Is inserting Sam Gagner into the lineup tonight the right thing to do? Is it a huge deal?
I don’t think it’s a huge deal either way. So far MacT has used the kid for 552 minutes (including an hour and a half on the PP) with half the season gone. The last gifted teenager to play for the Oilers (Hemsky) got 712 minutes in his first full season (2.5 hrs on the PP) so we shouldn’t be overly alarmed if the kid plays only 15-20 games in the second half of the season.
It’s a process. Hemsky’s progress (712 mins to 1,025 to 1,375 in his first three NHL seasons) would seem to be a reasonable template.