Wrong Way Gagner?

With Sam Gagner’s game boxscore becoming somewhat predictable (-1), it’s probably time we begin to discuss his rookie season and its possible impact down the line.

I don’t have much to add to the discussion on this site, because it’s already being covered extremely well here.

Chime in.

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10 Responses to "Wrong Way Gagner?"

  1. jon says:

    I think that the issue is one that ignores the counting numbers for this year. Really, it comes down whether he will benefit more from struggling in the NHL as opposed to dominating the OHL. In one league he’s learning to play as an undersized player which he is always going to be, in the other he’s average in size and can get away with cheating that’s not possible in the show.

  2. Steve says:

    I agree largely with Jon. He’s not really being forced into a role that he’s not at least competent to learn, and expectations on him are low. As has been remarked over and over again, the AHL would be the perfect place for him, but since that’s not an option I think here is better for him than the OHL.

    And is he *really* struggling any more than a few of our other forwards?

    (DISCLAIMER: I don’t know the first goddamned thing about player development. I’m only posting because I have that Fan Gene that makes me think that I’m as qualified as professional coaches and scouts to make this determination.)

  3. Steve says:

    I would also add that the Oilers should definitely loan him the WJC team. We won’t miss him too badly, and it couldn’t hurt him to remember how it feels to be dominant.

  4. IceDragoon says:

    Good evening.

    I’m not going to chime in at Tyler’s, you guys seem to have the highlights covered. I did want to jump on the (-1) you call predictable, tho.

    What most impacts his +/-, imho, is the teammates he has getting the minuses with/for him, and their inability to capitalize on the opportunities he does create.

    Gagner got last night’s minus because he was serving Garon’s penalty and the Avs scored a couple of seconds after he stepped out of the box. Let’s not forget that Pouliot hung him out to dry on that bonehead line change against Detroit, and in Vancouver Hemsky gift wrapped another minus for Sam when he lolligagged back to the bench and Pyatt scored before 89 even took four strides on the ice. That’s 3 of his -9 just off the top of my head. If I had the time to dig deeper I’m sure I could find similar examples for most of his minuses… bad changes… a few of Roli’s softies… yada yada…

    Of course he doesn’t have the physical ability to win many puck battles, he’s in an 18 freakin’ year old body, but in the games I’ve seen, his positioning has been solid. If he had reasonably capable vets backing him up his limited strength wouldn’t be a fatal flaw. The lack of veteran shelter and support available is what’s exposing the team and Gagner.

    Out of camp my first choice would have been to send him back to the ‘O’, but I didn’t think that keeping him would hurt his development. Now that he’s here and has been bonding with his teammates, sending him anywhere would be like ripping out his spleen. He’s an Oiler.


  5. Pat H says:


    I understand that there’s a good discussion of it going on at mc79′s, but you could have at least indulged us with a “This is Sam Ganger.”

  6. godot10 says:

    //I would also add that the Oilers should definitely loan him the WJC team. We won’t miss him too badly, and it couldn’t hurt him to remember how it feels to be dominant.//

    Sort of like when the college girls wouldn’t f%# you, one went back home and f^%$# the high school girls?

    Sort of pointless, if you ask me. He been to a WJC. He did the Russian series.

  7. Kev says:

    I pretty well have the same thoughts as icedragoon. I’m wavering on releasing him for Team Canada though. Who’s the coach? How will he be used?
    As to his size, yeah, he’s not big but he’s taller and bigger than Cogs and Kane. I haven’t been able to watch all the games and I’d like to hear what others who have think about this.
    Speaking of Kane, I’m really looking forward to seeing Toews and him tomorrow.

  8. Julian says:

    Hell yes send him to the WJCs. He’s not really helping Edmonton win games, and Canada at the WJCs could be the only succesful team I cheer for for the next god knows how long.

  9. RiversQ says:

    What most impacts his +/-, imho, is the teammates he has getting the minuses with/for him, and their inability to capitalize on the opportunities he does create.

    Good grief Louise. I’m going to try extremely hard to be polite here.

    Sam’s been making plenty of his own messes. He’s been getting drilled out there. You can try to explain away a few of his minuses, but Gagner’s lines get hemmed in every night and they get blasted in terms of shots for and against.

    His future is bright, but let’s not make excuses for him beyond the obvious.

  10. IceDragoon says:


    Lain is so prolific that going incommunicado for a couple of days means I’m responding in the archives. meh… it is what it is.

    Awww… I feel cheated, Cam(right?). You give some of the best sarcastic hyperbole on the net. At least I can count on you to take my words and jump to your conclusions. Kinda makes your stated attempt at politeness moot, tho.

    Meh… some of my best friends are crusty, old, smart buggers… so, it’s all good. I really like what you and your cohorts have contributed to the thinking fan, but then, I’m a sucker for anyone who uses their grey matter and spurs others to do the same.

    I’ve never played more than a little road/pond hockey, but I’ve been watching our amazing game for over four decades. During those years my hockey pals tagged me with, “she’s a little crazy”, because I can see some crazy ****. One of my oddities… I’ve always liked the smart players who work their ***es off, even if they don’t show up on the stats sheets. Definitely not in vogue in the eighties.

    When I first started reading igor(Vic) and oilswell at HF, later joined by Tyler and you, I was thrilled. The number crunching passed my sniff test, giving some credence to my beliefs, and some tools to look a little deeper. I love reading what you guys have to say, especially if I disagree with the premise… (makes me think more – use it or lose it)

    That said… I will continue to see some crazy ****. meh… I built my cerebral cortex with my experiences and you built yours with yours.

    Lain is my friend and I’m sticking around.
    since I like you…
    I’m going to give you a “chill pill”.
    Before reading my words swallow this…

    “She’s a little crazy.”

    If you truly want to try and understand my point… ask, and I’ll try to elaborate. If you only want to leap to your conclusions… well… that’s on you. I’m too old for angry passion.

    My point on Gagner is…

    He’s not playing in isolation. His +/- was at about evens with Horcoff(against opposing #1s) and started dropping off the cliff with Stoll.

    I may not beat my opinion drum in every second post(luvya, Dennis :-)), but I was with Lain in needing two more vets BEFORE losing Pisani, Moreau, Souray & now Tarnstrom. Virtually everyone is exposed right now.

    If you are truly interested in more of my take on this subject.


    Have a good one.

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