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.
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#1 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 01:24PM
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Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

wow, Gagner really doesnt deserve first line minutes with Hemsky and Smyth. that kids been handed way too much as is and barely makes a dent out there as an "offensively gifted" player. he was atrocious on the PP last year. the entire two months of January and February he had 0 points on the PP. insane for a kid getting 2:56 per game with the man advantage.

i hope he AND Cogliano get tossed out of town. theyre mediocre and both have major "flaws" to their game for being effective in the NHL. neither can take draws and are just wasting time here.

Yeah, the centre who scored more than every other C who will be at camp this year totally doesnt deserve a shot at playing with talented players. Sure he had one of the best 5 on 5 scoring metrics on the entire team while playing most of the year with NHL rookies who were feeling their way into the North American game, but he sux and we should get rid of him. Shawn Horcoff will be a top 6 player for another decade to be sure, either that or we can just replace Gagner with someone else. I mean, just because it took us a 30th place finish to acquire a player that should be better than him (assuming he actually makes the team this year) doesnt mean Tambellini cant just pull a rabbit out of his hat and make a 2C appear.

Nobody performed well on the PP but lets pick Gagner out of the crowd and blame it all on him. I mean, hes just wasting his time here, afterall. We should only draft players who dont have flaws in their game. That way we will be unstoppable hockey juggernauts and all other teams will tremble when the Oil and their easily attainable 6'6" ice hockey gods come to town.

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#2 @NateInVegas
July 03 2011, 09:38AM
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The Oilers have a goofy schedule, they play 8 of 11 games at home in October. They should play Nugent-Hopkins at home, and sit him for the road game in Minnesota & at home vs St. Louis.

He'll get to play against Crosby/Malkin, Ovechkin/Backstrom, Weber/Suter, and Vancouver twice at home before making a decision.

Let Nugent-Hopkins play the road game in Denver to end the month so he plays against every team in the division once, by then the signs will be there to send him back or not.

The Oilers are gone for the early part of November (CFR)

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#3 Dan the Man
July 03 2011, 02:53PM
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stratedge wrote:

If Gags + Cogs could be packaged for anything of true value (top 3 D-man or another better vet centre), I'd be ecstatic. I think it's more likely Gagner has plateaued, than he hasn't. If someone out there is still high on him, pull the trigger.

Because most guys peak at 21??

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#4 godot10
July 03 2011, 09:06AM
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I think both Hall and Nugent-Hopkins still should have a veteran chaperone at even strength for at least this season.

Horcoff for Hall. Smyth for Nugent-Hopkins

You want Smyth on the bench beside Nugent-Hopkins "mentoring".

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#5 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 04:51PM
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Kodiak wrote:

He's never hit 50 points so obviously you can't bank on that, and as we've seen zero improvement in his production over the last 4 years I wouldn't count on it changing. The only reason age is a factor is if he's improving or has a skill set that suggests he has the potential to improve. I don't think he does.

He's played more EV strength (and the softest evens) and PP icetime/game than any other center the last couple years so not sure how you can suggest he's put up those numbers as a 2nd line center. Playing 1st line EV and PP minutes I would think he would have to produce 35% more than the 41 points he's put up each of the last three years.

It's also more than just points. His skating and lack of physical strength aren't really conducive to a puck possession game. He's not very good defensively and has no physical element to his game. Heck, if Eric Belanger got Gagner's PP and soft evens he'd probably put up 60.

I get it that you don't like Gagner but this is ridiculous. I think we'd agree that the NHL is not a developmental league but Sam was rushed and had to learn on the job. Now, after playing 4 seasons before he could legally drink in the USA, people like you want to pick apart flaws in his game and throw him to the wayside. Give me a break. Not every player is going to put up 75 points. Sam will be a very productive 2nd line centre for possibly the next 5-10 years. What is wrong with that?

I'm not as convinced as you, and others, that Sam is as bad a skater as you think. Also, Sam has been more willing to get his nose dirty than alot of his teammates over the past couple seasons so I'm not sure how you say he has no physical element to his game. Sure, his stature makes him more prone to take some licks but he doesn't back down and he is willing to stand up for himself.

You've yet to answer my question. What do you expect from him and what do you view as a successful season for him?

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#6 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 05:03PM
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Memo to all Gagner haters; you may not think he's a good hockey player but for a guy that's is continuously in the top 5 on the Oilers in points at only 21, give him a break. I cant wait when he puts up more than 60points this yr, you all are gunna think hes the 2nd coming of sweet baby Jesus, and quietly mutter to yourself "I'm soooo glad ST didn't listen to my jargon".

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#7 lewissss
July 03 2011, 08:04AM
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FIRST

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#8 Dan the Man
July 03 2011, 11:56AM
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horndog77 wrote:

Absolutely agree about Horcoff, if teams are sniffing around and will take him off the Oilers hands they should. His contract is not worth the product. Shawn is a good player but times are a changing, and would allow RNH and Gagner and Belanger and Lander to step in. If the Oil could trade him and draft picks for a good defensemen they should do it.

One of our biggest issues last year was weakness at the center position, so now that the Oil have acquired some help you want to get rid of the only guy who could win face-offs last year?

Neither RNH or Lander have played an NHL game yet but I'm certain they will be great on the draw and in their own zone in addition to facing the other teams top lines on a regular basis.

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#9 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 05:14PM
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@SurfacetoAirMissile

These same guys that focus hard on predraft scouting reports are the ones that hope the Oil move out decent players for the Bogosians/Gudbransens of the world who haven't done anything in the NHL. It doesn't matter what these guys do in the NHL because in Jr they were Soooooo great. Barf.

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#10 Tyler
July 03 2011, 05:52PM
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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.

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#11 Breakerdog
July 03 2011, 08:18AM
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@ LT:

LTIR for Brule would look really bad after offering him up in trade and pinky swearing that he was good to go.

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#13 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 08:53AM
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@Lowetide

yup depth down the middle is good* ,bout freakin time!!

*thats what she said

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#14 Gerald R. Ford
July 03 2011, 08:53AM
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I would *love* to see those line combinations, but I can't imagine them having the guts to drop Horcoff down to the third line. Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky is the "safest" No. 1 line, and Horcoff is their golden boy/Captain/most expensive asset. I think that's too much to hope for, sadly.

RNH really stirs things up, in a good way. If he stays, they'll have to address the centre hierarchy, and people will go, and others will have their feelings hurt. I really hope they don't trade Gagner. I think we've just seen a hint of his true abilities, and they could never win that trade.

Good luck to Brule, whatever happens to him. Hell of a good kid.

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#15 Skidplate
July 03 2011, 09:07AM
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@Lowetide

"The Oilers have options at center now."

Those are sweet words to hear. And it took how many years for it to happen?

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#16 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 09:27AM
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@Lowetide

You make sense LT having 2 gifted playmakers on the same line doesn't make sense, maybe once in a while if needed, or if injuries occur during the game but IMO a team should have 1 playmaker on each of the top 3 lines, and besides it doesnt work on NHL 11 either lol.

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#17 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 09:58AM
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@Tapdog

Thats exactly why I wouldnt move Gagner. Hes versatile, cheap, young, and productive enough to still be in the top 9 (I think top 6).

To me he starts the year between Smyth and Hemsky and we really get a good idea of what this guy can do with legit NHL linemates. Im pro Gagner in the top 6, but even if hes pushed below the top 6 this year, Id rather have him moving forward than Cogliano, because I think Gagner has infinitely more upside.

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#18 Sox and Oil
July 03 2011, 10:07AM
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Gagner shouldn't be shopped unless the return is huge. He's 21 with 173 NHL points. Relatively healthy (with no help from Ryan Jones) considering his size. Right now he's a legitimate 2nd C.

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#19 Lochenzo
July 03 2011, 10:38AM
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I say no to a gagner trade unless u get excellent return. Gagner is young enough to be considered a part of this baby core. He is also talented enough to be a 2nd line centre. You need depth at centre to win. Back in the day, we had a big gap between weight and marchant, no 2nd centre. Dallas always beat is with their depth, modano, nieuwendyk, carboneau.

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#20 justDOit
July 03 2011, 11:50AM
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@kgo

Not saying he won't get traded, but this is the same Horcoff who is a good friend of Katz? And the best center that the Oilers have (yes, he is - contract aside)? Sorry, but I don't see it.

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#21 Death Metal Nightmare
July 03 2011, 12:15PM
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wow, Gagner really doesnt deserve first line minutes with Hemsky and Smyth. that kids been handed way too much as is and barely makes a dent out there as an "offensively gifted" player. he was atrocious on the PP last year. the entire two months of January and February he had 0 points on the PP. insane for a kid getting 2:56 per game with the man advantage.

i hope he AND Cogliano get tossed out of town. theyre mediocre and both have major "flaws" to their game for being effective in the NHL. neither can take draws and are just wasting time here.

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#22 OilFan
July 03 2011, 01:10PM
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back to this Gagner trade DO IT.

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#23 David S
July 03 2011, 01:59PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Yeah, the centre who scored more than every other C who will be at camp this year totally doesnt deserve a shot at playing with talented players. Sure he had one of the best 5 on 5 scoring metrics on the entire team while playing most of the year with NHL rookies who were feeling their way into the North American game, but he sux and we should get rid of him. Shawn Horcoff will be a top 6 player for another decade to be sure, either that or we can just replace Gagner with someone else. I mean, just because it took us a 30th place finish to acquire a player that should be better than him (assuming he actually makes the team this year) doesnt mean Tambellini cant just pull a rabbit out of his hat and make a 2C appear.

Nobody performed well on the PP but lets pick Gagner out of the crowd and blame it all on him. I mean, hes just wasting his time here, afterall. We should only draft players who dont have flaws in their game. That way we will be unstoppable hockey juggernauts and all other teams will tremble when the Oil and their easily attainable 6'6" ice hockey gods come to town.

I for one welcome our new unstoppable juggernaut overlords.

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#24 justDOit
July 03 2011, 02:40PM
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OilFan wrote:

cogs and gags for Yandle ?

Would that be while Fletcher sleeps?

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#25 justDOit
July 03 2011, 03:27PM
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coco crisp wrote:

Still would rather have Mac then this new guy....

You mean the Mac that can't skate, can't play hockey, and nobody in the league will fight any more? Makes sense to me.

I watched every Oiler game that was televised last year - would you care to point out one instance where that big oaf's presence was a deterrent to any team to run our young stars?

I wonder how busy SMac's phone was on Canada day?

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#26 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 03:28PM
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stratedge wrote:

If Gags + Cogs could be packaged for anything of true value (top 3 D-man or another better vet centre), I'd be ecstatic. I think it's more likely Gagner has plateaued, than he hasn't. If someone out there is still high on him, pull the trigger.

I'm not sure why so many want to dump Gagne so early in his career? There is not many players around the league that have so many NHL games under their belt at age 21. I honestly thought he started to play some of his best hockey before he got hurt last year.

I would agree most NHL clubs overvalue their "homegrown" talent. You naturally would like to see your draft picks turn out, it is just human nature. However, the Oilers are rebuilding, so what better time than now to find out what kind of player Gagne can be. The Oil have already invested 4 years of playing time for Gagne in the NHL, I think it would be a crime to wash that all away with a trade to suit their immediate needs.

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#27 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 04:02PM
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@Kodiak

What would a successful season for Gagner look like in your eyes? Please enlighten me because when I see a 21 yr old 2nd line center who you can bank on producing 40-50 pts, I don't see a problem.

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#28 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 04:22PM
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Kodiak wrote:

They've invested 4 years and seen negligible improvement. The last 4 years he's produced 0.62, 0.54, 0.60 and 0.62PPG.

He doesn't skate well enough to create offense with his speed, he doesn't shoot well enough to consistantly score goals, he's not strong enough on the puck to cycle very well, he's not very strong defensively, and none of these things are likely to change over time. He brings nothing to the table that suggests we will see a substantial increase in production.

If he were to bring a physical presence or a defensive aspect to his game along with his 41 points/season that would be different, but he doesn't.

Fortunatly it doesn't take much moe then .62PPG's to qualify as a good second line center.

A slight bump up in production and he will be there.

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#29 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 05:15PM
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Kodiak wrote:

He led the team in EV icetime and PP time. 1st line minutes to put up marginal 2nd line numbers. He's been protected more than any supposed 2nd line center in the league and been given gravy icetime to put up 40 pts a year.

He played the 38th most minutes per game at EV league wide, 41st for PP min.

Sorry, but he had 2nd line minutes as well.

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#30 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 05:16PM
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@Kodiak

What was Kesler's PPG at 21 yrs old again?

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#31 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 05:18PM
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Kodiak wrote:

I appreciate Gagner was rushed, but using it as an excuse for Gagners production is ridiculous. If his being rushed affected his development well that's too bad, but bottom line is we need production out of our 2nd line center.

I want the Oilers to win the cup. 2nd line centers for the final four teams this year were Kesler at 0.89ppg, Pavelski at 0.89ppg, Lecavalier at 0.83ppg and Bergeron at 0.71ppg. On top of their point production all four of these players are excellent defensively. Gagner will never be this type of player. He doesn't fit the role of a bottom 6 so I just don't see a reason to hold on to him long term.

You hold onto him until you have someone superior. (baring a trade that brings back a superior asset and/or addresses a more glaring need).

Pretty simple.

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#32 gcw_rocks
July 03 2011, 05:19PM
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I don't hate Gagner. I just don't think he can beat his competition.

Can he beat RNH for the first line role next season? Let's hope not.

Can he beat Horcoff for the second line role? Likely not and we can't move horcoff because of the contract (unless someone desperate to make the cap floor wants him). Gagner on the other hand is tradeable.

Can he beat Belanger for the 3rd line centre spot? Again, no, his defense and face offs are too weak. And Lander after him? No.

So where the hell does he play?

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#33 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 05:26PM
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@gcw_rocks

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.

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#34 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 05:30PM
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@Kodiak

The only reason Kesler puts up the #s he does is because of the twin sisters. Gagner would have him beat hands down in points if he had the line mates Kesler does, put Gagner with Hall and Eberle let them mesh and watch Gagner will have 60+ points this yr.

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#35 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 05:37PM
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@Kodiak

Sorry, I was away from my computer for a while... I had to check the predraft scouting report from 4 years ago to see if I my pizza I just pulled out of the oven would be any good.... seriously though, nobody can predict the next 10 years of a players career when they are only 21. That include me.

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#36 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 05:37PM
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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.

Taking players by attributes gets you Chad kilger rather then Luc Robitaille.

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#37 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 05:41PM
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Kodiak wrote:

So if Gagner would outproduce Kesler then Vancouver should be happy to trade Gagner for Kesler straight across then, right?

That is such a joke even your playstation wouldn't accept that trade.

Why can't anyone list the attributes Gagner has that will enable him to produce more than he does?

He's an excellent passer, he's decent down low, his shot is fairly accurate and he's not afraid to go to the front of the net.

Theirs decent reason to believe that he will get stronger in the next couple of years which will enhance the "attributes" he has.

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#38 Crash
July 03 2011, 05:47PM
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21 yrs old, still 2 to 3 yrs from entering his prime has scored 173 NHL pts before age 22, averages .6 ppg and there are people who figure he's at his ceiling already?

Brilliant, just brilliant

What does Gagner bring? Superior hockey sense and on ice vision, superior passing skills, quickly emerging leadership, hard worker and a great teammate.

He's just going to turn 22...you don't give up on guys with 173 nhl pts at age 21...you just don't.

This team now looks like it can make a move up the standings barring health and there are those that want to start tearing it down again?

Amazing, simply amazing

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#39 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 06:06PM
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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.

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#40 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 06:06PM
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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?

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#41 Duke
July 03 2011, 07:52PM
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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?

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#42 dw
July 03 2011, 08:18PM
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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.

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#43 Crash
July 03 2011, 09:06PM
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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.

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#44 Starving Student
July 03 2011, 08:05AM
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Not the fist to say trade Gagner!

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#45 Ducey
July 03 2011, 08:13AM
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RNH back to junior after a few games. Cogliano moves back to 3 or 4 C and assists with PK. Hordichuk takes Jones' spot against some of the heavier teams - and Vancouver :-)

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#46 raretomediumrare
July 03 2011, 08:26AM
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Why don't they ever try wingers on the opposite sides? Maybe move omark up onto a line with hemmer, smyth on a third line with belanger/horcoff and MPS?

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#48 Skidplate
July 03 2011, 08:34AM
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The kid line makes me a little nervous. Two sophmores and a rookie. They are all stellar talents, but maybe a little too unseasoned.

Mind you with RNH's vision and Hall's shot, you may not be able to separate them; and of course Eberle and Hall are a must.

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#49 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 08:41AM
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Id be somewhat surprised to see a trade happen before TC just to see if RNH makes the team, if he does say bye-bye to Cogs. Horcoff with his contract and leadership isn't goin anywhere, and Gagner still has to much upside to be sent packing.

Brule...if he is healthy i could see being put on waivers just because no GM is giving up a warm body for him or gets traded to TO...could be the #1 center Burke is lookin for ;)-

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