SAM GAGNER'S NAME "OUT THERE"

Lowetide
January 04 2014 05:10PM

During tonight's Hotstove portion of the HNIC pre-game, Elliotte Friedman told the nation "Sam Gagner's name is out there" and suggested the Oilers would find him a place he'd be comfortable with playing (if a transaction were to be completed). It sounds very much like the team and player have decided a move could be made if it fits for all sides, although specifics weren't covered in the brief report.

LATE SEPTEMBER (21st)

Gagner's season went sideways in a hurry one autumn night in Vancouver, and the impact has been felt by player and team all season long. I don't for a minute believe that the Kassian stick incident led us to this day, but it probably hurried it along.

Bottom line: Craig MacTavish has to make plans for next year. He has to ask questions:

  1. Is Dallas Eakins the coach of next year's team?
  2. Do the Oilers need to improve up the middle?
  3. Has Mark Arcobello done enough to make Gagner expendable?
  4. Will the organization have the same number of similar talents in the top 6F next season?
  5. Can they get value for Gagner?
  6. Is Gagner a part of the future with Eakins in charge?

Those are tough questions, but the news today suggests that they exist in the organization and Sam Gagner (who perhaps Gagner has questions about his future as an Oiler) may be heading out of Edmonton during the season.

What does it all mean? Well, you never get full value in these situations, so prepare to be disappointed with the return. On the other hand, the Oilers will be going to market next summer with more money and will very likely arrive at training camp next fall with a bigger lineup.

We wait.

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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 Team 1260.
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#201 papler
January 05 2014, 01:47AM
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@Walter Sobchak

I agree with most of what you write. McT made some glaring mistakes (Eakins, Ference&Gagner for too much $). But one tends to forget that in a trade market you need 2 sides come to a trade agreement.

IMHO it's unfair to blame McT for not trading up or landing a new goalie. We all know he tried, but the trading partners clearly wanted too much or were exploring other otions as well. Best example: VAN was willing to trade Schneider, but were hesitant to trade him to a Division rival. You cannot blame McT for that.

I'm relieved that the Clarkson deal didn't materialize. That would've been a terrible signing but by the time most would've probably applauded the deal Clarkson seemed just what this team needed.

The biggest mistake, as I see it, was hiring Eakins, a coach with no NHL record, known only for his success with developing players in the AHL. What baffles me is that McT "liked" what he heard in the interview and based the hiring (and the sacking of Krueger) on that. That is an emotional move and unfortunately, emotions are the worst guide when running a business. I hope that was a rookie mistake by our GM and doesn't repeat itself. God help us, if he makes decisions based on emotions

also: smokey was over the line

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#202 kgo
January 05 2014, 01:58AM
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Seth wrote:

Kevin Lowe's definition of "winning" is completely different then any other person on earth.

Inigo Montoya: Kevin you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

a thousand props

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#203 papler
January 05 2014, 02:09AM
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Re: Eakins

I still don't get why they declare that the organisation is going to compete for the playoffs and then hire a rookie coach.

I understand the opinion by some, that another coaching change would hinder player development etc. But i can't help but think about the Concorde Fallacy (aka sunk cost fallacy) with this whole thing. Yes, they would lose another year (the "sunk cost" in this case being time and coaches salary). But that should NOT be the reason to stick with Eakins. The only reason should be if they still believe (and have some sort of evidence) that Eakins can coach this team to success. If they don't, they should replace him asap to not waste any more time

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#204 kale
January 05 2014, 02:38AM
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@spliff

best post of the night

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#205 Walter Sobchak
January 05 2014, 03:46AM
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@papler

Good points

I’ll concede the Vancouver point, but I’m wondering why the Oilers didn’t three way that deal? What gets me more is MacTavish then went out and got a career back up, a goalie that on his best day wouldn’t be able to compete with Dubnyk.

Why wouldn’t he look for a competent back up to challenge Dubnyk? A quick search just on NHL.com shows at least a half dozen teams the Oilers could trade with prior to the season even starting.

Instead MacTavish reacted late, over paid via UFA for a horrible goalie, and then signed an equally bad goalie again?

The Gagner deal actually is much worse in terms of leverage and tradability, prior to the season starting or the deal itself, Gagner should have been moved, when your average fan knows that your 2C isn’t going to get it done, then signing a guy based on character is by the very definition insane.

The fact that MacTavish was going to pay Clarkson more with longer term & the fact Clarkson choose the Leafs, tells us a couple things.

The Oilers have to grossly overpay for average talent, that free agents despite being thrown huge dollar’s by the Oilers would rather play elsewhere, but the most damning of all, the Oilers would rather whale hunt UFA’s then draft develop and procure talent through scouting & trades, this is the fundamental reason why the Oilers feel into the abyss in the first place, coincidentally under the MacTavish,Lowe,Tambellini era.

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#206 spliff
January 05 2014, 04:00AM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Oilers trade Cog's to Ducks for a second round pick a year later that turned out to be 56th overall, he is one of the best 3rd line centers in the league. Oilers trade a 4th round pick for Jerrod Smithson,who I don't think is in the league unless it is with Marlies. What a joke, don't tell me Lowe didn't assist in both of these deals either. If the Oilers would have traded Gagner at last years deadline for a defense man maybe things would be completely different today.

So...the Ducks fleeced the Oil and got Cogliano. Didn't the Ducks also get Souray, another Oiler castoff who we let go for nothing, because he disrespected the Oilers organization. But who is really disrespecting the organization? I would argue that its KLowe, MacT and their buddies, everyday they come to work, and do more damage to this once proud franchise.

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#207 Saytalk
January 05 2014, 05:40AM
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MessyEH wrote:

I fear the worst for DSF. He may have found, Oilers fans have been doing a better job of destroying all hope.

I think he got bored when we all started agreeing with him on how bad this team is.

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#208 15w40
January 05 2014, 05:41AM
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OIL or NOTHING wrote:

Having read through the comments, I have only 1 question

Where is DSF?

I would prefer to have him around as blog clown over this "Josh Oiler"

There's nobody left to argue with

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#209 michael
January 05 2014, 06:02AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Sam gagner's value as a player is less than his contract is in $. In other words he has negative value - if he just disappeared and the oil got his salary and roster spot back they could get a better player - better ability and a better fit - with the cash.

Thus the oil when - not if - they trade him sometime before the start of next season will be trading for another player who has negative value in the eyes of their current team.

The difficulty is that the type of player gagner is is in extreme surplus - very few teams need or want what he has to offer whereas what the oil needs is in heavy demand almost everywhere

So the oil need to find a team that is under extreme salary cap pressure, has a 1-2 line player who is under performing and is grossly over paid - much more than gagner - and that team has to have an up and coming replacement for that player - because the oil don't have one to sweeten the deal.

I have no idea what team (or teams) fits that bill but I fear that his boldness will trade like for like - a small, ineffective, sub 1-2 line centre coming back or get a bunch of 3-4 line size that is too slow.

And when that trade happens it will be a huge negative on the scoresheet for MacT. Signing gagner was a massive mistake.

The NJ fit that bill. They'll need his contract just to reach the floor nest season.

How about a Adam Larrson for Sam?

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#210 Spydyr
January 05 2014, 07:10AM
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spliff wrote:

I've been a fan since 1975, and these are, without a doubt, the darkest days for this organization. The blunders that have led to this situation are widespread and have seriously crippled this organizations ability to compete, even a a mid-level, in the 30 league NHL. Some of the blunders are:

* hiring mediocre ex-players from the 80's to important positions in coaching and scouting

* not having a farm team for many years

* trying to emulate the Red Wings instead of building a team on simple, traditional hockey fundamentals

* leaving Tambo at the controls for too long, and then replacing him with yet another ex-player who had a hand in creating this mess in the first place

* not surrounding the few young good draft picks they have made, with competent veterans

* losing may more trades then they win

* chasing big fish UFAs who were never going to sign here, and letting fan favorites like GlenX walk away for nothing

* and most of all, taking an incredibly loyal, passionate and patient fan-base for granted, and insulting the citizens of this fine city by threatening to move their piss poor team, and then subjecting us to arguably the worst stretch of sh*tshow hockey ever seen in the modern day NHL.

You are correct sir. There are thousands more that agree.

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#211 Spydyr
January 05 2014, 07:11AM
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Please package Gagner, Hemsky one of the many 5-6 defenceman and a prospect for one NHL center or defencmen.

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#212 JDP
January 05 2014, 09:14AM
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Freewheeling Freddie wrote:

Do you think Justin Schultz wishes he had signes in Anaheim? What snow job did Lowe and company do to convince him to come here? I remember Dave Lumley saying the Oilers should have been on the phone after Sams eight point night .He is absolutely right. Too slow too timid .The Oilers have no vision, his trade value will be very low right now .However Sam if you need a ride to the airport call me. Also to all you Eakins haters, he was put in a very tough position. He had to keep the 3 stooges Smith Bucky and Chabot. Why couldn't he bring in his own coaches? Lowe just threw him out to the wolves. The coach and players are in a serious world of hurt. Time for management to grow some gonads and do an intervention

He could be playing with cogs and winning some games as apposed to looking like a moron just like the rest of the team.

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#213 JDP
January 05 2014, 09:16AM
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Oh and I'm sure wanting to trade hemsky and playing him with Smyth and Gordon in a defensive role will most certainty increase his value!

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#214 JDP
January 05 2014, 09:19AM
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And why was smid traded anyway. To clear up a spot in the dressing room for klowe?

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#215 JDP
January 05 2014, 09:33AM
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And fristric? You sent him loose too. Local guy as well.

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#216 Spydyr
January 05 2014, 09:36AM
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Sisyphus wrote:

Just a thought....and let me be clear before I begin that I don't think any of Oilers current mgmt team is particularly brilliant.

That said, the Oilers are in a tough spot. Every GM in the league knows how bad we are, and how desperate we must be to improve. The current make-up of the team leaves very, very few truly trade-able assets to offer to other teams. The vast majority of our players (entire 3/4 lines, pretty much all dmen, all goalies) are the kind that other teams MIGHT see as fringe players at best. Certainly nothing worth trading for, let alone trading a solid NHL center/dman, etc. for.

Given that, I do think MacT may be trying his best, but he's finding that any trades at all in the next year or two are going to be very hard for the Oilers to break even on, let alone win. Other teams have little use for most of our players, and the players they would be interested in, we either can't or wont get rid of.

Gagner--never happening. Certainly not just before a NTC and contract starts. That's a fool's bet that he stops sucking. Hemmer--they'll just wait until he walks from EDM to pick him up, no one wants him for a playoff run. Yak might be valuable, but given his tantrums earlier, his one-dimensional play, the risk of KHL bolting--won't be as valuable as we'd really like. That leaves Ebs, RNH, and Hall. And two of the three we basically will not get rid of, no matter how bad things get.

So how DO you make the kind of big trades needed to improve this team in the next 1-4 years, when you basically only have 1.5 tradeable players to use (Ebs & Yak)?

Teams always look for defensive depth for the playoffs any of the eight 5-6 defencmen the Oilers have may be traded. Teams also look to have a veteran backup in goal if they are not sure of their starter ability of health both goalies are tradeable.

Teams will be looking to take advantage of a rookie GM in a position of weakness.

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#217 S cottV
January 05 2014, 09:45AM
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JDP wrote:

He could be playing with cogs and winning some games as apposed to looking like a moron just like the rest of the team.

The Ducks would have quickly figured out that Shultz needs to work on the defensive side of his game in the AHL.

In fact they probably told him so to begin with and he bolted to a team dumb enough to play him from the get go.

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#218 K_Mart
January 05 2014, 09:53AM
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michael wrote:

Who thinks that part of Gagne's discontentment was being passed over for Captain by Eakins?

Eakins player management skills remind me of Mike Keenan. Basically he has none.

Tampa Bay tonight. Wonder what they think of -32/wc-39 this am as they get up for the morning skate. Maybe they'll stay in the hotel and forfeit this one.

better odds of that than us actually earning the win ourselves.

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#219 2004Z06
January 05 2014, 10:24AM
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vetinari wrote:

@Primo-- we all know that there are problems with the roster and problems with upper management, but how can anyone say that the present coaching team is not the number one problem right now?

We're worse in all aspects of the game, in the standings and in player morale and performance-- if that's not signs of a coaching problem, then what is?

Are you saying that it is better to stick with the current problem just because we've had too many coaches recently? That's like saying we should stick with a bad goalie just because it would be too hard on team morale to bring it a different goalie. Identify the problem and either do something to remove it or else if you have to live with it, then minimize it.

But our corsi numbers are fantastic! Bah ha ha ha.

On another note....Cogliano is an ironman. 502 consecutive games played and counting.

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#220 Spydyr
January 05 2014, 10:31AM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

He put up a couple of comments one night last week and they were very mild so maybe it wasn't really him.

It was a fake. Always check the avatar.

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#221 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 10:42AM
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Why the f*** has nothing f'ing happened yet? Why is Lowe still here? Why are the assistant coaches still here?? WTF? 4 years of an admitted rebuild and what's been rebuilt?? In what way are we any better than we were 4 years ago when we started "rebuilding"? If it wasn't for picking 1st we'd have nothing. How can we possibly be this incompetent and pathetic and still do nothing? This has to be the worst run organization I've ever seen, and it's allowed to continue??? Do the fans honestly have to start a mob complete with pitchforks and torches before anything changes?

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#222 K_Mart
January 05 2014, 10:50AM
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Let's not forget, this is really only year one of the rebuild.

4 years from now Stauffer will be saying... "The Oilers were forcing their top picks hall rnh and yak right in to the line up in their rookie years which suggests that they were trying to win and believed they could make the playoffs instead of properly developing the talent and building a solid foundation. It wasn't until they sent Nurse back to jr. that they really started on the rebuilding path. Like I've always said, build from the back end out, and Nurse was the first piece to the puzzle."

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#223 Chet134
January 05 2014, 10:53AM
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Shawn Cronin wrote:

Top 10 Oilers Problems: (in no particular order) 1) No veteran presence on top lines 2) The players. A bunch are just not as good as Oilers staff and media make them out to be. Defense and bottom 2 forward lines loaded with other teams AHL/KHL castoffs and very marginal NHLers. No coach in the world would win with this bunch. (ie crapola) 3) Terrible at faceoffs 4) Too many floaters 5) Too many forwards that are terrible defensively 6) This year, poor goaltending (Dubnyk is not that bad as this year has dictated) 7) The ex Oiler players in the organization (mgmt and asst coaches) are not good at what they do 8) All the coaching changes have left players confused on systems and probably feeling like they are not the problem....it's been past coaches. 9)If no one in upper management is being accountable, why should the players be? 10) Darryl Katz

I totally agree with ur comments. No veterns in the top six and defense is the bigest problem our team. Break it down people: Nick Schultz 5/6 defenseman Andrew Ference 5/6 defenseman playing too many minutes Belov: 42 games in the NHL rookie Potter: ahl player Larsen: ahl players Grevishkov: didn't play in the NHL the last three years Maurincin: 6 games in the NHL rookie Other schultz: 85 games in the NHL. Basically a rookie. Petry playing too many minutes. Number four defenseman. 29 teams have a better defense than us. Ask yourself how many of these players can make a first pass out of our zone to a attacking forward. One or two of these kids. Maybe. That's why ur seeing a 50/50 pass off the boards where we lose possession cuz we have troubles winning one on one battles. Who do we have in the AHL is replace these kids? No one. This defense is TERRIBLE. U can't coach crap.

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#224 K_Mart
January 05 2014, 10:57AM
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Not sure why anyone expected us to even be a bubble team this year.

We are the youngest team in the league when you average the age of players based on minutes played each night.

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/17/are-the-edmonton-oilers-the-youngest-team-in-the-league-or-how-math-shrunk-big-john-scott/

Chicago scores the most and their top 4 forwards are 34,32,25,25 years of age.

Ours are 20,20,22,23. Think about it. Not realistic for fans to expect the smallest, youngest, least physical forward core to actually succeed at this level.

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#225 K_Mart
January 05 2014, 11:00AM
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Spydyr wrote:

I didn't but I did expect them to try.

yeah me too. what fools we are. I also expected them to "not get worse". boy do i feel dumb.

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#226 Spydyr
January 05 2014, 11:09AM
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K_Mart wrote:

yeah me too. what fools we are. I also expected them to "not get worse". boy do i feel dumb.

But not Josh dumb.

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#227 Brian
January 05 2014, 11:17AM
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How bout Gags to Carolina for Keegan Lowe, or would Lowe refuse to report?

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#228 WTF
January 05 2014, 11:38AM
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michael wrote:

I wonder if TSN would let us use Maggie the Monkey on draft day? Can't argue Maggies picks. Did a hell of a job with the playoff picks. I for one think Katz should hire Maggie the Monkey as a special assistant to the GM. Couldn't hurt at this point.Spin that wheel Maggie.

I think what you meant to say was, " special assistant to Harrison Katz" on draft day.

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#229 Brian
January 05 2014, 11:47AM
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Danger Pay wrote:

Just came across this. It should help put some things into perspective and my f#%k it's hilarious, mostly because before the season started I knew the Oilers would miss the playoffs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnqaRY00Cug

I had to keep pausing to wipe the tears out of my eyes. God that's funny. Pure gold.

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#230 Danger Pay
January 05 2014, 12:02PM
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Brian wrote:

I had to keep pausing to wipe the tears out of my eyes. God that's funny. Pure gold.

"Ok,everyone who thinks Shea Weber will be an Oiler, leave now" LOL

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#231 Dave
January 05 2014, 12:58PM
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That video clip was terrific. We have seen the spoof before but this one was truly prophetic.

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#232 JDP
January 05 2014, 01:05PM
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They should let Ron burgundy manage this team. Oh wait too late!

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#233 Zarny
January 05 2014, 03:55PM
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MessyEH wrote:

Gagner has trade value. You can tell that from the amount of traffic on the interwebs and forums. Lots of different teams fans want him. I have said for a while Gagner and Ebs have got to go. They do not make this TEAM better. They could be package to bring us in some solid depth. MacT should be working the phones.

I don't think it's a matter of "having" to trade any player.

Eberle and Gagner both make Edm a better team. The problem is that they make Edm better the same way Hall, Nuge, Yak and to a lesser extent Perron do. To varying degrees, they all do the same things well and right now have the same weaknesses in their game.

The problem is the mix of players. 1-2 of the top 6 F need to be changed for size and strength and a top pairing D. So it becomes a process of elimination.

Hall and Nuge look like keepers. So you're moving 1-2 of Perron, Eberle, Yakupov and Gagner.

Gagner and Perron are my 2 picks in that order. Not because they are bad. They are simply 5-6th skill wise 2 yrs from now.

You might need more value than Perron to get one of the moves done so it's Eberle or Yakupov. You can keep or trade either one. It all depends on what's being offered in return.

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#234 RexHolez
January 05 2014, 08:04PM
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Gags is never getting traded. Hes Kevin Lowes pet project!

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#235 MessyEH
January 06 2014, 04:13AM
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Better do some fact checking.

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#236 G-Unit
January 06 2014, 12:04PM
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mnm wrote:

is it just me or does anyone else feel that this rebuild is never gonna end

It will end when we stop showing up to games in the new rink, Katz holds the team ransom and an EIG group makes that chimp a couple extra hundred million for his dumb-a@@ to sit on.

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