This Is Us

Last night’s Oilers game was an enjoyable one. Although the town team lost, most shifts gave fans an indication about things to come. Speed, skill, passes and dekes that showed the true beauty of the game. Buckle up, this is going to be a fast ride.  

This is us. A fun team to watch, run and gun–maybe a little shy on finishing the play–and high event at both ends of the ice. Hemsky stirs the drink, and the kids offer a hint about the future. If you measure this season in wins and losses bring out the Glenlivet now. Small steps, folks. And there were plenty last night.

Taylor Hall didn’t have any finish last night but (as his coach said after the game) the kid had his best NHL game. Mark Spector wrote a nice piece here and I think we can feel pretty good about this team’s future despite the loss on home ice. Hall was the most obvious youngster last night, but the other two rookie forwards had their strong moments too. Magnus Pääjärvi must certainly lead the league in penalties drawn after the Minny game, and Jordan Eberle continues to amaze with his anticipation and execution in all three zones. Big brain.

At this point we should hope the Oilers finally start Dubnyk and begin the final march toward making a decision on the backup goalie, and there’s probably a slight hint of an opportunity for a switch-out along the blue (Strudwick in, likely Vandermeer out). I don’t think there’s any help coming via trade, at this point in the season teams will be asking the moon ("a battle ship for a rowboat"- a Punch Imlach line) for puck movers along the blue. I’d guess Petry or Belle would be the first option to upgrade the passing from the defense.

The 4th line is a mess, but I don’t know that there’s much they can do about it. Fraser needs to play until he’s comfortable (Kurtis Foster settled in nicely last night, at least compared to previous performances) and Jones had played well until last night. I wonder a little about Zack Stortini, he seems to be getting less love from this coach than he did from his other two NHL coaches (HS opening night, no hesitation to staple his ass to the bench last night).

A wild guess has Dubnyk playing Saturday and Strudwick also drawing in. If there’s a pool on this stuff, I’ll bet they call up Shawn Belle when a goalie is finally sent packing.

  • Aitch

    When I was a young man Mrs Sam Elliot was incredibly beautiful!!!

    Loved the jump of the kids. Do not understand the debate on kids—- they are here to stay.

    I think last night was exactly the type of game the Oiler faithful bought into as part of the “rebuild”. Fun to watch, glimpses as to the skill set that will develop over time, competitive match.

    If we end up 28th with 35 home games like last night, I do not think that Oiler fans would be upset at all.

    I do, however, think that the fan base would like to see a much better job of filling out the roster and developing role players in the system.

    I do not believe that the current management group understands the concept of incremental advantages. That is, someone 10% better than Colin Fraser at face offs and killing penalties is not a slight upgrade—-it is a COLOSSAL upgrade. Steckl or Boyd Gordon are not com parables to Colin Fraser — they are noticeable upgrades.

    Assemble enough incremental advantages and you will beat most teams.

  • Aitch

    I really liked what I saw from Hall in last night’s game but I still think that Eberle is the guy who has looked the best out of the youngsters. He pressured Koivu and turned the puck over on him a few times and he never seems to get hit cleanly.

  • Aitch

    Woodguy – I think you make valuable points, but… it all depends on your idea of a re-build. If the Oilers really do want to re-build through the draft then they don’t really want to be a playoff team this year. Why bring in the vets to round out a roster when your goal is to get another high draft pick to build around?

    If, say in two seasons we still have about the same top 9 and we need experienced vets to round it out, then, by all means, fill in those holes with some guys who’ve been around the block. Until then, sit back and watch your kids grow-up. It happens so fast, you’ll soon forget where the time has gone.

    • “Why bring in the vets to round out a roster when your goal is to get another high draft pick to build around?”:

      Because your two best players, Hemsky and Penner are in the 2nd last year of their contracts. Getting the playoffs can only help them to re-sign here.

      Because this team isn’t a lottery team as currently built, so getting into the top 3 is probably a longer shot than making the playoffs with some quality vets on the PK.

      If Hemsky, Penner, Gagner, Horcoff, Whitney, Smid, Gilbert, and Khabby stay healthy, I can’t see them being terrible enough to be a lottery team.

      Because everyone agrees (and Lowe said it on Oilchange pt 2) that making the playoffs this year would be great and give the kids some valuable experience.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    We’d have taken Seguin, but Tyler called Katz’s kid a Fat Toad when they were shooting pucks together in the back yard of Katz’ Xanadu Estate. That’s the part you didn’t see in “Oil Change”.

    “I hate that Seguin kid worse than Shoppers Drug Mart”, said Katz. “I can’t believe I let him walk through my marbled halls”.

    True story. You heard it here first. Now you can end this mind-numbing debate.

    • Dyckster

      Props X 1,000,000,000!

      We’re 5 games into the season, yes the team is off to a rocky start (in some people’s eyes anyway), but “the kids” are performing as expected. Debating, to a point, is fun and all, but for pete’s sake, enough already. By the time this team is contending at a level we anticipate they will, there will be several personal changes. Some of the current copper and blue are likely just fill-ins, with the hopes of maybe a couple of them turning into a useful asset (Jones, Foster, Fraser…). Like many have said before in so many ways, let’s sit back and see what happens.

  • “You fail to realize maybe most of those free agents wanted nothing to do with Edmonton and you can’t just make any trade you want whenever you want, it’s a two way street. Is it possible Tambo didn’t have many trade options on the table for 2nd pair dmen and 4th line guys???”

    That’s crap.

    Phoneix was a laughing stock 2 years ago with no owner and Maloney managed to sign quality vets like Fiddler, Lang, Prucha and Pyatt.

    This year Florida was projected to be 15th in the east and they add similar players like Reasoner and Higgins.

    Reasoner was had for an AHL center. Not quite a blockbuster trade.

    Wild projected 13th or 14th in West and get Madden for 1 year.

    Don’t let Tambellini off the hook.

    DDO,

    Yes, Vandermeer saved $$$, but this team is $13M under the cap and paying Big Sexy $4.5M to play in the AHL, so $$$ arguments aren’t what they were last year.

    With all the extra cap space, they could have secured at least 1 decent UFA with a one year overpay. Madden would really prefer to play in Minnesota for 1.25 instead of Edmonton at 2?

    I don’t buy that.

    Tambellini can’t trade for quality help on the 4th line? Don’t buy that either.

    All the other GM’s seem to be able to do this. Maloney did a ton of it and his team was a laughing stock that turned into a playoff team with all his little moves to help his young talent.

    Everyone can do it, but Tambellini can’t? Well if he can’t they should bring in someone who can.

    D-man,

    If you get more scoring chances for than against you will win more games than lose and probably make the playoffs.

    The current 4th line (who are 1PK) are getting destroyed at this metric and are a black hole on the PK.

    A quality 4th line PK will help and not hurt, and these guys hurt.

    • Dyckster

      All/most of your points are valid, but you’re forgetting one important factor.

      No one participating in this or any other blog knows if making the playoffs is even an objective of this years team. The things you’re suggesting would most certainly make the Oil more competitive. Your assuming though, this years version of our beloved ice hockey franchise is/was actually built to compete at a top eight level. That may not be the case.

    • Woodguy – you’re talking to guys who think “re-build” means “suck for 4 years followed by cup wins”. For me, a re-build concentrates on the “build” part. That means shoring up weaknesses with short-term NHL calibre players (which as you have correctly asserted are abundant) while developing your home grown talent.

      To my mind we’re tanking this year. Either that or the Oilers are borderline stupid, which I cannot in all conscience believe. Its the only explanation for what we’re seeing here.

      And to the guys out there who say a healthy fourth line doesn’t help you win. Maybe not, but last night we saw a fourth line that helped us lose. If we wanted to be competitive, Foster and Jones would be gone, plain and simple.

      • D-Man

        A rebuild doesn’t mean ‘suck for 4 years followed by cup wins’… It does concentrate on the build part, but not as quickly as you or Woodguy would think… Do you think Chicago intentionally sucked for 7 years?? How about Pittsburgh or Washington?? They built through the draft – scored huge on their picks and improved over time.

        The thought that ‘short-term NHL calibre’ players are abundant may be true, but at what cost?? The fact that we have cap space doesn’t mean we should overspend unnecessarily… Katz is also in this business to make money right??

        Name me a 4th line on any Cup (or playoff) team that was a difference maker. Perhaps I overstated the fact that it doesn’t help you win, but I can’t possibly imagine how you would think Reddox or say Marty Reasoner would help us win another 10 to 15 games to make the playoffs…

    • D-Man

      To limit scoring chances you rely on the your top four defensemen, your 3rd line (maybe 2nd depending on your personnel) and a solid goaltender – not a 4th line that plays 10 to 12 minutes a game. Your ‘typical’ 4th line is the energy line that goes out, hits everything that moves and tries to remain ‘even’ when it comes to plus minus. Those AREN’T the guys you send out to ‘shut down’ the other teams top scoring units.

      The current 4th line got destroyed in ONE GAME, and didn’t do too bad the games prior… I’m sure you were also one of the guys salivating as we saw MacIntyre destroy Ivanas in the home opener… I’m guessing you also thought Jones wasn’t nearly as bad as we all thought (up to the last game as well)…

      I do think you’re right about our PK – it needs a ton of work. I don’t believe that’s due to Frasor and Jones as much as it is the system we have. We appear to give up the slot too much in the box and allow the opposing PP to enter the zone too easily. For whatever reason, we place both wingers along the boards and have the defense up the middle in the neutral zone… Not sure why we do that, but I guess that’s why Renney’s the coach and you and I are simple fans/armchair GM’s…

      • Dman,

        You have it wrong.

        Look at the scoring chances I just posted.

        Those are cumulative from the first 5 games, and earlier I posted the ones from the first 4 games.

        Line 4 has been destroyed 4 of 5 games, not just one game.

        You are missing the point by saying “this line needs to do this and this d pair needs to do that”

        The team needs to outchance the other team.

        Due to bad vets and Cogs/Brule this team is being out chanced and are below .500

        The top two lines and top two d pair are doing just fine. Look at the numbers.

        These games are being lost on the PK and on the bottom two lines.

        The proof is in front of you.

        • D-Man

          I’m assuming you’re basing the entirety of the team’s fortunes based on statistics from 5 games?? That’s a bit too narrow minded, isn’t it? Also – as important as scoring chances are important – you haven’t included hits, shots, points, assists or anything else..

          Making this decision that our 4th line sucks based on 5 games is way too quick to judge. That’s not to say that we don’t need to improve… Our PK is brutal; but basing everything on 5 games is way too hasty.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          I’ve been beating the same drum (add proven, vetran, 3 zone depth) for a couple of years. But I think your numbers against the 4th liners is a little misleading.

          I would bet almost every teams 4th line is outchanced, that’s why they are 4th liners.

          To truely get value from those #’s they’d need to be compared to the rest of the league.

    • Dutchscooter

      ‘Phoneix was a laughing stock 2 years ago with no owner and Maloney managed to sign quality vets like Fiddler, Lang, Prucha and Pyatt.

      This year Florida was projected to be 15th in the east and they add similar players like Reasoner and Higgins.

      Reasoner was had for an AHL center. Not quite a blockbuster trade.’

      While I agree with most of your points, there is one thing you did not take into account when you’re signing all these seasoned NHL vets: most of your examples were in Phoenix and Florida. Last time I checked, these places don’t have -40C weather during hockey season. That’s important to a seasoned NHL vet with a family.

      Ask Chris Pronger.

  • SuntanOil

    First of all, get over the Souray thing – he is gone. Even if he wasn’t all those negative things that it’s been whispered that he was, he is gone. Even if he, Katz, Lowe, and Tambellini had a kiss and make-up orgy at the Playboy mansion – he is still gone. Sheldon Souray is gone. If we recall him he will be claimed, if we leave him in Hershey he is not here. You can bitch and whine and moan about it all you want, but he is gone, and he ain’t coming back.

    “We’re 4-1 with Souray in the line-up” – WTF??? when ???? 2008??? Worst (and least factual) point ever.

    This just makes your cries to trade Smid all the more ridiculous. You sound like the Leafs fans whining about Jason Smith before the Leafs traded him to us for two picks (Jonathon Zion and Kris Vernarsky). He hardly has a Charmin approach to the game.

    I honestly cannot tolerate this much longer. It’s as if the idea of a rebuild escapes some, while others are so used to complaining about the Oil they need to manufacture things to complain about to continue to feel like a fan.

    Take a cue from LT folks. Last night’s loss was not step backwards for the team as there were a lot of positives to be taken. That will not always be the case, so enjoy it while you can.

    There will be plenty of time to bitch and whine and moan and cry that the sky is falling in later on in the season. Today just isn’t that day. Doing it today just seems to be contrariwise debating for a “fan” site.

  • “No one participating in this or any other blog knows if making the playoffs is even an objective of this years team. The things you’re suggesting would most certainly make the Oil more competitive. Your assuming though, this years version of our beloved ice hockey franchise is/was actually built to compete at a top eight level. That may not be the case.”

    That’s true.

    Lowe saying on Oilchange pt2 that making the playoffs would be “fantastic” leads me to believe they would like it to happen.

    I just can’t see a team with a healthy 89,83,27,10,77,6,5,35 being terrible enough to be in the lottery.

    So why not add quality instead of the dregs?

    • Dyckster

      “Lowe saying on Oilchange pt2 that making the playoffs would be “fantastic” leads me to believe they would like it to happen.”

      That’s one viewpoint or:

      When KLowe says – “Lowe saying on Oilchange pt2 that making the playoffs would be “fantastic” leads me to believe they would like it to happen.”

      He really means – “We don’t have a hope in heck of making the playoffs, and have not built a team to do so. If we do, it would be a bloody miracle.”

  • C-DOG

    Minny added many cheap additions and they are all paying off in spades to be honest . Madden ,Cullen , Nystom and Barker just to name a few have made Minny a much better club with plenty of good useable depth . Oilers additions fall far short of Minny’s i’m afraid . The underproduction of Gagner , Cogs and Brule don’t help matters with fillins of the bubble variety . I don’t think you’ll have to wait 20 games before making an accurate assessment on most of our squad – as it’s pretty evident and expected to begin with already !

    • C-DOG

      I think I speak for everyone here when I say……

      …ummm, what?

      the Oilers didn’t add veterans because they needed roster spots for the rookies. They aren’t trying to be Phoenix, they’re trying to be Colorado

      • Fraser, Vandermeer, Strudwick, Jones, JFJ, and Smac are not rookies.

        These are some of the guys you would not sign/trade for in order to have the right vets.

        You cannot point at the rookies and say there is no room for vets.

        They have vets.

        They are just not good vets.

      • C-DOG

        Then what do you call our bubble players we added . Huge difference between what we added and Minny despite the openings , or can you not see that ? The whole dispute has never been about keeping 3 openings for the rookies in the first place – so why do so many of you try and use that for an excuse befounds me and others i’m sure . Get it thru your heads it’s not about the 3 openings for the rookies thats disconcerting . We didn’t like the way Mact. handled the kids and then Quinn . Now it’s Renney turn to try and get Gagner , Brule and Cogs to play as top 6 forwards . Maybe Quinn was right to pass them down to third and fourth line status afterall. Good luck Renney , as i see possibly all three of them losing out to Paajarvi , Eberle and Hall in the near future . Maybe Quinn was victim of lack of progression of those 3 i just mentioned .

    • Dyckster

      “The underproduction of Gagner”….

      4 assists in 5 games is underproduction?

      He’s on pace for 65 assists (just proving a point, i KNOW 5 games is too early to predict…), but still.

      I’m guessing most fans would be happy if Gagner went something like 15G 45A = 60pts.

  • Ducey

    Woodguy,

    You seem to have the notion that if you repeat the same argument, over and over and over, that somehow you will convince everyone of your position.

    We understand where you are coming from.

    Move off the roof top, put down the megaphone, and do something more useful with your day than repeat the same argument 45 times.

  • Ducey,

    More or less just answer those who disagree, but yes I’ve been beating this drum hard, but I think its a travesty that Tambellini doesn’t get questioned on this.

    Also,

    Quain posted the Even strength scoring chance differential over 5 games:

    Hemsky 64.3%
    Penner 59.5%
    Gagner 58.5%
    Horcoff 56.3%
    Eberle 55.9%
    Hall 55.3%
    Cogliano 40.7%
    Paajarvi 35.5%
    Stortini 33.3%
    Brule 31.0%
    Jones 25.9%
    Fraser 25.0%
    MacIntyre 0%

    Gilber 54.3%
    Smid 51.3%
    Whitney 50.0%
    Foster 45.0%
    Peckham 41.9%
    Vandermeer 40.9%

  • Ender

    @ Shadi D.T.A.

    If for no other reason, props to you on a Friday afternoon for brightening my day with the memory of Felipe.

    “Chame, chame, chame . . .”

    [smiles wistfully]

  • Oilers89

    Eberle was a centre in junior, though he looks good on the wing, but he does play a very good two-way game. So the only question is if he can win draws and since he seems to be good at everything else, I bet he would be good at winning draws.

  • Dman,

    Agreed that the sample size is ridiculously small.

    I’m just mad that Tambellini let his team down.

    Scoring chances are more important than the other stats because over time they show a more complete picture.

    All the other stats will come from the SC stat and give a more complete picture about who helps and who hurts.

    Shots is a good predicitve stat. Scoring chances is a little better.

  • Lowetide

    I think Fraser (as with Foster) will probably settle in at some point. He’s been poor, but off-season arrivals often take a little while to adjust to things.

    As for the C-W thing, no team I can recall has a Stanley without strength up the middle (C-D-G).

    Having said that, it doesn’t mean Taylor Hall has to be the center. Oilers had some pretty good wingers when they were winning Stanley’s.

    • C-DOG

      I think c-w debate should be heightened in the salary cap era. Off the top of my head, Hossa 5.1 mil and Selane 3.9 mil I beleive were the highest paid wingers on any of the 5 stanley cup champions post salary cap era. That was with Perry, Penner, Getzlaf and Beauchemin making 1 mil or less, and with Hossa, Toews and Kane were on elc’s.

      I hate to rain on the parade but that is alarming.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Playoff MVP has been won by a winger 7 of the 45 times it’s been awarded.

    Regular season MVP has been won by a winger 12 times in the last 50 years.

    Lester B Pearson award has been won by a winger 13 of the 30 times it’s been awarded (and 9 of the last 11). (should hold alot of wieght considering it’s their fellow players that vote rather then media)

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    “the lester b pearson is for regular season 65% by a winger, the conn smythe is for playoffs 16%”

    Yet the guys on the ice think the top guy has been a winger 65% of the time.

    • C-DOG

      Is the goal for the Oilers to be a good regular season team? Then there on their way, but if the stanley cup is the goal then they are very far from it.

      Not 1 stanley cup champ has had a winger earn more than 5.1 mil.

      Can’t you see the differece in MVP success from the regular season and the playoffs 65% is 4 times greater than 14%, and there are twice as many wingers than centres , Hellooo am I talking to a wall here.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Listen man, I’ll give you that if you have a C and W that are = in every facet you have to take the C.

        The issue is the definitiveness of your argument. It is not “impossible” to win the cup if your top 1-2 or 6 players are wingers. And logistically, you cannot prove that it is.

        Even though 14% is low for PO MVP it is still greater then 0%. Wingers have in fact led their teams to the Cup, and the will again in the future.

        Save for “fluke” teams (Canes from a few years ago are probably close to that) you are going to need 1-3 elite players and another 3-5 very good players to win the cup.

        Thinking 3-5 years down the road (assuming all.. or at least most of the top young players under 25 on the team and in the system pan out), we’ll probably need another 2-3 very good to elite players to become a serious threat.

        The issues isn’t where our current (potential) high end players line up, it’s how many more we’ll need.

        Howevere, we’re set at wing, we need some help down the middle, on D and in G.

        • C-DOG

          It is proven, no team has ever won with it’s best 2-6 players being wingers, ever is absoloute.

          Canes were not a fluke, Staal led in scoring , Brinda’mour was a 70 point player and selke nominne and Ward was conn smythe.

          A winger can lead and win the conn smythe ,but the teams core absoloutely has to be in the middle, FACTS a team has NEVER won with the core being wingers, never is absoloute.

          Yes , they are set on the wings, but thats is the least important of all positions, not meaningless but least important.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I’m not exactly sure why you can’t wrap your thick skull around this, but just because something hasn’t happend in the past, doesn’t mean it can’t ever happen.

            Again I’ll go back to some basic math that you can’t seem to grasp. How many teams best player is a winger? 5? 6? how many teams 2 best players are wingers? I’d guess zero.

            Shocking that their isn’t a long list of cup winners who’s 2-6 best players were wingers

          • C-DOG

            Yes, technically it can, But I would never play those odds.

            Did you watch oilchange, and did I hear corectly that the Oilers could of had the 4th overall pick for Eberle and they said no!!.

          • Oilers89

            I would say no too, Eberle plays a excellent 2-way game, he is the kind of player that you rarely find, one that does play both ends of the ice very well and at such a young age. He basically plays like a centre the only thing he doesn’t do is take draws.

          • C-DOG

            Centre is more than taking draws, I love Eberle way more than Gagne but I still would of done for the simple reason of balance through out the line up, Skinner’s 17 year old season crushed Eberle’s he also scored 20 goals in 20 playoff games 70 total!! He also has amazing core strength for his age, he trained all summer with G Roberts, the same trainer that helped turn around Stamkos’s rookie year not the firing of Melrose, Johansen 6’3″ centre , Fowler 6’2″ d-man that leads Anaheim in ice time with Vish.

          • Oilers89

            I don’t trust trading a player that has improved as much as Eberle for a player that you could draft and for all you know they bust, injuries play a huge part and with Eberle’s lack of injuries and improvement I feel he is the safer bet. I can see how you want a big centre, add balance, etc, but not all good junior players ever live up to what people thought they would be. For example Cody Hodgson, he could still end up being a player but for now he has taken a massive step backwards due to injury, and I don’t think anyone would take Hodgson over Eberle now. This is not to say that Eberle is immune to injuries but he does have a good track record.

          • C-DOG

            You can’t ever assume injuries to healthy players, Eberle is not proven at the nhl level either, and Hodgsen was the 10th pick not the 4th, and how many prospects have had career threatining injuries before playing in the nhl, very rare.

            Sooner or later they need to get more balance and the 4th pick could of fell into their lap for a 22nd pick. No one will ever trade you a #1 centre who is established unless his name is Mike O,connell who is now fired.

            Look at Heatly, Hossa, Kovalchuck, 3 franchise wingers a max of 3 teams tried to sign each one of them, now imagine if Getzlaf, Datsyuk, Toews… etc became avail, at least 20 teams would line up for there sercvices, gm’s don’t want to give wingers large cap hits, but will for centres and D-men. Yes I don’t have official proof because #1 centres never get to ufa status, but I am sure you would agree teams would line up for those centres. Heck look how stupid teams got for Briere,Gomez,Drury.

  • C-DOG

    I am going out I’ll be back to give you people free lessons later, your lucky I don’t charge you guys for this.

    You better not go around telling your friends these are your ideas to make you look smart.

  • Personally I dont measure in wins and losses but I need no excuse what so ever to break out the Glenlivet. Pretty much…. hey they sang the anthem… woohooo…. Ill have a wee nip.

    It was a great game…. good vibe in the barn again…. positives and up arrows aplenty

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Some Gagner/Center facts:

    Last year their were 51 centers (40+ games) that scored at a higher PPG clip then Ganger.

    Only 6 were 22 or younger

    Crosby 1st overall

    Backstrom 4th overall

    Stamkos 1st overall

    Toews 3rd overall

    Duchene 3rd overall

    Tavares 1st overall

    So almost 90% were 2+ years older then he was

    Of those, only Stamkos, Duchene and Tavares are younger then Gagner.

    So only 6% were as young or younger.

    Their were only 6 more between 22 and 24 last year.

    So 39 of the 51 (76%) centers with a higher PPG were 25+

    • C-DOG

      I don’t put as much stock in age as you do, because I think he will peak early in his career, maybee not yet but not far to go because he has basically weighed the same for 4 years, I factor in expierence and overall game/size/speed, p.p #’s are squed on a bad team with extra opp, that being said 51 better centres actually sounds about right 2nd line at best , plus there are many up and comers that will pass him that I didn’t include in the 41.

      Those #’s reafirm my position on him but of course time will only tell as we are on different sides of the spectrum with him.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Well the gap in age (and how few high end centers their are under 25) also tells us that the majority of the guys ahead of him will also either be out of the leauge or well into the downside of their career by the time Gagner (should be) fullying hitting his stride)

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Ok, so 26 of the 51 are 27 or older (so more then half). I think it’s safe to assume most of those guys will either be out of the league or quickly hitting the downside of their careers.

    Support that their wont be a bunch of 32+ guys (27+ year old guys today 5 years from now) still amoungst the top of the center heap:

    Of the current top 30 PPG centers, only 2 are 32+.

    • C-DOG

      Gagne will max out just like Comrie at an early age as I have always stated that, considering only 2 are over 32, and with every year young stars are coming along, those #’s still look about right, just like I am assuming Gagne will max out early, you are assuming that others will decline soon and not enough will come along to pass him, Stamkos,Toews,Backstrom, Crosby, Malkin etc… will all max out before 25, Players are coming into the league bigger and stronger than ever before, they all have personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches, Gagne by the end of next year will be as good as he ever will be and will always be the 3rd best player on his line be it the 1st or 2nd line, that is not acceptable in my view or historys view, so as of today he’s arguably a top 50 centre. Which translates as a 2nd line centre on one of the 10 worst teams in hockey, hardly anything to get your hopes up about,but if you want to beleive it go ahead thats what fans are suppose to do beleive in their team regardless of reality, just like Cub’s fans, but don’t think you have anything of significance to prove otherwise.

      Imagine if the Oilers had a #1 centre last year and Gagne never got as much p.p were would he rank top 60 in your stats. And those #’s are flattering considering their p.p sucked, which means if he’s on your p.p you need a serious upgrade, nothing points to him being an elite player , nothing.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        So in other words a guy that just turned 21 wont get better. Ridiculous.

        Like you said, it’s possible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

        and actually alot points to being a very good player (I wont say elite). All you have to do is look at the players that produced at his level as a teenager.

    • C-DOG

      In 5-7 years ther will be just as many that develop and get drafted as there will be players that drop off and most of these players will still be great untill at least 33-34 and they will still be better than Gagne.He is not geneticaly gifted and will be passed a lot sooner than you think and will eventualy be playing on the wing just like MC.