STRANGER THAN FICTION

Sam Gagner is at a crossroads in his career. His boxcar numbers—at his age—are very impressive, and he’ll make a fine living in an NHL city for years to come. I’d suggest that he was a good and developing player for a long time in our city, but the Kassian injury and the failed sorties this season are probably too much to overcome. Many suggest MacT will need to trade 89 before his no-trade kicks in, but one suspects Samwise has long since charted course for a new life, with a new plan and a brand new dream.

These kids arrive with so much hype, and have wonderful opportunities, but that also comes with pressure. In many cases, certainly Gagner’s this year’s model is replaced by another, younger, better, stronger, one.

OILERS 2014 DRAFT PICKS

  • #3 overall (first round)
  • #91 overall (fourth round, this is the Bryzgalov return)
  • #116 overall (fourth round, this is the Mike Brown return)
  • #128 overall (fifth round, this is the first pick of the Ales Hemsky return)
  • #136 overall (fifth round, this is the Nick Schultz return)
  • #153 overall (sixth round)
  • #183 overall (seventh round)

Islanders own 4, 34, 53 and 64 among the top 90 selections. They also have Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, Scott Mayfield, Calvin de Haan and others.

Anything in there interest you?

JOSH BAILEY PLAYER CARD

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49 Responses to "STRANGER THAN FICTION"

  1. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    sam

  2. Pouzar says:

    Neal ‏@tweetneal 2h
    So Joey Leach heads back to Bakersfield. Hmmmm, could another D man be headed to the #OKCBarons? #nurse

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On the Bailey thing… Stauffer mentioned this like 2 days before fuzzy lady pants and he went through the whole friendship angle on the players involved.

    that may lend credence to the line of thought while undermining FLP’s insider status.

    At any rate, would Clutterbuck rate alongside the Clifford return? I think so. No thanks. Suspect that might be it or so.

  4. Pouzar says:

    Holy Sweet BBBIULQ Mr Bailey!!!!

    Is he any good?

  5. misfit says:

    Nothing in the Islanders system interests me. But considering we almost traded him for Kyle f****ing Clifford, something tells me I’m not going to be happy with what we ultimately do get in return when he’s traded.

    And make no mistake, he will be traded. MacT’s comments about addressing the 2nd line in the offseason basically means one or more of Perron/Gagner/Yakupov (our current 2nd line on paper) will be playing for another team opening night. Perron is MacT’s first major acquisition through trade, so he’s not going anywhere. Yakupov shouldn’t either, but there have been enough comments and “no comments” over the year to make me think he’s not as untouchable as he should be.

    Bailey? Sadly, I think this is the best we can do, but I’m not a fan of the player. The only reason anyone cares about him is his draft position (which was 6 years ago now).

    If the choice is getting a Josh Bailey level asset back, I’d rather not trade him at all.

  6. Ribs says:

    I think I’d rather see Gagner at wing for a season (or half of one) rather than see him traded for spare parts. Pump before you dump. I know there’s the whole no trade thing but I think he would comply if the writing is one the wall.

  7. fifthcartel says:

    I’d be okay with Bailey, but I’m not sure where he would play (2nd or 3rd LW?). He’d be a great start to a third line that could actually score, and could probably do fine on second line left-wing as well. Just depends if they want Perron at #2LW or they plan to have him on RW with one of the current ones moved.

    My ideal 3rd line for the Oilers would be something like Bailey-Brodziak/whoever-Kulemin, effectively pushing Hendricks-Gordon to the 4th.

  8. gr8one says:

    de Haan Has some nice things about him, but then again, I’m not sure we need yet another young D.

  9. Marcus Oilerius says:

    LOL Aaron Ward and Jeff O’Neill think that of all the Canadian teams not in the playoffs this year, the Leafs are most likely to make the return next season.

    Rich.

  10. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    misfit,

    Would Ryan Strome interest you? Would they consider moving him for Gagner+ or our first round pick or Eberle or whatever since they have Tavares and Neilson 1/2 C? I know its a total stretch to envision them parting with an emerging center like that but with Moulson and Vanek no longer in their mix I think they have a more present need for some offensive punch in the forward corp.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Patricia Teter ‏@Artful_Puck 1m

    #OKCBarons RT @EdmontonOilers: #Oilers assign defenceman Darnell Nurse (@drtwofive) to @OKCBarons.

    And there it is!

  12. misfit says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    misfit,

    Would Ryan Strome interest you? Would they consider moving him for Gagner+ or our first round pick or Eberle or whatever since they have Tavares and Neilson 1/2 C? I know its a total stretch to envision them parting with an emerging center like that but with Moulson and Vanek no longer in their mix I think they have a more present need for some offensive punch in the forward corp.

    Yeah, Strome would definitely be of interest to me, but I was referring to players the Islanders might actually be willing to part with. I don’t consider Strome to be such a piece.

  13. David says:

    I would like Bailey. I’ve wanted the Oilers to assemble team spitfire since we drafted Hall. Hall, Bailey, Fowler, Ellis, Henrique. Don’t want Kassian though. *spits*

  14. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Patricia Teter ‏@Artful_Puck 1m

    #OKCBarons RT @EdmontonOilers: #Oilers assign defenceman Darnell Nurse (@drtwofive) to @OKCBarons.

    And there it is!

    Dillon Simpson next.

  15. Woodguy says:

    Two things about Bailey that haven’t been mentioned.

    1) Ridiculously great contract. 4 more years at $3.3MM.

    2) Has played with Nielsen for the last 2 years and faces a lot of tougher comp. In a 2LW role in Edmonton you can expect him to score more (see: Perron, David as an example)

    I don’t think you get him for Gagner.

    I like the target though.

    If we assume:

    4-93-14 is the top line, then 2nd line looks like:

    Bailey-X- 57/64

    Does that mean one of Yak or Perron gets dealt for the 2C?

    I keep Yak over Perron.

    Does 2 years of Perron equal 1 year of Dubinsky? Maybe a re-signed Dubinsky?

    Bailey-Dubinsky-Yakupov as your 2nd line is pretty good.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: Dillon Simpson next.

    Frozen Four starts tomorrow!

    I read somewhere that on average 20 players in the frozen four will eventually play in the NHL for at least a game.

    That’s some good hockey going on.

  17. PDO says:

    Josh Bailey broke in as a C and played C until he was moved onto a line with Frans.

    If the Oilers are trading for him, I suspect it’s to play C because Oilers.

    4-93-14
    57-Bailey-64
    23-27-Kulemin
    20-Arco-Pitlick

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Jultz
    Klefbom-Ference
    Nurse

    Seems very Oilery.

    You have one forward out of position, another one on a line too high, and every single defenseman but Klefbom playing too high up the ladder.

    Seems about right. Hope and a prayer.

  18. Marcus Oilerius says:

    PDO:
    4-93-14
    57-Bailey-64
    23-27-Kulemin
    20-Arco-Pitlick

    Playoffs in 2017-2018!

  19. Younger Oil says:

    That’s great news about Nurse. As for Bailey, it seems like he’d be a great piece, but doubt we could get him for Gags straight up. The player I’d want most from NYI would be Brock Nelson. Perfect fit for a third line player who can move up in the lineup if needed.

    Matt Martin would also be very useful as a 4LW as a throw in on a deal.

  20. nycoil says:

    I mentioned in a prior thread that the Isles’ potential ownership change makes it difficult to send Gagner and his contract there, but if money is coming back then that makes it easier. Bailey may be a nice buy low candidate in the Okposo two years ago pattern.

    I have had this sneaking suspicion a big summer deal is coming. I think the tires have been kicked at the deadline and we will see a move for immediate help at the draft coming.

    Agree with composite guy that Gagner alone at this point may not fetch Bailey. With apologies to Hemmer, if the rumours out of Ottawa are true, would you give up Gagner and a D prospect (push for Musil rather than Klef/Marincin) and a 1st (prefer next year obviously despite it beinga deeper draft) for Spezza? RNH-Hall-Eberle / spezza-perron-yak top two lines. If we can make it a ’15 first then we can still get an ekblad or draisaitl. Sign both Niskanen and Markov and things look a lot better, no?

    I prefer that over the bigger deal I fear may have been discussed with Nashville, who may want a quick rebuild with a king’s ransom for Weber and a future top pair of Jones-Ekblad and more.

  21. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I don’t know if anyone watched the Habs-Hawks game, but Patrick Sharp is a fantastic hockey player. That pass to Hossa and later that goal… sigh.

  22. oliveoilers says:

    Seriously? We’re speculating on a trade rumour ‘broke’ by somebody in their underwear with numerous pseudonyms, whom, according to the interwebs may or may not be real and has an insider source by the name of Garfield? A five second cursory search will provide you all you need to know about this ‘story’. This is trolling of the most cruel and highest order. Dangling an almost believable rumour, then watch the oilogosphere explode. Desperation is indeed a stinky cologne. Ok then Fox Mulder, I want to believe!

  23. jb says:

    oliveoilers:
    Seriously?We’re speculating on a trade rumour ‘broke’ by somebody in their underwear with numerous pseudonyms, whom, according to the interwebs may or may not be real and has an insider source by the name of Garfield?A five second cursory search will provide you all you need to know about this ‘story’.This is trolling of the most cruel and highest order.Dangling an almost believable rumour, then watch the oilogosphere explode.Desperation is indeed a stinky cologne.Ok then Fox Mulder, I want to believe!

    Believe it or not there’s some anonymous people out there far more connected than your radio analyst idol Stauffer. Not that I’ve ever payed any attention to this Garfield character, but you can find some quality, seemingly random info out there.

    Lt, thoughts on Smyth returning? Does he have a positive impact these days?

  24. Lowetide says:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but maybe it’s been awhile so will go ahead and do it again. 2011 July 1, Treena S Oil tweeted out ALL of the free agent signings about 20 minutes before they reached the news desks.

    She had ONE misstep (I still have it in my drafts) and that was a signing of that big goof center who wins faceoffs and does nothing else (can’t remember his name right now).

    She had all of them, swear to God. So, I don’t listen to rumor people, and she hasn’t hit like that day again, but at some level Fussy Britches had/has a source.

    I’ve cited her before, and will again. And not to be an ass about it, but I don’t write on this blog to excite or get hits. If I wanted hits, I’d write about more than just the Oilers. I love this blog, and the Oilers.

    Kill me. Kill me now.

    :-)

  25. Lowetide says:

    jb: Believe it or not there’s some anonymous people out there far more connected than your radio analyst idol Stauffer. Not that I’ve ever payed any attention to this Garfield character, but you can find some quality, seemingly random info out there.

    Lt, thoughts on Smyth returning? Does he have a positive impact these days?

    Last time I checked Smyth was still helping. He’s flagged, but yeah I think so. The end of season review starts next week, we’ll have a lash at it then.

  26. frjohnk says:

    So lets say the oilers pick Ekblad in the draft and are planning on dealing Gagner, what do they do for the 2nd line center position? There are not many top 6 UFA centers. Stasny, Grabovski and Legwand, maybe Roy. And for those guys, where does Edmonton rank for wanting to play? Yeah, MacT might be aggressive, $8 million for Stasny? but so will be some other GM’s.

    The scenario of drafting Ekblad and trading Gagner could leave the oilers with nothing even resembling a 2nd line center. Maybe they keep Gagner * ducks and runs for cover* and hope he can return to some form of last year. We do have to remember that Gagner is well liked in the room, could he bounce back?

    If the oilers do draft a center, Gagner is gone and that pick is playing in the NHL next year.

    MacT is in a tough spot, but if there is one GM willing to work the phones and try get the pieces the team needs, its him. I do believe Gagner will not be here next year, sadly the oilers probably get 40 cents on the dollar for the return.

  27. jp says:

    Younger Oil:
    As for Bailey, it seems like he’d be a great piece, but doubt we could get him for Gags straight up.

    Why not? Gags makes more $$, and we know he has deficiencies, but Bailey doesn’t bring the same offense. Both are top 10 picks, Gagner a year earlier, but Bailey is less than 2 months younger. Both are over 400 games at a young age, but Bailey has a career high of 35 pts (09-10 and this year). Gagner’s career low is his current 37 pts. I don’t know, but it’s not hard to imagine Gagner’s offense cancels out Gagner’s defense in a situation like this.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    PDO: Seems very Oilery.
    You have one forward out of position, another one on a line too high, and every single defenseman but Klefbom playing too high up the ladder.
    Seems about right. Hope and a prayer.

    Having a bottom of the order defenceman as thecaptainethanmoreau’s successor is perfect, when it’s combined with insulting the young best skill player since the pre-dynasty times.

    Pity Taylor Hall’s playing so well, since it makes Eakins looks like a dope for picking Ference. Luckily Yakupov’s being managed like Robbie Schremp, to keep continuity with this franchise.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy,

    What about Gagner for Eller? Even if it doesn’t pan out, we get to enjoy Eller’s misery.

  30. godot10 says:

    If the Islanders win the lottery, I actually would speculate the Sedins and Edler might end up in Brooklyn for Griffin Reinhart, Sam Reinhart, Josh Bailey PLUS

  31. hunter1909 says:

    godot10:
    If the Islanders win the lottery,I actually would speculate the Sedins and Edler might end up in Brooklyn for Griffin Reinhart, Sam Reinhart, Josh Bailey PLUS

    Brooklyn is going to become the instant number 1 UFA wet dream destination.

  32. BeerLeagueHero says:

    I’m all for the clutterbuck. Hendricks-Gordon-Clutterbuck is a 3rd line to be reckoned with. I also like Bailey as a guy that can float throughout the roster. He can play wing or center, 2nd or 3rd line.

    As for Yak, he really needs a selfless center that can pass and make room for him on the ice. Would the Draisaitl kid fit that bill?

    Could the Oilers deal their first pick this year, gagner and petry to the isles for Bailey, Clutterbuck, and Griffin Reinhart? The problem with trading with the Islanders is would they really want Gagner? Maybe to smooth over the dealing of Moulson w/Tavares.

  33. Kitchener says:

    Dallas loses. Time to cheer for Phoenix. I’m sick of the Taylor/Tyler hindsight and want Seguin out of the goddamn playoffs.

    Go Coyotes! Get that 8th playoff spot.

    (as a kid in white in the WPG stands in the late Jets days, I can’t stand Phoenix, but will cheer for them now regardless)

  34. icecastles says:

    I’m hoping they keep Gagner, but it’s really more out of fondness for the player than anything else.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect him to return to his previous form – he has improved markedly in the latter part of the season. However, the question we must ask is what exactly was his “previous form” and is it worth the risk and the cap hit?

    On the positive side, Sam is an excellent passer and a great stickhandler. If he could ever learn to raise the puck, I don’t doubt he’d be among the top shootout scorers in the league. We’re told he is extremely competitive and a leader in the room though that is more by third-party reporting than by eye or analysis. Narrative seems to be that he’s extremely soft, but I think there may be a similarity to how Hemsky is viewed here: often when we see him playing “soft”, we are actually seeing him playing hurt through injuries with which most players would simply sit out. That’s a whole different kind and level of toughness than just pasting dudes into the boards. He’s not been in many fights but the ones he’s been in certainly seem to speak to a competitive fire and a willingness to stand up when the situation calls for it.

    On the downside, he is as streaky as streaky can be. Even in the 2011/12 season, his career-high season for points (excluding last years’ truncated season in which he scored at a .79PPG pace), 8 of his 47 points came in a single game. 0.62PPG that season; 0.52PPG without that one game. He brings offense (295 points in 480 games played) but it’s not predictable or steady. Depending on your perspective, this could be bad or it could be a non-issue. For me, streaky offense is better than no offense, but he’s being paid a lot to go through extended dry spells and there’s not much else in his game to fall back on when he’s not scoring.

    And that’s the bigger part of the downside. -77 on his career. His corsi typically sits in the low- to mid-40s. And enough ink has been spilled (pixels illuminated?) on his phenomenal defensive-zone lapses (comas). If Sam’s not scoring, he’s hurting the team. With a streaky player, I’d consider this to be a deal-breaker.

    If 89 is to stay with the Oilers and earn his salary, I believe he can’t simply return to his previous form. With Yakupov, Eberle and Hall, there are enough offensive specialists who can be expected to outscore Gagner by a healthy margin. He is going to learn to diversify his game and figure out the other third of the ice. I think he can do it, and I want him to.

    He’s heading into his 8th NHL season, but he’s also only 24 and like so many young Oilers, being on his fifth NHL head coach can’t possibly have helped. I hope he makes it as an Oiler and I think it’s certainly possible. But he may have missed his window. If he moves on, I’ll certainly be cheering for him.

  35. PunjabiOil says:

    i’d like the Oilers to draft one of Reinhart, Bennett, Draisatl (having a very tough time deciding between the last 2 – leaning Bennett).

    Then move the 2015 1st for Tyler Myers.

  36. Marcus Oilerius says:

    In 1977-1978, Wayne Gretzky set a rookie scoring record in the OHA with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, scoring 70-112-182 and leading his team at age 16.

    However, the Greyhounds had a sub-.500 record and while they did better than expected in the playoffs by advancing past round one, they would go no further.

    Gretzky would play with two future NHL players and coaches – Hartsburg and Nolan – while on the team, and then depart for the WHA the season after.

    The best team in the league were the Ottawa 67s, lead by Bobby Smith and his 69-123-192 in just 61 games played, though at age 19. He would be drafted first overall and be part of the surprising North Stars team that was a mini powerhouse in the early 80s. He was very good but not spectacular, his NHL scoring surpassing the century mark only once in his career but he maintained a point-per-game consistency over 1000 games, a feat relatively rare even in that era, with only Bernie Federko and a couple members of the famed ’73 draft class – as well as, of course, Lafleur and Dionne from ’71 – achieving the same feat from draft classes in the 70s… until the explosive 1979 draft and early 80s drafts produced players who reached not just 1000 points, but 1500 or 1700, and in much greater numbers. Incidentally, Bobby Smith got dealt for, among others, current Oilers assistant coach Keith Acton when Montreal was gathering firepower for their playoff run, eventually winning the Cup a couple years when Steve Smith gave the rest of the league a precious gift – a chance at the Cup in the mid ’80s.

    Anyway, looking back at those drafts, I worry we drafted in ’85 or ’86 rather than ’84 or ’87.

  37. Marcus Oilerius says:

    PunjabiOil,

    2015 1st could be Connor McDavid. We’re not a playoff team next year, so we’re in the lottery for that pick.

  38. Marc says:

    LT

    Some time ago I think a commenter on here mentioned an exchange on the trade deadline episode of Oil Change.

    I haven’t seen the episode, but if I recall correctly the commenter said that the Oilers brain trust were discussing a particular player that was potentially available. Someone (MacT?) noted that this player wasn’t particularly physical. Someone else (Eakins?) said he wished he had seen more than the few shifts he had seen of the player. I think they agreed to revisit in the offseason.

    Bailey might have been the player they were tlaking about. He’s not particularly physical. And the Oilers only played the Islanders once before the trade deadline. Bailey played just under 15 minutes in that game.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This SKN chart on Bailey is interesting:

    http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2013_s%2B2012_s%2B2012_p%2B2011_s%2B2011_p%2B2010_s%2B2010_p%2B2009_s%2B2009_p%2B2008_s%2B2008_p%2B2007_s%2B2007_p&f2=5v5&f3=Josh+Bailey&f5=&f4=&f7=&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

    looks like he’s been in the hard work quadrant for the most part over the years, with the exception of 2012-13… where’s he’s at the other end of the world.

    I don’t know the Isles well… was there a coaching change or a significant injury or something?

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Frozen Four starts tomorrow!

    I read somewhere that on average 20 players in the frozen four will eventually play in the NHL for at least a game.

    That’s some good hockey going on.

    TSN is broadcasting it if anyone is interested… but I think you may have to be a subscriber to get it.

    http://www.tsn.ca/ncaa/story/?id=448783

    I don’t see the game listed on any of the various sites (yet), but if I find a stream I’ll be sure to post it here.

    Simpson’s ND game is the late game at 8:30 EST

  41. j says:

    Our first, Gagner, and prospect for E. Stall and Carolina’s second. Stall can play with our big boys and Nuge can focus on his defensive game with Perron and Yak. There is some rumbling that E Stall is at odds with the organization but he remains a key piece to them. May take more but this is the type of move that could propel us to rampant mediocrity.

  42. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    This SKN chart on Bailey is interesting:

    http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2013_s%2B2012_s%2B2012_p%2B2011_s%2B2011_p%2B2010_s%2B2010_p%2B2009_s%2B2009_p%2B2008_s%2B2008_p%2B2007_s%2B2007_p&f2=5v5&f3=Josh+Bailey&f5=&f4=&f7=&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

    looks like he’s been in the hard work quadrant for the most part over the years, with the exception of 2012-13… where’s he’s at the other end of the world.

    I don’t know the Isles well… was there a coaching change or a significant injury or something?

    I think a Bailey vs Gagner swap would good. Bailey is a responsible defensive player, he isn’t physical, isn’t great on faceoffs ( 43% career average), he mostly plays the wing. Usually on the 2nd unit PP, PK’s sometime.

    I think he would be the perfect fit with Gordon.

  43. B S says:

    frjohnk,

    Trading a second line player for a third line player then. Breaking our nose to spite our face, very Oilers.

  44. TheOtherJohn says:

    For all the people who say NYI has shitty prsopects: they have finished ahead of us for awhile and have some very nice pieces in their system.

    I am one of the worse a tcriticizing the Oiler lovefest for drafting Oil Kings but the Islanders have one of the best D men playing in the CHL on their draft list: G Reinhardt. He would be a superb get. It might cost us something very very good but I would be good with that. Doubt he scores in NHL but he is the ultimate cooler: he is defending the other yeams best scorer

  45. frjohnk says:

    B S:
    frjohnk,

    Trading a second line player for a third line player then. Breaking our nose to spite our face, very Oilers.

    I’m being realistic. We don’t get full value for Gagner if we trade him this summer especially factoring in his contract.

  46. Mesmer says:

    j:
    Our first, Gagner, and prospect for E. Stall and Carolina’s second.Stall can play with our big boys and Nuge can focus on his defensive game with Perron and Yak.There is some rumbling that E Stall is at odds with the organization but he remains a key piece to them.May take more but this is the type of move that could propel us to rampant mediocrity.

    Let’s assume for a moment that E Stall would waive his NMC to leave the east, the warmer weather, and his brother to come to the 28th place team. He only has two more years left at 8.5 million (!), at which time he is a UFA. What are the odds that he resigns, and at the age of 31 what do you pay him, and how many good years does he have left? So in 2 to 5 years (likely 2) you will have no Gagner, and still have a hole at 2C.

    Meanwhile, the player you would have drafted with this years’ first will just be beginning his career in the NHL, and will be on an entry (re: value) contract. Gagner will likely still have value, and the Hurricanes would have saved 17 million in cap hit.

    You want to throw them even more to make it happen?

    I’ve said it often – I don’t care who you trade as long as you win the trade. This is not a trade you can win.

  47. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    “Does that mean one of Yak or Perron gets dealt for the 2C?”

    The Oilers never sell high. So it’ll be Yak, but if Bailey is coming in, they should leverage Perron’s career year for the 2C or 1D.

  48. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks: Skip to toolbar
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    One of them won’t be here.

    Wonder if you could get Hamonic and Bailey for Gags and Yak/Perron.

  49. In New York: The Islanders are Ripe with Young Centers - The Oilers Rig - The Oilers Rig says:

    […] has been trending for a variety of reasons. Lowetide has followed the work of fancy lady-pants on the same track. Jonathan Willis has entertained the idea a couple of times recently over at OilersNation. Over at […]

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