WINTER 2007 TOP 20 REVISITED

Pat from Black Dog Hates Skunks had a great suggestion last night: a “look back” at a previous top 20 to see how things have gone. I chose winter 2007 for two reasons–one, the winter edition always allows me a better look at the new drafts and two, that 2007 draft had a lot to do with Kevin Prendergast’s exit.

The original list is here, with links to articles on each. It’s funny how quickly some of these names are forgotten. Now. Here’s their output:

2007 TOP 20 AND THEIR RESULTS 07-12

No NAME GP  G A PTS
1 SAM GAGNER 366 77 143 220
2 ANDREW COGLIANO 410 70 102 172
3 TOM GILBERT 392 32 125 157
4 TAYLOR CHORNEY 61 1 6 7
5 ROB SCHREMP 113 20 34 54
6 KYLE BRODZIAK 413 72 99 171
7 RILEY NASH 5 0 1 1
8 SLAVA TRUKHNO
9 DEVAN DUBNYK 101 2.85 .910
10 JEFF PETRY 108 3 27 30
11 THEO PECKHAM 156 4 13 17
12 ALEX PLANTE 10 0 2 2
13 LIAM REDDOX 100 6 18 24
14 CODY WILD
15 COLIN MCDONALD 7 1 0 1
16 MATHIEU ROY 48 0 11 11
17 JEFF DESLAURIERS 62 3.24 .901
18 CHRIS VANDEVELDE 17 1 2 3
19 SEBASTIAN BISAILLON
20 RYAN O’MARRA 33 1 6 7

A few things:

  • Gagner is and should be the class of the group, but Nash and Plante gave very little production for a year when THREE first rounders were Edmonton’s. Opportunity pissed away.
  • Gilbert was known to us by then but Petry wasn’t; Jeff Petry worked a lot to get to where he is. In 2007 spring it wasn’t a certainty he would emerge.
  • The 4 biggest GP totals are in the top 6, which seems reasonable. The biggest surprises are players 9-11, Dubnyk along with Petry and Peckham.
  • Trukhno and Wild are complete misses, probably more about my personal bias than an actual reflection of how things took place.
  • If you have a draft of these 20 players, I think it would go Gagner, Gilbert, Petry, Brodziak, Dubnyk, Cogliano, Peckham. After that, meh.
  • If we’re scoring this honestly, those 7 players are probably the only “make the grade” prospects from the 20. It’s still a good number.
  • I think the current 20 (posted yesterday) trumps the current group by a lot.
  • For those of us who would gladly deal a Musil or a Rieder for immediate help, the ranking 9-11 suggests we might want to re-think our rush for immediate help.

Fun stuff. We’ll do another one soon.

NATION RADIO

 

Nation Radio hits the air at noon today on Team 1260. Among the scheduled guests:

  • James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail. We’ll talk about the NHL/NHLPA negotiations along with a quick trip through the Canadian NHL cities and their summer acitivity.
  • Benjamin Wendorf from Arctic Ice Hockey. Benjamin will tell us about the Jets summer and how they’ve spent their dollars.
  • Rob Vollman from Hockey Abstract. Vollman is a brilliant hockey mind and has introduced “usage charts” to inquiring hockey minds. It’s a revelation.
  • Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus. Corey’s Oilers top 10 prospect list is a must read and his insights are valuable for any hockey fan.
  • Eric Tulsky from NHL Numbers. Eric has been looking at some information collected through the Philadelphia Flyers 11-12 season and it reveals astounding results in regard to possession, zone entries and the importance of neutral zone play. This is some ground breaking stuff.

Emails welcome to nationradio@theteam1260.com and you can twitter @lowetide_ or @ItsNationRadio. You can also post thoughts and questions in the comments section of this post. It’ll be fun. Bring your brain.

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52 Responses to "WINTER 2007 TOP 20 REVISITED"

  1. jonrmcleod says:

    Pronman has Yakupov 2nd among the Oilers’ 22-and-under players (behind Hall and ahead of RNH). LT, do you agree?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Jon: No, I’d put RNH behind Hall but there’s a lot we don’t know. I would go Hall, Nuge, Yak but with the knowledge that #3 could be #1. Yakupov’s shot might make the difference, and MBS raved about his accuracy. We might have an elite sniper here.

  3. jonrmcleod says:

    Pronman ranked Florida as #1 in terms of prospects. You could ask him who he’d rank as top 5 for 22-or-under players.

  4. jonrmcleod says:

    I also see that only Justin Schultz is projected by Pronman to be a top-pairing defenceman. I’m curious about how many prospects he projects as true #1 defencemen.

  5. Lowetide says:

    I’ve always wondered about “top pairing” myself. Tom Awad told me that TOI is the best indicator of value to a team for defenders and if a player is at the top TOI in all three disciplines he’s being counted on. I guess that’s a top pairing defender, but there aren’t many.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Gagner is and should be the class of the group, but Nash and Plante gave very little production for a year when THREE first rounders were Edmonton’s. Opportunity pissed away.”

    Though I remain happy with Gagner… in fantasy counterfactual land I’d take Couture, instead of Plante, Subban and instead of Nash, Pacioretty or Peron

    We definitely left talent on the table with that golden opportunity… 3 picks in the top 21 must be relatively rare.

    I think this statement:

    “For those of us who would gladly deal a Musil or a Rieder for immediate help, the ranking 9-11 suggests we might want to re-think our rush for immediate help.”

    is kind of undercut by this statement:

    “Trukhno and Wild are complete misses, probably more about my personal bias than an actual reflection of how things took place.”

    These players (even if the current crop projects much better than the 2007 one) are still crap shoots. One great camp vaults Fedun almost to the show and a freak accident takes it all away… as an extreme example of chance and fate intruding into our best laid plans.

    I think you have to have a really damn good reason to offload a prospect that may turn at any moment into Jeff Petry, but at the same time… a fool is bound to wait on that bet coming up roses.

  7. cabbiesmacker says:

    If you have a draft of these 20 players, I think it would go Gagner, Gilbert, Petry, Brodziak, Dubnyk, Cogliano, Peckham.

    I dunno. I think Petry goes 1 – 2 with Gilbert , any order you like, but it’s close.

    Young two way D, with very good offensive upside like Petry has trump 45 point, not particularly good at anything, second line at best C’s any day of the week.

  8. cabbiesmacker says:

    Actually I was a bit unfair to young Sammy there. He’s pretty good at having one night aberrations that cause people to overlook what he’s doing the other 81.

  9. steveb12344 says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Give Sammy a full season with quality wingers, and pp time. Then let’s talk.

  10. Ryan says:

    Lowetide:
    Jon: No, I’d put RNH behind Hall but there’s a lot we don’t know. I would go Hall, Nuge, Yak but with the knowledge that #3 could be #1. Yakupov’s shot might make the difference, and MBS raved about his accuracy. We might have an elite sniper here.

    Well, it depends how you look at it.

    RNH draft year: 62: 18-34-52. -2 .83 ppg
    Hall draft year: 65: 22-20-42. -9 .65 ppg

    Yakupov should have the big edge in his draft year given that Tambo ostensibly is taking the sand bags off the team. That and the roster should be better by virtue of the fab three being a year older alone.

  11. Woodguy says:

    That’s a pretty solid line up for the show today sir.

    Pretty good hockey minds there.

    Very Mathletic.

    As someone who reads a lot of mathy hockey blogs, your show line up today if full of heavy hitters, well done.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Well, I have my ciphering chalk, my sliderule, my adiator and a book of insults when it goes badly. So, I’m set. :-)

  13. Ryan says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    If you have a draft of these 20 players, I think it would go Gagner, Gilbert, Petry, Brodziak, Dubnyk, Cogliano, Peckham.

    I dunno. I think Petry goes 1 – 2 with Gilbert , any order you like, but it’s close.

    Young two way D, with very good offensive upside like Petry has trump 45 point, not particularly good at anything, second line at best C’s any day of the week.

    In today’s market, I would tend to agree with you. I think Petry will eventually carve out a better career than Gilbert. Not to plug DSF, but compare the Turris contract to any of the recent defenseman signings for young mobile defenders with some offense.

    Petry’s development has been trending upwards by leaps and bounds. Score 2 points for blood lines on that player I guess.

    I would also think that dubnyk would go ahead of Brodziak any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Dubnyk still has plenty of question marks, but there are not that many young stud tenders outside of LA and Vancouver kicking around the league right now.

  14. gd says:

    I think this list is the true “MVP” of the last three years results. Seven NHLers is pretty poor, when it includes Peckham who hasn’t proved he can play for better than a bottom two team, Brodziak hasn’t done the OIl much good because he got given away and Cogs is at best a mediocre NHLer and he was our No. 2 prospect. Petry is the only sig pleasent surprise on the list and I’ve got to think successful teams would have at least 2.

    The 2012 list trumps this list on every spot and is significantly younger (Gilbert was 24 and Brodziak was 23 in 2007). I would say 9 NHLers would be the low end expectation for this year’s list with 11 being the reasonable expectation.

  15. jonrmcleod says:

    LT, to be honest, I had never heard of Sebastien Bisaillon until I read his name now on your 2007 list. Then I googled his name and found that you made two errors: (1) you spelled his first name wrong, and (2) he played 2 games for the Oilers in 2007. But his name and two games were probably quite forgettable.

  16. Szach says:

    LT – not that it makes a whole lot of difference but Sebastian Bisaillon played a couple of games with the Oil during 06 – 07 season.

    By the way – I just found my new favorite team in Austria – Graz 99ers where he currently played. Nice tribute and the city is cool too….

  17. Lowetide says:

    Jon and Szach: This is from 2007 fall forward. ALL of the games for each player from previous seasons is not included in the graph. This is “Games forward.”

  18. Bos8 says:

    steveb12344: cabbiesmacker, Give Sammy a full season with quality wingers, and pp time. Then let’s talk.

    I guess Hall and Hemsky are still striving to be quality wingers.

    God, just one high end skill set, just one. Hell, just strong on his skates, anything.

    When is the dawning?

  19. gd says:

    I find the 2007 draft fascinating. Besides being the draft that got KP fired, the two teams that made the worse picks in the top 10 are the last two Cup winners, Montreal makes probably the greatest draft in the last decade (McDonough, Pacioretty, Subban) and then semi-blows it with the worse trade of the last decade (McDonough for Gomez) and Sam for all his faults is still the 2nd highest scorer of the draft and as there are a ton of misses in the 1st rd would still go around 10th in a redraft.

  20. cabbiesmacker says:

    steveb12344:
    cabbiesmacker,

    Give Sammy a full season with quality wingers, and pp time. Then let’s talk.

    Steve? With all due respect who are these fictitious non-quality wingers Sammy got stuck with in 11/12?

    http://www.leftwinglock.com/line-combos/index.php?season=2011&team=EDM&strength=EV&playertype=F&gametype=ALL#A

  21. DSF says:

    steveb12344:
    cabbiesmacker,

    Give Sammy a full season with quality wingers, and pp time. Then let’s talk.

    Anson Carter says hi.

  22. Lowetide says:

    it occurs to me that we’re kind of reaching the climax of the Gagner good versus Gagner bad discussion. At some point this week Gagner will:

    1. Sign a long term deal at significant money
    2. Sign a short term deal edging him closer to UFA status
    3. get traded.

    Seems to me we’ll have a lot to talk about this week.

  23. jonrmcleod says:

    LT, if you can remember, rank the level of excitement of Oilers fans for this group of young players back in 2007 (1 being no excitement, 10 being extreme excitement).

  24. BlacqueJacque says:

    LT, would it be too much of a burden for you to write an article explaining why you rank Hall higher than Nuge, Ebs and possibly Yak? I’m with you on the opinion, but I have a harder time convincing some friends who look only at the scoring totals or highlights.

  25. jake70 says:

    Slightly off topic but not really because this stretch gave us Gagner in the end. But Bisaillon, when I hear,/read the name I immediately think of the dark days post Smyth trade , Feb 27/07.

    19 games
    regulation losses – 16
    OT losses – 1
    SO win – 1
    regulation win – 1
    goals for – 20 (twenty)
    GF/game – 1.05
    # times shut out – 6
    goals against – 65

    Dark and ugly. May we never visit that again.

  26. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    LT, if you can remember, rank the level of excitement of Oilers fans for this group of young players back in 2007 (1 being no excitement, 10 being extreme excitement).

    The Gagner selection was viewed as being a good option, we kind of thought they’d go Gagner or Voracek.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2007/06/what-a-day.html

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2007/06/gagner.html

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2007/06/sunday-night-draft-notes-2.html

    As always, the comments section is very valuable.

  27. DeadmanWaking says:

    It’s not statistically valid to remove outliers just because they’re different. A good reason to remove an outlier is because the value was transcribed incorrectly and the true value is no longer known, or someone (or something) had its thumb on the scale at the time of measurement, e.g. a smog instrument over a hot summer when a neighbouring community burns to the ground. Even then, if you are looking at average lifetime air quality, you might leave it in; if you’re trying to assess whether a reforestation project is producing a useful effect, you’d probably take it out.

    Arbitrarily removing a player’s best single game is just crass introduction of bias unless you’ve got a good reason, e.g. the game statistician was checked into the hospital after the game with a brain aneurism. I recall he touched every puck and the goals were legitimate or pretty close. Worse than any other game?

    I don’t think anyone forgot Samwise had a disappointing start to his season. The big game brought back into the conversation the other half of the question: his potential upside.

    The human brain does not like to process upside and downside at the same time. It prefers to choose one or the other. The glass with Samwise is half full, with a fair amount of lingering uncertainty surrounding a still-young player with a long resume. A big component of the bandwagon effect is just lazy thinking.

    The year I played Axis and Allies, I found the game extremely compelling in its ability to beat out of thinking people this fear of uncertain outcomes. Usually the game would start with a naval confrontation between Britain and Germany. It could go any of four ways: one side or the other would take a pummelling, but as often as not the pummelling spun out of control into a complete rout. Another Delphic butterfly was whether Germany made it almost to Moscow on the first pounce, or had to sit tight in the Ukraine licking its wounds. Japan might counter-factually opt to continue its war in the far east (the compass on this game board centers on Russia) or it might follow the historical narrative of attacking Pearl Harbour. Just a lot of uncertainty very quickly at the outset of the game. You just had to become flexible and not count on a favourable outcome from any particular battle. America can hardly do squat for the first two years, but it has to do squat with generosity (to the cause of its hard-pressed Allies) and foresight toward its own might.

    Now lets say you have the other type of player commanding Germany, and he becomes fixated on capturing Moscow early in the war, and throws the entirety of his massive industrial might into the eastern front (even providing his troops some winter overcoats). This is a bad time for the Allies to fall asleep at the switch. If they fail to coordinate, Germany probably wins. But if the Allies do coordinate and harass this initiative mercilessly (with a high coefficient of sacrifice) the Germans soon find themselves in a pickle: they’ve got no flexibility or counterplay when Samwise shows up with his surprising 8 point night. And this always happens, sooner or later … all the heavy German armour in Africa wiped out by a single infantry unit with a large supply of sticky-socks. Something, somewhere, and the Germans have no answer.

    The dynamics of the game were pretty much perfectly tuned for learning how to cope with Delphic butterflies infesting all things tactical.

    A German general obsessed with capturing Moscow on the first or second pounce would probably cut Samwise loose. He’s not bringing much clarity to a desperate lunge. We’re now at the point in the chess game where we stacking up rooks for a kingside offensive. Samwise is a knight well up the board, but stuck a bit out of the action on the far flank. You never know. If your attack falters and the opposing king finds a big hole to go walkabout in that direction, your remote knight comes back into play at a decisive juncture.

    You don’t need to have a fluid mind to evaluate Taylor Hall. The subtle decisions involving Samwise have the aura of what distinguished the players who got Axis and Allies from those who never did. I recall in particular going to a lot of trouble (playing the Allied side) to get a bomber base established with a bomber positioned in Turkey or Indonesia within striking distance of a forward German production base and turn after turn after turn never being able to employ it for that mission. Taylor Hall would be an aircraft carrier group harassing the Japanese in the south Pacific. Eberle would be running American fighter aircraft over the pole from Scotland to Siberia, to provide just enough material support that the Russians don’t collapse completely. Samwise would be this annoying fighter base, that sometimes blew shit up real good (often in support of a small naval encounter), but rarely managed to fly the desired mission: the PvP first-line center taking out German production right at the eastern front. I used to think: that damn four engine bomber situated in prime striking position now into its sixth 40 point season. That piece could turn out later to be anything from goat to game winner. Every turn you would pencil this bomber in at 1C, take a look at the full line card, then go, nope, I just can’t do it yet, some other contingency would take priority (such as slotting an unexpected black ball into a zone-start biased line card). Or maybe your invasion of Japan which started out looking like a sure thing takes a boot to the nuts, so you fold up your precious air base in the Stans and ship him off to the Asian theatre, after all that.

  28. Rondo says:

    Without a dominant big skilled Center at #1 or # 2 Oilers won’t win a cup

    and you need a #1 puck moving D Man. Doughty Chara Keith , Lidstrom Letang etc.

    Eventually Gagner will be traded , he will be a good regular season player.

  29. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    LT, would it be too much of a burden for you to write an article explaining why you rank Hall higher than Nuge, Ebs and possibly Yak?I’m with you on the opinion, but I have a harder time convincing some friends who look only at the scoring totals or highlights.

    Hall is already making a difference against good NHL players. The puck is heading in a good direction and he’s a big part of it. The other kids trail by quite a bit.

  30. remember reijo says:

    Everyone remembers Gags turning goalies inside out with his triple fake deke in shoot outs during his rookie year. Have we seen that move since?

  31. gd says:

    remember reijo,

    Sam went 6 for 9 in shootouts this year (the only Oiler over 50%). I remember one game in the first half of the year, I think it was against SJ, when he was really struggling, and Renney picked him for the shootout and he scored a beauty and I remember thinking no matter what happens to Sam here that showed something.

    I believe Gagner is a good enough 2nd line C to get us to the playoffs, unfortunately because the young guns are so small he isn’t the best fit for the team in the long haul. My hope is our opinion is low of him right now because he played so bad in the last month, and he comes into this season healthy with two elite wingers and has a 60 pt. season that either silences the critics or inflates his trade value. With guys like Zajac, Zubrus and Getzlaf in the last year before UFA he should be a great trading chip in the next two years.

  32. DeadmanWaking says:

    I was thinking that everything I’ve said about A&A is suspect because I never played the Germans well with my own hand. The first time I played I was a last-minute substitute for a no-show. I was shown the combat tables and handed Churchill’s cigar. After a bit of math, I built a whole slough of submarines. Germany’s first act was to mass every plane within range over my fleet. It was looking like a mutual blood bath. As I scooped up my big fistfull dice to defend, my opponent said “you can’t do that”. I said “why not?” He said “submarines can’t shoot at planes”. I said “that’s not in the tables”. He goes “well, everyone already knows that!”. So I played the whole game as Britain with no navy and no plan. I learned years later that many subs did shoot at planes with small mortars, if they were surfaced, more so later in the war. I’m just too damn literal.

    Then I played America a lot because it was forgiving to rookie mistakes. I became good at two skills: naval combat in the Pacific, and running American planes over the pole to Russia. I also played Russia, where at the outset of the war there was always at least an obvious sensible plan. Unfortunately, on the obvious plan, Russia sits there trading grim chips with the Germans and mostly festers while the war is decided elsewhere. The shifting front between Russia and Japan is far too subtle for the novice mind.

    I think Germany does have to pounce hard at the outset, in three different directions, then take whatever gift they are given. If they destroy the British fleet but are stymied in the Ukraine, the whole plan has to pivot. If German gains rapid control of Africa, it might think about pestering the Americans a little more directly.

    Over the past months I’ve frequently mentioned the “convex objective function”, meaning that winning is good, but so is losing, as the CBA sets up the draft. What sucks is finishing ninth or tenth, falling into the Salieri sink-hole. With A&A, early success on the eastern front was both a curse and a blessing: it opened up the main chance, but locked you into a static strategy.

    I’m fairly deaf to much of the criticism of Oiler management because I know how damn hard it was in that game to play Germany well. You pick up the phone to land exactly the guy you need, you pony up a bigger contract with a longer term, and still you roll snake-eyes and the guy signs elsewhere. The Delphic butterfly strikes again.

    A lot of people who comment here have more of a Risk mindset on how the GM office works. Risk has about 10% of the shifting sands of A&A. Its mainly about massing and spotting the main chance with some sidelines to contest territories you don’t care much about, but can’t afford to concede.

    I felt that Risk was barely training wheels for A&A. Now if the GM office really is more like Risk and less like A&A, then I’d probably slant to awarding our brass a wet raspberry from the sliding trombone.

  33. Adam Dyck says:

    I like Gagner a great deal. Hell, my Oilers jersey’s got 89 slapped on the back (and I bought it after the arrival of the YoUnG gUnZ). But, to me, Gilbert is the class of this group and it isn’t close. Gagner is probably slotted in second, with Petry looking to overtake him if he can take a step forward (or even solidify his current position, tbh).

  34. DeadmanWaking says:

    I’m bottling my first batch of homemade wine today. (For my past sins I’ve taken up a hobby that mostly involves cleaning and waiting.) Started with a daily-discount tub of Malbec from Costco, all 23 litres, for $45. Like a 3rd rounder, I’m not too terrified if it doesn’t work out. My next two batches will both be twice the price, in the range of 2nd round prospects. The local wine store guy, of a certain age whose hobby turned into tending 300 carboys a month, says that this Costco-partnered outfit buys up production scraps. He didn’t actually say it tastes bad, but he strongly implied you kinda don’t know what it is, really. Maybe it’s the Tim Hortons of wine kits. There could be some people who just like the generic blend. But you won’t develop a broad palette consuming at that level. I’ve discovered having made the tour of the local hobby brew shops that there are basically two approaches: the whitecoats and the coonskins. The coonskins start their siphon hoses with a bareback lip job. “The lip skin is not hairy and does not have sweat glands”. So what’s the big deal? I don’t know. The 6lbs of bacteria we all carry as part of our human microbiome? The whitecoats get so caught up with the chemicals they barely notice the grapes. Well, I hope to notice the grapes later. I’ve been told by the coonskins at two different shops that I worry too much. I was reading that several of the chemicals don’t actually sterilize unless the pH is acidic, which can be ensured by adding citric acid (aka “worry too much”). Or you can just pray to the gods of tap water and hope for the best. Now if I were alcoholic by nature, laissez faire would be a fine program. Eventually experience would converge … and minor mishaps would only be an excuse to drink more. But because I’m more of a dabbler, I can’t afford to be a dilettante. I won’t ever make enough batches for experience to prevail by the winding valley. It’s not a primary hobby, it’s a supplemental hobby. So I have to work hard or I’ll soon give up.

    So anyway, I was thinking about the Germans while exercising my bottle brush. Our situation heading into the fall is a lot like the German situation on the A&A board. We’ve got plenty of assets, but our flagship battlecruiser has a rubber rudder, and two of our heavy bombers have rubber wings. Either all three need to be serviceable, or at least one of those three needs to take a big step forward … and it can’t wait until xmas. We’ve got to jump off the starting blocks, but we don’t which starting blocks. It’s so confusing.

  35. vishcosity says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Struggling with the connection between the GM office and the A&A analogy. Maybe for a coach, but not feeling it for a GM. First, in war sim, once the boats are sunk, they’re out. For a GM, they get to recharge the fleet. There isn’t territory to cover and hold in hockey either. And the coach’s seat is more like chess than go, maybe, still, there is a constant giving and taking of ground that only non traditional chess players could ever begin to muster. It takes two wildcards to equal anything like hockey. Managing the fourth quarter of an NFL game could be taught with war sim probably well, one shift in hockey sees the plan change four times.

    One summer during college I fell into a group of D&D players. One of the adventures was what they called arena battles. Everyone got x number of experience points, y number of main attribute points, and from there concocted rosters of mages and thieves to challenge the other’s paladins and clerics. I didn’t play long enough to really master it, but I think those arena battles are a way closer to NHL GM experiences. Needed a strong cleric to rebuild the damaged fighters, the magicians worked fire balls from the back end, and the thieves snuck around with cloaks of invisibility to back stab the other team’s sorcerers. Careful with the elves, they had a way of messing up the magic.

    It took forever to build the rosters, but once done we could roll the same teams for a couple different forays. Could do best of 3 in a long day and see where the weaknesses were, clearly the fighters were over rated, and everyone without a back up cleric was doomed. Two puck movers required, so to speak.

    The nice thing about being the GM in hockey is that one can assemble a bunch of fighter jets and strike quickly at the core, then after getting the lead, drop 12 men in the box, play the trap, or run a 1 2 2 arrow head shut down model as desired. MacT’s Oil seemed to run a reverse campaign, keep it close then use conditioned athletes to strike a late dagger to the heart through a broken play ala Mike Peca’s one man army or Pisani coming from no where to do what?

    Samwise could be a great piece for a MacT broken attack, he could be the dynamo that comes out of the side boards to pick up a puck that was left for the other team’s next line, he seems to have the head for that kind of game. Love watching him, to that I picked up an authentic 89 sweater during his rookie year.

    Really it comes down to how the coach rolls the roster he’s been delivered, maybe in your A&A analogy, the GM assembles the panzers with bombers (Burke) or the GM assembles fighter jets for an uncontrollably rapid attack. Either strategy could win the game, maybe if the Axis finished off the Middle Eastern then controlled the Mediterranean before launching for Stalingrad they would have not been spread so thin. Maybe that would work for game 4 in Anaheim when half the team is full of the flu, but I think the cleric in the back able to constantly rebuild the elven thieves up front has a much better connect to pro hockey, and if the Oiler brass wants to use that model compared to waves of trollish fighters with a strength of 18, then I say bring it. I would rather watch Barry Sanders than Jerome Bettis anyway.

  36. sliderule says:

    You could make a team out of the 2007 prospects.

    Unfortunately they would be dead ass last in NHL and a middling team in AHL .

    I have way more hope for your 2012 top 20.

  37. vishcosity says:

    As far as the wine making goes, tap water always seemed abhorrent to me. I only ever used reverse osmosis or distilled water for that. To get the funk protein out of the carboy, before 9/11, Ostrem in Millwoods sold 45% solutions of potassium hydroxide in 4L jugs. 4 tablespoons of that plus a scrub with the brush would eat that funk super easy. I think that was the worst part of the contamination factor, the protein funk around the top of the carboy, and while I have no idea who could make an explosive from KOH, I guess now its controlled and one needs some kind of clearance to get it. Ostrem discontinued it, last I heard, but I found it at a place on 170 St maybe by 111 Ave. I had to buy a 5 gallon pail. The rest of the pail is currently stored on a farm near Edson, I could get you a number if you want to go get a litre or two.

    And yet I was the mouth siphon guy, but I’d usually swirl with Safeway brand hydrogen peroxide just prior. Sometimes I’d even brush my teeth, but generally only if I used grapes from the Italian Centre. You can order the good stuff and pick it up late summer, if you really want to take it to the next level. Though I was never really able to tell any kind of difference between that and the boxes, for whatever that’s worth.

  38. VOR says:

    I don’t know what people expect from Gagner, his 5 on 5 offence per 60 makes him one of the top 33 (4 guys from BTN ahead of him aren’t centers) centers in hockey (amongst the 164 who played 40 or more games). He is 96 in 5 on 5 offence per 60 amongst the 566 players who played 40 or more games this year in the NHL. His offence continues to improve as the quality of his competition increases. He is ahead of Henrik Sedin at the same age in terms of offence. He is a 22 year old, above average offence 2C, who gets better defensively each year. He is a solid player with upside.

  39. commonfan14 says:

    Rondo: Without a dominant big skilled Center at #1 or # 2 Oilers won’t win a cup

    and you need a #1 puck moving D Man. Doughty Chara Keith , Lidstrom Letang etc.

    The Devils didn’t really fit that prescription this year and were a couple of OT bounces away from winning the Cup.

  40. DSF says:

    VOR:
    I don’t know what people expect from Gagner, his 5 on 5 offence per 60 makes him one of the top 33 (4 guys from BTN ahead of him aren’t centers) centers in hockey (amongst the 164 who played 40 or more games). He is 96 in 5 on 5 offence per 60 amongst the 566 players who played 40 or more games this year in the NHL. His offence continues to improve as the quality of his competition increases. He is ahead of Henrik Sedin at the same age in terms of offence. He is a 22 year old, above average offence 2C, who gets better defensively each year. He is a solid player with upside.

    Gagner has been getting a push in prime ice time, PP minutes and sheltered from tough competition for the past 5 seasons.

    Suggesting that makes him “above average” is just not accurate and saying his “offence continues to improve as the quality of competition increases is just horse puckies.

    Not only has his offence not improved, neither has his quality of competition.

    His P/60 5V5 of 1.96 lagged Kyle Wellwood’s 2.15.

    Wellwood is a third line centre.

    Gagner’s 1.96 ranked him 88th in the league…tied with Jannik Hansen, also a third line player.

    While he may have been 32nd in P/60 5V5 among centres, he was 52nd among centres 5V4.

    Since his PP numbers are so mediocre and he doesn’t PK, he’s not bringing much else to the party.

    Imagine if he hadn’t been touched by the hand of God on one magical night.

    He would be well up the track.

  41. VOR says:

    Kyle Wellwood at 22 – 45 points in his NHL career
    Sam Gagner at 22 – 220 pts in his NHL career

    Gagner’s relative quality of competition last three years -.240, .023, .575 points per 60 5vs5 1.56. 1.91, 1.96. Tougher competition, better scoring. Exactly why we would care if he can play on the powerplay I can’t imagine. We have a great power play. Why would we want him to kill penalties given we now excel at that as well? We need him to put up points at evens and he does. We need him to outplay at evens. He does. Whether you like it or not DSF, Gagner is one of the better 2Cs in hockey. What Wellwood does or doesn’t do is utterly irrelevant. Gagner gets two C minutes and outperforms most other league 2Cs. Gagner is a center, Jannik Hansen is irrelevant given he doesn’t even play C.

    There are 180 top 6 forwards in the NHL. Gagner, is 96 th at EVs per 60 amongst the regular forwards in the NHL. In other words he is an elite second line player. Can you find some third liners who out performed him this year – sure. That just tells you how bad some teams second line players are, it doesn’t devalue Gagner. In fact amongst true 2nd line centers he is 6th in pts per 60 at even strength.

  42. stevezie says:

    VOR:
    Kyle Wellwood at 22 – 45 points in his NHL career
    Sam Gagner at 22 – 220 pts in his NHL career

    You can tell a true story without telling the whole story, and this post perfectly shows that is what Gagner’s detractors are doing. They are right about his faults, and they are right about comparables like Wellwood making a fraction of his money, but they also seem to be ignoring so much.

    It is rare for people to accomplish the things that Gagner has accomplished by his age. Absolutely, his footspeed combined with his size mean that he might have a problem reaching the next level, but let’s not pretend it isn’t hella impressive that he’s reached the level he is at now by 22.

    There is cause for cautious optimism about his future, but even if we assume he gets zero better from here on in he is still a decent second line center.

  43. OilClog says:

    Sam Gagner is miles ahead of Kyle Wellwood, the comparison is ridiculous on all notions. Sam Gagner has more fight in him then 90% of the power forwards in the league. This height issue is ridiculous, what really needs to happen is Sam Gagner needs to go to the school of Mark Messier for a semester and become just nasty to play against. At 22yrs old he has a 8pt game under his belt and over 200nhl points. Sam Gagner is a hell of a hockey player, and our closest thing to a first line center we have at this point. Don’t get me wrong RNH will assume that role if all goes as it hopefully should, but we only have 50+ games of history with The Nuge. Sam Gagner is a Oiler grown talent, every team wins the cup their own way, small players have been beating the odds for years.

  44. Ducey says:

    Corsi Rel Q of C

    Samwise .575 at age 22
    Wellwood .105 at age 29

    That should end the discussion, but just for fun:

    FO’s
    Samwise 701 (third on the team)
    Wellwood 250 (5th on the team )

    SO’s

    Samwise 6 goals 66.7 %
    Wellwood 2 goals 33.3%

    Shooting %

    Gagner 12.1 %
    Wellwood 19.4 % (4th in the entire NHL and tops on his team by 4%)

    Last time they had 40+ pts prior to last year

    Sam 2010-2011
    Kyle 2006-2007

    PIM’s
    Sam 36 including 2 majors and a double high sticking
    Wellwood 4 (1 tripping, 1 diving (he’s a former Canuck))

    Years spent in the KHL

    Sam 0
    Wellwood 1 (2010-11 -1/2 season) after the Canucks let him walk

    Times on waivers

    Sam 0
    Wellwood 2

  45. Cactus says:

    sliderule:
    You could make a team out of the 2007 prospects.

    Unfortunately they would be dead ass last in NHL and a middling team in AHL .

    I have way more hope for your 2012 top 20.

    This touches on a point I’ve been trying to make for a while. This rebuild was bound to take a long time, with very few shortcuts precisely because the Oilers had so little talent bubbling under. There weren’t a lot of players coming through the system that might be able to step into the lineup and make an impact. This also made trades almost impossible: with so few legitimate prospects, the Oilers couldn’t afford to give them up for established players.

    Going forward, there should be more options, assuming the cornerstone pieces can get locked up.

  46. commonfan14 says:

    OilClog:
    Sam Gagner is miles ahead of Kyle Wellwood, the comparison is ridiculous on all notions.

    Don’t tell that to the arbitrator though. Is it too late to get DSF the gig?

  47. gcw_rocks says:

    Man, that was a frustrating draft to watch. I was rooting for Alzner or Voracek at 6, Petricki at 15 (ranking 14 by Bobby Mac), and when they traded up for 21, would have wanted Backlund (15 on Bobby Macs list) instead of Nash.

    I view Voracek and Gagner as a bit of a wash, would have wiffed as bad as the Oilers did at 15 it would seem, and I am not sure how I would feel trading off Marincin for Backlund.

  48. Lowetide says:

    commonfan14: Don’t tell that to the arbitrator though.Is it too late to get DSF the gig?

    First arb hearing that results in death by firing squad. :-)

  49. rickithebear says:

    Bos8,

    Gagner is a set-up center, He needs Goal scorers.
    gagner had 35 even points in 47 EVG.

    Players were % of goals exceeded % of time.
    Eager – 6.4%G – 1.6% EVTOI
    Smyth – 21.3%G – 7.3% EVTOI
    Eberle – 46.8%G – 28.6% EVTOI
    Cornet – 2.15%G – 1.2% EVTOI
    19.8% of the time he played with forwards who produced Goals at a beastly rate.

    Hall – 36.2%G – 30.9% EVTOI
    RNH – 6.4%G – 5.5% EVTOI
    Horc – 8.5%G – 8.0% EVTOI
    22.2% of the time with forwards less than 20% better than average.

    Jones – 14.9%G – 16.6% EVTOI
    Petrell – 2.1%G – 2.4% EVTOI
    9.5% of the time with forwards less than 20% worse than average.

    Hartikainen 8.5% G- 11.6% EVTOI

    Hemsky – 27.7%G – 44.2% EVTOI
    Belanger – 12.8%G – 18% EVTOI
    MP – 4.3%G – 10.7% EVTOI
    Omark – 2.1%G – 3.7% EVTOI
    38.3% of the time he plays with goal scoring boat anchors.

    People Say gagner is only a even player.
    last year he was top 40 on the pp from the first two unit in the league by TOI.
    We ran alot of 4 forward sets.
    Sadly for him 40th puts him 5th on the team behind 4 top 20 forwards
    Hall #3/180
    RNH #7/180
    Horc #17/180
    Eberle #20/180
    Gagner will get about 2min on the PP with the second unit.

    Likely 2 PP unit players.
    Last 4 years.
    the players that were in the top 2/3 of first two units in the league.
    Gagner every year.
    Smyth every Year
    MP 10-11
    Good start to 3/4th of a second unit.

    Gagner is a #2 center who could get #1 production with the correct wingers.
    Capable of handling lower 2nd/ upper 3rd defensively at even.
    Who is a legitamate 1st unit PP player on a lot of teams.
    He is 23 this year! 5 years from peak veteran period of 27-31.

  50. DSF says:

    Ducey:
    Corsi Rel Q of C

    Samwise .575 at age 22
    Wellwood .105 at age 29

    That should end the discussion, but just for fun:

    FO’s
    Samwise 701 (third on the team)
    Wellwood 250 (5th on the team )

    SO’s

    Samwise 6 goals 66.7 %
    Wellwood 2 goals 33.3%

    Shooting %

    Gagner 12.1 %
    Wellwood 19.4 % (4th in the entire NHL and tops on his team by 4%)

    Last time they had 40+ pts prior to last year

    Sam 2010-2011
    Kyle 2006-2007

    PIM’s
    Sam 36 including 2 majors and a double high sticking
    Wellwood 4 (1 tripping, 1 diving (he’s a former Canuck))

    Years spent in the KHL

    Sam 0
    Wellwood 1 (2010-11 -1/2 season) after the Canucks let him walk

    Times on waivers

    Sam 0
    Wellwood 2

    Sorry, Corsi Rel won’t end any discussion with me especially when it is applied to two players on different teams separated by 7 years.

    And, c’mon Ducey…shootouts? Really? They’re a coin flip.

    And then you point to Gagner’s lowe shooting percentage as a positive? Lol.

    Gagner’s shooting percentage was 2 points ABOVE his career average so we can likely expect a regression.

    Wellwood’s career shooting percentage is 14.1…Gagner’s is 10.3.

    Appears to me one of these players is a much better sniper than the other.

    Penalty minutes are certainly in Sam’s favour…nothing like a double high sticking penalty to help your team win a hockey game.

    Now, I’ll grant you Wellwood’s career went off the rails when he suffered an injury(s) but important to point out that, the season before injury he scored 42 points in 49 games…that’s .86 PPG.

    When is the last time Gagner scored .86 PPG?

    As you know, what often happens is that former top six players who don’t have quite enough skill to stay in the top six end up in a bottom six role if they can adapt their skill sets. I expect that will also happen to Gagner at some point.

    Bottom line, right now, is that Gagner and Wellwood have arrived at the same destination although they took widely divergent paths to get there.

    Could that change?

    Sure it could but that requires a lot of speculation to determine.

  51. DSF says:

    VOR:
    Kyle Wellwood at 22 – 45 points in his NHL career
    Sam Gagner at 22 – 220 pts in his NHL career

    Gagner’s relative quality of competition last three years -.240, .023, .575 points per 60 5vs5 1.56. 1.91, 1.96. Tougher competition, better scoring. Exactly why we would care if he can play on the powerplay I can’t imagine. We have a great power play. Why would we want him to kill penalties given we now excel at that as well? We need him to put up points at evens and he does. We need him to outplay at evens. He does. Whether you like it or not DSF, Gagner is one of the better 2Cs in hockey. What Wellwood does or doesn’t do is utterly irrelevant. Gagner gets two C minutes and outperforms most other league 2Cs. Gagner is a center, Jannik Hansen is irrelevant given he doesn’t even play C.

    There are 180 top 6 forwards in the NHL. Gagner, is 96 th at EVs per 60 amongst the regular forwards in the NHL. In other words he is an elite second line player. Can you find some third liners who out performed him this year – sure. That just tells you how bad some teams second line players are, it doesn’t devalue Gagner. In fact amongst true 2nd line centers he is 6th in pts per 60 at even strength.

    “Gagner is one of the better 2C’s in hockey”.

    Let’s have a close look at the WC.

    Anaheim:
    Saku Koivu – P/60 1.87
    Elite defensive centre
    SHTOI/G – 1:40
    Gagner has better scoring numbers but Koivu is a much better all round player. Koivu is getting old but 6″3″ 200 Peter Holland is ready to step in.

    Calgary:
    Jiri Hudler – P/60 2.22
    New addition scored 25G 25A 50P last season. With increased PP time in Calgary could take off.

    Chicago:
    Patrick Kane.
    Enough said.

    Colorado:
    Paul Statsny – 1.59
    Likely the poster boy for why you don’t hand out huge contracts to young players.
    Worth noting that Ryan O’Reilly, who is a year younger than Sam, blew Sam away with a 55 point season.
    With O’Reilly, Statsny and Duchene down the middle, I think you have to give the nod to Colorado here.

    Columbus:
    Gagner would look very good here at 2C (who wouldn’t?)

    Dallas:
    Team is in flux…no idea who their 2C will be next season.
    Gagner would be a good fit here.

    Detroit -
    Filpulla – P/60 2.68
    This isn’t even a contest.
    With Filpulla, Zetterberg and Datsyuk as potential top 3C’s, Gagner doesn’t even make this team.
    Had enough firepower at C to let Hudler walk.

    LA :
    Mike Richards. That is all.

    Minnesota:
    Matt Cullen – P/60 1.51
    Aging veteran stop gap.
    Worth noting Minny has Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, and Zack Phillips (all former first round picks) coming at centre.

    Nashville:
    Mike Fischer P/60 1.97
    Outscores Gagner on average and is also an elite defensive centre.

    Phoenix:
    Martin Hanzal P/60 1.60
    Gagner outscores him but I doubt there is a GM in hockey who would trade Hanzal for Gagner straight up.

    San Jose:
    Logan Couture P/60 1.91
    Not even close.
    And if that isn’t enough, San Jose also has Thornton, Marleau, Moore, Handzus and Desjardin available to play centre.
    Sam doesn’t even make this team.

    STL:
    Patrik Berglund – P/60 1.71
    Likely the closest comparable to Gagner in the WC although he is much bigger at 6’4″ 220.
    Worth noting he scored 21G and 47P as a rookie.

    Vancouver:
    Ryan Kesler – P/60 1.46.
    An injury shortened season compounded by an in season shoulder injury.
    While Sam outscored him this past season, Kesler has a 41 goal season and a Selke on his resume.

    So, to my eye, Gagner is likely the 13th best 2C in the WC and some teams, like Detroit, San Jose and Los Angeles have 3 or more centres who I would rank ahead of him if they played 2C.

    Tough to win much when more than a few of your players are near or at the bottom at their position.

  52. gcw_rocks says:

    LT:

    Thanks for the links. The comments section was interesting! If they had picked Esposito or Cherapanov at 15, your readers would have been happy but it would have been a wasted pick (unless they traded Esposito for Hossa).

    But I think the long term centiment still holds. The Oilers gassed that draft by drafting for need instead of BPA. And now they have done it again.

    .One more thought, had the Oilers drafted Backlund at 15, would Gagner still be an Oiler today? My guess is Tambo would have traded him for defensive help by now if he had Backlund coming along behind Gagner.

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