WOW TRADE: JAKE GARDINER?

We’ve talked about this before, and maybe it is a rumor with legs: #7 overall for D Jake Gardiner and #21 overall (and perhaps other pieces to make it even both ways). This is the third time we’ve talked about it and as we edge closer to the draft the whispers may turn into screams.

 

kipper

 

We discussed this idea here and here. The question for today: would you make that trade? I would UNLESS one of Drouin, MacKinnon, Jones or Barkov were still in the draft pool.

MY TOP 7

  1. L Jonathan Drouin: The best offensive player in the draft–ridiculous skills and an NHLE just shy of 50.
  2. C Nathan MacKinnon: Wide range of skills, outstanding prospect and a Sept 1 birthday.
  3. D Seth Jones: Incredible prospect, projects as a franchise defenseman.
  4. C Sasha Barkov: Size, across the board skills and he’s playing in a pro league.
  5. C Elias Lindholm: Outstanding talent, may end up playing the wing.
  6. L Valeri Nichushkin: King Kong on skates is an attractive player with a fascinating tool kit.
  7. C Sean Monahan: Oilers target, key tumbler for new MacT building up the middle. Wide range of skills.

If any of the top 4 remain on the board at #7 I think the Oilers run up and make the selection. After that, I think you can make a case for Gardiner and #21 being worth all of Lindholm, Nichushkin and Monahan. Plus you’re jump starting your summer and have a top 4D (Gardiner-Petry; Smid-J Schultz) that has all kinds of positives, now and into the future. You might also be able to offload Nick Schultz over the summer too, as he’s an expensive 5-6.

I want to make a note that the deal as described (Gardiner and #21 for #7) may well have a value gap to make it even. We can discuss what the second item leaving might be, but I think we can agree it is well short of Magnus Paajarvi and greater than Curtis Hamilton.

Gardiner would be playing tougher competition, but he showed very well in the post-season, I’d take the chance. It also allows you to take someone later in round one (or possibly deal up for Lazar) but one of the major shopping items is already done.

2013 SUMMER SHOPPING LIST

  1. Top 4D who can play big minutes and multiple roles (Gardiner led TOR in playoff TOI at evens–21:34)
  2. Impact 2-way center
  3. 2line L who with size who can complement the offense
  4. backup goalie
  5. Improved depth at C, D and G.

I didn’t include “hire MacT’ because it happened before summer and didn’t include “hire Eakins” because I honestly thought they’d keep Ralph. I think we should talk about this summer–based on chatter and indications from the top of the Oilers management group MacT is about to lay waste to the roster. I haven’t heard a thing about Ryan Jones or Mark Fistric, and we’re now at a point where those discussions are extremely likely to happen after the free agent window opens.

So the list of the offloaded may start with Hemsky and Horcoff, and run through Hartikainen and Peckham, but I also think we may see the organization walking away from all kinds of rfa’s and dealing off players that may surprise. Craig MacTavish has no attachment to Jeff Petry or Magnus Paajarvi or Martin Marincin or Anton Lander.

This is going to be a wild and crazy summer of adventure.

THE LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

indy

 This morning at 10, we hit the airwaves and talk a range of sports. Scheduled to appear:

  • Corey Pronman will help suss out the top of the draft and talk about the value of #7 overall. 
  • Neal Livingston from Tend the Farm will talk OKC and some major changes in the Barons already.
  • Al Coates from the Edmonton Prospects talks baseball and Vin Scully.
  • Sheila O’Kelly from Edmonton Triathlon will talk about the big event this weekend and exciting things for 2014.
  • Cody Nickolet from WHA from Above. Draft and some insight into how much the Avs like Sasha Barkov.

We’ll have some open line time, comments and questions welcome @Lowetide_ or text 10-1260. Hope you’ll listen!

 

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87 Responses to "WOW TRADE: JAKE GARDINER?"

  1. vesci says:

    I think that getting a real NHL player at a position of need, in the same age range as the core cluster and later first round pick is a deal the Oilers would be glad to do.

  2. tcho says:

    vesci,

    Agreed, it’s only a question of what you give up to get him.

  3. sliderule says:

    This would be a really bad trade for oilers unless they project that they can get a player at 21 that they really like.
    This draft is supposed to be the best draft to pick up a center in a number of years.
    I don’t think there will be any elite center prospects left at 21.
    If they moved down to 10 to 14 range that would be a different story.

  4. Lucinius says:

    I really hate the idea of Marincin going out the door as an add-in for anything less than a fantastic, high-way robbery return. He’s not much now… but there is so much possible potential there and an incredible frame he could fill out with a side of mean.

    Paajarvi going out the door, imo, is retardation. He fills a need on the team already, much less what he could be in another few years as he continues to grow.

  5. blackdog says:

    Yeah I’d make that trade in a heartbeat. Once Gardiner recovered from a concussion the only thing holding him back was Carlyle. He was lights out against Boston. Needs some work defensively (he’s a kid) but he drives play in a big way, great possession player. I can’t see Toronto trading him unless Nonis and Carlyle are on the same page, which they may be I guess.

  6. Woodguy says:

    I will not allow myself to get excited. Its too good to be true.

    Would freaking love it!

    Get Grabovski and Kuelimin too.

    Also,

    Just posted this in the last thread.

    TBY wants to buy out Vinny L to get the cap space.

    TBY doesn’t want to buy out Vinny L because he’s an icon there and it costs about $30MM over the next 14 years to do it.

    Batman has that kind of dough.

    If he has truly given MacT the keys to the shop, then maybe something like this can go down:

    To: EDM Vinny + 3rd overall
    To: TPY 7th over all + Belanger/Horcoff

    EDM then buys out Vinny and TBY is free to resign him at a reduced rate and keep the icon in town and have a ton more cap space.

    EDM gets one of the gifted kids and loses a contract that is poor, but shot term.

  7. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I believe the Gardiner rumour has legs (doesn’t fit the coach). I believe the other player on the way out for the same reason is Grabovski. I believe we swap Horcoff for Grabovski. We buy out Belanger and save the other buyout in case Grabovski flames out in his first year on the team.

  8. sliderule says:

    Woodguy:
    I will not allow myself to get excited.Its too good to be true.

    Would freaking love it!

    Get Grabovski and Kuelimin too.

    Also,

    Just posted this in the last thread.

    TBY wants to buy out Vinny L to get the cap space.

    TBY doesn’t want to buy out Vinny L because he’s an icon there and it costs about $30MM over the next 14 years to do it.

    Batman has that kind of dough.

    If he has truly given MacT the keys to the shop, then maybe something like this can go down:

    To: EDM Vinny + 3rd overall
    To: TPY 7th over all + Belanger/Horcoff

    EDM then buys out Vinny and TBY is free to resign him at a reduced rate and keep the icon in town and have a ton more cap space.

    EDM gets one of the gifted kids and loses a contract that is poor, but shot term.

    If the trade for Vinny goes down I crack a bottle of wine even if it’s early on the day.

  9. The Duke of Hafford says:

    LT can you ask Cory about Jean-Sebatien Dea from Rouyn Noranda. All the ranking have the kid as a 5th round or later pick. He scored 45 goals in 68 games. From the boxscores I was following he seemed to take the majority of the teams face-offs and was usually around 50%. Other than his size (6′ and 160 lbs) is there other reasons he is ranked so low?

  10. Thinker says:

    I think it’s too big a fall for just gardiner. Maybe gardiner, reilly for hemsky plus swap of picks? Idk how to make it work without one team getting shafted. Oilers still need a center if they make the trade, so that likely keeps horcoff in the equation.

  11. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    sliderule,
    Woodguy,

    TB gives up 3rd spot for financial reasons and they would do better planning full page ads that they do not want fans to buy tickets. That is a trade the mlb commish would block. A McCourt special. Might as well pack your bags for QC.

  12. JorgeR04 says:

    I’d be interested in seeing what TML fans would have to say about this trade. Seems like they would have to move to #5 overall to consider giving up what at my best guess is their # 2/3 defenseman. #7 just doesn’t seem high enough to even consider this trade unless they have strong feelings towards Nurse or a specific player which I suppose is possible.

    On the plus side, Gardiner’s contract is very nice – I would love this trade.

  13. pboy says:

    Woodguy,

    It’s a fantastic idea but it only works in the Al Gore. I can’t see Batman stroking those cheques even if he can afford them. What do you think about the Oil adding a player like Ryan Malone if he gets “complianced” by TBL?

  14. dulock says:

    The Duke of Hafford,

    Dea was draft-eligible last year so he’s likely that low due to size and being a year older than other prospects.

  15. Jordan says:

    We’ve been talking a lot about improving the top 4 D. However, thinking back to the cup run, the oilers D was DEEP.

    1 CFP – 2 Spacek
    3 Smith – 4 Staois
    6 MAB – 5 Tarnstrom
    7 Greene

    That year for the playoffs, the Oilers actually had a #1 – 7 Dmen (your evaluation of which is which may vary). With no clear #1 Dman on the Oilers… They need more mid-range guys to compensate, no?

    If the Oilers go into the season with Gardiner Petry, Smid J Schultz as 1-4, sure it’s better than last year, but it’s still a stupidly green top 4.

    I’d think the Oilers would need to add at least 1 more top 4 guy just to compensate for the inexperience, let alone slumps and injuries.

    ——

    I seem to recall a number of discussions between the Oilers brass and Columbus.

    We know the Oilers want a defenseman (or maybe multiple?) and we know that Hemsky and Horcoff are headed out of town.

    How much salary would EDM have to eat this year to send both of them over to the BJs and get a top 4 D-man back?

    Somehow I doubt that Tyutin would be the man coming back, but even someone like Johnson would help the backend a lot.

    Actual NHL calibre top 4 depth would be a welcome change, and something I expect that MacT will place a premium on.

  16. Wolfie says:

    I think Edmonton’s need for an upgrade at D is more pressing than at C. The deal for Gardiner is one that I would make. Edmonton’s need at C is more bottom six than top six. Gagner might not be a checking C but he provides good secondary scoring in the #2 slot. I’m willing to look past last season’s results due to a myriad of factors on that #2 line (coaching/bad matchups, rookie wingers, ineffective Hemsky).

    Gagner is not a big strong, hulking centre. Neither is Krejci, Crosby, Datsyuk, Mike Richards and a host of others. Boston’s reputation is largely based on the fact they have two big boys in Lucic and Horton… both wingers, and some 6’9″ D-man who blocks out the sun.

  17. Woodguy says:

    Нинтендо⁶⁴:
    sliderule,
    Woodguy,

    TB gives up 3rd spot for financial reasons and they would do better planning full page ads that they do not want fans to buy tickets. That is a trade the mlb commish would block. A McCourt special. Might as well pack your bags for QC.

    I think the TBY fan base would miss Vinny more than get pissed of over trading down 5 spots and keeping Vinny.

    He is a huge part of the community down there.

  18. Woodguy says:

    pboy:
    Woodguy,

    It’s a fantastic idea but it only works in the Al Gore. I can’t see Batman stroking those cheques even if he can afford them. What do you think about the Oil adding a player like Ryan Malone if he gets “complianced” by TBL?

    Spit-balling and Blue-skying for sure.

    June 30th can’t get here fast enough.

  19. Wolfie says:

    Also Gagner was a top 10 pick. Aside from MacKinnon and maybe Barkov I don’t see any other centres in this draft who will be an upgrade on Gagner.

  20. Rondo says:

    My first reaction is I don’t like the trade.

    How many offensive defensemen do Oilers need.

    Second reaction Dallas Eakins knows Gardiner very well, and I would defer to him.

  21. Kitchener says:

    Why I’d do the trade: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    Gardiner is still emerging, but at age 22 he’s a known entity.

    #7 might end up really good in several years, but a look through previous draft boards shows busts all over the place.

    EDM needs 9s, 10s, and Queens. Gardiner may not have Ace potential, but he’s a low-risk Jack.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On the 7th for Gardiner plus #21:

    At 21 everything will mostly be cleared out that the Oil have publicly mentioned (Lazar, Horvat, Zadarov)…. I would guess they target Gauthier at that number.

    If there needs to be a sweeter, here’s a couple of options:

    Potter, Fedun, Fistric, Smithson, Eager, Belanger

    I know Fistric and Smithson are FAs, but Tor may want to sign them, so throw their rights in. Potter is a great cheap depth D. If I’m losing a D prospect I feel better losing Fedun than Marincin or Gernat.

    Tor may want Eager’s toughness and/or Belanger’s faceoffs as reclamation projects.

    Not sure I’d offer much more sweetener than this rough looking group… unless the deal got much bigger all round.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy,

    Really creative suggestion.

    I think ultimately the 3rd is too dear to give up… but I’m actually surprised we don’t see more weird cap/buyout trades like this.

    Owners used to waste their money on lots and lots of stupid contracts. Now they can waste their money buying out stupid contracts to sign new stupid contracts!

  24. Maverick says:

    I would do this deal in a heart beat!

    As mentioned before, if you’re walking away after the first round with Gardiner (trade) and Rychel at 21 (Toronto’s pick), I think that is a good start!

    This deal might get more involved to even it out a bit, 5 or 6 more players involved? maybe.

  25. Maverick says:

    Wolfie:
    I think Edmonton’s need for an upgrade at D is more pressing than at C.The deal for Gardiner is one that I would make.Edmonton’s need at C is more bottom six than top six.Gagner might not be a checking C but he provides good secondary scoring in the #2 slot.I’m willing to look past last season’s results due to a myriad of factors on that #2 line (coaching/bad matchups, rookie wingers, ineffective Hemsky).

    Gagner is not a big strong, hulking centre.Neither is Krejci, Crosby, Datsyuk, Mike Richards and a host of others.Boston’s reputation is largely based on the fact they have two big boys in Lucic and Horton… both wingers, and some 6’9″ D-man who blocks out the sun.

    Gagner is a nice offensive player, but isn’t very good at face offs, ends up chasing the puck alot, puck retrieval mode. That is how he differs from the others you listed.

    All indications point to Gagner as a RW in MacT’s eyes.

  26. Maverick says:

    Woodguy: Spit-balling and Blue-skying for sure.

    June 30th can’t get here fast enough.

    I like your idea Woodguy. Katz has the money, the Oilers were very profitable last year even in a lockout year. I hate to quote Kevin Lowe but he did say once “expect the unexpected”

  27. Wolfie says:

    The Canes blogger on Hockeybuzz (I know, I know) is floating a suggestion of swapping picks that involves Smid and McBain.

    I have no real knowledge of McBain. Is that something the Oilers should consider or is McBain a blackhole? This guy seems to want to deal McBain away for any and everything resembling a top 4 D.

  28. JorgeR04 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: On the 7th for Gardiner plus #21:At 21 everything will mostly be cleared out that the Oil have publicly mentioned (Lazar, Horvat, Zadarov)…. I would guess they target Gauthier at that number.If there needs to be a sweeter, here’s a couple of options:Potter, Fedun, Fistric, Smithson, Eager, BelangerI know Fistric and Smithson are FAs, but Tor may want to sign them, so throw their rights in. Potter is a great cheap depth D. If I’m losing a D prospect I feel better losing Fedun than Marincin or Gernat.Tor may want Eager’s toughness and/or Belanger’s faceoffs as reclamation projects.Not sure I’d offer much more sweetener than this rough looking group… unless the deal got much bigger all round.

    I would be willing to move a prospect like David Musil to get it done, maybe even Gernat. Not Klefbom or Marincin for sure though.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    JorgeR04: I would be willing to move a prospect like David Musil to get it done, maybe even Gernat.Not Klefbom or Marincin for sure though.

    Musil is an option… but he is so much younger and has a much higher pedigree and potential ceiling than Fedun that I’d be more reticent.

    Maybe they want Teubert. Carlyle likes facepunchers…

  30. Rondo says:

    If Oilers did this and get the 21st pick , perhaps they move up to get Lazar if within range

  31. Wolfie says:

    Maverick: Gagner is a nice offensive player, but isn’t very good at face offs, ends up chasing the puck alot, puck retrieval mode.That is how he differs from the others you listed.

    All indications point to Gagner as a RW in MacT’s eyes.

    Faceoffs are overrated. I’m not going to worry about not having possession off the draw slightly less than half the time. That’s not to say that faceoffs aren’t critical in certain situations. However, wingers also have an enormous impact on deciding faceoffs and let’s face it. Edmonton’s wingers for the most part have been boys against men.

    As for defending. Again, I will take issue with coaching. How many times this season did we see D-men jump up for a pinch only to leave a forward chasing to defend? Too many times we saw that. We also saw general confusion overall in defending this year. This was a team wide issue not Gagner specific.

    Maybe MacT sees otherwise. That’s fine. However, we are loaded at RW and I thought the whole point of moving Hemsky was because to make room for Yakupov on his favoured side.

  32. Bar_Qu says:

    Woodguy,

    I would take suggest the same scenario but instead of swapping this year’s firsts, I would swap next year’s. That still leaves room for the TO deal (a better option imo) and gives a great shot for a top 5 in 2014 (which admittedly is a weaker draft, but a top 5 is a top 5).

    I really like the #7 for 21 and young Jake, I think it is a great deal for both sides straight up. I covet Gardiner and hope there is fire to go with this smoke.

  33. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    So they shoot the owners group for drppping Vinny. and then hang them for booting a #3OV who could have topped many drafts. Might as well give Gary the keys and get a small piece of the whopping bill QC pays.

    Woodguy: I think the TBY fan base would miss Vinny more than get pissed of over trading down 5 spots and keeping Vinny.

    He is a huge part of the community down there.

  34. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    All this compliance talk. I’d like to see Gary’s nightmare. Two teams trade players for the magic buyout. And then sign them back to the original teams. Does the Collective Agreement actually ban signing with the original team? or just the team that buys you out? Unlike the MLB Gary needs the PA to block loopholes.

  35. oilersfan says:

    So there was no response from my post last night so I will post it again because it seems to be pretty important information. On Oilers now yesterday Stauffer basically said that Hemsky is going to Ottawa or Phoenix, and in a modestly more subtle way that Horcoff is going to Dallas. He has also said that people are expecting the Oilers to have to keep some of Horcoff and Hemsky’s contract but that won’t be necessary.

    As I said last night, for all the spitballing on this site about what may happen one would think more people would listen to Stauffer who always knows whats going to happen.

    So the question of interest is, what will the Oilers get from Ottawa or Phoenix for Hemsky? I am thinking Rundblad from Phoenix. Not sure what Ottawa has to offer. For Horcoff I am thinking he goes for nothing (late draft pick or failed pick ala Curtis Hamilton) and the Oilers use the cap space to make sure they can get Boyd Gordon.

  36. Bag of Pucks says:

    If you gaze into the crystal ball a couple years down the road, is this?

    Hall/RNH/Eberle
    Paajarvi/Monahan/Yakupov

    Klefbom/Shultz Jr
    Petry/Smid

    better than this?

    Hall/RNH/Eberle
    Paajariv/Gagner/Yakupov

    Gardiner/Klefbom
    Schultz Jr/Smid

    I think the answer to that question is predicated on how much you believe in Sam Gagner as a building block going forward.

    LA’ 2C is Mike Richards. BOS’ is Patrice Bergeron. CHI’ is Handzus. SJ’ is Couture. All excellent two way centers.

    In other words, unless his defensive play and faceoffs improve tremendously, Sam Gagner does not fit the blueprint to win a Cup and you need to replace him with a better 2C.

    Gardiner does work to make the team better IMMEDIATELY. Does a Monahan or Lindholm? Because given the window of opportunity available, the question to the scouts should be “can we find a two way 2C stud at #7 that’s ready to compete immediately?”

    The Oil have found a Top 6 forward at #22 before, so possibly they can have their cake (Gardiner) and eat it too (getting a 2C at #21). Wouldn’t surprise me if the Oil are set on Lazar at #21.

    My hope is that they set their sites on trading partner with a draft slot high enough to get Horvat in addition to a starting D. Winnipeg is desperate for offense. Would Gagner plus the #7 be enough to bring back Bogosian and the #13 where you can then draft Horvat?

    I don’t like Mike Gillis much but I do agree with his recent comments that you draft and keep blue chip Cs whenever you can because you can’t acquire them elsewhere without paying a huge premium. This draft is deep at C. The Oilers sorely need a strong two way C. They better not eff this up.

  37. Rondo says:

    Can’t win without one Selke type center on your top 2 lines.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Rondo:
    Can’t win withoutone Selke type centeron your top 2 lines.

    Couldn’t agree more. If I’m MacT, that’s Stu’s job in this draft. Which player is the lock to be the next Bergeron or Couture? Armed with that info, MacT does everything possible to put himself in the needed slot to pick that player.

    The good news is this draft is stacked with blue chip Cs so Stu may be able to give him 1 name or 3.

  39. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    I would more likely embrace a wow trade for Gardiner than weber (due to relative costs of course).

    To be wow though I think a trade with TO has to be a bigger package such as gardiner, grabo +.

    I’m also unclear on when the wow trade was first noted but I feel it was before the first round was done. If that is accurate it would mean the wow trade would likely involve a non-playoff team.

    So my guess is if this rumour has some fire behind it then it is not the wow trade.

  40. rickithebear says:

    oilersfan: the Oilers use the cap space to make sure they can get Boyd Gordon.

    A Smyth-Gordon(58%)-Torres 4th line
    SIGH!

  41. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Did anyone ever find out what the WOW trade was prior to the season starting that never happened due to the lockout?

  42. WeridAl says:

    Gardiner is a walking time bomb, he’s had one major concussion already making the 2nd that much easier. He did play well in the playoffs, but during the regular season he was often a healthy scratch. His agent cried to the media to get him out of the AHL and I also believe he asked for a trade. For those believing J.Schultz and Gardiner would make a good pair, give your heads a shake, both a non-physical PMD and the Oilers would get slaughtered with them defensively. Remember TO’s D wasn’t much better than Edmontons, would be a major failure on MacT’s part if this happens.

  43. zilong says:

    Bag of Pucks: Couldn’t agree more. If I’m MacT, that’s Stu’s job in this draft. Which player is the lock to be the next Bergeron or Couture?

    Couturier is a good bet. But rumors are PHI wants Petry in return.

    If MacT could do:
    Petry (+/-change) for Couturier (+/-change)
    7th (+/-change) for Gardiner & 21st (+/-change)
    Gagner (+/-change) for a top 4 D (like a Tyutin type) (+/-change)

    Is the team better or worse? Now? In a couple years?

  44. mps91 says:

    oilersfan: So there was no response from my post last night so I will post it again because it seems to be pretty important information. On Oilers now yesterday Stauffer basically said that Hemsky is going to Ottawa or Phoenix, and in a modestly more subtle way that Horcoff is going to Dallas. He has also said that people are expecting the Oilers to have to keep some of Horcoff and Hemsky’s contract but that won’t be necessary.As I said last night, for all the spitballing on this site about what may happen one would think more people would listen to Stauffer who always knows whats going to happen.So the question of interest is, what will the Oilers get from Ottawa or Phoenix for Hemsky? I am thinking Rundblad from Phoenix. Not sure what Ottawa has to offer. For Horcoff I am thinking he goes for nothing (late draft pick or failed pick ala Curtis Hamilton) and the Oilers use the cap space to make sure they can get Boyd Gordon.

    -If the Oilers can find a way to give Horcoff away, great. Keeping even 1-2m of his salary means MacT has that much less $$ to improve the bottom 6.

    -Have heard Dallas wants help down the middle

    -If PHX like Hemsky, I wonder if they’d take Hemsky+7 for Hanzal? Perfect 2-way C with size.

  45. Thinker says:

    If toronto were drafting 7, and edmonton 21, Do you think they would take petry(gardiner equivalent) to swap picks assuming identical need. Not a chance. I think edmonton would be stupid to take just gardiner. To drop back that far is to change from prospect to suspect, and virtually eliminate edmonton’s chance to solidify the middle. If they want 7 it has to be an overpayment, which fixes the defence. Reilly and gardiner plus 21 for a package of 7, and something outside the core (anything from a prospect to hemsky). It has been repeatedly shown that trading down rarely works, as you end up drafting the worse player, so you better make sure the known entities are worth it.

  46. jake70 says:

    Love Woodguy’s idea. The south has their UV rays and beaches, in the hockey world, Canadian cities generally have loads of cash (dollar at/around par pending). You can’t get a Hossa for 81 million so you take that money and you plunder Vinny from a cash strapped team and convert him to a top 3 pick. Canadian carpet-bagging……love the creativity! Giddy-up.

    That said, yeah, might be blue-skying.

  47. Maverick says:

    Wolfie: Faceoffs are overrated.I’m not going to worry about not having possession off the draw slightly less than half the time.That’s not to say that faceoffs aren’t critical in certain situations.However, wingers also have an enormous impact on deciding faceoffs and let’s face it.Edmonton’s wingers for the most part have been boys against men.

    As for defending.Again, I will take issue with coaching.How many times this season did we see D-men jump up for a pinch only to leave a forward chasing to defend?Too many times we saw that.We also saw general confusion overall in defending this year.This was a team wide issue not Gagner specific.

    Maybe MacT sees otherwise.That’s fine.However, we are loaded at RW and I thought the whole point of moving Hemsky was because to make room for Yakupov on his favoured side.

    Sorry to sound a little like Captain Negative (Happy) but if you have watched any of the playoffs? especially the Stanley Cup final you would have seen how important winning face offs are and puck possession. As for MacT, he has indicated numerous times he wants the Oilers to play a puck possession game and when he was the coach that was important.

    I understand your thinking of the wingers but its the Center’s ability and positioning during face offs that is critical. Wingers are there to support but without a quality person taking the draw, the wingers support is not as viable. Chasing the puck over and over again is much more difficult and uses much more energy than keeping possession. 55% versus 45% of the time, that 10% is where correct of incorrect decision are made. There is research on that, I’m sure one of the number crunchers with support or expand on this.

    Loaded on RW I agree, this has been discussed several times and options are available.

  48. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Rondo:
    Can’t win withoutone Selke type centeron your top 2 lines.

    RNH?

  49. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: RNH?

    If RNH is expected to be our Bergeron, who is our Krejci?

    I think it’s safer to assume that RNH will project as a slick passer offensive C (ala Backstrom or Henrik Sedin) without assuming he’ll be a Selke candidate as well. I know everyone likes to compare him to Datsyuk but is he weak on the dot and is still overmatched by bigger centers down low.

    Everyone forgets that Gretzky had a tough go of it in the early days against the Islanders. When Messier ascended as a true hard mins C, the Isles then had a matchup problem they couldn’t surmount.

    I think we’re putting enough on this kid’s slender shoulders expecting him to be a ppg outscorer. The refs are swallowing the whistle at the moment. Let’s get some toughness down the middle.

  50. TheOtherJohn says:

    BOP

    Tend to agree with Bruce, think RNH has the tenacity and mindset to be a real sound defensive centre. He is young and may grow into that role. Do not think Gagner is a 2C but we have an awful lot of time and $$ invested in him so far.

    Better Q does anyone think JSchu is capable of playing a top pairing?Because as good as his offense is, maybe his ceiling will be as a Yandle type. Good effective player but I have a hard time picturing him playing 22-25 minutes a game in this type of a series

  51. B S says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Except RNH’s backchecking and stick position are already exceptional at 20 years old. He is a 2-way center, and if the Refs keep sh!tting the bed on officiating (y’know calling a fair game, instead of letting one team brain the other against the glass, then calling an fake interference penalty the other way), then maybe it’s time to go all Rocket Richard on them.

    I’m also not buying all this “Gagner sucks” crap. Every year people say, “lets trade Gagner he’s our best available piece” then follow it up with “lets trade Gagner for a 35 year old, failing center, or garbage defenceman who’s been eating easy minutes all year.”

    Gagner is a 23 year old center who just played his first season as a 2nd line center and scored at a 0.79 ppg clip with a puck hog and a rookie winger. I also don’t buy the “he sucks at defense”. Gags has played for 4 different coaches under at least 4 different systems, typically playing RW to such offensive juggernauts as Eric Belanger and Shawn Horcoff. Playing on the PK he was reliable, and provided a legitimate offensive threat short handed. Faceoffs are my only real concern with Gagner, and even that is overblown. 2011/2012 season he was 47.6%. This season he was 43.9%, with a particularly rough stretch where Belanger and Horcoff were out. Bearing in mind that he is only 23.

  52. B S says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I think Schultz will be a top pairing D-man. I think people pencil him in as a Yandle because that’s where he is right now. I would expect him to improve for the next few seasons, and since his offence is already high end, it is his defensive game that will improve. Contrary to popular opinion Defence is not a zero-sum game. The same skills (speed, hand-eye coordination, passing) that make a good offensive D-man, also aid the defensive side of the game. The main limiting factor is whether a player can learn the correct timing and positioning for defense. Schultz is not incredibly physical, but he’s sound positionally, with a strong stick. His main problem has been timing his pinches, and positioning himself in the neutral zone. He’s a smart player and I suspect he’ll fix these problems with time and experience.

  53. Bag of Pucks says:

    Regardless of what we think, I think MacT has already assessed the pros and cons associated with Gags which is why he’s making noises about liking him at RW.

    If the Oil come out of this offseason without the hugely needed two way C with size, then you move Gagner to the wing and Hall to C to address the obvious deficiencies in the lineup. I don’t buy this crap at all that Hall shouldn’t play C cos he’s too fast and thus a natural winger (to wit: Messier, Modano, Keon, etc.).

    If CAL takes Monahan leaving the Oil with Nicushkin as the bpa, then you happily take the big Russian to address the lack of size in your Top 6.

    This would be a solid Top 6 IMO

    L/C/RW
    Nickushkin/RNH/Gagner
    Yakupov/Hall/Eberle

  54. russ99 says:

    Schultz and Gardiner are too much alike.

    Unless we’re adding another top 4 crease-clearing defenseman, that would be a backward move rather than a forward one, especially at the cost of a top 10 pick in a deep draft.

    If we’re making a deal to trade away the pick, I hope we can acquire an experienced player with a track record of excellence, rather than roll the dice on another Justin Schultz who may or may not be a top pairing player.

  55. melancholyculkin says:

    When were all these defensive metrics developed that undoubtedly, and without any bias, show Gagner to be below average?

  56. rogue says:

    Schultz and Gardiner are too much alike.

    Unless we’re adding another top 4 crease-clearing defenseman, that would be a backward move rather than a forward one, especially at the cost of a top 10 pick in a deep draft.

    If we’re making a deal to trade away the pick, I hope we can acquire an experienced player with a track record of excellence, rather than roll the dice on another Justin Schultz who may or may not be a top pairing player.

    Tend to agree with this. We need size, grit and nasty on the back end. IF, we move Gags, it should be for a #2 or 3 D. A guy that has at least 3 solid seasons under his belt. These guys may be hard to find, but a decent 2nd. line center does not come cheap, either. Gags will be just fine if you could put him between 2 big wingers and let them do the dirty work.

  57. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    I will not allow myself to get excited.Its too good to be true.

    Would freaking love it!

    Get Grabovski and Kuelimin too.

    Also,

    Just posted this in the last thread.

    TBY wants to buy out Vinny L to get the cap space.

    TBY doesn’t want to buy out Vinny L because he’s an icon there and it costs about $30MM over the next 14 years to do it.

    Batman has that kind of dough.

    If he has truly given MacT the keys to the shop, then maybe something like this can go down:

    To: EDM Vinny + 3rd overall
    To: TPY 7th over all + Belanger/Horcoff

    EDM then buys out Vinny and TBY is free to resign him at a reduced rate and keep the icon in town and have a ton more cap space.

    EDM gets one of the gifted kids and loses a contract that is poor, but shot term.

    Flames fans have been proposing the same idea for awhile. Based on that I suspect there are fans, and perhaps management types, who are imagining the same scenario across the NHL. It all seems to revolve around that #3 pick, so with that in mind I have to wonder if Yzerman wouldn’t do a trade that involved a good young prospect like what Hartikainen was up until a month ago and a worthwhile NHL boat-anchor contract for Lecavalier and their 2014 1st round pick.

    I don’t think losing Lecavalier is worth #3 overall to him right now and there are two amnesty buyouts to use either this summer or next, so why not wait.

  58. RexLibris says:

    The Oilers, as I see it, could use the addition of Couturier and Gardiner.

    How to acquire those players…

    The 7th for Gardiner? Discussed and plausible.

    Petry for Couturier? Unlikely given MacTavish’s comments about puck-moving blueliners, but perhaps Smid and a 2nd round pick or a prospect not named Gernat, Marincin or Klefbom. Smid is an immediate blueliner signed at a reasonable contract (something the Flyers rarely have) and plays the kind of game that team has always admired.

    The net gain is a 2nd pairing centerman and an upgrade of a shot-blocking stay-at-home defenseman for a puck-mover.

    Neither deal needs to be a clear win by the Oilers, but when taken together and weighed against what it does for the team overall, I think they represent a major step forward.

  59. Captain Obvious says:

    This thread has lots of crazy talk in it. The #7 for Gardiner straight up is a clear win for the Oilers and it isn’t particularly close. The #7 for Gardiner and the #21 is too good to be true.

    There aren’t two sides to this issue. Gardiner is worth much, much, more than the #7. The #7 has a 50% chance or so of being as good as Gardiner is today while Gardiner has a 100% chance of being as good as Gardiner. Gardiner also has higher upside.

  60. godot10 says:

    The Oilers should NOT trade out of #7 if a centre (Monahan) is there. If Nichushkin is there, they should trade the pick to Philadelphia for Courturier. If neither is there, they take Nurse or trade down for Horvat.

    Hemsky for Rundblad, with the Oilers eating a couple of million makes a lot of sense for both teams

    Horcoff is perhaps going for Robidas, which buys a year in the AHL for Klefbom, and one more for Marincin.

    Monahan, Rundblad, and Robidas.

  61. Dominoiler says:

    My bet is that a deal like this, gardiner and the 21st for the 7th, would be weighed if monahan was off the board (calgary) and toronto was hunting for Nichushkin..

  62. uni says:

    godot10,

    Godot, those all sound like great moves, however, why would any of those teams make those trades?

    Why would Philly trade a young player who’s more established and has exponentially lower risk for a prospect? Couturier and Schenn have both been floated as only available for an established 30 goal plus scorer like Bobby Ryan.

    Why would Phoenix, a cash strapped team, trade a young 22 year old offensively gifted defenseman with size and loads of potential that’s currently quite cheap for 1 year of 29 year old injury prone veteran that’s been clipping in at 0.5ppg and costs 5 million?

    Why would Dallas trade an effective top 4 defenceman coming off the books in 1 year and only costs 3.3 million for Horcoff?

    I mean I understand that everyone wants the team to improve, but these ‘trade suggestions’ are just unrealistic. If it was that easy to make lopsided deals the Oilers would already be a contender.

    I agree with all the players you highlighted though, Couturier and Rundblad are exactly the high potential, further alone players that haven’t had their break-outs yet that the Oil should be targeting, and a veteran top 4 D to calm the waters like Robidas would be mana. It’s just going to take quite a bit more than you suggested to get them.

  63. WeridAl says:

    Why Rundblad, he’s not going to play ahead of Petry or J.Schultz and I understand the Oilers are looking for a LHS puck moving D. Besides, looking how Marincin did in his rookie year in the AHL, I would take him over Rundblad any day. Like Couturier, but he took a massive step backwards last season, why I don’t know.

  64. godot10 says:

    uni:
    godot10,

    Godot, those all sound like great moves, however, why would any of those teams make those trades?

    Why would Philly trade a young player who’s more established and has exponentially lower risk for a prospect?Couturier and Schenn have both been floated as only available for an established 30 goal plus scorer like Bobby Ryan.

    Why would Phoenix, a cash strapped team, trade a young 22 year old offensively gifted defenseman with size and loads of potential that’s currently quite cheap for 1 year of 29 year old injury prone veteran that’s been clipping in at 0.5ppg and costs 5 million?

    Why would Dallas trade an effective top 4 defenceman coming off the books in 1 year and only costs 3.3 million for Horcoff?

    I mean I understand that everyone wants the team to improve, but these ‘trade suggestions’ are just unrealistic.If it was that easy to make lopsided deals the Oilers would already be a contender.

    I agree with all the players you highlighted though, Couturier and Rundblad are exactly the high potential, further alone players that haven’t had their break-outs yet that the Oil should be targeting, and a veteran top 4 D to calm the waters like Robidas would be mana.It’s just going to take quite a bit more than you suggested to get them.

    Phoenix is loaded with young D prospects and has no offense.

    Bobby Ryan probably isn’t available. Philly has Schenn, Couturier, and Laughton. It certainly depends on how much Philly likes Nichushkin. Maybe not Couturier, maybe Nichushkin and a 2nd for Laughton and the #11.

    Dallas just signed Gonchar and has to make room form Oleksiak. Robidas is 36 with one year left. If Dallas does have a veteran centre need…it becomes need for need. They essentially have to make a decision on Robidas now to maximize his value. Either sign him or trade him. Have you checked the cost of re-signing 35+ D. With Klefbom and Marincin, the Oilers don’t need to re-sign Robidas. They just need a veteran stopgap for a season. Horcoff is pretty cheap in real dollars, and Dallas has the cap space.

  65. Captain Obvious says:

    rogue:
    Schultz and Gardiner are too much alike.

    Unless we’re adding another top 4 crease-clearing defenseman, that would be a backward move rather than a forward one, especially at the cost of a top 10 pick in a deep draft.

    If we’re making a deal to trade away the pick, I hope we can acquire an experienced player with a track record of excellence, rather than roll the dice on another Justin Schultz who may or may not be a top pairing player.

    Tend to agree with this. We need size, grit and nasty on the back end. IF, we move Gags, it should be for a #2 or 3 D. A guy that has at least 3 solid seasons under his belt. These guys may be hard to find, but a decent 2nd. line center does not come cheap, either. Gags will be just fine if you could put him between 2 big wingers and let them do the dirty work.

    This makes no sense at all. You can’t have too many good players. Period. Whether they are alike or not is completely and utterly irrelevant. That’s like saying we can’t have too many all-stars on our teams. Ridiculous.

  66. russ99 says:

    Captain Obvious,

    I agree Gardiner is a good player, but we need experienced players to make us a playoff team, not more prospects. Gardiner is a year or two removed from “prospect” status, but still hasn’t developed fully.

    Some Oilers fans are too in love with the “age group” as if we can somehow pull together a squad of 20-25 year olds who will all develop into another cup-winning dynasty.

    Look at our two Cup Finals teams, mix of youth and quality experienced players, mix of skill and toughness. We’ll get nothing by trying to add 5 more young players to Hall, Yakupov, Eberle, RNH and Schultz in a vain attempt to corner talent in that age range, other than in cap trouble.

  67. Wolfie says:

    Maverick: Sorry to sound a little like Captain Negative (Happy) but if you have watched any of the playoffs? especially the Stanley Cup final you would have seen how important winning face offs are and puck possession.As for MacT, he has indicated numerous times he wants the Oilers to play a puck possession game and when he was the coach that was important.

    I understand your thinking of the wingers but its the Center’s ability and positioning during face offs that is critical.Wingers are there to support but without a quality person taking the draw, the wingers support is not asviable.Chasing the puck over and over again is much more difficult anduses much more energy than keeping possession.55% versus 45% of the time, that 10% is where correct of incorrect decision are made.There is research on that, I’m sure one of the number crunchers with support or expand on this.

    Loaded on RW I agree, this has been discussed several times and options are available.

    10% does sound substantial but when you look at it on a game to game basis it comes down to roughly 2 faceoffs.

    Bag of Pucks mentioned 3 guys. Mike Richards, Patrice Bergeron and Logan Couture. Believe it or not Gagner outscored all 3 guys. Bergeron is playing out of his skull but some credit for his “defensive abilities” has to be credited to Rask, Chara and the Bruins overall stifling play. Couture seems to be everyone’s darling and he’s a good player but he’s San Jose’s 3rd faceoff option and he plays for an experienced club. Gagner had a better +/- than Richards.

    Again Gagner outscored all of those guys on a team that had trouble putting the puck in the net. Maybe the percentages and luck were with him. However, I don’t think any of those 3 guys would have put up better results in the same situation.

    Sometimes the answer is staring you right in the face. I would bet on Gagner’s ability to improve defensively.

  68. fifthcartel says:

    I doubt Dallas would part with him, but Antoine Roussel would be great for the 3rd/4th line. If they managed that in a Horcoff trade I’d be ecstatic

    For Phoenix/Ottawa – Zack Smith, Lauri Korpikoski, David Runblad, Kyle Chipchura. Some being less obtainable than others.

  69. Captain Obvious says:

    Gardiner would be a top four defenseman for both Boston and Chicago. He has arrived. You can put this in the bank. Next year at this time every team in the league will be wishing they could trade a first round pick for Gardiner.

    You can’t trade for these players once their reputations catch up with their ability. You have to get this kind of player before he becomes acknowledged as a start. Now is the time (actually I think it is too late and there is no way Toronto is stupid enough to trade him for the #7 pick).

  70. Rondo says:

    I’d rather have Adam Larsson

  71. Bag of Pucks says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    BOP

    Tend to agree with Bruce, think RNH has the tenacity and mindset to be a real sound defensive centre.

    As do I, but there’s potentially a big gap between being a ‘defensively sound centre’ and being a Selke winner. Certainly if RNH proves he’s of the Bergeron, Toews, Richards, Datsyuk ilk, than we’re golden. Personally I’d place my money on the safer bet of him being your outscoring playmaker and look to the draft for that two way C with size. With the exception of Datsyuk, the players above can all go to the hard areas and stay there. Not sure that’s in RNH’s wheelhouse. He’s more of a darter.

    TheOtherJohn:
    BOP
    He is young and may grow into that role. Do not think Gagner is a 2C but we have an awful lot of time and $$ invested in him so far.

    All the more reason to move him to the wing or trade him. The Oil are in a nice spot with this player, he’s coming off a solid year points wise and can fetch a nice return to better balance the lineup. If the return isn’t sufficient, move him to the wing.

    But keeping him at C? We’re 5 years in. We know exactly what we have with this player: Soft opp scorer. Poor on the dot. Prone to lapses in defensive zone coverage. Great hands. Average wheels. Good leader. Underrated grit.

    Provided he can be signed to a value contract, happy to keep him on the team as a winger. But let’s not kid ourselves, he’s not going to magically turn into Bergeron or Toews under Eakins.

    Address needs, don’t hope to fix them through wishful thinking. Oiler management has been doing that for too long.

  72. dessert1111 says:

    LT,

    Listened to your show today. I laughed out loud when you said that you liked the song that was played after one of the commercials in the second hour because it’s by Marilyn Manson (“Beautiful People”).

    You don’t seem like the Manson type, but maybe you should give him a shot! :)

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wolfie:

    Bag of Pucks mentioned 3 guys.Mike Richards, Patrice Bergeron and Logan Couture.Believe it or not Gagner outscored all 3 guys.Bergeron is playing out of his skull but some credit for his “defensive abilities” has to be credited to Rask, Chara and the Bruins overall stifling play.Couture seems to be everyone’s darling and he’s a good player but he’s San Jose’s 3rd faceoff option and he plays for an experienced club.Gagner had a better +/- than Richards.

    Again Gagner outscored all of those guys on a team that had trouble putting the puck in the net.Maybe the percentages and luck were with him.However, I don’t think any of those 3 guys would have put up better results in the same situation.

    If I’m not mistaken, this is the appropriate metric to consider.

    Corsi Rel QoC 5 v 5

    Gagner -0.036
    Couture .997
    Bergeron .627
    Richards .611

  74. sliderule says:

    Wolfie,

    Gagner has offensive skill but in his own end when playing center he is a disaster.

    He can’t win puck battles and his anticipation and play away from puck is brutal.

    Then there are the face-offs .He just hasn’t improved after all these years

    If they put him at wing he would be ok but even there Aikens will need to work with him.

    The oilers right now have an injured RNH and no real NHL centers.

    They had better draft one of Lindholm,Monahan or Horbat or their lines will be donut lines when Hall Ebs and Yak are in their prime.

  75. pboy says:

    Ruff to Dallas.

  76. DBO says:

    pboy,

    Looks like it.

    Gregor had interesting option for a Horcoff deal (his ON interview with Nlil was good). Horcoff for Daley. Nill mentions he wants a vet centre. And they are willing to spend, but maybe Daley and his $3.3 mill cap for 4 years is too much. Horc makes less in real dollars, and Dallas will not be a cap team. So it kinda makes sense, if they can’t get Gardiner.

    And if they could get Gardiner and the 21st for the 7th, you do it all day, everyday.

    Smid-Shultz
    Gardiner-Petry

    Solid top 4. Klefbom doesn’t have to be rushed. All of them are entering their prime (and Smid is in his).

  77. DBO says:

    And FYI, Torres signed 3 years for $2 mill per in San Jose.

  78. Doug McLachlan says:

    With the speculation of a possible trade with Tampa Bay I was wondering if there was a possible goaltending option to consider. TB has three goalies who would have to clear waivers: Lindback, Bishop and Helenius. I suspect that Yzerman is still committed to Lindback and they made the trade for Bishop (who we were also after) but if not Bishop would we be interested in Helenius? Would he be a passable backup?

  79. TheOtherJohn says:

    Wolfie: 10% does sound substantial but when you look at it on a game to game basis it comes down to roughly 2 faceoffs.

    Bag of Pucks mentioned 3 guys.Mike Richards, Patrice Bergeron and Logan Couture.Believe it or not Gagner outscored all 3 guys.Bergeron is playing out of his skull but some credit for his “defensive abilities” has to be credited to Rask, Chara and the Bruins overall stifling play.Couture seems to be everyone’s darling and he’s a good player but he’s San Jose’s 3rd faceoff option and he plays for an experienced club.Gagner had a better +/- than Richards.

    Again Gagner outscored all of those guys on a team that had trouble putting the puck in the net.Maybe the percentages and luck were with him.However, I don’t think any of those 3 guys would have put up better results in the same situation.

    Sometimes the answer is staring you right in the face.I would bet on Gagner’s ability to improve defensively.

    Wolfie

    If your point is Sam’s just as good as Richard’s, Couture and Couture it is not even close. All 3 will be given very serious consideration on the Sochi team. Gagner is the 4th or 5th best forward on a 24th place team

  80. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: As do I, but there’s potentially a big gap between being a ‘defensively sound centre’ and being a Selke winner.

    The original point said “Selke type centre”. You have to play in the league a few years before it becomes possible to actually win the thing.

  81. Benhur says:

    Drouins shooting percentage was 25% this year…that’s not sustainable for a small winger. Can’t see him going #1. How’s his defense?

  82. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Hemsky and Horcoff to Detroit for the18th overall, Edmonton buys back salary.

    Edmonton trades Musil or Marincin for Dipietro and the NYI 15th overall.

    Edmonton trades a second overall for Vinny L.

    Edmonton Buys out Dipietro and Lecavalier.

    Edmonton trades the 7th and 15th for TBL 3rd overall.

    Oilers keep the 18th

    Pie in the sky but has plausibility written all over the place.

  83. speeds says:

    EDM would spend 54 mil in buyout costs to buy out Lecavalier and Dipietro, I don’t think they get enough of a return for that money.

    It’s not worth 24 mil to trade Musil for the 15th overall pick, IMO. I don’t entirely get what you’re proposing with TB, I think it’s a 2nd round pick, 7 OV, and 15OV for 3 OV. It’s not not worth that and 30 mil to trade get the 3rd overall pick, IMO.

    I’d be surprised if EDM would trade a 7th rounder for the 3rd OV and Lecavalier, if the intention was to buy him out and draft at 3OV and 7 OV. 30 mil is a lot of money.

  84. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    speeds,

    Kind of like what Philly will be doing?

    Explain how it won’t be worth it? To who?

    There not roster players?

    An elite franchise centre isn’t worth buying a player out?

    A Stanley cup wouldn’t be a solid return?

    Financial restrain and the NHL……..right.

  85. uni says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    speeds,

    Kind of like what Philly will be doing?

    Explain how it won’t be worth it? To who?

    There not roster players?

    An elite franchise centre isn’t worth buying a player out?

    A Stanley cup wouldn’t be a solid return?

    Financial restrain and the NHL……..right.

    Briere’s buyout is 3.5 million, that’s a far cry from 24 million. Not a lot of owners like blowing 24 million dollars out of pocket.

    Also that trade thread looks more like a EA Sports player move against the flawed AI than anything even approaching plausibility in the real world.

    I suppose there could be a big GM party with lots of alcohol and that series of trades could go down, but that’s as likely as Scarlett Johansson showing up at my door ready for a raucous night of shenanigans.

  86. Wolfie says:

    TheOtherJohn: Wolfie

    If your point is Sam’s just as good as Richard’s, Couture and Couture it is not even close. All 3 will be given very serious consideration on the Sochi team. Gagner is the 4th or 5th best forward on a 24th place team

    I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of advanced stats is limited. Most of my exposure to it has been at this site. I think these stats do a good job of telling us what has happened. However, these stats do have limitations.

    Edmonton was outshot badly this season. On average the Oilers were outshot by 6 per game. San Jose outshot their opponents by almost 3 per game. If my rudimentary math skills are right that’s about a 9 shot swing per game!

    Only 3 Oilers had a positive CorsiOn last year…. Hall, RNH and Eberle. Do you know what that tells me? It tells me the Oilers in general were pretty bloody awful last year. Gagner was saddled for the most part with a raw rookie(Yak) a seemingly disinterested vet (Hemsky) and absolute chaos on the blueline. To attribute that lines failings solely on Gagner is a mistake.

    Hockey is a funny game. There are so many moving parts that even the most dominant of players only affect the game marginally. Crosby and Malkin are generally regarded as killers yet they couldn’t make a positive impact against Boston. Why? Because there are 11 other players on the ice at the same time that each have their own affect on what’s going on. To compare Gagner’s Corsi stats to those of Couture, Richards et al is comparing apples to oranges. I would argue that Gagner in Couture’s spot with the Sharks would yield similar and potentially better results given the quality of teammates Couture played with. For an example you need look no further of how Andrew Cogliano is doing in Anaheim.

    Do the Oilers suck because Gagner sucks? Possibly but the likely answer is that Gagner’s underlying numbers are bad because the Oilers are bad. You might be able to convince me otherwise but I’m buy what you’re selling just yet. There aren’t any big, two-way centre’s with Gagner’s offense available. Horvat, Monahan etc… may turn out to be better than Gagner but I can guarantee you that it won’t be this year and probably not next year either. Meanwhile Gagner is still maturing and should still improve. I don’t think we’ve seen his best yet.

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