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, 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 voom04
February 05 2014, 11:03PM
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The only way u trade gagner is for a 1-2Dman, if you have to through in a pick/prospect so be it. U fix your defense without trading him and his defensive defiecencies disappear at least marginaly.

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#2 2004Z06
February 05 2014, 10:58PM
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I cannot believe people are still using Gagner's "point potential" as an argument for keeping him. I ask any of you Gagner supporters to consider that for every point Gagner gets, he give up two. He does not hit, gets pushed off the puck too easily and is horrible in the face off circle. This not including his ridiculous cap hit. If Mac T can get King and a pick or prospect, it is a win.

Wow some of our fans are deluded, or have had their kool aid spiked. Maybe both?

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#3 andrewmk20
February 06 2014, 02:17AM
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Any chance that Nashville would consider Gagner for Cullen. Cullen has 1 year left at 3.5M and despite being 37 can still skate well and plays an actual two way game. I know his offence has fallen off the past two seasons but he'd be with better offensive linemates in Edmonton than in Minnesota or Nashville.

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#4 Al Low
February 05 2014, 10:01PM
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Great points but this team is terrible with Gagner as a 2nd line centre. If we get Sam Reinhart in the draft, we've got the 2nd line centre covered for years to come. Obviously, Ekblad would be ideal but if somebody else wins the lottery draft, we still get a nice consolation prize in Reinhart. Either way, whatever is needed based on the draft will be have to be addressed with an Eberle deal in the offseason.

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#5 A-Mc
February 05 2014, 09:46PM
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Wow if this went down as a king for gagner deal, I think we would be getting fleeced. Even if the Oilers don't retain any salary.

There is a big gap between a near 50 pt 2nd line center and a 3rd line winger that is maybe 30 pt guy.. even if he is big.

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#6 David S
February 05 2014, 11:08PM
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Kodiak wrote:

This season hasn't helped his cause but he's always been terrible in his own zone, he's not physical, he's inconsistent, he's padded stats late in seasons when the games haven't mattered. He's not a difference maker offensively but is defensively in a negative way. Yes, he can play better than he has this season but it's still not enough to have him slotted in as a 2C if we want to finish higher than 20th.

Show me any other guy in our top 6 who has the guts to do this and I'll agree Gagner (when healthy) "isn't physical" http://youtu.be/wWCidNpNcCE *drops mic*

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#7 john
February 06 2014, 02:20AM
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Oilers fan in Toronto here, why are all the fans in Edmonton running their players out of town? Are some of the people there stupid or what? You spent years developed Gagner, now you got Eakins screwing up the team, you blame skill forwards are not physical there? Kane and Toews in Chicago are not physical and they are plus in +/-. You need to mix and match 2 skill guys with one big guy in the line, spread out the scoring. In the 80's you had Gretzky, Kurri and Semenko and that line was killing other teams. 2 skill guys passing and shooting then the big forward go to the net and go to the boards. It's seems like anybody playing in Edmonton everyone there has a beef with, no wonder no UFA want to go there. You FANS need to grow up and doing something else there in the winter instead of chewing your team 24/7. You need a real experience coach to teach them how to win. Sending Gagner to other team is a mistake, look at Glencross (not as good as Gagner) and he's doing well in Calgary. You guys are ungrateful bunch, Gagner gave it all for Oilers last 7 years. He had no others to support him and he still produced.

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#8 G-Unit
February 05 2014, 10:00PM
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I couldn't agree more. The clambering to trade guys that aren't producing is getting old. Hemsky must go? Gagner must be traded? You should only trade to improve the club, not out of desperation to be bold. I see more bad trades coming just to be seen as bold. Don't worry MacT will use big words and these bad moves will be his alone. 1990 where have you gone?

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#9 David S
February 05 2014, 10:08PM
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Thank god internet pundits don't make actual NHL deals. Surely MacT isn't dumb enough to think either of Arco or Lander can really replace Gagner.

Think about it. Gagner's season was a writeoff the moment he took Kassian's stick to the face. So the only true point of reference you have for his value is last season, where 38/48 makes him an effective 65 point scorer. In other words, a legit 2LC. Yeah his D needs work, but when a guy is playing that far up the roster points count for alot. Neither Arco or Lander can step to that. MacT knows it too.

If Gagner gets traded, it'll be over the summer when we'll be able to get a realistic return for the player Gagner is, not the player you see right now.

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#10 Kodiak
February 05 2014, 10:15PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Wow if this went down as a king for gagner deal, I think we would be getting fleeced. Even if the Oilers don't retain any salary.

There is a big gap between a near 50 pt 2nd line center and a 3rd line winger that is maybe 30 pt guy.. even if he is big.

Gagner and King have the same number of points this year. Where is this gap you speak of? We'd be saving some cap room and getting a physical player with size. King also hasn't been brought up in the Oilers organization so probably knows how to play in his own zone.

Addition by subtraction IMO. If the choice was Arco and King in the lineup or Gagner in the lineup I think it's a no brainer. See ya Gags.

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#11 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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#12 Al Low
February 05 2014, 10:42PM
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It's amazing how much Oiler fans drink the Katz Kool-Aid. Always overvaluing our players. What other idiot GM would have paid Gagner 4.8M per year? They need to cut their losses and move on. Get what you can.

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#13 james_dean
February 05 2014, 10:07PM
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DONT DO IT MAC!

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#14 Gorbahchano
February 06 2014, 10:03AM
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Man, ON just should lay off Gagner, Christ. Why get rid of someone that we can't replace right now? Sure, Arco is great and could possibly fill the void but I'd rather have a guy with the amount of experience Gagner does. It's amazing how many times the oilers fans cry to have someone who is obviously having an off season traded. I agree that his performance of late is brutal compared to before. I'd give it time, if we trade him he'll just light is up and make the oilers look stupid for trading him like lots of past oilers have.

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#15 Tuningout
February 05 2014, 09:44PM
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Great voice of reason ! Sometimes I wonder which management "team" shows up. The one that traded for Perron. Or the one that claimed McIntyre. I don't mind seeing Sam go. But only for an upgrade or two A level young players that could be upgrades. Too much to ask ?

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#16 the tikk
February 05 2014, 10:07PM
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Just zero idea why on earth they would rush to move Gagner now, when:

- They need a helpful roster player back, which a contender would be less likely to give up

- The cap is going up in the offseason and teams will have way more flexibility for moving contracts

- His play may well improve over the last third of the season, increasing his value on the summer market

So really - why would they feel they need to make this move now?

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#17 Mr common sense
February 05 2014, 10:59PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

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.

I just can't believe on 47 levels, that we are still talking about Gagner. I mean do I even want to google that draft yr and see what 6ft man came after him that we could have had instead?? It's taken 7 freakin yrs to understand he is not strong and smart??? NOW finally we are mad that he can't win face offs?? NOW, not THE day the new divisions were announced we are looking at the rosters of our divisional opponents to realize our weakling boys don't match up?? Like wtf

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#18 G-Unit
February 05 2014, 10:15PM
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Am I the only person that was underwhelmed by Ekblad at the world juniors? He seemed to be lost on the ice against the better teams, trying to do too much. I think he looks good in a weak draft year and has been noticed since he was allowed to play underage in the OHL. Is it possible that he is a player that peaked ahead of his age group and they are quickly catching up? I would rather trade the pick for a decent number 2 d man.

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#20 David S
February 05 2014, 10:41PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Personally I'd do Gagner for King in a heartbeat. I'm more comfortable with Arco or Ladner battling for that 2nd line centre spot than I am with Gags in there. Gagner can't/doesn't want to play defence!

This is exactly what everyone has been talking about for ages, and would shake up the team. Will Gagner do well in LA? Absolutely. Is Dwight King the type of player we need in Edmonton? Absolutely.

If you can sign Ladner and Arco to 2 year, one way deals in the offseason in the $600k range I'd be more than happy to see them battle it out for that 2nd line spot. The only thing I'd be hesitant with is eating half of Gagner's contract, that would be hard to swallow. Disagree with you on this one Willis.

If you watch closely, you can see he wants to and he tries, but you also see a complete fear of really physically engaging.

His face is broken. The bone may be knitted but it's nowhere near healed. One hard shot the right way and he'll re-break it. I think it was Friedman's 30 for 30 article the other day that mentioned it.

I'd bet a fat stack or two Gagner isn't being PB'd because the whole coaching staff knows this - that he's gutting out the season. In fact, he may be the grittiest player in the room and we'll never know.

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#21 David S
February 05 2014, 10:44PM
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I'm going to back out of this one because it seems like a no-win for sanity tonight.

But I'll leave you with this. If you're judging the value of Sam Gagner based on what you're seeing this year, you're doing the whole thing wrong.

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#22 Al Low
February 05 2014, 11:27PM
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David S wrote:

Show me any other guy in our top 6 who has the guts to do this and I'll agree Gagner (when healthy) "isn't physical" http://youtu.be/wWCidNpNcCE *drops mic*

Ask yourself, would any contender have Gagner in a 2LC spot? Get off his nuts, David S. He's not good enough, even on the Oilers.

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#23 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 11:28AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Dubnyk for Hendricks was overvaluing him?

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

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#24 Mr common sense
February 05 2014, 10:24PM
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Edm media eh? Let's not forget 2 things people:

1) Gagner is over valued by edm, he actually is simply worth a 3rd or 4th liner, nothing to be alarmed at here

2) the biggest benefit in moving Gagner is that he is gone and this crutch of a skilled midget being adequate as a 2nd C is once and for all over. The Oil then have NO choice but to solve that problem

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#25 Mr common sense
February 05 2014, 10:29PM
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Smokey wrote:

Kings had a small fiester winger/center by the name of Mike Cammalleri they dumped a few years ago when they were crap. Why would they want Sam Gagner? Why do they even need him? Who makes this stuff up?

100% correct.

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#26 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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#27 Naky
February 06 2014, 12:23AM
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The Kings have a history of turning players that fans and this organization have literally run out of town into great, solid players. If they want Gagner, it's because they -know- they can make him a great, solid player while Edmonton can't. If LA could get Gagner from us, while retaining salary for only Clifford or Nolan or hell even both, it would be such a laughably one-sided deal for LA that MacT should just step down and admit that Tambellini was actually better at this thing after all.

People really need to stop undervaluing players just because you have a personal mancrush of hate on them. They're assets of varying value and a low point in a bad season does not make a career of a player.

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#28 Young Oil
February 05 2014, 09:53PM
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Good article JW, retaining half of Gagner's salary for two years would be insane, unless the return was very substantial, which is very unlikely considering the way he has played this year.

That being said, in my opinion trading Gagner would almost be addition by subtraction the way he is playing right now. If any team is willing to take that whole contract, and not send a poor contract back the other way, that's a deal worth taking. Even if it's a Clifford type coming back. Obviously a cap team like LA can't do this, so I agree that they are not the ideal trading partner.

Then, the $4.8M could potentially be put towards a center that can play at each end of the rink, like Stastny.

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#29 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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#30 Mr common sense
February 05 2014, 10:38PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Is "100% correct" code for "this report from established journalists with impeccable credentials doesn't fit into my worldview and therefore I will pretend it's a fanboy fantasy?"

I'll hang up and listen.

Not so much directed at a criticism of Friedman as it is incredulous shock that smart winners like Lombardi and sutter would want the anti model of a hockey player. Why the F would they want Gagner?? Makes zero sense

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#31 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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#32 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 12:02PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Ya i dont agree, so there is no way we can discuss Mr Samwise.

The only problem with Sam is that he doesnt fit what this team needs badly. That's a far cry from "negative" value.

The cap is going up folks - Players like Callahan are looking to make ~7mill/yr. Gagner is NOT Callahan, but you can see how the $/value ratio is about to get ugly.

4.8 for samwise isn't a big deal and isn't preventing the team from signing good players.

He is being paid more than he is worth. There is no other team in the league that would pay as much. Thus he has negative value.

The cap is going up for everyone so cap room will continue to be an issue. Gagner is an overpay now and will continue to be one.

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#33 David S
February 05 2014, 10:17PM
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Al Low wrote:

Great points but this team is terrible with Gagner as a 2nd line centre. If we get Sam Reinhart in the draft, we've got the 2nd line centre covered for years to come. Obviously, Ekblad would be ideal but if somebody else wins the lottery draft, we still get a nice consolation prize in Reinhart. Either way, whatever is needed based on the draft will be have to be addressed with an Eberle deal in the offseason.

Because Sam Reinhart will just step into the 2LC position? You're joking, right?

This folks is why the Oilers can get away with tanking for high draft picks. There's alot of fans out there that actually believe a lineup of young skilled guys and top prospects will somehow be competitive. [Note] The entire western conference begs to differ.

Our D is abysmal and all the team's progress is negated until it's addressed. Trading the pick alone or as part of a package to acquire a 1-2 D man is the only way we'll get out of this mess. We no longer have the luxury of waiting three years to see our next high pick develop. That's just a fact we all have to accept.

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#34 Spydyr
February 06 2014, 07:05AM
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"TRADING SAM GAGNER TO THE LOS ANGELES KINGS WOULD LIKELY BE A MISTAKE"

Yes, for LA, says anyone with a hockey IQ that has watched Gagner play.

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#35 K_Mart
February 06 2014, 07:09AM
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He had a really solid season last year and when he broke his jaw this year Strudwick said it would ruin Gagner's entire year, as he had a similar injury once before and said it ruined the rest of the season.

He was slurping everything through a straw and then he came back too early. His value is at a career low, leave it to Oiler fans to promote selling low.

He should have been dealt during the off season after his great lockout season. Now is the worst time. Give him the rest of this season, the off season, and a few months next year to get his game back (provided he doesn't get injured again) then trade him.

He'll never be a good fit for the Oilers but trading him now is dumb.

The only player the Oilers have who's value is higher around the league than it is to the Oilers is Perron. If you want to get something good you have to move something good. Sell high, not low. Move Perron, his value will almost certainly go down after next season.

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#36 Shifty203
February 06 2014, 10:17AM
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Yay! Lets trade our second line center, with no one challanging for the position, for a 4th line winger, and retain half the salary! Awesome plan for keeping infinibuild going!

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#37 S cottV
February 06 2014, 10:47AM
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Only way to showcase Gagner is to put players around him, that will push zone time forward - as much as is possible.

Gagner and Yak - together, is not good for either of them. Both require support around them to play in the offensive end. Keeping them together is sure to minimize the chances of moving Gagner, in any kind of reasonable deal.

If showcasing is an objective - the premier guys to play him with, would be Perron and Hall. Maybe send RNH a signal at the same time,to up his game by mixing up that top line.

If that can't be justified, then at least don't make Gagner look any worse than neccesary, by giving him Perron and Hemsky or Smyth and Hemsky.

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#38 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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#39 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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#40 Kodiak
February 05 2014, 10:24PM
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David S wrote:

Thank god internet pundits don't make actual NHL deals. Surely MacT isn't dumb enough to think either of Arco or Lander can really replace Gagner.

Think about it. Gagner's season was a writeoff the moment he took Kassian's stick to the face. So the only true point of reference you have for his value is last season, where 38/48 makes him an effective 65 point scorer. In other words, a legit 2LC. Yeah his D needs work, but when a guy is playing that far up the roster points count for alot. Neither Arco or Lander can step to that. MacT knows it too.

If Gagner gets traded, it'll be over the summer when we'll be able to get a realistic return for the player Gagner is, not the player you see right now.

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

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#41 Al Low
February 05 2014, 10:50PM
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David S wrote:

Because Sam Reinhart will just step into the 2LC position? You're joking, right?

This folks is why the Oilers can get away with tanking for high draft picks. There's alot of fans out there that actually believe a lineup of young skilled guys and top prospects will somehow be competitive. [Note] The entire western conference begs to differ.

Our D is abysmal and all the team's progress is negated until it's addressed. Trading the pick alone or as part of a package to acquire a 1-2 D man is the only way we'll get out of this mess. We no longer have the luxury of waiting three years to see our next high pick develop. That's just a fact we all have to accept.

And staying the course with your boy Gagner's working? I'd take my chances on a guy like Reinhart over Gagner any day. Last I checked, Edmonton's not exactly going to be competing for a playoff spot for another 2 or 3 years. I'd rather have a solid 2 way guy in Reinhart in 3 years than a so-called gritty, 2LC who hasn't learned to pay D in his 7 years and occasionally puts up an 8 point game.

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#42 The Soup Fascist
February 05 2014, 11:16PM
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Mr common sense wrote:

I just can't believe on 47 levels, that we are still talking about Gagner. I mean do I even want to google that draft yr and see what 6ft man came after him that we could have had instead?? It's taken 7 freakin yrs to understand he is not strong and smart??? NOW finally we are mad that he can't win face offs?? NOW, not THE day the new divisions were announced we are looking at the rosters of our divisional opponents to realize our weakling boys don't match up?? Like wtf

My apologies for talking about Sam Gagner in an article that is titled "Trading Sam Gagner ....".

Your ON name is meant to be ironic, right?

I am not sure revisiting the draft 7 years later and cherry picking should ofs and could ofs is particularly useful. For every Logan Couture and Ryan McDonaugh there are five Thomas Hickeys, Angelo Espositos, etc. including sadly an Alex Cherapanov. Let's leave that Monday morning QB exercise to the departed DSF, shall we?

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#43 john
February 06 2014, 03:39AM
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MacTavish is in Toronto, some Oilers fans want David Clarkson, you know what he's been a bust in Toronto. Over paid and had a few stupid suspensions already. He's 29 and has 9 points in 37 games for Leafs, in his career he has 179 points in 463 games and -37. Sam Gagner is 24 and has 281 points in 459 games with -68, this season he has 23 points in 45 games for Oilers. Still the fans there want to run Gagner out of town, he's younger and produced more points than Clarkson. But fans want Clarkson why? Because is 3 inches taller and they are about same weight? Fans please grow up, really, you guys are ruin the team over there.

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#44 Zamboni Driver
February 06 2014, 10:32AM
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Everyone realizes that the Edmonton Oilers are in SECOND LAST in the NHL, right?

How in the world would 'losing' Gagner make things any worse than they are????

Anyone really see him being any part of a future if this collection of losers ever starts getting borderline respectable.

and make no mistake, my friends, THAT is the goal. Borderline respectability.

Because right now, the Oilers are BELOW the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers in the standings.

and we laugh at them because they're such 'joke' organizations.

So trading Gagner would be a disaster?

Good lord, why?

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#45 Ham_n_Eggs
February 05 2014, 11:09PM
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I really hope they don't trade Gagner for another bottom 6 forward, Mitch Moroz is tracking along the same lines as King in Clifford in his draft year and draft year +1, and will likely fill the role of a big bottom 6 forward who can provide some offence. If you trade him at all, package him with a D prospect and fill some needs on the roster, not just make another move for the sake of doing it.

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#46 Rama Lama
February 05 2014, 11:12PM
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The names mentioned for Gagner are not going to be a fit.......JW , I totally agree with your assessment.

They will not give us what we need so it is pointless. Names like Dustin Brown and Jake Muzzins would be interesting but I don't hear them in the trade rumours so often.

You are also right on the Oilers finally having some grit in the bottom six.........we do not want another one of those in light of some of the players we have in the AHL.

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#47 Mack Strong
February 06 2014, 02:14AM
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In trading Gags we are left with a gaping hole at the #2 centre position.

We are just not deep at all at Centre. Love ARCO but he's not an NHL #2 Centre. Maybe not yet…..Im not sold on Lander at all…If gags is soft what do we classify Lander - he's not going to be causing any fear on the forecheck,,,

As much as I would love to see Ekblad in an Oiler Jersey…I'm starting to thing that maybe a Michael Dal Colle, Leon Draisati, Sam Bennett, or if Reinhart drops that would be our pick.

We are much deeper in the defence prospect pool than we are in the Centre prospect pool. At D we have Nurse, Klef, Gernat, Musil and Marincin is looking like he's made the leap….

Aside from Lander and ARCO we have Ewanyk, Horak, Yakimov as possible prospects at Centre…we look much better at D…shocking yes I know…the return for Gags is going to be small. Maybe we keep him at 2 or 3 Centre and hopefully the possible draft pick emerges nicely as Monahan did into a solid 2nd Center.

Hopefully D can strengthen in UFA...

We have a long way to go…..

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#48 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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#49 Truth
February 06 2014, 11:37AM
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Sam Gagner last season: 38 pts in 48 games

Evander Kane last season: 33 pts in 48 games

If Gagner for Clifford is the market, why don't the Oilers send Joensuu to Winnipeg for Kane? Heck, they should even retain some of Kane's salary.

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#50 Zarny
February 06 2014, 01:31PM
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Mike wrote:

"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."

How many points did he give away during this period? How many draws did he lose? He is a small body on a team full of small bodies, we need a large or physical 2nd line center.

Between some big bodies on LA he "might" be OK (albeit an expensive OK, not one I would give up a decent asset for), but on the Oilers he is a very poor fit. We were just as good with Arcobello but had $4 to $5million more cap space.

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.

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