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.

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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 a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 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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#2 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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#3 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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#4 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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#5 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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#6 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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#7 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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#8 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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#9 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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#10 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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#11 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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#12 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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#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 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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#15 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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#16 Wax Man 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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#17 Spydyr
May 13 2013, 06:21PM
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Wax Man 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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#18 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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#20 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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#21 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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#22 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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#23 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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#24 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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#25 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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#26 Wax Man 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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#27 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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#28 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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#29 DSF
May 13 2013, 08:15PM
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Wax Man 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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#30 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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#31 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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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 @Oilanderp
May 13 2013, 10:31PM
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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!

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#36 Dangilitis
May 13 2013, 10:32PM
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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.

Then the Oilers have no 2nd line center for next year and the team will miss the playoffs again - one can't expect either Horcoff or Barkov/Mackinnon to competently play in #2C role next year. This is another trade "here for now" deal. Cogliano, while struggling in the playoffs, could have been a viable bottom 6 winger in the organization now, for instance. Instead, he has been turned into a #52 overall pick in this year's draft who will likely turn into nothing. I know it a bit of apples and oranges but drafting for a future center (especially when such a trade creates a big hole) is just not ideal for a fan who is tired of seeing this team miss the playoffs. And Gernat vs Omark/Rajala are completely different (wouldn't want to risk losing Gernat when you don't know what you are getting).

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#37 Dangilitis
May 13 2013, 10:41PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

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.

"7th + Hemsky + Oilers second + Paajarvi to move onto the 4th spot" - Hemsky, Paajarvi, and #37 just to move up 3 spots? Monahan could be just as good as Barkov for all we know. Bold, certainly. Risk - not justifiable, however.

"Gagner + 2014 first round pick + Anaheim second and a prospect Gernat or Marincin for a top pairing defenseman" - How do you propose Oilers fix their NHL organization center depth with these moves? As I just said - if you want this team to miss the playoffs again, replacing Gagner with a defenseman is a surefire way to do this. Also, that really dries up the prospect pool, which is very important in a reduced cap world.

I am not opposed to trading Gagner, Hemsky, draft picks or our solid defensive prospects - but the return would have to then include a player capable of #2C this year, a 2nd/3rd d-man. Only one of your proposed trades brings this back.

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#38 geno
May 13 2013, 10:58PM
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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.

okc outmatched by texas again in their 4-0 win

aye aye aye

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#39 dougtheslug
May 13 2013, 10:58PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

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.

Here's the problem with this and similar scenarios. The teams above Edmonton in the draft(Colorado, Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Carolina, Calgary), although it is hard to fathom, sucked WORSE than the Oilers. Thus they desperately want the same magic beans in the draft that you and every Oiler fan covets. And all you have to offer them is worse beans and the players that have caused the Oilers to suck(assuming you don't want to trade any of the big five, and I don't want to) - which, in fact, all those teams already have. Which is why they also suck.

In industry there is a maxim that enough of anything is usually worth something. But in hockey, a pile of mediocre and below average players is still a pile of mediocre and below average players. They can't be spun into gold, no matter how hard you try. Those six teams I mentioned also want Barkov and Monahan and Mackinnon as much as the Oil and a whole team of Gagners and Hemskys plus a pile of second rounders isn't going to pry that pick out of them. You may be able to pry worse magic beans out of teams that finished ahead of the Oil, but why?

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#40 Hisam Saleh
May 13 2013, 11:04PM
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Sammy Gags for Shea Weber straight across!

Just kidding!

We trade the entire Oilers roster for Shea Weber. Promote OKC BARONS to Edm. Done deal! .......

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#41 Taylor Gang
May 13 2013, 11:07PM
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Maybe klefbom is the one leaving. He missed a season due to injury and won't be of much help for next year, plus he has pretty great value as a prospect. He could easily be packaged into a deal for a top pairing defenseman.

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#42 oilers2k10
May 13 2013, 11:09PM
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@dougtheslug

From those teams the only willing ones to part with their first round picks I think might be Carolina and Tampa Bay as both teams have their core in place already..there's no way Nashville gives up their first rounder..Florida and Colorado are both terrible and need anything they can get.

Carolina doesn't need another center, neither does Tampa Bay, so to get that first round pick from them you'd have to give up something other than Gagner. Maybe Hemsky+Paajarvi+next years first round or a prospect? I know it's overpayment again, Oilers can afford to overpay now, did anyone hear Monahan on the team today? He's EXACTLY what the Oilers need, already speaks like a true captain, perfect 2 way center that this team needs.

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#43 Eddie Edmonton
May 13 2013, 11:10PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Maybe klefbom is the one leaving. He missed a season due to injury and won't be of much help for next year, plus he has pretty great value as a prospect. He could easily be packaged into a deal for a top pairing defenseman.

I can see them packaging Petry before Klefbom. I also believe Petry holds more value in trade as well.

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#44 Eddie Edmonton
May 13 2013, 11:11PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

From those teams the only willing ones to part with their first round picks I think might be Carolina and Tampa Bay as both teams have their core in place already..there's no way Nashville gives up their first rounder..Florida and Colorado are both terrible and need anything they can get.

Carolina doesn't need another center, neither does Tampa Bay, so to get that first round pick from them you'd have to give up something other than Gagner. Maybe Hemsky+Paajarvi+next years first round or a prospect? I know it's overpayment again, Oilers can afford to overpay now, did anyone hear Monahan on the team today? He's EXACTLY what the Oilers need, already speaks like a true captain, perfect 2 way center that this team needs.

Even if Carolina needed a centre, they wouldn't need Gagner.

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#45 Taylor Gang
May 13 2013, 11:12PM
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Also, unless you traded Gagner with the #7 pick, he won't warrant top pairing defenseman value

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#46 Taylor Gang
May 13 2013, 11:20PM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

I can see them packaging Petry before Klefbom. I also believe Petry holds more value in trade as well.

It's possible, but I think it would be foolish to trade an NHL regular in Petry for unproven talent. A large flaw we also have is our defense's ability to create plays. Watching Nick Schultz aimlessly throw the puck out of the zone game in game out is revolting, take it from a guy with season tickets. Smid is also guilty of this but at least he is a better defenseman.

Candidates to consider for our top pairing (opinionated):

Keith Yandle Kevin Shattenkirk Alex Edler Mark Giordano (long shot, Calgary strangely doesn't like us)

Feel free to include others not named Shea Weber

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#47 madjam
May 13 2013, 11:23PM
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How much of a talent is Gagner ? Not good enough for an invite to Worlds like 4-6 other Oilers were? He is not in the upper eschilon class to begin with , nor projected to be . Not good enough yet for upper six even on our team to be honest , and seems out of place playing bottom six role (size ,grit and defence ). Not much for efficiency special teams play either . We have to do better than what he is giving us @3.2M .

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#48 Wax Man Riley
May 13 2013, 11:35PM
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DSF wrote:

Sure I do.

He would spend most of the time on his butt.

Do you watch the games?

What is a "playoffs"?

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#49 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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#50 dougtheslug
May 13 2013, 11:51PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

From those teams the only willing ones to part with their first round picks I think might be Carolina and Tampa Bay as both teams have their core in place already..there's no way Nashville gives up their first rounder..Florida and Colorado are both terrible and need anything they can get.

Carolina doesn't need another center, neither does Tampa Bay, so to get that first round pick from them you'd have to give up something other than Gagner. Maybe Hemsky+Paajarvi+next years first round or a prospect? I know it's overpayment again, Oilers can afford to overpay now, did anyone hear Monahan on the team today? He's EXACTLY what the Oilers need, already speaks like a true captain, perfect 2 way center that this team needs.

But here's the problem - guys like Barkov always look great now - in your minds eye you can see the second coming of Teemu Sulanne, plus he only costs you an ELC. How could Tampa or Carolina or anybody not see that as an upgrade? Walter "Wes" Sobchak suggests Oilers 7th, Hemsky, Paarjari and another pick for the fourth pick. But why would Nashville do that? That's probably 7 million in salary for 2 known quantities(not the types to lead Nashville to the promised land) and worse draft picks instead of a projected elite talent and Nashville would still have 7 million to spend on free agents or whoever pops up from a team in cap trouble. I just can't see a scenario where trading up makes sense for any team above the Oilers in the draft.

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