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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#1 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 04:56PM
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Oilcan wrote:

You were post #89, COINCIDENCE???....Yes, yes it is.

But I'm still so young... don't give up on me yet guys... just give me a chance! I'll turn it around, I promise.

Geez... you make one bad comment here, one bad comment there and the FIST thing you know everyone treats you like you're Cory Cross!

you know what the worst part is...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd0erNx6rWw

Fine... If you guys want to trade me to another nation, you better start giving me top 6 props and some decent responses to boost my value, otherwise you'll just get some flamer in return...

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#2 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 16 2011, 09:02PM
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DSF wrote:

Sorry Sparky.

The Canucks already have 5 centres better than Gagner.

Hemsky might be able to beat out Burrows as second line winger if he could stay healthy.

Omark can't play defense well enough to play for Vigneault.

what's that lingering acrid, acidic taste in my mouth... it tastes like the pure distilled tears of a resentful nuck fan...

don't you have a car to burn, a finger to bite or a dive to take...

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#3 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:46PM
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@Wax Man 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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#4 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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#5 John Chambers
November 16 2011, 06:03PM
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On the bright side if he bombs out this year we can sign him for a reasonable dollar on a 5 or 6 year contract after this season.

Cap management is key, and Gagner getting snakebitten in a contract year is good for business!

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#7 Dman09
November 16 2011, 02:11PM
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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.

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#8 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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#9 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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#10 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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#11 Jerk Store
November 16 2011, 05:38PM
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~ OK. Enough Gagner talk. Let's start the bus going to get Hall out of town. The guy was brutal on the road. Hell he is already in his twenties and can't play in the tough road games. Let's package up him and Gagner for Skinner.~

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#12 OilLeak
November 16 2011, 05:57PM
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The kid line has got all the protection and offensive zone starts and they're still not world beaters. Gagner coming back from some serious injuries has had to play against stiffer competition with inferior line mates and is automatically the goat, of course!

Gagner probably came back from the high ankle sprain a bit soon, and has suffered from a bit of bad luck, BUT there is still a hockey player there. Why is the fan base in such a hurry to unload Gagner for less than what the return will bring back in return?

Those who want to ship Gagner out for pennies on the dollar need to bang your heads repeatedly against a wall, god knows that you couldn't possibly do any more damage.

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#13 OilLeak
November 16 2011, 05:59PM
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OilFan wrote:

@Robin

Did I say something about Gagner playing on the fourth line or being a healthy scracth during the road trip ?

I thought they won't put a 22year old former 1st round pick on the fourth (CHECKING LINE) .

Gagner doesn't fit this teams new style, why would people think he fits the teams future ?

~gagne~

Really what style is that? One that favours the dregs over talented players?

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#14 Dman09
November 16 2011, 02:49PM
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Kodiak wrote:

Gagner in Horcoff's role would get eaten alive. It would be comical but not productive for the team or Gagner.

The younger players have to step up and show they can take over and play at a higher level. Gagner hasn't done that. You don't reward passengers, you trade them.

Beg to differ. Gagner has been in the top 5 in points for the team for 4 years. So far this year he is showing a faceoff% of 57.7. You can't compare styles of play for a player that is more of a checker to one that is offensive. Just because you put players in the top six doesn't mean you use them as penalty killers. Over the last two season horcoff's point production has been falling and he didn't break 37 points in either season.

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 02:54PM
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Spydyr wrote:

"Yet another speed bump in a season fans hoped would help define how and if Sam fits in the long-term plans."

He has defined how he fits in.Sam has proved to be the 4TH best center on the team.

Get something for him whilst you still can. Say a package with another small forward for a top 4 d-man.

The issues is, even if he is currently the 4th best center on the team, two of the three ahead of him are closing in on 35.

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#16 Dman09
November 16 2011, 02:56PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Sorry, I'm a Gagner fan but theirs no way he could play against the league elite without getting picked apart like Horc can.

Really, because over the last two years when Horcoff has been hurt it was gagner that was on the top line as a center and he still managed to be a top 5 on the team. It was also at this time that his point production increased.

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#17 Kodiak
November 16 2011, 03:01PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Beg to differ. Gagner has been in the top 5 in points for the team for 4 years. So far this year he is showing a faceoff% of 57.7. You can't compare styles of play for a player that is more of a checker to one that is offensive. Just because you put players in the top six doesn't mean you use them as penalty killers. Over the last two season horcoff's point production has been falling and he didn't break 37 points in either season.

So are you suggesting RNH goes head to head against the oppositions top line then? Or you want Gagner take that assignment? Or do you want your third line centered by Horcoff to be playing 18 ES minutes a night against the toughs and have your 2nd line get 12 minutes a night?

One of your top two lines has to be able to play against tough opposition at even strength. Horcoff can do that and still produce. Gagner can't and he also isn't bumping RNH so that leaves him in a bottom 6 role. Not sure why that seems so tough to comprehend?

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

The issues is, even if he is currently the 4th best center on the team, two of the three ahead of him are closing in on 35.

How soon will it be before Gagner is passed on the depth chart by those in the AHL? Gagner should be getting better each year, the improvement just hasn't been there like the Oilers expected. I know, he is only 22 - there is still lots of time. I believe that he can have a decent career as a 2nd line centre. I just don't think he will have the opportunity here in Edmonton. And what happens if he never gets better/doesn't break through? What if he continues with 60-70 games played and 40 points? Is that who we want as our 2nd line centre? How long do you wait for him to have a breakout season? Until he is an UFA and he walks for nothing?

I think we should move Sam while we can get a decent return. Lots of teams would be willing to gamble if they had an immediate need for secondary scoring with strength elsewhere to spare. Although I think Sam is not fast enough, lacks size and grit, and isn't strong defensively, I still think he can produce at a decent clip if used in the right situation. With Edmonton's 'defense first' mentality, Gagner's style doesn't match with the team philosophy - the same issue Omark is facing.

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#19 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:08PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Somewhere Arch's ears are burning and his heart is crying...

True Story.

I was so looking forward to this season for Gagner. He came in faster and poised to play with some talented guys and between his ankle and the amazing play of RNH he's been left behind.

It's early in his playing career still. I have time for him, even if that means this year is mired playing with the likes of Petrell and Eager while Belanger mysteriously plays with better linemates (Maybe not so mysteriously, but still that guy has been vanilla in the offensive zone).

2 points is obviously not good enough, not even for a guy who is a notoriously slow starter. Outside of the obvious coming back from injury excuses there isnt much to say.

I dont want to see him go. I still dont like the depth down the middle at C for the organization. Horcoff cant be expected to keep it up forever. After RNH and Gagner, the under 25 crowd is relatively lacking in offensive power.

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#20 Dman09
November 16 2011, 03:10PM
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Kodiak wrote:

So are you suggesting RNH goes head to head against the oppositions top line then? Or you want Gagner take that assignment? Or do you want your third line centered by Horcoff to be playing 18 ES minutes a night against the toughs and have your 2nd line get 12 minutes a night?

One of your top two lines has to be able to play against tough opposition at even strength. Horcoff can do that and still produce. Gagner can't and he also isn't bumping RNH so that leaves him in a bottom 6 role. Not sure why that seems so tough to comprehend?

If you look at Gagners point production over the last couple of years, when Horcoff was hurt and gagner was playing the toughs with good wingers his point production increased by 30% and he seems to have made a step forward on faceoffs so far this year as he currenlty is at 57.7% comprehend as you want but history shows that Sam can step up to the plate if he wants to.

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#21 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 03:11PM
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gord962 wrote:

How soon will it be before Gagner is passed on the depth chart by those in the AHL? Gagner should be getting better each year, the improvement just hasn't been there like the Oilers expected. I know, he is only 22 - there is still lots of time. I believe that he can have a decent career as a 2nd line centre. I just don't think he will have the opportunity here in Edmonton. And what happens if he never gets better/doesn't break through? What if he continues with 60-70 games played and 40 points? Is that who we want as our 2nd line centre? How long do you wait for him to have a breakout season? Until he is an UFA and he walks for nothing?

I think we should move Sam while we can get a decent return. Lots of teams would be willing to gamble if they had an immediate need for secondary scoring with strength elsewhere to spare. Although I think Sam is not fast enough, lacks size and grit, and isn't strong defensively, I still think he can produce at a decent clip if used in the right situation. With Edmonton's 'defense first' mentality, Gagner's style doesn't match with the team philosophy - the same issue Omark is facing.

"How soon will it be before Gagner is passed on the depth chart by those in the AHL?"

A quick look at how often guys taken outside of the top 15ish turn into top 6 forwards tells us that betting on anyone in the AHL to over take him is a fools bet.

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#22 Oilcan
November 16 2011, 03:17PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Really, because over the last two years when Horcoff has been hurt it was gagner that was on the top line as a center and he still managed to be a top 5 on the team. It was also at this time that his point production increased.

And we finished last the last two years...nuff said!

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#23 Spydyr
November 16 2011, 03:18PM
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Players earn their ice time. Sam is playing with fourth line players because he has played like one. He is the fourth best center at the moment.No one can change that but Sam himself.

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#24 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:23PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"this year is mired playing with the likes of Petrell and Eager"

The worst part is that I believe he was slotted to start the year between Smyth and Eberle.

Yes. The What-Ifs continue to pile up with him.

I still believe he has a long and productive career ahead of him. I hope it's here in Edmonchuk.

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#25 Dman09
November 16 2011, 03:26PM
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Oilcan wrote:

And we finished last the last two years...nuff said!

And one individual makes a team

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#26 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:27PM
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@Wax Man Riley

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

Right?

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#27 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 03:29PM
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gord962 wrote:

A better producing centre could also be found via UFA if need be. We also have more picks to come over the next few years before Horc and Belanger's contracts are over. Looking at the team like there will be no changes is as foolish as thinking Horc and Belanger will be here in 4 years time.

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.

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#28 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 16 2011, 03:32PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Did you listen to Nation Radio this week?

Byers and LT seemed to be giving Pitlick pretty high marks. Here's LT write up:

Which of the "younger group" has done the most? Byers didn't hesitate. Answer? Phil Cornet. Byers said he's been exceptional around the net and on the PP. Great hands, and he's forced his way up the depth chart at the expense of veterans and more highly touted prospects. Byers also told me that Tyler Pitlick has been a very physical player and very involved despite being kept off the scoreboard recently (Pitlick scored last night). Curtis Hamilton has been involved at even strength plus a little on the PK, but neither he or Pitlick is getting much special teams time. We should factor that into their boxcars. When I asked him which of the kids (Pitlick/Hamilton) was playing more and having an impact on the game, the answer came back Pitlick.

I'm not saying the guy is a guaranteed NHL C... but he has potential and the team could definitely use a C with some jam. RNH and Gags are small, finesse players; Belanger and Horcoff are grittier but are hardly edgy, power forward types. Pitlick could be the guy.

If would be funny to argue against writing off a young NHL player by writing off a 20 year old 13 games into his pro career (not sure if you're doing that... but if you are it would be funny)

aside. I had no idea he was on the wing. the Barons website still lists him as a C. can anyone confirm this?

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.

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#29 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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#30 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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#31 Archaeologuy
November 16 2011, 03:41PM
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Wax Man 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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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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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#36 Oilcan
November 16 2011, 04:06PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 Dman09
November 16 2011, 04:39PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

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.

A lot of guys just have a hate on for Gagner and like to ignore the facts about the type of player he is and how much he actually produces.

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#43 D
November 16 2011, 05:24PM
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I guess I am firmly in the camp that believes if/when the Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup, Gagner will not be on the roster.

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#44 MWA1991
November 16 2011, 05:29PM
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To me they traded the wrong player. I thought Cogliano should have stayed and Gagner should have been traded.

Cogliano plays 82 games, has a lot better speed, and seemed to have turned a corner last year, accepting the 3rd line role and got a lot better defensively. I think he adapts to the wing much better as well.

Call me crazy but the Oilers got rid of the wrong player. Now they might have to give up both.

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#45 Crooked
November 16 2011, 05:38PM
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Being demoted to the 3rd & 4th lines isn't going to help him contribute to the team much, especially with next to no offense being generated on the bottom two lines. If the plan is to keep him there, it might be best to move him for a young defenseman with a similar level of experience.

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#46 OilLeak
November 16 2011, 06:05PM
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OilLeak wrote:

The kid line has got all the protection and offensive zone starts and they're still not world beaters. Gagner coming back from some serious injuries has had to play against stiffer competition with inferior line mates and is automatically the goat, of course!

Gagner probably came back from the high ankle sprain a bit soon, and has suffered from a bit of bad luck, BUT there is still a hockey player there. Why is the fan base in such a hurry to unload Gagner for less than what the return will bring back in return?

Those who want to ship Gagner out for pennies on the dollar need to bang your heads repeatedly against a wall, god knows that you couldn't possibly do any more damage.

To back up my argument please review the following link http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/11/15/2564645/tom-renneys-forward-deployments

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#47 OilLeak
November 16 2011, 06:09PM
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MWA1991 wrote:

To me they traded the wrong player. I thought Cogliano should have stayed and Gagner should have been traded.

Cogliano plays 82 games, has a lot better speed, and seemed to have turned a corner last year, accepting the 3rd line role and got a lot better defensively. I think he adapts to the wing much better as well.

Call me crazy but the Oilers got rid of the wrong player. Now they might have to give up both.

Seriously? Get out, your eyes are deceiving you. Either that or you have brain damage, which in that case I am very sorry.

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#48 OilLeak
November 16 2011, 06:09PM
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MWA1991 wrote:

To me they traded the wrong player. I thought Cogliano should have stayed and Gagner should have been traded.

Cogliano plays 82 games, has a lot better speed, and seemed to have turned a corner last year, accepting the 3rd line role and got a lot better defensively. I think he adapts to the wing much better as well.

Call me crazy but the Oilers got rid of the wrong player. Now they might have to give up both.

Seriously? Get out, your eyes are deceiving you. Either that or you have brain damage, which in that case I am very sorry.

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#49 DSF
November 16 2011, 06:30PM
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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.

Kyle Wellwood is producing at a .611 PPG pace for Winnipeg.

His cap hit is $700k.

Good hands √

Slow √

Small √

Weak on the puck √

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#50 David S
November 16 2011, 07:19PM
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Wanye: OK boys, we've got some big-time potential advertisers coming in next week and we need to show them some humongous site traffic numbers. Any suggestions?

Kent: Well I suppose we could start randomly seeding the words "Justin Beiber" throughout the articles to fake out the search engines. But there's only one thing I know of that's a sure-fire way to get the sort of traffic you're looking for Wanye...

Wanye: (Raises half-empty beer mug in agreement ) Now you're talking my language Kent!

>Kent and Wanye slap each other on the back, spark some fresh Cubans and power up NHL '12 to do some "research". They both yell out so loudly the deaf lady in the next building calls the cops. "GAGNER ARTICLE!"

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