Can the Edmonton Oilers afford to trade Sam Gagner? Can they afford not to?

Jonathan Willis
March 18 2014 10:13AM

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There is no more controversial player in Edmonton than Sam Gagner. The payoff for the difficult 2006-07 season, the still-young forward was supposed to be a primary piece for the Oilers to build around at centre. Instead, nearly 500 games into his NHL career, he continues to struggle.

What should Edmonton do with him?

The Case for Moving

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The argument for moving Gagner is that he isn’t a two-way hockey player.

Scoring isn’t really Gagner’s problem. He hasn’t lit the world on fire but he’s been posting very respectable second-line point totals since day one. On a team with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, that’s good enough (or should be eventually), even if it isn’t what the Oilers had in mind when they picked him sixth overall.

Gagner isn’t big, but that isn’t really a primary problem either. History is full of teams that have won Stanley Cups with centres roughly the size of Nugent-Hopkins and Gagner (fun fact for the ‘every team needs size down the middle!’ people: of the 10 centres to play on the Cup winners from Detroit (2008) and Boston (2011), not even one of them was listed at over 200 pounds). There are plenty of ways to win hockey games, and having a bunch of 6’4” guys who can play pivot is one of them, but not the only one.

What every Stanley Cup winner has in common is good players. And while Gagner is certainly an NHL player, it’s fair to wonder if he’s really the guy a team wants in the No. 2 pivot slot. Chicago won with Martin Hanzal (edit: Michal Handzus) there last season, but very few teams can insulate their No. 2 centre with Jonathan Toews in the No. 1 role and people like Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa on the wings.

Watch Gagner on this goal against from Edmonton’s last game in Carolina:

Justin Schultz grabs the puck at the blue line and jumps up ice. Gagner’s in the middle of the zone, behind the pinching Schultz and his two wingers, and sees it all happen. At about the two second mark, he’s at the far left of the screen about halfway up, watching a battle on the side boards. There’s a Carolina player just above and to the right of him. A good centre knows that, knows that Schultz (smartly) pinched, and covers for the defenceman. Gagner wanders past the Hurricanes forward and suddenly there’s a two-on-one, and eventually a goal against.

Every player makes mistakes, and thus any player can be made to look terrible on video. But from what I’ve seen, this is a mistake typical of Gagner. He doesn’t have the defensive commitment a centre needs. He cheats for offence.

The Case Against Moving

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The argument against moving Gagner is equally simple. It’s a stupid idea from an asset management perspective to trade players during low ebbs in value.

The following are Gagner’s totals (projected over 82 games) for the last five seasons:

Season  G A PTS +/-
2009-10 18 31 49 -10
2010-11 18 33 51 -21
2011-12 20 31 51 5
2012-13 24 41 65 -10
2013-14 10  36 46 -31

Gagner is at a low ebb in goal-scoring, a low ebb in point-scoring and a particularly low ebb in plus/minus. I think that in this case the basic statistics reflect reality. He started the year injured, he came back and was brutal, and while he’s improved a little bit lately he simply hasn’t been the Gagner of past seasons.

If the Oilers had traded Gagner two years ago, they likely would have had a better return. Ditto for last season. This year? We’re talking about the Oilers retaining salary and getting back Kyle Clifford.

Bad NHL teams typically bleed talent. One of the reasons is because bad teams generally have managers who make bad decisions, but there’s more to it than that. Bad teams are under more pressure than good teams to move players in off years, because they need everyone performing at a top level just to get within visual range of respectability. Bad teams tend not to have a support system, so when the bottom falls out on a player it really falls out.

Moving Gagner right now will see the Oilers get a 50 cents on the dollar return.

What Should Edmonton Do?

Craig MacTavish10

We are in a situation where the team has competing interests. It needs to get better in the No. 2 centre slot, which means trading Gagner away. But it also needs to get full value (or as close to it as possible) to improve the roster, which means retaining Gagner.

There are all kinds of real world problems here (is Gagner pushing for a trade, which free agents will consider Edmonton, what does the trade market look like) but in theory I think there’s an obvious two-step best course here:

  • 1. Add a replacement for Gagner to the roster.
  • 2. Keep Gagner until his trade value rebounds.

Let’s call Gagner’s replacement “Brandon Dubinsky” (we’re picking on Columbus here because they have Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner and Artem Anisimov and because virtually any of their four good centres would be a nice fit for the Oilers – but the general idea is just to add a player-type, not a specific player). If the Oilers add “Dubinsky” in the off-season without off-loading Gagner, they could start next year by putting him at centre on the third line and bumping Boyd Gordon down into the role of fourth-line defensive specialist (it’s the role Manny Malhotra played in Vancouver).

That puts Nugent-Hopkins’ line in the power-vs.-power role, the “Dubinsky” line in a secondary tough minutes role, the Gordon line in a defensive zone role, and leaves all kinds of soft minutes for the Gagner line. In that situation, it’s pretty conceivable that Gagner recovers offensively and his trade value increases dramatically, at which point Edmonton’s free to deal him for something else and bump “Dubinsky” into a more offensive role.

As we said, there are real-world considerations that might make this scenario an impossibility. But if possible, I think it’s the best route forward for Edmonton.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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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#101 **
March 18 2014, 03:16PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I don't even know what that is supposed to mean.

For your clarity, the use of "what" in my comments relay the lack of a connection between your statements and anything written by young Willis.

On a related note, here is another bit of rich hypocrisy for everyone's enjoyment.

Personally I'd rather you read things before you drool all over the keyboard.

updated for one more:

I don't appreciate it when someone puts words in my mouth

So troll it is.

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#102 **
March 18 2014, 03:38PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
I don't think you understand any concept. Buying low means a player who does more than what his salary projects, like David Perron, he's a bargain right now for the Oilers. Buying high, is paying Clarkson over 5 million a season on average for 10 points. So either you had a typo and meant buying high, or you're very, very stupid.

You're sort of right, except that you're linking it too much to salary.

Buying low means getting a player for less than market because his value is low at the time. For example, trading Yakupov right now is a certain example of selling low because his return will not be great. Hemsky was another example of selling low, despite his salary because Ottawa could probably already get more than they paid for him just based on the last 4 games.

You really don't follow your own train of thought. You start talking about buying low and then cite two examples of selling low. And even your examples are poor. Hemsky was a rental, entirely different scenario than trading a future like Yakupov.

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#103 **
March 18 2014, 03:44PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

I'm going to release my inner "Steve Smith":

I don't think giving credence means what you think it means.

Nice try, points for originality, sadly, in the words of Inigo Montoya:

"I don't think it means what you think it means"

Here:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/credence

"b : credibility 1 "

My work here is done. Another bites the dust. I like this game.

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#104 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 03:47PM
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** wrote:

You really don't follow your own train of thought. You start talking about buying low and then cite two examples of selling low. And even your examples are poor. Hemsky was a rental, entirely different scenario than trading a future like Yakupov.

FFS WHEN ON TEAM BUYS LOW IT MEANS ANOTHER SOLD LOW. I know that may seem odd, but a relationship exists amazingly.

Of course Hemsky and Yakupov are different. How does that detract from the fact that both are sell (or buy if it means that much to you)low scenarios?

You spend a shocking amount of time whining about people "putting words in your mouth" for someone who steadfastly refuses to characterize anyone's comments accurately.

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#105 **
March 18 2014, 03:53PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

FFS WHEN ON TEAM BUYS LOW IT MEANS ANOTHER SOLD LOW. I know that may seem odd, but a relationship exists amazingly.

Of course Hemsky and Yakupov are different. How does that detract from the fact that both are sell (or buy if it means that much to you)low scenarios?

You spend a shocking amount of time whining about people "putting words in your mouth" for someone who steadfastly refuses to characterize anyone's comments accurately.

Calm your tits, here have a cookie.

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#106 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 03:53PM
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@**

Now you can't even accurately characterize your own comments.

First:

Not sure if you're trolling or just incapable of reading and arguing.

Later to be referenced by:

I call you a troll

I know you hate having words put in your mouth so...

Regarding my "massively invalid" argument; I have no clue what you are getting at. Which argument exactly? I haven't made any arguments, and frankly, I don't think "argument" means what you think it means.

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#107 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 03:59PM
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** wrote:

Calm your tits, here have a cookie.

Caps are for emphasis. How does one "calm tits" exactly? That's cool though. What's a little misogyny to go with your hypocrisy.

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#108 **
March 18 2014, 04:00PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Now you can't even accurately characterize your own comments.

First:

Not sure if you're trolling or just incapable of reading and arguing.

Later to be referenced by:

I call you a troll

I know you hate having words put in your mouth so...

Regarding my "massively invalid" argument; I have no clue what you are getting at. Which argument exactly? I haven't made any arguments, and frankly, I don't think "argument" means what you think it means.

"I haven't made any arguments", Couldn't have said it better myself. Logical arguments anyways.

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#109 **
March 18 2014, 04:01PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Caps are for emphasis. How does one "calm tits" exactly? That's cool though. What's a little misogyny to go with your hypocrisy.

Damn, gotta call all the scientific community in the world right away. Apparently only women have tits now.

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#110 **
March 18 2014, 04:04PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I repeat, I don't think "argument" means what you think it means.

So now you're a troll, and a parrot. This is getting interesting.

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#111 Dave
March 18 2014, 08:11PM
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Trading Gagner would be good for the player and the team.

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#112 JohnQPublic
March 18 2014, 11:59PM
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This is one of the better articles I have read on this site.

Nice job Willis.

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#113 Jed
March 18 2014, 10:56AM
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Ekblad

Drasaitl

Bennett

Michael Dal Colle

Nick Ritchie.

Oilers will take 1 of these players.

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#114 Tuningout
March 18 2014, 11:01AM
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At least in a trade Gagner is a center (or at least pretends to be). Even with his poor performance I would hope the center in a trade has a bit more value. If the trade is an under performing center Gagner for an under performing winger (or an arguably bottom pairing defenceman struggling to take the next step) I will not be happy.

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#115 ubermiguel
March 18 2014, 11:28AM
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I don't buy Gagner is in a slump. He can be very streaky, this year I'll bet he puts up some nice numbers down the stretch and get near his usual 50 point range. 65 points (pro-rated) looks to be the anomoly.

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#116 merfer
March 18 2014, 11:33AM
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Gagner and Yakipov for Seth Jones. Win-Win

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#117 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 11:34AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Freudian slip on my part there; naturally I meant Michal Handzus. Man Hanzal's a good player.

I would kill to get Hanzal on the Oilers.

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#118 zoolander
March 18 2014, 11:46AM
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Doctor Smashy wrote:

props to 1260 here...

Hanzal...He's so hot right now....

Are you kidding....His blue-steel needs a lot of work.

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#119 A-Mc
March 18 2014, 12:34PM
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** wrote:

This is a perfect example of shuffling the chairs on the Titanic.

My suggestion was based off the Assumption that we weren't going to move Gagner due to low value.

My vote would be to move him anyway as long as it wasnt for picks.. But if we HAVE to keep him, i would take him out of that Centerman position and put someone in there that will be either 1) more defensively responsible or 2) Produce more points

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#120 Jordan1126
March 18 2014, 12:59PM
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Hi Everyone Sam Gagner here....no I will not play defence....oops i mean eat green eggs and ham

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#121 Jordan1126
March 18 2014, 01:13PM
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i think the oilers should trade gagner so he gets his vibe back on a better team and becomes the next doug weight

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#122 **
March 18 2014, 01:40PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Umm... have you ever read anything by me?

Here's what happens when you Google "Jonathan Willis" and "Nikolai Khabibulin". Have a gander.

Out of all I disagree with you in my previous comments on this article, I would have expected a reply about David Clarkson, good on you for pointing out you agreed with everyone else in the league regarding Khabibulin.

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#123 **
March 18 2014, 01:48PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Except for the 80% of fans polled here who approved of that contract. Or, perhaps more pertinently, the people actually running the team.

I never liked Clarkson, and I am the one you're replying to. And you giving credence to the people running a team 8 years out of the playoffs, hmmm.... I know you can make a better argument than that. I can assure you Mac. T. is praying hail marys every night thanking the heavens Clarkson didn't sign here. Pretty much what you are predicting for Hendricks is what is happening to Clarkson right now. IF you are talking about khabibulin then I'm confused as to what your point is.

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#124 gcw_rocks
March 18 2014, 01:54PM
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I think you want to put the money into the defence, not the fourth line.

Bring in Kulimen, Moss, or Winnik to work with Gordon and Hendricks on the third line. Let them do the heavy lifting. Give hall, RNH and Eberle second toughs and give Perron, Gagner's replacement and Yakupov softer minutes.

Spend the money on defence. Your whole fourth line should not cost more than $3m. Dropping Gordon and Hendricks to the fourth line is cap suicide.

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#125 nunyour
March 18 2014, 02:27PM
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Bring in a veteran center and veteran winger to play in the top six,i think the young guys could use some veteran experience,Gags could play wing with Gordon and Hendricks,and yak could play on the forth line,where they can learn how to play on the defensive side of the game,and add some offence to the bottom six.

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#126 **
March 18 2014, 02:38PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Oilers sell low/buy high strategy elaboration:

Buy high

- Khabibulin UFA

- Ben Eager UFA

- Eric Belanger UFA

- most argue Sam Gagner's current contract

- some would argue Nugent-Hopkins contract

- offering more than Leafs did for David Clarkson

- Denis Grebeshkov's one way high price contract

Sell Low

- Hemsky trade years too late for magic beans

- Pronger's trade for magic beans immediatley after request became public knowledge

- Ryan Whitney not traded at deadline

- Curtis Glencross walking over minimal $ difference

Buying high and selling low on the same player:

Buy high - Sheldon Souray UFA

Sell low - buyout of Sheldon Souray

Buy high - Shawn Horcoff contract after career year

Sell low - Horcoff one of the best 3C in the game trade for magic beans, albeit due to the contract

I agree with almost everything you just wrote. So I will say this:

Horcoff's trade as fair value considering his conract, injury history, and his decline in play (he's been a fourth liner for the stars most of the season, and that's not a contending team).

Hemsky should have been moved before when his value was higher.

Those are the only 2 trades Mac Tavish had a hand on from your list, and they were done the best they could have been done under the circumstances.

Pinning hopes on what ifs doesn't work, and neither does buying high and selling low. Although bottom feeders sometimes have to do that, The Oilers are particularly awful at it.

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#127 **
March 18 2014, 02:48PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I for the record never said the Oilers should pin hopes on the "what if" scenario of Gagner becoming a two-way player. I asked the question do you still trade him if he suddenly develops into one.

Fair point. That must have been the reasoning behind the contract length he got. I personally think he helps the team more being traded in a package for a needed piece.

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#128 Ed in Edmonton
March 18 2014, 02:53PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Oilers sell low/buy high strategy elaboration:

Buy high

- Khabibulin UFA

- Ben Eager UFA

- Eric Belanger UFA

- most argue Sam Gagner's current contract

- some would argue Nugent-Hopkins contract

- offering more than Leafs did for David Clarkson

- Denis Grebeshkov's one way high price contract

Sell Low

- Hemsky trade years too late for magic beans

- Pronger's trade for magic beans immediatley after request became public knowledge

- Ryan Whitney not traded at deadline

- Curtis Glencross walking over minimal $ difference

Buying high and selling low on the same player:

Buy high - Sheldon Souray UFA

Sell low - buyout of Sheldon Souray

Buy high - Shawn Horcoff contract after career year

Sell low - Horcoff one of the best 3C in the game trade for magic beans, albeit due to the contract

Virtually all of the "buy high" are high $ values. I don't see any high players values given as a buy high. If we are just talking about the K man's $, then I'm not too stressed.

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#129 **
March 18 2014, 02:55PM
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Curcro wrote:

You don't get the concept of buying low do you? Is Clarkson as bad as his numbers suggest? Historically his number indicate that he normally produces at twice the rate.

What is different this year?

Zone Starts, Clarkson is used in the defensive zone faceoffs more than any other Leaf except McClement. So he has to skate further on every shift to get a scoring opportunity (see Boyd Gordon).

Next Clarkson is seeing allot less Powerplay time in Toronto versus when he was in New Jersey.

Finally, who he is playing with in Jersey, he played with Henrique and Zajac mostly. In Toronto he has had much less consistent linemates, and worse ones in Raymond and McClement.

So depending on how a team would use him, there would be the potential to get more value from his contract. That being said is it worth $5.25M?? Probably not, but buying low perhaps you can get the team to retain salary.

I think you are very stupid to say Willis doesn't know anything about hockey because he ASKED a question about whether or not Clarkson would be a good pick up.

Personally I'd rather get my hockey information from Willis than you.

I think you are very stupid to say I am stupid because I never wrote Willis doesn't know anything about hockey. Personally I'd rather you read things before you drool all over the keyboard.

AS for Clarkson, one word: age. If you agree with Willis so much, see if you have the intelligence to extrapolate what applies to Clarkson form this article of his:

http://oilersnation.com/2014/3/15/the-matt-hendricks-career-curve

I don't think you understand any concept. Buying low means a player who does more than what his salary projects, like David Perron, he's a bargain right now for the Oilers. Buying high, is paying Clarkson over 5 million a season on average for 10 points. So either you had a typo and meant buying high, or you're very, very stupid.

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#130 **
March 18 2014, 03:35PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Then don't claim I said the Oilers should keep Gagner on the "What if" scenario.

When I clearly asked the question "What if Gagner suddenly learns to play two-ways? Do you still trade him?"

You are asking "What if?", I am not claiming anything, that's what you wrote. The only way to answer your what if is for the Oilers to decide not to trade Gagner and let him play here next season. Unless you are asking what if Gagner learns to play two-ways in the 13 games left in the season. IF that's the case then good luck with that.

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#131 **
March 18 2014, 04:19PM
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A-Mc wrote:

This thread went down the pisser.. and fast.

Yeah, I got too much free time today, plus, they were just asking for it, made it too easy, too hard to resist. Sorry Nation.

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#132 Tikkanese
March 18 2014, 04:22PM
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** wrote:

You are asking "What if?", I am not claiming anything, that's what you wrote. The only way to answer your what if is for the Oilers to decide not to trade Gagner and let him play here next season. Unless you are asking what if Gagner learns to play two-ways in the 13 games left in the season. IF that's the case then good luck with that.

Did you even read the article or my statement? It appears that you have not.

I said I agree with JW that unless there is a decent underperformer for underperformer trade out there that selling low on Gagner this summer would be a bad idea and to keep him until his value rises. While also asking "what if" he suddenly develops a two-way game, do we still want to trade him?

It was hardly rocket science jargon that I was using.

Your insitance on trading Gagner for whatever to dump his salary or whatever reason just continues to subscribe to the sell low/buy high philosophy.

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#133 Rdubb
March 19 2014, 02:33AM
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But you are forgetting that after July 1, Edmonton cannot trade Gagner without his consent as he has a no-trade clause, or did you forget that? Also, Can't the coaching staff do something to get him to become more defensively responsible? Maybe such as telling him EVERYDAY at practice and while watching film, alone and in front of everyone else, or can't they get a guy(s) like Ference (which should be his job as a vet and the captain), or Smitty or even Hendricks to go talk to him and get it in his thick head? Can't they take ice time away from him until he learns? We have Lander up so let's see what he can do on the 2nd line for the remainder of the yr? can't they sit his butt in the press box? Now that I am pissed at him again, why not move him to the wing where his defensive liability isn't such a big deal? Who cares if he thinks he is an NHL 2nd line C, because all his stats say he ISN'T, & that MUST BE pointed out to him. Have MacT tell him that there is very little interest in him, so maybe the best thing for his career is to move over. Sam is too hard headed and must soon realize to either learn to play a better defensive game or he must realize that he is not a 2nd line C, maybe a 3rd line at best on any other team, and on a good team, he'd be a 4th, and he doesn't play the game of a 4th liner, so, where does that him? PLAYING THE FREAKING WING!!!! Let's try him on the wing for more than a game or two, and who really gives a damn if he pouts and acts like a 10yr old child when he is moved, if he does, sit his butt down, explain things, TELL HIM WHAT IS FACT and then have him buy a bag of popcorn during the game... Just my thoughts Peck

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#134 TKB2677
March 19 2014, 08:35AM
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I live in Red Deer and watched the Rebels - Raiders play in game so I got to watch Draisaitl in person. Wow that kid is big. He's listed at 6'1, 208lbs. He's every bit of that and more. When he took the puck to the net, he took it to the net, there was no stopping him. When he wanted to shield the puck, he did it with no trouble.

I got into a debate with someone yesterday in here about Gagner not being that small and apparently he's 202lbs. I'd like to see Gagner and this kid stand side by side. Apparently Gagner is only 6lbs lighter than Draisaitl. Apparently 6lbs must make a gigantic difference because he would tower over Gagner both in height and width. Granted this is junior but there is no chance in hell Gagner can take the puck to the net like this kid will be able to do or shield guys off the puck like this kid can do with his size.

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#135 Beer League Hero
March 18 2014, 10:56AM
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I haven't seen Gagner do much of anything all season but he's not the only Oiler with that problem. I would have no problem shoring up other areas of the team with a Gagner package.

Ideally the Oilers should trade Gagner++ for help on defense or 2C. Looking for a team holding a veteran with a bad contract. Or overpaying a defencemen like Brooks Orpik or Andrei Markov. What about Dan Boyle or Kimmo Timmonen?

As posted today on ON, the team lacks proper veteran leadership that the "core" can bend an ear from every now and then. I think it'd be prudent to watch which teams go far into the playoffs this year and see who Edmonton could pick up from said teams. Ference will eventually be seen as an important piece someday as will Hendricks.

Wouldn't Jaromir Jagr be an excellent pick up? What a mentor he'd be for the boys?

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#136 pkam
March 18 2014, 11:07AM
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TKB2677 wrote:

Don't look at the Oilers site because they always add more to the players stats. Look at hockeydb. He's listed at 5'11, 191 which is a hell of a lot more accurate. They have Eberle listed at 6'0, 185. I would say that Gagner and Eberle are almost identical in size.

As an example, Iginla is listed at 210 on the bruins site (207 on hockeydb). Carter is listed at 212 on the kings site (212 on hockey db). The Oilers site has Gagner listed at 202lbs. You telling me that Gagner is only 5lbs lighter than Iginla and 10ls lighter than Carter? Come on man get real.

Oilers site always add more to the players stats? Then why Eberle is listed as 5'11 and 180 lbs at Oilers site when you believe he is actually 6'0 and 185 lbs?

If you don't believe the Oilers site, you can always look it up at NHL.com.

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#137 gcw_rocks
March 18 2014, 11:48AM
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Here's to hoping Grabovski, Markov, Kulimen, and Hainsey hit the free agent market this summer.

CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER. Oilers 2014/15 FORWARDS

Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6.000m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m) 

David Perron ($3.813m) / Mikhail Grabovski ($5.000m) / Nail Yakupov ($0.925m) 

Matt Hendricks ($1.850m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Nikolai Kulemin ($2.800m) 

Roman Horak ($0.605m) / Anton Lander ($0.851m) / Mark Arcobello ($1.060m) 

Jesse Joensuu ($0.950m) / 

DEFENSEMEN Andrei Markov ($8.000m) / Jeff Petry ($3.800m) 

Ron Hainsey ($4.000m) / Justin Schultz ($2.874m) 

Martin Marincin ($0.730m) / Andrew Ference ($3.250m) 

Oscar Klefbom ($0.894m) / 

GOALTENDERS Viktor Fasth ($2.900m) 

Ben Scrivens ($2.300m) 

------CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)(estimations for 2014-15)SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $67,601,292; BONUSES: $3,340,000CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $3,498,708

Markov number is big because I only want a two year deal. Better to pay big for two years and let Nurse replace him them get locked to a long term over 35 contract. I, of course, guessed at what the RFAs are going to get.

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#138 freelancer
March 18 2014, 12:28PM
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@fasteddy

Lots of scouting reports that are pegging him for NHL ready for next season, not overly physical but uses his size well to protect the puck. Great vision. Has been getting Kopitar comparable so far.

Never a big fan of comparable, but especially since I think that Reinhart will be out of our reach and possibly Ekblad, Draisaitl seems like a good choice. If he is NHL ready I would put him on the third line, leaving Gagner or a new replacement still on the second.

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#139 FuManShu
March 18 2014, 12:30PM
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fasteddy wrote:

Totally agree. I'm certainly no expert, but watching him a couple times I was not impressed. Reinhart on the other hand looks fantastic to my eyes; so intelligent and virtually always makes the right play.

Did you happen to see Draisaitl at the WJC? If you're basing your viewings on that, remember the supporting cast he had around him compared to Ekblad or Reinhart.

Just saying.

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#140 Tikkanese
March 18 2014, 12:43PM
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** wrote:

YEah, let's keep working with the "what if" strategy, it has worked great so far.

Same could be said for the sell low buy high strategy that has been going on for longer than the what if strategy in Edmonton.

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#141 MessyEH
March 18 2014, 01:00PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I agree with JW. Keep Gagner at least until his trade value increases. Or doing an underachiever swap, such as Gagner for Myers.

What if Gagner suddenly learns to play two-ways? Do you still trade him? Gagner's offense cannot be learned at the NHL level, defense can.

It took Yzerman years to finally buy in to playing defense(not that Gagner is Yzerman). Stranger things have happened. Fedorov went from being a Hart winning center to an almost Norris caliber defensemen.

66 and 99 say Fedorov was the best player they ever played against. He was really a special player.

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#142 Tikkanese
March 18 2014, 02:43PM
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** wrote:

I agree with almost everything you just wrote. So I will say this:

Horcoff's trade as fair value considering his conract, injury history, and his decline in play (he's been a fourth liner for the stars most of the season, and that's not a contending team).

Hemsky should have been moved before when his value was higher.

Those are the only 2 trades Mac Tavish had a hand on from your list, and they were done the best they could have been done under the circumstances.

Pinning hopes on what ifs doesn't work, and neither does buying high and selling low. Although bottom feeders sometimes have to do that, The Oilers are particularly awful at it.

I for the record never said the Oilers should pin hopes on the "what if" scenario of Gagner becoming a two-way player. I asked the question do you still trade him if he suddenly develops into one.

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#143 Tikkanese
March 18 2014, 03:23PM
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** wrote:

That is your interpretation, and I don't appreciate it when someone puts words in my mouth (or my fingers, for some overly grammar junkies).

Then don't claim I said the Oilers should keep Gagner on the "What if" scenario.

When I clearly asked the question "What if Gagner suddenly learns to play two-ways? Do you still trade him?"

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#144 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 04:02PM
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** wrote:

"I haven't made any arguments", Couldn't have said it better myself. Logical arguments anyways.

I repeat, I don't think "argument" means what you think it means.

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#145 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 04:13PM
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** wrote:

So now you're a troll, and a parrot. This is getting interesting.

Since you seem to have given up even trying to defend your comments I'll take that to mean you've had enough and call it a day.

Till next time your comments become fallacious then.

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#146 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 04:14PM
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A-Mc wrote:

This thread went down the pisser.. and fast.

Agreed. My bad. I engaged when I knew better. My only defense is I was bored.

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#147 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 04:24PM
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** wrote:

Yeah, I got too much free time today, plus, they were just asking for it, made it too easy, too hard to resist. Sorry Nation.

People were asking for you to lie about what Willis wrote?

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#148 fasteddy
March 18 2014, 05:10PM
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FuManShu wrote:

Did you happen to see Draisaitl at the WJC? If you're basing your viewings on that, remember the supporting cast he had around him compared to Ekblad or Reinhart.

Just saying.

No, just in WHL games. He looks like a shinny player; flashy against inferior competition. Im worried that won't fly against the big boys. Virtanen looks much more like a pro than Draisaitl too..... (and while we're on the subject, if Greg Chase plays one game for the Oilers I'll stop admiring soccer moms!)

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#149 Manfly
March 19 2014, 10:44AM
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^i really want the Oilers to take this kid if they lose out on the Ekblad sweepstakes!

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#150 Beer League Hero
March 18 2014, 11:49AM
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Will wrote:

We need veteran help not help from actual war veterans. All the guys you listed are ooooold. At least Markov could be in the league for a few more years.

You are not wrong but with such a young roster one or two of these vets would provide what the kids could really use. They'd only be on short term contracts in order for the kids to have a little buffer.

I can't honestly see any of them signing in Edmonton for anything less than an island off the shores of Thailand but it's what they bring to the team as oppose to what the take away from it.

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