For Oiler fans, the big acquisition this summer was David Perron. A skilled winger with a nice resume, we’re excited to see what he can do, see how many goals he can score alongside the young and talented forwards in Edmonton. Perron’s exit from St. Louis was a bit of surprise, but cap worries made it necessary. What did his coach think of him? Good things. Good things.


In an article by Norm Sanders from the News Democrat, Hitchcock was quite forthcoming about his former winger. The interview is here, and I’m not going to quote too much of the article (there’s quite a bit about Magnus Paajarvi too) and would suggest you click through and read it.

  • Hitchcock: "Him and I had a good relationship because I really respected the fact that he was coming back from a significant injury. I really felt like he was a guy that when you had him on the ice, you were one step away from scoring a goal all the time.He was a dangerous player offensively, so the other team was always on edge against him."

Terrific quote from an outstanding coach, and Perron’s numbers imply we’re looking at a superior offensive player in comparison to Paajarvi:

  • Perron in the NHL per 82 games: 20-28-48
  • Paajarvi in the NHL per 82 games: 13-16-29

There are all kinds of reasons for the gap–Perron is older, more established, plays more minutes and 5×4 minutes–but I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue about Perron being the better offensive player.

For his part, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish had kind words for Paajarvi at the time of the deal:

  • MacT: “Hated to get rid of him. Hard guy to part with, such a good guy, really fit in well with the culture of the group and the work ethic. He is very much still developing. He’s going to be a good player.


Hindsight is 20/20, but most onlookers believe the Perron-Paajarvi trade was pretty fair, the 2nd round pick going to the Blues making up for the gap in age, experience and offensive ability in the two players exchanged.

For his part, Perron seems excited to be in Edmonton for the coming seasons.

  • Perron: "Just having the chance to play on the Edmonton Oilers will be fun, with the type of hockey they play, St. Louis makes its game a little after the LA Kings style, while Edmonton is looking to be more like Chicago or Detroit. It’s definitely nice to come into a situation like that."

There’s not much doubt offensive players prefer the wide open style, and the Oilers freewheel as well as anyone in the conference.


Sometimes in life we fall ass-over-tea-kettle into something good, and most often we don’t really trust our good fortune. The Hitchcock article, married to Perron’s on-ice performance and the boxcars, suggests to me that David Perron is the real deal–an offensive winger made available only because the cap crunch gave St. Louis the Blues.

And Edmonton was there with the assets to take advantage. A very nice result.

        • OutDoorRink

          troll troll troll.

          do you know who else got paid. zetterberg, marleau, sharp, cammalleri, zajac, ribiero, m. koivu, datsyuk, both the sedins, doan, st. louis… all of which had worse points/game when they were 23 years old in the nhl playing than ganger does right now.

          • toprightcorner

            How many of these guys started there careers later? How many have a higher ceiling? I hate these cherry picked comparisons that mean nothing.

            Sam is one dimensional, not a bad player, but the question that has to be is he going to be a key contributor to a team winning a cup, cause paying him like he is means your hoping he has the ability to reach a level he never has. He’s like Riberio, going to get you points, but will he ever have a two way game that will help you win something. He doesn’t skate well enough, and his offense comes with the knowledge he is bleeding goals in the other direction. The only change I saw in Sam last year was his penalty killing, which tells you he can play defense, but after 6 years where is the improvement in his 5×5 play.

      • OutDoorRink

        How does his comment be considered trolling? Hes a one dimensional player who puts up points when playing with other skilled players. Just like junior when he rode kanes coattails. He doesn’t deserve a cent over 4.5 mill per yr.

        • toprightcorner

          I’ll take one dimensional Gagner every night of the season if he puts up points the way he does when he plays with those other one dimensional players like Nuge, Yak, Hall and Eberle. More 8 point nights.

          • Spydyr

            Gagner is a career -48 plus/minus.

            You do understand a goal scored against the Oilers is worth as much for the other team as a goal scored by the Oilers?

            So in reality he costs the team more goals then he helps score.He has one plus year in six years.

            Can people let go of the eight point night it was an anomaly.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Really? I was under the impression 8 point nights in the NHL were common place. An anomaly you say?? Well thanks for pointing that out.

            Yours truly, “Water is Wet”

          • Spydyr

            The comment that was in response to the statement “More 8 point nights.”

            Some people on this site do think they are common place.

            Sometimes you have to state the obvious to get peoples attention.


          • Bucknuck

            You actually used plus minus to discuss an individual on the worst team in the league over the last six years. A team that boasted Khabibulin as their MVP? A team that hasn’t had a top two D-man since Pronger left?

            Career plus minus on the Oilers team over the last six years is a bogus stat. Over six seasons of playing on a LOSER team like ours, and he’s averaged single digit minus? I think that’s actually pretty good.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Good teams make for good plus players ….. Not the other way around. Laddy Smid is minus 58 over his career yet he is a lauded as a “defensive defenseman”. Most useless stat ever.

            Might be going back a bit, but based on plus minus Dallas Smith was one of the best defensemen ever. Either that or he won the lottery and got to play with some guy named Bobby Orr. To think a “two way center” would have changed the fortunes of this sad sack team in favor of Gagner the last couple of year is, I am sorry, delusional.

          • Spydyr

            I won’t discuss Hall or Ebs, but Nuge one dimensional? You’re dellusional.He is the best defensive forward we have and there is no arguing his offensive abilities.

  • Mjolnir

    I for one am really looking forward to this upcoming season. lots of really awesome aquisions (perron, ference, labarbera, grebeshkov, etc.) going to be an exciting year. cant wait for it too start.

  • Mjolnir

    Before too many posts from the negative trolls whom seem to post nothing but the dark views of what is happening with the Oil, I for one believe this is a good signing and as an ordinary fan, I am looking forward to the upcoming season. And in my humble opinion, MacT is good for the Oil.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    I’m sure that the love-in for Perron is well-deserved, but I don’t see any comments whatsoever regarding PRV’s quality of linemates. He played a lot with Belanger; you know the black hole that was so bad the Oilers used one of their compliance buy-outs on his last season?

    If we really wanted to do a fair comparison between the two, we’d stick Perron on Belanger’s wing and give him the same zone starts. We can’t do that obviously, but playing with Belanger must have been a drag on his stats, while Perron played with a higher quality of line-mates.

    I’ll be interested to see how PRV does with a higher quality of linemate. I thought he had reached a new plateau in his career and I was disappointed to see him go.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Got a weird feeling Gagner isn’t going to be an Oiler next season….. Love to see him stay but I think MacT is trying to do something with him…. Just a hunch

  • Mjolnir

    The times that I was disappointed in him was when he stopped playing reckless and he started to play careful.

    “When he played careful or tried to play and put the skill in ahead of the work, he knew that the coaching staff wasn’t going to be happy with him.”

    Not the kind of quotes you want to read about your new player.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Can’t wait for the season to start. Few things:

    Looking forward to see a higher compete level this year.

    Looking forward to seeing the #1 picks get a big boost into elite minutes.

    Glad MacT kept Hemsky instead of downgrading him, he will help the third line tremendously this year.

    Perron, Gordan, Labarbera, Belov, Grebeshkov, Klefbom it’s going to be a fun season.

    Would like to see the oilers sign Antropov and trade for Clifford.

    Perron – Nuge – Eberle

    Hall – Gagner – Yakupov

    Clifford – Gordan – Hemsky

    Smyth – Antropov – Jones

    Ference – J Shultz

    Smid – Petry

    N Shultz – Belov

    Klefbom – Grebeshkov

    I like this lineup to be honest… Thoughts?

    • otter2233

      I would flip Antropov and Gordon. Antropov with a playmaker in Hemsky and a guy unafraid of the front of the net like Clifford could provide a solid, if unspectacular, 3rd scoring line. Gordon is probably better suited to fourth line duty anyway. Unfortunetly, the likelihood of a trade within the division to get Clifford, especially considering the change in playoff format, is slim to none.

      As for a different post suggesting moving Perron to center, no thanks. How about just getting a center and having guys play in the positions where they excel the most.

    • horndog77

      How could Edmonton afford Clifford and Antropov and Gagner? Just Gagners new one year deal will take most of what Edmonton has left in cap space. Time to trade Schultz? Clifford would be nice, but with the new divisions put together not sure LA would trade to a division foe!

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    We can replace Nik with Steckel, but I prefer Nik because he can move into the top six for a few games if a minor injury were to occur.

  • Crackenbury

    Peckham! Good enough for the SC champions to sign, but isn’t worth the risk for the Oilers. Instead we pick up Grebeshkov. I was fairly impressed with the moves of MacT this summer until the Greb signing. There was no point to it. Toby Petersen can’t be far behind. The signing of Grebeshkov makes me wonder if MacT is still that guy giving Petersen minutes in the NHL.

    Peckham is going to make the Oilers look like spiteful fools over the next season, more interested in punishing a player than working with a young raw talent. I’d hate to see what they would do with a young Messier today.

    Man, I hope there is more to this Grebeshkov signing than what we can see on the surface, because on the surface it looks like a desperate reach into the past with no real reason to expect he is anything but a sub-standard KHL defenceman.

    • toprightcorner

      Yeah I pretty much agree. I don’t know if Peckham will play well for CHI, but letting him go for nothing and then bringing in freaking Grebeshkov was perplexing. I am not loving some of Mactavish’s decisions. It looks like another year in wonderland under the administration of Lord of the Rings Kevin Lowe.

    • Klima's Mullet

      Peckham burned the bridge not the Oilers. Plus his upside is, at best, a bottom pairing, soft minutes player. And if Grebeshkov can’t play he’ll be cut.

    • Spydyr

      That Souray guy has done pretty good since he left because of management.Letting Teddy walk then signing another small under performer like Grebeshkov shows me how out of touch the management of the team is with today’s NHL.

      Look like they let let Teddy go out of spite kinda like that Souray guy.

    • toprightcorner

      What the F does Garbagekov have to do with Wreckum?

      The Oilers invested 8 years into Teddy, not 2. After his seventh year in the organization he was given a chance to be an everyday player. He showed up at camp fat, uncommitted and said OOPS. He punished himself and only has himself to look at in the mirror. The Oiler’s know full well what Teddy is, which is a potential everyday number 6 dman. So if Teddy is not committed then how is that going to make the Oiler’s look like spiteful fools? I think they gave him 8 years of development time and 5 years to establish himself, made him a millionaire, and said go find your own way kid. The Oilers got a plethera of defenders in the pipeline and are saying they are putting a premium on big strong puck movers.

      Chicago is picking up Wreckum for the same reason as the Oilers are signing Garbagekov. They are pulling a “Barker”, taking a flyer. He will have fun being an everyday player there Maybe he plays 40 games as a enforcer type, but I guaranteed his ass will be stapled to the bench in crunch time and playoffs. I don’t get the Grebeshkov signing either, other then they know the player and know his potential. Maybe all he is a positive influence and a Russian buddy for Yakupov. He supposedly is a good teamate.

      The Messier comment, good grief…

  • nuge2drai


    I found it interesting that Hitch looked at the player and wanted to know how he played against teams like his and others.

    “But I wanted to see how he played against San Jose, LA and ourselves. Those were the games I focused on.”

    I have always wondered how Oilers do against those type of teams specifically the players. Because if you can compete against defensive teams like that, you should be able to play against any team.

    How had Gagner played against these teams? I guess one of the problems at looking at this is sometimes you play against a hot goalie, sometimes playoff type teams don’t bring their A game.

  • nuge2drai

    To me Gagner is not worth 5 mill a season, he is a purely offensive player. His defense sucks, his work on the boards suck, and he can’t win faceoffs. As much as I like the guy and the oilers do to, he should be traded for a 2nd line center that maybe wont break the 50 point mark but that can win faceoffs, puck battles along the boards, and is better defensively. With Yak and Perron on the wings that line will get points no matter what. As far as I can tell this team is no better at center than last season as they only have one player that can win a draw. This is not a playoff team until the center position is improved.

    • bwar

      Would love to see those players suit up for the Oilers. I think Washington would be crazy to trade away Brouwer but I’d be more than happy to welcome him to Edmonton if they did.

  • toprightcorner

    Gagner not worth anything close to $5 million.
    He is in Bozaks range ,, $ 4.5 at best.Bozak is better on the dot.

    He gets $ 5 million then he will be another un-tradable asset like Hemsky.. two one dimentional players you cant move.

    Not sure what else MacT has up his sleeve, but they better be adding some muscle on the bottom six… This will be the SOFTEST team in the NHL,without a doubt.

  • toprightcorner

    HEADLINES : OILERS FAB 6 DOMINATES THE SOCHI OLYMPICS . After a blistering start to season the 40-1 Oilers averaging 5 goals a game take center stage at Sochi . Led by the Butcher ( days of Clark , Messier and Trottier ) Hall , Eberle and Hopkins doing his Gretzky impressions . Schultz does his best Coffey manoevers and Weber rides his coattails . Second line addition of Crosby compliment the duo of Perron and welterweight thug tough guy Gagner , as they continue tearing up the league offensively . . Toews heads up a dynamic third line . Such dominance the league has not seen since the last Oiler dynasty . Book it – no doubt about it .

  • O.C.

    All players should shoot for lofty heights in order to keep improving . You set them low then chances are good you’ll remain low and stagnant . We have been so low for so long you have to wonder if fans are more comfortable with losing than winning . Circle of Life (hockey ) it’s our time again without being to overly optimistic . Can hardly wait till we are back discussing our weaknesses of our Stanley Cup team . Soaring like an eagle .

  • Spydyr

    The numbers seem a little strange and so does the time it has taken Oilers to sign Gagner.

    Are Oilers negotiating a deal for another team.

    Are Oilers trading Gagner?

    • oliveoilers

      No, I don’t think the numbers are strange. He’s gonna hi-ball us and we are going to low-ball him. And somewhere in between should be our figure. If you don’t ask, you don’t. I don’t believe a trade is happening, because why would another team take a possible over payment? They would have to do all the leg work.

  • Crackenbury

    I feel bad for Peckham……..he will definitely make the Oilers regret how they handled him.

    The whole story about how “out of shape he is ” …..laughable. I do not understand how body fat equates your ability to play the game. We have all played with players who carry a little extra weight and the low percentages that the Oilers got hung up on is truly confounding.

    By this measure big Bufyglien, and Murray should not be in the NHL.

  • Spydyr

    The addition of Hartnell and Coburn gives this team that missing dimension. When we go over to the same division as LA and San Jose the bigger more physical bodies will be able to run with thos huge teams. Hartnell is a dream come true for Edmonton, big rough forward with 30 goal potential. Coburn would solidify a back end with a big bodied defensenan who can chip in offensively from time to time. I think Gagner would be better suited to the East, that division has a lot of smaller skilled teams like Pittsburgh and New York. Perfect fit in Philly.

  • Mjolnir

    This really was an awesome trade. Although, if it does go south, I could see Mac T firing up his 8 track and listening to Maggie May until Edmonton runs out of scotch.

  • Joy S. Lee

    I’m intrigued by Perron, if for no other reason than MacT gushed about his hands. Another finisher in this team’s top 6, it’s starting to look a little like Christmas.

    And I’ve been one of Paajarvi’s biggest supporters since the WJC BEFORE he was drafted. However, sick skill is always intriguing, and when mixed in with Hall/Eberle/RNH/Yakupov, every one of them can snipe. If they hit their stride, this could be a lot of fun.