I had a conversation yesterday about Sam Gagner. My friend (it was Woodguy, but don’t tell him) feels Sam could handle playing the wing on a skill line, and I do agree his ability to pass, make a pass and think the game could be put in a good light. Playing RW with Hall on LW and (say) Sean Couturier might give the team a nice trio who could score against the soft parade and battle the quality opposition to a draw. But there are questions.
This is CorsiRel, so the blue is comparing Oiler forwards to other Edmonton F’s. Eakins deployment of his forwards makes sense:
- he’s asking Boyd Gordon to do the heavy lifting and take the severe zone starts.
- this allows him to push the skill forwards to 55% or better zone start, and we assume (correctly) the other coach will play his best against them.
- Gagner is right in there, he’s certainly not a deep Perron but he’s a blue bubble.
- Ryan Smyth is a beauty.
- Taylor Hall 2.93
- David Perron 2.07
- Jordan Eberle 1.86
- Sam Gagner 1.61
- Nuge 1.59
- Yakupov 1.49
We know Gagner was injured this season, so his 5×5/60 number needs to be taken in context. Last season, he delivered 1.84/60. If we’re to justify Sam Gagner as a RW for $4.8M a year, playing a complementary role with impact players, is 1.84/60 enough? Who was he playing with?
Gagner’s WOWY linemates in 12-13 (in minutes):
- Magnus Paajarvi 314
- Ales Hemsky 300
- Nail Yakupov 277
- Jordan Eberle 166
If the Oilers dealt Eberle (settle down) in a deal for Sean Couturier, and ran Couturier-Hall-Perron as a tough minutes line and Nuge-Yakupov-Gagner as a soft minutes offensive line, could Gagner post over 2.00/60 at 5×5?
Would that be enough?