Sam Gagner vs. size

Jonathan Willis
May 13 2013 02:21PM

Does Sam Gagner struggle in games against bigger teams?

Last week we looked at how the Oilers’ top line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle fared against individual teams, and found that there seemed to be no link between how big the opposition was and how well they played. However, many in the comments wondered if the same would hold true for Sam Gagner – so I decided to look.

The Scoring Chances

The above are the Oilers’ scoring chances at even-strength with Sam Gagner on the ice this year – and the overall trend is interesting. The correlation between scoring chances and team points is -0.47, meaning that as the teams got better, Gagner’s scoring chances declined. However, the correlation between team weight (as put together by James Mirtle) and scoring chances was -0.65, meaning that Gagner was more likely to play poorly against a big team than he was a good team. (There is some overlap here, the correlation between weight and point totals for the Oilers’ opponents is 0.21, meaning that bigger teams were generally a little better than smaller teams). The correlations aren’t definitive, but they certainly seem to suggest that Gagner’s line had trouble against bigger teams. What happens when we look at some specific examples.

The Matchups

We may as well start with St. Louis, since Gagner’s line was terrible against the Blues. On March 1, Gagner played with Ryan Jones and Ales Hemsky and saw pretty much the entire opposition rotation. That line held its own, going +4/-4 in even-strength scoring chances that night. On March 23, Gagner found himself with Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle, and again saw a pretty even rotation of the opposition; this time his line was out-chanced 4-0. The trend holds in the third game; this time Gagner, Paajarvi and Hemsky played together and once again saw a variety of opponents. The line as a whole wasn’t good and Gagner in particular gout out-chanced badly (8-2). It’s a small, three game sample, but it’s noteworthy because Gagner wasn’t hard-matched either at home or on the road against a particular line; he just saw a mix of (mostly larger) opponents and got hammered.

What about San Jose? Things got off to a bad start – Gagner, Hemsky and Nail Yakupov played together in the Oilers’ home opener against a variety of opponents and were out-chanced 5-2 as a line. Things got worse in the next game – the same trio was out-chanced 9-1 together (Gagner was +1/-10 on the night) despite barely seeing San Jose’s top line. San Jose coach Todd McLellan’s decision to match Clowe/Gomez/Couture or Wingles/Handzus/Havlat paid off here. The third game was the first one where Gagner did okay (+6/-6 on the night); he played with Yakupov and Paajarvi while McLellan hard-matched Couture, Pavelski and Havlat against them. Defence might have had something to do with this, too – in the first two games, Gagner saw lots of Dan Boyle and Matt Irwin; in the third game he saw some Boyle/Irwin and a little more Doug Murray/Brad Stuart. It’s true that Murray/Stuart are bigger defenders, but Boyle/Irwin are much better players.

What about Minnesota, the lone sub-200 pound team Gagner’s line struggled against? The scoring chances were basically even in the middle two games, so let’s look at the first and fourth contest the Oilers played against the Wild. In the first game, playing with Hemsky and Yakupov, Gagner saw lots of Cullen/Zucker/Setoguchi , as well as the Spurgeon/Prosser defence pairing. That’s an awfully small opposition matchup, but the Gagner line was out-chanced 2-to-1 and Gagner himself was +4/-10 on the night. The fourth game saw Gagner, Eberle and Paajarvi put together (Hall, Horcoff, Hemsky was the other scoring line) and they got a vicious matchup – Suter/Brodin on defence, and Koivu/Coyle/Setoguchi up front. That’s not a huge group, but it’s a very talented one and the Gagner line ended up getting out-chanced 8-to-3.

Bottom Line

It would take a lot more computer know-how than I have – say, going through NHL game sheets and tracking Corsi events against every opponent Gagner played, then ranking those opponents by size – to present a full statistical case for Gagner struggling versus size, but by eye and based on the scoring chances I think there’s a reasonable basis to believe that he probably did. What I've presented above could be noise, but because it fits with what I've seen I'm inclined to believe it isn't.

Tyler Dellow has been pursuing Gagner’s Corsi/scoring chance collapse from a different angle and he’s determined that most of the problem came on shifts with faceoffs (part one here, part two here ). I’m not entirely sure how to reconcile those findings with these; one possibility is that after the faceoff the size of the wingers has a big impact in a) ability to win puck battles and b) ability to bull through to the net with the puck once the puck battle has been won.

STREAKCRED

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Recently around the Nation Network

In his Random Thoughts piece over at Flames Nation, Kent Wilson hits on a lot of points - including a case to move into the top-five at the draft - but also talks about the GM of the year nominations and who he would have picked:

Doug Wilson. His team began the year with a big gaping hole at the end of the roster - the the degree that the bottom-6 was dragging down his impressive collection of stars elsewhere. By the trade deadline, he had cleared out the dead wood (Handzus, Clowe, Murray), improved the bottom-6 with a few low cost acquisitions (Scott Gomez, Raffi Torres) and converted his trash to a nice collection to future assets to boot.

Click on the link above to read more, or check out some recent pieces here at Oilers Nation:

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 SLAM
May 14 2013, 08:49AM
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DSF wrote:

Nonsense.

P/60 5V5:

Hudler - 1.94

Gagner - 1.84

Hudler is a better hockey player.

Was he a better player last season? Did he out score Gagner? Nope.

If you don't want to pay up, you could also self ban yourself for a few months. I'd take that.

Don't make wagers you can't or won't back up.

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#2 Clyde Frog
May 14 2013, 10:22AM
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merfer wrote:

Do you really believe he is 5.11. More like 5.8. You can't believe NHL information as it is bs.

If everyone is 2-3 inches shorter, does it then matter if Gagner is 5.11 or 5.8?

As all of the 6.2 giants then become 6.0 or 5.11?

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#3 Archaeologuy
May 13 2013, 02:44PM
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You have to think that, like Cogliano, if Gagner gets moved he ends up on the wing in some other organization.

It really looks like he's best suited in a role that doesnt require him to take faceoffs and over-tax him defensively.

I like Gagner, big fan, but I would be just as happy with him as my 2LW as I would him my 2C. All the Oilers need (as they have for years) is depth at C to make that happen.

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#4 Wäx Män Riley
May 13 2013, 06:15PM
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Gagner isn't too small.

I remember another athlete that was "too small," or "too slow." He kept training an stuck with his dream.

That person was Rudy. He went on to win a Superbowl and MVP of the NBA.

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#6 Quintana
May 13 2013, 09:28PM
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DSF wrote:

Sure I do.

He would spend most of the time on his butt.

Do you watch the games?

I watched the Barons tonight ....4-0 shutout over Texas.......just for the record.......

Oleksiak -3 J.Benn -2

Marincin 2 G Lander 1G

Once again DSF, you are full of it.........

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#7 Clyde Frog
May 14 2013, 07:45AM
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The correlation between scoring chances and team points is -0.47, meaning that as the teams got better, Gagner’s scoring chances declined. However, the correlation between team weight (as put together by James Mirtle) and scoring chances was -0.65, meaning that Gagner was more likely to play poorly against a big team than he was a good team. (There is some overlap here, the correlation between weight and point totals for the Oilers’ opponents is 0.21, meaning that bigger teams were generally a little better than smaller teams).

I hate to point this out, but this is a very weak conclusion; .47, .61 and .21 mean that there is a very small correlation between the two pieces of data you are examining.

Generally anything below .8 means there is too much error in the model and it is very difficult to relate the two variables.

The .47 and .21 are completely wasted inferences statistically... The .61 indicates there could be a relationship, but just as likely an outlier or two could be completely skewing your data...

These kind of statistical conclusions are very dangerous if you don't qualify how poor your results actually are...

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#8 Oiler Al
May 13 2013, 03:39PM
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Gagner .. 5.11 199 lbs Crosby 5.11 200 lbs Kane 5.11 188 lbs Datsyuk 5.11 198 lbs Plekanec 5.11 198 lbs.

All above are centers and same size,.. Gagner is in pretty good company. Never hear about guys on the list being singled out as being to small for the game etc., only hear about Gagner.

Gagner.. needs to go to a Gary Roberts type school for the summer, ala: Stamkos two years ago, sure changed his games.

Also.. get rid of that dumb short pee wee stick he uses... would be better defensively if he got a " mans hockey stick". Sam has a little bit of sandpaper to his game.

What amazes me most, is Oilers lack of player development.!!!! Guys leave here and become better players... the list endless you know who they ware.

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#9 The Soup Fascist
May 13 2013, 07:33PM
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Will wrote:

I am sounding like such a movie nerd now, but sort of. Brave heart got racked up, which is tied up from his wrists and feet, then pulled at both ends by horses. I'm not sure this added inches so much as was used to pull people in half.

However, I think it's funny you are trying to help Sam get bigger by suggesting fictional and historical methods of torture.

There are lots of movies with great racks. Striptease was awesome, The Porky's movies had their moments ....... Wait we are not on the same page here, are we?

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#10 The Soup Fascist
May 13 2013, 09:24PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

I just thought you wrote Rajalaland when you put "Rajala)and" haha thats funny, now I got a nickname for Toni Rajala, nice I've been a fan since his memorial cup days with the Wheat Kings..small and gritty player..very shifty, the kind of "small" players this team can afford to sign.. I agree with your suggestion of trading Gagner and a prospect to get a top three pick but I doubt the names you mentioned gets it done.. Maybe Oilers could get 4th overall to take Monahan by trading Gagner plus next years 1st, both this years seconds, and another roster player like Paajarvi gets it done..thats a big risk but one you'd have to take if you want to get that prototypical 2nd line center prospect and keep the 7th overall at the same time to select Darnell Nurse but I'd be all for it, time to gamble a bit.

Holy Overpay, Batman !

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#11 TeddyTurnbuckle
May 13 2013, 03:53PM
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I like Ganger as a winger or 3rd line center. He has heart and the right attitude but I'm not sure he is a fit on this team. If the oilers come back next fall with nuge and ganger as their two top centers again, it will be very evident that this management team is completely lost and can't manage assets. I think Mac t is smarter than than that.

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#12 Will
May 13 2013, 04:13PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Gagner .. 5.11 199 lbs Crosby 5.11 200 lbs Kane 5.11 188 lbs Datsyuk 5.11 198 lbs Plekanec 5.11 198 lbs.

All above are centers and same size,.. Gagner is in pretty good company. Never hear about guys on the list being singled out as being to small for the game etc., only hear about Gagner.

Gagner.. needs to go to a Gary Roberts type school for the summer, ala: Stamkos two years ago, sure changed his games.

Also.. get rid of that dumb short pee wee stick he uses... would be better defensively if he got a " mans hockey stick". Sam has a little bit of sandpaper to his game.

What amazes me most, is Oilers lack of player development.!!!! Guys leave here and become better players... the list endless you know who they ware.

And we have some smaller guys up front, but like Crosby and Datsyuk and others, their smaller stature isn't as much of an issue because they have so much skill in other areas. Though Sam is a good hockey player, I don't think he's in the same league, at least right now, as those other players. And because we already have smaller, arguably more skilled players on the team, Sam is a player that the team can stand to lose some skill and gain some size to make a better overall second line, and therefore better team.

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#13 Will
May 13 2013, 05:58PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I once seen a machine used in a movie. Princess Bride I believe. They had this rack machine that could actually stretch the vertical size of anyone who saw fit to use it.

Maybe Sam Gagner could borrow that machine from Paramount Studious for a few sessions, no? If he was 6'2 and could be tazered before each shift, it would solve a lot of the Oilers second line center issues.

The machine didn't stretch people, it took off a set number of years from the victim's life. Just like getting the crap beat out of him at centre is doing to Gagner.

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#14 nunyour
May 13 2013, 06:09PM
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If Gagner is to small so is Eberle and YAK,if you want a trade, Eberle would get you a better return.

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#15 Spydyr
May 13 2013, 06:21PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

Gagner isn't too small.

I remember another athlete that was "too small," or "too slow." He kept training an stuck with his dream.

That person was Rudy. He went on to win a Superbowl and MVP of the NBA.

Frodo did pretty good for himself too.

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#16 SLAM
May 13 2013, 07:06PM
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DSF wrote:

Ergo, he is too small.

Or, more accurately, is too easy to knock off the puck (and his skates).

He would get murdered in a playoff game.

Still better than Hudler. Still waiting on the $100 LT beer fund contribution.

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/07/oilers-score-in-free-agency.html

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#17 Eddie Edmonton
May 13 2013, 08:29PM
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Cogliano was, is, and always will be a better hockey player than Gagner.

It is not the size of the boat that matters, it is the motion in the ocean, and Gagner couldn't rock a stroller. Gagner is not small, he is weak.

If into his 7th year as a pro Gagner needs a load off defensive aspects of the game, maybe mental capacity for the game is a concern as well.

The same people that gave Gagner 6 year to fill into the shoes that they realized will never happen, are writing Paajarvi off after 2.

Hemsky is the same size as Gagner, and on many occasions put the team on his back and banged it out with the likes of Regehr and Bieksa along the boards for positive results, Gagner is pee wee.

Gagner is a lost cause and he needs to get lost.

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#18 Mr.common sense
May 13 2013, 11:50PM
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DSF wrote:

Ergo, he is too small.

Or, more accurately, is too easy to knock off the puck (and his skates).

He would get murdered in a playoff game.

100%, murdered

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#19 dougtheslug
May 14 2013, 12:09AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Well, good points, historically, and Willis did a piece on this, but usually to move doesn't require a lot, and usually takes just draft picks.

However, as you mentioned teams above the Oilers sucked worse, this is where it benefits the Oilers.

Two teams Nashville and Carolina are not rebuilding, they don't necessarily need the draft pick, and most likely would take a roster player as Nashville needs scoring and Carolina is only in this position because both goalies got hurt.

Now, who is willing to give these teams more? Edmonton has pieces to offer, whether you want to call them worse players, I happen to think Hemsky is a good player on a bad team with a bad contract.

there are ways around this to make it happen, so unless you want to keep losing, someone has to be moved.

It's not that I want to quit losing( although I prefer losing quietly without much fanfare, as opposed to the prime time implosion Leafs fans just witnessed. Maybe we should be careful what we wish for) . I would be as happy as anyone if such a scenario played out, I just don't see it happening. The thing is, even if in reality, Hemsky is an upgrade for Nashville or Carolina, the ability to land a potentially elite player for an ELC, AND have 5 million in discretionary cap space trumps a lower pick and a contract like Hemsky's, in my humble view.

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#20 Walter Sobchak
May 14 2013, 12:18AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

It's not that I want to quit losing( although I prefer losing quietly without much fanfare, as opposed to the prime time implosion Leafs fans just witnessed. Maybe we should be careful what we wish for) . I would be as happy as anyone if such a scenario played out, I just don't see it happening. The thing is, even if in reality, Hemsky is an upgrade for Nashville or Carolina, the ability to land a potentially elite player for an ELC, AND have 5 million in discretionary cap space trumps a lower pick and a contract like Hemsky's, in my humble view.

Agreed, until you buy back 3.5 million of Hemskys value.

Even if you turn Hemsky into a late first might not be enough in this draft.

I just don't see anyway Mac-T pulls this team out of this mess unless he gets drastic and overpays on a couple deals, without sacrificing the kids.

Needs.

Big skilled LW in the top six - A true two way second line C capable of a complete game - Top pairing defensmen.

I don't see how this happens this year? unless you overpay for a center at the draft.

All I now is that moving back in this draft is insane, go forward.

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#21 Walter Sobchak
May 14 2013, 12:27AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Everyone wants to trade away the future and trade away what was earned through all the years of pain just so we can have a chance at 2 playoff games in edmonton next year.

Overpaying in a trade isn't going to help bring the rebuild to an end. You don't cut a hole in the bottom of your boat so that you have some wood to patch the other hole in your boat.

Gags stays. Draft a kid @ #7 and wait a few years. There are no short cuts.

Deal with it.

Go OKC!

Welcome to a continuation of loserville.

30 - 30- 29th 24th...which in a regular season, everyone pretty much would agree that the Oilers would have ended up 27th.

The Oilers actually did worse then last year!

Willis just laid out what is wrong with Gagner, Tyler Delow has just completed a series in which he lays out for you that Gagner is part of the problem, and your idea is to not cut him loose or did you not bother to actually read the article?

You keep this team, I prefer to overpay for a better one.

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#22 K_Mart
May 14 2013, 06:55AM
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After the fifth pick, the draft really evens out all the way to 20th. I'd much rather see MacT make deal (or a couple deals) that land us two picks from 11-20 instead of just #7. I'd rather end up with maybe a Zadarov AND a Mantha instead of just a Nichushkin or Monahan.

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#23 Taylor Gang
May 14 2013, 08:20AM
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madjam wrote:

Contraversy : Would Phaneuf be worth while going after ,seeing as he has only one year left on his overpaid contract ?

The problem with Phaneuf is not only is he overpaid, we would have to overpay to get him. That's a bad mix if you ask me.

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#24 squeezboks
May 14 2013, 08:26AM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

The correlation between scoring chances and team points is -0.47, meaning that as the teams got better, Gagner’s scoring chances declined. However, the correlation between team weight (as put together by James Mirtle) and scoring chances was -0.65, meaning that Gagner was more likely to play poorly against a big team than he was a good team. (There is some overlap here, the correlation between weight and point totals for the Oilers’ opponents is 0.21, meaning that bigger teams were generally a little better than smaller teams).

I hate to point this out, but this is a very weak conclusion; .47, .61 and .21 mean that there is a very small correlation between the two pieces of data you are examining.

Generally anything below .8 means there is too much error in the model and it is very difficult to relate the two variables.

The .47 and .21 are completely wasted inferences statistically... The .61 indicates there could be a relationship, but just as likely an outlier or two could be completely skewing your data...

These kind of statistical conclusions are very dangerous if you don't qualify how poor your results actually are...

QFT!

I suspect the underlying model has some interesting non-linearities that make using the "standard" correlation coefficient risky business.

Goodness of Fit (R^2) gives an impression about the validity of the underlying model by trying to quantify the amount of variation in the output that can be explained by variation in the input.

Scoring Chances to Team Points -> 22% Scoring Chances to Team Weight -> 42% Team Weight to Team Points -> 4% (!)

The linear model is probably not accurate or the data set is far to small.

None of this is to discourage the use of advanced stats, just an attempt at a reality check. Keep it coming!

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#25 Tikkanese
May 14 2013, 08:50AM
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Give Gags a skilled winger with size that plays with size(ie NOT Paajarvi or the suggested Penner) and see these numbers change dramatically. Same thing if Gags was moved to the wing with a new center.

Not to mention a near complete D-Men overhaul would do wonders for these numbers.

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
May 14 2013, 09:13AM
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Non playoff teams are free to conduct business during the rest of the playoffs, aren't they?

C'mon MacT, September is quickly approaching. Give the Caps a call and see if there's any interest in Gags or Hemsky, or other deadwood types. Maybe Edmonton could land a third rounder for Whitneys rights to someone.

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#27 Eddie Edmonton
May 14 2013, 10:47AM
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@oilerjed

Gagner is not "solid".

Yak will get way more points than Gagner, given the right opportunity on the 2RW.

How can you, so clearly, see that Hemmer has no place here: yet be so confused over Gagner? Your emotions getting the best of you?

I like to believe, if given the same spoon, Lander could easily do what Gagner does.(if need be) I'm sure there is a lot of players available that can do what Gagner does, for cheaper. The Oilers need not break the bank on Gagner's 2nd assisists.

RNH and Eberle are on the 1st and in need of a big LW. Yak and Hall on the 2nd in need of an actual 2nd line centre.

Gagner is not a 2nd line centre, Gagner is not a 1st line LW either. There is no place for Gagner on the 3rd line and there is no more place for Gagner on the Oilers period.

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#28 llcooljayce
May 14 2013, 12:55PM
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@Clyde Frog

I registered on the site to say exactly this. The correlation between your criteria means that there is no relationship (or very limited) between your variables.

To state any relationship in your article is disingenuous at best.

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#29 I am the Liquor
May 14 2013, 04:04PM
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DSF welching on bets again?

Its quite sad actually.

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#30 @Oilanderp
May 14 2013, 05:07PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Welcome to a continuation of loserville. 30 - 30- 29th 24th...which in a regular season, everyone pretty much would agree that the Oilers would have ended up 27th. The Oilers actually did worse then last year! Willis just laid out what is wrong with Gagner, Tyler Delow has just completed a series in which he lays out for you that Gagner is part of the problem, and your idea is to not cut him loose or did you not bother to actually read the article? You keep this team, I prefer to overpay for a better one.

Yeah man, cause that's what I want: to keep the same team and lose forever.

What I am telling you is that we have noone to take Gagner's place. Gagner was 17th in the entire league for points for a center this past season. 17th out of 30 teams.

SURELY TO GODZ WE HAVE WORSE PROBLEMS THAN THIS! Or did you not bother to actually watch the season?

This seems to be a question of where we are in the rebuild. Those who believe we are coming to the end of it seem to be all for overpaying for upgrades. I believe we are not out of the woods just yet. Trading picks and young centers is NOT what we should be doing, and I don't give a damn what you are sick of. This is, I feel, the reality of it. Trading Gags is a mistake right now. There are more pressing areas of concern, and more importantly, we shouldn't rob peter to pay paul. Get a new fourth line for free, get some D who can skate and aren't retarded. No big trades unless it's in our favour. Just try to add solid all-round nhl players looking for a new home, and do it without mortgaging the future.

mortgaging (v): Expose to future risk or constraint for the sake of immediate advantage.

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#31 Will
May 13 2013, 02:44PM
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Thanks for trying to tackle this Willis. I also respect how you pontificated on what the data could be demonstrating as oppose to outright positing as fact.

Outside of the advance stats side of things, it seems pretty apparent Gagner has a tough time against bigger competition. I wonder if he would fare better with some bigger grittier wingers.

I like Gagner as a player, but I don't like what he brings to the team. I think upgrading on size and downgrading at skill at this position would be a good way for the team to improve, especially if that guy could win faceoffs.

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#32 Will
May 13 2013, 02:54PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

You have to think that, like Cogliano, if Gagner gets moved he ends up on the wing in some other organization.

It really looks like he's best suited in a role that doesnt require him to take faceoffs and over-tax him defensively.

I like Gagner, big fan, but I would be just as happy with him as my 2LW as I would him my 2C. All the Oilers need (as they have for years) is depth at C to make that happen.

Would you say moving him to the wing with Yak and getting a bigger second line centre that can win some draws makes our second line deadly. Or would you prefer to move out Gags and get both an upgrade in size at wing and centre?

Technically Paajarvi is our bigger second line LW, and him, Gags and Yak had some good success at the end of the year. But if I had my way he'd be bumped down to third line shut down and some Pk, but could still jump up if needed. While Same gets moved out for an upgrade in size at centre, and we pull in a LW with some size and skill (a player type that isn't impossible to find).

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#33 Archaeologuy
May 13 2013, 03:05PM
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@Will

I like Paajarvi, but he isnt consistent enough offensively for me to be comfortable with him on the 2LW spot. I really WANT him to be, but he isnt yet. Who knows, sometimes it seems like a switch gets flicked and all of a sudden these kids have it, but I think Gagner will be a bigger threat offensively, especially if he can stop worrying about the defensive aspects of being a Centre.

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#34 WhattaMike
May 13 2013, 03:32PM
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I like Gagner as a trying hard player for the Oilers, but it is time to sort out that he is not the long term 2nd line centre the Oilers really need.

The Oil must keep the other kids of Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yakupov, Schultz as the primary core.

Trading Gagner as part of a package to get Florida's #2 pick works best here to get that high calibre future #2 centre....such a MacKinnon or Barkov.

I would put Gagner in a package with a prospect (Gernat, Omark, or maybe Rajala)and a high other pick position in 2014 to get Florida's #2 position this year.

Then the Oilers keep the #7 for any of D prospects like Nurse, Pulock, Ristolainen, or Zadorov.

The Oil do still then have more assets to trade with(other prospects, other 2013 or 2014 draft positions, players like Hemsky, Horcoff, etc...) for the present needed defence and bottom six type players or get thru free agency.

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#35 Will
May 13 2013, 03:36PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

I like Gagner as a trying hard player for the Oilers, but it is time to sort out that he is not the long term 2nd line centre the Oilers really need.

The Oil must keep the other kids of Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yakupov, Schultz as the primary core.

Trading Gagner as part of a package to get Florida's #2 pick works best here to get that high calibre future #2 centre....such a MacKinnon or Barkov.

I would put Gagner in a package with a prospect (Gernat, Omark, or maybe Rajala)and a high other pick position in 2014 to get Florida's #2 position this year.

Then the Oilers keep the #7 for any of D prospects like Nurse, Pulock, Ristolainen, or Zadorov.

The Oil do still then have more assets to trade with(other prospects, other 2013 or 2014 draft positions, players like Hemsky, Horcoff, etc...) for the present needed defence and bottom six type players or get thru free agency.

Put yourself in Florida's shoes, or better yet pretend the Panther's are proposing that trade to the Oilers. Would you take that trade?

You have a Calder candidate who needs a winger to play and grow with, why on earth would you take Gagner over the future of your franchise?

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#36 Quicksilver ballet
May 13 2013, 03:42PM
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I once seen a machine used in a movie. Princess Bride I believe. They had this rack machine that could actually stretch the vertical size of anyone who saw fit to use it.

Maybe Sam Gagner could borrow that machine from Paramount Studious for a few sessions, no? If he was 6'2 and could be tazered before each shift, it would solve a lot of the Oilers second line center issues.

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#37 Spydyr
May 13 2013, 03:46PM
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Or you could watch the games.Gagner gets owned by bigger players,every game.

Never wins one on one battles.Knocks no one off the puck.Loses body position defensively.Cannot cover the front of the net.Can't win a faceoff.

Maybe a winger but defiantly not a centre.

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#38 David S
May 13 2013, 05:29PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

You have to think that, like Cogliano, if Gagner gets moved he ends up on the wing in some other organization.

It really looks like he's best suited in a role that doesnt require him to take faceoffs and over-tax him defensively.

I like Gagner, big fan, but I would be just as happy with him as my 2LW as I would him my 2C. All the Oilers need (as they have for years) is depth at C to make that happen.

Since Hemsky won't be here next year (and let's face it, that's the most likely scenario), this is probably the most reasonable and effective outcome. I've seen him (Hemsky)in person. You'd be hard pressed to believe he competed in a contact sport, or any sport for that matter. He's far smaller and frail looking than you'd think. PRV is taller and a bit more filled out, but he dosn't exactly look like he eats alot of beef either.

Sam is an excellent complimentary player. Probably the best we have. But you put three small guys on a line and is there any doubt they'll get dominated by larger, equally skilled players?

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#39 Quicksilver ballet
May 13 2013, 06:09PM
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Will wrote:

The machine didn't stretch people, it took off a set number of years from the victim's life. Just like getting the crap beat out of him at centre is doing to Gagner.

Oops, my bad.

Was it Braveheart that had the stretching thing?

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#40 Will
May 13 2013, 06:36PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Oops, my bad.

Was it Braveheart that had the stretching thing?

I am sounding like such a movie nerd now, but sort of. Brave heart got racked up, which is tied up from his wrists and feet, then pulled at both ends by horses. I'm not sure this added inches so much as was used to pull people in half.

However, I think it's funny you are trying to help Sam get bigger by suggesting fictional and historical methods of torture.

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#41 DSF
May 13 2013, 06:57PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don't think Gagner's too small.

But I do think Gagner's line struggled against big teams this year.

Ergo, he is too small.

Or, more accurately, is too easy to knock off the puck (and his skates).

He would get murdered in a playoff game.

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#42 Saytalk
May 13 2013, 07:02PM
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This has nothing to do with Gagner's size and everything to do with the fact that Gagner can't take the puck away from opposing players. That's why he gets outchanced and outscored and that's why this team can't move forward to the next level until they trade him for a player that can compete against playoff calibre teams. MacT won't get much in return but at least the team can move on instead of wasting a second line spot on a proven liability.

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#43 nunyour
May 13 2013, 07:03PM
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DSF wrote:

Ergo, he is too small.

Or, more accurately, is too easy to knock off the puck (and his skates).

He would get murdered in a playoff game.

how's Toronto doing?

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#44 oilers2k10
May 13 2013, 07:26PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

I like Gagner as a trying hard player for the Oilers, but it is time to sort out that he is not the long term 2nd line centre the Oilers really need.

The Oil must keep the other kids of Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yakupov, Schultz as the primary core.

Trading Gagner as part of a package to get Florida's #2 pick works best here to get that high calibre future #2 centre....such a MacKinnon or Barkov.

I would put Gagner in a package with a prospect (Gernat, Omark, or maybe Rajala)and a high other pick position in 2014 to get Florida's #2 position this year.

Then the Oilers keep the #7 for any of D prospects like Nurse, Pulock, Ristolainen, or Zadorov.

The Oil do still then have more assets to trade with(other prospects, other 2013 or 2014 draft positions, players like Hemsky, Horcoff, etc...) for the present needed defence and bottom six type players or get thru free agency.

I just thought you wrote Rajalaland when you put "Rajala)and" haha thats funny, now I got a nickname for Toni Rajala, nice I've been a fan since his memorial cup days with the Wheat Kings..small and gritty player..very shifty, the kind of "small" players this team can afford to sign.. I agree with your suggestion of trading Gagner and a prospect to get a top three pick but I doubt the names you mentioned gets it done.. Maybe Oilers could get 4th overall to take Monahan by trading Gagner plus next years 1st, both this years seconds, and another roster player like Paajarvi gets it done..thats a big risk but one you'd have to take if you want to get that prototypical 2nd line center prospect and keep the 7th overall at the same time to select Darnell Nurse but I'd be all for it, time to gamble a bit.

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#45 Wäx Män Riley
May 13 2013, 07:34PM
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DSF wrote:

Ergo, he is too small.

Or, more accurately, is too easy to knock off the puck (and his skates).

He would get murdered in a playoff game.

You have no idea how he would do in a playoff* game. How did Steckel, Perry, and Ryan do in the playoffs?

*I have no idea if we will ever see him in a playoff game. History says no, but if it can happen for Bouwmeester, then you never know.

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#46 DSF
May 13 2013, 07:54PM
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nunyour wrote:

how's Toronto doing?

Great.

They've taken the Big Bad Bruins to game 7.

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#47 DSF
May 13 2013, 08:12PM
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@SLAM

Nonsense.

P/60 5V5:

Hudler - 1.94

Gagner - 1.84

Hudler is a better hockey player.

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#48 DSF
May 13 2013, 08:15PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

You have no idea how he would do in a playoff* game. How did Steckel, Perry, and Ryan do in the playoffs?

*I have no idea if we will ever see him in a playoff game. History says no, but if it can happen for Bouwmeester, then you never know.

Sure I do.

He would spend most of the time on his butt.

Do you watch the games?

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#49 Quicksilver ballet
May 13 2013, 08:45PM
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Will wrote:

I am sounding like such a movie nerd now, but sort of. Brave heart got racked up, which is tied up from his wrists and feet, then pulled at both ends by horses. I'm not sure this added inches so much as was used to pull people in half.

However, I think it's funny you are trying to help Sam get bigger by suggesting fictional and historical methods of torture.

Okay, enough with all this torture then. How about the Jack Reacher approach, if it's self inflicted?

Bite off his fingers at the knuckles without the use of a knife. A guy who's willing to do anything to live must be useful. With this pie chart I've included [http//funkycoldmedina] we can conclude he would certainly make a fine hockey player if he's willing to do anything to win.

Bottom line, whatever Sam can do, fictional or non fiction, he will never be a second line center on a competitive hockey club. They can't move him to the wing just to watch his value plummet. He needs to be moved now while his value has peaked.

Barkov or Christina Hendricks!

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#50 Walter Sobchak
May 13 2013, 09:43PM
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The Oilers have to move Gagner, I don’t see how they can keep him given the holes in the Oilers line up.

If the Oilers want a top pairing defenseman who can they use to get that player? It will have to be Gagner or one of the 5 kids.

If the Oilers want an established bigger, grittier, skilled two way center then it still takes Gagner ++ leaving the Oilers without a top pairing defensemen.

Trading Gagner for a top pairing defenseman seems most likely.

-If the Oilers want to move Gagner for defense then moving up in the draft again seems likely.

- I have very serious doubts about UFA’s or their willingness to come to Edmonton, so I leave that out of the equation.

- If the Oilers want to keep Gagner and move him to the wing then that leaves zero doubt the Oilers have to move up in the draft…

They could use Hemsky to get another late first round pick, use a combination of first round picks plus prospects to move up draft a center giving the Oilers the option to move Gagner.

It could look like this

7th + Hemsky + Oilers second + Paajarvi to move onto the 4th spot.

Gagner + 2014 first round pick + Anaheim second and a prospect Gernat or Marincin for a top pairing defensmen.

Mac-T said “Bold” and “Risk” to move forward…..something has to happen on the draft floor.

Getting wingers to fill Hemsky or Paajarvi spot is by far the easiest to obtain.

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