The Edmonton Oilers managed a 5-2 victory last might against the Vancouver Canucks but woke up this morning to find out centre Sam Gagner will be gone for the foreseeable future with a broken jaw. Taylor Hall took a nasty elbow to the face earlier in the game and Darnell Nurse was run from behind as well. Reminds me of the last few seasons doesn’t it?
Sam Gagner recently signed on for the three seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and I started to think about what his upside was and who he compares to long term. One name that immediately came to mind was Joe Pavelski, who has turned into a pretty darn good second line center in San Jose.
The current 4th line guy, Anton Lander- With yesterday’s signing of Sam Gagner, the Oilers currently have three proven NHL centres under contract, along with RNH and Gordon, for the 2013-14 NHL season. It has been largely speculated that Anton Lander would be the guy to slot in the middle on the fourth line. The question for fans is whether or not Lander looks like a fourth line centre on a playoff team. Even though he has 67 NHL games to his credit over two seasons, no one could make the argument that he is a proven NHL player. Is he the right guy or should the Oilers make a move for a more proven commodity?
The Gagner hater’s list- With not much else going on in Oiler-land right now, the hot topic is Sam Gagner’s arbitration hearing on Monday. Last night I caught a portion of the Jason Strudwick Show on the Team 1260 and the Sam Gagner haters were out and they were vocal. Their list of complaints was the same old tired stuff we’ve had to endure in Oil Country for years, specifically that:
- He is too small
- He can’t win faceoffs
- He can’t play defence/ his possession numbers are poor
While some of these points are valid, I’ve always asked the question, “but how is the team going to acquire a big, offensive, defensively sound, faceoff winning machine without ripping apart the roster- assuming one is available?” Myself, I have never been a huge Sam Gagner fan, however, I do believe he is a very nice piece for the Oilers to have as finding a second line centre with skill and who will satisfy all is an exercise in futility.
For this post I decided to examine second line centres league-wide to see if the prototypical second line centre the Gagner haters crave exists and if it would be likely that player could be available in a trade.
Once again, is Mactavish adding to make a deal? With today’s news that the Edmonton Oilers have once again acquired Denis Grebeshkov, fans are left to wonder why? Prior to today’s announcement, the Oilers already had eight NHL calibre defensemen under contract and by anyone’s count, you can only play six in any given game. If nothing changes, the Oilers will start camp with 9 NHL defensemen and a very decent pipeline of prospect blueliners knocking on the door from OKC. What makes this move even more strange is that the Oilers currently only have 2 proven NHL centremen (RNH & Gordon) under contract (until Gagner is signed or dealt) and will possibly start the season with an unproven (an so far underwhelming) Anton Lander as their fourth line centre. In addition, other than Joensu (sort of), the Oilers haven’t addressed their need for size and grit amongst their forward ranks. When there are so many holes upfront, why the continued focus on adding rearguards? One could easily speculate that it is because defence is a position of extreme importance and depth in this area is a good thing; however, couldn’t the same be said of centre ice?
There may be more to the Grebeshkov signing than is initially obvious.
So www.nhl.com has Denis Grebeshkov listed on The Edmonton Oilers roster now so, it looks like their back-end is more than full with this apparent signing. With the addition of Grebeshkov, The Oilers now have ten defencemen signed:
Is Perron the consolation prize or the prize? And cue the Sam Gagner debate…..- Everyone in Oil Country is buzzing over yesterday’s trade of Magnus Paajarvi and a 2nd rounder for David Perron. Some people feel the Oilers gave up too much and some feel the Oilers won the deal in a landslide. The reality is, while the Oilers got the best player in the deal, David Perron wasn’t their first choice for the second line; David Clarkson was. So how does Perron stack up against Clarkson?
Since the 2013 NHL Entry Draft on Sunday, there has been no end to Oilers fan’s complaints about Craig Mactavish’s lack of a significant move. Whether you are listening to local sports talk radio, reading the comments section of a blog, or standing at the water cooler, there are no shortage of complaints and suggestions a out what Craig Mactavish ‘should have done.’ The knives are already out and they are long.