SO, WHAT ABOUT SAM?

Robin Brownlee
November 16 2011 01:52PM

When Sam Gagner skated with the Edmonton Oilers at Millennium Place Tuesday, he did so on the fourth line. At Rexall Place today, Gagner didn't even take a twirl. Yet another speed bump in a season fans hoped would help define how and if Sam fits in the long-term plans.

The start of Gagner's fifth NHL season has been, to understate, a trying one as we approach the quarter-pole. The struggle continues with word from coach Tom Renney today Gagner has tweaked his back and is officially listed as being out day-to-day.

Having already missed six of the 17 games the Oilers have played because of a high-ankle sprain, Gagner returned from a six-game road trip with just two assists to show for the 11 games he's played.

Already passed on the depth chart by 18-year-old rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and stuck behind Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger, Gagner's bounced between the right wing and his usual spot at centre. Tuesday, Renney had him at pivot with Ben Eager and Lennart Petrell. Now, this.

What to do with Sam?

TOUGH START

While the Gagner debate between backers and detractors often gets nonsensical -- he's portrayed by some as a future franchise cornerstone and by others as destined to become a draft day stiff -- he's an NHL player. The real question, what kind of NHL player? We don't have that answer.

After back-to-back seasons in which Gagner was limited to 68 games by injury, and points totals of 41 and 42, I counted myself among the group of people who felt Gagner needed to show us something this season that would clarify where he fits in the pecking order. I still feel that way.

With Gagner yet to duplicate the 49 points he tallied in 2007-08 as a rookie and with 28 games missed these past two seasons, my take has been that he needed to stay healthy and play something approaching a full season -- say, 78-82 games. Keep projections and what-if out of it.

That's likely not going to happen this season, even if this back issue proves to be minor and he's back in the line-up against Ottawa on Thursday and for a rematch with Chicago Saturday.

To this point, those of us hoping Gagner would provide some clarity have yet to see it. If anything, the big picture and Gagner's place in it, is less clear now than it was when training camp opened. A bad start. Another delay. More debate.

The prudent approach, as always, is patience. We already know that runs thin with a sizeable segment of Oiler fans. What I'm wondering is if that's becoming an issue with team management.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 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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#51 Oilcan
November 16 2011, 03:33PM
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Dman09 wrote:

And one individual makes a team

Saying Gagner was top 5 in scoring over the last 2 years is like being proud that you got a date with the top 5 best looking girl at the ugly convention.

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#52 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 03:33PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Just go to NHL.com and look at the numbers yourself. All you have to do is compare game logs between Gagner and Horcoff.

The burden of proof falls on you for making outlandish claims like "gagner was playing the toughs with good wingers his point production increased by 30%"

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#53 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 03:33PM
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melancholyculkin wrote:

This should be fun.

It's only logical. Brownlee looked out and surveyed the vast wastes of ON and saw that one name devoured all the treads.

He simply gave us what we want. We want to talk about Gagner. All The Time.

I'm half convinced if we ever actually traded Gagner the shock of loss and the gapping wound resulting from no longer being able to talk about Gagner would lead to the single largest documented case of mass aphasia.

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#54 Wäx Män Riley
November 16 2011, 03:33PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

So you're saying that Horcoff's leadership as Captain is what drove the Oilers down?

Right?

Nope, just that Gagner is not ready to take on the top lines of other teams.

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#55 gord962
November 16 2011, 03:34PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Soo, does this mean Lander is back in!? =D

I've a nagging thought in my head that says: "Put the team back to where it was at the beginning of the season, Just to see if we start winning again. And if so, Are we doing it the way Renney is coaching the team to win"

While trying to make it better, we sometimes ruin something we don't fully understand to begin with.

I agree with getting back to what was working. The kid line needs to go back together when they suit up at Rexall and Jones needs to go back with Smyth and Horc. If Hemsky can play easy minutes with the 3rd line group + all the PP time he can handle I think we can go back to planning the parade route! :D

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#56 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 03:37PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

It's only logical. Brownlee looked out and surveyed the vast wastes of ON and saw that one name devoured all the treads.

He simply gave us what we want. We want to talk about Gagner. All The Time.

I'm half convinced if we ever actually traded Gagner the shock of loss and the gapping wound resulting from no longer being able to talk about Gagner would lead to the single largest documented case of mass aphasia.

On the bright side, it beats talking about Horcoff/his contract.

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#57 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 03:38PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

With how low drafting success rates are I basically go in assuming all picks are busts until proven otherwise.

That way I'm right 80% - 90% of the time.

Fair enough... but don't be upset if I take up my time dreaming of prospects fulfilling their potential

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#58 gord962
November 16 2011, 03:40PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I wouldn't bank on aquiring a FA that can produce at better then .6PPG clip.... especially without a big overpay.

Anyone drafted going forward outside of maybe next years 1st rounder is probably 5 years away from making any type of impact.

A .6PPG would be great if Gagner ever played 82 games. He is hurt for the 2nd time this season and we aren't 20 games in. We only need to replace the ~40 points that Gagner has been putting up.

Getting a 50 point guy to come play on a team with Hall, Eberle and Nuge should be much easier than it was a few years ago before those names where on our roster.

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#59 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 03:41PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

On the bright side, it beats talking about Horcoff/his contract.

psst. don't tell justwondering that...

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#60 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:41PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

Nope, just that Gagner is not ready to take on the top lines of other teams.

Not uncommon for 22 yr olds. The same can be said for Hall-Eberle-RNH-MPS-Lander and every other forward not named Horcoff, Smyth, or Hemsky apparently.

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#61 Wäx Män Riley
November 16 2011, 03:42PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

So you're saying that Horcoff's leadership as Captain is what drove the Oilers down?

Right?

....or wait, maybe I am.

Horc has been C13 for 2 years? Or just one?

Gagner isn't the reason that The Oilers finished 30th over the last 2 years, but he is a factor.

I have always been a Gagner supporter. I have defended Gagner for being young, for draft pedigree, for being the team's top producing center, but after seeing real talent playing here, I see him as expendable.

With RNH, Lander, Horc(here forever), Belanger for another 2 seasons after this year, Gagner no longer fits.

He has to start producing or he is playing himself off this roster. Now, here is where it gets tricky. Do you play a struggling player in a top 6 role to try to get going? Maybe so, when and if RNH cools off or struggles. But how else do you get him in the top 6?

Would you rather see Gagner on the PP over RNH or Horcoff? I don't know. I DO know that I would rather see Gagner on the PP than Belanger. Please. At least put him out there instead of Belanger.

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#62 melancholyculkin
November 16 2011, 03:43PM
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Anyways, before things get out of hand lets inject some reason.

Sam Gagner has done some very significant things thus far in his career. He made the NHL as an 18 year old. He has played in 291 games in his four years in the league and amassed 173 points before turning 22.

In the history of the NHL since the 1970-71 season through 2010-11, only 20 other forwards in the league have made the NHL as an 18 year old, played in at least 250 games and scored at least 170 points in their four years. Here are those players ranked by PPG:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1971&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=4&age_min=18&age_max=21&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=games_played&c1comp=gt&c1val=250&c2stat=points&c2comp=gt&c2val=170&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points

Look at little Samwise, nestled in nicely there alongside Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton and within 0.05 PPG (or 12.5 points over 250 games) of Cam Neely. Interesting. Keep in mind that this is without adjusting for league scoring rates.

Let's lose the games played criteria and drop the points to 160 to get some more names on the list. We end up with 66.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1971&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=4&age_min=18&age_max=21&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=&c1comp=gt&c1val=&c2stat=points&c2comp=gt&c2val=160&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points

Sam is still alongside Thornton and Lecavalier, but is now ahead of Marleau and Jordan Staal. Look at the names on that list. It is a pretty damn good group to be apart of.

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#63 Westcoastoil
November 16 2011, 03:44PM
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Belanger has been excellent on the dot, the PK and has helped Horcoff a ton by sharing the heavy lifting. Having said that he's been a non-factor offensively and seems to slow the play down, to the detriment of his wingers (& whoever else is on the ice), on a regular basis.

I'd like to see him in more of a 4C role 5x5 and give Gagner 2 of MPS, Lander and O'mark on the wings to see if we can get some chemistry and any offense out of that line. Up until now the 3rd line has been the weakest F unit.

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#64 Stevesy
November 16 2011, 03:46PM
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"With the 17th overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers select centre; Ryan Getz....". No, nevermind.

Let me try that again.

"With the 17th overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers select centre; Zach Pari....". Damn, wrong again.

Screw it.

"Oilers take Pouliot, we guess. Whatever."

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#65 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:46PM
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@Wäx Män Riley

Oh believe me, when I win the lottery and my Mojo factory takes off and I buy the Oilers from Katz, Belanger will not be on the powerplay. That can be assured.

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#66 gord962
November 16 2011, 03:47PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Not uncommon for 22 yr olds. The same can be said for Hall-Eberle-RNH-MPS-Lander and every other forward not named Horcoff, Smyth, or Hemsky apparently.

Too bad the Oilers couldn't have gotten another pick in the top 8 and snagged that Couturier kid. I hear he is okay. Actually, better than that as he is 2nd in the league PK minutes/game.

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#67 Dman09
November 16 2011, 03:48PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

The burden of proof falls on you for making outlandish claims like "gagner was playing the toughs with good wingers his point production increased by 30%"

Decemeber last year horcoff got hurt and Gagner too his place. 10 points that month as compared to the 14 points the two months previous.

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#68 Spydyr
November 16 2011, 03:50PM
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melancholyculkin wrote:

Anyways, before things get out of hand lets inject some reason.

Sam Gagner has done some very significant things thus far in his career. He made the NHL as an 18 year old. He has played in 291 games in his four years in the league and amassed 173 points before turning 22.

In the history of the NHL since the 1970-71 season through 2010-11, only 20 other forwards in the league have made the NHL as an 18 year old, played in at least 250 games and scored at least 170 points in their four years. Here are those players ranked by PPG:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1971&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=4&age_min=18&age_max=21&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=games_played&c1comp=gt&c1val=250&c2stat=points&c2comp=gt&c2val=170&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points

Look at little Samwise, nestled in nicely there alongside Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton and within 0.05 PPG (or 12.5 points over 250 games) of Cam Neely. Interesting. Keep in mind that this is without adjusting for league scoring rates.

Let's lose the games played criteria and drop the points to 160 to get some more names on the list. We end up with 66.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1971&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=4&age_min=18&age_max=21&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=&c1comp=gt&c1val=&c2stat=points&c2comp=gt&c2val=160&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points

Sam is still alongside Thornton and Lecavalier, but is now ahead of Marleau and Jordan Staal. Look at the names on that list. It is a pretty damn good group to be apart of.

I have seen Cam Nelly play. Cam Nelly is one of my all time favorite players. Sam Gagner is no Cam Nelly.

To even suggest such is beyond comprehension.

As far as the other players go they are all bigger, stronger, faster. Can actually win a battle for the puck and do not get knocked over by a strong breeze.

Sam made the team as an 18 year old because the team sucked.Simple as that.

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#69 Oilcan
November 16 2011, 03:51PM
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RNH has played (And the fact that we know he is going to be solid) and Horcoff and Belanger are doing a great job on the dot and the PK.

Belanger is kind of a black hole on the third line but I like him on the 4th with Eager and Petrell as I see that has a great energy line capable of playing against 2nd lines.

Horcoff is looking great with Smyth taking on toughs.

RNH is legit and looks great with Hall and Eberle.

Gagner is a major question but we need that 3rd line scoring, in my opnion I would rather see Gagner on the wing or ride the pine or traded and Lander at C on the third, I think Lander will develop into a better center then Gagner ever will.

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#70 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:52PM
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gord962 wrote:

Too bad the Oilers couldn't have gotten another pick in the top 8 and snagged that Couturier kid. I hear he is okay. Actually, better than that as he is 2nd in the league PK minutes/game.

If Sam Gagner was drafted 6th in 2011 then your comment would make more sense. I dont think anyone actually believes that the Oilers had a shot at Couturier by dangling Gagner to the Flyers.

Does Sam Gagner scream "Flyers Hockey" to anyone?

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#71 Dman09
November 16 2011, 03:53PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

....or wait, maybe I am.

Horc has been C13 for 2 years? Or just one?

Gagner isn't the reason that The Oilers finished 30th over the last 2 years, but he is a factor.

I have always been a Gagner supporter. I have defended Gagner for being young, for draft pedigree, for being the team's top producing center, but after seeing real talent playing here, I see him as expendable.

With RNH, Lander, Horc(here forever), Belanger for another 2 seasons after this year, Gagner no longer fits.

He has to start producing or he is playing himself off this roster. Now, here is where it gets tricky. Do you play a struggling player in a top 6 role to try to get going? Maybe so, when and if RNH cools off or struggles. But how else do you get him in the top 6?

Would you rather see Gagner on the PP over RNH or Horcoff? I don't know. I DO know that I would rather see Gagner on the PP than Belanger. Please. At least put him out there instead of Belanger.

I think we could all agree on one thing. Putting three struggling players on the same line and expecting them to produce is a losers gamble.

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#72 Quicksilver ballet
November 16 2011, 03:54PM
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All the bodies that aren't part of the longterm future here, there has to be atleast one taker in the other 29 teams. 6,10,24,83,89,91,40, as well as a boatload of prospects in Oklahoma. The Oilers need to continue to cull this heard in an effort to help their own cause. Even if it costs 3 or 4 players from that group to work your way up into another top 5 i'd still do it. Those Hall and Hopkins type kids are just yummy.

Perhonen or Bunz, one of these two kids should be the real deal sooner rather than later. Waiting/hoping to grow your own in 5-7 yrs is bullship.

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#73 wiseguy
November 16 2011, 03:56PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I like Gagner and I still think he is a good player but I can't expect him to do a whole hell of a lot playing on 3rd and 4th lines. He needs to be in the top six same as MPS and Omark. Is it no wonder that people are un happy with all three of these guys but none of them have yet recieved sigificant time in the top six. I would like to Gagner on a line with Eberle and Hall. RNH with MPS and Omark. I think the horcoff smyth and Hemsky line should be used as a third line although I'd rather have Jones on the line than Hemsky. I believe Hemsky would do better on a team that is lacking players on thier top line. There are just too many options here in Edm. I like a 4th line of Belanger-Petrell-Eager/Hordi.

We do not have too many options here in Edm. That is why we're one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. We have 10 2nd and 3rd line players and no 1st line players. Playing Gagner, MPS and Omark instead of Smyth, Hemsky, Horcoff would result in a lot fewer goals for and many more goals again. What we need to do is to package up a few 2nd line players for legitimate first line players. Hall and RNH are at least 1-2 years away from being leginmate 1st liners.

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#74 gord962
November 16 2011, 04:01PM
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The one point I have made over the past few months is that Gagner brings nothing else to the table. If he is not scoring, he is not contributing. This has unfortunately been the case for Sam so far this year. Because he isn't a physical specimen nor is he a strong defensive player, Gagner has looked lost at times. It's unfortunate that he has been stuck on the 3rd line with Belanger and Jones, but as I mentioned, if he isn't putting points up, Sam is not an effective player. He needs to do more than produce points - every player has a stretch where pucks aren't going in the net. You have to have something else in your game and right now, Sam doesn't possess that something else.

Gagner WILL get back on track and he WILL contribute offensively. Gagner will have a lengthy NHL career. However, I think everyone can agree that, to date, he has shown that he has little else to offer than goals and assists. If he is running cold he is better off in the press box. He needs to figure out what else he can do when the bounces aren't going his way to help the team out.

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#75 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:01PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

no love for Roy?

I haven't even heard Perhonen's name since the draft. does anyone have anything on him?

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#76 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 04:03PM
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gord962 wrote:

A .6PPG would be great if Gagner ever played 82 games. He is hurt for the 2nd time this season and we aren't 20 games in. We only need to replace the ~40 points that Gagner has been putting up.

Getting a 50 point guy to come play on a team with Hall, Eberle and Nuge should be much easier than it was a few years ago before those names where on our roster.

Go have a peak at each years free agent groups...even 40 point centers dont come along very often.

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#77 melancholyculkin
November 16 2011, 04:06PM
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Just because I like playing around on this website, let's do a few more.

All seasons by a 21 year old who played at least 50 games since 1995-96:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1971&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=4&age_min=18&age_max=21&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=&c1comp=gt&c1val=&c2stat=points&c2comp=gt&c2val=160&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points

Sam is in there with Marc Savard, Patrick Marleau and tied with Petr Sykora, who was a pretty good player.

Look farther down the list and note who he's ahead of: Saku Koivu 0.55 Mike Richards 0.54 Jeff Carter 0.52 Vincent Lecavalier 0.49 Mike Cammalleri 0.48 David Krejci 0.48 Henrik Sedin 0.44 Zach Parise 0.40 Danny Briere 0.34 Ryan Kesler 0.28

Finally, all players listed as a center who played at least 50 games last season ranked by PPG:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&year_min=2011&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=C&handed=&c1stat=games_played&c1comp=gt&c1val=50&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points_per_game

That list is a little wonky, because there are some guys on there who definitely aren't centers (such as Eberle). Sam is already a solid second line player and he's not even in his peak athletic years yet.

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#78 Oilcan
November 16 2011, 04:06PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

All the bodies that aren't part of the longterm future here, there has to be atleast one taker in the other 29 teams. 6,10,24,83,89,91,40, as well as a boatload of prospects in Oklahoma. The Oilers need to continue to cull this heard in an effort to help their own cause. Even if it costs 3 or 4 players from that group to work your way up into another top 5 i'd still do it. Those Hall and Hopkins type kids are just yummy.

Perhonen or Bunz, one of these two kids should be the real deal sooner rather than later. Waiting/hoping to grow your own in 5-7 yrs is bullship.

You do realize this isn't NHL 12 and we need real NHL players, its about finding balance and you have to define longterm future, because ya Horcoff Belanger aren't part of the longterm future (10 years) because they will be over 30. But Belanger will play out his contract and so will Horcoff.

How is Paajarvi not part of the future??? Even if he doesn't end up getting 30 goals a year (Which I think he will do with a little more experience and when the Oilers improve more) he is still a very very good future third line player.

Jury is out on Gagner and Hemsky, Hemsky would be awesome to have because you need a veteran scorer but depends on price.

Again this isn't NHL 12 you can't make a team of 18-22 year olds and expect to win.

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#79 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 04:07PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Decemeber last year horcoff got hurt and Gagner too his place. 10 points that month as compared to the 14 points the two months previous.

Oh brother, that's your proof? a three month sample?

Also doesn't show how he was playing the oppositions top competition.

You've had some paper thin arguments before, this one just might top the list.

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#80 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:08PM
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@melancholyculkin

You're forgetting the "what have you done for me lately" clause in the CBA.

Of note... it interesting that those guys are all bigger and tougher than Sam. You get different mins out of Thornton or Neely than you do from Sam.

I also think it's questionable whether Sam comes up right away on any other team, whether he gets as much TOI, etc.

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#81 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:10PM
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@Oilcan

I take it you've never read a Moneypuck/Quicksilver Ballet post before?

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#82 Hemmertime
November 16 2011, 04:10PM
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@wiseguy

Hemsky is first line on 20 teams in the league. Other than that, RNH, Hall, Eberle too young still. So, we do have 1. When hes healthy

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#83 Crash
November 16 2011, 04:11PM
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I don't understand the need to play Smyth, Horcoff and Hemsky together....Horcoff does not breed offense but I like him in a shutdown role....why do we want to waste Hemsky shifts shutting down tough opposition.

This team is not scoring because the Horcoff line spends all it's time checking and the Kid Line spends all its time being checked.

Horcoff can play the shutdown role just fine without having Smyth and Hemsky....put Horcoff with Jones and Petrell or Jones and someone else (PRV maybe) to play against the other teams top line....

Hall and Eberle play well together so place Sam between those two and create a 2nd scoring line of RNH, Smyth and Hemsky....RNH could use time playing with those vets and the Oilers would have two solid scoring lines and one decent shutdown line.

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#84 gord962
November 16 2011, 04:11PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

If Sam Gagner was drafted 6th in 2011 then your comment would make more sense. I dont think anyone actually believes that the Oilers had a shot at Couturier by dangling Gagner to the Flyers.

Does Sam Gagner scream "Flyers Hockey" to anyone?

You said 22 yr old kids typically can't handle the toughs, which I agree. That's why I think that Couturier is so amazing.

By no means was I suggesting Gagner would have landed the 8th pick. I know the Oilers were trying to move up and all I was saying that it sure would have been nice to grab someone who is so mature at 18 that they are instantly ready to take on the best the NHL has to offer. Had they known how ready Couturier was, they would have offered more than what they did at draft day.

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#85 TigerUnderGlass
November 16 2011, 04:11PM
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@Spydyr

Cam Nelly

He's the one with the bandaid on his face right?

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#86 Dman09
November 16 2011, 04:12PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Go have a peak at each years free agent groups...even 40 point centers dont come along very often.

True enough, last year only 36 centers had 50 points or more. And I'm sure a few of those were just career years that probably won't repeat.

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#87 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 04:14PM
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@gord962

Honestly, I had Couturier top 5 in my books. Probably top 3. I would have been doing cartwheels to the podium at 8th overall.

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#88 EL PRESIDENTE
November 16 2011, 04:14PM
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Why exactly are we still wondering about where Sam Gagner fits? Do we have such short memories? Last year all we heard about was how we had too much of the same player in Gagner, Cogliano, and Brule. Each one has a power ranger skill that keeps/kept us wondering, Gagner has hands, Cogs has speed, and Brule has grit, if only they could combined their powers and form a super power ranger! Linus Omark are you listening?

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#89 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:16PM
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This thread is on pace to outscore Gagner!

It's a Todd Harvey Special jam-packed with special guests!

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#90 gord962
November 16 2011, 04:19PM
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@Archaeologuy

I agree. Philly was extremely lucky to have Couturier fall into their laps at 8. I couldn't believe Zibanejad and Scheifele went before him.

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#91 Dman09
November 16 2011, 04:20PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

what do you think injuries happen every two weeks or something. I suppose if he wasn't playing the toughs then is must have been Vandvelde or Brule or Omarra because that makes so much sense. Just look it up then. It really wont want what I push out to you you'll argue it and want more proof. In reality it won't matter what is placed in front of you you'll never be satisfied and still argue it because you just don't like Gagner.

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#92 David S
November 16 2011, 04:21PM
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melancholyculkin wrote:

Anyways, before things get out of hand lets inject some reason.

Sam Gagner has done some very significant things thus far in his career. He made the NHL as an 18 year old. He has played in 291 games in his four years in the league and amassed 173 points before turning 22.

In the history of the NHL since the 1970-71 season through 2010-11, only 20 other forwards in the league have made the NHL as an 18 year old, played in at least 250 games and scored at least 170 points in their four years. Here are those players ranked by PPG:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1971&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=4&age_min=18&age_max=21&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=games_played&c1comp=gt&c1val=250&c2stat=points&c2comp=gt&c2val=170&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points

Look at little Samwise, nestled in nicely there alongside Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton and within 0.05 PPG (or 12.5 points over 250 games) of Cam Neely. Interesting. Keep in mind that this is without adjusting for league scoring rates.

Let's lose the games played criteria and drop the points to 160 to get some more names on the list. We end up with 66.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=1971&year_max=2011&season_start=1&season_end=4&age_min=18&age_max=21&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&handed=&c1stat=&c1comp=gt&c1val=&c2stat=points&c2comp=gt&c2val=160&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points

Sam is still alongside Thornton and Lecavalier, but is now ahead of Marleau and Jordan Staal. Look at the names on that list. It is a pretty damn good group to be apart of.

I thought the problem was Sam is alongside guys like Belanger and Jones.

What? Nevermind.

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#93 Clarko
November 16 2011, 04:22PM
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I personally like Gagner and he really hasn't been put in a position to succeed so far this season. I'd like him to play with some players who have proven offensive ability.

Hall-RNH-Hemsky Smyth-Gagner-Eberle Jones-Horcoff-Paajarvi Petrell-Belanger-Eager

I know a lot of people will be argue that Horcoff and Smyth shouldn't be separated, but I think Smyth's and Horcoff's successes aren't really because of each other. Horcoff can still play against the top line from the other team, while a Gagner and RNH line could give us two decent scoring lines.

I think giving Paajarvi a defensive roll will take his mind off of his scoring troubles and maybe he can get going without the pressure.

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#94 Mitch
November 16 2011, 04:25PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

If Sam Gagner was drafted 6th in 2011 then your comment would make more sense. I dont think anyone actually believes that the Oilers had a shot at Couturier by dangling Gagner to the Flyers.

Does Sam Gagner scream "Flyers Hockey" to anyone?

The Blackhawks have put Olesz on waivers, you could move Gagner for Olesz just to trade salarys. Sam Gagner has no value and the more Gagner plays right now the less value there is. You would never move Gagner to Philly for Couturier pick.

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#95 Quicksilver ballet
November 16 2011, 04:26PM
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@Oilcan

I'd sell your soul for 2 top ten selections next June Oily. There wasn't one kid in that group capable of contributing to the heavy lifting like 4 and 93 will do. You can go out and buy support players July one every summer. Lets put a bow on some of these often injured/under performing guys for a shot at a real player who can possibly do some of that heavy lifting these guys will never be able to do. If they're not wearing 4,14,93,94 and 35......they're available to be had in my books.

@Romulus, nah, Roy is a project, he'll be 5-7 yrs like Dubnyks been.

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#96 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:27PM
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Let's all just stare at this page for a while:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftsearch.htm?year=2007

now... get out your red marker. how many mistakes can you find?

3 picks in the first 21!! 3 GOD DAMN picks in the first 21!! That's your EFFING rebuild year on an EFFING platter!

The counterfactuals make my brain bleed...

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#97 Dan the Man
November 16 2011, 04:30PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I have seen Cam Nelly play. Cam Nelly is one of my all time favorite players. Sam Gagner is no Cam Nelly.

To even suggest such is beyond comprehension.

As far as the other players go they are all bigger, stronger, faster. Can actually win a battle for the puck and do not get knocked over by a strong breeze.

Sam made the team as an 18 year old because the team sucked.Simple as that.

But do you know who is waaaay better than Cam Nelly? Cam Neely.

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#98 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 04:30PM
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@Mitch

You would ditch a 22 yr old 40 point center that you drafted 6th overall for Olesz over salary reasons? Are you aware that Gagner is making peanuts for a guy who scores 40 points on a regular basis?

Christ. I need to get my Mojo business off the ground and in a hurry.

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#99 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:30PM
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gord962 wrote:

I agree. Philly was extremely lucky to have Couturier fall into their laps at 8. I couldn't believe Zibanejad and Scheifele went before him.

Winnipeg decided they didn't want an NHL team after all.

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#100 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:31PM
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gord962 wrote:

I agree. Philly was extremely lucky to have Couturier fall into their laps at 8. I couldn't believe Zibanejad and Scheifele went before him.

[edit] whoops double post! I knew it was him!!

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