Word today that Andrew Cogliano is on the 1line again with Penner and Gagner. This doesn’t mean much–the Oilers could still dress Gilbert Brule tomorrow night–but it is at least a little curious considering Cogliano hasn’t been successful offensively with the added push.
Listening to the sports radio while driving around today gave me a chance to hear all kinds of theories. Brule’s ill or hurt; Cogliano is being showcased; Quinn is sending a message to Brule; Oilers need to get Cogliano going and on it went.
I think we need to consider the time of year–trade deadline–and the fact that Steve Tambellini is doing his annual evaluations. Despite a terrible season, Cogliano should have some value on the trade market. If Tambellini plans to use only three small forwards next season he’ll have to trade Cogliano. Here is a reasonable depth chart for the Oilers small forwards:
- Comrie (UFA)
You can nitpick with the list (and maybe add one or two) but that would appear to be the pecking order. Oilers may also have youngsters MPS and Hall/Seguin on the roster, adding to the undersized forwards who lack NHL strength. It is probably reasonable to assume that Cogliano is gone. Is this the best time? Hell if I know. Cogliano’s 5×5/60 numbers over the years:
- 07-08: 2.28
- 08-09: 1.69
- 09-10: 0.88
I think we can make the call at this point about Cogliano’s offense. His shooting percentage has stepped into an elevator shaft; he’s gone from rolling 6′s every try to Ray Milland in Lost Weekend. He isn’t developing as a center and he’s got a spotty record in pretty much every category involving keeping the puck out of the net. Cogliano had two seasons that were photocopies of each other, enough offense to be very interesting and perhaps some signs of progress in other areas.
Right now he looks out of place, unable to score, and a poor option at center and wing. I suspect a team might see him as a playmaker on some level; maybe Toronto as they’re looking for Kessel help and maybe Toronto sees Cogliano as the new Mikhail Grabovski.
And they might be correct.