Photo by Michael Miller, via Wikimedia Commons
Last summer, the Edmonton Oilers made the decision to cut ties with Andrew Cogliano, sending the young centre to Anaheim in exchange for a second round draft pick. A year later, how is that decision looking?
Cogliano, who had just completed his second contract – a one-year deal worth $1.0 million – was promptly signed to a three-year deal with an annual cap hit of $2.39 million by his new club. At the time, I thought general manager Steve Tambellini deserved high marks for making the decision to divest the Oilers of Cogliano:
The dollar figure on Cogliano’s new contract makes Steve Tambellini look better for trading him. We might present it as a choice, one between Eric Belanger and a second round pick as well as roughly $700,000 in savings, or Andrew Cogliano. Given that Belanger’s the better player, cheaper, was available at no cost other than money, and most importantly fits team needs better, that’s a great choice. Even so, on a rebuilding team, it may not have been an easy one to make. Trading Cogliano is a risk; he’s young, has scored in the past, has blazing speed and rarely left anyone questioning his effort level. He’s also been exceptionally durable. Personally, I think it’s a smart risk.
After Cogliano’s first year with the Ducks, that decision continues to look good. Cogliano played middling competition for the Ducks, failed to produce offensively (finishing with a career-low 26 points) and wasn’t any great shakes defensively either. Bruce Boudreau is still optimistic that Cogliano has more to give, but plans to use him on the wing for all of next season – a move that’s several been several years in the making, given Cogliano poor work in the circle.
The return on Cogliano wasn’t exceptional – a second round pick in 2013 – but that’s okay because it’s difficult to see where he would fit in on the Oilers now. His skills are not ones that are in short supply in Edmonton; it’s not that he’s a terrible player, just that he isn’t a good fit for need.
Trading him was the right decision, and time has only confirmed that.