Big Decisions: The Andrew Cogliano Trade

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?

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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.

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Previously in this series


  • Is this Oilers Domination to Follow thing really going to be a thing? Dont get me wrong, I love the enthusiasm but I just dont want to stray into the category of fandom that likens to Canuck fan douche-bagery.

    Also, trading Cogs was absolutely fine. Could it have been possible to get more for him? I personally doubt it but I also thing a more shrewd GM could have squeezed a bit more out of cogs.

    • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

      I agree the Cogs trade was fine. I hope we use that second round pick in a trade package to land Yandle. That would really make the Cog trade look good. Plus Cogliano really wouldn’t fit too well on the team. I liked his durability; we’ve now shipped out our two most durable players in Cogliano and Gilbert.

      The team is in a weird spot right now in that they don’t need to many more pieces to be competitive, but getting those pieces without giving up another asset that just creates a different hole will be very tricky.

      Even with all our great prospects coming up on D, I still think we could use a Yandle. Then next year when Whitney and Sutton’s contracts are over is when we bring up Klefbomb and Tuebert to replace those types of players. Obviously a healthy Whitney is better than a rookie Klefbomb, but an unhealthy Whitney is probably worse than a rookie Klefbomb whose been seasoned in the SEL. Who knows, maybe Hall will work out at center like Messier did. Trade Gags for better D, throw either Harti or Paajarvi on the left on the second line, with Smyth on the left up top, and that’s a pretty good roster.

  • vetinari

    Regarding the “Oiler domination to follow” stuff… let’s just leave that for somewhere else guys… I lived through the “boys on the bus” ’80s, the erratic ’90s and, save for the 2006 Cup run, the disappointing ’00s and ’10s, and I like to think that I’ve seen the best and worst that this team (and OilerNation) has to offer, and a little humility and grace shows respect for all parties affiliated with this team and the other 29 teams in the league…

    I’ve also seen too often that “what goes around comes around” and I really hate it when blowhard Flames/Leafs/Canadians/Canucks fans take things too far.

    I’ve always appreciated that hockey has an unwritten sportmanship code that separated it from other sports like basketball… it’s why teams shake hands after a playoff series or why guys like Avery get turfed from the league for being d-bags…

    I also think it’s why I’ll always stop and help out an Oilers/Flames/Leafs/Canadians/Canucks fan with a flat tire on my way home from Rexall… provided that they are not standing by the side of the road screaming “__________ DOMINATION TO FOLLOW”….

  • RollsRoyce13

    I enjoy reading Oilersnation and enjoy reading opinions in the comment section. But am already sick of “Oiler domination to follow”. Please do away with it…… I think the Cogs trade was one of Tambo”s better one’s.

      • GVBlackhawk

        No I think he was just voicing his annoyance with you. And speaking on behalf of everyone who reads the site.

        Meow was funny on Super Troopers. It is not funny coming from you on an Oilers blog site.

        Oilers Domination to Follow also sounds ridiculous when the team has been embarrassingly awful for so long. How about “Oilers Ascension to 20th to Follow”.

        • Brownlee loves the word meow

          I’m very sorry that the word meow annoyed you so much. It was never meant to be funny coming from me. It was something that tied into my avatar, and the movie super troopers.

          As far as the comment you replied to.. I was actually referring to sensoring the comments on blogs. it is one thing to control something that is deemed inappropriate or abuse.. I wasn’t picked on today but some other commenters were… undeservingly. loosing marbles about something so insignificant that it isn’t even worth talking about…. Is a waste of time. Just like me writing this as it will undoubtably be deleted again

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      I agree it was, I’m starting to wonder if the reason why Tambo doesn’t make many trades is because other teams are will to offer fair value. They know the oilers have a lot of good prospects and want to low ball the oilers to try and get them. Also I wouldn’t want to use Marincin, Gernat, Kelfbom in any trades yet, not until we get a better idea of their potential. I think both Marincin and Gernat could surprise everyone and a trade could be regretful.

  • justDOit

    I’m fine with seeing ‘Oiler domination to follow!’ on TSN comment boards. It gets rather tedious here, but who am I to complain? It’s not like anyone is forcing me to read those comments.

  • On the “Oilers domination to follow” thing, I don’t personally like it because I’m a fan of the understated. If the team’s great, you don’t need to tell people that – it’s obvious. If the team’s not great, than touting their dominance seems a little sad. Again, those are my personal thoughts, and to each his own but I don’t see the point.

    As for rumours, I prefer mine to come from people who know what they’re talking about. People like Eklund and the Insiderr just make this crap up, and there’s no point in discussing their garbage. If you get your jollies reading it, by all means – but I don’t think it’s at all pretentious to frown at the guy who brings it up acting like it has some relation to reality. If you find it fun, great but I don’t, and if you’re gullible enough to believe it’s based in fact please don’t expect me to share your delusion.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    @Dman09

    pulling something out of ones ass and writing in a blog technically could be considered a rumour.

    however, who/where the source of the rumour comes from has a huge, in my opinion, relevance towards whether said rumour should at least be entertained as remotely possible.

    for example, if Darren Dreger were to toss out Jason Arnott to edmonton as a possibility, i would put a little more stock into the rumour than if it was dick cloutier on hockeybuzz.

    ~any truth to the crosby for horcoff and omark rumour? some guy on some message board said it.~

  • On the topic of the Arnott rumor, it was Eklund that posted it.

    As far as Richard Cloutier goes, I like his articles. I may have missed one, but I’ve never read him post any made up rumors, and try and pass them off as legit. He’ll either comment on an Eklund rumor, as to what it might actually take to make the rumored trade go through, or he’ll quote one the Edmonton Media guys like Stauffer or Tencer.

    The only time I’ve seen him make up trades, he flat out says that they’re not rumors, just deals he’d like to see, and what it might take to do them.

    Eklunds still a tool though!

    • French Toast Mafia

      Cloutier once based a trade of one of Hall or Whitney due to a split in the room caused by Hall skating passed Whitney after scoring a goal…. Richard Cloutier is an absolute joke and so is everything on hockeybuzz.

      I do enjoy that guys with actual insider info call them out on it from time to time though

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    So what about these rumors of Arnott coming to Edmonton???? I think it would be a good move if we can off load Belanger somewhere, also I would like to see VanVelde get 15-20 games this season. Couple reasons, he can learn from both Horcoff and Arnott but I’m also very interested to see where he is at development wise and if he could slot into the NHL the following season.

    • SurfacetoAirMissile

      @Dman09

      Where’d you see the Arnott rumors? That’d be cool if he came back (2nd line centre, perhaps? Is Gagner getting traded?). I always thought he got the bums rush outta here, and ironically, he’s the type of C that this team has been looking for after they traded him.

  • vetinari

    Like alot of the players moved in the last few years, Cogs seemed like a good guy who was a bit of a ‘tweener… he wasn’t a faceoff specialist or a points producer or a physical presence on the ice or an irreplaceable pk or pp specialist… he just had his speed going for him.

    I think whoever he plays for has to view him as a long term project and give him a narrow and defined role on the team (“you’re a 3rd/4th line winger and pk specialist”)… I’ve always viewed him as a “Todd Marchant-lite” kind of player who didn’t have Marchant’s chirpiness or agitator skills or faceoff ability.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Cogs and Gagne showed well in their first year here in Edmonton. What’s odd though is they both stalled/stagnated with their offensive contributions.

    Feel the Oilers would’ve been better off moving Gags and keeping a premier PK’er like Andrew.

    • Cheap Shot Charlie

      I can see where you’re coming from thinking that a C-man who can kill penalties while standing on his head is more valuable than a 45-55 point hobbit. However, Cogs is the epitome of a tweener. Few guys are able to show first line skill in junior and can be effective 3/4 line guys in the bigs. Correct me if I’m wrong but there aren’t maybe Danny Cleary’s in the league who can pass the test of time.
      Of course, that being said Sam will need elite talent around him to excel beyond 55 pts. I think the right choice was made, it’s just too bad that Gags isn’t turning into Datsyuk. I think we’d all love that!

  • @ Dman

    If Arnott wanted to come here and could be had at a reasonable rate he would be a major upgrade over Belanger. I don’t think he comes close to Gagner anymore.

    All of a sudden there could esily be 3 solid scoring threat lines and no need to shift one of Hemsky, Eberle, or Yak to the LW.

    Paajarvi-Nuge-Eberle
    Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
    Smyth-Arnott-Yakupov
    Hartikainan-Horcoff-Jones

    or some variation. Looks like a nice balance and Horcoff could get the distinction of the top paid 4th liner in the NHL.

  • I am ok with the trade as well. I don’t think it is that odd at all that they stalled. It is very similar to how Paajarvi stalled. They were getting premiere minutes on the 1st and 2nd line and 1 PP time due to injuries.

    When the vets were healthy the next season they were pushed down the depth chart on team that is not deep.

    You take a finnesse player and put them with less skilled players with reduced icetime and no PP time and their numbers are effected. With high expectations and faltering results your confidence is bound to take a hit.

    This is why I would like to see Paajarvi have a good camp and get a long look in the top 6. We could use a big player with speed in our top 6. I know he is not the physical specimen that would make him perfect in the role, but he creates space, draws penalties, and his shot percentage last year was the lowest in the league. Put him with some descent players and i can guarantee he has a bounce back year.

  • Add to that after having a setback in Cogliano’s sophmore year the coaching staff did exactly what people are suggesting with Paajarvi. They told him he was going to be a defensive specialist and a PK guy. They are both smart players with speed and may be capable of making that switch but well rounded players that have put up good offensive numbers previously will always be looked at as a flop if they end up being just a defensive forward that is partnered with other defensive forwards and does not put up many points.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination to Follow

    I was hoping for a 2012 2nd rounder when Andrew was first traded, and was disapointed when I found out it was a 2nd rounder in 2013.

    Now the timing of the trade makes more sense, Oilers can look at their talent this year, find any glaring weaknesses and trade one or both of their second rounders in the draft to fill any holes. The can also trade their first rounder if they are in a position at the deadline to challenge for a playoff spot(not a rental but more of a Mike Fisher type acquisition).

    Cogliano on the Wing has potential but second rounders seem to get you Michaleks and Visnovskys these days, so I think the trade worked out for the Oilers – depending what they do with the pick.

  • @Will

    For me, it is an absolute YES for Yandle. Young offensive DMAN that can move forward for many many years with this club.

    If the Oilers offensive (forwards) future is Centered around Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakapov that is super exciting.

    If you paired that with a D Core centered around Yandle, Petry, Justin Schultz, Smid and hopefully Klefbom then I am stupid happy.

    That is a core that can grow together and be awesome. Assuming of course management is capable of keeping them all under the cap and surrounding them with decent supplimentary players every year.

    Also keeping in mind that this group is paired with a pretty good looking crop of “non-elite” prospects: Lander, Harski, Paajarvi, Teubert, Rieder, Marincin, Gernat, Fedun, Musil, Pitlick, Roy and Bunz

    God, looking at that I am actually excited. GO GET YANDLE (or similar)