1 center. I was clear that Gagner would likely never be in Datysuk's realm of 97 points and a Selke, but the point is NO ONE outside of Ken Holland et al would have said that about Datysuk at 23, let alone 21. Please don't even try to justify that. I am impressed with your Pollack-like scouting skills that allow you to forecast that a 21 year old with great pedigree and 3 years NHL experience is toast in his quest for a #1 center job. However, I would like to wait until he stops shaving with tweezers to fully be on board with your evaluation. Finally, I find it ironic that you use Brett Hull in your argument against young Sam's potential. This is the same guy who was the son of a long-time NHL'er who was cut free from an Alberta-based Nhl team in his early twenties who went on to become a generational goal scorer in the league. (Que early nineties "hit" ..."Things that make you go Hmmmmm" ...for effect). ~So yes, it does seem like an excellent idea to abandon this CRAZY Gagner caper before it goes any further~. Btw, I am one step ahead of you Shadi ... I am NOT saying Gagner is the next Brett Hull. Let's not get another 20 posts in that direction. And yes I know I am a jerk ... sorry.

It's all good, but Holland and Hull said it , I heard it with my own ears.

There is no way you can be a jerk with that seinfeld tribute.

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#90 Shadi
September 03 2010, 12:37PM
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Educated guessing & projecting are almost the same thing, so yes, you are right.

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#91 Shadi
September 03 2010, 12:50PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

2nd liner at best on a contender for a ceiling is hardley negative. Not every comment has to be positve, sites like this help the team be more accountable. I doubt everyone wants it to be a cheering section site only.

You don't give out 60 free carwashes so your team gets good karma at the lottery, and travel to the draft to see your team draft 1st overall if your a negative person.

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#92 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 03 2010, 01:09PM
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Shadi wrote:

Educated guessing & projecting are almost the same thing, so yes, you are right.

You've got 3 seasons with little to no mathimatical progress.

I've got three seasons that put him at high end scoring levels for his age group.

Projecting/educated guessing for Gagner at this point is a toss up at best.

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#93 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
September 03 2010, 01:12PM
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Shadi wrote:

2nd liner at best on a contender for a ceiling is hardley negative. Not every comment has to be positve, sites like this help the team be more accountable. I doubt everyone wants it to be a cheering section site only.

You don't give out 60 free carwashes so your team gets good karma at the lottery, and travel to the draft to see your team draft 1st overall if your a negative person.

I said you were "drawing negative attention" not that you were a negative person or making negative comments.

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#94 Shadi
September 03 2010, 02:44PM
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Your last 2 comments are fair points.

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#95 TigerUnderGlass
September 03 2010, 03:58PM
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@shadi

It isn't the projection I have a problem with. It's the argument you have been using to make it.

You need to give up this "separate your emotions" line. Emotions have nothing to do with this argument, and it just doesn't make sense when your every other response is basically "don't be so emotional." It does nothing for your position and is pointless.

It's all good, but Holland and Hull said it , I heard it with my own ears.

They didn't say it after his 20 year old season, they said it 3 years later.

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#96 shadi
September 03 2010, 06:14PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

You can die on the Gagne sword all you want , I never said those comments were made at 20.

But if you want a better comparison than here: Gagne made the wjc at 17 Eberle did not, Gagne at 17 had a better year than anyone of Eberle's years, Gagne made the N.H.l at 18,Eberle might not at 20.

Using "YOUR LOGIC" Gagne will have a better career.

Using projections, I beleive most scouts and G.M's if they had to choose today, would take Eberle over Gagne, yourself included if of course you were honest with youself.

They are similar players physically, but Eberle is stonger on the puck, just as good of a playmaker and a better finisher.

I hope that settles it, if not then were going to agree to disagree.

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#97 TigerUnderGlass
September 04 2010, 02:28AM
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@shadi

You have accused us over and over of being emotional in our analysis and then you trot out this response?

This has gotten stupid.

I am dying to know how you have come to believe there is a consensus that Eberle will be the better player.

I never said those comments were made at 20

It's like we aren't even in the same conversation, so I think I am done trying.

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