MACT JOB 1: SIGNING SAMWISE

Lowetide
May 29 2013 05:48PM

 

Craig MacTavish has a 'to-do' list that would challenge mortals, but his media conferences suggest he's going to get a lot done this summer. We've talked draft, and buyouts and trades, but the truth is that job 1 is getting Sam Gagner's situation straighted out. 

Sam Gagner likes it in Edmonton based on reports, and the Oilers clearly like Samwise according to Craig MacTavish. However, Sam and his agent have an idea about fair dollars for service and the Oilers have a cap number in mind, and those two things might not be close. 

Sam's a unique case--expecting him to do a 'Laddy Smid' and dictate to the media his contract before it's written is folly--and his agent wouldn't be doing his job unless he's pushing the dollars higher. That's just good represenation. 

On the other hand, this is a sweet, sweet spot in the batting order for any young player. Sam Gagner has a chance to be an outstanding 'end of the batting order' offensive player and a real positive for this young Oiler team. Even the loser in a battle for good wingers is going to end up with Yak City and someone else who can cash, and that my friends is very nice address. 

SAM GAGNER 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.84 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 6.15 (1st among regular forwards, 19th in NHL)
  • Qual Comp: 5th toughest among regular forwards (2nd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 6th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -4.3 (9th best among regular forwards) (-14.44 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 51.4% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 52.0% (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 113/12.39% (2nd among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48, 14-24-38
  • Plus Minus: -6 on a team that was -15

Gagner's playing card looks exactly as we might expect at 5x5, and he had a wonderful run on the PP--a bad, bad thing considering MacT is about to buy free agent seasons from him. His shot differential was less than we should expect, and that's a concern, but the boxcars are lovely and he can clearly play with skill. 

Sam Gagner is going to cost a pretty penny. 

THE VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

(courtesy Bruce McCurdy via Rob Vollman)

Sam's bubble tells the story--small negative (red) in the shot differential and playing second toughest opp (putting him in the two way role) while still getting decent zone starts.

Is that graph worth $5M? Add his PP prowess and a great agent, I think a case can be made.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I think it comes down to dollars. I believe Craig MacTavish when he says “Sam Gagner has really developed into a leader here, the type of character we want. And that’s going to be important when I’m making the decisions that we have the type of culture in that room. We’ve had a few years of too much of a circus in there. And that’s going to change" and I believe he wants to sign the young skill forward.

On the other hand, there's a line in the sand the new GM is unlikely to go past in terms of contract number and length, and with Samwise possibly a year away from free agency and holding some cards, I suspect this thing gets done one way or another before the free agent window opens.

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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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#101 NewfoundlandOil
May 30 2013, 10:09AM
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@GVBlackhawk

No not a contradiction at all. At least not for me.

I am not a big believer that size is the answer.

Given MacT's stated objective to add size and the population's desire for it why are we having a discussion re: Wellwood when the guy is 5'10" 181 lbs.

So yes the notion of Wellwood as being a fit or replacement is contradictory to the stated objective of the team.

I agree that Horcoff's cap hit is undesirable for his current role, so thanks for pointing that out "for the last time". But perhaps, barring a compliance buyout and someone better and more suitable coming along, they may be stuck with it.

Edit: If Horcoff is game for a compliance buyout then I can see it happening, otherwise I think the organization is to loyal to buy him out without his blessing, and I don't think the latter is a good thing.

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#102 Citizen David
May 30 2013, 10:40AM
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YEGFan wrote:

First you say Gagner is valuable and everyone wants him because he is a young centre, then you say that he's useless because he cannot play centre. He either is valuable as a centre and other teams will trade for him, or he is useless as a centre and therefore we cannot expect MacT to get anything of value for him. If the former is true the Oilers should think long and hard before they take a gamble on getting rid of him for someone like Burmistrov. If the latter is true then he is a bust and the professionals at other organizations will not offer you pieces that make this team significantly better. Personally, I think it is the former and the majority of your post is off the mark.

Also, you are foolish if you do not consider the other players on the roster when discussing Gagner. Horcoff is 100% a legitimate discussion topic in this thread. If you do not understand why I honestly think you are over simplifying this and probably cannot come up with any insightful ideas. Not only that, but your post implies talking about Burmistrov is more relevant to the Oilers contract negotiations than talking about Horcoff is!

This.

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#103 GVBlackhawk
May 30 2013, 11:01AM
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j wrote:

Is Wellwood the new Horcoff or the old Gagner? I can't seem to keep up. I've never heard so much love for a player that has played on 4 teams in 6 years and has yet to break 50 points or 20 PIMs. I thought we were trying to move away from mediocrity?

Nobody wants Wellwood except for DSF.

He was only used as a comparable to Horcoff (numbers wise) to show how over-valued Horcoff's contract is. I.e. you can get a Horcoff-lite for 2.0M per season.

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#104 nunyour
May 30 2013, 11:11AM
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There's lots of guys I move out before Gagner,i would try to get him signed ,and move out the one's that do nothing but fill a roster spot.

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#105 Quicksilver ballet
May 30 2013, 12:20PM
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@2004Z06

Horcoff makes many of us sick here, welcome to the club. You new here?

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#106 LoweBlow
May 30 2013, 02:23PM
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Gags is great, I like him for the team and as a leader. Unfortunately he's going to be expensive, perhaps too expensive for what this team can afford.

Fortunately he just had, in my opinion, an overachieving season. This would suggest that he could fetch a fair bit above his true value on the trade market. I think there's no shame in shopping around if he can't be signed at a reasonable dollar amount. This team will have cap issues in the future.

Furthermore, unless MacT sets an attack dog with rabies after Nuge, I think having our top 2 centers as physically soft as these two is a bad idea. Going forward, one of the top two forwards has to be the kind of guy that comes out of the corner with the puck more often than not. Currently that isn't Nuge, nor Gags, nor Horcs, nor Smithson, nor Belanger.

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#107 John Chambers
May 30 2013, 04:06PM
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@LoweBlow

Wrong

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#108 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
May 30 2013, 05:27PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

Oilers will sign and trade Gagner, or they might just trade him as is.

There is no way the Oilers sign and keep Gagner long term. Mac said that he wants to get rid of the players that might have got use to losing-all Gagner knows is losing. When Mac praised Gagner and spoke about his plans for the future, he was giving Gagner and his agent some of that PR butter(I cant believe its not margarine)

To sign Gagner to and keep him is a risk, just as much a risk as is putting Gagner on the wing. Gagner cant win a battle with a granny at a grocery store yet alone a NHL dman along the boards.(joke).but he is pretty weak on the puck.

Gagner's stats may suggest he deserves $4mil a year, but if you judge by his play and value to the team: dont give him over $3mil.

I think Idries has it right.

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#109 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
May 30 2013, 05:30PM
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nunyour wrote:

There's lots of guys I move out before Gagner,i would try to get him signed ,and move out the one's that do nothing but fill a roster spot.

unfortunatley the ones who just fill a roster spot have no value on the trade market....hence Gagner....

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#110 keilan
May 30 2013, 06:38PM
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Anything over 3 million per year is a overpay. Gagner will make Horcoff's contract seem like a bargin in hindsight.

If MacT keeps Gagner then its time to find another team to follow........

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#111 nunyour
May 31 2013, 10:23AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

unfortunatley the ones who just fill a roster spot have no value on the trade market....hence Gagner....

True,i was thinking ufa's,a Horton type with Gagner,I think Hemsky needs to go but he's not worth much,and i'm a Horcoff fan,i would have taken his contract too,but I think he and the oilers need to turn the page.

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#112 YEGFan
May 31 2013, 02:26PM
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keilan wrote:

Anything over 3 million per year is a overpay. Gagner will make Horcoff's contract seem like a bargin in hindsight.

If MacT keeps Gagner then its time to find another team to follow........

Where on earth did you pull the 3M number from? If you look at comparable players in the league 4M is the low end of the going rate. You can not like it all you want but you are not finding someone who can put the puck in the net like Gagner for 3M.

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