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. 

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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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#51 Zarny
February 06 2014, 03:27PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Better than hanzal, bozak, Monahan legwand handzus? Really?

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.

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#52 Zarny
February 06 2014, 03:53PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Getzlaf struggled for a short period perhaps, Gagner has consistently underperformed - or rather has performed below the expectations/dreams of many on oilers management and omany more oilers fans.

Gagner wasn't getting 4.8 mill two years ago.

negative value is very simple and common:

You own a car that is appraised at $10000 and you outstanding loan is $15000. The car has a negative value of $5000.

Gagner is worth maybe 3mill/yr over 3 years (let's say) - in other words he could be replaced by a player of equal benefit for $3mill. and he's signed for 4.8 for 3 years. Thus he has a negative total value of 5.4 mill or 1,8 mill/year.

I don't think Gagner has performed below expectations of management or fans. Not on a pt/gm basis. You can't control injuries.

I agree Gagner wasn't getting 4.8 million 2 years ago.

Like it or not though Gord, Gagner finished tied for 34th in league scoring last year. That gets you $4.8 million when you haven't even played 1 game in your prime.

Gagner certainly hasn't played up to $4.8 million this year; but then again he had his jaw caved in to start the season. Sh*t happens.

As for negative value sorry I disagree. You assume Gagner won't play or produce better the next two years when he isn't injured. Based on last year that's a very poor assumption.

If the amount of the overpay was worth more than a player's worth, or in other words if a player played up to less than half his contract value then I could see calling it negative value.

Based on your definition Crosby has been a millstone of negative value for the Pens.

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#53 Say what again
February 05 2014, 10:17PM
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I'm just not convinced Gagner has much value at all. When he's not a scoring machine (which he barely rates as even at the best of times) he provides little of value and is even a detriment. Right now he's a significant reason why we are 29th place with 19 wins. Hell, he had his detractors even before this season when he wasn't this bad.

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#54 bazmagoo
February 05 2014, 10:32PM
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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.

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#55 **
February 05 2014, 10:55PM
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Trading to a division rival is bad, but if there ar no other takers, what can one do?. Mac T. must be close to a deal for a second line center if he is willing to partake with Gagner. Best way to get Gagner out of town should be a package deal for a quality player, not for coke machines.

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#56 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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#57 Rdubb
February 06 2014, 06:18AM
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"There simply aren't second-line centres available", well, sorry Johnathon, but Sam ISN'T a 2nd line centre in the NHL, and on a half decent team he'd be a 3rd line centre... The only attribute that Sam has that makes him a good 2nd line centre is his passion, now, what forces are against him; poor in the dot (very poor, 4th liners have better percentages than he does), extremely poor d-zone coverage, spends too much time watching the play instead of inserting himself into the play, his size and strength. Unfortunately, and I am not going to say that I have ever heard Johnathon say this or not, but I have heard many on the site say the exact same thing as I have above, Sam is not a centre... now why did the experiment of him playing the wing last so long? I think two, maybe three games? It's now been six or seven yrs, and it'll only hurt Sam's game in the future, these sets of coaches must get it through his head that he isn't an NHL centre man, and his all around game and stats would be much better if he played 2nd line wing minutes. Then, we'll get a big return for Sam via trade

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#58 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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#59 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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#60 tabs
February 06 2014, 11:41AM
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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.

See post #128 SG, we are both saying the same thing and until fellow posters realize the horrendously poor contract MacT signed they will forever believe that any deal struck for Gagner is poor.

Taking back part of contract in negotiation only helps sell the deal to the public.....

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#61 tabs
February 06 2014, 01:22PM
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Zarny 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.

Merely suggesting it is beyond stupid.

Give it a rest Z

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#62 Truth
February 06 2014, 01:25PM
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Ryan14 wrote:

Gagner isn't the player that the Oilers and media want him to be or think he is.

His best season (2011-12) had him 43rd amongst centers in points with 47, tied with Tyler Bozak (the same Tyler Bozak that is considered by many to be grossly overpaid at 4.2), Frans Nielsen and Kyle Wellwood. Kyle Brodziak and Derek Roy were three points back of Gagner.

Gagner is a slightly above average point producer, below average face off man and has below average defensive ability.

If he was putting up 55, 65 points, then you could argue that he is worth more. As it stands now, with his current (and career) production levels, his inability to play anywhere that is not in the offensive zone, and poor face-off ability, the value for him is not that high. Add in his near $5 million cap hit and his inability to remain consistent at any degree, and his value diminishes even more.

He is what he is.

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.

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#63 Zarny
February 06 2014, 01:37PM
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mike wrote:

[quote]Gagner was 37th in points in all of the NHL last year. 18th among centers. On pace for 65 pts.[/quote] What did the centers one or two places above him and below him earn? And what was their draw % and plus minus? Arcobello was every bit as good as Gagner at a fraction of the cost, but we really need a more physical / defensive center given the make up of our top 6. It hurts to realize a top pick the Oilers made has minimal value to other teams, but thanks to his contract (which overpays him given his flaws), that's the reality.

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.

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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 02:12PM
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David S wrote:

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?

Even a healthy Gagner has negative value. I wanted him traded not signed. I was right. MAct and presumably you, were wrong.

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#68 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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#69 David S
February 06 2014, 08:26PM
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Doctor Smashy wrote:

And for what it's worth, Zarny is owning ever Gagner-hating clown on this board today.

Both of you guys are killing it. Zarny has made every Gagner hater on here look like a junior high school fanboy.

Well done boys but I'm not sure your brand of common sense is appreciated on this thread.

Too bad. We could use more of you.

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#70 The Soup Fascist
February 05 2014, 10:08PM
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I like these three guys but I agree, I am not sure one of these guys for Gagner at half his salary makes this team any stronger.

What is the rush? See if Gagner continues his recovery from the injury, increasing his trade value. If the Oil are bound and determined to trade him - wait until the draft, unless there is a substantially better offer on the table. Contending teams will be more likely to consider moving impact guys after the playoffs as part of a package. They won't now.

Don't move Gagner for the sake of moving him. The Oil need a good sized two way 2C or top pairing defenseman. Rather than squandering Gagner for a 3 or 4 line coke machine winger, package him up in the offseason - maybe with your 2014 pick and / or prospect - to gain something you REALLY need.

MacT you and the Oil are in a hole. Some free advice ...... STOP DIGGING!

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#71 Smokey
February 05 2014, 10:22PM
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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?

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#72 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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#73 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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#74 David S
February 05 2014, 10:36PM
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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.

I SO desperately want to multi-prop this.

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#75 Mr common sense
February 05 2014, 10:40PM
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Woogie63 wrote:

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

Lol exactly. It's the subconscious want of everyone in edm to want Gagner gone, we say it straight whereas others hang off the words of marginal sources

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#76 Kodiak
February 05 2014, 11:15PM
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@David S

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.

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#77 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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#78 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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#79 A-Mc
February 06 2014, 09:39AM
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Kodiak wrote:

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.

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.

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#80 ESA10
February 06 2014, 09:40AM
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I disagree young Willis. Gagner is losing the oilers games with his spotty defensive play.

If you could get King and Frattin from the kings then the oilers would finally have a third line and hendricks could play the 4th like he should be.

2014-15 King Gordon Frattin Hendricks Ladner Pitlick Gadzic Arcobello

To me that looks like we finally have the bottom of the roster figured out. I do agree that we would have to find a second line center but there are possibilities out there.

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#81 TURNOVER
February 06 2014, 09:49AM
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voom04 wrote:

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.

Gagner for 1-2 D-man? That statement proves their is life on other planets.

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#82 Cutterov
February 06 2014, 10:08AM
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By moving Gagner this is a case of addition by subtraction.. Gagner is small, never scored more then 50 points, bad on draws, and a total defensive liability, when you watch him play he just doesn't understand who he needs to identify as the dangerous man... If I was Eakins and running practice it would be 3 on 3 down low an Gagner would be up every single time until He realizes who he needs to identify as his defensive responsability. The other issue I have is that he feels he's an elite offensive player. 4.8 mil a year for a player who has never scored 50 points in a season is a serious over pay. By adding a tough body To our bottom 6 we obtain more size and become harder to play against.

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#83 Lochenzo
February 06 2014, 01:08PM
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This Gagner trade rumour story is on TSN again. I'm getting real worried that the Oilers are going to get pummeled in this trade.

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#84 mike
February 06 2014, 01:28PM
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[quote]Gagner was 37th in points in all of the NHL last year. 18th among centers. On pace for 65 pts.[/quote] What did the centers one or two places above him and below him earn? And what was their draw % and plus minus? Arcobello was every bit as good as Gagner at a fraction of the cost, but we really need a more physical / defensive center given the make up of our top 6. It hurts to realize a top pick the Oilers made has minimal value to other teams, but thanks to his contract (which overpays him given his flaws), that's the reality.

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#85 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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#86 Serious Gord
February 06 2014, 02:40PM
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Zarny wrote:

I wasn't trying to compare or suggest Gagner and Getzlaf were similar players or had similar value.

Simply pointing out that players have up years and down years. 2 years ago Getzlaf only had 57 pt in 82 games. This year he's sitting at 64 pt in 55 games.

Was Getzlaf worthless or did he have "negative value" 2 years ago? No.

And sorry but I don't agree with your definition of "negative value". I think that concept is actually quite silly.

Getzlaf struggled for a short period perhaps, Gagner has consistently underperformed - or rather has performed below the expectations/dreams of many on oilers management and omany more oilers fans.

Gagner wasn't getting 4.8 mill two years ago.

negative value is very simple and common:

You own a car that is appraised at $10000 and you outstanding loan is $15000. The car has a negative value of $5000.

Gagner is worth maybe 3mill/yr over 3 years (let's say) - in other words he could be replaced by a player of equal benefit for $3mill. and he's signed for 4.8 for 3 years. Thus he has a negative total value of 5.4 mill or 1,8 mill/year.

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#87 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 06 2014, 03:16PM
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I would take at least 10 of the guys on the list in trade for Gagner.

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#88 cccsberg
February 06 2014, 03:25PM
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Truth wrote:

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.

wow, just wow... when I started reading the list I was thinking, yeah, here's a bunch of 2C and I wouldn't take Gagner over many/any of these, and you think Gagner is better than them all? Forget the points, man, defensive ability & face-offs COUNT in the NHL!! Gagner can give you some points, but his other liabilities are major problems lowering his overall value. Forget even mentioning the contract... and forget also mentioning he's definitely not a good fit for the Oilers. This rumoured LAK trade may have its issues (if it happens) but the Oilers definitely need to make changes and Gagner going is part of the solution.

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#89 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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#90 Doctor Smashy
February 06 2014, 04:21PM
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The hate for Gagner is getting a little silly. We can all acknowledge that Gagner has had a rough year defensively but I have yet to read anything even close to convincing explaining why the Oilers are generally so bad this year...everyone. Sure our defense is weak but does that make Hall pass to no one in particular at the point? Does that make Eberle hang on to the puck forever without shooting? Does that make Yakupov inexplicably fall down while doing a routine pivot? Seriously people, PhD theses will be written on why the Oilers have been THIS bad this year. As for Gagner - the facts are these:

From the 2007 entry draft there is exactly one player who has more points than the reviled Sam Gagner - it is Patrick Kane.

There are exactly five players who have more points per game than Gagner from the 2007 draft (Hmmm, he was 6th overall pick....). They are: Patrick Kane - 0.964 pts/game Jamie Benn - 0.759 pts/game Logan Couture - 0.731 pts/game Max Pacioretty - 0.636 pts/game Jakub Voracek - 0.632 pts/game

Sam Gagner is at 0.612 pts/game

So Kane is the best, fine. Benn was a 5th round pick and Dallas picked 4 dudes ahead of him - so that makes every GM an idiot I suppose. Logan Couture has been on a GREAT team for his whole career - might have something to do with it, might not. Pacioretty is ahead of Gags on the strength of ONE good season - he's a good player but has played far fewer games...we'll see how his career looks in 10 years. Anyone who would rather have Voracek, well sure he's bigger but I'm not sure he all that much better than Gagner - tough to say because I haven't seen him play very much.

Gagner has put up the same points per game practically ever year (higher last year and lower this year by about the same amount). You can call that a lack of improvement or you can call that consistency. Who cares. He is very good player on a very bad team with alot of problems. You DO NOT trade Sam Gagner for a third line plug.

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#91 Rod from Viking
February 06 2014, 04:23PM
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The biggest reason not to trade Gagner is to make sure we get a top 3 pick, we need to keep him and play him a lot in all situations and take all the face-offs in the defensive zone. Trade him in the summer to a team that needs to get to the cap floor.

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#92 Doctor Smashy
February 06 2014, 09:47PM
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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.

SO the thesis of your argument is that the Oilers are bad because Gagner is on the team. Ok, so have you checked to see what our record was before he returned at the end of October? We must have been doing great! Oh right, we were 3-10. Our record suggests we were better with him. I appreciate the fact that you are trying to fit in with this very fashionable 'Gagner as the source of all of our problems' thing but it is just getting very old. It is plain to see he has had some VERY bad games. Getzlaf had a very bad season. Ovechkin had a very bad season. Am I equating them with Gagner? No. I am comparing the scenarios of turning on a 1.0 PPG player because of one bad season and turning on a 0.6 PPG player because of one bad season. It is the same thing and it is stupid in both cases. Gagner is worth A LOT more more than Clifford. Period. He may not fit on our team because of all the other players we have that bring the same thing...sure. But let's not drive this guy out of town because of this meme that is dominating the collective Oiler mind.

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#93 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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#95 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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#96 David S
February 05 2014, 10:26PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

In fairness, this internet pundit made it pretty clear that he wouldn't be willing to replace Gagner with Arcobello/Lander.

Whoah, whoah WHOAH! I mean THE OTHER internet pundits. *Wipes poo off shoe*

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#97 The Soup Fascist
February 05 2014, 10:27PM
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Mr common sense wrote:

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

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

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#98 Taylor Gang
February 05 2014, 10:44PM
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Meh, I'm not impressed with Gagner's play but I'd argue that Gagner is a better asset than the players mentioned. This season is a complete writeoff anyways so we should wait until the offseason.

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#99 The Soup Fascist
February 05 2014, 11:46PM
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Mabell wrote:

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.

Evolving or devolving?

Does adding a coke machine 3/4 line winger and eating $2.4 million of cap space help us? A bad trade is not the answer.

We agree a bigger competent two-way 2C (plus a couple of actual NHL defensemen) is necessary. I just think Gagner plus this years pick and / or a prospect is more apt to get you something tangible than the same package with a King / Clifford or Nolan.

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#100 Oilers Coffey
February 06 2014, 12:46AM
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The Gagner era needs to close, this team needs a huge upgrade at #2C. If MacT can dump him for some size and tenacity like King &/or Nolan, that makes the Oilers that much bigger and tougher to play against. Especially in this conference. Gagners defensive liabilities and errors need to be moved! Willis didn't like the Hendricks move either, but it's about adding different elements to the team. King &/ Nolan bring different elements that the Oilers need. Land a #2C during the summer.

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