Who's Leaving?

Lowetide
July 03 2011 08:03AM

With this weekend's additions, the Edmonton Oilers now have 16 forwards for 14 available spots. Someone is leaving town.

Steve Tambellini has made some very nice moves since the entry draft, but there's more work to do. The NHL team has 16 forwards and that's too many. Here's a look at the keepers, the suspects and the possible line combinations. The list goes from most likely to make the roster to least likely.

  1. L Taylor Hall: The franchise has a roster spot secured for the next decade, and the big question here is who will play on his line. If RNH makes the team, I'd expect Hall and Eberle to be the wingers on the ultimate Kid Line. That might not last the pre-season if the line struggles from the pressure, so expect Horcoff to slide into the middle between Hall and Eberle should that happen.
  2. R Jordan Eberle: Led his team in points as a rookie and showed impressive growth over the year (although that first NHL goal will live forever). I believe Eberle's immediate future is tied to Hall's--they were successful linemates a year ago, why mess with success? RNH and Horcoff are the likely centers.
  3. L Magnus Paajarvi: Fleet Swede had a solid rookie season (34 points) and displayed some impressive play away from the puck. Found chem after Christmas with Omark and I think that duo will continue, albeit with a different center than a year ago (Gagner). We've talked about all of the '10 rookie wingers moving to center, and I think MP might be the best candidate. For now, I think the best option for them at center is either newcomer Belanger or Horcoff (should RNH make the team on the Kid Line).
  4. L Ryan Smyth: Huge acquisition for the Oilers. I think Smyth will team up with Hemsky no matter the center, and further believe the first candidate for the role should be Sam Gagner. He has chem with Hemsky and if things roll well that line could either play the tougher minutes or scald the soft parade.
  5. C Shawn Horcoff: Despite age and not possessing the foot speed he had in 2006 spring, Horcoff will once again play an important role on the team. I think there's a strong possibility he gets MP/Omark if Nugent-Hopkins grabs the 1line job. The Oilers could also go with a designated veteran line and reuniting him with Smyth and Hemsky. That's a tough call, though. Still too much youth on the other lines to leave them alone.
  6. R Ales Hemsky: Gifted winger is apparently healthy and ready to roll in 11-12. The Oilers will attempt to sign him and then put him in a position to succeed before shopping 83 at the deadline. My guess is that he's tied to Smyth for the regular season, with center's Gagner and Horcoff getting time between them.
  7. C Sam Gagner: Young center has made progress at the NHL level despite point totals in the low 40's. Very intelligent player who can riff off veterans extremely well, I'd hope coach Renney gives him veteran linemates Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky in an effort to have a 1line that can protect the Kid Line. I don't see Gagner centering MP and Omark again, he never did figure out the two Swedes imo.
  8. C Eric Belanger: An absolute Godsend for this forward group. He can play up and down the lineup and I'd guess that he will do just that over the season. Most likely linemates would be MP/Omark and Eager/Jones on the third unit.
  9. R Linus Omark: I can't think of a line combination that has him playing apart from Paajarvi, so it's a matter of which center they line up with most nights. My guess is that Shawn Horcoff or Eric Belanger and their 2-way skills will be best used between the gifted Swedish wingers.
  10. L Ben Eager: I see lots of people saying he's a 4line crash and banger, but I think Eager may end up playing higher on the depth chart. A designated 2-way line of Belanger-Eager-Jones is possible and he could also play 4line minutes with Cogliano at center and Hordichuk on the wing. I also believe there will be times he'll take a spin with the kids just to keep everyone honest.
  11. R Ryan Jones: I believe Jones will play with Belanger and Eager on the 4line, but could also see times where he's patrolling the 4line with Hordichuk and Cogliano.
  12. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Makes the list this late because there's just no way RNH plays a secondary role. He either makes it as a member of the top 2 skill lines or he's going back. Most believe (as do I) that he's going to get those 9 games to succeed. I think he'll stay. Wingmen options include Hall-Eberle and Smyth-Hemsky. I don't like the RNH-Hemsky fit because Hemsky is all reaction and feel and RNH is all vision and thinking the game. I don't like the match, we'll see.
  13. C Andrew Cogliano: Coach Renney said several times last season that he felt Cogliano was making progress as a two way player. I think Cogs may continue that role, this time with physical Ben Eager and energy guy Ryan Jones on his wings. A secondary possibility would be sliding Cogliano between the two Swedes, but that could be chaotic in the Oilers zone.
  14. R Darcy Hordichuk: I think some may be getting the wrong idea about Hordichuk. I see him as a huge upgrade over Steve MacIntyre as a player, but don't believe he's going to play 80 games and see 6 minutes a night. Hordichuk will enter the season as the 14th man and be utilized in a depth role. That's how I see it, anyway.
  15. L Teemu Hartikainen: He starts TC as the last guy sent out/first call up from my point of view. He could make the big club if one of the incumbents shows up at least than 100% in terms of conditioning, but I can't see a way for him to make it straight up at this time.
  16. R Gilbert Brule: I think his NHL career is at a crossroads. The unfortunate circumstances surrounding the LAK deal for Ryan Smyth made Brule a quesiton mark across the league. I can't imagine an NHL team trading for him now, there's a clear medical reason for the deal to have been turned away. My guess is LTIR until he can get things back together again.

With all of that as a  backdrop, here's how I see the lines breaking down:

  1. Gagner-Smyth-Hemsky
  2. RNH-Hall-Eberle
  3. Horcoff-Paajarvi-Omark
  4. Belanger-Eager-Jones
  5. Extras: Cogliano-Hordichuk
  6. Minors: Hartikainen
  7. LTIR: Brule

WHO'S LEAVING?

One of the centermen, either Cogliano, Gagner or Horcoff. Hopefully the club will acquire a top 4 shutdown defender in the deal. After that, I believe they'll either send down Hartikainen or LTIR Brule to set the roster.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 TSN 1260.
Avatar
#151 Tyler
July 03 2011, 05:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Agreed. To all those blasting Gagners skating, shooting, etc. etc. etc. Despite those, he's still more productive then the Sedins were at that age. This isn't NHL 2012, player ability ratings mean very little. Results speak volumes, and his results are there. Last time i checked one of the stronger skaters the Oilers have had in the past 10 years, who had a heavy shot, was big, strong, and aggressive was named Ethan Moreau. He had all the player attributes you could ask for and never produced jack. And for those calling out the lack of improvement in Gagners game look no further then the type of minutes the kid gets. In his rookie season Sam got sheltered cherry minutes; and every minute since the line of in front has gotten weaker and injuries have piled up placing a more difficult assignment on the kid with less overall help. Give up on him now and you will regret it. I guarantee.

Avatar
#152 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 05:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Eddie Shore

Donkey fist!

Avatar
#153 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 05:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Eddie Shore wrote:

The same reason you can't list what you deem a successful season for Gagner....

I already have repeatedly. His average skating, his weak shot, the ease at which he gets pushed off the puck. These are things we can't expect to change much either.

He is a good passer and he has good vision and I think those skills have gotten him to where he is producing at now, but I really don't see an area he has the ability to improve much to get him to that next level.

I in no way want to get rid of Gagner for nothing, but I agree with gcw_rocks that I just don't see how he fits with this team or has the ability to get to the next level.

Avatar
#154 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 06:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Kodiak wrote:

I already have repeatedly. His average skating, his weak shot, the ease at which he gets pushed off the puck. These are things we can't expect to change much either.

He is a good passer and he has good vision and I think those skills have gotten him to where he is producing at now, but I really don't see an area he has the ability to improve much to get him to that next level.

I in no way want to get rid of Gagner for nothing, but I agree with gcw_rocks that I just don't see how he fits with this team or has the ability to get to the next level.

You haven't listed what Gagner would need to produce in order for you to be satisfied that he is a competent 2nd line center. You listed Pavelski, Bergeron, Kesler, Lecavalier. Problem is there are only so many of those guys around the league. If you won't be happy until you have a guy like that on your second line you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Avatar
#155 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 06:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Kodiak wrote:

Are you suggesting Gagner will produce like Kesler?

That is so laughable. Kesler produces for may reasons. Speed, shooting, tenacity, physical strength. With most players, the attributes they have to produce later in their careers they always had, it just takes them a while to put it all together.

Gagner doesn't have those attributes. What skills does he have that suggests he can produce like Kesler?

Even if Gagner somehow managed to put up Kesler numbers, which he won't, he still wouldn't bring to the table what a Kesler, Lecavalier or Bergeron does.

I'm sorry. Did you answer the question? What was Kesler's PPG at 21?

Nobody thought he was capable of putting up the offense he has when he was drafted, but now you're telling me that Gagner has 0 chance of ever being as good as a guy that most pegged as a career 3rd liner when they were at similar ages. Weak.

Avatar
#156 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 06:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Kodiak wrote:

I already have repeatedly. His average skating, his weak shot, the ease at which he gets pushed off the puck. These are things we can't expect to change much either.

He is a good passer and he has good vision and I think those skills have gotten him to where he is producing at now, but I really don't see an area he has the ability to improve much to get him to that next level.

I in no way want to get rid of Gagner for nothing, but I agree with gcw_rocks that I just don't see how he fits with this team or has the ability to get to the next level.

You honestly don't think 21 year olds can get faster, stronger and improve their shot?

Avatar
#157 BobD
July 03 2011, 06:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Kodiak

I think your really underrating his shot, there's times where he'll just wire the puck.

Avatar
#158 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 06:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Archaeologuy wrote:

I'm sorry. Did you answer the question? What was Kesler's PPG at 21?

Nobody thought he was capable of putting up the offense he has when he was drafted, but now you're telling me that Gagner has 0 chance of ever being as good as a guy that most pegged as a career 3rd liner when they were at similar ages. Weak.

So because Kesler was brought up slower its relevent to compare stats at that age? Weak! I think comparing relative years in the league would be more accurate. In Keslers 4th year he put up 59 points and he did this amazing thing called improving every year, something Gagner has never done.

I agree Kesler has produced more than anyone anticipated, but he's always been a great skater and has translated that into producing offense. Gagner will never have Kesler's skating ability and I don't see him having any skillset(skating, shooting, strength) that he will be able to translate into more production.

Avatar
#159 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 06:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

You honestly don't think 21 year olds can get faster, stronger and improve their shot?

He has improved his skating in the last couple years but that has gotten him up to average in that department. I don't see him being able to improve much more in that area. I don't think he's a bad skater but he doesn't possess that pull away or one on one speed.

He actually lost weight going in to last year as he felt he was slower the year before after bulking up a bit, so don't see him getting noticably stronger if he's leaning down.

He's had 4 years in the bigs and I haven't noticed a difference in his shot so either he hasn't gotten around to working on it or he's just not able to improve his velocity much.

Avatar
#160 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 06:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Kodiak

Edit: I give up. Just spinning my wheels now.

Avatar
#161 ALEX MAZAROTTI
July 03 2011, 07:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH TOM RENNEY.. (A FRIEND OF A FRIEND) HE TOLD ME THAT THIS IS WHAT HE WANTS PENDING ANY OBSTRUCTIONS:

LINE 1 (VETERAN LINE) SMYTH HORCOFF HEMSKEY

LINE 2 (KID LINE) EBERLE NUGENT-HOPKINS HALL

LINE 3 PAARVI GAGNER OMARK

LINE 4 JONES BELANGER EAGER

WHEN I ASKED HIM ABOUT COGLIANO, HE RESPONDED "IF COGS WANTS TO PLAY ON OUR TEAM, HE GONNA HAVE TO EARN IT.. NO MORE FREE ICE TIME" THATS IT FOLKS STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH.. MY FRIEND TOM RENNEY.

Avatar
#162 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 07:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Kodiak wrote:

He has improved his skating in the last couple years but that has gotten him up to average in that department. I don't see him being able to improve much more in that area. I don't think he's a bad skater but he doesn't possess that pull away or one on one speed.

He actually lost weight going in to last year as he felt he was slower the year before after bulking up a bit, so don't see him getting noticably stronger if he's leaning down.

He's had 4 years in the bigs and I haven't noticed a difference in his shot so either he hasn't gotten around to working on it or he's just not able to improve his velocity much.

I'll have to pass on the word to all young athletes.

No sense training, you wont get bigger/faster/stronger past 21.

Avatar
#163 Duke
July 03 2011, 07:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
ALEX MAZAROTTI wrote:

I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH TOM RENNEY.. (A FRIEND OF A FRIEND) HE TOLD ME THAT THIS IS WHAT HE WANTS PENDING ANY OBSTRUCTIONS:

LINE 1 (VETERAN LINE) SMYTH HORCOFF HEMSKEY

LINE 2 (KID LINE) EBERLE NUGENT-HOPKINS HALL

LINE 3 PAARVI GAGNER OMARK

LINE 4 JONES BELANGER EAGER

WHEN I ASKED HIM ABOUT COGLIANO, HE RESPONDED "IF COGS WANTS TO PLAY ON OUR TEAM, HE GONNA HAVE TO EARN IT.. NO MORE FREE ICE TIME" THATS IT FOLKS STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH.. MY FRIEND TOM RENNEY.

Was Renney shouting or is that you?

Avatar
#164 prgmoose
July 03 2011, 08:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

gagner-hall/eberle (gagner's last chance to prove himself as point producer.)

RNH-smyth/hemmer (give the rookie some veteren help)

horcoff-MPS/omark (defensive presence for swedes. let them freewheel a bit)

belanger-eager/jones/hordichuk (good energy line. look out sedins.)

this is what i would like to see at the start of the season if RNH makes the team.

if RNH gets sent back before the season or after 9 games the wingers can stay the same but make the centres horc, gagner, belanger and cogliano in that order.

a kid line is intriguing but i feel RNH is better served with some veteren skilled wingers on a second line. kind of like hall and eberle had with horc last year before the injuries.

Avatar
#165 dw
July 03 2011, 08:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
ALEX MAZAROTTI wrote:

I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH TOM RENNEY.. (A FRIEND OF A FRIEND) HE TOLD ME THAT THIS IS WHAT HE WANTS PENDING ANY OBSTRUCTIONS:

LINE 1 (VETERAN LINE) SMYTH HORCOFF HEMSKEY

LINE 2 (KID LINE) EBERLE NUGENT-HOPKINS HALL

LINE 3 PAARVI GAGNER OMARK

LINE 4 JONES BELANGER EAGER

WHEN I ASKED HIM ABOUT COGLIANO, HE RESPONDED "IF COGS WANTS TO PLAY ON OUR TEAM, HE GONNA HAVE TO EARN IT.. NO MORE FREE ICE TIME" THATS IT FOLKS STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH.. MY FRIEND TOM RENNEY.

Tom called me right after he got off the phone with you and told me he was just kidding. He then asked me if my refrigerator was running. The guy just has no sense of humor.

Avatar
#166 Dog Train
July 03 2011, 08:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It seems like we have a bunch of left handed shots too. I think that Tambo will definitely listen to offers but I could see us showing up to camp with this roster. That way, we can see if RNH looks ready and we will have options like sending Harski to the minors or putting Brule on LTIR and maybe even a trade at that time.

Avatar
#167 Rogue
July 03 2011, 08:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Heatley to Wild for Havlat.

Avatar
#168 Rogue
July 03 2011, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I hope it is a cooold winter there. He deserves it.

Avatar
#169 Crash
July 03 2011, 09:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
prgmoose wrote:

gagner-hall/eberle (gagner's last chance to prove himself as point producer.)

RNH-smyth/hemmer (give the rookie some veteren help)

horcoff-MPS/omark (defensive presence for swedes. let them freewheel a bit)

belanger-eager/jones/hordichuk (good energy line. look out sedins.)

this is what i would like to see at the start of the season if RNH makes the team.

if RNH gets sent back before the season or after 9 games the wingers can stay the same but make the centres horc, gagner, belanger and cogliano in that order.

a kid line is intriguing but i feel RNH is better served with some veteren skilled wingers on a second line. kind of like hall and eberle had with horc last year before the injuries.

I do like your line combos...of course we know that line combos never stay the same throughout a whole season.

But I really don't think this is Gagner's last chance to prove himself as a point producer. Just for interest sakes I pulled some names out this past years top 40 scorers in the NHL and here's their age 22 numbers:

D. Sedin 31 pts, H. Sedin 39 pts, Perry 54 pts, Zetterberg 44, Kesler 16, Marleau 44, Eriksson 31, Sharp 7, Ribeiro 17, Tanguay 48, Briere 2, J Carter 53, R Nash 57, Pavelski 28, Kessel 55.

Some pretty prominant names in that list with not so stellar numbers at age 22/23. Some of their teams gave up on them but those that didn't are pretty happy today and those that now own those players that their teams gave up on are also likely pretty happy.

Cut Gagner some slack, his career has hardly begun.

Avatar
#170 Crash
July 03 2011, 09:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Rogue wrote:

Heatley to Wild for Havlat.

Interesting...didn't he have a no trade clause?

So he waived it to go to Minny?

Avatar
#171 SLURVE
July 03 2011, 09:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
justDOit wrote:

If by dangle, you mean 'cough up', then yes, I stand corrected. But he isn't known for his acceleration, he's know for his speed. He's also known to have zero agility, an awkward stride and poor vision, but nobody is hoping he proves me wrong more than me.

I do not know where you got those incredulously poor scouting report but you have surely missed the mark here. Well I have seen him skate down the side and cut to the middle at full speed (fast with great acceleration= mass/force) then cut to the middle drawing the D-man and making a pretty pass across to his wingman. He has proven you wrong..."He is not known for his acceleration ...zero agility, an awkward stride and poor vision?" Who on God's green Earth are you describing-Macintyre? As Confucious once said, "your 4 Wongs do not make a Wright"...

Avatar
#172 ALEX MAZAROTTI
July 03 2011, 09:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Tyler Pitlick - Hartanainin - David Musil - RNH - Taylor Hall - Jordan Eberle - MPS - Linus Omark - Oscar "the grouch" Klefbom. Seriously folks, does anyone in the league have the up and coming talent that the Oilers have. If I was Steve Tambellini I would have tried to sign "JAROMIR JAGR". I'll tell you why. Mr. Jagr and Mr. Hemskey together would be a force to be reckoned with. This young KID LINE (Hall-RNH-Eberle) need to develop and play behind a really good savvy veteren Line 1. This takes the pressure of them and they will eventually flourish into a Line 1 trio. If anybody doesn't agree with JAROMIR JAGR would've made this team unstoppable, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Avatar
#173 Ryan2
July 03 2011, 10:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

While I am not a big fan of Gagner, the Oilers need him for another season or two due to a lack of other viable options at the #2 centreman spot.

That being said, I hope that within three years the team has a bigger, stronger and faster #2 pivot to team with RNH and leave Gagner as trade bait. If he produces another decent season or two Tambi/future GM should be able to trade him for a decent value draft pick or in a package to address another hole on the team. While the Gagner fan club would be disappointed, it would be great since it would mean that the club would actually have a 1-2 punch down the middle that could match up with the top clubs.

Looking at the next 2 - 3 years, Belanger and Horcoff are 2 of the team's four centermen (although Belanger signed a contract that would allow him to be moved). Hopefully RNH can fill the #2, if not #1 spot, in 2012-2013. That would leave one opening for Lander and Gagner to compete for, with possibly Pitlick as well if he plays center in the AHL. That is not a bad situation, but I would still like to see the Oilers get another decent #2/borderline #1 centre prospect via next year's draft or a trade to develop.

Avatar
#174 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 11:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Ryan2 wrote:

While I am not a big fan of Gagner, the Oilers need him for another season or two due to a lack of other viable options at the #2 centreman spot.

That being said, I hope that within three years the team has a bigger, stronger and faster #2 pivot to team with RNH and leave Gagner as trade bait. If he produces another decent season or two Tambi/future GM should be able to trade him for a decent value draft pick or in a package to address another hole on the team. While the Gagner fan club would be disappointed, it would be great since it would mean that the club would actually have a 1-2 punch down the middle that could match up with the top clubs.

Looking at the next 2 - 3 years, Belanger and Horcoff are 2 of the team's four centermen (although Belanger signed a contract that would allow him to be moved). Hopefully RNH can fill the #2, if not #1 spot, in 2012-2013. That would leave one opening for Lander and Gagner to compete for, with possibly Pitlick as well if he plays center in the AHL. That is not a bad situation, but I would still like to see the Oilers get another decent #2/borderline #1 centre prospect via next year's draft or a trade to develop.

Belanger and Horcoff are 32 and 33. I wouldn't be counting on either for more then 2-3 more years.

....kind of makes sense to have a younger guy here as well then...

Avatar
#175 The Duke of Hafford
July 03 2011, 11:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey LT, a little bit off topic but I was looking at the roster for the development camp and do you have any thoughts on why Ryan Martindale was not invited?

Avatar
#176 gcw_rocks
July 04 2011, 04:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
a lg dubl dubl wrote:

How do you know he wont "beat out" any of the other players you mentioned? Gagner is the same guy that started on the 4th line during Pat Quinns time and worked his ass off to get to the top line center posistion, yes there where injuries blah blah blah he still put up more points than Horcoff,& Cogliano.

If we are talking 2012 I am hoping RNH goes back to Red Deer to grow a little and more importantly, not burn a year off his ELC.

Come 2013, if Gagner is better than a 1st overall pick, we are screwed.

In general, he can't be Horcoff in the face-off circle or with responsible two way play, so he can't carry/mentor the kids. Horcoff however, can put up similar points to Gagner. Gagner can't even win the injury game since they both have been injured the last two seasons.

He sure as hell is not going to beat Belanger as a 3rd line face-off winning, defensively responsible player mentoring the two swedes. Have you seen Gagner play? He can't win a face off to save his life and he's too small to be a force defensively.

Playing him on the 4th line is a waste of his talents.

As for teh Quinn era - Horcoff played with a bad shoulder that season. My grandma could have out-performed him that season. And Cogs does not have a place on the team this season either, so what the heck does beating Cogs have to do with my point?

Avatar
#178 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 04 2011, 08:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Lowetide wrote:

It's curious. It might have to do with the 50-contract limit (Oilers at 48 but will send some players away).

Brandon Davidson is in the same boat. I think the Oilers like both prospects but it'll eventually happen.

As for rookie camp, I read somewhere he was ill (flu, something like that).

Gregor mentioned on his show last week that Martindale was scheduled for minor surgery this week.

Avatar
#179 Truth
July 04 2011, 08:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
The Duke of Hafford wrote:

Hey LT, a little bit off topic but I was looking at the roster for the development camp and do you have any thoughts on why Ryan Martindale was not invited?

Gregor has been reporting Martindale is undergoing a minor tonsil surgery and is unable to make the camp.

I still think its Omark that is the odd man out, with RNH, Hemsky, Gagner, and Eberle being similar type players (albeit some are dif. positions).

What would Omark's trade value be like?

Avatar
#180 Lochenzo
July 04 2011, 10:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Suddenly Komisarek is very available for very cheap. Ballard can be had as well. I would also ask Florida about Dennis Wideman. They need to add a little more salary and might be enticed to take young forwards and some picks if the money works.

Just as having a legit checking centre that can win draws will help out Horcoff and the rest of the forward group, the Oil need another top 4 D that can play the right side to help out Tom Gilbert and Ladi Smid. Tom needs help so he doesn't get all of the tough minutes by himself. Likewise, Ladi needs a defence partner much better than what he got from Kurtis Foster last year. This will benefit all of the pairings as nobody will be asked to play beyond their abilities.

Avatar
#181 FastOil
July 04 2011, 11:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Tyler wrote:

Agreed. To all those blasting Gagners skating, shooting, etc. etc. etc. Despite those, he's still more productive then the Sedins were at that age. This isn't NHL 2012, player ability ratings mean very little. Results speak volumes, and his results are there. Last time i checked one of the stronger skaters the Oilers have had in the past 10 years, who had a heavy shot, was big, strong, and aggressive was named Ethan Moreau. He had all the player attributes you could ask for and never produced jack. And for those calling out the lack of improvement in Gagners game look no further then the type of minutes the kid gets. In his rookie season Sam got sheltered cherry minutes; and every minute since the line of in front has gotten weaker and injuries have piled up placing a more difficult assignment on the kid with less overall help. Give up on him now and you will regret it. I guarantee.

To me the Sedins are exactly why Gagner worries me. I think we saw how undersized guys with weak shots, unable to beat guys one on one, and with no ability to create separation are pretty easy to shut down in the playoffs. No passing lane, no play.

The Sedins have talent, but are perimeter one trick ponies. They are great regular season players. Until I see something more from Sam, to me he is the same type.

60-70 pts regular season means nothing when your game is completely not suited to the championship round.

Avatar
#182 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 04 2011, 01:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
FastOil wrote:

To me the Sedins are exactly why Gagner worries me. I think we saw how undersized guys with weak shots, unable to beat guys one on one, and with no ability to create separation are pretty easy to shut down in the playoffs. No passing lane, no play.

The Sedins have talent, but are perimeter one trick ponies. They are great regular season players. Until I see something more from Sam, to me he is the same type.

60-70 pts regular season means nothing when your game is completely not suited to the championship round.

Sedins were still the 2nd and 4th highest scoring players in the PO.

I wouldn't exactly say they were "shut down".

Avatar
#183 FastOil
July 04 2011, 03:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Sedins were still the 2nd and 4th highest scoring players in the PO.

I wouldn't exactly say they were "shut down".

That is the thing. Points don't matter, it's when you get them. Running up points in games that are going you're way and not scoring when you're team needs it's best and highest paid scorers to produce doesn't work for me.

It is why Kessler was the most important Canuck until he got too banged up. He can score in any type of game.

It's the same with Thornton and Marleau. Thornton's awesome with all his points, but who actually scores in big games and at key times, repeatedly?

It's not Thornton. The guy who does is the one you want. Gagner is a complimentary scorer, he'll get points, but he has no game breaking aspects to him, can't handle traffic, can't get away from anybody, and that spells trouble in the playoffs especially.

Brad Marchand is a year older with a third as many games, but scored as much in his rookie season and was a play off star. Why? Fast, good shot (finish), aggressive. For a small player, those are better attributes than vision and little else.

Avatar
#184 prgmoose
July 04 2011, 03:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Crash wrote:

I do like your line combos...of course we know that line combos never stay the same throughout a whole season.

But I really don't think this is Gagner's last chance to prove himself as a point producer. Just for interest sakes I pulled some names out this past years top 40 scorers in the NHL and here's their age 22 numbers:

D. Sedin 31 pts, H. Sedin 39 pts, Perry 54 pts, Zetterberg 44, Kesler 16, Marleau 44, Eriksson 31, Sharp 7, Ribeiro 17, Tanguay 48, Briere 2, J Carter 53, R Nash 57, Pavelski 28, Kessel 55.

Some pretty prominant names in that list with not so stellar numbers at age 22/23. Some of their teams gave up on them but those that didn't are pretty happy today and those that now own those players that their teams gave up on are also likely pretty happy.

Cut Gagner some slack, his career has hardly begun.

don't get me wrong i like gagner. but RNH (if things go as expected) will be number 1 centre fairly soon. so gagner needs to show he can produce before then. i don't see him as a 3 or 4 centre.

if he puts up good numbers (which i hope he does) then keep him as a number 2C. if not then give him a chance somewhere else and bring in a bigger centreman that will win more draws. someone that plays like kesler or J.stall.

not trying to hate on Gagner, quite the opposite. hope the rips it up for us. if not here then somewhere else that isn't vancouver or calgary.

Avatar
#185 FastOil
July 04 2011, 04:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
prgmoose wrote:

don't get me wrong i like gagner. but RNH (if things go as expected) will be number 1 centre fairly soon. so gagner needs to show he can produce before then. i don't see him as a 3 or 4 centre.

if he puts up good numbers (which i hope he does) then keep him as a number 2C. if not then give him a chance somewhere else and bring in a bigger centreman that will win more draws. someone that plays like kesler or J.stall.

not trying to hate on Gagner, quite the opposite. hope the rips it up for us. if not here then somewhere else that isn't vancouver or calgary.

I like him too, just am not sure he can carry a line that can score in any situation. As you said, on a bigger team maybe he can play a supporting offensive role.

But RNH followed by Gagner sounds a bit too easy to shut down.

Avatar
#186 Saytalk
July 04 2011, 06:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I can't believe so many people are defending Sam Gagner. He's an inconsistent scorer and every other aspect of his game is below average. You can't simply cite his age and compare production with players that are now stars unless he also shows the same uptrend that those other players did, but Gagner has clearly hit a ceiling and without a change of scenery he will remain as a middling 40-point center getting top minutes. Time to trade him while his value is still something, although I bet a lot of GM's have already written him off.

Avatar
#187 superhall
July 04 2011, 06:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

ganger is small, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in heart. he gives it his all every shift, i would love to see him between hemsky and smyth.

Avatar
#188 Zarny
July 10 2011, 01:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Long-term I don't think you can plan on RNH & Gagner your 1-2 C. They are just too similar; specifically their lack of size.

This year though Cogs is the more likely candidate. Div I kids always take longer to develop. Still potential there.

Comments are closed for this article.