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, 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 Sean17
March 18 2014, 10:46AM
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Should have traded him after the 8-point game...

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#52 TKB2677
March 18 2014, 10:48AM
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@They're $hittie

SO not only do they down grade their right wing position by changing Eberle for Gagner because Eberle is a better player than Gagner and he has the numbers to back that up. But they also do nothing to address the size problem in the top 6? Eberle and Gagner are basically the same size.

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#53 admiralmark
March 18 2014, 10:49AM
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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."

Common theme for these Oilers. See Hemsky. Good teams recognize players on their team that do not fit the future plans despite when they are playing well. "asset management" is an aspect Oilers management has not been very good at for a very very long time.

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#54 TKB2677
March 18 2014, 11:00AM
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@They're $hittie

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.

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#55 @Oilanderp
March 18 2014, 11:07AM
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Has anyone considered option #3: Sitting Sam in front of a compilation of these videos and then slapping him with a woman's leather glove until he screams, 'YES OKAY! THAT'S MY MAN! I HAVE TO COVER MY MAAAAN AAAGGGGH!'

It could work.

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#56 season not played
March 18 2014, 11:34AM
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It really is too bad the Oiler "braintrust" decided they could use a defenseman who can't skate instead of selecting Boone Jenner in the 2011 draft. I guess you can never have enough left hand shooting defence prospects. Especially if they are family.

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#57 Dan
March 18 2014, 11:45AM
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Can they afford too??? The edmonton oilers are the worst team in the league. They can afford to trade anybody! They can't get worst! They can trade everyone for draft picks and build a team completely made up of free agents and they wouldn't be worst then they are right now! It's a joke to suggest anyone on this team can't or shouldn't be traded

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#58 fasteddy
March 18 2014, 12:06PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Why are people so hard for Draisaitl. Ya he is big and talented, but I just got a bad feeling that says bust. I still think if we go with a center it has to be one of the sams. Pick the best player not the biggest.

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.

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#59 **
March 18 2014, 12:14PM
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So the suggestion here, based on current ice time, is to send out the fourth line for the lion's share of defensive zone starts just so Gagner can score maybe 10 more points. Am I the only one seeing a problem with that?.

Gagner is on pace to score just about 5 points below the average he's scored in all his career, so from the point production point of view I don't see his value diminishing that dramatically, and I don't see it improving that dramatically next season with sheltered minutes.

Move him in the summer, maybe in a package. HE would never bring a top d man or a legit second line center back by himself at any point anyways.

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#60 **
March 18 2014, 12:33PM
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A-Mc wrote:

The Yak fan club is going to hate this, but why not send Yak to OKC, Move Gagner to wing, and fill Center with either Lander/Arco/UFA/DraftedCenterman.

By and large, Yakupov has been relatively ineffective in the NHL this season. He is in a state of transition and i think he could develop his game faster down in OKC.

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

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#61 Ed in Edmonton
March 18 2014, 12:43PM
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A-Mc wrote:

The Yak fan club is going to hate this, but why not send Yak to OKC, Move Gagner to wing, and fill Center with either Lander/Arco/UFA/DraftedCenterman.

By and large, Yakupov has been relatively ineffective in the NHL this season. He is in a state of transition and i think he could develop his game faster down in OKC.

I think it is quite obvious to all unbiased observers that Yak should not have played in the NHL this year. A year to develop a more full range of skills in the AHL could have only helped. Development of Arcabello, Marincin and maybe Ladner and Klefblom all suggest a year or 2 or 3 in the AHL can be beneficial.

Unfortunately I think Yak has now played in more than 100 NHL games and would need to clear waivers. An opportunity lost.

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#63 KSC10032
March 18 2014, 02:04PM
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While often over-stated in terms of degree, most of the pluses and minuses @ Gagner's attributes as an NHL hockey player have been clearly identified and dissected on this site. At the 500ish game mark, he is what he is.

To me, one of the issues that blunts Sam's effectiveness is that he is a smurf who is -- almost exclusively -- forced to play with two other smurfs on his line. (I know Sam is listed at 200 lbs, but, c'mon).

I wonder just how much more effective he would be with a couple of 200+ lbs linear, tough wingers, with decent ability, who'd give Gagner the space and time he needs to maximize his strengths in terms of passing and puckhandling. Perhaps this is one of the reasons MacTavish pushed so hard for Clarkson.

It might be easier to find decent 2nd line wingers than the idealized second centre this sites readers seem so obsessed with.

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#64 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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#65 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 03:22PM
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@**

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.

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#66 **
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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#67 **
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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#68 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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#69 **
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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#70 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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#71 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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#72 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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#73 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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#74 Doctor Smashy
March 18 2014, 10:20AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but Martin Hanzal has never played for the Blackhawks...

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#76 Spydyr
March 18 2014, 10:55AM
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They should have traded him two years ago.They might have got a reasonable return then.

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#77 TKB2677
March 18 2014, 10:57AM
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@They're $hittie

A bust? All he has to do is score mid 40's pts wise, not be a complete train wreck in his own zone, be better than 45% on the dot and most importantly, not be a shrimp and he will be an upgrade on Gagner. Gagner is 5'11 191 according to hockey DB. All of the above is pretty attainable. He's already 6'1, 208lbs at 18. By the time the draft comes around he'd probably going to be at least 5lbs heavier because they typically train like crazy. A year from now he could be an inch taller and probably in the 215-220 range. That alone makes him an upgrade over Gagner.

If he could score over 50 pts at his size, he'd be a HUGE upgrade over Gagner.

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#78 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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#79 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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#80 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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#81 Realist
March 18 2014, 12:24PM
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4 years ago when the mighty brain trust started this rebuild was the strategy to build 2 lines of soft skill forwards, 2 lines of meatheads and hope to piece whatever you can on defence and throw 2 unproven guys in net?? What a great plan! It's amazing we're not winning cups already

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#82 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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#83 Rod from Viking
March 18 2014, 12:31PM
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** wrote:

I hope you weren't trolling because I just felt respected. *leans back on his chair and nods approvingly*

Your observation was bang on so keep nodding, I just hope your last name is Lumley then even Katz will agree with you and the media scrums would be fantastic.

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#84 Smokey
March 18 2014, 12:33PM
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A-Mc wrote:

The Yak fan club is going to hate this, but why not send Yak to OKC, Move Gagner to wing, and fill Center with either Lander/Arco/UFA/DraftedCenterman.

By and large, Yakupov has been relatively ineffective in the NHL this season. He is in a state of transition and i think he could develop his game faster down in OKC.

Better idea, can the largely ineffective coach responsible for implimenting a system where many have been unsuccessful.

But the supporters would say, no we want continuity. To which I say continuity of what?

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#85 A-Mc
March 18 2014, 12:36PM
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Smokey wrote:

Better idea, can the largely ineffective coach responsible for implimenting a system where many have been unsuccessful.

But the supporters would say, no we want continuity. To which I say continuity of what?

Yaks problems aren't a result of coaching. He wasn't very effective for 80% of last season as well.

It doesnt take a talent scout to see that yak needs work. i dont think there's anything wrong with sending him down to OKC to get top line minutes and to play in all situations, while still working on his defensive game (where he's allowed to make mistakes and can be supported better than up with the NHL club).

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#86 **
March 18 2014, 12:53PM
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Well there is talk of Bogdan Yakimov coming over this summer. He's Yakupov's homie, plays center, is a massive human being at 6'5, 210 pounds and did some scoring on depth minutes in the KHL this season (7 goals and 12 points in 33 games). It would be interesting to see him at training camp.

On a side note, keeping with JW's awful recommendations, he suggested to trade for David Clarkson back in December:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/12/14/should-the-edmonton-oilers-trade-for-toronto-maple-leafs-forward-david-clarkson/

These are Clarkson's numbers so far: 47 games, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, plus/minus -7, $5,250,000 cap hit until 2020.

So, there's that.

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#87 **
March 18 2014, 12:54PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

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.

Please elaborate.

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#88 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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#90 **
March 18 2014, 01:24PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Are you the only one who doesn't realize that Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks and insert-a-winger are currently the guys getting most of the defensive zone starts?

All I'm suggesting is that this continues, but perhaps with fewer of them against quality opponents.

You said to bump Gordon to the 4th line, I am well aware his line right now is getting most of the defensive zone starts (hence why I wrote about them getting the lion's share of the d zone starts, if you bothered to read my post), that is the whole point of my argument, you are suggesting bumping these guys down to the fourth line, which will either reduce their ice time, giving them less d zone starts, and that, please explain to me how that is a good idea given the excellent job they are doing.

And the supposed payoff is so Gagner can marginally improve his trade value.

The other outcome is that the fourth line ends up playing 3rd line minutes because they will continue to be used massively on d zone starts, and that ice time will have to be cut somewhere else. Again how would that help the team? The bottom line is you are suggesting drastically altering the dynamic of the team based on marginally improving the performance of an average player. I personally believe a team should not revolve around one player, let alone a Gagner. Unless maybe he is a Kobe Bryant or a Dan Marino or a Wayne Gretzky.

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#91 BaconWrapped
March 18 2014, 01:38PM
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** wrote:

I hope you weren't trolling because I just felt respected. *leans back on his chair and nods approvingly*

You sir, just earned a prop. And I never prop.

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#92 **
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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#93 **
March 18 2014, 01:42PM
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BaconWrapped wrote:

You sir, just earned a prop. And I never prop.

Much obliged, oh deliciously named stranger.

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#94 Tikkanese
March 18 2014, 02:05PM
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** wrote:

Well there is talk of Bogdan Yakimov coming over this summer. He's Yakupov's homie, plays center, is a massive human being at 6'5, 210 pounds and did some scoring on depth minutes in the KHL this season (7 goals and 12 points in 33 games). It would be interesting to see him at training camp.

On a side note, keeping with JW's awful recommendations, he suggested to trade for David Clarkson back in December:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/12/14/should-the-edmonton-oilers-trade-for-toronto-maple-leafs-forward-david-clarkson/

These are Clarkson's numbers so far: 47 games, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, plus/minus -7, $5,250,000 cap hit until 2020.

So, there's that.

Your answer is Yakimov?!? Wow!

When the best defensemen in the KHL (Belov) cannot even play regularily on the worst defense in the NHL, how is a depth KHL center supposed to instantly become a 2nd line center in the NHL?!?

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#95 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 02:36PM
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@**

No special memory required.

If the Oilers followed JW's recommendations, Dubnyk would still be on net, Hemsky would still be here, Khabibulin would have been resigned, Horcoff would still be here, and nothing would ever change, because the team would still be terrible and no one would increase their value. Hell eve Jason Strudwick would probably be here still.

What?

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.

Again. WHAT?

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#96 **
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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#97 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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#98 **
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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#99 **
March 18 2014, 02:57PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Maybe Sam Gagner wouldn't feel like he has to cheat for offence if the team wasn't struggling for offence.

Defence is learnable, no matter how old you are. The key is the buy in - commitment and dedication. Brett Hull did it later in his career. So I think it's a mistake to say that Sam Gagner is a lost cause in the defensive zone.

Now, having said that, I'm open to trading Sam, but MacT better cover the bases, acquiring either a #2 centre or a top 2 Dman for Sam Gagner or having this trade involving another Oiler asset in his pocket before moving Sam Gagner for something else.

In Gagner's defense, none of the top 6 forwards seems to know what to do on defence. To me this is a coaching issue. Then again, Gagner has been bad positionally since day 1.

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#100 TigerUnderGlass
March 18 2014, 03:12PM
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** wrote:

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

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
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