RANDOM THOUGHTS+ UPDATED DUBINSKY

I was intrigued, curious and disappointed after watching, reading and listening to a few things Oilers related this week. Tom Renney had an interesting take on Ryan Nugent-Hopkings, the Gagner camp’s had an epic battle and a conclusion to the arena financing might take even longer to sort out.

After reading and watching what went down at city council yesterday, and then talking to some of the parties involved I’m not sure we are any closer to a resolution. I found a few things interesting though. The City is required to post the minutes of the meeting three days after, so the minutes will be up no later than Monday.

  • The city put in an amendment that after the City Manager and the Katz Group agree to the framework of a funding agreement, it will then be presented to council and they vote on it. Back in May they forgot to put this in, and had to go back and change that. It is just another small step that will delay the process in my opinion.
     
  • When asked about the $450 million price tag going up in the future, city manager Simon Farbrother said they plan on having the builder assume risk for cost over runs. So basically the builder will get $450 million. If he goes over budget they will eat the extra cost, and if they come under $450 million they keep the extra money. He said agreements like this have worked in the past, but didn’t show a specific example.  
     
  • Richard Anderson, Northlands President and CEO admitted that, like the Katz Group, they have refused to give answers/information to the city administration’s financial questions. Northlands and the Katz group don’t want to make their books public, and while they have the legal right not to disclose everything I think it causes doubt from councillors and taxpayers. Councillor Jane Batty, a traditional Northlands supporter, seemed dismayed and disappointed in Northlands after hearing this. I don’t think the Katz group or Northlands are winning any PR points.
     
  • I spoke with Anderson on my show yesterday and he inferred that so far Northlands is in the dark about their role moving forward, and if push comes to shove they will continue to operate Rexall even when the new rink is open. I asked Anderson about the possibility of "downsizing" Rexall to 8,000-10,000 seats and he said that hasn’t been looked at yet. Edmonton needs a smaller facility, and although the new arena will have the capability to "shrink" to that size for certain events, I wonder if Edmonton wouldn’t be better off with two facilities? I know they would compete for some concerts, but isn’t competition healthy? It might not be feasible to downsize Rexall, but I’d love to see a mid-size venue in Edmonton.
     
  • And just to clear things up the $800,000 price tag to upgrade the seats at Rexall that Northlands received approval for yesterday does not come from taxpayers. The money comes from Northlands’ budget. If Northlands wants to spend more than $750,000 they need to present it to council before getting approval. That seems a tad strange, but that’s the deal.
     
  • It will be wonderful when this entire process is over and we see the first shovel enter the ground, but we likely won’t see that until March 2012 at the earliest. If the Oilers want to start the 2014/2015 season in the new building construction needs to start in April at the latest, but ideally in January or February of 2012.

RENNEY ON NUGENT-HOPKINS

I think Nugent-Hopkins will make the team, or at the very least he’ll play nine games before the Oilers make up their mind about keeping him. I’m sure some of you could give two squirts what I think, but I’ll bet you’d love to hear from the guy who will make that decision. Renney said this on the TEAM 1260 on Tuesday. 

 "I think if a player warrants that opportunity to start the season with your team, it is pretty much a game at a time for everybody. That’s why you carry 23 people, an end of the bench and a pressbox. If the player is not able to measure up, I’m not going to be the guy that stands in the way of a young fella who could be playing an awful lot of hockey at the junior level by putting him in the pressbox because I don’t think he is ready.

 "If he is going to start the season with us and play nine games, you can be rest-assured that if he has done his work and we do our due diligence with developing him then he will play ten and beyond. You can’t play him 40 games and play him 8-10 minutes and expect him to be what you want; that is a diminishing return. 

"The bottom line is we have to make a sensible decision on a player like him to make sure that if he stays with us, he will play and not be a spectator. If you look at last year, our young guys played and they needed to. It wasn’t a case of protecting them by not putting them on the ice to do certain things. I think that is where Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi were strong enough to deal with the rigors of the NHL.

"The great question for Ryan, because it appears to me at least and that’s without having seen him at training camp, is that he can certainly navigate his way through a hockey game with his intelligence and his hockey sense and what is intuitive to him, but the great question will be can he handle it physically."

 

I can’t wait to see how Nugent-Hopkins looks at the rookie tournament from Sept 11th-15th, because last year it was clear that Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi were in a different class than pretty much every rookie in the tournament. I suspect we will see the same from the former Red Deer Rebel this year. 

GAGNER BATTLE RAGES ON 

I can’t add much more to the Gagner debate that Brownlee, Lowetide and many of you  haven’t already written, but I do find it interesting when people pull out comparables they use guys like Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Marty St. Louis and some other top-end centres.

I understand that you are trying to prove that many of them took a few years before they became above 60+ point players, but what about the guys who have yet to pan out, if ever. I’m all for being positive, but if you think it is possible that Gagner could develop on the same path as them, isn’t it possible he might struggle like Gilbert Brule, Alex Steen, Kyle Chipchura, Rostislav Olesz, Martin Hanzel, Kyle Turris, Peter Mueller or other recent first-rounders?

Gagner needs to take a big step this season, or his window of opportunity to play in key situations will shrink with Nugent-Hopkins nipping at his heels. I hope Gagner takes his game to the next level, but I think he needs to take that step this season.

GAGNER EQUAL TO DUBINSKY

The Rangers and Brandon Dubinsky avoided arbitration today and agreed to a four-year deal that will pay him an averaged of $4.2 million/season. Do you think Gagner is worth $4.2 million? If you don’t think so, then compare their stats. Dubinsky is three years older.

GAGNER:

YEAR        GP      G        A     PTS  +/-
2008:         79     13      36     49    -21
2009:        76      16      25     41    -1
2010:        68      15      26     41     -8
2011:        68      15      27     42     -17
TOTAL…. 291    59      114   173   -47

DUBINSKY:

YEAR        GP      G        A     PTS  +/-
2008:         82     14      26     40     8
2009:        82      13      28     41    -6
2010:        69      20      24     44     9
2011:        77     24      30     54    -3
Total…      316    71     108   179   +8

  • Darrenski

    I believe Gagner has until just before the trade deadline to prove himself. I am surprised the Oilers have been this patient with him. There are Oilers coming up that seem to me have more drive and way better defensive abilities than Gagner. Lander, VV…. These are traits that all centers in the NHL must have to remain in the NHL. We just got rid of Cogs, sure he lacked skill but he had way more drive/passion and superior defensive abilities than Gagner. Sure Gagner has skill but he needs the drive to be able to use that skill. I really don’t think he is strong enough to win draws in this league. I believe if Gagner was as good as what most people think, and would have found the chemistry needed with his line mates, the Oilers would not have been 30th in the past two seasons. DAMN IT SAM PROVE ME WRONG. Get the drive/passion that the smaller Martin St. Louis has….and you will succeed.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Sorry but results are far more important then drive/passion.

      Also, defense is certainly important, but when you are talking about your top 2 center positions offense is what you are looking for.

  • I’m in agreement with EasyOil – that Gagner could take the next step, but I’d take him as he is for the rest of his career. I think he’s WAAAYYYY too young to be giving up on. He could still turn into a very dynamic #1 centre, but it’s not like we don’t need a #2 centreman. He was the youngest guy in the league when he was a rookie, and other guys in his draft class are still just entering the league (see: Logan Couture). Some of them may have benefited from a few more developmental years in the minors, but we’ve all seen a step up in play in players at completely different ages…it’s not like if a player hasn’t reached his peak at the age of 22 he won’t be a star…he was leading the team in points when he got injured, although so did a lot of guys, but I think that with improved play and a little more protection from the new vets/bullies, he’ll be able to take another step in his game this year. And he’ll probably have a few more steps up in years after.

  • isn’t it possible he might struggle like Gilbert Brule, Alex Steen, Kyle Chipchura, Rostislav Olesz, Martin Hanzel, Kyle Turris, Peter Mueller…

    1. You’re using Hanzal as a negative comparable?

    2. Turris is the same age and is also not done developing. He is fairly widely regarded as potentially breaking out soon, so I’m not sure why you’re writing him off as a bust already.

    3. Mueller. He was seen as having turned a significant corner when he went down with injury and is still young. Too early to write off as well.

    4. Brule. How is he comparable other than draft position?

    5. Chipchura has 28 career points. Never showed much of anything. Not comparable.

    6. See Brule.

    7. Steen. This one is closest, but even he never saw the NHL until 21. This suggests a significant talent gap.

    Even with all that, you’ve missed the point. Of course it is possible that he never improves and is never any better than these guys. None of us ever suggested otherwise. What we have argued against is the idea that we already know what he is as a player and he has obviously peaked by the age of 21.

    We don’t use those high end comparables as an expectation. We are using them as a counter possibility to the idea that he is done growing.

    • Jason Gregor

      Never wrote off any of them, just saying that using the best case scenario is only one side of the argument.

      So Steen as a rookie at 21 isn’t a comparable, but Richards and Carter as 21-year old rookies is. That makes lots of sense.

      • You are ignoring the point again. I get the feeling you didn’t read my entire comment. (Understandable, given the length)

        The conversation can’t go anywhere unless you deign to address the point.

        I should also point out that your use of those players doesn’t make sense unless you are writing them off.

  • Craig1981

    When you look and realize gagner was born only a few months, not years, apart from eberle do you not think its only fair to show the same amount of patients with each one regardless of were they played their late teens?

  • Oilers4ever

    The city needs to get their heads out of their ass on this and find a way to make this work. I don’t care what anyone says. This IS a business for Daryl Katz.. and when businesses don’t get what they need to succeed, THEY MOVE. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if he doesn’t have what he needs for the arena, this team will be gone when the lease at Rexall is done. Can’t blame the guy really. I wouldn’t want my team playing in that hell hole of rink either.. food sucks, bathrooms suck, seats suck… There’s a reason it needs to be replaced.. It’s TOO old. If the city and it’s whiny citizens can’t see the reason why the need the team and whole entertainment district that will go up around it for all the money it will make them.. let the team leave. They will see just how much they lose once they are gone… and then you’ll be 15 years plus like the Jets before it comes back again. If they can use tax payers money to build a stupid arse art museum that half the city doesn’t give a damn about I think they can do the same for something that makes way more cash.

    • D-Man

      Don’t get me wrong – I agree with you that we need a new rink and the city should buck up, but we need to remember they only spent $5 to $10 million on the art museum – not $150 million +… This deal needs to take time for negotiation… The $150 million will come out of our tax dollars… Let’s just make sure the city does all it can (and ‘dither’ if need be) to make sure every dollar it does chip in is well spent.

      • Oilers4ever

        Yes.. and of course I understand the cost is different as well… It is just exceedingly frustrating to here all the “non hockey fans” out there that spout off to let the team need and that the city does not need them because they are too ignorant to understand just how many dollars will be lost because of the 41 home games that would be gone so kiss the cash good bye for all the hotels costs those teams play, the meals, the entertainment dollars they spend when here for a couple days, etc. People forget that there will be absolutely NOTHING that steps up to replace that… oh wait.. yes there will be. Your tax dollars when they go up to replace that cash that comes into the city which would match the amount needed to fund the extra 100-150 million anyways.. but it will be permanent.. where at least for the arena, hopefully once it’s built they would drop it. I for one don’t live in Edmonton so I won’t be impacted, but I used to live there about 10 years ago and I know how bad the downtown needs to be revitalized. It was a hole 10 years ago, it’s even worse now. People just need to wake up and see what this is really going to do for the city and just forget about it just being the hockey team.

      • Darrenski

        But how much do they pump into it every year to keep it running? Lets face it its a Art Museum its not like you get 15,000 people going there a week let alone one night. They would be lucky to cover operating costs from admission fees let alone the upkeep.

      • Souby

        Not trying to be argumentative, but the art gallery actually cost $88 million of which the Alberta Government contributed approx $27 million, the City Paid approx $21 million, The Feds ponied up approx $10 million and the balance was to come from private contributors. $150 million is a lot of money, especially compared to $21 million, but my opinion is, this new arena will help revitalize downtown which I think is something this city needs badly.

  • Souby

    “I hope Gagner takes his game to the next level, but I think he needs to take that step this season.”

    You took the words right out of my mouth Gregor. This is Gagner’s opportunity to show the coaches and management where or if he fits into the future plans for the Oilers.

    Cogliano had the same opportunity and he is now a Duck. If Sam falters this year or does not improve over his current production, then he will be wearing another team’s jersey next season.

  • Hemmertime

    Ok, so the builder is going to accept the cost risk… He does so, and then the development runs 20% over budget,he turns around, declares bankruptcy, and terminates the company.

    Now who’s on the hook for those unpaid bills?

    I’ll bet it is the building owner.

    Who will cover expenses while they look for a new builder?

    I’ll bet it is the building owner.

    Will the next builder take the same deal of being on the hook for overruns?

    I’ll bet not and the building owner will be on the hook.

    The city put in an amendment that after the City Manager and the Katz Group agree to the framework of a funding agreement, it will then be presented to council and they vote on it. Back in May they forgot to put this in, and had to go back and change that. It is just another small step that will delay the process in my opinion.

    A small step? That truly is a sad statement.

    • book¡e

      Ok, you do realize that the builder would be a company like PCL – not exactly the type of builder that will go bankrupt over a cost overrun on a little project like this.

      Seriously, the sad thing about the arena debate is that people address it with the same mentality that they bring to managing their own home renovations.

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      The builder would be paid in increments. Even if the builder declares bankrupcy, the owner would only be responsible for paying out what is owed to the contractor based on the contract. For example if 60% of the beams are done the contractor would get 60% of whats owed. A progress report would be done every two weeks and paid out according to what has been completed since the last pay out. Its a no risk deal for the owner. If they do go out of business the owner has the other bids to fall back on and can bring in another contractor who is familiar with the project. This may be at a higher rate than what was originally set but it cuts down the chances of lengthy shutdown.

    • Jason Gregor

      That is a big if. Don’t you think that the builder who gets this project is likely one that has been around for many years and has a proven track record. Not one that continually comes in over budget.

      And 20% over budget would mean they are $90 million over budget. Again highly unlikely.

      • Craig1981

        20% over budget unlikely?! You’ve never been in the alberta oil industry I take it. Lol. That said,both cost plus and hard bids have their pros and cons

      • Darrenski

        There are many reasons projects come in over budget, least of which the Contractor is to blame, most of the time the owner is changing things mid-stream and the contractor has to interrupt an efficiently planned process to make the change. Most people believe a contractor likes change orders, when it causes friction, delays to everyone and adds length to their planned timeline. Completing a project in the manor they are planning puts a great deal of pressure on the sub-contractors more than the General Contractor. A quality contractor has the project planned to a “T” and if the owner has any changes mid stream will add to the cost.
        On another note: City Counsel had best get off their butts and get this project going. I see nothing but upside, revitalize downtown and hey even the Art Museum would get more traffic.
        More traffic= more revenue????

        • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

          Wasn’t it Kelowna or Pentiction that built a hockey arena and then realzied when it was too late that they had no score clock?

      • The biggest problem I have with cost-to-builder type deals is that there is significant motivation for builders to cut corners.

        This has been evident as a significant problem in the past. Unfortunately no specific projects come immediately to mind, but I do recall there were incidents.

        • Jason Gregor

          I didn’t ignore your point…

          Steen. This one is closest, but even he never saw the NHL until 21. This suggests a significant talent gap.

          Well if Richards came in at 21 then how can you compare him to Gagner. How can you say in one breath that Steen and Gagner have significant talent gap because of Steen’s age, but you will use Richards.

          I never wrote them off…I said that they all might be average NHL players, not the elite ones that are continually thrown out as “what Gagner might become” comparables.

          • If you believe my comment about Steen was the point then I am at a loss for words.

            Re: Richards – Can you really not see the difference in why the rookie age matters in one instance and not in the other or are you being obtuse?

            Hint: It has to do with relevance to the point being made.

            Re: Writing off Mueller and Turris. Your post clearly suggested that those two players are done developing, otherwise your point made no sense. If you want to use them as comparables because they are young and still developing then I can understand your reasoning, but you used them as examples of what Gagner might become, suggesting a finished product. This makes no sense because they are also still developing.

            A number of people have stated why top end comparables are being used, but you are ignoring those comments and latching onto things like “Steen and Richards were both 21” and completely ignoring the purpose behind the comparisons, which is highly relevant context.

          • Jason Gregor

            You don’t get “it” just as much.

            I never once said Mueller was a right off. Maybe that is as good as he will get. Okay NHLer, not a bonafide first liner like all the names guys want to use for Gagner comparables.

            Not sure why you don’t get that.

            Go back and read Dubinsky’s stats. He is a comparable, or because he has yet to reach 60+ points is also not good enough.

            I get the whole projecting what Gagner might be, but he also might just be an inconsistent player like many other young players.

          • I never once said Mueller was a right off. Maybe that is as good as he will get. Okay NHLer, not a bonafide first liner like all the names guys want to use for Gagner comparables.

            Really? Because the implication of your post is that Gagner could “turn into” a player like Mueller. What should I read out of that? I doubt you were suggesting that they were both young players still on the rise.

            Most people, when trying to project what a player will become, compare them to older finished products, not similar aged players who are still developing.

            What is it that I don’t get? That it is ok to ignore context?

            …but he also might just be an inconsistent player like many other young players.

            Every one of us has agreed with this statement over and over again…so what is it you are arguing with exactly?

          • Jason Gregor

            How about I sum it up for everyone.

            Currently Gagner = 40-50points per season and below average defensive ability and is in his early 20’s

            Future Gagner = ?????????? older than early 20’s

          • Because Richards is a very good player.

            The point of using Richards was:

            “Look, this very good 1C was no great shakes when he was 21, don’t judge Sam at this young age”

            No one is saying Gagner will become Richards, we are saying very good NHLer’s were not the players at 21 that they are at 26/27, so why is everyone saying Gagner is?

            Oh, and we say 21 year old because that’s the season he just finished.

          • Jason Gregor

            I get why people want to use the comparison, although the comparable is only based on points because Richards’ style is completely different than Gagner. Gagner doesn’t play close to the same game.

            I understand no one said Gagner WOULD be like them, but my point was no one ever puts out the list of guys who never became stars. Not sure why this is so difficult to see. All I said was there is another path he could take.

          • I understand no one said Gagner WOULD be like them, but my point was no one ever puts out the list of guys who never became stars. Not sure why this is so difficult to see. All I said was there is another path he could take.

            Its beacuse people (not saying you) are saying “trade him, he’s all he’ll ever be”

            So we take very good players and say “wait a minute, he’s too young to say that, look at what very good players did at his age”

            We don’t use players who plateaued early because we are arguing against getting rid of him.

            We are arguing that “we don’t know”, not he WILL improve.

            Also beacuse of this:

            http://www.arcticicehockey.com/2010/1/21/1261318/nhl-points-per-game-peak-age

            On average pro hockey players peak at 25-27 in terms of point production.

          • Jason Gregor

            Yes, but “don’t know” could also mean the negative end of it. I get why you don’t use the negatives, but I just wanted to point out ones that are there. I could have went back to mid 90s and found way more. I’ve never said he has peaked, because I don’t think he has, but I also don’t see him becoming like Carter, Richards, Kesler etc. I think he will be better than he currently is, but not as good as them.

          • I don’t think he’s a comp for those players either, but when you point out that those players produced at Gagner’s level or less at the same age it give the “TRADE HIM, HE’S PEAKED” guys something to think about.

            No one remembers guys like Kesler or Carter when they were 21 because they weren’t much to watch.

            They know what they are now, and just assume they always were that way.

          • Jason Gregor

            Did I actually say your name? No. I said all I see is lists of what he might become. No one ever put out one of lesser-lights. That was my point. You got all out joint because you didn’t like the comparisons.

          • I don’t have the slightest idea what saying my name has to do with anything. Are you saying I cannot interpret responses with “@TigerUnderGlass” to be directed at me?

            Out of joint? I questioned what your list had to do with the point we’ve been making. I did set out what I thought were problems with your comparables, but it was not even the primary purpose of my response….so I guess you have still missed the point.

            Yes, but “don’t know” could also mean the negative end of it. I get why you don’t use the negatives, but I just wanted to point out ones that are there

            So you hear people say “we don’t know yet what we have in Gagner” and believe that means we didn’t know a negative outcome was possible?

            I think he will be better than he currently is, but not as good as them.

            How is this any different than what we’ve been saying all along? Using top end players to illustrate a point is a far cry from believing he will equal them.

          • Jason Gregor

            I went back and read Gregor’s first two responses to you. Neither was defensive. You were the one who actually wrote in caps, which is yelling like a two-year old.

            Your comment about Steen makes no sense. “Steen. This one is closest, but even he never saw the NHL until 21. This suggests a significant talent gap.”

            I read it three times and still don’t know who you are talking about. Who has the significant talent gap? In that form it doesn’t make sense.

            You went off on a tangent and then had the audacity to bitch at Gregor. I can’t believe he didn’t ban your ass like Brownlee does all the time.

          • In that form it doesn’t make sense.

            Really? Because it made sense to gregor. He disagrees with it, but it made sense to him. It’s too bad you don’t I guess.

            You went off on a tangent and then had the audacity to bitch at Gregor.

            Which tangent is that?

            One more thing, if commenting with snark like “that makes a lot of sense” isn’t defensive than I was mistaken. I should point out however that sometimes people also us caps for emphasis because it’s less pretentious than bolding.

            It’s great that your first participation in the conversation was to insult someone though. You and Oil2012!!! will get along fabulously.

          • Jason Gregor

            How is this any different than what we’ve been saying all along? Using top end players to illustrate a point is a far cry from believing he will equal them.

            So then why not use realistic ones, or ones you think he WILL actually become. What is the point of using guys he likely won’t be like?

            When I said did I say your name, I meant did I say it in the article. Did I originally direct anything at you? No, but you seemed to take defence right away. If you didn’t actually post a list why so defensive.

            Another example of you maybe not getting the gist of a comment.

            I wrote… “You are the one who is constantly arguing with people, yet I’m the one trying to generate pageviews. Please.”

            You actually thought I meant, please as in please do it because you said, “you’re welcome.”

            Please was meant as in “Give me a break…you know as in sarcasm…like this post.

            I’m done talking about this.

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

            Steven Wiess is probably a decent comparision to what Gagner will become.

            And Gagner has a good head start at 21 to where Wiess was at 21.

          • Jason Gregor

            He might be, but I’m not a big fan of comparisons because there are too many “outside influences” that make it very difficult to predict how a player develops, but at least Weiss seems more likely. As you said Gagner is already ahead of him, now it is up to him to put the work in to get better.

            Gagner’s biggest challenge moving forward will be his footspeed. If he can improve it, he could be a 55-65 point guy, but if not, he’ll be hard-pressed to produce on a contending team.

            Gagner’s stats should improve if he gets a chance to play with Hall regularly though.

          • Are you seriously going to play it that way? Take a misguided shot and then delete my response?….***Just so you know, Gregor didn’t edit it. I did. Personal shots not accepted. Signed Bingofuel’s silent replacement.***

          • So then why not use realistic ones, or ones you think he WILL actually become. What is the point of using guys he likely won’t be like?

            Because the pointing to those players wasn’t meant to show what Gagner would be, it was meant to show that very good to excellent players progressed a great deal at ages older than Gagner. As has been repeated – we don’t know where he will end up.

            The better question is this. Knowing that the comparisons to players like Richards is based the idea of showing player development after Gagner’s age does it still not feel a bit off to present players the same age as Gagner as a counterpoint?

            When I said did I say your name, I meant did I say it in the article. Did I originally direct anything at you? No, but you seemed to take defence right away. If you didn’t actually post a list why so defensive.

            I disagreed with you and I told you why. I’m not sure how that translates to “defensive”. Your responses to my questioning your wisdom on the other hand….

          • Crash

            A thousand props to you sir for your well worded responses.

            How many players in the league that have produced 173 nhl pts by the time they were 21 yrs old didn’t improve as they got older? I haven’t dug into the research but I’m guessing that the list of players who actually regress and get worse from age 23 on compared to how they did at age 22 and less is very small.

            This is another reason why us Gagner supporters feel as though the future for him stands to be better than his first 4 yrs. IMO it would be a huge mistake to throw the possibilities away.

        • Talbot17

          There maybe some quality control part of the contract but I know what your saying and that would worry me to. A project like this is one where you would be willing to spend a little more to make sure that you get the highest quality. I think you may need to have some people within your organization to oversee a lot of it to make sure that there isn’t any cutting corners involved. I’m living in Grande Prairie and I tell you every where you look thats all that you see here, cutting corners. Because companys don’t do foundations properly by cutting materials like gravel and also pouring the cement in the winter when the ground has frost in it. You are extremely lucky if you can find a house with the basement floor that isn’t badly cracked and heaving needing to be replaced.

          • Truth

            If I’m a contractor and am responsible for all costs over the bid price I am tacking on a large percentage to cover my butt. Probably be a $375M value building for $450M. As any contractor, consultant, and owner knows there are always unforeseeable issues.

            As far as cutting corners it is no different than any other project. It can happen, there will undoubtedly be quality control.

  • Hemmertime

    Aside from 1 year of Steen and 1 year of Mueller, none of the guys you listed are actual comparables for Gagner. Steen got 45 points as a 21 year old rookie and Mueller got 54 points as a 19 year old rookie, but aside from that none of the players you mentioned are anywhere close to what Gagner has done.

    Gagner has averaged more points per year than Brule got in total his first 4 years in the league. Chipchura put up 11 points in his rookie year at 21. Olesz put up 21 and 30 points in his first 2 years at 20 and 21. Hanzal put up 35 and 31 his first 2 years at 20 and 21. Gagner’s 49 points in his rookie year are better than Turris’s 46 career points at this point in time.

    I think if you want to find a negative comparable for Ganger it would be a guy like Comrie. A player with size and speed issues who had trouble taking the next step.

    • Jason Gregor

      So you are using Gagner’s best season as the marker. He hasn’t improved since then, so what does that say? There is no perfect comparable, but using Richards and Carter’s rookie seasons as equal is also just as misleading.

      • book¡e

        I’m using his first 4 seasons in the league as his marker, when he was 18-21.

        The only reference I made to Gagner’s best season (49 points) was that it was 3 more than Turris’s totals in the NHL.

        Comparables are exactly that. Comparable players. Players who played in the NHL at the same age and had similar production.

      • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

        Saying Gagner hasn’t improved since his rookie season just isn’t really true.

        I suppose if you only wanted to focus on Gagners point totals and not focus on any other bits of context the argument is valid.

        But as Lowetide pointed out in his last article: the Oilers have gotten progressively worse since Gagner’s been here, and he’s year over year provided a higher % of team offense. That would seem to suggest some kind of improvement.

        I would assume the fact that Gagner’s 5v5 points/60 has improved year over year would also lend itself to the suggestion that he has indeed gotten better.

        However, back to points. Gagner, before Jones sliced his wrist, was on pace for a 50 or so point season. While on the surface that doesn’t look like an improvement over his rookie season, we scored 15% (or 30) less goals this year. If you adjust his pace this year for the amount of offense the team had in his rookie year (ie. Sam was in on 22% of the Oilers offense this year, so you take 22% of 30 goals and you get 6 more points)you find Gagner in the 56-60 point range.

        Would you consider that an improvement?

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

          “But as Lowetide pointed out in his last article: the Oilers have gotten progressively worse since Gagner’s been here”

          I’m shocked.

          Why would a weak, slow centre who can’t win a faceoff or a puck battle, who has been fed primo TOI and PP opportunities have a negative impact on team performance.

          Those of you saying you would be perfectly happy with a second line centre who scores 40 pints a season better give your locks a toss.

          Gagner is a defensive disaster and any second line centre who can only produce 40 points better be elite defensively.

          Gagner never will be.

      • Half the guys you listed have never produced as well as Gagner. Ever. Some of them not even in their career totals have they matched what Gagner does per year. He would have to regress a lot to be that bad in some cases.

        • Jason Gregor

          Okay and all the guys people listed Gagner has YET to produce as well as them. He MIGHT, but he could just as easily NOT.

          The point is all the guys who like Gagner only want to look at the upside. The reality is there is no guarantee. Not sure why people can’t see that.

          • Unbelievable. You say you are not ignoring the point but the response to this is the precise point that has been repeated to you ad nauseum which you continually ignore.

            NOT A SINGLE PERSON HERE HAS EVER SUGGESTED THAT GAGNER IS GUARANTEED TO PRODUCE AT THAT LEVEL. Yet you keep pretending that is the position we have all taken. People in this very thread have repeatedly acknowledged the alternate possibility and you just go on pretending those comments never happened.

            You are just blatantly ignoring logic to, I assume, generate pageviews.

          • Jason Gregor

            You are the one who is constantly arguing with people, yet I’m the one trying to generate pageviews. Please. It seems you have misread what I wrote. I never said they were busts, I said that have yet to take the next step. And why does Richards rookie age differ from Steen’s? Steen was a year older, but they entered NHL at the same time. Steen had a better rookie season, but five years later he isn’t close to the player Richards is. So regardless of rookie age, maybe Gagner follows his path. That was my point.

          • Jason Gregor

            It’s so frustrating how people can’t see what Sam Gagner is and will become. The sooner we cut ties with this guy the better, his skating is atrocious and hasn’t improved in 4 years, he gets pushed off the puck constantly, can’t win a draw and has a poor shot as well. It’s laughable when people compare numbers to players like Richards and Kesler when they were 21.

          • Clyde Frog

            Lol,

            Please explain a couple things for me.

            He has improved his ranking against his fellow centres in the league with all these handicaps, how?

            He currently produces well enough to start as a second line centre on 20+ teams, how?

            He was drafted 6th overall and has been the 2nd to 3rd best kid in his year, why?

            Feel free to use a graph or your obvious talent sense to help illustrate your explanations.

            I’m sure this will be interesting.

          • You’re welcome.

            I would like to point out that other people argue more than I do. I only argue on here once or twice a month unless something strikes me. Other people argue every other thread. I wish I could do it more often but it’s so hard to find the time.

            Update to respond to update

            For the third time, it matters because of why the age are being used. What point is being made. What point is that? Woodguy said it best earlier, and many others have repeated it…all the while you keep repeating that we somehow believe Gagner is going to become exactly like Richards.

            I’m not even sure why it matters since in my very first comment I agreed that similar results were indeed possible. Wasn’t that your point in the first place? I don’t understand why you are so adamantly against comments that happily acknowledged your point – even if I disagreed with your specific comparables.

          • Jason Gregor

            I have no problem if people want to debate, but you said I was writing guys off, which I never once said. Feel free to debate all you want, that is great, but maybe re-read the article before assuming something that was never written.

            I don’t see how it is accurate to only use a “finished product” as a comparable. Gagner isn’t finished and just because others took ta certain route to success, that doesn’t mean he will follow.

            People assume that because I bring up possibilities that aren’t positive that means I think Gagner is done. Far from it. Just showing people that guys like Steen are out there, and Gagner could follow his development path as easily as Richards.

          • I have no problem if people want to debate, but you said I was writing guys off, which I never once said. Feel free to debate all you want, that is great, but maybe re-read the article before assuming something that was never written.

            Sigh. There were two guys I said you wrote off. Mueller and Turris.

            Your comment suggested possibly following in their footsteps.

            They are about the same age as Gagner.

            The question is – how are they demonstrative of possible future struggles when neither of them has played a season past the age of 21 yet either?

            I suppose my “finished product” comment was not entirely fair, but generally speaking if you are going to use comparables to attempt to predict the future you would use players who are not at almost the exact same place in their careers. They should be at least a little ways down the road. The only way that using these guy makes any sense for your argument is if you have written them off as potential NHL difference makers.

            Just showing people that guys like Steen are out there, and Gagner could follow his development path as easily as Richards.

            I just want to know how many times we have to agree with this statement before you notice.

          • Jason Gregor

            Steen. This one is closest, but even he never saw the NHL until 21. This suggests a significant talent gap.

            That was your original statement about Steen. Didn’t you say he and Gagner had a talent gap? He and Richards both came in at 21, so I assume you weren’t talking about Steen and Richards.

          • Fair enough Jason, I think your Steen Comparable is a good one for the “Gagner has Plateaued” camp. But others on the list are clearly inferior players compared to Gagner’s established level of play.

            I’m not saying Gagner will be Henrik Sedin because at the same ages Gagner was producing as much or more than him, but I think it’s a reach to say that he’ll regress to levels of play that he has never performed at so early in his career.

            My biggest problem is that Gagner has kept his production very similar each year despite the fact that his team has gotten worse and worse. I want to see him on a team that isnt in constant decline.

            This year Gagner and Eberle had almost matching boxcars. 7 months separate them. One has plateaued and has this coming season to prove his value to the team even though he’s their highest scoring Centre; The other will be entering his sophomore year and if his production drops we will call it a sophomore slump and we wont be all that concerned if Omark overtakes him as the 2RW because he’s so young and has miles to go.

  • I understand that you are trying to prove that many of them took a few years before they became above 60+ point players, but what about the guys who didn’t pan out. I’m all for being positive, but if you think it is possible that Gagner could develop on the same path as them, isn’t it possible he might struggle like Gilbert Brule, Alex Steen, Kyle Chipchura, Rostislav Olesz, Martin Hanzel, Kyle Turris, Peter Mueller or other recent first-rounders?

    No question that could happen.

    The point was that people are coming to conclusions on Gagner’s potential, and he is far too young for that.

    He’s only 7 months older than Eberle.

    Age is a better predictor of NHL points than games played.

  • EasyOil

    With regards to Gagner, he can’t be put in the same boat as Turris, Brule etc. because he already has four seasons of 40+ points. He’s already a bonafide NHLer. Not elite by any stretch, but he’s already covered his draft bet and more imo. The kid is good, and has the potential to get even better. He might, he might not, but I’d still happily take a guy who can get 40 points year in year out. Consistent secondary scoring is vital, absolutely vital, and seems to be forgotten about around here when discussing Gagner. I want him to be the elite centre he can be as much as anybody, but there’s no shame if he doesn’t get to that level.

  • John Chambers

    Could you imagine being the sales guy for the stadium seating manufacturer with an $800,000 deal with Northlands on his forecast?

    “That one’s a strong upside, boss. I don’t want to put it in the “commit” funnel just yet, but the city council dithers worse than the team’s General Manager, so in all likelihood they’ll go ahead with the upgrade and we’ll book the order.”

    If the guy closes the deal he’ll finish at 680% of plan, and if he doesn’t he’ll finish at 40% based on some seating upgrades at the Varscona, and re-upholstering at the Vegreville Community Hall.

    Every once in a while dumb luck will shine down on some poor sonofabitch.

    • Oilers4ever

      I think RNH’s production is actually going to be based on the rest of the team. If we end up finishing in the bottom 5 again then I think 42 points is likely but if we make steps forward I can see him putting up more points. If RNH is playing top line mins with Hemsky and Smyth, I’m thinking that a 60 point season is not out of the question.