gagner common1

Darren Dreger of TSN told the nation today two things: the Oilers are “looking for a center” and “Sam Gagner’s name seems to surface annually at the draft.” For Sam Gagner, center, that suggests this fall is going to see at least a position change, maybe more. Question: how much trade value does 89 have?


dreger gagner

Gagner would “settle” for a three-year deal for $4.8 million dollars.

I’m not going to go over the season again, you know the mugging and the result and now we are here. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve always been a Gagner fan and love his sublime passing ability. Back when I learned the game, passing and making a pass and the fundamentals behind them were a major part of the discussion.

Gagner’s play without the puck was always an issue, and his minutes against softer opponents always seemed like slow progress. In each of the last three seasons, Gagner played softer minutes when Horcoff was fading and baby Nuge was learning to swim against the NHL currents.


  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.91 (2nd among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.51 (9th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 4th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 7.0 (4th best among regular forwards) (-3.81 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 50.9% (6th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 53.4% (best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 138/10.9% (8th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 68gp, 15-27-42


  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.96 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.66 (6th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 8th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 6th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 6.3 (4th best among regular forwards) (-2.18 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 54.1% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 51.8% (4th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 149/12.1% (5th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 75, 18-29-47


  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.84 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 6.15 (1st among regular forwards, 19th in NHL)
  • Qual Comp: 5th toughest among regular forwards (2nd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 6th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -4.3 (9th best among regular forwards) (-14.44 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 51.4% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 52.0% (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 113/12.39% (2nd among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48, 14-24-38


  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.44 (6th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.20 (6th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 4th toughest among regular forwards (2nd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 0.7 (6th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 44.2
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: 0.0
  • Zone Start: 55.5% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 47.2% (5th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 143/7% (7th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 67, 10-27-37

By last season, he was playing against 3rd line (10-11, 11-12) and 2nd line (12-13, 13-14) opposition. All of that during a rebuild, and starting in 2011 fall with a flat out rookie who probably weighed 165 soaking wet slowly taking away the heavy lifting. Sam couldn’t play the toughs successfully.

Sam was too small one year, too slow the next.

The charmed life turned into a perfect storm for Samwise in 2013-14. His injury, added to a dreadful season and fan outrage reaching the boiling point, smashed together in an instant—and Oiler fans and observers spoke out against all that was wrong.

staples gagner

Missed assignments? That’s not really telling it as it was. Sam Gagner, whether through injury or moments of indecision, was at the wrong place at the right time seemingly every shift.

And people. got. mad.

gagner snip

Blogs were written. Points were made. The crowd wore black. It was not good. Sam Gagner, the 2007 draft pick who charmed a city and blazed right up to the brink of 50 NHL points before shaving, saw the other side of playing in good old our town.

After such a long time in the second division, after such a long time of looking up at success without ever grabbing it, is it time to start again?


I’m always hesitant to imply any area of expertise when it comes to hockey players. If you want advice about how to succeed in hockey, Sutherby or Strudwick are your men. They’ve seen things up close and personal. I can cackle about a defensive sortie gone wrong and point at the guy who went ass over tea kettle, but it doesn’t really help in explaining the game and finding out what happened.

Hockey players. If you can put up with the F-bombs, they’re a very informative group.

I want to tell you something I learned from a guy who didn’t play NHL hockey, although he was around it for much of his adult life. It’s a story about Tom Poti, who at the time—coincidentally—was in his final days as an Oiler. And it was told by Mr. John Short.

One day, John was in the bowels of the CFRN building and I was asking him questions. This happened possibly 1,000 times in my 20s and 30s, and I listened more than talked. On this day, I asked John “what in h-e-double-hockey-sticks is wrong with Poti?”

John Short, who is a storyteller before he’s anything, paused, and then delivered the following:

Every place Tom Poti played before the NHL, he never had a worry about the puck. In high school, and at Boston University, when he wanted the puck he just went over and got it. Tom Poti was the best player on the ice. He could dangle and pass and dipsy doodle whenever his heart desired.

And he never spent a minute in the minors.

When Poti arrived in the NHL, the game was different. Want the puck, kid? F-bomb! And so it began. Tom Poti never played the game the NHL men play until the moment he stepped on the ice, because he never had to, and in this way the on-the-job training began opening night 1998.

Tom Poti moved away from Edmonton on a March day over a decade ago, no doubt taking his crazy food stuff with him to Manhattan. He learned, he survived, and he flourished as a grown man after learning those lessons as an Oiler.

And Edmonton? We’ve got our new Poti. I always say there’s a difference between having five years experience and having one year’s experience five times. It’s a mean thing to say about someone, even if true. I think Staples’ words are as effective and less cruel so we’ll go with those.

Whatever happens this week Sam Gagner, thank you. I’ve enjoyed your hockey and will continue to at your next stop.

Be it right wing, or Florida. Sail on.

  • Serious Gord

    Should have unloaded him two and a half years ago;

    Should have traded him last off season;

    Should do whatever can be done to unload his Salary on some team that needs his benefits and can tolerate his flaws. EDM has the exact opposite needs of what he brings/lacks.

    But MacT – stubborn guy that he – is pays him a ridiculous contract and thinks he’s worth more than any other GM in the league does and thus will keep him and put him on the wing where he will (again) be an unmitigated disaster.

    Gagner’s career trajectory is much more an indictment of this teams management than it is of the player. And it looks more and more like this failure will have yet another chapter.


  • TKB2677

    Hard to have sentiment for a guy that makes that much money, and sucks. I get it when there is an employee at any given business that obviously isn’t gifted mentally, and you cut them slack because they try hard..
    Gagne isn’t that guy!! He doesn’t try hard!! Hahahahahhah I can’t believe he still has supporters!!
    Funny crossover story since Poti was mentioned.. I could not STAND Tom Poti!! I thought he was the worst example of a Dman with hype.
    We stayed late one game in a luxury box of a friend (the night of the oilers third jersey I think it was because mcfarland was in the owners box beside us)…
    Anywho.. we came out late, and ran across Laraque, and I asked him how he liked his new car (same one I had). He was the nicest guy in the world as everyone knows.. then Poti comes walking out the door.. I yell “you suck Poti!!!”.. and George absolutely laughed his ass off!!
    This is hockey, and these guys get paid to perform. If the nicest tough guy in the world didn’t knock my head off for that, then just imagine what everyone on the team thought of him?
    It seems like Gagnes team mates like him, so that example is a little off tangent, but it must weigh heavy on guys like Hendricks to play beside a Gagne that makes more than he should on an effort basis.

  • Zarny

    There is a reason there were high expectations of Gagner; he had 118 pts in 53 games in his draft year. Riding shotgun to Kane’s 145 pts certainly helped but that is lofty production.

    The problem with Gagner is about expectations. Playing as an 18 y/o seems to have created the expecation Gagner would hit his prime at 20 or 21. He’s not Taylor Hall. His progression has been more like the average NHLer who hits their prime at 25 or 26. Gagner’s breakout year was at 23 y/o. Pretty standard really; it just seems skewed because he was playing in Edm for 2 seasons instead Jr where he belonged.

    It sucks Gagner broke his jaw and had a sh*tty year. Ryan Getzlaf only had 57 pts 2 years ago. It happens. Gagner’s career will likely be similar to Ray Whitney who was stuck on 40-50 pts until he hit his prime at 25 y/o.

    Because Gagner’s breakout year was a shortened season he’s still considered a 2/3 line tweener. His critics will say he’s never actually broken 50 pts which is true even if Gagner only had to finish the lockout season scoring at last years’ rate to get 55 pts and over 20 G.

    If you trade Gagner now you’ll get a tweener in return. A sh*t year at 24 leaves doubt. Maybe there is a deal for Tyler Myers or something if you sweeten the pot. Most teams only have 4-5 guys who top 40 pts. Some have none. Gagner does that in his sleep with the potential for 55-65 pt. That has appeal but it won’t get you certainty.

  • Can’t believe he peaked offensively at 18, and won’t bbelieve it. Maybe hell never figure out the defensive side of hockey, but there’s a 60pt season somewhere in his future.

    Don’t trade him at low value.

    • Zarny

      Why on earth would anyone think Gagner peaked offensively at 18 when he had 38 pt in 48 games during the lockout?

      It’s baffling that some people could be so obtuse as to discount a shortened season?

      I guess by that logic Sidney Crosby’s 2 worst years were when he put up 66 PT in 41 games and 56 PT in 36 games. I mean that works out to 135 and 132 PT over 82 games compared to the 104 PT he got this year but you know…he only got 66 and 56 so really you have to question why he was on the first line because you know…pace means nothing.

      • The Last Big Bear

        That’s interesting, because when I suggested that Kyle Wellwood is a reasonable comparison for Gagner, you dismissed Wellwood as a “vastly inferior player”.

        Yet in his 24 year old season Wellwood posted 42 points in 48 games, following up from a 45 point NHL season prior, and an 87-point AHL campaign (NHLe of 39) before that.

        This compared to Gagner’s 24 year old season where he posted 38 points in 48 games, following up on 47 points from the previous season, and a 42 point season before that.

        For young, undersized, playmaking, defensively-questionable one-way centremen, those trajectories look remarkably similar.

        Wellwood was plagued by injuries the following season, and only posted 8 goals and 21 points in 59 games. Gagner was plagued by injuries the following season, and only posted 10 goals and 37 points in 67 games.

        But this is a ridiculous comparison, right?

        Because after that season, following many rumors and fan frustrations, Wellwood was traded to a much better team, where he never got the same soft minutes or top billing. He lost that “prospect” label, and became regarded as just a guy who could put up lots of assists with soft minutes but was a defensive liability even in those soft minutes.

        And I mean come on, what are the odds of basically that exact same thing happening to Gagner, in the very near future? Sounds impossible, amirite?

        • Because 0.36PPG is just as good as 0.55PPG?

          Gagner has maintained a pace for 7 years that Wellwood was only able to reach during his best years.

          Look at how far you’re reaching to cling to this comparison. Either let it go or at least pretend to examine the players in context.

          • The Last Big Bear

            So addressing player position, role, size, playing style, point production over the prior 3 seasons, age, injury status, and likelihood of being traded isn’t sufficient context? What exactly are you looking for?

            And my comparison is completely invalid because after 3 seasons of nearly identical production, at the same age, in the same role, following their career-best pace 48 game seasons, Wellwood and Gagner had identical goals-per-game, but Gagner had an extra assist once every 5 games? That invalidates my comparison?

            Yes, Gagner is producing now what Wellwood produced during his best years. That’s my point. These probably ARE Gagner’s best years. Just like they were Wellwood’s best years. And for the same reasons.

          • Gagner has played 7 years and he has never had a year as bad as most of Wellwood’s. In fact, his worst year would qualify as one of Wellwood’s best.

            An extra assist every 5 games is worth 16 points over a season. Are you so set on defending this position that you’ll pretend 16 points is nothing?

            I don’t think “nearly identical” means what you think it means.

          • The Last Big Bear

            And Gagner’s best years to date are pretty much the same as Wellwood’s best years were at the same age. Gagner had more of them because he entered the NHL sooner. Gagner went straight to the NHL and put up 40-odd points, while Wellwood lit up the AHL, before coming to the NHL and scoring similar points totals in the same number of games at the same age as Gagner.

            Over the past 3 years, Gagner has scored 42 goals and 122 points, in 190 games.

            During he 3 year span at the same age, and under very similar circumstances, Wellwood scored 38 goals and 114 points in 188 games.

            The season prior to that, Wellwood had 87 points in the AHL (for an NHLe of 39 points), while Gagner had 42 points (but may have been better served in the AHL).

            You’re acting like I’m comparing Gagner to a bowl of corn flakes. I’m comparing him to another centre who played the same role, with the same style of play, during the same age span, on a non-playoff team, who faces the same criticisms, and put up nearly identical numbers.

            And yes, 114 points in 188 games and 122 points in 190 games is “nearly identical” in my mind.

        • Zarny

          Yes, it’s a ridiculous comparison. It’s simply disingenuous to isolate a comparison to the 2 years that are convenient for your argument.

          With that logic Rob Brown and Brett Hull are good comparisons because Brown had 2 seasons with 118 and 80 PT and similar to Hull. The other 10 seasons are just irrelevant I suppose.

          The reality is for better or worse, Gagner played in the NHL and put up 40 PT since he was 18 y/o. He’s topped 40+ PT 6 of 7 years including the pro-rated lockout season.

          Wellwood on the other hand spent 2 extra years in Jr followed by 2 years in the AHL. With an age comparison Gagner had five 40+ PT seasons before Wellwood played a single game in the NHL.

          There is also the fact that Wellwood followed up his only 2 good seasons with a drop-off to 21, 27 and 25 PT. Gagner’s season was considered a disaster last year finishing with 38 PT in 67 games which pro-rates to 45 PT over 82 games.

          Similar trajectories? Ummm no…not even close.

          If you want a good comparable for Gagner it would be Ray Whitney. Undersized with lapses of focus in the defensive zone pretty much his entire career. 40-48 PT until he hit his prime at 25 where he saw a jump in his production through his prime.

          Fun fact – the average age for peak point production in the NHL is 25 not 21 or 22. It is far more likely Gagner follows the vastly more common trajectory than that of Kyle Wellwood based on 2 isolated years of comparison.

          Curious, you must be completely devastated by Mikael Backlund being a complete and utter bust.

          You know…given the fact he was drafted the same year as Gagner and to this day has 1 NHL season above 30 PT let alone six years above 40 PT. How on earth do the Flames keep a scrub like that on the roster?

          • The Last Big Bear

            My comparison covers 4 years, age 22-25, with 2 young productive years, a career-best shortened season, and an injury-plagued hangover season, all of which happened at the same ages.

            Wellwood was traded at the end of this period, his new team soured on him, and his career foundered.

            We have yet to see how Gagner will respond, but it looks like a trade is likely, and he’ll need to turn his defensive play around real quick to stay in his new team’s good graces.

            And Gagner has already missed the boat for having a typical development trajectory. It is no longer a logical possibility, given that he has shown no material improvement in 7 years, and nothing he can do moving forward will make his developmental trend anything remotely typical.

            And Backlund is an excellent counter-point to Gagner. He does every Gagner has not. backlund has shown slow, steady, consistent improvement every year, he is the best defensive center on the team, he has had top-tier advanced stats, he improves the results of literally every guy he plays with, and significantly outperforms his cap hit. all of which is the opposite of Gagner.

            Backlund’s production has of course been disappointing given his pedigree, but he has still been an on-ice contributor regardless of his point totals, while Gagner has been an on-ice liability despite his point totals.

            Of course, as I said, the real problem with Gagner is his contract. Backlund makes less than 1/3 of what Gagner makes and is still an RFA. Of course neither of these guys is a franchise player, but one is worth his cap hit, and one is not.

            Also, your closest comparison is a winger? Who spent 4 seasons in the minors, and broke out during the dead-puck era?

  • Chongler

    You are IMO the most saccaharin of all the sports talking heads in this town. Gagner sucks. Period, end of story. Lets hope the Oil swallow their pride (read KLowe) and dump Gagner’s lazy ass and move on hoping the high foreheads in Oiler’s management stop with these colossal blunders.

    The Oil’s bad drafts and trade record is the problem and that has been talked about to death.

    Such mopery without a permit is unseemly. Cut bait and skid Gagner.

  • Chongler

    You can’t convince me a team like Nashville or Phoenix won’t take a flier on Gagner. He can put points on the board, but needs a defensive minded team to insulate his gaffe’s.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Two things.

      1) You won’t have to wait long to be convinced one way or the other. If he’s moved at the draft then your intuition was correct….if not….your intuition was wrong. (Remember also it’s as much about the contract as it is about the player) Keep in mind that if the Oilers try and trade Gagner now they cannot retain any salary.

      2) Defensive minded teams are labeled as defensive for a reason. They play a defensive style of game. They wouldn’t want a player as defensively deficient as Gagner. He wouldn’t fit the system.

      He needs to go to a younger team, preferably in the east, who is struggling to score….like Florida…

  • Chongler

    At this point, with his value being so low, we might as well stick him on the wing, find a vet 2-way center somehow, and see what he can do. The guy can produce points, he just needs support. I think he can thrive in a situation like this but he needs tough linemates to play with.
    Something like Gagner-Legwand-Perron could work.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Really good point.

      If the Oilers are forced to keep Gagner, I suspect they will do exactly what you’ve suggested here….try to turn him into Andrew Cogliano….their career paths are similar in many ways.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Several teams could quite possibly take Gagner if they have cap space to fill and don’t mind over spending like the Oilers did for Nikiten. Buffalo and Calgary (cringe) as an example . Unfortuneately I doubt the return would be much and another hole to fill as a consequence less desieable than him leaving . Probably more of a salary dump type trade again .

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      Definitely will be a salary dump if they trade him because his value is just that low. Unlike some I don’t think his value will rise all that much either way. He never looked like a 2C ever. His D awareness is and alwatys has been atrocious.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    If they can pay Nikitin $4.5 as an actual NHL player, then we can pay Gagner $4.8 as an actual NHL player.

    He’ll get better, last year will be his worst year until he turns 30.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      we’ve been saying Sam will get better every year he’s played in the NHL and he hasn’t. only the lockout year did he show something good with 38 points in 48 games. i keep wondering if Oiler fans will ever realize we likely won’t be winning a cup with Sam as our 2nd line center? he can produce points, granted, but his other deficiencies are the problem. he just doesn’t skate well enough, doesn’t play defense well enough and isn’t big enough to play it physical with other big centers. if they don’t trade him and they want to move him to the wing, that’s fine because i too think that he may actually have a chance to flourish there, and his deficiencies might not be as glaring on the wing as it is at center.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Gagner has a lot to offer. Move him to the wing and see what kind of season he has. His cap hit is too high, but that’s irrelevant for the Oilers this season.

    • pkam

      About the same time the Oilers signed Gagner to 4.8M for 5 years, the Wings signed Steven Weiss to 4.9M for 5 years and Tampa signed Filppula to 5M for 5 years.

      During this season, the Leafs signed Kessel to 8M for 8 years and Phaneuf to 7M for 7 years.

      Couple of days ago, LA Kings just signed Gaborik to 4.875M for another 7 years. And Tampa signed Callahan to 5.8M for another 6 years.

      TSN insiders just leaked out that Toews and Kane are asking 12M a year.

      We just signed Nikitin to 4.5M for 2 years and Fayne will probably be around that figure if we can sign him.

      Compare Gagner’s salary to these contracts, do you still think his 4.8M for 3 years is too high?

      • Joy S. Lee

        For what we’re getting out of him lately… yes. He’s hurt the team more than helped it, regardless of dollars.

        For what we MIGHT get out of him… maybe. He could actually learn to play some defense, and make better with the chances he helps create, then he’d be helping.

        Pretty simple, really, other than having to determine if he will actually do those things or not… next year.

      • Joy S. Lee

        For what we’re getting out of him lately… yes. He’s hurt the team more than helped it, regardless of dollars.

        For what we MIGHT get out of him… maybe. He could actually learn to play some defense, and make better with the chances he helps create, then he’d be helping.

        Pretty simple, really, other than having to determine if he will actually do those things or not… next year.

      • Joy S. Lee

        For what we’re getting out of him lately… yes. He’s hurt the team more than helped it, regardless of dollars.

        For what we MIGHT get out of him… maybe. He could actually learn to play some defense, and make better with the chances he helps create, then he’d be helping.

        Pretty simple, really, other than having to determine if he will actually do those things or not… next year.

  • Zarny

    Unless it’s a shootout, I don’t want him on the ice. Fair to say Sam wont be winning the Selke any time this millennium. One of the worst guys without the puck i can think of…Oh and Yakupov of course, but he still has 5 more years to bring his game “up” to where Sams is defensively.

    A gifted passer? Lol, sure maybe on the outdoor rink or in junior or in practice but rarely do his saucer attempts work in the NHL. I have never seen so many giveaways then when Sam tries a silly, soft saucer pass.

    4.8 million??? Dollars??? pff, see ya!

  • Spydyr

    To all you move Gagner to the wing people:

    You own a car it drives great straight ahead(offense)but when you turn a corner(defence)you get a load banging noise.

    Do you fix the car by only driving straight(move Gagner to the wing) or do you take the car to the shop and fix the problem(trade Gagner)

    Pretty easy to see what has to be done now….no?

    • The Last Big Bear

      If the only thing anyone will give you in return is Kyle Clifford (a retro BigWheels tricycle), then you might be better off keeping Gagner on the wing for those days when you do just need to go a long way in a straight line.

      The biggest problem with Gagner is his contract. At $4.8m, the cap ceiling teams won’t want him because he doesn’t play up to his cap hit. And the internal cap teams don’t want him because he makes $5m in real cash.

      Ryan Kesler has a $5m cap hit, and Jason Spezza makes $4m in real cash, and both of them have requested trades this summer. There have been lots of rumors around Mike Richards as well, for an extra couple hundred k.

      Heck, if you want a one-dimensional playmaking centre, you can just dial up Brad Richards, and not give up any assets. Is Gagner better than Brad Richards? Is Richards going to get more than $5m cash with a $4.8m cap hit?

      Derek Roy is a UFA this year too I believe. Is he going to cost more than $4.8m?

      What value do you place on Gagner in that market?

    • Mr. Spydyr, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Spydyr

    So Lecavalier wants out of Philly. 37pts in 69 games last season. 32pts in 39 games the season before. I believe he has 4 or 5 years left at 4.5M per year. Might be a better option on the 2nd line centering Perron and Gag’s.

    Not exactley a bank breaking dollar value if the cap continues to climb every year.

    • Joy S. Lee

      Valid idea to consider, for this team. But wasn’t Lecavalier horrific in the post season for Philly?

      Doesn’t he kind of look like he’s on his last legs? Did he show anything when it counted? What’s he doing this summer?

      Those are valid questions. It would be a risky move, but sometimes those pay off. I used to love “Vinny.” Hard to say…

  • TKB2677

    I would almost guarantee that Gagner will have a resurgence like Cogliano did with the ducks. He will go to a new team with new linemates and he will probably even go on to be a full time winger, just like Cogliano is now.

    In 2 years time, an Edmonton media will have Gagner on the radio, just like Gregor had Cogliano. Gagner will talk about his time in Edmonton, his struggles. Then he will talk about how in Edmonton, he saw himself as a center and wasn’t willing to make the change for the Oilers to the wing. Then he will talk about being traded. How it was a shock. How it made him re-evaluate his game, made him think about the holes in his game. How when he went to the new team he was willing to make the position, willing to accept a new role and willing to make the changes to his game to be a more complete player. Then he will go on to say how making all the changes was the best thing he ever did and he should of done it years ago. Pretty much exactly what Cogliano said earlier this year when he talked to Gregor.

    Unfortunately with Gagner being traded is probably the only answer. He’s been an Oiler for 7 yrs and his game is virtually the same as it was is first year. The holes he had in year 1 are still there after year 7. You can blame different coaches all you want but a lot of it is the players fault. Case in point, Cogliano. If Cogliano had of embraced all the changes to his game that he made as a Duck when he was an Oiler, he’d probably be an Oilers because he’s a pretty effective 3rd line winger. With the Oilers, I don’t see him turning that corner. It’s been 7 years, how much longer do they wait? People beat the drum of “his trade value is too low” and that is a valid point. However, as a team and in order to be successful, the Oilers need a productive player playing in Gagner’s spot. So if Gagner isn’t going to be as successive as they need him to be and if he isn’t going to do the things they need him to do as a player of his experience level and in his position, he’s hurting the team with his play. So it comes to a point where you have to let go of the trade value argument and do what’s best for the team and team success.

    If you had an employee at work and after 7 years, he still did the same mistakes over and over again as he did when he first started, and he wasn’t any better than he was yr 1, he’d be gone. So why is Gagner any different?

  • The difference between and successful organization and the Oilers.

    Drafting the right players and developing. Then getting the odd UFA that wants to play with talent.

    The Oilers and failing miserably at all three.

    There overall draft record is terrible, one of the worst in the NHL. They fail to develop those they draft to full potential. Because of these two points, no agent will send their prime assets, the marquee players to Edmonton (which we painfully need). We only get recycled overpaid garbage that our media and some fans think that will lead to a winning team.

    The problem: Managment. Nothing will change till manangement is gone. The only this will happen is the fans need to realize, unfortunately, after more years of losing happens, and do what Vancouver did. We’ll see who is better in a couple of years. Vancouver already has a better Coach.