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?

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.

Previously in this series

  • RexLibris

    @The Soup Fascist

    I agree, that Lazar will likely get some very good looks from scouts this year.

    However, this draft is deep in centers and there are likely going to be a few defensemen and wingers that get some attention as well. Seth Jones and Nathan McKinnon are the obvious ones to start off the ___ vs. ___ debate for 2013.

    Shinkaruk, Monahan, Jones, McKinnon, Domi and Rychel are all tracking as 1st round picks and have been garnering a great deal of attention.

    Last year Frk and Ebert were in that conversation.

    While centers tend to be considered a very valuable commodity, Couturier dropped in his draft year, and Grigorenko dropped this year. Both because of “work ethic” issues, granted, but prospects can slide. Who knows.

    But if the Oilers are drafting 10th overall and have a healthy Hemsky who has posted at minimum a 60 point season, as well as an extra 2nd round pick, they might be able to find a buyer at the 6th to 8th spot in a team that had an unfortunate year and wants to make a quick turnaround.

    There are so many good centers coming up in this draft year, who knows, maybe even the Flames could draft one. 😉

  • The Soup Fascist

    @ Rex Libris

    You almost had me. I was prepared to call the Oilers as a longtime season seat holder and insist to have you coronated the new GM.

    …until you said the Flames would be able to pick an adequete center with their first pick and stave off the temptation to “go off the board”. Clearly you are delusional.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Like trying to talk to a hipster about music:

      “What? You haven’t heard of (insert obscure indie band here)? They are soooo meta, just blazing, man. I can’t listen to the radio…too mainstream. You like Kings of Leon? *snickers while looking at other hipsters* they are SUCH SELLOUTS.”

    • The Soup Fascist

      With all due respect, pretentiousness is defined as “demanding a position of merit, which is often unjustified”. OILERS DOMINANCE TO FOLLOW” could be the example in the dictionary following the definition.

      Look, I am not the moral police or the compass of good taste. And the irony of dragging out a definition to prove a point about pretentiousness is not lost on me. Write whatever you want. All I am saying is we call out Flames fans who gloat about their ninth place finishes and our drafting record or the self-gratifying Canuck fans who talk about their “great organization” that has not won a cup since it’s incarnation 40 plus years ago.

      So if you want to wave the “Domination” flag for a team that has not made the playoffs in 6 years, fill your boots. Just offering a friendly POV as a fellow Oilers fan.

      An unpretentious “Peace out”.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Crap all my life I thought the expression was “pretend shoes” as in pretending to be in someone else’s shoes. Learn something new everyday.

    I’m glad we traded Cogs, he was being pretend shoes acting like a legit NHL center.

  • 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.

  • Cheap Shot Charlie

    Any interest in obtaining M.Green or Semin (UFA) from Washington ? What deal are the Oilers looking at seriously – notice bare minimum of one ?

  • Brownlee loves the word meow

    Unfortunately the dominant voices among the owners prefer plough horses to thoroughbreds and so the officiating, especially in the playoffs when it matters, favours size and obstruction over speed and skill. Bad news for Cogs, not great for the Oilers generally and it has really hurt the Canucks.
    Plough horses are cheaper of course and getting the standard of officiating changed at the All Star break certainly had an impact. Too bad only bush leagues do that. Speaking of which I guess the Oilers kids will have to really kiss ass with the officials this year so they will actually get some calls. Someone will have to explain this to Yakupov I’m afraid.

  • On the war of words and comment habits and such:

    Let’s try to keep the discussion to hockey folks. Feel free to disagree – vehemently even – but avoid veering into the personal. We like having an active community and lively debate here at ON, but if comment strings become flame wars and pissing matches it just clutters things and we have to start deleting comments and banning users, which is no fun for anyone.

    And remember that Robin Brownlee is an author and moderator of OilersNation. As such, he gets to more or less dictate the terms of the discussion.

    In short – don’t poke the bear.

  • I love our team. I wish all the the flames fans twice what we’ve felt with. But geese some of these replies are redickulous. I wish this intensity came from the gm. How come Gretzky isn’t our gm yet. Since we’re all complaining and such.

  • paul wodehouse

    … the crux of this whole matter of what Robin Brownlee does when he’s the author and moderator on this our ON site has devolved for one reason and only one reason …there’s so little to talk hockey about at this arsewhole time of year…
    the draft is done and we have all collectively fawned our silly heads off over our (yet again) first overall draft pick until we’re all clinging to every word written but it’s just the same ‘ol same ‘ol…the summer doldrums have set in and we are now talking about a year old trade of a former smurf who didn’t measure up in the literal sense and a second round draft pick that we got for him that doesn’t hit the books for another year after this !!!!!!…no offense meant JW

    IMO> it’s reverse cabin fever and if we continue, I for one will thoroughly enjoy how some of the citizens sabre rattle their fool heads off but it’s only mildly entertaining when our curmudgeonly one needs to pen threatening notices …Kent said it all just now …DON’T POKE THE BEAR

  • Quicksilver ballet

    But, poking the bear makes us feel alive, in pursuit of every ounce of enjoyment that life has to offer. Get out of your comfort zone all. Stare at the probablity of danger in the eyes and feel alive.

    Grab that bag of marshmallows and start chucking them at the bear. He wants to feel alive i’m sure as well. Most men crave those masculin scars that may occur while living life to the fullest. Fear not, the big bear, he probably wants to roll over on his back so you can rub his tummy.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    you all are probably all gone now but this was an entertaining read. Thanks everyone.

    Meow was got old very fast.
    Domination thing is just an indication of how serious to take that poster.

    Somtimes some people need to take happy-pills.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I dont mind the trade, however I fail to see how Belenger is better.

    I don’t care so much about the stats, I would much rather watch Opra sing opera, or paint dry in the dark.

    Belenger is absolutely the worst hockey player in the entire NHL, of that there is no doubt!

  • @Rama Lama

    In the role Belenger played I’m sure Cogs wouldnt have done much better offensively and probably would have won 30% less faceoffs the Belenger. Last year Belenger sucked the big one, true, but if we have to have him in the lineup this year i am willing to keep an open mind and hope he can bounce back.