The Oilers have traded the rights to former first round pick, Andrew Cogliano, to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2nd round pick in 2013.
It was clear the Oilers weren’t going to bring Cogliano to camp, especially considering Steve Tambellini has tried trading him the past two summers. The Ducks make sense, because they will likely slot Cogliano into recently-retired Todd Marchant’s slot.
Cogliano wasn’t going to fit in Edmonton, and I truly believe that Sam Gagner will need to step up this season or he’ll be the next former first rounder getting moved.
Cogliano’s inability to win faceoffs sparked this move. Sure his size didn’t help, but last season Cogliano became much more consistent in showing the competitive desire necessary to be a solid NHL player. Cogliano never missed a game in four seasons with the Oilers, despite five root canals and having a cyst removed from his lip without any drugs in a span of a week last season.
Cogliano will be remembered as a great skater, who competed hard, but ultimately didn’t have the finish to be a top-six forward, and he wasn’t good enough in the dot to be a solid shut-down, 3rd line checker.
Here’s a recap of his four years as an Oiler:
YEAR GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2008 82 18 27 45 20 1
2009 82 18 20 38 22 -6
2010 82 10 28 38 31 -5
2011 82 11 24 35 64 -12
His faceoff history wasn’t great.
YEAR FOW FOL TOTAL %
2008 214 328 542 39.5%
2009 261 441 702 37.2%
2010 163 216 379 43.0%
2011 461 647 1108 41.6%
Cogliano took the most draws for the Oilers last year, and he was the main reason they were one of the worst faceoff teams in the league.
I felt Cogliano become a more competitive player the past few seasons, and a guy who was starting to accept that he’ll be a bottom-six forward throughout his career, rather than a scorer like he was in junior and college.
The Oilers will be hard pressed to draft a 2nd rounder that plays 328 games in his first four NHL seasons, but the Oilers have too many small centres who can’t win faceoffs and one of them had to go.
The Oilers likely won’t win this trade, but as the try to claw out from the NHL basement we should see more trades like this. It is difficult to get any return on a player who has yet to prove he fits a specific role, and while many of you will cheer this move today, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cogliano become a useful 3rd liner in Anaheim.
While his stats might not reflect it, Cogliano truly cared. I understand why the Oilers made this move, but if I was trading a player based solely on heart and character he wouldn’t have been the first one to go.
However, this game isn’t just about heart and character, it is also about wins, and dealing Cogliano is more about finding players who can fit, and most importantly, flourish in specific roles.