gagner common

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.


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.


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.




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.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If the return is so low for Gagner, we really should re-think this. I think Perron would fetch a great return. I’d shop him for D and maybe look at Gagner to fill in on the wing. That makes more sense to me than getting a couple of picks.

      • Spydyr

        Hey I love Perron. But if I had to choose between Perron and adding a puck-moving top pairing Dman, I’ll take the Dman.

        Take the Colorado Avalanche. You may point to Patrick Roy or Varlamov for the turnaround, but I don’t think either of them look so good without the play of the defense. Eric Johnson, Barrie, Holden. The Avs bowed out pretty quick once they lost Tyson Barrie.

        • Sorensenator

          Who would be this top pairing D man? You’re looking at our 3rd overall pick and player like Eberle to obtain what your thinking of, maybe more because these teams do not want to part with their top pairing d man.

      • No you are not!

        Peron’s deal runs out in two years, The Oilers in two years will be “Caped out” Peron given the way he’s played will demand around the same as Hall, RNH, Eberle.

        Peron is also the ONLY Oiler besides the top 3 who can get fair value.

        Now, you look down to a year and a half, to that trade deadline and ask yourself truthfully if you think Peron will resign?

        It’s the difference between being proactive then reactive, if the Oilers haven’t learned from Hemsky & Horcoff then a good chance they flush Gagner, keep Peron until it’s to late.

        Move Gagner to the wing, trade Peron is the smart play. If Gagner doesn’t work out on the wing you haven’t lost much if Peron can help fetch a # 1 D-man.

        • Sorensenator

          Perron will not fetch you a top pairing D man sorry.

          Who fills the void at #2 centre?

          Gagner plays terrible on the wing, not enough speed strength or grit to help the Oilers in that position.

          If you move Gagner to wing then you need at least the #3 overall pick to pick up a second line centre and you have already used that up to get a top pairing D man.

          You are creating more holes then you are filling.

          • Nope.

            To clarify…..I never said anything about using the 3rd overall.

            You have almost a zero sample size that says Gagner cannot play the wing.

            I trade Peron in a NY minute with a prospect or player to get a true number 1, that’s without sacrificing the 3rd which can be used to draft a center.

            You really need to look ahead, As much as everyone likes Peron you need to face reality the Oilers have little else to use as trade bait.

            A winger is the easiest position to fill.

            Ask yourself the question, what’s the chance Peron resigns?

          • Sorensenator

            You want to find out if Gagner can play the wing?

            Get your head out of the clouds man.

            Perron and a prospect ain’t getting you a “true number 1” unless your willing to part with Taylor Hall.

            A winger is more difficult to fill if the type of player you need is like David Perron – learn to spell his name.

            The Oilers do not have a single guy in their top 9 who brings skill, grit, and compete like Perron.

            Keep dreaming.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            It’s thinking like this that has the Oilers where they are these last few seasons. Just because a player is getting paid doesn’t mean they’re satisfied with what’s going on.

            Walter Sobchak is dead bang on with his gameplan there. If the Oilers were a playoff team every year, then, you could say this may not be the case for Perron. He’s outta here when his deal is done. Get something for him now before his best before date expires. His deal will have long expired before this team even makes the post season.

          • Sorensenator

            If Perron is dealt, you are getting a 3-4 D man at best and then your stuck with pitiful Gagner on the wing.

            You know for sure Perron is outta here when is his deal is done? Gee the first player the Oilers pick up for their top six who plays with grit they ship out….

            It’s thinking like this that will convert me to a full time Blackhawks fan.

            Goodbye Oilers

          • Zarny

            Your right. Wingers are a dime a dozen on the Free Agent market.

            What would The Islanders pay for a winger that can score after losing Matt Moulson and Vanek in the same season.

            As much as I hate to say it but Perron’s return would outweigh what we traded for him. MP and a 2cd round pick?

            A move by MacT that would include Perron would one that makes sense. trade the asset at its highest value.

          • Sorensenator

            Realistically who do you think the Oilers could get if they packaged Perron and a prospect like Klefbom?

            In my opinion we get a 2-3 defensemen at best, Gagner moves to the wing and now your without your most skilled gritty winger and you still need to fill #2 centre.

            If you fear Perron will resign somewhere else in two years so trade him now while his value is highest, won’t the same thing happen to the defensemen you just acquired when his contract is up?

            Oh wait, your going to get Shea Weber whose contract goes all the way until 2056.

            Explain to me how this makes sense again?

  • Sorensenator

    Oilers can ill afford to give up Gags for minimal return. And I still believe that Bennett should be their pick if he’s still there at 3. Sam Reinhart will make the Oilers forever regret letting him slide by to the Flames but I don’t think it will happen. He’ll go one or two with the big d-man being the other guy in the top 2. Still not convinced the bigger center out of PA will be anything really special when he sets foot in the faster, stronger and meaner NHL. If the Oilers can’t find a trading partner willing to give up a top 6 defender with a mean streak or a bonafide top 9 forward, then they should rkeep Gagner and move him to the wing. If they trade Gagner, it’s got to be to an Eastern Conference team. Oiler fans have grown tired of witnessing former Oiler players returning to Rexall and being decisive factors in losses at home.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    What it all means…is we are screwed any way we look at it.

    1) Gagner too small and slow for Center position on the Oilers
    2) His salary is too high if we decide to keep him, versus what he brings
    3) If we trade him, he’ll light it up somewhere else guaranteed
    4) I hang this on management. They should have had this figured out years ago. FML

  • ubermiguel

    “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.”

    Yes he’s become a useful NHL player…as a centre who took 27 faceoffs last year! Oilers management was right in 2011, he’s not a centre, even if he’s listed as one and thinks he’s one.

    Teemu Selanne lined up for twice as many draws as Cogliano last year.

  • Zarny

    The story on Cogs is instructive in that he’s now 26 and in his prime. Those who think Gagner, Eberle or any player 24 or younger have peaked are foolish to do so.

    Determining Gagner’s trade value is a bit convoluted. The haters will focus on a down year from a broken jaw, the holes in his 200 ft game and the fact he’s never actually hit 50 pts despite his career pt/gm average. So will other GM’s.

    MacT will focus on the fact that despite being an undersized 18 y/o Gagner has topped 40 pts in 6 of 7 years (including the lockout season) before hitting his prime. During the lockout season Gagner would have led 10 of 30 teams in scoring and would have finished no lower than 3rd on any team but Wsh. His career pt/gm works out to 50 pts over 82 games again before hitting his prime. He also has an NHL pedigree and is known to be a character guy who trains hard and does the right things off the ice. When you see teams like Phi and Bos trade guys like Richards, Carter and Seguin for off-ice activities that matters and has value.

    Last year Devin Setoguchi was traded for a 2nd round pick. Setoguchi had 65 pt in ’08-09 and 41 pt in ’10-11; his career pt/gm only works out to 44 pt over 82 games.

    Michael Frolik was traded for a 3rd and 5th round picks. He’s topped 40 pts 3 times but struggled from 2010-13 and his career pt/gm only works out to 37 pt over 82 games.

    David Bolland was traded for a 2nd and two 4th round picks. He’s only topped 40 pts once in ’08-09 and his career pt/gm works out to 41 pt over 82 games.

    David Perron was traded for a 2nd round pick and Magnus Paajarvi. Prior to this season he had only topped 40 pt three times (50, 47 and 42). His 42 pt in 57 games was a lower pace than Gagner’s 38 pt in 48 games last year. Perron’s career pt/gm AFTER this season works out to 50 pt over 82 games.

    Over the last year Perron might be the best comparison for Gagner. Lowetide’s prediction of a 2nd and 4th round picks for Gagner is probably close although I think a bit light. Sam is only 24 so you can expect his offensive numbers to bump up as he hits his prime. Just like Perron. Just like Cogliano.

    Packaging Gagner with the 3rd overall pick or a D prospect like Marincin or Klefbom is probably MacT’s best option.

    If the Oilers want more than draft picks in return they have to target players that also carry a degree of risk. NJ’s top 2 scorers this year were Jagr and Elias who are 42 and 38 respectively. A package including Adam Larsson and Travis Zajac might be doable.

    • Stack Pad Save

      Perron is not a comparable for Gagner. Did you watch how those 2 play? Perron is tenacious to get the puck back, gets in the other teams face and is hard to knock off the puck. These are all qualities that are intrinsic in his game. Gagner does not play hockey like this. Gagner plays soft, he plays on the periphery, is easy to knock off the puck and has an extremely difficult time getting the puck back. Gagner has had these faults his entire NHL career and has never taken steps to correct these flaws.

      You have to trade Gagner because he does not fit on the Oilers, there are too many players like Nuge, and Eberle who are simular style of players but better at it and with more potential.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Packaging Gagner with the 3rd overall pick or a D prospect like Marincin or Klefbom is probably MacT’s best option.


      Ouch! A tad out of my comfort zone. Keep the pick please.

      Bennett, Gagner and Klefbom would net us what’ish?

  • Zarny

    @Stack Pad Save

    Perron and Gagner are comparable in terms of trade value. I didn’t say their style of play was comparable.

    Obviously Perron plays with more attitude but he is not that hard to knock off the puck I’m afraid. Only compared to some of Edm smaller F. Gagner though has better hands and is a better puck distributor. And at the same age Gagner is also the more prolific scorer. Perron needed a career year at the age of 25 to bump his career pt/gm average up to equal Gagner’s.

    I’ve always stated Gagner needs to be moved because he doesn’t compliment Nuge well. We are in 100% agreement that the Oilers top 6 F are too much of the same.

  • Zarny

    @Quicksilver ballet

    There is no point keeping the pick if you plan to immediately package the player you draft (ex Bennett) in a trade.

    Everyone evaluates talent differently and has different needs. If Bennett and Draisaitl are on the board and you draft Bennett only to trade him you just lost every trade partner that prefers Draisaitl. The pick has the highest value if the GM who gets it can select their own player.

    In terms of what does the 3rd overall pick + Gagner + Klefbom get you? Hard to say but it’s a lot. Jeff Carter was traded for the 8th overall pick + 3rd round pick + Voracek who at the time had seasons of 38, 50 and 46 pts and a lower pt/gm average than Gagner.

    Off the top of my head you could probably start a conversation with Phi about Couturier/Schenn + Coburn + Phi 1st round pick which should be 20th overall. Until you start dialing every GM though there is no way to know for sure because every GM will say publicly that guys aren’t available until you drop tangible assets on their lap.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I’ve noticed that last couple seasons teams aren’t into shopping most of these higher end guys around publically. Once they are on the table, if it doesn’t happen in the next ten minutes, any proof of what may have occurred is dead.

      How many times has a player changed teams recently, only to have many teams left shaking their head thinking, I wish we had known this or that guy was available, we likely would’ve have offered more. There could be a number of big name guys up for grabs this summer. Dustin Brown, Keith Yandle, Shea Weber, Ryan Kessler, Evander Kane, PK Subban, Logan Couture…… most likely done in this quick (nodody even knew they were available) fashion.

      MacTavish needs to get in on one of those, but only after the Entry draft is long finished. This team, more than any, needs to keep that talent pipeline primed.

      I know we don’t see eye to eye on the primo lottery selections, I just feel we need two more lottery type prospects before this management group punches that accelerator. If only to compensate for one or two possible impatient types (trade requests/margin for error). On that note, would Perron and Fasth get the Oil that fifth Isles/Sabres selection, if Draisaitl is still on the table at 5? The Oil are still two years away from seeing post season play anyways.

  • Sorensenator

    Sadly, the Gagner saga is not the only example of the Oilers completely playing their hand wrong. A 6th overall pick will be converted into a 2nd and 4th rounder. Pathetic.

  • Zarny

    @Quicksilver ballet

    No, GM’s will never publicly announce they are considering a trade for a high end guy because 90-95% of discussions don’t work out and then you have one of your best players left sulking with a bruised ego like St. Louis this year.

    Your comment about teams left shaking their heads shows the GM position is as much about building relationships as it is about hockey knowledge. And I think often it only seems like trades are done quickly. GMs talk all the time. A discussion that starts at the all-star break might not result in a trade until after the season is done. The general framework is established and then they hammer out the final details when the timing works for both.

    I agree there could be some big names available this summer. I’m leery of Dustin Brown’s contract. He’s 29 and the peak age for offensive production is 24-28. Brown’s a 55-60 pt guy in his prime but it’s downhill from here. He brings a lot of other aspects Edm needs but in 2-3 years I see a 40-45 pt guy who is slower and less effective with 5 more years at $5.875M cap hit. I don’t see Nsh trading Weber or SJ trading Couture. I think Marleau or Thornton would be available before Couture. Any deal with Van will be extremely difficult. Mtl doesn’t like dishing out big $$$ so it’s possible Subban is available but I think the offer would need to include Ekblad for any hope. Yandle and Kane are probably the best bets from your list.

    I would say we don’t see eye to eye on the F lottery selections. Yakupov was a primo lottery selection…how is that working out? Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl…none of these guys is considered to be in the same league as Mckinnon, Tavares, Hall etc. In stronger draft years most scouts think none of them would crack the top 5. I expect they will all become good NHLers but their trajectory will be more Yak, Huberdeau, Kadri, etc. It’s possible Reinhart is the next Duchene, Bennett the next Toews or Draisaitl the next Johansen but scouting reports suggest none of them could reach that level.

    Ekblad is a little different. There are some scouts that think he’s the next Chris Pronger but most simply have him as the best D in the draft. His PP numbers skew his stats. At even strength his offensive numbers are worse than Nurse. That’s a red flag. He won’t be Drew Doughty playing top pair minutes right out of the gate. Best case scenario he’s like Hedman and gets to that high end in 5 years but look what that did for TB this year in the playoffs? Without a veteran core to support him they went nowhere. Subban is looking good in the playoffs in his 6th year but that is a long, long time to wait for the Oilers. You’re talking about 2020 by the time Ekblad is at that level. A Nurse-Ekblad pairing is certainly enticing but my plan A if he’s available at 3rd overall would be to see if there is a deal to be made for a guy like Subban or Weber etc. Maybe not and drafting Ekblad isn’t a bad plan B but my first option would be to see if that elusive “bold move” is available.

  • Zarny

    @Quicksilver ballet

    No I don’t think Fasth + Perron gets you anywhere close to the 5th overall. I like picking up Fasth but he’s 31 and never started more than 25 games in the NHL. We got him for a 3rd and a 5th. If you want the 5th overall he won’t be in the package and I see a lot of risk putting all your eggs in one basket with Scrivens. He’s not proven and if his play drops off you could see a repeat of the first 21 games this year.

    Perron had a breakout year at 25 y/o but for the 5th overall I would expect NYI/Buf to want Klefbom or Marincin or a high draft pick in return. Maybe you get it done with a prospect like Gernat or Musil and a pick. And both NYI/Buf might say no to Perron and ask for Yakupov and more.

    Given that this is not a strong draft year I don’t support doubling down on 2 top 5 picks.