I’ve watched and listened closely over the months and years in regard to Taylor Hall and center. Since the Nuge was drafted, I listen even more carefully. Why? If Hall and Nuge are the centers moving forward, there’s no room for Sam Gagner and for me Gagner is still a very interesting young player.
Jason Gregor posted an interview today at Oilers Nation with Todd Nelson, OKC’s head coach. Its a fun read, and Nelson specifically answers Jason in regard to #
422 moving to the middle:
- Nelson: “ I talked to him at the start of the year and asked, ‘How do you feel about playing Centre, because everybody’s been asking that question.’ He told me, ‘I want to feel comfortable with my game. It’s been awhile since I’ve played, so right now I’d rather play wing.’ He’s up front and honest with us. We don’t want to put a player in a situation where they don’t feel comfortable. That’s not to say we can’t explore that as the season goes on, but we have quite a few centres and right now it’s not really a need that we have to look at.”
These are early days, the Oilers didn’t move Messier for years after he arrived in the NHL. Still, another season with Nuge-Gagner at the top of the C depth chart gives Samwise a chance to stand and deliver a season that answers all questions/closes the books on a possible trade.
I’m a big believer in Gagner, but the Oilers have options and Gagner might fetch that top 4 defenseman Edmonton may be looking for in a wow trade. I’m against it and believe Gagner is going to have a fine career. I think the Oilers are not as convinced of this.