RE 13-14 SAM GAGNER: THESE DREAMS OF YOU

There are stumbles, there are elevator shafts and there are falls from great, great heights. A few miles past that comes Sam Gagner’s 2013-14 season. In the history of the Oilers, it is hard to remember a season that failed so completely.

 SAM GAGNER 10-11

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.91 (2nd among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.51 (9th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 4th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 7.0 (4th best among regular forwards) (-3.81 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 50.9% (6th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 53.4% (best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 138/10.9% (8th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 68gp, 15-27-42
  • Plus Minus: -17 on a team that was -52.

SAM GAGNER 11-12

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.96 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.66 (6th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 8th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 6th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 6.3 (4th best among regular forwards) (-2.18 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 54.1% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 51.8% (4th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 149/12.1% (5th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 75, 18-29-47
  • Plus Minus: +5 on a team that was -26

SAM GAGNER 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.84 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 6.15 (1st among regular forwards, 19th in NHL)
  • Qual Comp: 5th toughest among regular forwards (2nd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 6th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -4.3 (9th best among regular forwards) (-14.44 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 51.4% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 52.0% (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 113/12.39% (2nd among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48, 14-24-38
  • Plus Minus: -6 on a team that was -15

SAM GAGNER 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.44 (6th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.20 (6th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 4th toughest among regular forwards (2nd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 0.7 (6th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 44.2
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: 0.0
  • Zone Start: 55.5% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 47.2% (5th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 143/7% (7th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 67, 10-27-37
  • Plus Minus: -29 on a team that was -51

RE 13-14: 82, 15-37-52 (.634)

ACTUAL: 67, 10-27-37 (.552)

  1. How bad was it? I don’t know they can find a buyer this summer. It was horrific.
  2. Your RE isn’t that far off. Gagner was very poor, his coverage at center was noxious. I don’t remember a less effective season by a veteran forward in an Oiler uniform. At least not a regular, someone they were counting on.
  3. Does he come back next season? Maybe. The options are giving him away (think Horcoff trade a year ago), keeping him another season as an expensive third-line winger or buying him out.
  4. BUYING HIM OUT????! I’m sure it’s a thought that has crossed some minds, yes. Those $4.8 million dollars could go a long way to purchasing a Paul Stastny or an Andrei Markov. Or trading for Brian Campbell.
  5. Look, are you trying to screw with me? No. I’m a Gagner fan but the ‘saw him good’ was beyond horror this season. The Oilers 2nd line was an absolute abomination and Gagner’s performance was a major culprit. If they’d traded 89 instead of Horcoff, at least the Russian would have had a mentor.
  6. Hold the hell on! You’re ruining this for me! Can’t help it, this was not a defensible season.
  7. Last summer—August!—you said he was GOLDEN!!! That should give you an idea about what a ghastly season Gagner posted.
  8. I knew you’d say ghastly! Please tell me there’s some good news. He’s young and rich, and he’ll find another NHL city. If Gagner played for a team that can protect him, the issues would impact less. As it was, there was little help once Horcoff left for the airport.
  9. For God’s sakes man, you’re becoming ME here! Stop it! It’s making me nervous! I’ve always been a Sam Gagner fan, and hope he has a fine career in Chicago, or Denver, or Miami. He’s not going to spend the heart of his career in Edmonton, unless the heart of his career is already spent.
  10. Is there any way he returns? Sure. If MacT can’t find another option this summer for 2line center, or they can’t find a buyer, the Oilers may choose to bring him in for another year. It would be an attempt to increase value, but if the Oilers have another option at #2C there’s every chance he would play a secondary offensive role. If he’s in a secondary offensive role, then Sam Gagner brings little to no value.
  11. You’re not being fair. This is a new issue!! No, not at all. We talked about Gagner-Hemsky a year ago, Dellow did some fine work on that train wreck last summer.
  12. Okay, you’re being an ass. You liked him last year, and now you’re acting like he’s worthless. A year ago, I said “Sam Gagner is an excellent young player, he’ll be quality for years even if he just stays at this level. If he can turn it up another notch, well the playoffs are a promise.” He wasn’t close to the same player in 2013-14.
  13. His Corsi Rel was average. Look, Sam Gagner was getting a zone-start push, playing second line opps and he delivered a buck forty-four at 5×5. If you’re building a defense of Sam Gagner, don’t look at the video, and I submit the numbers don’t offer much cover either.
  14. So, it’s down to Kassian. Yes. The Kassian injury and the major error in coming back before he was ready.
  15. That’s so Oilers. Yes. However, he hurt the team—Arcobello was better—and the team apparently thought he’d play through the troubles.
  16. Well he did improve. Where? Offense? I don’t see a time where he turned north this season. I can absolutely make allowances for the injury, it was a terrible wound, but Sam Gagner wasn’t good enough all year long.
  17. So, that leaves a trade. If they can make one, and don’t expect a massive return.
  18. Maybe they keep him? And put him where?
  19. You’re depressing. Can you at least admit the buyout idea is crazy? No. If the Oilers need the room in order to bring in Paul Stastny, I can see MacT calling Katz at the Rexall on Robson. I welcome encouraging news but can’t find any. At all.
  20. MacT still loves him, you jerk! Yes. That’s why he spent so much time defending him at the exit interview with the media.
  21. Dammit! Dammit! Say it again.
  22. Why this song? It’s a lovely melody and Van’s singing is just so good. The song is about being apart, deception and fracture and heartbreak. It’s about someone you trust turning their back and walking away in that moment when you are most vulnerable. Don’t be fooled by the melody, it is a devastating song.

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95 Responses to "RE 13-14 SAM GAGNER: THESE DREAMS OF YOU"

  1. Marcus Oilerius says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t3cBTb3xPc

    Bye bye Gaggy.

    We won’t get full value for him, but I don’t blame Kassian completely. Kassian didn’t make Gagner inept defensively last season, either. Which he was.

  2. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Oilers have one more freebie

    Pretty sure compliance buyouts only apply to contracts already in place at the lockout, not signed afterwards.

    Disagree with your assessment of “falls from great, great heights”. Gagner has never been That high to fall That far IMO. Which isn’t to say his 2013-14 was a crashing disappointment, just that the cliff wasn’t that high in the first place. His 2013 season was something of a house of cards.

  3. Bar_Qu says:

    That was black. Wow.

  4. RexLibris says:

    LT, is it the weather getting you down?

    First you trade Marincin, now you buy out Gagner. Seems like you are just a Mike Reilly trade to the Riders move away from losing all faith in humanity. ;)

    On a more serious note, you had mentioned Gagner-Bailey as a possible move previously. Do you hold out any hope for something like that? Or are you thinking that the value has gone down from there and is closer to the Kyle Clifford territory that was rumoured earlier?

    One thing is certain, once Gagner goes that entire cluster from the 2007 “rebuild” will have been flushed – Gilbert, Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson. This must be how dreams die, not in a cataclysmic explosion, but in small quiet gasps, one little piece at a time.

    Man, I hate this weather.

  5. Showerhead says:

    “He’s not going to spend the heart of his career in Edmonton, unless the heart of his career is already spent.”

    This turn of phrase is just perfect. It is not only a clever combination of words but it is also an incredibly accurate way of describing the situation. If it is an LT original, I tip my beer and my cap.

    Sam Gagner’s season fucked the Oilers on this one – I don’t think there’s much else to say. The question was always “sure, he’s pretty good but does he fit” and now it’s “what in gord’s name could we possibly do with him”. I can’t tell you why the season was as bad as it was but that doesn’t change anything at all does it. Great post.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Oilers have one more freebie

    Pretty sure compliance buyouts only apply to contracts already in place at the lockout, not signed afterwards.

    Disagree with your assessment of “falls from great, great heights”. Gagner has never been That high to fall That far IMO. Which isn’t to say his 2013-14 was a crashing disappointment, just that the cliff wasn’t that high in the first place. His 2013 season was something of a house of cards.

    I think it’s fair in terms of the team’s feeling about him and his part in their future. Certainly we know it happened—Friedman and Lebrun wrote about it—and I think it was newsworthy, suggesting some surprise or change in estimation.

  7. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Showerhead: “He’s not going to spend the heart of his career in Edmonton, unless the heart of his career is already spent.”

    Six springs ago, who would have guessed that both Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano would be full-timers whose career high in points BOTH happened in their rookie season? Both guys remain full-time NHLers, have never played a day in the minors, Cogliano has never missed a game, Gagner has never missed more than 17% of a season, but both guys never even returned to that level let alone built on it. It’s almost shocking in its unlikelihood.

  8. admiralmark says:

    LT you summed it up. I personally did not see Gagner as a 2C ever in his career. But then again I think we are somewhat witnessing how bad teams make bad players look worse. Which in turn lowers the average hockey players value below what they might be worth in another lineup? It kills me to say this but it would be shocking to see MacT get something of value for him and get his contract off the books. I bet they would consider Gagner for a solid 3rd line winger with truculence. Even retain half his salary to make it happen? Its sad state of affairs because I think Sam as a person seems pretty solid. But what can you do when he’s like that on the ice?

  9. Showerhead says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Six springs ago, who would have guessed that both Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano would be full-timers whose career high in points BOTH happened in their rookie season? Both guys remain full-time NHLers, have never played a day in the minors, Cogliano has never missed a game, Gagner has never missed more than 17% of a season, but both guys never even returned to that level let alone built on it. It’s almost shocking in its unlikelihood.

    Yeah, the idea was always “sure percentages but they’ll get better” and then they never did.

    I feel like this is an unfair statement to Cogliano in Anaheim, I’ll admit. It’s just unfortunate how clear it is that neither is well suited for a feature role on a good team.

  10. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: I think it’s fair in terms of the team’s feeling about him and his part in their future. Certainly we know it happened—Friedman and Lebrun wrote about it—and I think it was newsworthy, suggesting some surprise or change in estimation.

    OK, I’ll buy that.

    I got plenty of hate for Kassian for torpedoing Sam’s (and in some ways, Oilers’) season, but the utter inattention to defensive deficiencies is on Gagner himself. Gord dammit man, look over your shoulder once in a while. Drives me batshit.

  11. PunjabiOil says:

    I would do Gagner for Colin Wilson. That’s all you’re going to get, and Wilson actually addresses team needs for both teams.

  12. Eulers says:

    Watching Brodziak last night and Cogliano the night before, I can’t help but think that Samwise would be a useful 3rd line winger with some ability to move up the line-up or to C. Then, I think of his defensive play and the thought of Sam on a checking line makes me want to hit my head against a brick wall.

    All players have their flaws and those flaws are magnified on bad teams.

  13. flyfish1168 says:

    I like Sam. In my humble opinion the Oilers have always over value Sam. His value is probably more in the dressing room then on the ice. Our coaches should have recognize that he is NOT an NHL center and should have been moved to the wing long time ago. The Ducks realized this with Cogs and we didn’t with Sam. That is a shame and that is on our coaches.

    Evander Kane is struggling in Winnipeg lets try and do a swap. Both players need a change and this could benefit both teams. Kane I believe played center in junior and is an alternate faceoff guy on his line now.

  14. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: but both guys never even returned to that level let alone built on it. It’s almost shocking in its unlikelihood.

    Which is one of the reasons the ‘five coaches in six years’ explanation is at least as much rational as it is rationalization.

    Also: if you look at the change in the 5×5 and 5×4, you can see that clearly “something” has happened to Sam this year. I understand the angst about his defensive problems, but this year his offensive creativity has fallen off a cliff. And in some ways thats the heart of the problem, because you can live with defensive deficiences if the guy still creates a lot more than he gives up. But he’s gone from doing that two years ago to being worse-than-rookie this year.

    Some of it is Kassian for sure. The rest is baffling.

  15. stephen sheps says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Six springs ago, who would have guessed that both Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano would be full-timers whose career high in points BOTH happened in their rookie season? Both guys remain full-time NHLers, have never played a day in the minors, Cogliano has never missed a game, Gagner has never missed more than 17% of a season, but both guys never even returned to that level let alone built on it. It’s almost shocking in its unlikelihood.

    Bruce,

    Cogs may have fallen just shy of a career best in points, but he set a new high in goals this year and since he finally admitted he wasn’t a good fit at C, he’s found a real niche for himself on the wing in Anaheim providing secondary scoring. In many ways, he’s become the Todd Marchant with hands we always thought he would be. And never missing a game isn’t something to scoff at, either.

    Completely agree about Sam, however. It is somewhat shocking that his career has managed to stay stuck in neutral for so many years now. Disappointing, too.

  16. TheOtherJohn says:

    At least if they redid the 07 draft there is a probability Sam would still likely get drafted in the 1st round. Very late mind you. Which is more of an indictment of the weakness of that draft and not Sam’s skillset.

    Trust Oilers to stockpile 3 firsts in a weak draft. Alex Plante and Riley Nash thank god we fired the amateur scouts pushing these 2 picks

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Gagner would shine on the Blackhawks.

    Cogliano style, as he matures away from that foolish undersized player-as-star crappola so many of you adhere to. Looks like the big kids(Kassian, Getzlaf) have spoken.

    Naturally on a good team he’d be fine, unlike the Yellowstonic-level of stink emanating Chernobyl like from Six Rings Kevin Lowe and his minions.

    “Our development process and our development department, in my mind, are the best in the business,”“My sense is that we have the right people, we have the right coaches in place,”“that’s going to be capable of winning a Stanley Cup,” MacTavish said.

    Oilers are in January 1942 Stalingrad.

  18. FastOil says:

    For me the smart move is find a 2C and play him on his RW. Get Sam some points, and if the Oilers and he improve it’s a different and more profitable world.

    I don’t think there is a cap issue next season, and I believe he’ll waive if asked. Only a giant ass wouldn’t after this season and I think he has more class.

    Liquidating him now would be exactly how the Oilers got where they are.

    Edit: and I’ve never been a believer in Gagner. Still have to be smart.

  19. Hammers says:

    Don’t be surprised if McT does with Gags what he did with Hemsky unless getting a 3rd + 5th made him realized to cut bait early . Can they afford to keep Gags on 3rd line RW . I don’t think so and not because of the money but because of the defensive responsibility . If we start playing our young “D” like Marincin 700+K , Klefbom 900+ K with Petry & Schultz we could end up with 2 pairings around $ 5 mill a pair .Add Ference & a 6-7 at $1.5 and we could afford a $ 7- 8 mill type “D” man if he can get one .Problem will still be WHO & HOW MUCH .Gags won’t get that even with the 1st rd pick .Expect to see kids on “D” next year .

  20. oliveoilers says:

    PunjabiOil:
    I would do Gagner for Colin Wilson. That’s all you’re going to get, and Wilson actually addresses team needs for both teams.

    Perhaps you should lead the negotiations. In what way does this trade address mutual needs? Before the words “Nashville need offense” march with ill advised confidence into your next post remember this: Gagner couldn’t produce offensively or defensively for a competent 2C when playing with Hall, Hemsky, Perron, Eberle, Yakupov. And he’s supposed to kick-start a notoriously defensive team’s offense? If I was Nashville, I’d be chasing Eric Staal. We get Wilson, we win. We keep Gags and he bounces back, we win. Don’t forget to OBJECTIVELY put yourself in the shoes of the other GM before making sweeping statements about trade proposals. If we we’re offered a 40pt 2C with terrible defensive qualities, would you even ask his name?

  21. icecastles says:

    I don’t remember a less effective season by a veteran forward in an Oiler uniform. At least not a regular, someone they were counting on.

    Eric Belanger comes to mind.

    There are stumbles, there are elevator shafts and there are falls from great, great heights. Fall from great great heights, or just that he found a way to land far below sea level? Sam has long been yet another Oiler where so much of our love of him lay in his potential. “Once he figures out the defensive side…” Like Bruce pointed out, it’s astounding that both he and Cogs had their best seasons as rookies and have never reached those same levels again. So since their rookie seasons, we have been enamoured with the potential.

    Sam’s shootout moves (imagine how good he’d be if he could lift the puck on some of those shots!), his stickhandling, his 8-point game, his draft pedigree… I don’t know if there’s a clear path to a good answer, but if the org is to truly right itself, and really lay claim to having the best developmental system in the NHL, it behooves them to figure out why so much potential on so many guys has never managed to turn into actuality.

    I think rushing players to the NHL is a big part of that story. Instability in the head coaching role is another.

  22. Lowetide says:

    icecastles:
    I don’t remember a less effective season by a veteran forward in an Oiler uniform. At least not a regular, someone they were counting on.

    Eric Belanger comes to mind.

    There are stumbles, there are elevator shafts and there are falls from great, great heights. Fall from great great heights, or just that he found a way to land far below sea level? Sam has long been yet another Oiler where so much of our love of him lay in his potential. “Once he figures out the defensive side…”Like Bruce pointed out, it’s astounding that both he and Cogs had their best seasons as rookies and have never reached those same levels again. So since their rookie seasons, we have been enamoured with the potential.

    Sam’s shootout moves (imagine how good he’d be if he could lift the puck on some of those shots!), his stickhandling, his 8-point game, his draft pedigree… I don’t know if there’s a clear path to a good answer, but if the org is to truly right itself, and really lay claim to having the best developmental system in the NHL, it behooves them to figure out why so much potential on so many guys has never managed to turn into actuality.

    I think rushing players to the NHL is a big part of that story. Instability in the head coaching role is another.

    Yes. I stayed away from the ‘one year’s experience five times’ instead of five year’s experience tone because I’ve beaten it to death. But a lot of THAT included a kid trying to catch up in the NHL.

  23. Ryan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Six springs ago, who would have guessed that both Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano would be full-timers whose career high in points BOTH happened in their rookie season? Both guys remain full-time NHLers, have never played a day in the minors, Cogliano has never missed a game, Gagner has never missed more than 17% of a season, but both guys never even returned to that level let alone built on it. It’s almost shocking in its unlikelihood.

    In fairness, Cogliano had a pretty good season this year given that he doesn’t get a sniff of power play time. He had what something like 22 EV goals and a 5v5 /60 lockstep with Eberle at 2.06. That my friend is quality offense for a 3 LW.

    We wonder why we have no scoring depth when we traded Cogliano for a late second and Brodziak for a fourth. Oh Tambellini…

  24. icecastles says:

    hunter1909: Naturally on a good team he’d be fine, unlike the Yellowstonic-level of stink emanating Chernobyl like from Six Rings Kevin Lowe and his minions.
    “Our development process and our development department, in my mind, are the best in the business,”“My sense is that we have the right people, we have the right coaches in place,”“that’s going to be capable of winning a Stanley Cup,” MacTavish said.
    Oilers are in January 1942 Stalingrad.

    I would need a Kitchenaid to mix my metaphors this badly.

    Ryan: We wonder why we have no scoring depth when we traded Cogliano for a late second and Brodziak for a fourth. Oh Tambellini…

    I think Cogliano is succeeding because he’s on a very good team that can place him in a position to succeed. Good teams can make players look better; bad teams make them look worse. You may be right, but I don’t think Cogs would have ever found the success on the Oilers that he is currently finding with Anaheim.

  25. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: OK, I’ll buy that.

    I got plenty of hate for Kassian for torpedoing Sam’s (and in some ways, Oilers’) season, but the utter inattention to defensive deficiencies is on Gagner himself. Gord dammit man, look over your shoulder once in a while. Drives me batshit.

    Like I said before….I hate watching Sam Gagner play hockey which is quite the fall b/c I used to love the guy. Stick Goc on the 2nd line and let Yak and Perron do their thing.

  26. vangolf says:

    All this Sam talk is depressing. On another note, does anyone else hate the new nets? The element of the puck lingering in the net has been replaced with high tension rebound nets that seem to shoot the puck out as quick as it came in. Maybe it’s just me….

  27. Clay says:

    Bruce McCurdy: OK, I’ll buy that.

    I got plenty of hate for Kassian for torpedoing Sam’s (and in some ways, Oilers’) season, but the utter inattention to defensive deficiencies is on Gagner himself. Gord dammit man, look over your shoulder once in a while. Drives me batshit.

    I tried making this point yesterday, and it’s exactly correct. I can buy that the injury threw off Gagner’s season offensively, but I can’t buy that Kassian was preventing Gagner from playing even mock defense.

    He’s never learned how to play on his own side of center. You can blame the Oilers rushing a guy to the NHL before he was ready, but I just can’t make the leap from Kassian’s high stick to Gagner not being able to turn his head and look for a trailer.

  28. Ryan says:

    Pouzar: Like I said before….I hate watching Sam Gagner play hockey which is quite the fall b/c I used to love the guy. Stick Goc on the 2nd line and let Yak and Perron do their thing.

    I’ve always liked marcel Goc.

    It’s hard to believe, but iirc in the summer of 2010, Goc sat around all summer sitting on a street corner holding a sign that said, “will work for food.”

  29. Pouzar says:

    vangolf:
    All this Sam talk is depressing.On another note, does anyone else hate the new nets?The element of the puck lingering in the net has been replaced with high tension rebound nets that seem to shoot the puck out as quick as it came in.Maybe it’s just me….

    I’ve been saying for years to change the mesh to hang loose and long like the old school International ice competitions had it in Europe. Loved watching the puck tickle that twine cause you actually see the damn shot in real time.

  30. Jordan says:

    There are a few options when it comes to where you can play Sam Gagner in this lineup where he can outperform.

    4 line C with muscle on either side might be the best option.

    His zone coverage is bad, but if you play him with players like Hendricks as linemates, he may be able to produce enough offense on the 4th to even out his defensive deficiencies.

    Now, this means either going out to get 3 more Hendricks (need one for 3rd line & 2 for the 4th) but that is at least feasable for next year. He can also play some on PP2, depending on who’s on the 2nd line.

    The challenge is that the Oilers have better options than Sam for that 4th line role in house, and it means the 4th line CANNOT play hard minutes. It means they get the soft parade instead of the real offensive dynamos. Which is really pretty bad strategy.

    The other option is to keep the 2nd line as a soft minute line in hopes you trade him after his stock rises again. But I can’t say it’s a good bet to make, because while he’d have more offensive-minded wingers, that line has been more exposed in the last year than any hockey line I’ve ever seen.

    I’d love to see him as a throw-in on another deal, but I doubt we’ll see it. Too much Deniro.

  31. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ryan: In fairness, Cogliano had a pretty good season this year given that he doesn’t get a sniff of power play time.He had what something like 22 EV goals and a 5v5 /60 lockstep with Eberle at 2.06.That my friend is quality offense for a 3 LW.

    Yes, Cogs did have a quality season, and he looks like pure gold compared to many of the stiffs Oilers have lined up on the wings in the bottom 6 in the years since he left. Too bad it took a second opinion before he would accept that he is in fact better suited to the wing. Now I look covetously on a good player given away for little who produces solid results in 15 minutes a night on a four-line team.

    Ryan: We wonder why we have no scoring depth when we traded Cogliano for a late second and Brodziak for a fourth. Oh Tambellini…

    Yeah, but you forget the high-scoring forwards that Tambi brought in for just a draft choice. Colin Fraser, Mike Brown, Jerred Smithson … *sobs quietly into sleeve*

  32. vangolf says:

    Clay,

    Learning defensive coverage, is one of my biggest reasons to go Bennett in this draft, as he is the least likely of all top picks to be rushed to the show….likely 2 years away, whereas the others are likely one year max.

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Jordan: His zone coverage is bad, but if you play him with players like Hendricks as linemates, he may be able to produce enough offense on the 4th to even out his defensive deficiencies.

    Trouble is Sam’s offence is mostly as a playmaker, and if he’s passing to guys like Hendricks and (presumably) Gazdic, how is that apt to work out?

  34. commonfan14 says:

    “SAM GANER 11-12
    Plus Minus: +5 on a team that was -26″

    That +5 led the team, so what the hell was going on that year?

    I don’t know, but interesting that it was only the second time in his career that he had the same coach in back to back seasons.

    Hasn’t happened since, but looks like it will again next season if he stays.

  35. Ducey says:

    I saw him bad but there are some positives:

    1. His shooting percentage was a career low (7%). If he brings it up another 4% and in line with his career average, he winds up with 15 goals and this season, despite all the problems, looks exactly the same (shockingly the same) as his three seasons between 2008 and 2011.

    2. He came back early from injury and played his first 25 games with a face shield. After taking of the shield he got 25 points in 42 games. (The last couple he had some kind of leg injury).

    3. With shield: 12 pts in 25 games = .48 ppg. Without shield: 25 points in 42 games = .60 ppg

    4. .60 ppg (x 82 = 49 pts) puts him at about 50th in scoring for C’s in NHL. Other C’s in this range (within 2%) are Hanzal, Perreault, B. Richards, Legwand, Hodgson, Grabovski, Zajac, Ribiero

    5. I have nothing good to say about his defense, but I think there is reason for optimism regarding his offense.

  36. Bushed says:

    ” I don’t remember a less effective season by a veteran forward in an Oiler uniform. At least not a regular, someone they were counting on.”

    Agree with IC that Belanger qualifies. Also Corson, Patio Lantern, and the all-time high score for expectations vs actual performance is Lupul, who also wins the suckiest attitude ever for a home town player award.

    But back to Samwise.

    Gags’ defensive gaffes were there for all to see long before this past season. The fact that MacT couldn’t see them and gave Sam a big contract concerns me greatly. I do not share the optimism about the team’s future, but will (foolishly) allow MacT one more summer to convince me otherwise.

    If Brian Campbell is part of the answer, I’m done with this team. Bowman didn’t like him in Chicago, and I think Scotty knows a few things about winning, to borrow a phrase.

    As far as Sam goes, it will be addition by subtraction. Yes, you want to maximize return, but as WG says: “Gone-yay!”

  37. Pouzar says:

    What about the trade “Eberle and put Gagner on the wing with Nuge and Hall” option?

  38. Younger Oil says:

    I don’t want to seem naive, but if we got Draisaitl, could Goc be a really good mentor for him in a Horcoff-esque way, helped along by the fact that they are both German? If so, that might be worth looking into.

    Also a big fan of the Gags for a Colin Wilson/Brock Nelson type player. Might have to retain salary, or throw in a pick/prospect, but that’s a player type we really need right now.

  39. Halfwise says:

    Ducey: I saw him bad but there are some positives:1. His shooting percentage was a career low (7%). If he brings it up another 4% and in line with his career average, he winds up with 15 goals and this season, despite all the problems, looks exactly the same (shockingly the same) as his three seasons between 2008 and 2011. 2. He came back early from injury and played his first 25 games with a face shield. After taking of the shield he got 25 points in 42 games. (The last couple he had some kind of leg injury).3. With shield: 12 pts in 25 games = .48 ppg. Without shield: 25 points in 42 games = .60 ppg4. .60 ppg (x 82 = 49 pts) puts him at about 50th in scoring for C’s in NHL. Other C’s in this range (within 2%) are Hanzal, Perreault, B. Richards, Legwand, Hodgson, Grabovski, Zajac, Ribiero5. I have nothing good to say about his defense, but I think there is reason for optimism regarding his offense.

    We know that the Oiler braintrust follows LT’s blog and its commenters faithfully. Or at least, we wish they would.

    I like the idea of coming up with ways to paint 89 in a good light. Ducey, you have just done it. Nothing bad can come of this. The good outcomes could fall into two categories: either the team finds a way to build on Sam’s strengths and he deserves a spot, or the team finds a way to convince a trade partner that these strengths are not only real but transferable.

    Beats unrelenting doom and gloom, at least in my glass-half-full world.

  40. slopitch says:

    LT your page is still buggy on iphones when it has a youtube video. Crashes safari all the time.

    I dont think the Oilers can afford to give away Gagner. They have to get value. There are too many holes in the 2nd and 3rd lines. IMO they need to fill 1D, 2C and 3C. I see Gordon as a 4C (but deployed as a valuable hard minutes 4C). Gagner doesn’t have it to play with Yak and we need a defensively reliable 2C to let Yak worry about offense.

    We all mention Stasny who would be great. I do believe the cost will be too dear in term and salary though. The guy I’d like them to go after this summer is Frans Nielson. At locker room day, Taveres made the following quote We do have a little bit of a logjam up the middle with Brock, Stromie, myself, Frans and Casey [Cizikas]. Stromie’s made a great case for himself to be here full time next year and we all know what Brock’s done. Not to read too far into it but Nielson makes the most of those guys even though he has a great contract. He is also making 3 and 3.5 million the next 2 years despite a cap hit of 2.75 million. Now is the time that the Islanders may look to move him.

    I like looking to add a C and keeping Gagner on 3C or 3RW. You can shop Gagner, you just cant give him away. A year ago, Stasny could be had for a song. Now everyone like him. I think Gagner could be a similar situation.

  41. icecastles says:

    slopitch: LT your page is still buggy on iphones when it has a youtube video. Crashes safari all the time.

    Yup. I don’t even bother trying to visit this site from a mobile device anymore. Very frustrating.

  42. flyfish1168 says:

    Gagner and Travares grew up together. Garth Snow needs to get out of the lottery pool next year. Gagner would be an upgrade to Strome or Nelson lets do some type of deal there.

  43. Ryan says:

    Just to point out an error, Gagner’s 5×4 per sixty is no where near 19th in the nhl this season. I think that was cut and pasted from the prior year.

    No one under the age of fifty browses the internet with anything other than a tablet, iPad, or cell phone. This site drives me crazy even with the iPad at times. :)

  44. VanOil says:

    Sam seems to be a fine young man. I wish him all the success in the world. I believe he can become a 60-70 point per year Right winger for the next decade. If he is playing on his childhood friend Tavares’ wing in Brooklyn.

    He really does have first line potential, just not here and not as a Center.

  45. speeds says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    At least if they redid the 07 draft there is a probability Sam would still likely get drafted in the 1st round. Very late mind you. Which is more of an indictment of the weakness of that draft and not Sam’s skillset.

    Trust Oilers to stockpile 3 firsts in a weak draft. Alex Plante and Riley Nash thank god we fired the amateur scouts pushing these 2 picks

    I saw an interested note on twitter last night, in a couple retweeted replies to @mc79hockey:

    https://twitter.com/kobiamram/status/456956136886136832

    https://twitter.com/alaind_ns/status/456956101960142848

    EDM’s first 3 picks in 2007:

    Gagner (6 OV)
    Plante (15 OV)
    Nash (21 OV, from the picks that were 30 OV and 36OV prior to the trade-up)

    MTL’s first 3 picks in 2007:

    McDonagh (12 OV)
    Pacioretty (22 OV)
    Subban (43 OV)

    That’s obviously a pretty crazy haul by MTL (too bad they moved McDonagh), and unreasonable to expect anyone to have a draft like that with their first three picks, but how much would it help EDM to add a 1LD and RD like that pair, along with a F like Pacioretty?

  46. flyfish1168 says:

    slopitch:
    .A year ago, Stasny could be had for a song.Now everyone like him.I think Gagner could be a similar situation.

    I agree Sam could have a bounce back year. But it won’t happen being an Oiler. Stasny career revived do to the emergence of Duscene, O”Rielly and Mackinnon. That is some serious depth at center.

    Our position of weakness needs a player that can handle the tough minutes every game. I do believe Stasny is an upgrade from Sam. But at those UFA dollars that he would command I’m not sure.

    I still believe our best bet is to work with Snow. He needs to get out of the lottery and closer to being a playoff team due to the Vanek situation.

  47. slopitch says:

    Okposo is the RW in Brooklyn. So one of them would need to go LW. I think if we take on salary, NYI might be interested.

    Another guy I like is Anisimov. J Staal. Stepan. Guys like Couturier (although Philly is crazy), Hanzal, Plekanec aren’t available. Kesler wouldnt waive his NTC to come here. If Florida drafts a C, Id be all over Klefbom for Bjugstad…

    So many options, if MacT can get Nielson for Gagner and land a #1D in the magic 3 for 1 I’ll do cartwheels down jasper.

    How much cap space do the oilers have next year? Must be quite a bit. I guess the other elephant in the room is how do they not give Yak 6 million per this summer. Time to bridge it up on Jultz and Yak.

  48. G Money says:

    icecastles: I would need a Kitchenaid to mix my metaphors this badly.

    Not enough power. You need a Vitamix with the special “Metaphjar”.

  49. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=715345&navid=DL|EDM|home

    Scrivens added to team Canada

  50. slopitch says:

    speeds,

    FML.

    Defensemen drafted before McDonough in 2007 are Hickey, Alsner and Keaton Ellerby.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think if they eat some salary they can get something useful back in a Gagner trade. The key item is managing what comes back(salary and term)…we don’t need to make a bad deal with Sam.

    The buyout option– and 4 years of cap penalty– is a non starter for me…I’d rather flush him for draft picks if it comes to that.

  52. flyfish1168 says:

    slopitch:

    How much cap space do the oilers have next year?Must be quite a bit.I guess the other elephant in the room is how do they not give Yak 6 million per this summer.Time to bridge it up on Jultz and Yak.

    I feel that might be the calling card to trading Yak, is dealing with his contract.

  53. slopitch says:

    I cant see the Oilers letting Ekblad pass if he’s there at 3. But I still think you draft Bennett (or Draisatl) and chase the 3 for 1 all summer. Acquire that top pair D (with hair on his ass) and let someone else worry about developing a dman. Its a scary business.

  54. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ducey: there are some positives:
    1. His shooting percentage was a career low

    This made me laugh. Yes, I understand where you were going with it, but it’s not exactly getting the list of “positives” off to a flying start, now is it?

  55. book¡je says:

    Iphone problems on LTs website can be overcome by downloading the Puffin Browser for $3.99. The free version works for a couple of weeks if you want to try it. The key is getting a browser that can handle flash on the iPhone.

    http://www.puffinbrowser.com/index.php

  56. icecastles says:

    book¡je:
    Iphone problems on LTs website can be overcome by downloading the Puffin Browser for $3.99.The free version works for a couple of weeks if you want to try it. The key is getting a browser that can handle flash on the iPhone.

    http://www.puffinbrowser.com/index.php

    I have flash disabled on every device I use. Youtube just autoloads HTML5 video in its place.

  57. book¡je says:

    icecastles: I have flash disabled on every device I use. Youtube just autoloads HTML5 video in its place.

    Are you able to regularly read and post on LT’s site on an iphone even when he has videos posted?

    I thought flash was already disabled on the iPhone/iPad (and I thought this was the cause of the crashing).

    Just to be clear, the problem isn’t that videos are not working on iphones, but rather that the entire page crashes on posts with video’s embedded.

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    All this Cogs talk has me thinking the Oilers have a serious, systemic failure of imagination about how to construct their roster.

    They saw Cogs and Gags and saw a problem. ANA saw cogs and saw a useful 3rd line winger. And, look there he is.

    I don’t know what a team will see in Gags and how they will get it done. Maybe it can’t. Probably need a strong team to insulate him no matter what.

    It’s just frustrating that we complain about role players (6s, 7s, 9s, etc) and then find ways to get rid of them: Belov comes to mind.

  59. hunter1909 says:

    Brooklyn Islanders before they morph must first worry about the draft pick they’re tragically losing over Vanek(hey Bruce McCurdy how’s that for yet another oil/isles connection?).

    The current manifestation still in LI would love Gagner; they get to reach the cap floor and he’s a wonderful player on his best nights. Isles currently have a few players that Oilers could really use, and vice versa.

    Brooklyn Islanders = NHL leading brand from the first day they trade.

  60. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Seems like groundhog day in here. Cogs was no screaming hell in the D zone when he was given away, but here we are with his more talented line mate saying the same things and granted they’re are differences, its the same idea. Sam will learn to be more responsible, he was the future here for 3+ years and this season may be the humbling experience he needs to get to where Andrew is now, knowing he has to play 200ft to be an asset to his team. He’s second generation NHL and he will figure it out. I can’t help but think that he would be a much better player today if Craig had been his coach this whole time and that if Dallas is drilling him on the D side of the game next year will be a good one. Maybe it hurts to look over your shoulder when your recovering from a broken Jaw. :)

  61. Hammers says:

    hunter1909:
    Brooklyn Islanders before they morph must first worry about the draft pick they’re tragically losing over Vanek(hey Bruce McCurdy how’s that for yet another oil/isles connection?).

    The current manifestation still in LIwould love Gagner; they get to reach the cap floor and he’s a wonderful player on his best nights. Isles currently have a few players that Oilers could really use, and vice versa.

    Brooklyn Islanders = NHL leading brand from the first day they trade.

    Would Snow give up the 5th pick this draft for Gags . Snow needs players who can play NOW as Buffalo would have the 2015 pick . We then get a center at #3 and A winger at #5 . . May have to sweeten with a player from Okl .

  62. slopitch says:

    Snow would never give up the 5th overall for Gagner.

    I just spent some time reading about the safari crash. 7.1 was supposed to fix it but it didnt.

  63. Lowetide says:

    Going back ever farther, MacT spoke to Pouliot about being a checker ala Reasoner and he balked. I think humility is a very good quality, maybe they need more of it. In Gagner’s case, what he does well requires him to play with skill (as Bruce mentioned above).

  64. icecastles says:

    book¡je: Are you able to regularly read and post on LT’s site on an iphone even when he has videos posted?
    I thought flash was already disabled on the iPhone/iPad (and I thought this was the cause of the crashing).
    Just to be clear, the problem isn’t that videos are not working on iphones, but rather that the entire page crashes on posts with video’s embedded.

    No, I don’t visit Lowetide from my iPhone. If there is embedded video and I’m on iOS, the page typically crashes when I try to post a comment. I can normally read the page without issue though. I’m on a desktop or laptop often enough that it’s not too much of an inconvenience, and I don’t typically share LT’s musical taste anyhow.

    I think the problem is in WC3-noncompliant code rather than the file itself, as the OS normally just ignores the Flash.

    Given the incredible resource demands Flash places on a system and its inherent instability, I’ve never found content that is so important to me that it’s worth enabling Flash for.

    The ubiquity of mobile devices, the importance of accessibility (Flash is a deal-breaker for the visually-impaired as readers don’t work with it), the aforementioned resource demands and instability, the inability to index or search Flash-based content and with the HTML5 specification, it appears Flash has gone from a slowly dying format to a rapidly dying one. Far fewer developers are working in Flash than there were 5 years ago, and I suspect in another 5 years it will be a niche market at best.

  65. Bar_Qu says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    MacT should chase Kulikov

    http://theoilersrig.com/2014/04/bossa-antigua/

    “Should” but history and the recent comments suggest “won’t” which is a crying shame

    Good article.

  66. icecastles says:

    slopitch: I just spent some time reading about the safari crash. 7.1 was supposed to fix it but it didnt.

    Hmm. I’ve never been on LT since I went to 7.1. So this was an acknowledged bug then, I take it?

  67. slopitch says:

    Ok I think I figured it out. In your iPhone, go to https://www.youtube.com/html5. On the screen is a button that says “Request the Html5 player”. Click that button. This will cause safari to use the html5 player which uses less memory and doesn’t crash. I tested it for over a minute and its good with zooming, rotate ect. Normally it would crash in seconds.

  68. slopitch says:

    Im not big on motivational books, but if they ever translated Krugers book to English, I would buy it.

  69. russ99 says:

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with this overemphasis on defensive play by forwards.

    IMO Gagner’s effect on the defensive play happens well after the opponent zone entry, and (while I doubt there are numbers to back theory this up) after at least one shot against.

    Had we NHL caliber defensemen, and a few shutdown wingers, maybe we wouldn’t get pinned in our own zone so much and expose the weaknesses that many other players with any kind of quality cover also have and aren’t so obviously out for the world to see.

    I have a real fear with MacT/Eakins: Much like the “too many offensive defenseman” debacle the years after the Cup run, I can see these guys trying to swing us way, way too far the other way in regards to defensive play by forwards, Nashville-style and try to play boring losing low-scoring hockey which is far, far worse that what we’ve been through the last few years.

    Again, the focus should be better players, not lesser players who can play defense better.

  70. elpolodiablo says:

    This was the same crap talk when Cogliano left town, look what he’s doing for anaheim. If you don’t think he’s a long term fit you trade him when he’s doing well not when he’s at the the absolute bottom of his career. Gagner never has been consistent he’ll have a good year than a bad year. If they trade him it will be for big help now where they pair him with their 1st round pick

  71. Lowetide says:

    elpolodiablo:
    This was the same crap talk when Cogliano left town, look what he’s doing for anaheim. If you don’t think he’s a long term fit you trade him when he’s doing well not when he’s at the the absolute bottom of his career. Gagner never has been consistent he’ll have a good year than a bad year. If they trade him it will be for big help now where they pair him with their 1st round pick

    The Edmonton Oilers received a second round pick for Cogliano. He’s Marco Roy. Gagner makes $4.8M a year

  72. Younger Oil says:

    I know +/- isn’t a very reliable stat, but Gagner has the second worst +/- in franchise history.

    The only person below him is the current assistant coach.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/teamstatsleaders.htm?pg=15&sort=plusMinus&viewName=careerLeadersForFranchise&fetchKey=00002EDMAAHAll

  73. elpolodiablo says:

    would you take Marco Roy for Cogliano today ?
    Lowetide,

  74. icecastles says:

    Younger Oil:
    I know +/- isn’t a very reliable stat, but Gagner has the second worst +/- in franchise history.

    The only person below him is the current assistant coach.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/teamstatsleaders.htm?pg=15&sort=plusMinus&viewName=careerLeadersForFranchise&fetchKey=00002EDMAAHAll

    Of course, it took Buchburger an extra 314 games to get that extra -22. Sam could make that up in a single road trip if things don’t improve.

  75. Lowetide says:

    elpolodiablo:
    would youtake Marco Roy for Cogliano today ?
    Lowetide,

    I didn’t want to when it happened. Here’s what I wrote that spring

    If the Oilers trade him, will they regret it? I don’t think the Oilers need to deal him. Remember when the club put Marty Reasoner on waivers and it shook him up, caused him to take a long look at things? Remember that Reasoner was a much better player, even a mentor, after that? I’m not suggesting that Cogliano will instantly be Reasoner to the younger hires, but if he has indeed bought into being a quality role player then the Oilers have no need to deal him. He was never a marginal player and with the added attention to detail there’s every reason to believe he’ll grow into this role and own it until the Oilers feel a need to upgrade. Andrew Cogliano is miles from being the biggest problem on this team.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2011/04/andrew-cogliano-10-11-can-you-please-crawl-out-your-window-2.html

  76. icecastles says:

    Lowetide,

    Do you think that part of the reason they sent Cogliano away was that after the Heatley debacle, the trust relationship was broken and they felt they had to deal him after that? When I say it, it sounds like weak sauce, but I wonder if that trade-that-wasn’t played a role in his eventual departure.

  77. elpolodiablo says:

    Lowetide,

    Point taken, if a player has been given a contract for $4.8 million dollars you have to stand by him particularly if it’s a long term contract, that’s my 2 cents. On the flip side how many strikes is MacT allowed ? Signing Gagner to this contract then trying to deal him now when his market value is crap, I personally feel his coaching hire was a joke, trading Yakupov isn’t off the table so I guess my question is how many major misses can he be afforded to take ?

  78. One-Timer says:

    icecastles: Of course, it took Buchburger an extra 314 games to get that extra -22. Sam could make that up in a single road trip if things don’t improve.

    I would think that career-long plus/minus is a very significant stat. In that maximal sample size, there is only one constant, and less and less blame can laid at the feet of bad linemates, there being so many of them by that point. Sam is putrid defensively.

  79. Bruce McCurdy says:

    One-Timer: I would think that career-long plus/minus is a very significant stat. In that maximal sample size, there is only one constant, and less and less blame can laid at the feet of bad linemates, there being so many of them by that point. Sam is putrid defensively.

    I think so too. Over a career there is a substantial enough sample size to iron out a fair bit of the randomness. There will still be team and role effects; won’t be good for Gagner because (this just in) he’s played on a crappy team his whole career, but seven years along he doesn’t appear to be part of the solution, let’s put if that way.

    The list of career plus/minus leaders does a not-bad job of identifying many of the greatest players since the stat was introduced in 1967.

  80. icecastles says:

    One-Timer: I would think that career-long plus/minus is a very significant stat. In that maximal sample size, there is only one constant, and less and less blame can laid at the feet of bad linemates, there being so many of them by that point. Sam is putrid defensively.

    Yup, but he is also on a defensively putrid team. If he were playing on, say Boston, who have a league-leading +84 and have allowed the second fewest goals on the season, his +/- would be vastly improved.

    +/- is absolutely a significant stat for assessing teams. For individual players, even when examined across an entire career, it’s one step up from useless. Play in front of Brodeur your whole career, that career +/- isn’t going to look the same as if you spend those years in front of Jeff Deslauriers, Ty Conklin, and a a mix of AHL defensemen.

  81. zilong says:

    A bit of a tangent, but do any teams hire professional negotiators as associate GMs? You’d think they’d quickly earn their keep by squeezing an extra / upgraded pick in a trade or saving 100k here and there in new contracts over what an untrained former NHL player in that role could maybe get.

  82. icecastles says:

    zilong,

    No. I think the professional negotiators you’re thinking of mostly exist in movies.

    The most effective negotiator is going to be the one who knows the business and the product inside and out, and who has an established rapport with the other side. In other words, the GM.

    Not to say that this isn’t something a good GM should have training and coaching in as it’s a large part of their job, but it’s not a stand-alone skillset for which someone would be hired exclusively.

  83. Chris says:

    Brian Burke, Mike Gillis, Peter Chiarelli, Dean Lombardi all became GMs having first been lawyers and player agents.

  84. Chris says:

    Although I admit to being rather biased I tend to think that career that requires an analytical background likely does produce stronger candidates for GM than athletic prowess.

  85. flyfish1168 says:

    All to often players drafted sees themselves and wanting to be a top 6 player. But its so important they have other skills in their tool box to play top 9 or maybe even bottom 6 roles. Cogs proves he can play 3rd line role and the occasional top 6. Not sure if Gagner has it in him.

  86. zilong says:

    icecastles:
    zilong,

    No. I think the professional negotiators you’re thinking of mostly exist in movies.

    The most effective negotiator is going to be the one who knows the business and the product inside and out, and who has an established rapport with the other side. In other words, the GM.

    Not to say that this isn’t something a good GM should have training and coaching in as it’s a large part of their job, but it’s not a stand-alone skillset for which someone would be hired exclusively.

    Yes, please hire Brad Pitt! He was a good GM in Moneyball!

    So a guy with years of experience playing hockey can learn how to close a deal, but a guy with years of experience wheeling and dealing can’t build rapport or learn about the sport? Lombardi didn’t play hockey, but he seems to be doing okay.

    Maybe the outsider sits between MacT and Six Rings, who both just nod and and pipe in to agree once in a while. With all the examples of poor asset management and bad contracts, maybe a business type “outsider” can provide a needed fresh perspective.

  87. icecastles says:

    zilong: So a guy with years of experience playing hockey can learn how to close a deal, but a guy with years of experience wheeling and dealing can’t build rapport or learn about the sport? Lombardi didn’t play hockey, but he seems to be doing okay.

    I don’t see anyone making this implication anywhere, or anything even remotely resembling it.

    I am saying that a “professional negotiator” is not a full-time role that does or should exist within an organization. It is a part of the General Manager’s duties.

    I fully believe (and have said so) that the GM should have appropriate training/experience. An MBA or a law degree are powerful tools for much more than resume padding.

    I think if it must be one or the other (and I don’t accept that this is an either/or scenario), a business background is preferable to a player background.

    That said, hockey is an old boys club; the Oilers aren’t the only team that functions this way. Rapport and familiarity are important assets in being able to get the ear of the other executives and swing deals. Maybe it shouldn’t be this way, but it is.

    Ensure you have a GM who has the appropriate skillset for the job. Don’t hire 15 people with 15 different specialized skillsets. It’s a hockey team, not the space shuttle. If you’ve hired a general manager who needs someone else to cover off an essential part of his job, you’ve hired the wrong general manager.

    zilong: Maybe the outsider sits between MacT and Six Rings, who both just nod and and pipe in to agree once in a while. With all the examples of poor asset management and bad contracts, maybe a business type “outsider” can provide a needed fresh perspective.

    Again, I think this “wise outsider with a fresh perspective” narrative makes for great movie scripts. I’ve yet to see it fly in the business world where actual knowledge, experience and familiarity matter. There are doubtless exceptions to this rule (though when carefully analyzed, the ‘outsiders’ rarely turn out to be entirely thus), but they are just that: exceptions.

  88. zilong says:

    icecastles: I don’t see anyone making this implication anywhere, or anything even remotely resembling it.

    I am saying that a “professional negotiator” is not a full-time role that does or should exist within an organization. It is a part of the General Manager’s duties.

    I fully believe (and have said so) that the GM should have appropriate training/experience. An MBA or a law degree are powerful tools for much more than resume padding.

    I think if it must be one or the other (and I don’t accept that this is an either/or scenario), a business background is preferable to a player background.

    That said, hockey is an old boys club; the Oilers aren’t the only team that functions this way. Rapport and familiarity are important assets in being able to get the ear of the other executives and swing deals. Maybe it shouldn’t be this way, but it is.

    Ensure you have a GM who has the appropriate skillset for the job. Don’t hire 15 people with 15 different specialized skillsets. It’s a hockey team, not the space shuttle. If you’ve hired a general manager who needs someone else to cover off an essential part of his job, you’ve hired the wrong general manager.

    Again, I think this “wise outsider with a fresh perspective” narrative makes for great movie scripts. I’ve yet to see it fly in the business world where actual knowledge, experience and familiarity matter. There are doubtless exceptions to this rule (though when carefully analyzed, the ‘outsiders’ rarely turn out to be entirely thus), but they are just that: exceptions.

    So all we need is a guy with years of experience and training in asset-management and negotiations, and has spent years learning the sport inside and out and rubbing elbows with players and execs. Must be thousands of these guys around!

    Six Rings and MacT aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Unless they change their ways adding someone to the team is all we got. It seems like the skills lacking in the management group are on the business end. 2+2=4.

    As for 15 people / shuttle comment, I’m not sure what inspired it because it wasn’t anything from me. However it did make me consider that the Edmonton Challengers seems like an appropriate name for this team.

  89. icecastles says:

    zilong: So all we need is a guy with years of experience and training in asset-management and negotiations, and has spent years learning the sport inside and out and rubbing elbows with players and execs. Must be thousands of these guys around!

    I’m not really sure what point you are trying to make with this comment. Yes, being a senior executive is a difficult job with a skillset that is broad as well as deep. Good ones are rare. That’s not really a revelation.

    zilong: Six Rings and MacT aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Unless they change their ways adding someone to the team is all we got. It seems like the skills lacking in the management group are on the business end. 2+2=4.

    MacT has an MBA from one of the better business school in Canada. Rip on him as will, but if you’re here to tell us Craig MacTavish is stupid or uneducated, you won’t find many sympathetic ears.

    zilong: As for 15 people / shuttle comment, I’m not sure what inspired it because it wasn’t anything from me.

    It was hyperbole directed at your idea that a “professional negotiator” should be hired to do the talking, or to “sit between MacT and Six Rings, who both just nod and and pipe in to agree once in a while.” There is a saying in business, that a camel is a horse built by committee. In other words, going for quantity in the room is not always the best way to make executive decisions.

    Many people have been concerned that there are one too many people influencing the decision-making process (I don’t fully agree, but the opinion is out there). You are proposing that an additional person should be made a part of that process except that rather than being a true decision-maker, he is simply the Mouth of Sauron. I just don’t see it.

    And the idea that he would save hundreds of thousands of dollars off of contracts… to me, this just speaks of a rather idealistic view of how these things work at all.

    I don’t mean to knock down your argument: I agree that negotiating skill is very important. I disagree with how you propose to implement it, and the apparent absolutism of your idea.

  90. ohhell says:

    Keep in mind that Joe Sakic did not make that list because he started out -102 in his first thee seasons on a very bad team (-36, -40, and -26) before finishing his career somewhere around +30. His career turned out OK from my perspective, but the team effect was debilitating from to his career plus/minus.

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Bruce McCurdy: I think so too. Over a career there is a substantial enough sample size to iron out a fair bit of the randomness. There will still be team and role effects; won’t be good for Gagner because (this just in) he’s played on a crappy team his whole career, but seven years along he doesn’t appear to be part of the solution, let’s put if that way.

    The list of career plus/minus leaders does a not-bad job of identifying many of the greatest players since the stat was introduced in 1967.

  91. FastOil says:

    I see the Oilers having difficulty sussing the good players since Sather left. No rhyme, no reason.

    Many people have seen the fatal flaws in Gagner’s game for years. He should have been traded when he was shiny. He suits the Panthers or something, he doesn’t play ‘Oiler’ hockey.The question really is why is this happening? There are only a few that have stuck around over the last 15-20 years. Is it Lowe? Is it ownership?

    One last kick at the can. I can maintain interest if they flop next year if they draft O’Connor or Eichel and don’t lose Hall. Otherwise not. I don’t enjoy soap operas much. Or arrogant incompetence.

  92. Andy P says:

    How about this:
    Gags joined in 2006. Wasn’t 2006 his best year ever? Guess when our well connected, backstabbing, coach killing, future HC Offensive Assistant arrived? 2008.

    MacT won 50% of his games in the 2005 SC run. He dropped to 36% when everyone left in 2006/7,
    got back up to 50% in 2007/8, and then dropped to back in his last year as Oilers HC, when Bucky and Tambo arrived. Tambo’s gone, and MacT has stuck with Eakins – so far.

    I appreciated Bucky’s hard nosed, never give up albeit low skill hockey game. But if the reports here and on ON are correct, then that is data that strengthens the presumption of Bucky being the constant in the lack of enthusiasm, drive, cohesion, and effectiveness of the forwards. Which is intolerable.

  93. Bruce McCurdy says:

    ohhell: Keep in mind that Joe Sakic did not make that list because he started out -102 in his first thee seasons on a very bad team (-36, -40, and -26) before finishing his career somewhere around +30. His career turned out OK from my perspective, but the team effect was debilitating from to his career plus/minus.

    Oh sure, I think I said “not-bad”, not “perfect”. Sakic was on a truly terrible team to open his career, and for a few years he wasn’t part of the solution either on the defensive side of the puck especially. He did a great job turning it around to the degree that he did. That said he was a minus player 8 different seasons and a plus player 11 seasons, it’s not like he was just a constant outscorer his entire career. But for the sweet spot of his career, 1998-2006, he certainly was. His career is comparable to Steve Yzerman who also had a horrible first three years (-58) before being involved in a major turnaround, winding up at +185 after 14 straight plus seasons to close out his career.

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