If the Edmonton Oilers trade Sam Gagner this summer, Oiler fans should expect a less than impressive return. Why? It’s that whole buy-low sell-high thing in reverse. A recent example in Oiler history? Andrew Cogliano.
THE STORY ON COGS
Andrew Cogliano came to the NHL in 2007, along with Sam Gagner. The two emerged as young centers in the first rebuild (I’ve lost track) of 2007-10. Gagner and Cogliano will forever be connected in my mind (along with Robert Nilsson) because of the insane run by the line at the end of the 2006-07 season.
- The Oilers went 14-5-1 in their final 20 games.
- Gagner scored 7-10-17 during that stretch.
- Cogliano scored 9-8-18 in that 20 game run.
- Nilsson went 3-13-16 in the same period.
And yet it was not to be for the trio. Nilsson left with a whimper, his father following soonafter. Cogliano filed for arbitration in 2011 summer, and by then the Oilers had real questions about him as a center and the young man didn’t feel a move to wing was required. In the end, the Oilers traded him for a second-round pick (which became Marco Roy) and Cogliano began the serious work of making himself a useful NHL player.
Which he’s done.
THE STORY ON GAGS
Sam Gagner’s story is a little more complicated. I don’t think the team trading for Gagner is going to give up more than picks—I’ll guess a second and a fourth—and it’s a real possibility that Edmonton may retain salary on that $4.8 million dollar deal.
One thing I believe to be very similar to Cogliano: young 89 could thrive in his new city. A club like the Chicago Blackhawks—who have seen his handiwork first hand—might be willing to trade one of those big wingers in exchange for him with the idea of putting Gagner and Kane back together again.
Second line center has been an issue for Chicago, and bringing in a guy who can work with the wizard Kane makes some sense.
Like I said, I don’t think the Oilers are going to get value, and suspect you agree. If we’re looking at Chicago, their current centers (during the playoffs) are Jonathan Toews, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Michael Handzus (Ben Smith is also taking faceoffs).
Who is their #2 center? Andrew Shaw? I don’t think the ‘Hawks are going to load up the trade cannon for Gagner, especially since the Chicago centers are known for two-way ability.
No sir. If Chicago were to deal for Gagner, I don’t think the Oilers would be looking at a significant current asset, and they could be staring a draft pick in the face as a return.
Which could make it Sam Gagner for Brett Pollock, and Oilers pick up some of the Gagner salary tab.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This is the opposite of buy low, sell high. It’s more like draft, develop, stagnate, pay, overpay, and then pay again to send away.
There is no good news ahead in the Sam Gagner trade. And that’s for sure.