Years ago (before the blog) I used to talk about making sure the prospects got their “500 at-bats” before sending them away. The idea being that seeing-eye singles and line drives into the mitt even out over a long season, and a full year in the NHL would give a better view of a youngster.
Well, we’re 1500 at-bats into the Andrew Cogliano show and the arrows seem to be going the wrong way. I don’t know he gets anywhere good from here. Is he a scorer? Well, not quite, although he didn’t play with Lafleur and Shutt a year ago. Is he a Butch Goring? No. No no no. Andrew Cogliano has all of the defensive acumen of a Rick MacLeish and that is not a compliment.
I’ve always liked Andrew Cogliano, but he looks more like the next Bobby Sheehan than the next Cliff Ronning. I hope he likes the nickname “Suitcase.”
•Boxcars: 82gp, 10-18-28
•Plus Minus: -5
•Corsi (Rel): 1.5 (6th among F’s)
•GF/GA ON: 41-46
•5×5/60: 1.39 (7th among F’s)
•5×4/60: 2.55 (10th among F’s)
•Quality of Competition: 7th toughest among F’s
•Quality of Teammates: 4th best among F’s
•FO %: 43% in 379 FO’s
•Cap Hit: $1,133,333 (RFA)
- What do these numbers tell us? His 5×5/60 performance was down year-over-year but the entire roster experienced a dip so I think it is important to keep it in context. He did play in shallow waters but so did Gagner and Sudden Sam was rewarded (I think correctly) with the better men. Still, it is hard to make chicken salad out of Ethan rifles. Cogliano’s impressive shooting percentage from his first two seasons fell to earth, predictably. His season offensively is not as bad as it has been portrayed in some circles, but after three seasons you’d like to see more.
- How Could these numbers be better? Cogliano is a busy player but (in both offensive and defensive zones) often accomplishes very little. He’s a loose cannon as opposed to being a player who finds areas to be useful. It’s actually incredible how very often Andrew Cogliano is out of position when the heart of a play actually happens. A late-season flourish saved his offensive numbers somewhat, but the kid spent much of the year in a fog. I think he might have missed MacT’s tendency to find a role for a player and stick him there (the kid line) but don’t want to turn this into another MacTavish post.
- Is he going to be a complete player? As I mentioned above, I don’t know how you get there from here. He isn’t building a solid resume and he isn’t going to beat out Sam Gagner or Taylor Hall or MPS for playing time. I’m almost certain the coaching staff will use him some on the PK and maybe that will turn him around a little (more defensive minded) but he’s sure in the wrong spot on a lot of GA.
- How much PP time/PK time do you see him getting? No powerplay time, unless he has a trick pitch or something. I still think he could help a penalty kill with that terrific speed, but Cogliano needs to buy in to becoming that kind of player (Fred Shero turned MacLeish into a pretty good penalty killer and MacLeish wasn’t very good at the defensive aspects of the game. MacLeish used to skate through the slot after a goal with a look of complete disgust, which I always found hilarious since he didn’t do jack diddly to stop anything).
- Size isn’t as big a deal as you make it to be. True, and the Oilers have thrown out a few minnows so there’s more room. Still, for a team that will endure rookie mistakes from Hall, MPS, Eberle, Omark, Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Dallas Taylor and Greg Reeves, a guy entering his 4th season needs to be mentor to these kids. Cogs is not ready to step up (based on the evidence) as a 2-way C so I don’t know how he’d be asked to train the new hires on the finer aspects of reading the play.
- What about a line of Cogliano-Hall-MPS? They could certainly increase league scoring but one wonders how often the line would have the puck. I’m not trying to be critical of this line combination, hell 5 years from now it might be a gem. But the learning curve will be immense for the Oilers rookies (remember Gagner’s rookie season with Cogs?) and Cogliano’s play in the middle isn’t strong enough for this line to click in the NHL.
- Are they going to trade him? My guess is yes, and that on another team (with fewer players who duplicated his skill set) Cogliano will have a solid career. I’m cheering for him.
- How important is he to the organization? Not very. Among the Oiler forwards, I’d rate Penner, Hemsky, Gagner, Horcoff, Brule and Hall ahead of him in terms of “keepers” and they could trade Cogs and sign Comrie and be farther ahead in terms of 10-11. He has trade value and at this point that’s probably the route to go.
- Your projections are ridiculous. Are the Oilers going to score 200 goals by your estimate? Yes. They scored 214 last season and I think they’ll score more this year.
By The Numbers
•07-08 5×5 per 60m: 2.28
•08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.69
•09-10 5×5 per 60m: 1.39
By The Numbers
•07-08 5×4 per 60m: 2.52
•08-09 5×4 per 60m: 3.39
•09-10 5×4 per 60m: 2.55
Predictions Past 2009-10: 82gp, 22-25-47 (.573)
Performance in 2009-10: 82gp, 10-18-28 (.341)
Prediction for 2010-11: 82gp 10-20-30
Running in place despite the speed