CONFUSION

Lowetide
April 09 2013 09:04PM

The Edmonton Oilers and GM Steve Tambellini have boxed themselves in with Sam Gagner's summer contract. Content to sign him to a 1-year deal, the young center has delivered impressive boxcars and will cost a pretty penny--and he's eligible for free agency just around the corner. Steve Tambellini is faced with buying free agent seasons at a premium, or trading 89.

SHOULD THEY SIGN HIM?

Taken from pretty much every angle, Sam Gagner's offensive numbers are good:

  • Overall: 39, 14-21-35 (2nd on Oilers)
  • Even: 39, 10-9-19 (tied-2nd on Oilers)
  • PP: 39, 39, 4-10-14 (tied-1st on Oilers)
  • PK: 39, 0-2-2 (tied-1st on Oilers)

Gagner's 35 points have him tied for 24th in the entire NHL, and if we were looking at a full season the youngster would be on pace for a 70-point season. He's also a player the coach counts on based on TOI:

  • EV: 14:37 per game (4th among Oiler forwards)
  • PP: 2:50 per game (4th among Oiler forwards)
  • PK: 1:45 per game (5th among Oiler forwards)

So, based on those totals I think it's safe to suggest that Gagner is a pure "2nd line" forward on a healthy Oilers club, at least based on the way Ralph Krueger is using him this season. Fair?

CONSISTENCY!

When the Oilers signed Gagner to a mere one-year deal, there was a lot of chatter about consistency. Gagner has been an Oiler for a long time now--this is his sixth season--and all of the years before had at least one item that hurt his report card. Last season, he went a long period without impacting the offense as an example (Gagner went 19, 4-3-7 to close out the season after a brilliant 13, 9-9-18 February). This season, the offense has been consistent:

  • January: 7, 3-5-8
  • February: 12, 3-8-11
  • March: 15, 7-5-12
  • April: 5, 1-3-4

On the way to what would be his career season if it rolled out over 82 games.

THEN WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? 

Well, it's like this: coach Ralph Krueger appears to be trying to get Samwise offensive opportunities with the third and fourth (roughly) best wingers on the team, and 89 and those wingers simply CAN NOT do one damn thing with it in terms of outshooting the opposition and outchancing the other guy 5x5 with death on the line.

Any way you look at this, Gagner centers a line that borders on tragedy. The most confusing part? The WOWY numbers tell us that during zone-adjusted zone start/close situations Gagner-Hemsky isn't working. This is a duo one would expect to flourish against the softer parade. Why isn't it working?

  • maybe it's the rookie (Yakupov) or the young winger (Paajarvi) having a hard time.
  • maybe it's the Hemsky injury

Or, maybe it is as Tyler Dellow described today in a brilliant item over at his site. Tyler's conclusion--it's on management to answer for and figure out this mess (beyond the 1line) is the most important item.

And with Gagner's contract up--and a signficant increase in pay likely--this is very important right bloody now.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There's been much clamoring about Sam Gagner's lack of size being a major issue for the Oilers. I don't think that's a huge deal--we all remember how useful size looked when JF Jacques and Ryan Stone joined the skilled guys--but this season long slump by the 2line may be something Sam Gagner does not survive. Samwise will enter the summer expecting a big raise and a long term deal, and could find himself in a new city as early as draft day. 

On the other hand, his coach considers him the 4th best option among forwards, and he's having his finest offensive season.

Confused? Me too.

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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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#51 Newj
April 10 2013, 12:05AM
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@David S

Huh?

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#52 Walter Sobchak
April 10 2013, 12:08AM
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David S wrote:

How is a guy that can't play D worth a lick becoming one of our best PK'ers?

And like I said before, those +/- stats have ALOT to do with who you're playing with. That includes your D pairing too. Gagner spends a crapload of time in his own zone because his D partners use "around the glass and out" as the standard pass-out. 5 minutes of game tape will get any team prepared for that slick move (as we've seen over and over again this year - teams waiting just inside the blue line for that juicy "out").

Bottom line - you get rid of Gagner you better be bringing back someone who can generate at least as much scoring potential, directly or indirectly or we lose our shirts on that trade. And no, a high prospect doesn't get it done. It has to be an actual sure-thing NHL'er.

My feeling is our weak D is what's hampering our second line more than any other one thing. If Gagner is "cheating for offense" it's because he's overcompensating for extremely weak outbound puck movement.

First the Oilers have very little in the way of options to send out to PK.

Gagner is left because he's a veteran.

My guess is if the gave Eberle those PK minutes he would better.

Secondly, the Oilers rotate there D, so even the first line players get the same D as does Gagner line so that's blown right there.

Unless there PK or PP the D rotates depending on the situation. Ie zone starts.

I would take a player with ten less points, who is bigger, better in the face off circle can play a two way game, that can actually keep up with his line mates. How come in RNH in his second year is a better defensive player?

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#53 Citizen David
April 10 2013, 12:31AM
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DSF wrote:

And, if my Auntie had balls, she would be my uncle.

Vancouver will move Luongo and buy out Ballard and life will go on.

And Vancouver will have the best centre depth in the league.

Try Crosby, Malkin, Sutter.

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#54 Bonvie
April 10 2013, 03:33AM
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Newj wrote:

Gagner is an RFA come July. Imagining that maybe others may be interested in his services, then am I correct to conclude that the compensation the Oilers would receive for Gagner is a 2nd round pick? That compensation is based on his current salary.

Magnus Paajarvi is in same boat this July and would capture a 3rd pick based on his current salary.

This isnt discussed much, on the otherhand maybe Im not reading the newly revised RFA compensation rules correctly.

If the offer was low enough for only a 2nd obviously they would match that contract and rejoice.

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#55 Bonvie
April 10 2013, 03:55AM
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David S wrote:

How is a guy that can't play D worth a lick becoming one of our best PK'ers?

And like I said before, those +/- stats have ALOT to do with who you're playing with. That includes your D pairing too. Gagner spends a crapload of time in his own zone because his D partners use "around the glass and out" as the standard pass-out. 5 minutes of game tape will get any team prepared for that slick move (as we've seen over and over again this year - teams waiting just inside the blue line for that juicy "out").

Bottom line - you get rid of Gagner you better be bringing back someone who can generate at least as much scoring potential, directly or indirectly or we lose our shirts on that trade. And no, a high prospect doesn't get it done. It has to be an actual sure-thing NHL'er.

My feeling is our weak D is what's hampering our second line more than any other one thing. If Gagner is "cheating for offense" it's because he's overcompensating for extremely weak outbound puck movement.

Sounds like a lot of truth in one reply David S.

Also to add to that comment about the D moving the puck, having a winger who when it comes to his board, is a sure thing that the puck will get out of the zone is gold. I don't see that in any of Gagner's wingers Yak, Hemsky, or PRV(signs of being that type of winger with all his speed). Hall is that player and even Eberle is a pretty good bet to win the battle on the board and make the Defense retreat in a hurry rather than holding the blue line or pinching down to the circles. Penner was always solid on his wall with his time with the Oilers and having a winger like that will help the center break out of his zone. A good break out should see the center move up ice quickly and support the winger on the wall, but if the winger loses his battles when the center anticipates that the winger has control of the puck it can handcuff the center in a hurry having one of those replays where the Oilers center is skating to the high slot about half second after the puck is being shot past the Oilers goaltender. If the center hangs back in his D-zone in a defensive posture than again it makes it easy for the opposing D to stand up on the line. So bottom line the center is the kingpin for defensive responsiblities, but it usually comes down to the center being able to rely on his wings to make the play on the wall on how effective the breakouts will be. If he can't trust his wingers to win the wall battles the center will stay in deep in his own zone till the puck is actually out of the d-zone.

With Halls line both he and Eberle will burn the opposing D with odd man rushes if they decide they are going to be agressive on the Oilers blue. Hall sets the tone early.

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#56 Maverick
April 10 2013, 04:50AM
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Reading all the comments this morning, I can't believe I am going to say this but....I agree with DSF on most points! I know craziness.

Gagner is Gagner, 23 years old, 6 years in the league, 400 NHL games, played on a poor team where he was thrown into several different situations and had 4 different coaches. However, his points have gone up but is that because the team around him is better? After 400 NHL games why can he not have a clue about being defensively responsible?

Gagner may get better, but after 6 years I think what we see is what we get from Gagner, is he worth $5 million a season? (NOPE) Or would a more complete player with a little less offense be a better fit?

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#57 oilabroad
April 10 2013, 08:03AM
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I dont think there is a lot of confusion here at all... a good GM trades Gagner to a team based solely on his stats and gets a good return, Tambo should be smiling ear to ear right now. You give him the soft parade for the rest of the year with lots of pp time and hope a team doesnt look into the QOC or GFON/GAON... case in point, Vancouver paying big money for an offensive D in Garrison, when clearly he was just being given the right opportunities on the PP and getting easy minutes... (I am pretty sure it was Gillis who didnt do his homework there DSF and paid top dollar for a D who is never going to duplicate those OF numbers again)... with the OF talent we have on the wings, that C position needs to be filled by someone with some crust

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#58 Spydyr
April 10 2013, 08:29AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I can't for he life of me figure what the obsession is with Gagner?

Have the Oilers improved with this guy on the team?

If points were just the only measurement of a hockey player then I would agree thats exactly what the Oilers need.

However, it's not. He is brutal defensively, he's brutal in the face off circle, he's bad in his own zone getting the puck back,

He IS small and SIZE does matter, Playing with size and skill would still get Gagner slammed on his ass, he can't push the play the right way.

He got leaned on the last three games and he couldn't do squat.

I wouldn't waste 5 million on Frodo

Sell high and get something meaningful in return.

Draft another center.

Enough of team shire

Yes, yes and yes.

Been saying the same thing for years.

He is too small and soft to win .

Watched every game this year and honestly cannot remember him knocking one guy off the puck.But I do remember many, many defensive zone errors costing goals.

He is part of the reason the team has not made the playoffs any year he has been on the team.

If he ever did play a playoff game he would be owned.

Second assists king.

Trade a player high for once.

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#59 Gaz
April 10 2013, 09:20AM
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@Citizen David

Good point. You're never going to get a response though. DSF doesn't like to acknowledge any misstep or error.

Either that or he (?) will come back with a "yeah, well, if you exclude those top 3 because..." and continue to rabidly defend his poorly-dug position.

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#60 ghostofberanek
April 10 2013, 09:23AM
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DSF wrote:

Yep.

Koivu was the 4th of the 4 and I didn't account for Krejci's new contract or O'Reilly's ridiculous deal.

Doesn't mean the Oilers should repeat those mistakes.

If you're trying to make a good argument, perhaps you should take all the factors into account if you want to be taken seriously.

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#61 DSF
April 10 2013, 09:28AM
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oilabroad wrote:

I dont think there is a lot of confusion here at all... a good GM trades Gagner to a team based solely on his stats and gets a good return, Tambo should be smiling ear to ear right now. You give him the soft parade for the rest of the year with lots of pp time and hope a team doesnt look into the QOC or GFON/GAON... case in point, Vancouver paying big money for an offensive D in Garrison, when clearly he was just being given the right opportunities on the PP and getting easy minutes... (I am pretty sure it was Gillis who didnt do his homework there DSF and paid top dollar for a D who is never going to duplicate those OF numbers again)... with the OF talent we have on the wings, that C position needs to be filled by someone with some crust

Oh, I think Gillis got exactly what he paid for in Garrison...a very good shutdown D who can score on the PP.

If you look at the matchups and results Garrison was getting in Florida you'll see he, along with Mike Weaver were one of the best defensive pairings in the league.

In Vancouver, Vigneault hasn't used Garrison on the top PP unit all that often since he has other options but Garrison is still producing offence albeit not quite at the rate he was in Florida.

39GP 5G 6A 11P +16

That would pro-rate to:

82GP 10G 23A 33P +33

Not too shabby.

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#62 ghostofberanek
April 10 2013, 09:33AM
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@DSF

Just putting it out there, every Canucks game I've seen this year had Garrison on the top PP unit...

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#63 DSF
April 10 2013, 09:33AM
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David S wrote:

How is a guy that can't play D worth a lick becoming one of our best PK'ers?

And like I said before, those +/- stats have ALOT to do with who you're playing with. That includes your D pairing too. Gagner spends a crapload of time in his own zone because his D partners use "around the glass and out" as the standard pass-out. 5 minutes of game tape will get any team prepared for that slick move (as we've seen over and over again this year - teams waiting just inside the blue line for that juicy "out").

Bottom line - you get rid of Gagner you better be bringing back someone who can generate at least as much scoring potential, directly or indirectly or we lose our shirts on that trade. And no, a high prospect doesn't get it done. It has to be an actual sure-thing NHL'er.

My feeling is our weak D is what's hampering our second line more than any other one thing. If Gagner is "cheating for offense" it's because he's overcompensating for extremely weak outbound puck movement.

Can you explain why the "weak D" has more of an impact on Gagner, Hemsky and Paajarvi than it does on Hall, Hopkins and Eberle?

It would seem to me that the more veteran line should be better able to compensate than the youngsters.

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#64 DSF
April 10 2013, 09:39AM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

Just putting it out there, every Canucks game I've seen this year had Garrison on the top PP unit...

I've watched them all.

PPTOI/G

Edler - 3:36

Garrison - 2:20

Hamhuis - 2:16

Bieksa - 2:10

The discrepancy between Edler and the rest of the group is a result of the Canucks very often using a forward (normally Daniel Sedin) on the point.

The Canucks PP this season has also been dreadful (27th in the league) so that would have an impact on Garrison's production.

I guess you could speculate that the PP's poor performance is Garrison's fault if that fits your narrative.

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#65 ghostofberanek
April 10 2013, 10:00AM
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DSF wrote:

I've watched them all.

PPTOI/G

Edler - 3:36

Garrison - 2:20

Hamhuis - 2:16

Bieksa - 2:10

The discrepancy between Edler and the rest of the group is a result of the Canucks very often using a forward (normally Daniel Sedin) on the point.

The Canucks PP this season has also been dreadful (27th in the league) so that would have an impact on Garrison's production.

I guess you could speculate that the PP's poor performance is Garrison's fault if that fits your narrative.

So there it is then. You're a huge Canucks fan who trolls an Oilers forum only to get reactions from Oiler fans. How about you move on over to the Canucks forum and talk about how great your team is with them then? Why are you even here?

I never said the Canucks weak PP was Garrisons fault. I remember you saying what a brilliant signing that was when it happened, and it turns out it was not so brilliant after all.

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#66 tileguy
April 10 2013, 10:05AM
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vetinari wrote:

"Said the joker to the thief..."

;)

Prefer Jimi's version to Bob's

Vetinari, are you old or something?

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#67 DSF
April 10 2013, 10:17AM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

So there it is then. You're a huge Canucks fan who trolls an Oilers forum only to get reactions from Oiler fans. How about you move on over to the Canucks forum and talk about how great your team is with them then? Why are you even here?

I never said the Canucks weak PP was Garrisons fault. I remember you saying what a brilliant signing that was when it happened, and it turns out it was not so brilliant after all.

Phhhttt...

I've watched every Oilers, Kings and Wild game too.

Signing Garrison was a great signing whether you think so or not.

As a UFA, he was in a position to to write his own ticket and took a discount to play in Vancouver.

$4.6M for that level of performance is a steal.

The Oilers will be paying Smid $3.5M and he provides ZERO offense.

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#68 Lochenzo
April 10 2013, 10:32AM
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The problem is that if the Oil deal Sam Gagner, you need to find a 2nd line centre to replace him. Can't put all the pressure on RNH.

Don't expect to deal Sam for another 2nd line centre. It would be exceedingly rare to find a partner to swap the same part. As it is, the Oilers are very short at centre as an organization. So we are asking Tambi to pull off two brilliant trades to deal with this issue. Move Sam for a great return, maybe a Dman. Then turn around find a 2nd line centre, preferrably that two-way centre that's solid in all zones and with some size.

If anybody sees a rabbit, please grab it and give it to Tambi so that he can pull it out of a hat.

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#69 ghostofberanek
April 10 2013, 10:32AM
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@DSF

Haha getting carried away a bit I see. Garrison has a whopping 8 more points than Smid, and makes a million more? I think 8 out of 10 people would say Smid is more valuable defensively. Smid also could have wrote his own ticket as a highly coveted ufa, but he took a discount to play with the Oilers too. Not sure what exactly your point was with that, but thought I'd mention it anyways.

So you watch 3 teams every single game? I think we're getting to the root of the problem here, you're in dire need of some fresh air. Maybe a girlfriend?

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#70 etownman
April 10 2013, 10:45AM
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Nice fan!

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#71 Rama Lama
April 10 2013, 10:51AM
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Gagner is a victim of his own good play........we had an opportunity to sign him long term, and choose not to.

He has played with players ( Hemsky especially) that do not play a strong team game but more an individual game. In spite of this Gags has put up points and done his part,............... yes defensively he is not as strong as others, but there are other elments to his game ( physical play) that make him important to this team.

I for one do not expect Tamby and Lowe to be able to convert assets and bring in a second line centre with some size. The general incompetence of management is evidenced by all the failed experiments playing down in the AHL. We missed the trade deadline, could have sold some assets ( too many to mention) for draft picks, and utilized these at the draft to move up and get what we need, or trade for a current player?

Tamby did nothing, and now we expect him to pull off a complex trade to bring in a larger better second line centre? As they say " that dog don't hunt"!

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#72 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 10 2013, 11:01AM
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David S wrote:

How is a guy that can't play D worth a lick becoming one of our best PK'ers?

And like I said before, those +/- stats have ALOT to do with who you're playing with. That includes your D pairing too. Gagner spends a crapload of time in his own zone because his D partners use "around the glass and out" as the standard pass-out. 5 minutes of game tape will get any team prepared for that slick move (as we've seen over and over again this year - teams waiting just inside the blue line for that juicy "out").

Bottom line - you get rid of Gagner you better be bringing back someone who can generate at least as much scoring potential, directly or indirectly or we lose our shirts on that trade. And no, a high prospect doesn't get it done. It has to be an actual sure-thing NHL'er.

My feeling is our weak D is what's hampering our second line more than any other one thing. If Gagner is "cheating for offense" it's because he's overcompensating for extremely weak outbound puck movement.

I respect the way David defends Gagner. He does so with conviction and steadfastness.

In fact, David some time ago convinced me that Gagner is a legit 2nd line center, and this is still true.

Still, having said all that, one can see the merits/value of a player and still not like that player.

For reasons, some of which are tangible (defense and size)...and some of which are intangible....I just don't care for Gagner....just like I don't care for a host of other good players....sometimes its just an impression one creates over time....

I do think Gagner has above average value in the trade market because he IS a good player...I just don't think he's part of the winning equation here in Edmonton.

Although, I could live with a scenario where they pay him 4 million for 3 years, move him to the wing, and trade Hemsky and other assets to bring in another larger legit #2 centerman.

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#73 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 10 2013, 11:01AM
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David S wrote:

How is a guy that can't play D worth a lick becoming one of our best PK'ers?

And like I said before, those +/- stats have ALOT to do with who you're playing with. That includes your D pairing too. Gagner spends a crapload of time in his own zone because his D partners use "around the glass and out" as the standard pass-out. 5 minutes of game tape will get any team prepared for that slick move (as we've seen over and over again this year - teams waiting just inside the blue line for that juicy "out").

Bottom line - you get rid of Gagner you better be bringing back someone who can generate at least as much scoring potential, directly or indirectly or we lose our shirts on that trade. And no, a high prospect doesn't get it done. It has to be an actual sure-thing NHL'er.

My feeling is our weak D is what's hampering our second line more than any other one thing. If Gagner is "cheating for offense" it's because he's overcompensating for extremely weak outbound puck movement.

I respect the way David defends Gagner. He does so with conviction and steadfastness.

In fact, David some time ago convinced me that Gagner is a legit 2nd line center, and this is still true.

Still, having said all that, one can see the merits/value of a player and still not like that player.

For reasons, some of which are tangible (defense and size)...and some of which are intangible....I just don't care for Gagner....just like I don't care for a host of other good players....sometimes its just an impression one creates over time....

I do think Gagner has above average value in the trade market because he IS a good player...I just don't think he's part of the winning equation here in Edmonton.

Although, I could live with a scenario where they pay him 4 million for 3 years, move him to the wing, and trade Hemsky and other assets to bring in another larger legit #2 centerman.

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#74 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 10 2013, 11:23AM
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Another reason to consider moving Gagner is that the Oilers will almost certainly need to make a Hockey Trade, a roster player(s) for roster player(s) deal that improves 2 teams.

The UFA market doesn't really hold what the Oilers need. At best there is a Stephen Wiese and a Mark Streit.

So I'm predicting/hoping/praying for a substanial move...which be definition requires moving significant assets like Gagner and Hemsky.

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#75 match16
April 10 2013, 12:11PM
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DSF wrote:

Was an Oilers fan until Lowe proved everything Burke said about him was true.

Currently a Free Agent Fan ® who appreciates smart GM's.

Gillis is one of them but hardly the only one.

I'm a big fan of Lombardi, Fletcher and Chiarelli and that new guy in Montreal looks like he know what he's doing.

AKA a bandwagoner

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#76 oilerjed
April 10 2013, 12:53PM
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Krueger made some illuminating comments about Gags last week I believe, Strong leader in the room. Strong leader on the ice with the game they want to play. All resonates fine with me. Solid Oiler who has played on some really bad oiler teams. If Ebs and Gags switched Bdays would Ebs have made the oil that much better given the S&^t heap that they were? Doubt it.

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#77 NewAgeSys
April 10 2013, 02:09PM
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The second line has been in a slump all year long?

Haha ha, are you kidding me? The 2nd line carried the entire team for the better part of the year, and you listed the linemates wrong, Ralph didnt play it the way you illistrate at all, Hemsky was the thorn in the 2nd lines side, all year long, and that line was blended so much its hard to call it a line at all.

The 1st line was a no-show all year long, it wasnt until eight or nine games ago that they even showed up. All the Kings horses and all the Kings Men couldnt put that line back together again the way Ralph asked them to play for most of the year, once they reunited recently and changed the dynamic managment of the entire line, only then did they begin to produce as we all expected them to do all year long.

There has only been one season long slump and its been from the 1st line, get over the mancrush on Hall, he was the reason the offense wasnt balanced on the 1st line to start with, and for that matter Hemsky held back the 2nd line from producing even more goals than it did. There is no explanation for Nuges numbbers and Eberles crash, while Hall kept producing, ha ha Hall is a playaction Vampire and can cherrypick better than anyone I have ever seen. He needs to be kept on a tight leash as Krueger finally figured out when he sat him and sparked the fire we see now.

Hemsky should never have been on the 2nd line, he should have been on the 3rd with Smyth and Horcs, all year long, our lines were terribly mismanaged this year, to an epic degree actually.

Ralph was disguising Gagners true value and contribution levels and undermining his earned respect by refusing to move Hemsky to the 3rd line where he belonged, screw ralph Sam earned the compliments long ago on his own and they are to long in coming. Had we moved Hemsky to the 3rd with Smyth and Horcs and moved MPS to the 2nd with Gagner and Yakupov, kept our 1st line Hall-Nuge-Ebbs, and then properly managed the 1st line the EXACT way Gagner manages his line so it could have produced early like it is doing now, and asked the 3rd line to play the fastbreak pass game like they can with Whitneys support, we would have had 3 NHL caliber lines able to project diffeerent styles of execution, we would have been solidly in the playoffs right now. Instead Ralph tried to change the Players to fit the lines and system, he needed to adjust the system to fit the players and the dynamiccly correct lines they create together.

Players who played with Gagner on the 2nd line or PP produced more goals for the team when we needed them to win games than any other spot this year. The 2nd line carried the team even though it was juggled constantly.

I dont know how the hell anyone can look at the year our 1st line has had and not call it a season long slump? What have you been watching? Once you get to Nuges stats the game is over you know something was dynamiclly wrong with the 1st lines managment tactics all year long, you dont need to build Rockets for NASA to see that. Then you look at Eberle and his slump identical to Nuges and suddenly the air gets really thick and heavy because when you look at Taylor hall you get your answer to how and why those tow slumps catalysed and continued. A lack of dynamic managment balance.The 2nd line was succeeding even through Ralphs mismanagment because it was managed by someone well versed in NHS dynamic managment tactics. It was able to execute system responsibilitys and still create offense from outside of the systems playaction tactics. The 1st line wasnt able to do this because they didnt have anyone utilising Intuative Dynamic Managment skills as Gagner does. They had Halls hands on tactile stats based perspective dynamiclly managing the line and it was a classic case of putting the cart before the horse, Nuge is the Master on that line and ALWAYS will be, Hall is a tool for Nuge and ALWAYS will be, for that line to succeed and lead this team next year this message has to be clearly supported from game one, I screamed for change since game 3 of this year online because I instantly recognised our weaknesses dynamiclly, but whats a fan to do?Ha ha ha.

Taylor Hall may have had sucess but it was at the direct cost to Nuge and Ebbs and it is not reflective of the line that carried the team, that was the 2nd line. Taylor overachieved because he was as I said an over dominant Playaction-Vampire from game on on, he was pumped and mismanaged by our coaching staff.

Ralph misunderstood the NHS concepts and tried to build his lines around dynamiclly matched "duos" when he should have been building them around first his centermens strengths, creativity and skill, then his 3 zone entry specialists fits with his best snipers, those zone entry specialists are Hall, MPS, and Hemsky, we needed one per line and we needed them to stay intact all year long. Ralph misinterpreted the constellation of details needed to properly build and manage a line useing Intuative Dynamic Analysis, he tried dam hard, but he tried to shortcut the process by useing the "duos" idea,an admirable attempt at replicating the NHS concepts in abbreviated form, but not complete enough to achieve results. Ralph needs the entire NewAge Hockey System template, he is picking parts he wants and not incorporating them fully or completely and is recieving fals/positive results because of this fact. he isnt in for a dollar he is in for a dime and those are the results we are seeing.

Avatar
#78 gcw_rocks
April 10 2013, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

LT,

I think the Oilers did exactly the right thing given Gagner a 1 year contract last summer. They got another year to see what Gagner was made of when they obviously weren't sure about him and they let themselves in a position where Gagner has to negotiate with them since he is a RFA. If knowing came with the risk of costing a bit more and they were more concerned on the downside, then good on them.

But, as you point out, Gagner's season makes this a tough call for the Oilers. Gagner's offensive production has been a pleasant surprise for me. I would have bet he wouldn't crack the 55 points/82 pace this season. But the possession numbers are frightening.

If you are Gagner's agent, you probably are happy that the Oilers demonstrate ZERO affinity for fancy stats like Corsi, so you probably should be good for a decent payday.

That said, if Gagner wants more than $4.5M avg. with those possession numbers, I would look to deal him for a top defender. You likely will never get more value for him than you will this summer. Then cross your fingers Lazar is the real deal or deal one of the defensive prospects in a package for a second line centre.

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