Trading Sam Gagner to the Los Angeles Kings Would Likely be a Mistake

Jonathan Willis
February 05 2014 09:33PM

Everybody and their dog seems to want the Edmonton Oilers to move Sam Gagner for whatever the team can get and the sooner the better. That’s why comments by Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Los Angeles Kings had serious interest in Gagner have attracted significant attention in Edmonton.

Clifford & Nolan

Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now was asked on Wednesday’s show about the Gagner rumours. He said the return was “going to be a guy like a [Kyle] Clifford or a [Jordan] Nolan or a [Dwight] King,” and that “there’s going to be a financial component involved” in this scenario, hinting that the Oilers would be retaining salary in the deal.

Let’s look at those players. Among Kings forwards with more than 20 games played, Clifford ranks 12th in even-strength ice-time per game and Nolan ranks 13th. Neither of them kills penalties. Basically, they’re both big, young fourth-liners who contribute almost nothing beyond a physical game. The Oilers have some experience grabbing fourth-liner off high-end teams – guys like Colin Fraser and Ben Eager. Those guys looked great in Chicago, and looked terrible in Edmonton.

Would Clifford or Nolan be an upgrade on, say, Jesse Joensuu? Absolutely. Are they going to play top-nine minutes? Probably not. Nolan couldn’t score in the AHL, and Clifford had 28 points in the OHL in his draft year. They’re fourth-line guys.

If Luke Gazdic and Jesse Joensuu and Teemu Hartikainen and Lennart Petrell and Ben Eager and all the rest of the big forwards the Oilers have run through their fourth line show anything, it’s that adding a big, physical guy to the bottom of the roster doesn’t do anything to fix the problems in the top-six. So trading a guy like Gagner, who has problems but is a proven NHL scorer, for a younger version of Ben Eager or a better version of Luke Gazdic is kind of a stupid thing to do.

Dwight King

Dwight King is a better player, but he’s also a guy who had 17 points in 28 AHL games last year and had 33 in 79 AHL games two seasons ago. He has 23 points this season, playing primarily with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. He’s a big (6’4”, 230 pounds), young (he turns 25 this summer) left wing that can play top-nine minutes and kill penalties and add a physical presence. If the Oilers are moving Gagner for a forward, that’s the guy who the Kings might be willing to move and who is in the same value-range.

Now, the problems. If Gagner goes, that means Edmonton is relying on a Mark Arcobello or Anton Lander to play centre on the second line. As a guy who likes both players, I’d enjoy watching that but as an NHL G.M. I wouldn’t be at all comfortable with it. Maybe Gagner needs to be replaced anyway, but moving him for King means that Edmonton now has a second-line centre slot to fill. Is it easier to add a guy like King in free agency, or a guy like Gagner? If the Oilers need a big guy who can be plugged in on the second line, they can sign a Nikolai Kulemin or David Moss in the summer. There simply aren't second-line centres available, unless they can somehow talk Paul Stastny into moving to Edmonton. 

The second problem is salary. Sam Gagner has this season and two more with a $4.8 million cap hit. King has this season and one more at $750,000. So Edmonton would need to take another contract back, and probably need to eat half of Gagner’s contract. Yes, the salary cap is going up but this is also an Oilers team that needs to add significantly on defence and on the third line; spending $2.4 million for the next two seasons so that L.A. can have a cheap Gagner seems misguided.

I like King a lot, and he’s a nice fit for Edmonton. He’s just not a nice enough fit to justify dumping Gagner and retain half his salary in the process. Toss Jake Muzzin or Tyler Toffoli in, and there might be something to think about – but it’s not likely that the Kings are going to do that. 

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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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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#101 The Soup Fascist
February 05 2014, 10:50PM
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Mr common sense wrote:

Irrelevant to my 2 points. Read them again.

IF it's true that a Stanley Cup team who understands grit, defence and muscle wins championships is all of a sudden confused that a frail overhyped mediocre player will help them, ACT NOW!!

Your contention, as I understand it, was that only Edmonton media would think that Gagner had any cachet around the league, let alone with a Stanley Cup contender.

The fact is Friedman and Bob Mackenzie appear to be saying just that.

I apologize if that flies in the face of your notion that a team - despite their SC run two ago - that can't score to save their lives, have interest in a skilled but flawed 25 year old 50 plus point player.

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#102 Mabell
February 05 2014, 11:37PM
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I think it's best to define what the problem is - Gagner doesn't fit the required 2nd line role on this team.

That being the case if we can move him for another useful piece then do so - preferably Dwight King from the above list of moves.

Expecting Arco or Lander to fill the role is not the answer, at least not beyond the rest of this season.

Other moves will need to be made - perhaps before the trade deadline its Hemsky+ to Detroit for Sheahan or Anisimov out of Columbus over the summer.

Regardless once we've determined that the existing mix is not going to work we need to make moves to convert assets into other pieces that form part of the solution. It won't happen over night - and it won't happen in a single trade, but piece by piece I like the moves that are being taken.

A team is evolving here.

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#103 Oilerz4life
February 06 2014, 01:18AM
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I think some people are missing what JW alludes to in this article, that trading Gagner may make sense in one aspect, but retaining a large portion of his salary does not in another. The NHL is a business and you can't just trade away every player you want out of town and retain half of his salary, unfortunately.

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#104 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 09:00AM
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First let's get some facts agreed upon:

Signing gagner was a big mistake by MacT.

Trading gagner - like trading Horcoff - gets this mistake out of view and thus remarkably out of the memories of many oilers fans.

MacT overvalues many of his assets - none more so than gagner (hemsky and dubnyk aren't far behind). Thus he will struggle to move him.

As for the return from LA; gagner could indeed work out better there than he does here because of the supporting cast he would be with in LA being able to cover his manifold deficiencies. Ditto the players the oil might get in return. Scoring stats simply don't tell the whole story.

In sum, gagner has negative value. That means the oil will get negative value back or have to carry a big chunk of his salary for the rest its term. And he is not the only negative value player that this team has...

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#105 A-Mc
February 06 2014, 11:00AM
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Wonger wrote:

King for Gagner would be the best thing that ever happened to the Oilers!!! King- Nuge- Hall first line/ Simmonds- ????-Perron second line!!! Wooooo!

I dont watch LA games that the Oilers aren't playing in, but if PIMs are even a remote indicator of a guy with grit.. King is not a gritty guy. He has 16 PIMs in 58 games this season.

Perron has 52PIMs, Yakupov has 32 PIMs, Gagner has 31PIMs, Taylor Hall has 22PIMs.

Infact if you look at the Oilers roster, in terms of PIMs, King would fit into the bottom quarter; and the kings are a team that promote tough hockey.

Yes he's big, but that's all he has. There are likely FA options that can skate on a 3rd/4th line who are just as big, and we're not losing Sam Gagner to get them.

Ultimately i would like King on the Oilers, but not if it's 1 for 1 with Gagner.

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#106 etownman
February 06 2014, 11:05AM
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If Clifford or King got the ice time in Edmonton that Gagner gets I'm sure their numbers would be ok by comparison & they would certainly bring the element of physicality which Sam doesn't! It's not always about points when you deal for players like this but when you acquire them, you have to play them! I would be good with this move!

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#107 tabs
February 06 2014, 11:13AM
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A-Mc wrote:

I dont watch LA games that the Oilers aren't playing in, but if PIMs are even a remote indicator of a guy with grit.. King is not a gritty guy. He has 16 PIMs in 58 games this season.

Perron has 52PIMs, Yakupov has 32 PIMs, Gagner has 31PIMs, Taylor Hall has 22PIMs.

Infact if you look at the Oilers roster, in terms of PIMs, King would fit into the bottom quarter; and the kings are a team that promote tough hockey.

Yes he's big, but that's all he has. There are likely FA options that can skate on a 3rd/4th line who are just as big, and we're not losing Sam Gagner to get them.

Ultimately i would like King on the Oilers, but not if it's 1 for 1 with Gagner.

Understand it's no longer 1 for 1 when Gagner's salary is adjusted for.

Gagner's 4.8M contract makes any deal appear like the Oilers are losing when in fact they would be better off giving Gagner away for nothing coming back (no player, no drafts, zada)

Gagner has negative value when MacT signed that contract.

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#108 Zarny
February 06 2014, 01:03PM
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Good grief, drivel about "addition by subtraction".

Sorry but when you take a guy who has averaged 50 pts over 82 games and was on pace for 65 pts last year before ever hitting his prime off a team you are adding nothing.

Merely suggesting it is beyond stupid.

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#109 David S
February 06 2014, 02:02PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Negative Value is not a difficult concept. If they are delivering less than they are getting paid - they have negative value.

Could the oil - if they had the 5 mill and the roster spot - find a better player than gagner? Given time - absolutely.

Comparing Getzlaf to Gagner via just points is ridiculous and does little to enlighten the discussion.

So by that logic MacT should have dumped RNH when he was recovering from his shoulder injury - because he wasn't performing up to his contract. Nevermind the whole "coming back from surgery/needs time to get back to 100%" crap, right?

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#110 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 06 2014, 02:53PM
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On a secondary note, the Oilers have four basic needs the priority of which changes slightly over time but includes, Two-way play making centre, 1-2 Dman, #1 Goalie, Toughness/Grit.

We only have so many chips to use to get the four things. Do we really want to use one of our top 3 trading chips in Gagner for a return that does not address Center, D, or Goalie?

I want Gagner gone and I want tougher more gritty players but there is an opportunity cost if we don't utilize the Gagner chip (combined with other chips) to fill one of our gaping holes.

It really depends on managements view of what they think is possible at the deadline, in free agency, and in the summer trade market.

But of course, as usual, we are a bit hand cuffed with the no trade clause in Gags new contract. We may be forced to move him sooner than is optimal.

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#111 A-Mc
February 06 2014, 02:56PM
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@Serious Gord

ok so do you sell your 10,000 car and then bus it to work while paying off the remaining 5k? or do you keep it and sit on it until the money makes sense?

Also, appreciation on that 10k car (Player) is quite good and at some point, the assessed value will equal what you're currently paying (Cap going up and players starting to make more $).

Your scenario poorly supports your stance and if anything it gives credit to the group of people who say to keep him.

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#112 cccsberg
February 06 2014, 03:33PM
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Zarny wrote:

Hanzal has never topped 36 pts so yes.

Bozak has hit 40 pts once and trailed Gagner by 10 pts last year so yes once again.

Monahan is a rookie who is on pace for 35 pts. In his rookie year Gagner had 49 pts.

Legwand is 33, past his prime, and has only ever topped 50 pts twice. Most years he's in the 30's or 40's. Legwand's career pt/gm is less than Gagner's too and his career FO% is only 0.46 compared to Gagner's 0.448. By the time he's 33 Gagner will have been a much better NHLer.

Handzus will be 37 this year and has only topped 50 pts twice. The last was in 2003-04...a decade ago. Since then he's averaged between 20-42 pts and has a career pt/gm well below Gagner.

For a bunch of whiners complaining Gagner doesn't produce enough you sure come up with a pile of sh*tducks who you think are better.

pts, pts, points... all about points.

That's what's got the Oilers in this mess in the first place, rather than building a well-rounded team.

Hey, if that's what you want, fine. Keep him! Finishing 29th-30th for a few more years looks good on ya...

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#113 Zarny
February 06 2014, 04:11PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Nothing you say takes into account contract and other tangible and intangible aspects of their games. And those things HAVE to be accounted for.

What tangibles does Bozak bring? He's sporting a 47.9% on FO and is worse defensively than Gagner.

Monahan's FO% is the exact same as Gagner's while being on pace for 14 fewer pts than Gagner in his rookie year.

Hanzal is only a career 50% on FO. Sorry for a guy whose never gone above 36 pts even once in his life his "intangibles" don't outweigh the offensive drop off.

Legwand is getting paid $4.5M a year.

Sorry but the contracts and "tangibles" for these players aren't that great. Some are certainly better fits behind Nuge but overall none of the 2C on that list are a considerable upgrades to Gagner except Zajac and Schenn.

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#114 horndog77
February 05 2014, 09:59PM
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Hasn't toffoli been playing on the first line for a few? Perhaps they are show casing him for a trade. I would hope Edmonton would not retain salary just to make a trade. Unless LA is throwing in there 1st rounder? Usually buying teams give up more for players for playoff runs.

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#115 Woodguy
February 05 2014, 10:23PM
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There simply aren't second-line centres available, unless they can somehow talk Paul Stastny into moving to Edmonton.

This assumes that the Oilers will only look to fill 2C through free agency.

If they trade Gagner for King, a C for a winger, they have a glut of wingers.

They can trade a winger for a 2C.

Would have to be a good one going out to get a good one coming back.

There are teams who have some young C's playing well and may see fit to move out C in their late 20's or so.

That would probably be done in the summer.

Also,

Capgeek has LAK's deadline space at 3.765MM. Difference between King and Gagner is $4.025MM.

Does LAK have a mechanism to increase their deadline space?

If push comes to shove I can see LAK giving up Greene, who is in the last year of a $2.95MM salary and taking Potter (RH like Greene) or Fedun to get a RH Dman back.

Greene is 7th on LAK in TOI/gm among D and not an integral part of their on ice game.

He does wear an "A", but guys who wear letters get traded too.

Martinez has been scratched more and more since Greene got healthy, maybe they give him up, but he's still on a RFA contract and may have more value to the organization.

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#116 Say what again
February 05 2014, 10:28PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Which is why trading him now is likely to be a mistake, unless you trade for another guy in a low ebb season.

Buy low, sell high.

I like the idea, but do we have faith he's going to get better before next season and we'll be able to sell high? If we start the 2014/15 season with Gagner as our second line centre it's another sub-25th place finish guaranteed. Gagner's been exposed for the type of player he is.

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#117 David S
February 05 2014, 10:31PM
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Kodiak wrote:

The only true point of reference is what he's ever put up in a season, and that's 47. 65 point scorer. Hilarious. He's never been close to that. And it doesn't matter if you score 80 points if you are giving up 90 and that's Gagner's game.

This team sucks and changes need to be made. Gagner has had tons of time to learn to play in his own zone and still hasn't figured it out and most likely never will. Time to cut bait

So you're pretty much down with trading all of our top 6 as their collective Corsi is below 50%? Right?

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#118 Mr common sense
February 05 2014, 10:34PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

You do know Elliotte Friedman doesn't live in Millwoods, right?

Irrelevant to my 2 points. Read them again.

IF it's true that a Stanley Cup team who understands grit, defence and muscle wins championships is all of a sudden confused that a frail overhyped mediocre player will help them, ACT NOW!!

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#119 O-Town
February 05 2014, 11:59PM
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In my opinion a Gagner trade has to involve Muzzin or else it's definitely a waste of time. My hope would be Muzzin and one of Nolan or Clifford as I think asking for King as well would be asking for too much.

My biggest question is would it be possible for the Oilers to retain 50% of Gagner's salary for part of the contract (say the remainder of this season?) or does that percentage have to be retained for the entire term?

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#120 Cynic
February 06 2014, 12:03AM
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Oiler fan realizes that mule-head Sutter is still coaching the Kings, right? Why would Lombardi stick him with someone as hopelessly soft as Gagner?

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#121 CMG30
February 06 2014, 08:00AM
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Despite his faults, Gagner is a top 6 player. That means the Oil need a top 6 coming back. They need to enter the 'build' phase of the rebuild so the days of shipping out legitimate NHL talent for bits and pieces and prospects needs to come to an end. Ideally, the Oil trade Gagner and a prospect and a pick and have the best player in the trade coming back this way.

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#122 Puck JammeR!
February 06 2014, 09:02AM
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gagner for stoll and greene

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#123 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 06 2014, 11:03AM
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@A-Mc

I think PIMs don't tell the whole story with the Oilers. They take a lot of stick infractions because they're not moving their feet. Plus I wouldn't be surprised if fully half of Hall's penalties were unsportsmanlikes for beaking at the ref.

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#124 Mack Stong
February 06 2014, 12:03PM
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Gagner for Kyle Clifford alone is undervaluing on our end.

Gagner for Dwight King is more of an even trade. Both are around the same age, both are producing the same in points granted Gagner has scored the same in points in less games.

If Clifford is the only option then adding Trevor Lewis seems to balance the trade out.

If this is our only option, and if this is the only team putting an offer forward…then King is a more even trade…but Lewis and Clifford is tolerable….

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#125 2004Z06
February 06 2014, 01:16PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

get back to me in a year or so when the oil is payinghim 1.85 mill to play in the AHL.

Why you think this guys salary is an issue is beyond me? In 2 years it will be the league minimum the way the cap is rising.

Besides, he will be traded for a pick if need be.

The Oilers have much bigger issues to deal with than how to fit Hendricks under their cap.

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#126 David S
February 06 2014, 01:59PM
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Wonger wrote:

King for Gagner would be the best thing that ever happened to the Oilers!!! King- Nuge- Hall first line/ Simmonds- ????-Perron second line!!! Wooooo!

^ THIS is why we can't have nice things.

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#127 Truth
February 06 2014, 02:57PM
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@Serious Gord

2nd line C's

Anaheim - Mathieu Perrault

Buffalo - Cody Hodgson

Calgary - Sean Monohan/Matt Stajan

Chicago - Michael Handzus

Columbus - Artem Anisimov

Dallas - Cody Eakin

Florida - Nick Bjustad

Minnesota - Charlie Coyle (1st) Granlund (2)

Montreal - David Desharnais

Nashville - David Legwand

New Jersey - Travis Zajac

NYI - Frans Nielsen (career year)

Philadelphia - Brayden Schenn

Phoenix - Martin Hanzal

Toronto - Bozak/Kadri

Washington - Casey Wellman

Winnipeg - Mark Scheifele

I have not included the obvious ones (Det, Pit,LA) because Gagner would not be a 2C there, but you can make the case that a healthy Gagner is a better player than all of the above.

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#128 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 06 2014, 04:33PM
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I hope that GM's around the league are as split on the value of Gagner as Oilers fans are. That would mean that 15 teams wouldn't be interested and 15 teams would value him in a way that returns a top six player or, if the oilers add in a prospect, a number 2 D Man.

It's going to be fascinating to see what happens!

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#129 camdog
February 06 2014, 05:11PM
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The problems on this team are higher than Sam Gagner. When he had big, defensively reliable Penner on his wing he played a good game.

Problem is he doesn't work with small, defensively unreliable wingers. It's been 8 years of the same team make up. Doesn't seem to matter who the GM is, they still try the same things. That tells me the problem is higher than the GM, who would have thunk it?

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#130 nuge2nail
February 06 2014, 08:07PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Draft your future second line center- dump Gagners cap space and make a trade happen. He's too small.

King, Clifford and Muzzin

for

Gagner @2.4 - 2 years.

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#131 tabs
February 06 2014, 08:45PM
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Saytalk wrote:

Have any of you actually watched Gagner play? Or do you only judge a player by his box scores and how he compares to players from the same draft year (a weak year to boot)?

A small one-dimensional forward who contributes nothing beyond his pedestrian point at a ~0.6 PPG rate. Watch him backcheck in his own zone and you can see what a joke of a player he is. You can say he's bad because he's part of a bad team, but as the current 2C and a veteran among most of the forwards, Gagner is more the cause than the effect of this team's awfulness.

If King is on the table, then I'd make the deal happen, even if it means retaining some salary. Better yet, trade Gagner to the Canucks so we can sabotage their chances of making the playoffs next year.

Somebody needed to say it, well said.

Lot of un-knowledgeable posters here.

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#132 Tayranchula
February 05 2014, 10:05PM
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I agree with not getting rid of Gagner to LA. There isnt enough value coming back unless Muzzin or Tofolie are mixed in. I do like that Tofolie though.

Gagner should get dealth to an East coast team. I could see Detroit benefitting from this player. Im not sure about any other teams salary cap but would Jurco+ a pick or another prospect get it done for Gagner. Or Jurco/Weise? Weise isnt playing well at all in Detriot maybe a change in scenery could help him out. He would replace Gagner on the second line center and he has showed scoring in the past with terrible teams in Florida. I would take Jurco regardless in the deal.

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#133 Woogie63
February 05 2014, 10:31PM
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Does Friedman ever use "s when he throws suggestions out to the audience? He is on just about every cities morning drive sport radio program one or two times a week; on HNIC; blogging ....he needs material to fill all those time slots.

Listen closer to how he say things;

It has been suggested to me....

I have been texting with GM and there some common thought ....

Lots of interesting feelings, dressed up to sound like facts.

"" obviously omitted

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#134 Newj
February 06 2014, 08:02AM
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Kodiak wrote:

Is this your rebuttal to me saying he isn't physical? IMO being physical has nothing to do with fighting. Finishing checks, making Dmen cough up the puck, creating turnovers is being physical. That's not Gagner at all.

What's next from Dave?...probably a video from his 8 pt game.

Time to move away from being the worst GA team in the league. Time to move Sam.

Although I do wonder how Sam will do in Sutter's world of back pressure and finishing checks?

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#135 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 06 2014, 09:13AM
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St Louis draws in for Stamkos. Glad the old guy gets one last Olympics, leaving him off the team was a mistake to begin with.

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#136 Lochenzo
February 06 2014, 10:41AM
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I'd be open to trading Sam Gagner if we were talking about Slava Voynov coming back the other way. A trade that won't happen, unfortunately.

Assuming that the Oilers make themselves into a perennial Cup contender, you look at the teams that the Oilers will have to beat to make it to the SCF. Chicago and LA are not only recent champs, they also have a young team. These guys are going to be good for a long time. I would not be thrilled about dealing Sam to Chicago and re-uniting him with Patrick Kane. Those two were lethal together in the OHL. Moving Sam to LA, does Sam find his stride and show more consistent flashes of a player that once scored 8 points in one game? If Sam moves his feet and gets to the net, he's a very good player. Being with Sutter in LA just might do wonders for Sam's game. I shudder to think that a Sam Gagner trade made in 2014 blocked off the Oilers from getting out of the Western Conference over the next decade.

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#137 Al77
February 06 2014, 11:05AM
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I just hope at this point if Sam is going to L.A that it is for King and not Clifford which is being reported or speculated at this moment!

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#138 A-Mc
February 06 2014, 11:11AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Okay, Gagner will score more probably.

Don't you think the Oilers need something slightly different from what they have?

Because they have a LOT of the same thing.

You're right and yes i do think we need something different.

I just think the Gagner for King is a clear mismatch in value and we'd be on the losing end of it.

Maybe Gagner for king AND clifford? That looks a little better to me, but it still feels like we're getting spare parts to some degree.

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#139 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 11:33AM
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A-Mc wrote:

King hasn't produced much in the NHL thus far. His point totals over the last 4 seasons: 0, 14, 10, 23 (Albeit with very little NHL games under his belt). He has 23 points this season, in 58 games but that is the best he's ever done. Sam Gagner has 23 in 46 and most of those games he spent being a useless teet due to injury. At this point the most we could ever expect out of Dwight is far from a sure thing points wise and while i would love to have him, he's not nearly as valuable as Gagner.

Also, centermen have more value than wingers.

I dont think Gagner and the Oilers are in an addition by subtraction situation. Gagner adds value to a team, he just doesnt add the value that we need the most.

King for Gagner, imo, is a big mistake and nothing you said has shed light on anything to make me think otherwise.

now, throw in someone else or even a 2nd round pick + and things change a little.

One last point: We only have 2 people to trade that will garner any kind of value back in a trade. Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle. We can all agree that the oilers dont need more spare parts guys, even if they are small upgrades to what we have. If we're going to use these two chips in a trade, it needs to be for similar quality players coming back the other way. If Gagner gets traded for a 3rd liner, then that leaves only Ebs as a piece to land any kind of top 4 defenseman; of which we need 2 or more of.

I dont trade Gagner for spare parts.

Gagner has negative value. If the oil could just make him and his contract disappear they would be better off. So if they get "spare parts" back for very little money then it is a win for the oil.

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#140 Lochenzo
February 06 2014, 11:57AM
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I think some of you are undervaluing secondary scoring. All Stanley Cup champs have secondary scoring. We know Sam Gagner can bring a decent amount of secondary scoring and if you have a 1st and 2nd line that can score at a decent clip, it would mask the problem of your 3rd and 4th lines not scoring.

I'd rather keep all of my trading chips until I know I have acquired a top 2 Dman. Then use what you have left to address other needs.

My priority list based upon urgency: 1) top 2 Dman 2) Goal (Scrivens?) 3) better two-way centre, hopefully with decent size. 4) size on wing.

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#141 Zarny
February 06 2014, 01:08PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Gagner has negative value. If the oil could just make him and his contract disappear they would be better off. So if they get "spare parts" back for very little money then it is a win for the oil.

Negative value?

That's possibly the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

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#142 Spydyr
February 06 2014, 01:50PM
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Truth wrote:

Gagner was 37th in points in all of the NHL last year. 18th among centers. On pace for 65 pts.

What he is not is the player he was for a month while recovering from a broken jaw that he received in the pre-season.

If he averaged out as a 50-60 point center in the NHL he is a second line center on most teams in the league.

But might as well give him up for Zach Stortini 2.0.

I don't care how many points he scores. He is a career -58. Yes, plus-minus is not the best stat, but when you are minus year after year it shows something.

Getting a player back that scores less, but is constantly a plus player helps the team more.

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#143 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 01:52PM
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Zarny wrote:

I've maintained for years Gagner isn't the right fit for the Oilers because he doesn't compliment Nuge well. He's basically the same small, skilled C but not as good.

The suggestions however that Gagner has "negative value" or no value is beyond delusional. It's evidence of how some have completely lost touch with reality and all perspective.

As an undersized C who shouldn't have played in the NHL till he was 20, Gagner's pt/gm average is 50 pt over 82 games. Last year he was on pace for 65 pt and that's all before he played a single game in his prime.

It's unfortunate Gagner had his face caved in to start the year. He's certainly not having his best year with the missed time and injury. Sort of like Getzlaf didn't have his best year in 2011-12 when he only got 57 pt. It happens.

The reality is even the best teams only have 4 or 5 players who top 45 pts in a season and Gagner is in that class with his entire prime ahead of him.

"Negative" or no value is beyond ridiculous I'm afraid.

Negative Value is not a difficult concept. If they are delivering less than they are getting paid - they have negative value.

Could the oil - if they had the 5 mill and the roster spot - find a better player than gagner? Given time - absolutely.

Comparing Getzlaf to Gagner via just points is ridiculous and does little to enlighten the discussion.

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#144 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 01:53PM
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Zarny wrote:

The C who finished directly ahead of Gagner last year was Joe Thornton...he earned $7 million.

The C who finished directly below Gagner last year was Logan Couture who earned $2.85 million but resigned for $6 million starting next season.

Arcobello was every bit as good as an injured Gagner coming back too early from a broken jaw, missed training camp and sucking food threw a straw for 3-4 weeks.

Yes, I'm sure dropping 10-15 lbs on a liquid diet did wonders for a small F like Gagner who already struggles against big C like Getzlaf and Toews.

Absolutely no explanation whatsoever why he wouldn't be having a career year. Totally baffling.

Thornton and Couture are vastly better players than Gagner and are worth every penny. Again just looking at points is silly. By that metric Bob Gainey wouldn't be in the HOF.

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#145 Rod from Viking
February 06 2014, 03:43PM
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It is sure easy to tell which posters actually played the game and who looks up stats to justify their usually weak arguments.

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#146 Doctor Smashy
February 06 2014, 04:23PM
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And for what it's worth, Zarny is owning ever Gagner-hating clown on this board today.

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#147 The Soup Fascist
February 06 2014, 07:13PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Negative Value is not a difficult concept. If they are delivering less than they are getting paid - they have negative value.

Could the oil - if they had the 5 mill and the roster spot - find a better player than gagner? Given time - absolutely.

Comparing Getzlaf to Gagner via just points is ridiculous and does little to enlighten the discussion.

For the love of God .... er .... Gord. How can you try to sell this with a straight face ? "Negative Value" ????

For whatever category you set - let's say forwards making 4.5 to 5 million per year using whatever criteria you use - at some point there is an average where there is an expectation that if you are above the line you are outperforming the contract. If you are below the average you are under performing.

By your definition HALF THE PLAYERS IN THE FREAKING LEAGUE HAVE A NEGATIVE VALUE. Yet you would like everyone to believe Gagner is the only guy in the league with a questionable contract.

Clearly many don't think Gagner is a suitable 2C for this team. I don't disagree given the team's make up and Gagner's strengths and weaknesses. But for all the haters, sorry, Sam Gagner is an honest to God ... er .... Gord NHL forward. A very skilled, but flawed player. There is a place for him to succeed in the right setting. To pin the Oilers wows for the last 6.5 years primarily on him is ridiculous. To take the first warm body offered up is moronic.

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#148 Spydyr
February 07 2014, 07:29AM
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Zarny wrote:

John Tavares is a career -43. Hopefully he never wears an Oilers jersey either I guess.

Ovechkin is currently -19 for the season. I suppose you'd be disappointed if the Oilers acquired him too?

You just compared Gagner to Tavares and Ovechkin.

Let that sink in a bit.

If you cannot tell which one does not belong with the other two, well you made everything you have ever said here irrelevant.

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#149 Spydyr
February 07 2014, 08:51AM
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pkam wrote:

In case you have problem getting the message from Zarny's post, he means +/- has very little to do to a player's value. And he is responding to you trashing Gagner's poor +/-.

Kovalchuk probably has the worst career +/-. How many NHL teams would love to sign him. Did Team Russian ever left him out because of his poor +/- status?

It is asinine to compare plus minus from players on different teams.

Hall career -12 Gagner career-58

46 point difference

If you cannot tell Gagner is not good defensively nothing anyone can say will change that.

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#150 Sisyphys
February 06 2014, 05:55AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

I think some people are missing what JW alludes to in this article, that trading Gagner may make sense in one aspect, but retaining a large portion of his salary does not in another. The NHL is a business and you can't just trade away every player you want out of town and retain half of his salary, unfortunately.

Sure you can. Its not always a great idea, but it depends on how badly you want that player out of town. If they are more of a liability staying on your team, then eating some salary to get them the heck out of town isn't always a completely horrible decision.

Though frankly, I say hold onto Gagner. The offers you'll get for him will be for equally crappy players, or worse. At that point, might as well stick with the crap you know rather than trade for the crap you dont

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