2014 31-60

It’s been a little while (late May) since we looked at the second round, but MacT’s comments today are pertinent to this area of the draft and are worth a second look.

  • #31 C John QuennevilleSkill player blossomed in the postseason. Impressive finish.
  • #32 D Anthony DeAngelo—Phenomenal skater, outstanding offense. A rover, major defensive issues.
  • #33 G Thatcher DemkoA .935 save percentage is outstanding anywhere.
  • #34 D Jack Glover—Mobile two-way defender with size and passing ability.
  • #35 D Marcus PetterssonTrending defender, tall and thin.
  • #36 D Travis SanheimBig defender with nice skills. Good passer, reliable coverage defender.
  • #37 D Jack Dougherty—Two-way defender with impressive wingspan.
  • #38 L Justin Kirkland—Trending player, lots of potential but a definite flier.
  • #39 C Nick SchmaltzCreative center with quick hands.
  • #40 L Brett Pollock—Skill winger can cash, didn’t help his case in playoffs.
  • #41 L Spencer Watson—Pure goal scorer, he’s an impressive skill player.
  • #42 D Dysin Mayo—A mobile, creative defenseman who can make plays.
  • #43 D Josh JacobsSmooth two-way defenseman with size.
  • #44 C Eric Cornell—A quality playmaker, he also has size. A trending player.
  • #45 C Chase De LeoSmall, fast, makes things happen. Famous because Portland Winterhawks.
  • #46 C Brayden Point—Outstanding playmaker, gritty undersized F. NHLE: 82, 12-19-31 on fast gun.
  • #47 L Brendan Lemieux—A chippy bugger, he’ll play as high on the depth chart as his skill allows.
  • #48 L Vladimir Tkachyov—Small, skilled Russian with a ridiculous Q run.
  • #49 C Ryan DonatoTed’s boy, intelligent skill F. Luedeke likes him.
  • #50 G Alex Nedeljkovic—Had a .925 SP in the OHL this season. Solid resume.
  • #51 D Brycen MartinBig defender skates well and moves the puck smartly. A safe pick.
  • #52 R Anton Karlsson—Big, strong forward with speed and skill. Enigma. 1st rder on talent alone.
  • #53 L Ryan MacInnis—Lanky winger isn’t strong or fast, but he has talent.
  • #54 R Vaclav Karabacek—Gritty two-way winger with skill.
  • #55 L Dexter Dancs—Sleeper power forward.
  • #56 C Daniel Audette—Undersized skill player who will find a way. Underrated.
  • #57 C Nicolas Aube-Kubel—Two-way center, he’s aggressive and is a good skater.
  • #58  D Jacob MiddletonA nice range of skills, tough season but lots of potential.
  • #58 R Ondrej Kase—Speedy winger with all kinds of skill.
  • #60 C Nick Magyar—Big forward with across the board skills, a little shy offensively.

Craig MacTavish told us today that the club is unlikely to get second or third round selections.

  • “After our first pick we don’t have another one until the first pick of the fourth round. We have two picks in the fourth round and two picks in the fifth round and I suspect it will stay that way.”

What does that mean? Well, the first thing it means is that most of the names mentioned here will be off the list by the time Edmonton makes their second pick of the 2014 NHL draft.

OILER PICKS IN 2014

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

The other thing we can be sure of is the verbal we will hear now through draft day. Consider this from the 2008 Harvest Moon summary:

  • Round Two: None. Kevin Prendergast stated the price was so ridiculous they decided to sit and wait where they were. Kevin Lowe said they might have moved up had they pulled the trigger on the 2 needs for the NHL team (top 2line F and toughness) but the extra NHL and fringe talent (Stoll, Torres, Pouliot, Schremp, Jacques) was held back for another day.
  • Round Three: None. There was still quality on the table at this time and most certainly the Bourret trade at #90 is a tell that the Oilers could have been in the mix (the two teams involved, NYR and Phoenix, are “Oiler friendly” and one imagines Edmonton decided not to offer a superior talent to Bourret which is not a difficult task). We all have our opinions, but I think Edmonton needed to pay their way in to the third round and pick up another asset with Jacques. Perhaps I’m overvaluing the player, but Bourret is no screaming hell I’ll tell you that much right now.

Sounds pretty much the same as MacTavish’s verbal today. The other thing we should expect? Long shot talent. Also from the 2008 summary:

  • Round Four: D Johan Motin. A solid, if unspectacular pick and generally speaking we adopt this player type as our own when the Oilers brass give the seal of approval. Stay at home type with size and a mean streak, he apparently can be exposed in areas and is no sure thing. Still he’s rather safe for the 4th round and my bet is he’ll play at some point in time with the big club.
  • Round Five: LW Phillippe Cornet. His scouting report reads like a pure tweener. He’s skilled but he isn’t fast, he’s got some try but isn’t overly physical. Somewhat similar to Stephane Goulet at first glance, but players with his resume taken in the fifth round do not have a terrific history of success. This is where the Kyle Brodziak’s of the world, the plumbers, find their homes and begin the long process of grinding themselves into useful role players. A real long shot from here.
  • Round Six: C Teemu Hartikainen. This is the type of player who can get somewhere from this point in the draft. Good size and strength combination, he has feet of clay but some pluck and desire. Finns seem to be genetically predisposed to playing well in the North American style and based on his resume this fellow would seem like a worthy candidate. The third most valuable player taken by the Oilers this weekend.
  • Round Seven: D Jordan Bendfeld. Tough as nails enforcer who will go right to pro (he’s a draft re-entry, former Coyote selection). This is an organizational hire who someone in management likes for what might be a variety of reasons. There are probably 100 kids with more talent that didn’t get drafted today and another 100 with the same talent who could be signed as minor league free agents tomorrow. I don’t think these kinds of picks are terribly wise simply because it’s a bullet in the organizational gun and you might as well pick a “draft and follow” player who may emerge as something else again one year from now.

The Oilers do have more picks this year, but they’ll need that No. 3 overall to come through as a pro player if they have any hope of staying prospect current with the rest of the league. They did well in 2008:

  • Round One: RW Jordan Eberle- A perfect combination. A strong argument can be made that Eberle was the best player available and he certainly addressed a need (shooter) in the system. He’s a May 1990 and 16 (tied for 4th in the WHL) of his 42 goals (tied for 4th in the WHL) came on the powerplay. A quality pick and immediately one of the 5 best prospects in the system (I’ll rank them all next weekend with a new top 20).

That first round selection is going to be a major item this summer. Huge. However, this is already a great procurement draft, because of the value:

OILER PICKS IN 2014

  • #3 overall (first round)
  • David Perron (second round plus Paajarvi)
  • Ben Scrivens (third round)
  • #91 overall (fourth round, this is the Bryzgalov return)
  • #111 overall (fourth round, this is the Mike Brown return)
  • #130 overall (fifth round, this is the first pick of the Ales Hemsky return)
  • #137 overall (fifth round, this is the Nick Schultz return)
  • #153 overall (sixth round)
  • #183 overall (seventh round)

That’s the way to look at this draft in my opinion. Already terrific value, and certainly good trades on both picks. Can MacTavish add more selections? No idea. We do know that he views adding picks as a secondary item.

And that is wise thinking.

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67 Responses to "2014 31-60"

  1. Lloyd B. says:

    Great post. I like the strategy. MacT traded two magic beans for immediate help and keeping our most valuable pick for ourselves. That should be three bona fide nhl players from one draft. Rinse and repeat again this year and likely next and the Oilers should be very good with a full pipeline.

    As I mentioned the other day, that is why I keep this pick to keep a steady steam of talent in the system. We can start trading 1sts when we need a specific player for the unicorn known as a cup run. As much as I hate to say it…we need to stay the course. We are soon to be out of this nightmare. If we jump off the plan now we will be in the infamous infini build.

  2. Zangetsu says:

    What about trading down for more low end picks? Up the odds when they are so ungodly low.

  3. Lowetide says:

    This is a weird year, Z. It’s like the Oilers have the 2008 draft arsenal (very bad) but they have the 2002 draft list (everything is all over hell’s half acre).

    So, they might get extreme value. That Russian goalie I have at 60 or the BCJHL power forward might just be there.

  4. Zangetsu says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m hoping we go Russian. I think if there are bargains to be found its in the motherland. That being said there are probably other worthwhile picks low down as well. I heard talk earlier about Kamenev not wanting to come over. Hopefully it turns into a Slepyshev scenario. I really like Kamenev, Goldobin, and Deangelo, but I doubt we find a pick in those rounds. I would try to move our first fourth for a mid fourth and a fifth, and other similar moves to try and find something.

    Gagner for picks is an option, but I like my idea of Gagner and 3 for Grigorenko and 2. He has had a weak debut, but I think he is in a neiderreiter (???) situation. Two gets us Eckblad or Choice of Center.

  5. Lowetide says:

    It sounds like they won’t trade a player (Gagner) for picks, which means either an NHL talent coming back for 89 or he stays.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    It sounds like they won’t trade a player (Gagner) for picks, which means either an NHL talent coming back for 89 or he stays.

    caught that too…

    makes you wonder if that means, the Oilers’ preference isn’t to get picks for Gagner… or that the offers they are hearing aren’t pickish…

  7. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: caught that too…

    makes you wonder if that means, the Oilers’ preference isn’t to get picks for Gagner… or that the offers they are hearing aren’t pickish…

    I like the idea generally, but Gagner isn’t nothing so hopefully they get someone decent. I like Josh Bailey, anyone else?

  8. John Chambers says:

    I would trade away a 2nd and 3rd round pick every year for a Perron and a Scrivens. Sometimes draft picks become terribly overvalued when you can convert them into actual NHL players in the here and now.

    Also rest on peace Tony Gwynn. I’ve spent a lot of time in San Diego and the man was legendary. Hard working player who could position the ball anywhere on the field. Sham to die young from chewing tobacco.

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I like the idea generally, but Gagner isn’t nothing so hopefully they get someone decent. I like Josh Bailey, anyone else?

    Bailey is a good swap for both teams.

    classic… “get a second look” situation on each player.

    after him… the options all look horrific from here… Umberger being the worst.

    Hell, Clifford and a a couple of snack packs look good by comparison.

  10. cahill says:

    So I jumped over to the ol’ blogspot. When I Bruce & IceDragon having a discussion which quickly turns into how good Dustin Brown is.

    Here’s the gem;
    “IceDragoonWednesday, June 25, 2008 at 5:24:00 PM MDT
    Bruce:

    Yeah, I think you may be right about Brown. Altho, “monster” paints too many Pierre visions in my head. ;-)

    LA could be a contender in a few years… if they get the right coach.”

    I think the Kings got the coach right!

  11. SpotTheLoon says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree. Comparable age and two players who could benefit from that second look. Bailey is versatile in that he can play all forward positions. It also avoids the draft pick scenario which means looking at something down the road to be drafted and develop. This is the best option I’ve heard for a Gagner swap that is out there.

  12. gd says:

    Bailey played with Hall in Junior. In fact it looks like the 16 yr old Hall helped get Bailey a top 10 pick. I thought he looked pretty good in last year’s Pittsburgh series. I thnk he’s as good as you can for Gagner at this time. Two guys screwed up by bad developmental plans by two Fd up orgs.

  13. Maurey says:

    They’ve got to keep the Russian “Ya…K…ov” tradition going and draft at 153. LW/RW – Nikita Yazkov – Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 6′-1″, 187lbs. He was top 6 forward on Russia’s U-17 team 2 years ago but has had some trouble adjusting since coming over. Maybe he’s a good project pick and it might make Yakupov feel like the Oilers still care after all the other Russians form last year are gone (Belov, Bryzgalov, Grebeshkov). A good backup if Slepyshev never makes it over, too.

    Future Yakov Line
    Yazkov – Yakimov – Yakupov

    Sadly, this could be interpreted as the Jackoff Line in some dialects.

  14. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I like the idea generally, but Gagner isn’t nothing so hopefully they get someone decent. I like Josh Bailey, anyone else?

    I’ve said before that the best way, in my view, to maximize Gagner’s value is to find a combination of a few factors:

    - trade him East where skill divorced from size is not such a…big…issue. Also, fewer viewings may skew the line on him.

    - trade problem for problem. Bailey fits this bill.

    - trade across Offensive/Defensive lines, forward for forward needs more to differentiate it for another GM to feel he is getting value. Moving from forward to defense, though, can hide some sins and a GM may feel they are getting the better end of the deal: think Luke Schenn for Riemsdyk.

    Just my thoughts on the matter, but this is why GMs like Dale Tallon, Garth Snow and Dave Nonis come to mind. All out East, looking for offense, and not necessarily disciples of the “size is king” school of thought. Buffalo could be a fit also, although I’m not certain to what extent.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Further to the Bailey chatter…

    here’s a longer look I gave him recently:

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/06/islanders-bailey-nelson/

  16. book¡je says:

    MacT said they need players more than they need picks.

    I expect 89 to start the season here. I just don’t think they get an offer worth taking

    Besides, the Oilers management has it all figured out:

    *Ramsey will fix Gagner!*

  17. Andy P says:

    book¡je:
    MacT said they need players more than they need picks.

    I expect 89 to start the season here.I just don’t think they get an offer worth taking

    Besides, the Oilers management has it all figured out:

    *Ramsey will fix Gagner!*

    sigh.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    book¡je:
    MacT said they need players more than they need picks.

    I expect 89 to start the season here.I just don’t think they get an offer worth taking

    Besides, the Oilers management has it all figured out:

    *Ramsey will fix Gagner!*

    The “Gagner Problem”…

    Is really the “2C Problem”

    Unless Ramsay is some kind of witch… even if Gagner stays, we still need to find a 2C. One who now has to cover for Gagner on his wing.

    Whether Gagner stays or goes, that’s the big problem.

    Because that is the big problem, the idea of trading Gagner for picks makes sense… you’re going to need that cap money for whomever you end up with as 2C.

  19. David says:

    Lowetide:
    It sounds like they won’t trade a player (Gagner) for picks, which means either an NHL talent coming back for 89 or he stays.

    This is the best news of the offseason so far.

  20. Ryan says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Bailey is a good swap for both teams.

    classic… “get a second look” situation on each player.

    after him… the options all look horrific from here… Umberger being the worst.

    Hell, Clifford and a a couple of snack packs look good by comparison.

    I once had an accountant who had this deep mellifluous voice that had just the right pitch to rumble your stomach.

    One time, I met him with two of my then business partners… Afterwards, one of the guys said, “I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m absolutely starving. Of course I couldn’t stop laughing…

    Every time I hear “rj umberger,” it makes me feel the same way.

  21. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The “Gagner Problem”…

    Is really the “2C Problem”

    Unless Ramsay is some kind of witch… even if Gagner stays, we still need to find a 2C. One who now has to cover for Gagner on his wing.

    Whether Gagner stays or goes, that’s the big problem.

    Because that is the big problem, the idea of trading Gagner for picks makes sense… you’re going to need that cap money for whomever you end up with as 2C.

    The Oilers have cap room though. So it would make more sense to sign the 2C (which they may or may not get in the off-season) and move Gagner for picks in the summer for the 2015 draft (where they may be able to get higher draft picks for him, GMs are notorious for thinking little draft picks far away but ramping up their value when the draft is close) or start him and wing and trade him during the season (if he waives his no-trade).

  22. David says:

    What I’m wondering is where is the Gagner can’t play center a year ago? Yes Gagner had a bad year. It was really bad. But I don’t think it is the best bet to think he’ll have another terrible year. At his best he is still a flawed player. But this is the Oilers. We can’t dump every player who has warts, we’d be left with only Taylor Hall. Before his disasterous season Gagner was a useful piece. Let’s not dump him for pennies on the dollar.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wheatnoil: The Oilers have cap room though. So it would make more sense to sign the 2C (which they may or may not get in the off-season) and move Gagner for picks in the summer for the 2015 draft (where they may be able to get higher draft picks for him, GMs are notorious for thinking little draft picks far away but ramping up their value when the draft is close) or start him and wing and trade him during the season (if he waives his no-trade).

    We are in an enviable cap situation. I’ll grant you.

    But, keep Gagner and it does get tricky if you want to actually upgrade on D and down the middle.

    Not impossible, but tricky.

  24. Lowetide says:

    David:
    What I’m wondering is where is the Gagner can’t play center a year ago? Yes Gagner had a bad year. It was really bad. But I don’t think it is the best bet to think he’ll have another terrible year. At his best he is still a flawed player. But this is the Oilers. We can’t dump every player who has warts, we’d be left with only Taylor Hall. Before his disasterous season Gagner was a useful piece. Let’s not dump him for pennies on the dollar.

    Gagner was not a great center but did make small improvements (SMALL) seasons over season. It was assumed he would one day be good enough to at least hold his own, but last season was a train wreck. Add that to his offensive skill set is duplicated on the roster, and he’s the guy to move off of center, and possibly out the door.

  25. LostBoy says:

    Trading Gagner this summer, barring an unexpected return, remains madness. In terms of offensive production, this is a career (that is, averaged over a career that began at 18, for god’s sake) upper-third-of-league 2C who in his last non-straw-fed season put up the 17th best boxcars (i.e., average 1C production) of all C in the NHL.

    Yes, I think we ultimately need a different 2C. But it is f-wording nuts to trade this player at the absolute nadir of his value, unless you’ve solved a whooooolllle bunch of other problems and have that luxury. Which is a major stretch.

    At least the current verbal is that just-go-out-back-and-cry-for-a-while suggestions like trading him for two 3rd rounders in this year’s draft are off the table.

    I’d do Gagner for Josh Bailey. I don’t think NYI would.

    The $4.8 m is only an issue if you have someone else to throw it at. Last time I opined that there is no obvious reason to believe Edmonton would be competitive for the relatively few UFAs worth something this summer, someone mansplained to me that Niskanen and Fayne would perfectly fit our needs. That is, two of the primo 27 year old UFA D (the third is Stralman, who also has gotten talked up a lot lately). I’d love any of that to happen. But those are some of the most attractive UFA D who might be on the market. The pinnacle of our UFA achievement is Boyd Gordon, a very good addition, but still the 30 year old with overpay and term that seems within the realm of the possible.

    And I still don’t understand how one gruesome season so devalued Gagner in the eyes of the fanbase. One year ago the to-do list on this blog was to get him signed to the exact kind of contract he ended up signing. He was defensively suspect, though reasonable (-1 over the previous two seasons combined), and we were waiting, as we’ve been waiting all along, for the offense to move to the next level and make it worthwhile.

    And so his jaw got shattered. And what happened happened. And now everything is different. I guess.

    /rant off

  26. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: We are in an enviable cap situation. I’ll grant you.

    But, keep Gagner and it does get tricky if you want to actually upgrade on D and down the middle.

    Not impossible, but tricky.

    Agree completely. However, if the Oilers trade Gagner for picks and strike out getting a UFA 2C, that would spell pure disaster. Trading Gagner before a 2C is in place is like going ‘all in’ with a 3-7 off suit and praying you hit the straight with a miracle flop.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    David:
    What I’m wondering is where is the Gagner can’t play center a year ago? Yes Gagner had a bad year. It was really bad. But I don’t think it is the best bet to think he’ll have another terrible year. At his best he is still a flawed player. But this is the Oilers. We can’t dump every player who has warts, we’d be left with only Taylor Hall. Before his disasterous season Gagner was a useful piece. Let’s not dump him for pennies on the dollar.

    I’d put it this way: They need to turn north now. Have to. That means they need to insulate RNH. They have to get an established 2C. Have to.

    It’s one thing to bet on Gagner rebounding in the boxcars and to some degree in his defensive game.

    It’s a whole new ball game to bet on Gagner being the 2C he’s never been and hasn’t shown signs of becoming.

    I don’t have a problem with Gagner returning. But not at C. MacT has to find a better option this Summer. If he doesn’t we’re still too captivated by next year’s crop of goodies.

    RNH
    Gagner
    Gordon
    Arco
    Lander

    won’t work. just won’t.

  28. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’d put it this way: They need to turn north now. Have to. That means they need to insulate RNH. They have to get an established 2C. Have to.

    It’s one thing to bet on Gagner rebounding in the boxcars and to some degree in his defensive game.

    It’s a whole new ball game to bet on Gagner being the 2C he’s never been and hasn’t shown signs of becoming.

    I don’t have a problem with Gagner returning. But not at C. MacT has to find a better option this Summer. If he doesn’t we’re still too captivated by next year’s crop of goodies.

    RNH
    Gagner
    Gordon
    Arco
    Lander

    won’t work. just won’t.

    Sorry, but your reasoning here is just absolutely flawed and shortsighted from start to finish.

    Gagner as the 2C will work because running RNH, Gagner, Gordon, Arcobello, Lander means the Oilers are at or near the top of the pecking order for McDavid.

    McDavid is the Oilers’ 2C, or even 1C making RNH the 2C, a process that is impossible if they go and bring in Grabovski, Statsny, or some other thoroughly competent and capable veteran player.

    So, by that reasoning *stifles laugh* Gagner equals the Oilers’ 2C.

    We just need to be patient. *rimshot, takes bow*

    Seriously, though. Gagner for Bailey is probably the best we can hope for. In a perfect world, we swindle Burke with some lie about grit, truculence and character married to offensive prowess and swap Gagner for Backlund.

  29. misfit says:

    I definitely have an issue with a Gagner/Bailey swap. Bailey adds almost nothing that you don’t already get with Gagner except possibly an inch or two in height. He has decent posession numbers because he plays the lion’s share of his minutes with Neilsen (who’s numbers are not negatively impacted in the slightest when not playing with Bailey). He’s only slightly cheaper from a cap hit perspective, but you’re on the hook for longer. Oh…and he doesn’t even fill a hole in the lineup. He’s a 3rd line winger at best (though I suppose we could use one of those). He definitely does nothing for the C/D issues that would only be compounded with the loss of Gagner.

  30. G Money says:

    LostBoy: The $4.8 m is only an issue if you have someone else to throw it at. Last time I opined that there is no obvious reason to believe Edmonton would be competitive for the relatively few UFAs worth something this summer, someone mansplained to me that Niskanen and Fayne would perfectly fit our needs. That is, two of the primo 27 year old UFA D (the third is Stralman, who also has gotten talked up a lot lately). I’d love any of that to happen. But those are some of the most attractive UFA D who might be on the market. The pinnacle of our UFA achievement is Boyd Gordon, a very good addition, but still the 30 year old with overpay and term that seems within the realm of the possible.

    Lots of players to throw that $4.8M (and a whole lot more) at.

    It is *very* possible that the Oilers will strike out on signing most, if not all, of the premium UFA players out there. But I’m guessing we’ll get at least one. And that one player – who will cost nothing but money and cap, of which the Oilers have gobs of both – will then determine where the gaps are, and who might/should get traded for what.

    The crime is in not trying.

    To paraphrase a hockey expression widely attributed to a great ex-Oiler: “You miss out on 100% of the UFAs you don’t try to sign”.

  31. David says:

    Trading Gagner this summer, barring an unexpected return, remains madness. In terms of offensive production, this is a career (that is, averaged over a career that began at 18, for god’s sake) upper-third-of-league 2C who in his last non-straw-fed season put up the 17th best boxcars (i.e., average 1C production) of all C in the NHL.
    Yes, I think we ultimately need a different 2C. But it is f-wording nuts to trade this player at the absolute nadir of his value, unless you’ve solved a whooooolllle bunch of other problems and have that luxury. Which is a major stretch.
    At least the current verbal is that just-go-out-back-and-cry-for-a-while suggestions like trading him for two 3rd rounders in this year’s draft are off the table.

    This is exactly what I’ve been thinking. Well said.

  32. David says:

    My last post was supposed to be quoted from Lostboy. No attempt to steal his post.

  33. David says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’d put it this way: They need to turn north now. Have to. That means they need to insulate RNH. They have to get an established 2C. Have to.

    It’s one thing to bet on Gagner rebounding in the boxcars and to some degree in his defensive game.

    It’s a whole new ball game to bet on Gagner being the 2C he’s never been and hasn’t shown signs of becoming.

    I don’t have a problem with Gagner returning. But not at C. MacT has to find a better option this Summer. If he doesn’t we’re still too captivated by next year’s crop of goodies.

    RNH
    Gagner
    Gordon
    Arco
    Lander

    won’t work. just won’t.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2014/01/nhl-gms-deal-with-double-trade-deadline.html

    #20- seems like the opinion on Gagner around the league is that he should stay at center.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    misfit,

    Bailey doesn’t solve the 2C problem. I’ll grant you that.

    But, he’s a better player defensively than Gagner and with strong wingers (say, Perron and the once and future Yak) he may be able to sled along at 2C until say… Reinhart/Bennett/Draisaitl can take the helm.

    Also, what’s the evidence Frans is carrying Bailey’s lunch around for him?

    Here’s his WOWYs

    13-14
    together: 52.3
    Bailey apart: 53.4
    Frans apart: 48.1

    12-13
    together: 49.7
    Bailey apart: 48.2
    Frans apart: 38.9

    13-14 CFRel%
    Bailey: +3.9%
    Frans: +1.5%

    13-14 QCTOI
    Bailey: 29.0%
    Franz: 29.2%

    13-14 OZS
    identical: 46.2%

    13-14 5×5 TOI/60
    Bailey: 13.12
    Frans: 12.09

    So, they are playing the same 5×5 minutes (Bailey plays about a minute more). In the same zone. Against the same comp (Frans’ is slightly tougher)… but Bailey has the better possession numbers and WOWY numbers.

    what am I missing here? I’ve heard this before, but it reads as anecdotal in the face of the available evidence… that said, I’m totally open to hearing a case on the matter.

  35. Lowetide says:

    David: http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2014/01/nhl-gms-deal-with-double-trade-deadline.html

    #20- seems like the opinion on Gagner around the league is that he should stay at center.

    There was a piece somewhere later in the season that talked about teams looking at Gagner on wing. He can play either, troubles earlier in his career but Quinn buggered him up that year.

  36. Dee Dee says:

    Trading Gagner is not Madness. The issue is whether you get an upgrade as a replacement and/or savings in salary.

    The same goes for every player on the team.

    If the Oilers take some of the money that they have saved in other contracts and land a Stastny the sting of losing Gagner will miraculously disappear.

    Predicting if a player will rebound or just keep on sinking is Voodoo science. I can name a whole lot more sinkers then players who have turned it around looking at past history.

  37. justDOit says:

    The little angel on my right shoulder says, “With a good coaching staff and better roster, Gagner will be a lot better.”

    The little devil over my left says, “Pick up $2M of his salary, trade him for a high first round pick, and go UFA hunting with that pocket-full of cap space.”

  38. David says:

    One thing about Gagner is that he has never ever had a good supporting cast. Questionable to terrible Goaltending, incredibly poor defence behind him, and wingers that don’t really get better corsi than he does. Including a lot of time with Yakupov who is still very raw defensively.

    Gagner is not selkie candidate. And his last season was brutal. But if he returns to form he is a serviceable second line center. Especially for the Oilers who can’t afford the luxury of holding out for perfect players.

    I would much rather the Oilers attempt to turn north now as you say by adding two of Erhoff, Coburn, Boychuck, Phanuef and having a playoff calibre Defense.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    David: http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2014/01/nhl-gms-deal-with-double-trade-deadline.html

    #20- seems like the opinion on Gagner around the league is that he should stay at center.

    the 29 other teams can play him at center.

    The point is…. You can’t bank on him being a reliable center at this point.

    Our number one center is still in wet naps and Gagner doesn’t know you have to play the puck on the south side of a sortie near the own-zone boards or that you have to mark a man when you are in the own-zone slot area or that you have to shoulder check in your own zone to see what’s going on and then do something about it or that you have to get back into the action when the puck turns south…

    This isn’t debatable. Not even close.

    A team might be able to play Gagner effectively at C. Say they had a dynamite 1C and 3C and could pair him with rock solid 2 way wingers… say a pair of Hossas.

    Yea… ok, that team can play Gagner at center because they don’t think he can handle the board work (which, newsflash… is pretty far from an endorsement of Sam Gagner, NHL centerman.)

    A team as deflated at center as the Oilers, can’t afford the risk of RNH, Gagner, Gordon as the 3Cs. Can’t do it. We shouldn’t even be debating this.

    Last year MacT hoped all the cards at Center would fall right. We saw it being bad miles away…. and it was much worse than all our nightmares combined.

    Can’t afford to enter this Fall in the same position.

  40. David says:

    Dee Dee:
    Trading Gagner is not Madness. The issue is whether you get an upgrade as a replacement and/or savings in salary.

    The same goes for every player on the team.

    If the Oilers take some of the money that they have saved in other contracts and land a Stastny the sting of losing Gagner will miraculously disappear.

    Predicting if a player will rebound or just keep on sinking is Voodoo science. I can name a whole lot more sinkers then players who have turned it around looking at past history.

    Trading Gagner with the intentions of luring a free agent like Stasney is voodoo science as you put it. Get the replacement. Then move Gagner. That is my sticking point.

    Well that and trading someone worth 70 cents for 3 cents.

  41. gcw_rocks says:

    I think if Florida takes Ekblad you offer them Gagner for Kulikov. Toss in a secondary prospect like Musil if need be. Florida desperately needs offence and right wingers and Gagner could help on both accounts.

  42. David says:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/06/16/new-oiler-signee-iiro-pakarinen-sunk-canada-at-the-worlds-this-spring/

    It was mentioned before that Pakarinen has the ability to play Defense. But Howson in this article says he played 10-15 games on d. Pure speculation on my part but I would suggest that that would skew his offensive totals a bit. Perhaps he has a bit more offensive upside than his point totals suggest?

  43. Lowetide says:

    David

    Well that and trading someone worth 70 cents for 3 cents.

    I haven’t seen anyone suggest that, seems hyperbole arrived sometime at 9pm MDT.

  44. David says:

    What would you call trading him for two thirds or a second and a fourth?

  45. Andy P says:

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/g/gagnesa01.html

    What if Gags repeated his performance of the prior 2 years, while also getting some defensive chops in place?

    Last year he had his face shattered, was brought back too soon, and handled by people who did not have a clue, and now everyone wants him thrown in the trash.

    Im not saying Ramsay is some kind of magician, I’m saying it’s the first time in Gags career that he will have had competent coaching.

    But if the best Gags has ever been – i.e. 2011/12 and 2012/13 – plus defensive chops, some faceoff skill, a face in 1 piece, and a goalie that stops goals against, lets at least not let him go until we have someone who is better.

    Is Arco better than Gags at his best?

  46. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: I like the idea generally, but Gagner isn’t nothing so hopefully they get someone decent. I like Josh Bailey, anyone else?

    Basically six to one half a dozen to the other . Both have different upsides and downs but yea I would try it .

  47. wheatnoil says:

    I think the general consensus in this thread is that the Oilers need to upgrade at 2C, which we all knew. The main disagreement is whether you can afford to offload Gagner before the replacement 2C is found.

    My point is that if you strike out with Grabovski, Legwand, and Statsny at UFA… who is the target to upgrade on Gagner and how do you acquire him? I’m all for a trade, but if Gagner isn’t involved in the trade (because he’s traded for picks) then you’re going to have to include another piece in the deal and the Oilers don’t have many pieces to spare. I just think it’s really playing with fire. You lose Gagner and can’t replace him, then you’re playing Arcobello at 2C. That could be an improvement, but it’s a pretty huge risk too, given the small sample size we’re basing his success off of. The other option is Drasaitl as 2C, which is also a less than ideal option.

    Now, if the Oilers make a trade to land them their 2C (some how, some way) before the draft, I am all for trading Gagner (if he’s not included in the trade) for picks and using the cap room to fill holes on D and a 2-way winger. It’s just the UFA market on Gagner upgrades at centre is not huge and easy to strike out in given a lot of other teams will be looking for the same thing.

  48. nycoil says:

    Lowetide,

    I said it at the time of your post suggesting Gagner for a 2nd and 3rd that would be terrible. I feel a bit better now reading this piece.

    I’ve read the arguments here saying it is really Gagner for 2nd, 3rd, and the money for Stralman or Grabovski.

    I disagree. The Oilers have the cap room for Stralman or Grabovski without sending Gagner away.

    I don’t think Bailey is enough return for Gagner, either. Been to a few Islanders games this year. He just isn’t very good. If Gagner goes to the Isles, I bet they put him on RW with Okposo and Tavares and he makes the Oilers look like fools.

    If you don’t get a reasonable player for Gagner–I’d actually target a young top 4 D-man rather than try to swap Gagner for another C– I’d keep him this year. His NMC is only for one year, right? And if the cap goes up further next year and he can restore some value playing this year, it could work out for the better all around.

    Definitely would not send him away for picks. I’d put him on a line with some skill and two-way acumen among the other two players. So something like the following might be realistic (hey, if we can get Stastny, great, but not counting on it):

    RNH-Hall-Eberle
    Grabovski-Kulemin-Gagner
    Gordon-Perron-Yakupov
    Arcobello-Lander-Hendricks

    Forwards would still be small, but bit more balance anyway.

    P.S. Remember a couple of years ago when the MSM was talking about a Gagner for Hjalmarsson rumour, but supposedly the Oilers weren’t too keen? Player values change a lot, don’t they!

  49. Lowetide says:

    David:
    What would you call trading him for two thirds or a second and a fourth?

    I’d prefer Bailey, but picks for Gagner gets you $4.8 for Stralman or another free agent. I understand your point about not getting that free agent, but I’d be willing to take the risk. Arcobello isn’t Gagner offensively, but getting out from under the Gagner deal has some real benefits.

    And I like Gagner. If he stays, I’ll be perfectly happy to cheer like hell for him. Even if he’s a center. But I don’t think you can mentor Yak AND endure Gagner in the top 6F again.

  50. frjohnk says:

    I think this team has more to lose by trading Gagner this summer as compared to letting him play 2nd line center next year.

    Here is my reasoning.

    Replacing Gagner with a UFA center is not impossible but highly unlikely.
    There are only 3 UFA centers that would be considered 2nd line or better moving forward. Stastny, Legwand and Grabovski. With the salary cap possibly hitting 74M do these guys see paydays of 8, 6 and 6M per year respectively? I think so, unless Stastny takes a home town discount. How many other teams would be willing to get into a bidding war for these guys? And even if the oilers were to outbid other teams for these players in regards to money and/or term, it is still not a guarantee that those players would sign here as Edmonton has been near the bottom of the list for free agents. Getting a UFA center to fill that 2nd line center position is wishful thinking, at best.

    Gagner is extremely competitive and will work hard to
    He will move heaven and earth this summer to come into camp in the best shape of his life. He will want to prove to everybody that as a player, he is more like his 2012-13 season and less than his 2013-14 season. Actually, I think he will want to prove that he is even better than his 2012-13 season. One would also have to believe that with Ramsy and Gordon, Gagner will work hard on his liabilities; faceoffs and defensive play

    Gagner is one of the most likeable players in the dressing room and is seen as a leader for the young group.
    When Horcoff left, he recommended Gagner as his replacement for captain. This guy has loads of character as MacT has mentioned this many times. Here is the thing, when Gagner was signed last year, MacT and the oiler brass spoke highly of Sam Gagner the hockey player and Sam Gagner, the person. But because Gagner suffers a devasting injury, and has a bad year, is it right that these same guys are going to throw Gagner under the bus and get rid of him? And nobody thinks the younger players like Hall won’t see this. Not only does a player like Hall hate losing, but if he feels like his buddies are not being treated well, how long before he wants out? Getting rid of Gagner could have ramifications down the line that we can not see right now.

    *Is this team going to compete for a playoff spot next year? If your answer is no, then you can’t trade Gagner. Why? Because you are selling low. One of the reasons why this rebuild has been spinning tires for eternity is that the majority of trades the oilers have made over the last decade is selling players at their low value and getting next to nothing in return.

    If you believe the oilers will not make the playoffs next year, then put Gagner into a position to succeed and build up his value.If the salary cap is moving towards 78 Million with the Rogers deal in 2015-16, and gagner hits something like22 goals and 37 assists over a full season, ( which I do not think is out of the question)that 4.8 Million price tag does not look so bad, does it? If after next year, ( which is when I believe the oilers will be in a position to compete for a playoff spot)Gagner does not fit into the long term plans, you trade him, but the nice thing is that you have a decent asset at a decent price tag that would be attractive to many teams and you would get something more than just picks or a 3rd liner compared to now.

    Heck, I am not even a huge Gagner booster I believe that this team will not go far with Gagner at 2nd line center. But there are just not many other options right now. My idea is to draft Draisaitl, sent him back to junior, keep Gagner,let him build up his value. If he is gonna be traded, trade him when his value is higher, not now, we have enough magic beans.

  51. jb says:

    The problem with Gagner, is that we could give Arcobello his minutes and become a better team. It’s just not good enough for a 2C. Factor in his cap-hit, him being a smaller defensive liablity and it’s pretty clear this is a case of addition by subtraction.

    This team needs to get better, and keeping Gagner as our 2C is holding us back.

  52. Rondo says:

    WHAT IS STRALMAN WORTH? Jason Gregor

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/6/16/what-is-stralman-worth

    Interesting

  53. Lowetide says:

    jb:
    The problem with Gagner, is that we could give Arcobello his minutes and become a better team. It’s just not good enough for a 2C. Factor in his cap-hit, him being a smaller defensive liablity and it’s pretty clear this is a case of addition by subtraction.

    This team needs to get better, and keeping Gagner as our 2C is holding us back.

    I think Gagner is a clearly superior offensive player compared to Arcobello, but his play without the puck at 5×5 was terminal. Have we forgotten this?

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/2013/12/when-does-sam-gagner-get-it/

  54. wheatnoil says:

    David:
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/06/16/new-oiler-signee-iiro-pakarinen-sunk-canada-at-the-worlds-this-spring/

    It was mentioned before that Pakarinen has the ability to play Defense. But Howson in this article says he played 10-15 games on d. Pure speculation on my part but I would suggest that that would skew his offensive totals a bit. Perhaps he has a bit more offensive upside than his point totals suggest?

    Good point. I’d say potentially yes.

    I don’t think his offense is too bad. An NHL-E of 15 goals is low 2nd line, high 3rd line production. His NHL-E of 22 points is low 3rd line, high 4th line production. If they’re hoping he can compete for a bottom 6 role, then IF his offense translates he’d be producing reasonably for his role and young enough to get better. If his points are underrated due to spending 1/6 to 1/4 of the season at D, then even better. I wouldn’t gift him a spot, but there’s a reasonable chance he could earn one.

  55. justDOit says:

    Good Gord – I was just browsing: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/display_players.php?tmi=5632

    Click on sort by birthdate, and sweet baby Nuge – he’s the third youngest Oiler to date, and has already played 182 games with a 0.725 ppg. Only Yak and K-bomb are younger, and haven’t climbed the hill that RNH has. Seems like ages ago he was a rookie, but he’s really only getting comfortable in the NHL now.

  56. Lowetide says:

    justDOit:
    Good Gord – I was just browsing: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/display_players.php?tmi=5632

    Click on sort by birthdate, and sweet baby Nuge – he’s the third youngest Oiler to date, and has already played 182 games with a 0.725 ppg. Only Yak and K-bomb are younger, and haven’t climbed the hill that RNH has. Seems like ages ago he was a rookie, but he’s really only getting comfortable in the NHL now.

    Nuge is a killer. AND a baby. Baby killer Nuge.

  57. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    Good Gord – I was just browsing: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/display_players.php?tmi=5632

    Click on sort by birthdate, and sweet baby Nuge – he’s the third youngest Oiler to date, and has already played 182 games with a 0.725 ppg. Only Yak and K-bomb are younger, and haven’t climbed the hill that RNH has. Seems like ages ago he was a rookie, but he’s really only getting comfortable in the NHL now.

    Which is another damn reason Gagner has to be moved to the wing or off the team.

    RNH… is a damn baby. If he was Kopitar or something we could let the 2C slack a little… we don’t have that luxury. RNH is fed to the wolves with no support.

  58. Henry says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Which is another damn reason Gagner has to be moved to the wing or off the team.

    RNH… is a damn baby. If he was Kopitar or something we could let the 2C slack a little… we don’t have that luxury. RNH is fed to the wolves with no support.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    This is exactly why I am leery of replacing Gagner at 200 lbs with Bailey at 190lbs. Or Grabovski (who I really like) at 185lbs. There are scary monsters in the Pacific division we are feeding the Nuge to. Bailey would be giving up 30-35lbs to Kopitar and Jeff Carter down low.

  59. wheatnoil says:

    wheatnoil: Good point. I’d say potentially yes.

    I don’t think his offense is too bad. An NHL-E of 15 goals is low 2nd line, high 3rd line production. His NHL-E of 22 points is low 3rd line, high 4th line production. If they’re hoping he can compete for a bottom 6 role, then IF his offense translates he’d be producing reasonably for his role and young enough to get better. If his points are underrated due to spending 1/6 to 1/4 of the season at D, then even better. I wouldn’t gift him a spot, but there’s a reasonable chance he could earn one.

    Actually, I take this comment back partially. Upon thinking about it, I realized that I was comparing his NHL-E assuming he would play a full 82 games and ranking him among forwards. That’s a but misleading. When I convert his NHL-E to goals/game and points/game, he ends up with 0.18 (mid-3rd line production) and 0.27 (mid-4th line production) respectively. That’s a little less impressive. Also, I think a good number of his goals came on the powerplay, which he is unlikely to get on in the NHL.

    So may need a bit more offense to bat above the Mendoza line. If his boxcars are a bit low because he played on D for up to a quarter of the season, that may help his cause. The other good thing, I believe it was Cult of Hockey that pointed out his shot totals were through the roof last year, so he wasn’t riding a high shooting percentage.

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Henry: Romulus Apotheosis,

    This is exactly why I am leery of replacing Gagner at 200 lbs with Bailey at 190lbs.Or Grabovski (who I really like) at 185lbs.There are scary monsters in the Pacific division we are feeding the Nuge to.Bailey would be giving up 30-35lbs to Kopitar and Jeff Carter down low.

    I’m not nearly as worried about size as you are. effectiveness is the issue.

    vitals are hard to pin down for players. they are usually outdated and players weight (at least) can fluctuate year over year.

    at any rate, NHL lists Bailey as 194, 6’1″ — big enough for me.

  61. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Rom, read your comments on the Stralman piece over at ON.

    Is it any surprise that most people see 5’11″, 190 lbs., Swedish, and everyone says, “Soft defenseman, pass,” it would be such an uphill climb for him to win people over. Someone even said he isn’t a good skater. Not sure what they are looking at. If the Oilers sign him to 5x $4.5M or something for a “13pt offensive defenseman,” as one fan called him, I feel bad for the poor guy.

    If the Rangers are smart, they are buying out Richards and re-signing Stralman. If the cap goes up like Woodguy said, they are re-signing Stralman. If for some reason Sather errs and decides the price is too rich, I think the Oilers should consider trading a conditional pick for his UFA rights. Or is that useless this year due to the new “interview period?”

    I’ve mentioned it in the past but I see the Oilers’ solution to the blue this year being: 21-21-18 in terms of minutes distribution, rather than 25-20-15. 21: Marincin-Stralman, 21: UFA LHD-Petry, 18: Ference-Schultz. This should take care of the worries about can Stralman play more minutes effectively? Only asking him to play one more minute per game.

    I would be OK with making that UFA Markov. He wants 3 x $6M from the Habs, but clearly he isn’t getting it, otherwise he would have signed already. If the stickler is the 3rd year, and Montreal won’t go 3 years, then I’d be OK with the Oilers pouncing, but for a lower cap hit. He might take $16m/3 if he gets his 3rd year? Then $5.33M doesn’t look as bad.

    Add my forward lines from above, with another year of growth from the kids, better coaching than last year, and better goaltending, and I think we’re looking at a year of progress and battling Phoenix, Dallas for 8,9,10. Also, that’s 2 Russians and a Belorussian added to the roster to mentor Yak, and a really nice PP QB to mentor Schultz in Markov.

  62. Andy P says:

    Take a look at this:
    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/roster.htm?srt=wt&type=prospect
    and this:
    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/roster.htm

    Gags is heavier than Eberle, Nuge, Yak, Smyth, Perron, and Hall, and heavier than 18 of the 28 players listed as prospects. Yak at 5’1!” has been described as a brick. Gags is the same height and 202 pounds. So let’s get rid of all players under 6′. That would be Eberle Gags and Yak.

    How about all those under 200 pounds. That would be Eberle, Nuge, Yak, and Perron. The point being that Gags isn’t undersized. He’s talented, was pushed into the NHL before his time, poorly coached, suffered a horrific injury and was brought back too soon.

    Give Ramsay a chance to bring the young man up to standard on his facoffs and defense, and to get his offensive confidence here, and we have a player worth every penny of his contract. By all means replace Gagner or any other player on the team with someone who has the ability to contribute to the team at a higher level at that position.

    If Gags does not respond to Ramsay’s coaching this year, then ok, all bets are off. But I don’t think that’s going to be the case, I believe Gags can be a very effective #2 center if he gets his prior offense back, and learns to improve his defensive play and his faceoff skills.

    At some point one of Yakimov or any of the other “big” prospects may outplay him at that position by killing it in the AHL, then on the 4th line, and so on. But Arco does not have the offensive skill that Gagner has and is 36 pounds lighter AND 3″ shorter than Gags.

    Give the man a break!

  63. Lowetide says:

    I’m a big fan of the Ramsay hire, and then this:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/2013/12/when-does-sam-gagner-get-it/

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nycoil,

    One piece that really struck me and a few others around here was a Justin bourne piece on “Value players”

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2014/03/06/the-new-obsession-with-value-players-and-remembering-why-talent-still-trumps/

    In the cap geek era, we get really obsessed with value (and… rightly so! as Bourne himself notes)… but we can get overwhelmed by the idea. It can scare us off paying the price to acquire the actually good players.

  65. wintoon says:

    The Edmonton Oilers will never be a Cup contender with Gagner as their 2C. Simply stated, he just doesn’t bring the right things to the table. If the Oilers are trying to build a contender, and after all this pain I hope to Gord they are, then moving Gagner becomes critical.

    Given all we know about his defensive play over the many years as an Oiler, we cannot realistically expect to receive a windfall in a trade. It may be that our expectations are simply too high. If we get a useful piece, be it a serviceable NHL D man, a third line winger or whatever, we are literally one step closer to our goal.

    What I truly fear is that paralysis of analysis will set in and we will end up not addressing this issue. That would be a catastrophe.

  66. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree with that. I don’t see anyone in this year’s free agent pool that fits the bill of breaking the bank (i.e.. paying more than the Hall contract), short of maybe Stastny. That said, am all for paying what we have to (either by adding a year to Markov or Stralman contracts or by outbidding another team by a reasonable amount). I’m also not against giving up a conditional pick for UFA rights if it makes sense to get a leg up. With all the history over the years, it shouldn’t be too hard for our POHO to call up Slats and ask him, “Say, if things don’t go well with Anton in the next week, could we maybe chat?”

  67. Racki says:

    nycoil,

    I’d say Markov is worth breaking the bank for too.. More for the hope of keeping the term to something manageable like 2 years.. 3 max.

    Stastny I pretty sure will stay in Colorado, sadly. So that leaves everyone fighting for Grabo.. Your overpay of the season. There’s always Draisaitl, right? Dang.

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