LIGHTNING AT OILERS, G45 13-14

Yesterday’s news that Sam Gagner’s name is ‘out there’ means Craig MacTavish is going to make some big changes in the next seven months, and I suspect those changes will go higher up the depth chart than Gagner.

Why?

Consider Gagner’s value at this time.

  • Boxcars: 31, 5-9-14
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 45.4%
  • PDO: 94.1%
  • last 10 games: 2-1-3
  • faceoff percentage: 45.3%
  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.30
  • pp points per 60: 2.27
  • GF-GA On ice 5×5: 13-28 (GF % 5×5: 31.7%)
  • Shooting percentage: 8.2

This is from extra skater. Gagner’s boxcars after 31 games in a ‘normal’ season would be about 7-13-20 based on his career numbers before this season. Among the things we can see that are below par for this season are PDO, performance in his last 10 games, 5×5/60, pp points/60, GF% and shooting percentage. That’s like a murderer’s row of bad performance combined with bad luck. If his PDO were at 100, if his shooting percentage at 10%, and of course if Kassian hadn’t done the nasty business, we wouldn’t be having a conversation about not being able to get full value for Gagner.

Now we are. No doubt. We all know about his defensive troubles, but we also know Gagner is more about the wood (offense) than the leather (defense) to borrow a baseball term from the olden days. Gagner’s being under par at the things we know he’s good at mean trading him for full value is not possible. The wise man keeps his powder dry in this situation.

gagner common

 WHAT CAN YOU GET FOR GAGNER?

The last two times MacT has gone to market in an effort to dump a contract he has received:

  • Phil Larsen and a 7th round pick in 2525
  • Laurent Brossoit and Roman Horak

For two NHL regulars, one of which has many miles of track to go before he retires (Smid). If I were to hazard a guess about what the Oilers might get in return, the price tag (by city) might be:

  • NYI: they’ll want to move Grabner, Oilers would probably ask after Josh Bailey. I don’t know there’s a match there.
  • TOR: all kinds of options here, the Leafs are tiring of Kadri and I’ve always liked him. One idea that might work for the Oilers is David Clarkson. I’m just saying. A signed Kulemin would be a very sexy return in this less than ideal situation.
  • CHI: I think there’s a chance he ends up in Chicago, and someone like Bryan Bickell or Kris Versteeg coming the other way.

Oilers aren’t going to get 100 cents on the dollar for Gagner, so may have to include a pick or prospect in return. Prepare to be underwhelmed in a “I thought they’d get more for Smid” kind of way.schultz1WHO ELSE IS GOING?

From what we know, Gagner is part of the ‘inner circle’ of players that includes Hall and Eberle. This is conjecture, and I don’t want to go too far down that road but we can state with authority that as recently as last summer (when MacT said glowing things and signed 89 to a contract that included a verbal no-trade) everything was solid as a rock.

Things change, and they may have changed for everyone.

I have, until this point, firmly believed the Oilers brass had an inner circle of players considered off limits. The names on that list (I assumed) were Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz.

I am no longer convinced all of those names are on the list. Who will they trade? One assumes Hall and Nugent-Hopkins are still off limits, to borrow an oft-used line from the Eagles they can check out any time they like but they can never leave.

After that? Gagner, Yakupov, Eberle, Schultz might be in play. I honestly question the wisdom of trading Nail Yakupov, and suspect it’s a major mistake to deal any of these young men. That said, I imagine the pressure on Craig MacTavish to improve this team is incredible, and further suspect the organization’s collective eyes are becoming more and more attracted to youngsters Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad.

A new shiny shinny coin is on the horizon, and yesterday’s papers may be cleared away before August 1st. I bet you Gagner isn’t the only one, and the chances Edmonton gets paid in full are not great. Dealing from weakness is a bad way, and trading that first round draft pick in 2014 is the right call. Stand as you are, no more youth, turn this wagon train north starting now.

And yet, the news on the wire is “Gagner is out there” and that could mean more rebuilding.

The Oilers may be thinking of a massive overhaul of the NHL roster, with a mind to keeping the pick and spending it on Ekblad. If that is the case, we are Groundhog Day. The Never Ending Story lives here.

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301 Responses to "LIGHTNING AT OILERS, G45 13-14"

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  1. oliveoilers says:

    Edmonton trade Garnyay and TSN runs article headlined “Also in picture.”

  2. Lowetide says:

    oliveoilers:
    Edmonton trade Garnyay and TSN runs article headlined “Also in picture.”

    Ha! Love it!

  3. Ben says:

    Howson scouting LA-VAN last night…

    Everyone seems to assume that he was looking at LA, but you’d have to think that Samwise might be okay with a trade to VAN where Dad works. No idea what they can get out of Gillis, but maybe Lack +?

  4. godot10 says:

    The Oilers can send Yakupov to OKC for the Olympic break, right?

  5. oliveoilers says:

    Ben:
    Howson scouting LA-VAN last night…

    Everyone seems to assume that he was looking at LA, but you’d have to think that Samwise might be okay with a trade to VAN where Dad works. No idea what they can get out of Gillis, but maybe Lack +?

    After the hi-ball Schneider trade proposal? Picks, and not good ones.

  6. godot10 says:

    Gagner and Klefbom for Edler! -)

    Gillis would be buying Gagner low. He desperately needs soft minutes scoring.

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ben:
    Howson scouting LA-VAN last night…

    Everyone seems to assume that he was looking at LA, but you’d have to think that Samwise might be okay with a trade to VAN where Dad works. No idea what they can get out of Gillis, but maybe Lack +?

    Dave left the nucks late Summer:

    http://www.news1130.com/2013/09/03/dave-gagner-leaves-canucks-front-office/

    I wonder if MacT has a bad taste in his mouth from the Schneider situation… probably. And Gillis will want some kind of “in-division tax” paid.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he was scouting Quick. He has a massive, bloated contract that can easily be moved because of Quick’s reputation (what else do GMs value?) and with Scrivens and Jones, Lombardi has in-house replacements:

    http://www.capgeek.com/player/1029

    also… that whole… he’s a mediocre Goalie at best now thing.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10:
    Gagner and Klefbom for Edler! -)

    Gillis would be buying Gagner low. He desperately needs soft minutes scoring.

    After trading away Hodgson in disgust… I really wonder if Gillis has Gagner on his wish list at all.

    Still, I like that trade idea a lot. Still looks damn lopsided in our favor though.

    http://www.capgeek.com/player/664

    Edler was discussed in the Summer as a possible trade target… I’d love to get him, but I don’t know if he’s available and there’s that whole in-division thing.

  9. bookje says:

    So, just to be clear. At this point, Gagner, Hall, Yakupov, and Shultz are currently not very good hockey players and Perron, Gordon, and Arcobello are better hockey players.

    Something is very wrong.

  10. PaperKurtRussell says:

    I’m okay with trading Gagner, but no more picks and prospects damnit!! I know the consensus about Hall at C was that it was a disaster, but I can’t help but think that with say Perron and Hemmer on his wings it could be worth another shot. We are still stacked on the wings. That way, we could get a D back for Gagner and not create a big hole at C. Arco may not be the answer ya know…

    Only good thing that came out of me watching the two California games? After the big one-timer goal by Pavelski, the Sharks commentator said: “Now THAT, was a Shark with a freakin’ laser beam!” Hilarious. (Classic quote from Austin Powers)

  11. Colieo87 says:

    Action speak louder then words. But with saying all that. The organization that once stood proud has been in a total dismay. We can’t draft properly and when we do we give them up for future considerations and watch them floorish in other markets. Mean the future considerations don’t pan out. We draft the same kinda of players in bunches that are all competing against eachother for the same roster spot. We can mold 3rd or 4th line guys in to role players. And Edmonton hasn’t had a good defense men in almost a decade and before that a decade and half. The only reason that we are ahl try out team in the bigs is that we had bad trades, shotty drafting and scouting, and no fiscal responsibility from the top down. Only from the bottom up. So remember my name cause I’m Kevin Lowe and I know a little bit about winning if thats ever a concern. Ya right !

  12. godot10 says:

    PaperKurtRussell:
    I’m okay with trading Gagner, but no more picks and prospects damnit!!I know the consensus about Hall at C was that it was a disaster, but I can’t help but think that with say Perron and Hemmer on his wings it could be worth another shot. We are still stacked on the wings.That way, we could get a D back for Gagner and not create a big hole at C.Arco may not be the answer ya know…

    Only good thing that came out of me watching the two California games?After the big one-timer goal by Pavelski, the Sharks commentator said: “Now THAT, was a Shark with a freakin’ laser beam!”Hilarious.(Classic quote from Austin Powers)

    I sentence you to detention, with one of those Harry Potter detention pens.

    1 million lines of

    “Taylor Hall is NOT a centre.”

  13. Andy P says:

    bookje:
    So, just to be clear.At this point, Gagner, Hall, Yakupov, and Shultz are currently not very good hockey players and Perron, Gordon, and Arcobello are better hockey players.

    Something is very wrong.

    Yes. Question being how much is dislike of the coach and how much is ineptitude. I suspect the former.

    Also, nobody on the coaching staff knows how to positively motivate players, run a power play, or run an effective defense, and I am wondering how many capable players or assistants are, or would be, willing to put their careers at risk by playing or working here.

  14. Ben says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Ah, missed that, thanks.

  15. commonfan14 says:

    Gagner+ to Buffalo for two 2015 1sts: theirs and the one the Islanders are going to defer to them from the Vanek deal.

    Oilers crcle the wagons around McDavid.

    Internet explodes.

  16. vesci says:

    godot10:
    Gagner and Klefbom for Edler! -)

    Gillis would be buying Gagner low. He desperately needs soft minutes scoring.

    This is the kind of trade that may make sense for the Oilers but I am not sure the Canucks would agree. It allows Edmonton to obtain a big minutes NHL D man (who is still young) and also allows them to keep the first rounder and either make that pick or flip it for help. It also means that if they keep the pick they are not so locked in on it having to be spent on Ekblad which is great as there are a number of highly ranked centres in the top 5.

  17. eastcoastoil says:

    A draft pick is not a great return but what would Errhoff and/or Ott cost us plus there first?

    Does Gagner, Shultz, Yak, Ebs get that done?

    I know all NHL2014 but if we are built wrong isn’t that bold enough to fix it? 2 players and a pick for 4 players.

  18. Gret99zky says:

    “In play?”

    Sound to me like MacT is hoping to make some bold moves but will fall short.

    He truly underestimated the difficulty in finding a pretty partner at the NHL GM dance.

    Didn’t he say Hemsky was “in play” as well?

  19. Ryan says:

    Okay, provided the deal doesn’t include a welterweight bottom six forward and a goalie prospect…

    We can all agree if Gagner gets dealt, the return has to include at least one actual NHL player (not including expiring contracts, 6,7,8 dmen, or undersized wingers).

  20. justDOit says:

    Even in Groundhog Day, Bill learned to avoid that damned puddle. I think we’re somewhere south of that.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    Even in Groundhog Day, Bill learned to avoid that damned puddle. I think we’re somewhere south of that.

    Ned!?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOwhG_y0HQg

  22. Ryan says:

    eastcoastoil:
    A draft pick is not a great return but what would Errhoff and/or Ott cost us plus there first?

    Does Gagner, Shultz, Yak, Ebs get that done?

    I know all NHL2014 but if we are built wrong isn’t that bold enough to fix it? 2 players and a pick for 4 players.

    Get a fire extinguisher and put down the drapes.

  23. RexLibris says:

    On Gagner, I think the only way to mitigate selling low is to try and find another GM in a weak position, sort of the NHL version of co-dependence.

    Also, MacTavish didn’t necessarily “win” the Smid trade, broke even on the Horcoff deal (in so far as it allowed the team to sign Gordon), and “won” the Paajarvi deal. In the last one he specifically credited his stats guys as loving Perron. If he moves Gagner let’s just hope he listens to those same stats voices about the possible returns.

    The advantage of moving Gagner, even if the return isn’t spectacular, is that it opens up a gaping wound at 2C that has been getting the band-aid solution since 2007-2008. Maybe then it will be addressed appropriately.

    Not sold on Kadri as one I’d want to add to this group, seems to me like more of the same. Go to Vollman’s player usage charts and check out Gagner v Kadri for this season and last. Not encouraging.

    Gagner to the East for a D, then package picks or prospects for a 2C outside the elite status.

    I’ve argued at length here before, Gardiner and Kulemin are names I’d want to add, then finding a Hanzal-type 2C to bring size and some defense to two scoring wingers on a line like Hall and either Eberle. This leaves RNH, Yakupov and Perron together to take on the other half of hard matchups or the lesser lights.

    Third line becomes Gordon, Smyth and Hemsky. Fourth is Arcobello, Kulemin and guest.

    Defense adds Gardiner thereby pushing Belov further down the order, giving some shelter to J. Schultz and adding backup to the work of Ference and Petry thus far this season.

    Balance. It may not be there yet, but you can see it on the horizon.

  24. Gret99zky says:

    OT: Hockey Canada needs to rethink how they select WJHC players.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: Also, MacTavish didn’t necessarily “win” the Smid trade, broke even on the Horcoff deal (in so far as it allowed the team to sign Gordon), and “won” the Paajarvi deal. In the last one he specifically credited his stats guys as loving Perron. If he moves Gagner let’s just hope he listens to those same stats voices about the possible returns.

    It’s too bad the stats guys took a nap on the Smid trade. You’d think they could have pulled out Bunz’ hockeydb page and shown MacT that highly rated junior goalies often lose track of ground when they hit pro.

  26. RexLibris says:

    Interesting to note, Buffalo is only three points removed from 29th place and given their GA, if they had been able to score even ten more goals this season it is entirely plausible that the Oilers would be in last place today.

    Flames in 28th overall. I know they say misery loves company, but I always thought misery would be a little more discerning about dance partners.

  27. vesci says:

    Gret99zky:
    “In play?”

    Sound to me like MacT is hoping to make some bold moves but will fall short.

    He truly underestimated the difficulty in finding a pretty partner at the NHL GM dance.

    Didn’t he say Hemsky was “in play” as well?

    Mac T made 2 glaring errors when he took over:

    1) he over promised with the “bold move” talk and to date has under delivered; and
    2) he fired Kruger.

    Now I think Mac T will be a good GM as he understands the game and isn’t timid but these 2 rookie mistakes have made a bad situation worse.

    The over promise/under deliver has made the fan base that was already restless even more so and has created extra heat on himself to do something that he didn’t need to have.

    Also, by firing Kruger he wasted a free bullet in his chamber. Namely, if things had gone bad with Kruger he could have brought in another coach (maybe Eakins if he was still available) and the Kruger failure would have been on the past GM. Instead he brought in another coach, his coach and even if we think the coach is at fault ( which I am not really sure is the case) Mac T has back himself into a corner such that a coaching change really isn’t an option.

    In short Mac T has to do something and a bold move is really his only option. This at a time when the assets that he would most likely be willing to part with are mostly at a low value.

    Such is the existence of a rookie on the job.

  28. bookje says:

    godot10:
    The Oilers can send Yakupov to OKC for the Olympic break, right?

    Yes, and if that doesn’t work, maybe they can kill his puppy.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Gret99zky:
    OT:Hockey Canada needs to rethink how they select WJHC players.

    This is true.

    But, we have to remember, this is a short tournament designed to even out the competition through the one and done structure. Sometimes you just lose.

    That said, I’m delighted to see the hagiography of Sutter die. He’s not some miracle worker and the mythos around him was getting disturbing. I’d also love to see Hockey Canada at all levels take in some new ideas and add a little sober second thought to their gut decision making.

  30. Old School G says:

    Big Bogdan Yakimov fan now, he’s a horse.

    Is there a gentleman’s deal out there for Gagner? Another C struggling for one reason or another. I know it’s probably a fantastical idea but I would really like to see an actual NHL C come our way if we do end up dealing Gagner.

    I’ll toss Grigorenko out there. It could make some sense?

  31. Ryan says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The smid trade is baffling on more levels than just that…

    How Mact thought the Oilers could afford to turn an actual nhl defenseman in the prime if his career into fairy dust…

    You don’t need a stats geek to see that the Oilers don’t have enough actual nhl players.

    The secondary questions include the goalie swap and the poor man’s lander as returns.

  32. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: It’s too bad the stats guys took a nap on the Smid trade. You’d think they could have pulled out Bunz’ hockeydb page and shown MacT that highly rated junior goalies often lose track of ground when they hit pro.

    Who’s to say they didn’t?

    It is still up to the GM to make the move.

    I remember hearing a story about the Detroit scouts sitting at a bar one evening after the draft, kicking themselves because they hadn’t been able to convince the GM go pick a Russian kid (Pavel Bure) in the 6th round, despite already selecting Sergei Fedorov and Niklas Lidstrom, this was the one that stuck in their craw. They really loved him, but the GM wasn’t interested.

    I still believe Smid was the deal that brought in Bryzgalov and taken as a whole, MacTavish was willing to let him go for less than full value if it addressed OKC depth and goaltending prospects. It would have been nice to do a roster swap of Smid for Backlund, and at that time Backlund’s value was at low-ebb.

    Still, what’s done is done. Gagner isn’t a rush deal, the season is shot and moving him isn’t going to change that, so maybe he has time to listen to all the deals and run the offers through the Math-erati (yeah, I made that up).

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris,

    It’s possible they did. Sure.

    I also think the Bryz thing is why (mostly) Smid was traded… multiple reasons really.

    But that’s a different question. Mine isn’t about the Smid trade, but about how the team evaluated Brossoit. It seems that either a mathy voice wasn’t sought out, or listened to.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I think we need to move on from worrying over MacT’s initial press conference and his talk of “impatience” and “bold things.”

    I think, like many, this was a PR blunder. But it is becoming petty and peevish the way we talk about it.

    It is too easy to challenge such a minor and inconsequential blunder like this. It’s much more a meme than a thoroughgoing critique now. It belongs in the woodshed.

  35. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    RexLibris,

    It’s possible they did. Sure.

    I also think the Bryz thing is why (mostly) Smid was traded… multiple reasons really.

    But that’s a different question. Mine isn’t about the Smid trade, but about how the team evaluated Brossoit. It seems that either a mathy voice wasn’t sought out, or listened to.

    Was a touch of managerial inexperience thrown in, too? Oilers have or had a reputation for not being a player friendly club (see Souray, Sheldon). Was this MacT’s attempt at finding a middle ground with his player? MacT didn’t want him for whatever reason, but didn’t want to send him away from his home. We are not in the position to take that luxury. The final test MacT HAS to apply before any major decision is “will this make the Oilers a better team if I do this?” Of course, we all disagree about what constitutes ‘better’, lol. I feel that the good work done by signing Gordon and acquiring Perron was thrown out with the Smid trade. Puzzling from any angle, only a handful of people know the truth, and they aren’t too chatty.

  36. hoser313 says:

    Not a fan of the buy high, sell low.

    Doesn’t Gagner still have the half-shield on?

    Even if he’s not the long-term 2C, the return will be much higher at the trade deadline or in the off-season.

  37. Gret99zky says:

    It’s possible other teams don’t see Gagner as a Center. With his poor defense and FO% another team may see him as a better option on the wing. That may affect the trade in some way/shape/form.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hoser313: Doesn’t Gagner still have the half-shield on?
    Even if he’s not the long-term 2C, the return will be much higher at the trade deadline or in the off-season.

    It’s been off for a couple of games now.

    I don’t know if we got a timetable on Gagner. It is possible MacT is just feeling out offers, like early in the season when he called around on goalies, i.e., just getting a feel for the market so that when the deadline is 2 minutes away he can pull the trigger on a deal in the hopper.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:
  40. theres oil in virginia says:

    bookje: Yes, and if that doesn’t work, maybe they can kill his puppy.

    If it’s a Corgi, then Yak’s been doing a good job of that on his own.

  41. Hammers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I think we need to move on from worrying over MacT’s initial press conference and his talk of “impatience” and “bold things.”

    I think, like many, this was a PR blunder. But it is becoming petty and peevish the way we talk about it.

    It is too easy to challenge such a minor and inconsequential blunder like this. It’s much more a meme than a thoroughgoing critique now. It belongs in the woodshed.

    Agree . What McT forgot was he needed a trade partner .Re some of the other comments on player moves I think he needs to move at least 2 players and like right now but only if they address either size or Center. I would go for another Gordon type for Gags if his out there .

  42. Lowetide says:

    Good to have the Nuge-Hall-Eberle line back, I think that’s key.

  43. PaperKurtRussell says:

    godot10: I sentence you to detention, with one of those Harry Potter detention pens.

    1 million lines of

    “Taylor Hall is NOT a centre.”

    No problem, I will do the lines… I know even Hall himself expressed displeasure over playing centre. However, can I add a bit of rationale for you to ponder while I do my lines??
    1. Could he be worse than Gagner?
    2. Could he be worse than Arco?
    3. The season is lost, if it doesn’t work out we go after someone in the summer.
    4. The previous experiment was when Gagner and Nuge were out… perhaps with Nuge back, it’s a better 1-2 punch.

    Anyway, I’m not married to the idea, just throwing it out there. :-)

  44. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Good to have the Nuge-Hall-Eberle line back, I think that’s key.

    It does seem obvious doesn’t it?

    It seems like the coaching staff overthinks things a bit too much.

  45. Clay says:

    When the great rebuild was announced, the stated plan was to follow the “Chicago” model. Except that the Oilers rebuild, when compared to Chicago (and Pittsburg) was completely back-assward. In Chicago’s case, the future stud dmen were drafted first, the GM then added the veteran pieces where needed, then the final pieces were the young skilled forwards who were able to play major roles while on their cap-friendly entry deals.

    Because Tambo, the Oilers went and drafted the final pieces of the puzzle (Hall et al) without having the rest in place. Now, like it or not, there is simply no way for this team to both 1) retain the young talented forwards that they’ve drafted and 2) become a Stanley contender. It’s a financial impossibility. If the Oilers plan to wait for Nurse, Klefbom, and the rest to develop into elite level defenders (assuming that they even can), Hall and the rest will be coming off of their existing bridge deals and there will be no way to afford both them and the handful of young top-level dmen coming into their prime. The timing just doesn’t work.

    That leaves MacT with two real choices, neither of which are going to be popular among fans. The first and obvious option is to try to cobble together a Stanley Cup contending defense by trading assets already in the fold. The major problem with this is that 29 NHL GM’s have MacT over a barrel here – they all know he needs defencemen. That, combined with the fact that hometown fans ALWAYS overvalue their own players means that if a trade for a Weber type goes down, the cost will have the fans in an absolute spaz. It will be something like Eberle + Yak + JSchultz + 1st round pick. And that’s just to get ONE PIECE of the puzzle, and the Oilers need many pieces (at least a 2C, 1D, 2D, and 1G).

    MacT just doesn’t have enough ammunition to “buy” his way out of this mess.

    If I were a betting man, my guess is that MacT’s plan is something like this: use every available asset to build up the defence and goaltending. This includes trading anyone on the current roster. Actually, it requires trading Hall cluster to acquire a d lineup that includes as many top level dmen as possible. AND THEN, set the team’s sights on drafting McDavid, and building around him.

    It sucks, but this team is not going to be anywhere close to competitive for a few years anyway, so either way the team is going to be terrible. May as well get the generational talent in McDavid.

  46. PaperKurtRussell says:

    On a separate note, I’m here in Ottawa and ever since Spezza went down, the Sens have been on fire. Not sure the Sens would move Spezza, but what does the gang think of a Gagner for Spezza type deal? In Ottawa, Spezza is “THE GUY”, and it’s not working out that great. If he was here, he would be “one of the guys” and it might be a better fit for him.

  47. Woodguy says:

    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 23m
    Lander sent back to OKC. Time to trade him.#oilers

    Besides the fact that Matty is breaking news that happened yesterday and has already been dissected, discussed and digested it also speaks to the lack of patience where its actually needed.

    Oilers, MSM and fans are all guilty of it.

    I was going to post this in the “When to walk away” thread, but given this is a TBY thread it fits.

    There was some discussion about how TBY’s non-first rounders are impacting their roster and then the requisite hand wringing and finger pointing at the Oilers.

    One thing that wasn’t discussed further (if it was I missed it and apologize) is where these rookies are in their development.

    Here’s TBY’s key rookies (less than 100 NHL games) this year:

    Killorn – 24 years old. Drafted 3rd round 2007. 4 years College Hockey. 38 games last year and 41 this year

    T.Johnson – 23 years old. FA signing. 137 AHL games. 14 games last year, 41 this year

    Palat – 22 years old. 7th round 2011 (overager). 117 AHL games 14 games last year, 41 games this year.

    Panik – 22 years old. 2nd round 2009. 115 AHL games. 25 games last year, 34 this year

    Kudas – 23 years old. 3rd round 2010. 206 AHL games. 22 games last year, 36 this year.

    Brown – 23 years old. FA signing. Full college career. 51 AHL games. 24 NHL games this year.

    Sustr – 23 years old. FA signing. Full college career. 8 AHL games. 34 NHL games this year

    Barberio – 23 years old. 6th round 2008. 215 AHL games. 25 NHL games this year.

    What’s the over riding theme?

    These players are arriving in the NHL at about 23 years old with a variety of roads to get there.

    Around EDM if a player isn’t busting down the doors to the NHL at 21/22 everyone want to throw them out.

    We got so used to seeing teenagers and 20 year olds playing key roles on the OIlers that we’ve grown to thinking its normal.

    Its not.

    Oilers putting kids and young men in positions that are above their established NHL proficiency over and over again is exactly how you finish 25th, 19th, 21st, 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th and currently 29th.

    I hope the Oilers get to the point in their organizational development where 23 year old rookies is the norm and not the exception.

    I not sure it will happen.

  48. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I think we need to move on from worrying over MacT’s initial press conference and his talk of “impatience” and “bold things.”

    I think, like many, this was a PR blunder. But it is becoming petty and peevish the way we talk about it.

    It is too easy to challenge such a minor and inconsequential blunder like this. It’s much more a meme than a thoroughgoing critique now. It belongs in the woodshed.

    But…but…that presser has become epic entertainment value. A clearly defining moment for so many individuals and so many reasons. I’d go so far as to say it was better entertainment value than Fister’s “No Rebuild” version.

    It’s hard to imagine it coming from any other organization than this one isn’t it? Everything a loyal Oiler fan wanted to hear.

    The only gold in the entire process came from the reporter side.

    “How are fans going to be reassured that the group that left the mess that Tambellini couldn’t quite clean up is now going to be cleaned up by the guys who left the mess to begin with?”

  49. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy,

    You left out Kucherov WG. Very nice piece of TB’s puzzle and a second rounder. Ridiculous offensive ability.

  50. Ontario Oilers Fan says:

    Oilers lose by 4 goals tonight.
    This franchise is a friggin’ joke enabled by the ticket holders and the merchandising purchasers.

  51. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy,

    That, and it is also indicative of a team that plays a solid system that enhances these young players chances of success, even when losing key players. Square pegs into square holes.

  52. cabbiesmacker says:

    WG,

    Bishop was an amazing add. Key to the process.

    Having arguably the best player in the game is a nice luxury and not falling down a mineshaft when he’s injured is a big tell.

    When you send a Drouin back to junior you know you’re on the right path.

  53. buhat783 says:

    Hey LT. What are your thoughts on the Oil trying to pry O’Reilly away from the Avs. He’s the big Center that produces modestly that they Oil could definitely use. His contract is expiring and was sitting at a measly 2.7ish I believe. I think MacT should for sure pursue this guy.

  54. Yeti says:

    Regarding trading Gagner, there’s probably no choice but to sell low, because if you wait too long his NTC will kick in. If they’ve decided that Sam is not part of the cluster moving forward, then you need to pull the trigger before the summer. That would be a major turnaround over space of six months, but this is Oil.

    As for Lander, they would be insane to do it now. He’d have virtually no value. Let the guy play big minutes in OC and continue his solid progress of this last year. Then slot him in for 4th line minutes next year when we win the Cup.

  55. Ryan says:

    buhat783:
    Hey LT. What are your thoughts on the Oil trying to pry O’Reilly away from the Avs. He’s the big Center that produces modestly that they Oil could definitely use. His contract is expiring and was sitting at a measly 2.7ish I believe. I think MacT should for sure pursue this guy.

    There have been several discussions here over the years with pretty much everyone drooling over the prospect of ROR as the 2nd line center for the Oilers.

    He is an RFA still and Colorado matched Feaster’s offersheet, so that would mean trade. I’m not sure we’d have the stomach to trade what Colorado would likely want for ROR.

  56. VanOil says:

    Unless there is an in-game trade tonight I am struggling to find a reason to watch. The last few years I could at least look at the glorious development of talented young players. Being bad was not entirely unexpected, being hopeless is. Showing up to work to get boo’d at by your own supporters must suck. Being an Oilers fan sure does.

  57. Lowetide says:

    buhat783:
    Hey LT. What are your thoughts on the Oil trying to pry O’Reilly away from the Avs. He’s the big Center that produces modestly that they Oil could definitely use. His contract is expiring and was sitting at a measly 2.7ish I believe. I think MacT should for sure pursue this guy.

    suspect he’d be a guy Edmonton would target, but that goes for all NHL teams. As we get closer to the summer, and we know who is gone (deadline), it’ll be easier to see the future. From here, it’s difficult.

  58. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy,

    TB’s support players are doing well right now, but this franchise boasts one of the absolutely worst drafting records in the history of the NHL. Things appear to be moving in the right direction now, and I agree with you that patience means waiting until a prospect gets to the 22-23 year range (or roughly five years post-draft, coinciding with LT’s usual line in the sand).

    That being said, I’m not going to anoint this drafted group as a solid supporting cast until the end of the season or beginning of next. I’ve seen too many “emerging stars” from deep in the draft return to obscurity to either raise the TB group or damn the Oilers’ kids yet.

    In short, hear hear!

  59. Thiru says:

    Woodguy,

    Nice work, WG.

    I agree that the org needs to show more patience with guys like Lander.

    He actually hasn’t done anything wrong; it was management that threw him into the NHL and played him on the 4th line when he clearly wasn’t ready. He lost a year of development thanks to that.

    He’s finally putting his career on track and the likes of Matheson want him gone.

    Sigh.

  60. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    great stuff.

    It’s fascinating how well TB’s doing this year without Stamkos.

    Ben Bishop… the one that got away.

  61. Ryan says:

    Here’s a fun fact… Guess which player on TB has a better 5v5/60 that’s better than Anton Lander’s…

    Ben Bishop.

  62. Traktor says:

    I wanted to trade Gagner last year when his value was high and of course people thought that would be a mistake. Now that his value is low people think trading him would be a mistake.

    Gagner doesn’t help this team win games. Waiting for a losing hand to become a winning hand is a bigger mistake than cutting your losses and moving on.

    Just get rid of him already.

  63. Survioil says:

    In hindsight , or “Cherrryvision” as I like to call it. The one move that fell through last year, trading for Bishop, is effecting both clubs and how well their development of players is perceived.

    If Bishop is a Oiler , to my minds eye this year, we are 500/550 club and the world is almost rosey.

  64. OilClog says:

    I’d still like to see a coaching staff that knows how to win in the NHL currently be able to do with this roster… Every game we see glaring coaching mistakes.. Been that way since MacT, even when he lost the room at the end, the coaching mistakes were never this horrendous!

  65. Ryan says:

    This season Edmonton is GF 66 / GA 89 at 5v5

    if we had Ben Bishop’s SV% subbed in for Doobie’s at even strength

    .906 dd vs .948 bb (at 5v5)

    Our 5v5 goal differential would go from -23 to +2

  66. OilClog says:

    Survioil:
    Inhindsight , or “Cherrryvision” asI like to call it. The one move that fell through last year, trading for Bishop, is effecting both clubs and how well their developmentof players is perceived.

    IfBishop is a Oiler , to my minds eye this year, we are 500/550 cluband the world is almost rosey.

    I’m sorry, but Ben Bishop doesn’t make this team a .500 hockey club. It’s painfully obvious watching Bryz get hung out to dry, goaltending is that last thing to fix.

  67. OilClog says:

    Ryan:
    This season Edmonton is GF 66 / GA 89 at 5v5

    if we had Ben Bishop’s SV% subbed in for Doobie’s at even strength

    .906 dd vs .948 bb (at 5v5)

    Our 5v5 goal differential would go from -23 to +2

    These stats are Ben Bishop with the Oilers current system? Lol

  68. Thiru says:

    Well argued, LT.

    I wouldn’t mind parting ways with Gagner. He’s a guy who can help if the percentages are going his way (last season), but is a burden if they aren’t (this season).

    He may get better, but any improvements in his defensive play will come at the cost of his offence.

    Hemsky was close to a PPG player when they asked him to tighten up, and that’s taken a toll. How about Horcoff all those years ago? Those are two guys who were already reasonably responsible defensively. History is littered with these players — a few more famous examples include Yzerman and Sakic.

    Gagner is coming from a long way back, and I just don’t see how he will bring the offence with him.

    That’s my perspective on the player’s upside. I could be wrong, and I admit that.

    I just don’t see a dominant tough minute scorer on the horizon, and I don’t think he’ll ever kill the soft parade well enough for a contender. He’s not detail oriented defensively. Is that a fair assessment? I’m curious as to how you see his upside.

    My valuation of this kind of player is not that high. There’s no selling high or selling low here; at some point, you have to make the hockey team better right now. Get what you can (quality over quantity in the return, please — whether that’s a prospect, a G, or a D), take the cap space, and move on.

    There are too many forwards on this team that have to be hidden. It’s time to move one of them, and Gagner is the prime candidate IMO.

  69. Ryan says:

    OilClog,

    These stats are if we had BB play the games that DD actually played.

    I’ve only adjusted for even strength.

  70. teddyturnbuckle says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Hall back at center again either. What do we have to loose at this point? Can’t be any worse than Gagner.

    There are so few trades these days I think MacT is going to have a hard time dealing Gagner and that salary. Getting a undersized non physical skilled player is like buying pine cones when they grow on trees.

  71. Lowetide says:

    WG: You almost always get a changing of the players when bringing in a new GM. The Oilers future is Yakimpv, not Lander. That’s just the way it is, and I doubt MacTavish is much different than other guys in the same position.

  72. Survioil says:

    OilClog: These stats are Ben Bishop with the Oilers current system? Lol

    Mean that they have breathing room to learn the system.

  73. RexLibris says:

    So if Lander is on the block then can we hope they move him for a more experienced NHL player from a team looking to infuse some new blood?

    What dark-eyed deity do I have to sacrifice to in order to trade Lander for Steve Ott?

  74. John Chambers says:

    How about a trade that send 89 to NSH for David Legwand. We need a veteran 2nd line C so maybe we re-up Legwand for $23m over 5. NSH gets a younger C in Gags.

    In an ideal world we would use free agency this summer to sign Legwand, Grabovski, or perhaps a bought-out Brad Richards as our 2nd pivot. Either way 89′s contract, like Smid’s, has to go to accommodate.

  75. John Chambers says:

    Ryan,

    Let’s not forget the addition of WunderCoach Jon Cooper – who the Oil should’ve hired when they went with Kruger.

  76. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: You almost always get a changing of the players when bringing in a new GM. The Oilers future is Yakimpv, not Lander. That’s just the way it is, and I doubt MacTavish is much different than other guys in the same position.

    Is that Yakupov or Yakimov or some new fangled efficient texting way of saying both at once?

  77. prairieschooner says:

    With regards to the traditional defence that the Oilers were unable to play
    How come none of the previous 5 coaches was able to teach it, but the guy with only AHL experience noticed it?
    I am not optimistic in my hopes that Eakins is replaced
    I am not optimistic that MacT will pull off a trade that makes sense in fact I think he will stand pat
    As for those sad kids on HNIC with the painted faces, Oilers fans have been suffering since before they were born!

  78. speeds says:

    iirc, O’Reilly is due a QO of 6.5 M this summer. i guess who knows what col wants to do with that, is there a workable deal there involving Gagner? I would not really expect so but I guess depends what Edm would have to add and col’s other options are?

  79. gr8one says:

    PaperKurtRussell:
    On a separate note, I’m here in Ottawa and ever since Spezza went down, the Sens have been on fire.Not sure the Sens would move Spezza, but what does the gang think of a Gagner for Spezza type deal?In Ottawa, Spezza is “THE GUY”, and it’s not working out that great.If he was here, he would be “one of the guys” and it might be a better fit for him.

    I’ve suggested this very thing recently and personally like the idea, but then, I’ve always been a huge Spezza fan.

    Take it up a notch and wonder if with the emergence of Ceci what it would take to also acquire Cowen.

    I don’t think Cowen solves our top pairing issue but man he’d look great on our second pairing.

    If we could do that and also somehow acquire Ehrhoff I think it would go a long ways to pointing team in the right direction, especially if in the offseason we were then able to add a couple of players like Winnik and Ott via UFA.

  80. Gerta Rauss says:

    LT
    Wasn’t Ristolainen your pick in last years draft..?

    Kid was awesome in the overtime.

  81. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    LT
    Wasn’t Ristolainen your pick in last years draft..?

    Kid was awesome in the overtime.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/06/2013-entry-draft-post-23-the-final-30.html

    Nichushkin, but I did have the Finn ahead of Nurse.

  82. gr8one says:

    And Woodguy, your TBY comparison is dead on. Although, devils advocate could point out that Hedman was thrown into the fire too early and their success now is coinciding with him coming into his own(at that 23ish age that seems to be a sweet spot for development).

    I also think having a player like St. Louis plays a major role in mentoring the younger players into solid NHL’ers…the closest we have to that is Smytty and I just don’t get the feeling that he’s too great at that.

  83. fifthcartel says:

    Holy Ristolainen.

  84. hags9k says:

    Hopefully Rasmus’ golden goal provides Nurse even more motivation…How the heck was he left off team Canada? One day, I’ll watch some hockey and it won’t end with a bitter taste in my mouth. One day.

  85. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I think we need to move on from worrying over MacT’s initial press conference and his talk of “impatience” and “bold things.”

    I think, like many, this was a PR blunder. But it is becoming petty and peevish the way we talk about it.

    It is too easy to challenge such a minor and inconsequential blunder like this. It’s much more a meme than a thoroughgoing critique now. It belongs in the woodshed.

    We know a thing or two about memes, if that’s ever a concern.

  86. Lowetide says:

    bookje: Is that Yakupov or Yakimov or some new fangled efficient texting way of saying both at once?

    I was studying for my Finland driving license.

  87. VanOil says:

    Bruce McCurdy: We know a thing or two aboutmemes, if that’s ever a concern.

    We also know a thing or two about rebuilds. Buffalo starting with the top two defenders in the World Juniors this year might be a good path.

  88. Jasmine says:

    Ben,

    Dave Gagner doesn’t work with the Canucks. He resigned with the Canucks and works with a player agency. I’m not sure which agency.

  89. DeadmanWaking says:

    RexLibris: Still, what’s done is done. Gagner isn’t a rush deal, the season is shot and moving him isn’t going to change that, so maybe he has time to listen to all the deals and run the offers through the Math-erati (yeah, I made that up).

    Oh dear! Oh dear! Do I now have to confess all the words I make up? Holy Crayola, I’m going to need that million-mile Magic marker.

    I’ve got such a bad case of neologistic spurtle that when I page down through my Firefox history, I can tell at a glance when I was writing a LT post. I constantly check. It’s probably good for my future sanity to keep it clear in my mind which words are fresh squeezed and which contain traces of gelidized baboon’s blood.

    Recently I was pleased with “discabrations”. Not only was this word made up, it’s presently the only use recorded in the entire Google index: a singleton search result set. It came to me–most likely–as a phonetic amalgam of discard, scab, abrasion, desiccation, and maybe disco-gyration, ’cause a frog with hips like those really has to shake-’em to moult his Muppet glove. At the time, I thought my invention was a distant bell from Jabberwocky, wherein resonant wisperwills congeal suggestively, but it turns out Jabberwocky has the last chortle = chuckle + snort.

    ‘Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate’

    In my composition nothing died, unless it was the Chevy at the levee.

    American Pie – The analysis and interpretation of Don McLean’s song lyrics:

    Driving the Chevy to the levee almost certainly refers to the three college students whose murder was the subject of the film ‘Mississippi Burning.’ The students were attempting to register as black voters, and after being killed by bigoted thugs their bodies were buried in a levee. Them good ol’ boys being: Holly, Valens, and the Big Bopper, They were singing about their death on February 3. One of Holly’s hits was “That’ll be the Day”; the chorus contains the line “That’ll be the day that I die.”

    My ditty indirectly tackled the strange amalgam of sexual liberation and sexual repression that somehow seeped from popular culture into my sheltered childhood–somehow seeped, despite me sneaking downstairs to watch Star Trek on a TV lacking the colour green.

    My lemon tree took a boo at my greeting card to the new year. I asked her the next day, “Was I writing about oral sex?”

    She said: “I wondered that, too, at one point. Were you?”

    I said: “I’m still not sure.”

    [Let] me take this opportunity of answering a question that has often been asked me, how to pronounce “slithy toves.” The “i” in “slithy” is long, as in “writhe”, and “toves” is pronounced so as to rhyme with “groves.” Again, the first “o” in “borogoves” is pronounced like the “o” in “borrow.” I have heard people try to give it the sound of the “o” in “worry.” Such is Human Perversity.

    Out, out, wrong mouth shape! (Oh dear, oh dear, I’ve got a bad feeling about Humpty.)

    ‘Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, something went down, that’s clear, at any rate’

    Hears the third witch this snatch, as penned by the man of many liberties amid the fresh saplings of Chestnut Grove:

    A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap,
    And munch’d, and munch’d, and munch’d:–”Give me!” quoth I:
    “Aroint thee, witch!” the rump-fed ronyon cries.

    “Ronyon” actually means “scab”. I didn’t plan that. “Aroint thee” is a Jamaican contraction of “go plunk your arse on your middle joint”. Confession: I made that up.

    Oh look, my Firefoxy foray into the worrisome “chestnut cove” unearthed another children’s book of tubriscious delectables:

    Though Chestnut Coveis a rather eccentric small town, it’s usually the kind of place where folks stop and smell the roses. And everyone’s always willing to help one another out. But when King Milford offers his entire kingdom to “whosoever grows the largest and juiciest watermelon by summer’s end,” the atmosphere in the village begins to change.

    Oh, that summer. Shades of My American Cousin. Do those swollen rinds represent envy? Or something else?

  90. Jasmine says:

    Ryan,

    Smid wanted out or he wouldn’t have bought a Flames jersey for his dog. Smid asked for a trade 4 times as was reported many times.

  91. Gret99zky says:

    Clay:

    If I were a betting man, my guess is that MacT’s plan is something like this: use every available asset to build up the defence and goaltending.This includes trading anyone on the current roster.Actually, it requires trading Hall cluster to acquire a d lineup that includes as many top level dmen as possible.AND THEN, set the team’s sights on drafting McDavid, and building around him.

    It sucks, but this team is not going to be anywhere close to competitive for a few years anyway, so either way the team is going to be terrible.May as well get the generational talent in McDavid.

    This is very interesting. Intriguing.

  92. VanOil says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    My discabrations of woe have been slain by your Ronyon before more Oilers hockey Aroint’s Me.

  93. Gret99zky says:

    Jasmine:
    Ryan,

    Smid wanted out or he wouldn’t have bought a Flames jersey for his dog. Smid asked for a trade 4 times as was reported many times.

    Ummm, source? link?

    or is this just common knowledge.

  94. Jasmine says:

    oliveoilers,

    Oilers can’t get experienced GMs or experienced coaches to sign in Edmonton. They’d rather be unemployed than sign in Edmonton.

  95. Gerta Rauss says:

    Jasmine:
    ,

    Smid wanted out or he wouldn’t have bought a Flames jersey for his dog. Smid asked for a trade 4 times as was reported many times.

    Was this before or after he signed a 4 year contract in April..?

    And doesn’t Smid’s dog have a no trade clause..?

  96. Jasmine says:

    oliveoilers,
    Souray was a liar and would still be here if Eakins was coach back then. He complained about being rushed back from injury. Pat Quinn and Tom Renney had a habit of rushing players back from injury. Eakins is more strict when it comes to injury.

  97. oliveoilers says:

    Gerta Rauss: Was this before or after he signed a 4 year contract in April..?

    And doesn’t Smid’s dog have a no trade clause..?

    The dog knows too much…..

  98. commonfan14 says:

    Woodguy: We got so used to seeing teenagers and 20 year olds playing key roles on the OIlers that we’ve grown to thinking its normal.
    Its not.
    Oilers putting kids and young men in positions that are above their established NHL proficiency over and over again is exactly how you finish 25th, 19th, 21st, 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th and currently 29th.

    I hope you heap similar scorn on the Avs whenever they come up in conversations, as they’ve done the exact same thing with Duchene, Landeskog and MacKinnon.

    Starting players right away isn’t something you can hang everything on.

  99. Lowetide says:

    Jasmine:
    Ryan,

    Smid wanted out or he wouldn’t have bought a Flames jersey for his dog. Smid asked for a trade 4 times as was reported many times.

    Source? Just one is fine.

  100. Gret99zky says:

    Jasmine:
    oliveoilers,
    Souray was a liar and would still be here if Eakins was coach back then. He complained about being rushed back from injury. Pat Quinn and Tom Renney had a habit of rushing players back from injury. Eakins is more strict when it comes to injury.

    There is this little thing called a medical staff.

    Next up:

    bash, bash, bash and the days of Slats….

  101. melancholyculkin says:

    Could somebody please break down all of Gagner’s defensive mistakes and identify where he is primarily at fault and where he isn’t?

    Could that somebody then explain what he did wrong and what should have happened instead? Perhaps they could also quantify exactly how much Gagner is costing the team in terms of shots against and goals against.

    Could that somebody then do the same for the other centers in the league who play similar minutes against a similar level of competition in order to establish a baseline from which we can compare Gagner to in order to have a reasonable discussion about how much it would affect the team if he is replaced?

    Right now, the discussion around Gagner is far from reasonable. It’s descended into a circular argument of Gagner sucks because he sucks and needs to be traded because he needs to be traded.

  102. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: Source? Just one is fine.

    She is referring to reports that pre-date the Heatley trade attempt. That was a million years ago.

    Smid was quoted repeatedly that he liked Edmonton and wanted to stay.

  103. oliveoilers says:

    Jasmine:
    oliveoilers,
    Souray was a liar and would still be here if Eakins was coach back then. He complained about being rushed back from injury. Pat Quinn and Tom Renney had a habit of rushing players back from injury. Eakins is more strict when it comes to injury.

    Wait, Souray was lying about being injured, but the management were rushing him back from injury, however Eakins would have insisted he took the appropriate time off for an injury Souray made up and would have been stricter in doing so?

    Do I have this almost nearly correct? I guess I have one question that should blow the doors off and prove Souray’s truthfulness: Were his pants on fire when he was interviewed?

  104. David says:

    Off Topic, I was in a discussion on the previous post about Kharia. I was curious about his role on the team so I looked over the game summary sheets for the 30 games he’s played and these are the results (possibly subject to error):

    In those 30 games his team is -1 5V5 while he is +4
    He seems to playing a top six role, probably second line, based on who is in on the goals that he’s in on.
    He seems to be getting a fair amount of power play time: 4 of his 10 goals are on the PP, 5 of his 11 assists are on the PP.

  105. Ryan says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Could somebody please break down all of Gagner’s defensive mistakes and identify where he is primarily at fault and where he isn’t?

    Could that somebody then explain what he did wrong and what should have happened instead? Perhaps they could also quantify exactly how much Gagner is costing the team in terms of shots against and goals against.

    Could that somebody then do the same for the other centers in the league who play similar minutes against a similar level of competition in order to establish a baseline from which we can compare Gagner to in order to have a reasonable discussion about how much it would affect the team if he is replaced?

    I could, but what you’re talking about amounts to a full-time job and I don’t work for cheap.

  106. Ryan says:

    Jasmine:
    oliveoilers,

    Oilers can’t get experienced GMs or experienced coaches to sign in Edmonton. They’d rather be unemployed than sign in Edmonton.

    Well I’ll admit that I’d be more than a little reticent to take a head coaching job in Edmonton (if I were in that line of work).

  107. Jasmine says:

    John Chambers,
    He didn’t want to leave at the time as no one wants to coach in Edmonton.

  108. Ryan says:

    Bah that Steven Stamkos is so overrated.

    Look at what a drag he’s been on the Bolts cumulative 5v5 FF%

    (SS was injured on November 11th, 2013).

    Look at how much better the bolts are without him.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/tampa-bay-lightning/2013

    don’t miss the internet sarcasm…

  109. Jasmine says:

    Gret99zky,

    Robin Brownlee wrote it on ON.

  110. cabbiesmacker says:

    Amazing statistic for TBay. Only two of their regulars, D and F, are posting in the minus column. Panik and Malone.

    Who’da thunk it?

    Oilers? Only Ryan Jones is not on the minus side unless we can count Marincin as a reg now.

    I see the problem now. Jones needs to get more minutes. Marincin needs to play top pairing time.

    Eager, Pitlick, and Grebeshkov need to be recalled, and the Brown trade needs to be rescinded.

  111. cabbiesmacker says:

    Jasmine:
    Gret99zky,

    Robin Brownlee wrote it on ON.

    Well there you go.

  112. Jasmine says:

    Ryan,
    Oilers fans bash whoever becomes coach and Tambellini had no patience with coaches but is given a free ride by Oilers fans and all blame is given to Lowe despite Lowe not having anything to do with the team any more according to TSN.

  113. Lowetide says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Could somebody please break down all of Gagner’s defensive mistakes and identify where he is primarily at fault and where he isn’t?

    Could that somebody then explain what he did wrong and what should have happened instead? Perhaps they could also quantify exactly how much Gagner is costing the team in terms of shots against and goals against.

    Could that somebody then do the same for the other centers in the league who play similar minutes against a similar level of competition in order to establish a baseline from which we can compare Gagner to in order to have a reasonable discussion about how much it would affect the team if he is replaced?

    Right now, the discussion around Gagner is far from reasonable. It’s descended into a circular argument of Gagner sucks because he sucks and needs to be traded because he needs to be traded.

    You know, that’s just not true. I love the guy. Honestly. Sam Gagner is exactly the kind of player I’m always going to cheer for, he’s so smart and such a beautiful passer. Seriously, just sublime. I’ve watched a lot of hockey in my life and 89′s passing is sensational. I’ve seen linemates who didn’t even waive at the puck because (even though they were in the slot) they didn’t think he’d get it there.

    It’s a painful experience for me to watch this as a fan. I’m a Gagner supporter from right after the first training camp (Louise had to talk some sense into me) until this day.

    I don’t want him traded. I think it has to happen.

    Gagner’s photo’s aren’t needed, if you’ve seen the games, you’ve seen him exit the slot seconds before the pass arrived and his mark cashed.

    It’s all incredibly, sadly and maddeningly true. I had hoped the Oilers would wait for him to come out of it and see what he could do on the other side, it sounds like they don’t feel they can wait—or Gagner wants out.

    Either way, I enjoyed his time here and will write a very maudlin sail on when it happens.

  114. Zelepukin says:

    I would hope a Gagner trade would be part of a package. On his own, he has very little value and any trade at the deadline isn’t going to get us an actual nhl player that is worth anything to a playoff contender.

    Here is a player that adds almost zero value to the 2nd worst team in the league. He isn’t a 3C and has nothing to show on his resume as a winger, not even size or a value contract.

    What team currently in a playoff position or in the hunt for one, has Gagner as an upgrade on their current 2C?

    Malkin
    Bergeron
    Filppula
    Galchenyuk
    Franzen
    Kadri
    Couturier
    Schenn
    Grabovski
    Turris
    Richards
    Staal
    Henrique
    Saad
    Koivu
    Roy
    Couture
    Duchene
    M.Richards
    Kesler
    Vermette
    Granlund
    Eakin

  115. Zelepukin says:

    Lowetide: You know, that’s just not true. I love the guy. Honestly. Sam Gagner is exactly the kind of player I’m always going to cheer for, he’s so smart and such a beautiful passer. Seriously, just sublime. I’ve watched a lot of hockey in my life and 89′s passing is sensational. I’ve seen linemates who didn’t even waive at the puck because (even though they were in the slot) they didn’t think he’d get it there.

    It’s a painful experience for me to watch this as a fan. I’m a Gagner supporter from right after the first training camp (Louise had to talk some sense into me) until this day.

    I don’t want him traded. I think it has to happen.

    Gagner’s photo’s aren’t needed, if you’ve seen the games, you’ve seen him exit the slot seconds before the pass arrived and his mark cashed.

    It’s all incredibly, sadly and maddeningly true. I had hoped the Oilers would wait for him to come out of it and see what he could do on the other side, it sounds like they don’t feel they can wait—or Gagner wants out.

    Either way, I enjoyed his time here and will write a very maudlin sail on when it happens.

    I agree with that assessment. He has shown flashes of offensive brilliance in the past which has unfortunately clouded any logical skill requirement for a 2C in today’s NHL, ESPECIALLY at his size. He isn’t big, he doesn’t play big/strong in the defensive zone (Bergeron, Crosby, Marchand) and he is incredibly horrible in the dots (which really is the #1 asset you want out of your 2C).

  116. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ontario Oilers Fan:
    Oilers lose by 4 goals tonight.
    This franchise is a friggin’ joke enabled by the ticket holders and the merchandising purchasers.

    Remarks like this rub me the wrong way. Blaming paying fans for the problems of the team is misdirected and unfair.

    Hey, Joe, not only do you pay several grand to watch some crappy hockey, it’s YOUR FAULT, you enabler!

  117. bookje says:

    Lowetide: I was studying for my Finland driving license.

    Lykkyä tykö!

  118. bookje says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Remarks like this rub me the wrong way. Blaming paying fans for the problems of the team is misdirected and unfair.

    Hey, Joe, not only do you pay several grand to watch some crappy hockey, it’s YOUR FAULT, you enabler!

    I blame bloggers like you and LT for keeping me interested in this team.

  119. Bulging Twine says:

    Boston made an offer for Gagner a couple of seasons ago iirc. Don’t know if they would still have interest.

  120. 719 says:

    I must agree with the voices hoping for ROR. This guy would be a real nice fit on our team. The price for him may be more than we would be willing to pay though.

    Also, I think the defenceman (who is rumored to be available) and would be best fit on this team is Byfuglien. Yes I would take him warts and all. Although I am unsure what it would take to get him.

    Nikitin and Steve Ott seem like good UFA targets.

    As with anything in life, the above is easier said than done.

  121. Lowetide says:

    bookje: I blame bloggers like you and LT for keeping me interested in this team.

    I blame leisure time.

  122. "Steve Smith" says:

    Zelepukin:
    ([faceoff prowess] really is the #1 asset you want out of your 2C).

    What possible empirical basis could you have for a remark like that?

  123. Oilanderp says:

    Why can’t we just stick the man on Arco’s wing while we wait for his eventual defunkification? You can’t lose twice in one game. Trading low is a hard way to win anything even once.

  124. denny33 says:

    Beat the Buff for Gags trade hard last year….to silence.

    Now seeing Buff trades all over the place…

    Buff is an enigma….at times dominant. At times, lazy. Strong rumours he ballooned to 270 pounds during the season last year.

    Nearing the ripe old age of 30…..will be 29 next year.

    Jets are tired of his act though…..suspect he could be dealt.

  125. Zelepukin says:

    “Steve Smith”: What possible empirical basis could you have for a remark like that?

    Mostly out of the logic that your 1C possess more offensive skills than your 2C and can quite often be the player driving the first line (Crosby, Thornton, Toews etc). So hopefully your 2L is filled with 1L potential wingers who can fill those positions if needed, but are centered by a 2C who can act more as a playmaker/passer (which Gagner is capable of doing). I believe Winning faceoffs is the most influential pass you can make and it helps to have a 2C who is not only skilled at doing so, but can also act as support for those crucial moments where you need 2 centers on the ice in case one gets booted.

  126. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: I blame leisure time.

    It is obvious that the Oilers have not won since Al Gore invented something.

  127. bookje says:

    Zelepukin: Mostly out of the logic that your 1C possess more offensive skills than your 2C and can quite often be the player driving the first line (Crosby, Thornton, Toews etc). So hopefully your 2L is filled with 1L potential wingers who can fill those positions if needed, but are centered by a 2C who can act more as a playmaker/passer (which Gagner is capable of doing). I believe Winning faceoffs is the most influential pass you can make and it helps to have a 2C who is not only skilled at doing so, but can also act as support for those crucial moments where you need 2 centers on the ice in case one gets booted.

    I don’t think empirical means what you think it means.

  128. bookje says:

    VanOil: It is obvious that the Oilers have not won since Al Gore invented something.

    I am pretty sure that is all part of Gary Bettman’s plan.

  129. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Wow. The split keyboard option on the iPad make it really hard to type properly.

  130. bendelson says:

    On a positive note, perhaps ‘shopping’ Gagner for a few weeks will open a window that would have otherwise been closed…

    My understanding is that Smid was never ‘shopped’ around the league and was instead traded in a quick and quiet move (for peanuts) to our hapless rival (questionable!)…

    Maybe the Gagner return isn’t going to be Smid bad after all?
    That would be a pleasant surprise.

    Regardless, moving Gagner does appear to be an inevitable necessity given his fat contract, his defensive zone issues and the ‘role’ he plays on this basement dwelling team.

    Good luck MacT.

  131. Pouzar says:

    Hall, Nuge, and Ebs with multi pt nights. Book it.

  132. bookje says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    Wow. The split keyboardoption on the iPad make it really hard to type properly.

    Your’ wjust nop skil;ed in typ[ng wuth it like I am. y0u ne3d topractice mor e=

  133. Numenius says:

    I have a good feeling about tonight. Maybe not a win, but a respectable game.

  134. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Oilers are almost bad enough that they will be doing an ‘Oilers jokes only’ expansion to Cards Against Humanity.

  135. FastOil says:

    Gagner must be traded because his replacement is ready. See: Gilbert, Tom. Stockpiling good players isn’t fair to the other teams.

    The timing is unfortunate given he’s playing like shit, but some things can’t be avoided. Waiting until he recovers or the summer would be timid and may appear indecisive.

  136. sliderule says:

    Young Willis has an excellent post on Cult of Hockey on last nights Barons game.,

    I think you could bring Gernat and Fedun up and keep Marincin and the oiler defence would be better than it is right now.

    Get the Slovaks on supplements and supervised weight program and you would advance the “rebuild”.

  137. "Steve Smith" says:

    FastOil,

    I don’t think that Gilbert has what it takes to replace Gagner as the second line centre; not strong enough on faceoffs.

  138. Lowetide says:

    did I miss the empirical strike back?

  139. Suntory Hanzo says:

    sliderule,

    Is watched Gernat when the Barons were in town to play the Heat. I didn’t think he looked ready for prime time at all.

  140. melancholyculkin says:

    Lowetide,

    I don’t want him traded. I think it has to happen.

    Gagner’s photo’s aren’t needed, if you’ve seen the games, you’ve seen him exit the slot seconds before the pass arrived and his mark cashed.

    I’m sorry Lowetide, but with all due respect that’s nonsense. It’s a judgement that is based on incomplete information; you’re free to make this judgement, but if so then you need to acknowledge that the uncertainty surrounding it is large based on the missing information.

    We don’t know what Eakins is expecting of Gagner. We don’t know what is causing Gagner’s issues. Is he primarily at fault? Are his teammates blowing their assignments?

    More crucially, we don’t know how Gagner compares to his peers in terms of defense. What is the performance of players who play in comparable situations? How much is Gagner costing the team in terms of goals and shots against? How far below replacement is he? If his offense returns to established levels – which I think is a reasonable expectation although his injury lends some uncertainty – will this balance out the mistakes he makes elsewhere?

    The Oilers almost certainly have the resources to fill in some of these blanks, and I would hope that they have.

    I don’t see any way that we can answer these questions without spending enormous amounts of time going through film of Gagner and comparable players, and I don’t feel that making judgements based on observations lacking critical information lends itself to productive discussion.

  141. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Danny DeVito in Romancing the Stone.

  142. Ryan says:

    Ryan:
    Bah that Steven Stamkos is so overrated.

    Look at what a drag he’s been on the Boltscumulative 5v5 FF%

    (SS was injured on November 11th, 2013).

    Look at how much better the bolts are without him.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/tampa-bay-lightning/2013

    don’t miss the internet sarcasm…

    no really though, it’s actually bizarre how much better the bolts cumulative 5v5 FF% improved after Stamkos got injured.

  143. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    FastOil,

    I don’t think that Gilbert has what it takes to replace Gagner as the second line centre; not strong enough on faceoffs.

    Grebeshov is 100.0% on faceoffs over his NHL career. If he were playing centre this year, that would make him the top faceoff man in the league. Somebody get MacT on the phone.

  144. sliderule says:

    Suntory Hanzo,

    I haven’t seen him at all as a Baron

    I watched him a bunch as an Oil King and like his game.

    I respect Willis’s view and as he is starting to see him good I am encouraged.

  145. FastOil says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    FastOil,

    I don’t think that Gilbert has what it takes to replace Gagner as the second line centre; not strong enough on faceoffs.

    You repeatedly choose to ignore hair fashion in your posts at your own peril, friend. Gilbert owns Gaqner.

  146. Ryan says:

    melancholyculkin,

    Cue Woodguy…. really where is he?

  147. Pouzar says:

    sliderule:
    Young Willis has an excellent post on Cult of Hockey on last nights Barons game.,

    I think you could bring Gernat and Fedun upand keep Marincin and the oiler defence would be better than it is right now.

    Get the Slovaks on supplements and supervised weight program and you would advance the “rebuild”.

    Agreed 100%.

  148. Lowetide says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Lowetide,

    I’m sorry Lowetide, but with all due respect that’s nonsense. It’s a judgement that is based on incomplete information; you’re free to make this judgement, but if so then you need to acknowledge that the uncertainty surrounding it is large based on the missing information.

    We don’t know what Eakins is expecting of Gagner. We don’t know what is causing Gagner’s issues. Is he primarily at fault? Are his teammates blowing their assignments?

    More crucially, we don’t know how Gagner compares to his peers in terms of defense. What is the performance of players who play in comparable situations? How much is Gagner costing the team in terms of goals and shots against? How far below replacement is he? If his offense returns to established levels – which I think is a reasonable expectation although his injury lends some uncertainty – will this balance out the mistakes he makes elsewhere?

    The Oilers almost certainly have the resources to fill in some of these blanks, and I would hope that they have.

    I don’t see any way that we can answer these questions without spending enormous amounts of time going through film of Gagner and comparable players, and I don’t feel that making judgements based on observations lacking critical information lends itself to productive discussion.

    Start here,

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6479

    and get back to me

  149. gr8one says:

    This is about where we were at days prior to Gagner’s 8 point night, and it wasn’t long before the trade deadline iirc, everybody was ok with Gagner being sent away for another piece and a lot of speculation was he was in fact being shopped.

    And then IT happened, and all of a sudden the optics of him being dealt became very bad and he was never dealt.

    Of course, a lot of that was speculation but there was a lot of smoke that suggested it was true.

    Anyways, in honor of that 8 point night and where we’re at now I”m going to predict a 9 point night out of Gagner tonight cementing his career as a lifetime Oiler and future GM.

    Book it.

  150. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bookje: Grebeshov is 100.0% on faceoffs over his NHL career.If he were playing centre this year, that would make him the top faceoff man in the league.Somebody get MacT on the phone.

    What is his faceoff % in the playoffs?

  151. FastOil says:

    bookje: Grebeshov is 100.0% on faceoffs over his NHL career.If he were playing centre this year, that would make him the top faceoff man in the league.Somebody get MacT on the phone.

    Perhaps a line of Grebs (C) Gilbert (LW) and my personal favourite Tulipov (RW and readily available) would cash some goals and kick some behind. It worked for Burns, I think it`s worth a shot.

  152. sliderule says:

    Chase with another goal now 16 th in scoring.

    Those if you have seen him this year report!!!

  153. bookje says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: What is his faceoff % in the playoffs?

    I don’t understand what you mean by “the playoffs”, is this another Finish language thing again?

  154. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Chase with anothergoal now 16 th in scoring.

    Those if you have seen him this year report!!!

    I’m pretty damn happy with that pick for the Oilers.

  155. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Looks like Gene got a bit too much sun on the road trip. Guy looks well done

  156. Ryan says:

    honestly guys, one positive about being an Oilers fan is that you don’t have to watch more than one period of hockey. Keeps my wife happy and gives me more free time.

  157. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’ve seen this movie

  158. VanOil says:

    This feels more comfortable than the early lead in the last game.

  159. Gerta Rauss says:

    atta boy
    1-1 early

  160. Gerta Rauss says:

    They announce Eberle but I think Jones got his stick on that

  161. Lowetide says:

    Nice start for the Oilers. All the kids have points.

  162. rich says:

    Good puck movement on the PP there (especially the 2nd half). That’s the way you keep the pressure up.

  163. magisterrex says:

    Yeah, that Eberle guy: nothing good happens when he’s on the ice. We should trade him.

  164. VanOil says:

    Do you think the Coaches get confused by the names and can quite comprehend that by stat and by sight the Schultz brothers do not play well together?

  165. Gerta Rauss says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    They announce Eberle but I think Jones got his stick on that

    nope-Eberle’s goal-that was Salo’s stick

  166. Oilanderp says:

    When that Hall kid grows into his stick he’s going to be one hell of a threat on the breakaway!

  167. bookje says:

    magisterrex:
    Yeah, that Eberle guy: nothing good happens when he’s on the ice. We should trade him.

    I hear that Eberle, Hall, Schultz, Yakupov, Gagner and Hemsky are the real problems on this team. They should get rid of those guys.

  168. Derek says:

    I haven’t been to any games at Rexall this season because I don’t hate myself quite the same way that many of you do. What is the teams on ice communication like vs the competition? It looks like so many of their little problems could be avoided with a little more talk on ice and you don’t typically hear any of it on TV unless its Jones calling for the breakaway pass from the far blue line.

  169. Oilanderp says:

    I like how the Arco, Jones, Gazdic line is shooting from everywhere. I almost get excited sometimes.

  170. Pouzar says:

    magisterrex:
    Yeah, that Eberle guy: nothing good happens when he’s on the ice. We should trade him.

    2 goals, making sh!t happen and nothing but crickets.
    Oh yeah and that Hall kid seems to be clickin too.

  171. Oilanderp says:

    Oilanderp:
    I like how the Arco, Jones, Gazdic line is shooting from everywhere.I almost get excited sometimes.

    See?

  172. Lowetide says:

    Gazdic scores, that’s another 20 games in the lineup.

  173. spoiler says:

    Gazdic will give you the burps.

  174. Gerta Rauss says:

    Oilanderp:
    I like how the Arco, Jones, Gazdic line is shooting from everywhere.I almost get excited sometimes.

    and there you go!

  175. magisterrex says:

    Arcobello shaved off his sideburns?

  176. rich says:

    Gazdic scores. Another sign of the apocalypse.

  177. Lowetide says:

    Derek:
    I haven’t been to any games at Rexall this season because I don’t hate myself quite the same way that many of you do.

    This makes no sense to me. People who go to rexall hate themselves?

  178. Gerta Rauss says:

    I don’t know what the corgis or the scoring chances look like but I thought we were full marks for that 3-1 lead.

  179. Derek says:

    Lowetide: This makes no sense to me. People who go to rexall hate themselves?

    This is not a serious comment. I do not actually mean people who go to watch their favorite hockey team literally hate themselves.

    I forgot to add a bookie thingy.

  180. Lowetide says:

    Derek: This is not a serious comment.I do not actually mean people who go to watch their favorite hockey team literally hate themselves.

    Okay. I thought I’d missed out on something, and was pissed off. I read the news!

  181. Derek says:

    Lowetide: Okay. I thought I’d missed out on something, and was pissed off. I read the news!

    Completely understandable. The comments section in that past 2 or 3 months has been as emotional and turbulent as I’ve seen it since Mactavish ruined Hockey Jesus.

  182. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I don’t know what the corgis or the scoring chances look like but I thought we were full marks for that 3-1 lead.

    Shots 12-4, Corsi for 5×5 14-6 in that period.

  183. Thiru says:

    Great period.

    Hall-RNH-Ebs were/are awesome together.

    Is that the best period of Ryan Jones we’ve ever seen?

    Really liked some of the breakouts, tons and tons of speed and then winning puck battles. Awesome stuff!

  184. Lowetide says:

    Derek: Completely understandable.The comments section in that past 2 or 3 months has been as emotional and turbulent as I’ve seen it since Mactavish ruined Hockey Jesus.

    and he did, that’s clear. Buggered up Pouliot’s crank shaft too if you ask me.

  185. 8p0intgame says:

    I don’t watch many games but I used to read the player grades over at the Cult of Hockey religiously. The thing that bothered me most about Gagner was his below average FO% was always mentioned in his grade, almost as a passing thought (unless he had a particularly bad night on the dot); I have come to suspect a FO% in the high 30s/low 40s from Gags, but every once in awhile he turns it on and makes the opposing team’s 1C his bitch in the circle.

  186. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    That was fun. Let’s see if they can do it again two more times.

    It’s funny right before that Gazdic goal, I watched him in his own zone turn his back on a Bolt who waltzed into the slot unmolested. had the Bolts gained control of the puck there, game over… but so it goes. I’m happy for him and me.

  187. bookje says:

    Thiru:
    Great period.

    Hall-RNH-Ebs were/are awesome together.

    Is that the best period of Ryan Jones we’ve ever seen?

    Really liked some of the breakouts, tons and tons of speed and then winning puck battles. Awesome stuff!

    Eakins fixed them! Its all good now!

  188. jp says:

    Oilanderp:
    I like how the Arco, Jones, Gazdic line is shooting from everywhere.I almost get excited sometimes.

    Definitely agree. Even aside from the goal they do look like a 4th line worth putting on the ice occasionally. What’s it been, 5, 10, 15 years since we’ve seen that. I can’t even remember!

  189. Pouzar says:

    Barely noticed Marincin…that’s good right?

  190. jp says:

    Derek: This is not a serious comment.I do not actually mean people who go to watch their favorite hockey team literally hate themselves.

    I forgot to add a bookie thingy.

    I followed. But yeah, the serious and the sarcastic here can get kinda hazy at times.

  191. Thiru says:

    bookje: Eakins fixed them!Its all good now!

    lol it’s that pink stuff he’s drinking on the bench. Kool Aid?

  192. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Pouzar:
    Barely noticed Marincin…that’s good right?

    Played a solid 5:23, 80% CF, one blocked shot, even.

    I think he starts the 15/16 season as a permanent NHL player somewhere. Looks good from here.

  193. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    Barely noticed Marincin…that’s good right?

    5:23 in the first and all calm on the western front.

  194. Oilanderp says:

    8p0intgame,

    For me I always remembered “Alex Plante, 4, slow-skating.”

  195. VanOil says:

    Bryz’s kids did a bang up job on that mask.

  196. rich says:

    Marincin just made a couple of nice reads to break up scoring chances. Kid’s a player.

  197. WeirsBeard says:

    Can we petition to move to the Wales Conference?

  198. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    how long was the Yak shift? I think he’s going to piss Eakins off doing that.

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