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
#101 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 01:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Arch

Amen Arch, Amen.

Avatar
#102 David S
July 03 2011, 01:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#103 SLURVE
July 03 2011, 02:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I prefer to keep Cogs over Brule or Gagner. Cogs is versatile- can play wing or center. Played 82 games in the last 3-4 years. He is quick and with soft hands. Can play up and down the lineup. Or keep all and not sure if Hartikainen has a 2-way contract but because of injuries which has been often in the last 3-4 years, they will provide depths.

Avatar
#104 justDOit
July 03 2011, 02:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
SLURVE wrote:

I prefer to keep Cogs over Brule or Gagner. Cogs is versatile- can play wing or center. Played 82 games in the last 3-4 years. He is quick and with soft hands. Can play up and down the lineup. Or keep all and not sure if Hartikainen has a 2-way contract but because of injuries which has been often in the last 3-4 years, they will provide depths.

Have to disagree a bit with your assessment of Cog's abilities. For wheels - quick he isn't, but fast he is. His first 3 strides are actually kind of poor, and he has below average turning.

As for his hands, I haven't seen them do much since his rookie campaign.

Gags has better skating (but not as fast as Cogs), hands and vision - which is why other teams are asking about his availability (supposedly). And I'm sure Gagner could adapt to playing a wing without much effort.

Avatar
#105 Rockin Rod
July 03 2011, 02:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The Oil should ship out Cogs this summer for whatever they can get and sign Konopka, we can get him for under a mil, he'll win draws and play tough and be the ideal 4th center. Center position this year should be Horc-Gags-Belanger-Konopka. Give RNH one more year of development in Red Deer and then dump Gagner next summer.

This should be the exit plan for Cogs and Gags, anyone that has watched the Oil for the past four years knows these are fundamentally flawed players.

Avatar
#106 OilFan
July 03 2011, 02:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

cogs and gags for Yandle ?

Avatar
#107 Sox and Oil
July 03 2011, 02:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Buffalo makes the most likely dance partner. Cogs + ? for Sekera (RFA). It would be nice to get a RH shot but. Or should Enroth make a better target?

Two things are certain Buff and EDM both need to make at least 1 trade before Oct.

Avatar
#108 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 02:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Whitney, Gilbert, Smid, Sutton, Barker and I am sure Peckham will be signed shortly. I am certain Petry is ready and could split time between the A and NHL which makes seven D-men. Why is everyone ready to trade for another D-man without giving one up in their trade speculation? I thought the name of the game is develop the younger d-men?

Avatar
#109 Quicksilver ballet
July 03 2011, 02:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If anyone is on their way out of here i hope we're just getting picks in return. Have to think Howson would part with next summers first rounder for Hemsky this summer. Horcoff,Gagner to the Islanders in exchange for their first rounder

Am a little surprised Gudbranson isn't signed yet in Florida, thought that would've been one of the first things they'd take care of.

Avatar
#110 justDOit
July 03 2011, 02:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
OilFan wrote:

cogs and gags for Yandle ?

Would that be while Fletcher sleeps?

Avatar
#111 coco crisp
July 03 2011, 02:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

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

Avatar
#112 stratedge
July 03 2011, 02:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

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.

Avatar
#113 Dan the Man
July 03 2011, 02:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
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??

Avatar
#114 justDOit
July 03 2011, 03:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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?

Avatar
#115 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 03:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#116 gcw_rocks
July 03 2011, 03:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I can't see RNH starting between Hall and Eberle. They would get killed defensively.

Line 2 will be Hall-Horcoff-Eberle Line 3 will be MPS-Belanger-Omark Line 4 will include eager and jones. That leaves RNH and Gagner fighting for the spot between Smyth and Hemsky.

If Gagner loses that battle and Hemsky re-signs, Gagner is trade bait.

Avatar
#117 justDOit
July 03 2011, 03:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Dan the Man

Props to DtM! They say it takes a year or two longer to develop by being thrown into the NHL before you're ready - Turris is another example.

If he could have been transitioned on a team with some depth, I'm sure that would have worked out better. Gagner and Turris are both examples of 18 yr olds who weren't ready for the bigs, and were stuck on poor teams. They did send Turris to the AHL after one season, but the damage seems to have been done.

The big question is, how long do you hold out hope? I mean, if JFJ got nine lives, how many do you give a player with talent?

Avatar
#118 justDOit
July 03 2011, 03:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Time for your 3:30 treenasoil update: (s)he says that other teams are licking their chops at Cog's potential offensive upside and could throw an RFA offer sheet at him.

Avatar
#119 The Beaker
July 03 2011, 03:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
SurfacetoAirMissile wrote:

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.

Probably because Gagne doesnt play on our team, if we traded someone we didn't have on our team for an asset Tambo would be awesome!

Also, after the Penner and Smyth things I don't think Lombardi would be too impressed if we traded one of his players for him.

Avatar
#120 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 03:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
The Beaker wrote:

Probably because Gagne doesnt play on our team, if we traded someone we didn't have on our team for an asset Tambo would be awesome!

Also, after the Penner and Smyth things I don't think Lombardi would be too impressed if we traded one of his players for him.

Me fail english? Thats unpossible!

However, I do feel I know more about hockey than I do about spelling.

Avatar
#121 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 03:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
SurfacetoAirMissile wrote:

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.

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.

Avatar
#122 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 04:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@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.

Avatar
#123 The Beaker
July 03 2011, 04:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@SurfacetoAirMissline

:)

Avatar
#124 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 04:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
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.

I absolutely agree we have seen marginal improvement. However, he is only 21 years old... I don't think you can predict how good or great offensivly he can become by the time he is 21. You have to look no further than the Sedin's. First 4 years... 40 pnts a season. Everyone figures they will be average at best. Next four years 50-70 pnts as season..... every on figures them to be good but not elite players.... last couple seasons speak for themselves.

How bad would it look on Vancouver if they gave up on the twins after 4 seasons? There are examples all around the league of players taking time to develop. I honestly think we havn't seen the best out of Gagner yet.... if we have, then this season will go a long way in determining his fate.

Avatar
#125 SLURVE
July 03 2011, 04:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
justDOit wrote:

Have to disagree a bit with your assessment of Cog's abilities. For wheels - quick he isn't, but fast he is. His first 3 strides are actually kind of poor, and he has below average turning.

As for his hands, I haven't seen them do much since his rookie campaign.

Gags has better skating (but not as fast as Cogs), hands and vision - which is why other teams are asking about his availability (supposedly). And I'm sure Gagner could adapt to playing a wing without much effort.

I wouldn't say his first 3 strides are poor because he is known for his quick acceleration and going lateral while dangling the puck. Your comparison of the skating ability between Cogs and Gagner should not hold such a priority interms of skill set. Not in this case. It is a question of versatility, cost to re-sign and usefulness in the lineup. Playing on the 3rd or fourth line is a primary checking line for the Oils so you will not see Cogs scoring chances go up as you would with Gagner centering the second line.

Cogs is versatile enough to move up and down the line up. He has not missed a game from all of his 4 years (even when the Oils were dropping like flies). He is a definite upgrade of a Todd Marchant. Gagner will be more expensive to keep (6th pick center overall) and I do not see Gagner being as versatile on the wing or a checking center without the puck. Do you want to re-sign Gags for 3-4 million as a second line that will not give you more than 50 points? We seemed to have an abundance of larger and perhaps more or less equal in skilled center to Gags as in maybe Pitlick, Lander, Hartikainen (wing/center), Vandevelde and Martindale (?) Cogs will not be an expensive re-sign and he would give you depth with certain skill set, speed and versatlity at center or wing on the 2nd,3rd or fourth line. If only he could win faceoffs...

Avatar
#126 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 04:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#127 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 04:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Eddie Shore wrote:

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.

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.

Avatar
#128 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 04:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

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.

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.

Avatar
#129 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 04:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
SurfacetoAirMissile wrote:

I absolutely agree we have seen marginal improvement. However, he is only 21 years old... I don't think you can predict how good or great offensivly he can become by the time he is 21. You have to look no further than the Sedin's. First 4 years... 40 pnts a season. Everyone figures they will be average at best. Next four years 50-70 pnts as season..... every on figures them to be good but not elite players.... last couple seasons speak for themselves.

How bad would it look on Vancouver if they gave up on the twins after 4 seasons? There are examples all around the league of players taking time to develop. I honestly think we havn't seen the best out of Gagner yet.... if we have, then this season will go a long way in determining his fate.

You compare the Sedin's predraft scouting report to Gagner's and you will see a huge difference. The Sedin's possessed much better skating, shooting and puck control than Gagner, and even though they didn't produce a lot early in their careers you knew the potential was there. That's why you don't give up on players. I don't see Gagner as having a big unrealized potential. I think what you see is what we will get because of his size, average skating and below average shot.

Avatar
#130 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 04:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
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?

Avatar
#131 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 05:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

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".

Avatar
#132 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 05:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Kodiak wrote:

You compare the Sedin's predraft scouting report to Gagner's and you will see a huge difference. The Sedin's possessed much better skating, shooting and puck control than Gagner, and even though they didn't produce a lot early in their careers you knew the potential was there. That's why you don't give up on players. I don't see Gagner as having a big unrealized potential. I think what you see is what we will get because of his size, average skating and below average shot.

I certainly can see your point, that being you don't think Gagner will improve on any part of his game at the tender age of 21.... I disagree and believe he has enough up side to at the very least let him play out this season's contract to determine what kind of player he can be and if he fits in line with the Oilers future plans. We can agree to disagree..... we will see in the next few years.

I do completely disagree with your use of predraft scouting reports? Why would you rely on predictions on players before they ever played an NHL game vs. using their first four years of playing in the NHL to determine how good a player will become? Makes no sense..... how many predraft scouting reports predict a player will be a star and they are a bust? ..... too many

Avatar
#133 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 05:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Eddie Shore wrote:

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?

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.

Avatar
#134 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 05:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@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.

Avatar
#135 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 05:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#136 Archaeologuy
July 03 2011, 05:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Kodiak

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

Avatar
#137 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 05:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#138 gcw_rocks
July 03 2011, 05:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

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?

Avatar
#139 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 05:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Kodiak

So you compare him to the four best 2C in the whole league? What about the other 25? How many of them are under 21? Those four that you listed could be 1C on most teams in the NHL.

Avatar
#140 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 05:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Archaeologuy wrote:

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

Another great example of a player who put up very few points in his first 3 years and look at him now.....

Avatar
#141 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 05:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Archaeologuy wrote:

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

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.

Avatar
#142 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 05:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@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.

Avatar
#143 a lg dubl dubl
July 03 2011, 05:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@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.

Avatar
#144 Kodiak
July 03 2011, 05:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
a lg dubl dubl wrote:

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.

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?

Avatar
#145 SurfacetoAirMissile
July 03 2011, 05:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@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.

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

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

Avatar
#147 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 03 2011, 05:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#148 justDOit
July 03 2011, 05:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@SLURVE

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.

Avatar
#149 Crash
July 03 2011, 05:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

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

Avatar
#150 Eddie Shore
July 03 2011, 05:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
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?

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

Comments are closed for this article.