Monday, July 11, 2011

Center Ice, 11-12

During the reasonable expectations series I suggested than Sam Gagner is now established as the de facto #1 offensive option at center ice for the Oilers.

The exact quote was "Gagner remains one of the Oilers best offensive options and is now the top offensive center on the club. Although he has miles to go before he can boast Horcoff's range of skills, offensively Gagner is delivering a nice number (especially at even strength). He faced tougher opposition and faced that opponent with (mostly) rookie wingers so this season should be viewed as a nice step forward."

There are people who like Gagner more than I do and there are those who believe he will never amount to much (for more on that, stay tuned for the comments section of this post). Since the Oilers are likely to see significant changes this season at center (and how the C's are used) I thought it might be a good idea to look at the position in terms of scoring, time on ice and possible role.

EVEN STRENGTH TOI/G & 5X5/PTS 60
  1. Sam Gagner 14:25/1.91
  2. Shawn Horcoff 14:24/1.47
  3. Eric Belanger 14:02/1.85
  4. Andrew Cogliano 13:36/1.33
Interesting to see these 4 players side by side. Gagner and Belanger are the best offensive players by this measure, with Gagner's linemates (most often Paajarvi-Omark, Hall-Eberle, Penner-Hemsky made up half of his overall minutes) being less experienced than Belanger's (Upshall-Doan, Whitney-Doan, Korpikoski-Doan combined made up about half of Belanger's EV playing time this past season) but more dynamic and with a far better future. I would wager that in 10-11 terms Belanger had the superior men.

For this fall, with Nugent-Hopkins likely drawing in over Cogliano I'd think that coach Renney will rely heavily on veterans Horcoff and Belanger to do the heavy lifting and perhaps give Gagner and RNH the soft parade and more gifted linemates. The tough minutes wingers (Smyth, Hemsky, probably Eager &  Jones) would do the heavy work with Horcoff and Belanger; this would allow Paajarvi-Omark and Hall-Eberle to draw the soft parade with Gagner and Nugent-Hopkins. With the Oilers sorely lacking complete wingers below Smyth, Jordan Eberle may be forced into a feature role if Jones falters (entirely probable).

Cogliano might also make the roster as a winger, moving up if RNH struggled through his first 9 games.

PK TOI/G
  1. Andrew Cogliano 2:43
  2. Eric Belanger 1:47
  3. Shawn Horcoff 1:33
  4. Sam Gagner 0:22
I'd think that Belanger and Horcoff would get more time this season in Edmonton. Cogliano's penalty-killing was one of the reasons coach Renney was so strong on him as the season wore on, but with Belanger on board and Horcoff (better in the FO circle, veteran presence and a lot of experience in the role) available that role should be covered. Cogliano might offer some help on the wing in these situations, as the Oilers don't have a lot of experience (Smyth, Jones has some experience) but there has been some hesitancy to move him to the wing. Gagner is not a PK factor.

PP TOI/G & 5x4/60
  1. Sam Gagner 2.56/2.51
  2. Shawn Horcoff 2:43/4.99
  3. Eric Belanger 1:30/2.05
  4. Andrew Cogliano 0:55/4.12
Gagner's number was off this past season but the Oilers PP was poor across the board. In 09-10, Sam Gagner's 5x4 number was 5.74 so there's powerplay contributor there. Gagner's main competition will probably come from RNH, and how well he performs on the PP is anyone's guess (Taylor Hall was middle of the pack a year ago as a rookie). Nugent-Hopkins is a playmaker--a powerplay quarterback--and that role might be difficult for the rookie when playing with Hall, Hemsky, Whitney and Barker (potentially).

So, with all that as a backdrop, a question: where does Andrew Cogliano fit? Can he find a role as a PK winger and 3/4 line winger early on and then move over if Nugent-Hopkins struggles and is sent away? How far is Anton Lander from being a legit 4line solution? Would he be a possible replacement for RNH after 9 games? And what happens if the arbitation award is too dear?

Can you find a spot for Andrew Cogliano?

76 comments:

  1. I had really never considered Belanger's offensive potential on the Oilers until this moment. He could be more of a Horcoff-type, all around talent than we've been realizing.

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  2. The C position may show a little more clarity shortly with Cogliano's arbitration hearing
    set for July 21.

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  3. The problem with Cogliano is that his value will be tied to his arb number.

    He might not be tradeable after the hearing.

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  5. I'm having trouble finding room for Cogliano on "my" roster but he's been a good Oiler and a trooper through injury. If he could accept the wing I might make room for him ahead of Jones SOME nights, but not all of them.

    That being said I'm more of a Gagner person than Cogliano.

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  7. Wasn't Cogliano's success in his rookie season as a winger with Gagner and Nilsson? At that time I thought his projected role would be to skate really fast down the wing and try to score on the second line, subject to improving his defensive coverage. The Oilers seem to have 18 or so such wingers, but I don't see the downside of trying him out in that role if a) he's better than 15 of them, and b) if Lander or Brule centre the fourth line equally well.

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  8. I'm not sure if this applies to Cogliano but some RFA status allow for the player to elect for a 1 or 2 year ruling-that ain't gonna help the Oilers if it is indeed a 2 year ruling.

    I would think they would want this resolved prior to July 21.

    And I thought his play improved noticeably in the last half of the season.I was fine pencilling him in as 4C prior to the draft-now I'm not sure where he fits.

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  9. The only spot I see on this roster for cogs is the 4th line winger, bumping Jones to the press box. Truthfully, this might be the best spot for him. Jones really wasn't that good defensively last year. He was more of an offensive fill-in when the injuries hit. Cogliano has more defensive ability. If Renny doesn't see Cogs as the new Pasani I think his career with edmonton is done.

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  10. I see a spot for Cogliano - On a plane out of town!

    Seriously though - the only way Cogliano stays in Edmonton is if Gagner leaves first. We've been talking about this for years, and with Lander showing that he may be the first C callup this year, and RNH showing up on his big white horse this year too... To be really honest, I have trouble imagining either of them stick around longer term. Unless they plan to trade horcoff somehow without taking a Gomez back... there just isn't room!

    It's getting crowded in the Oilers prospect stables... this what those other teams call depth?

    imployin: I don't see the Oilers imployin two small soft minute centres and being successful.

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  11. Sam Gagner couldn't find the net if he were Dolphin near a Tuna Boat.

    Sam Gagner couldn't score if it were 2am, she was drunk, and he were a pro hockey player.

    Sam Gagner could't find the twine if he were a Kitten.

    Sam Gagner couldn't light it up if he were a spotlight.

    Sam Gagner couldn't get it in the five hole if he were at the mini-put and he was using a putter-buddy.

    Sam Gagner couldn't pot one if he were a hippy gardener in Nelson, BC.

    How's that for a start LT?

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  12. Cogliano for Gunnarsson

    Or

    Gagner for Aulie

    Not sure Burke trades for either given his love of size, but they need a C.

    Cogliano is redundent already, but the Oilers may move Gagner if it gets the D they want.

    I can see the Oilers having 13 in 89's 5v5 role for a year if 89 gets moved for a D.

    NAS still needs a C and may part with Blum to get one, although rumours persist that NAS may move one of Suter or Weber to get a bonafide 1C, in which case the Oilers won't be a trade partner.

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  13. //Wasn't Cogliano's success in his rookie season as a winger with Gagner and Nilsson?//

    Actually no. Gagner was the RW, and Cogliano was the centre.

    After the same combination with Cogliano at centre with Nilsson and Gagner failed miserably at the beginning of the following season, MacT began playing Gagner at centre...i.e. Gagner with Cole at RW, and Cogliano with Moreau.

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  14. I wouldn't be quick to trade Cogliano. Right now, there's not going to be much of a return for him anyway. Why not put him on the wing and see if he will produce a bit more offensively? I would be patient with all the young guys. We're not in a position to win right now. But I think there might be enough quality pieces among the recent draftees to provide the needed defense and goaltending to be a legitimate Stanley Cup contender? Am I crazy?

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  15. A contender in three years or so, is what I meant.

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  16. Max,

    Problem with 13 on this roster is that he won't see top 9 ice time.

    Then next year you are trying to trade your 4C, not your 3C and PKTOI leader.

    His trade value peaks will only go down, barring big injuries among the C's.

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  17. On arbitration, I think it is the team's option to choose a one or a two year ruling (unless it is the last season before free agency)....but I could be wrong.

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  18. Forgot to mention that he wil cost far too much for a 4C, almost twice what you should pay.

    Oilers already have an overpaid 4RW and the kids need raises in 2 years.

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  19. I thought it was player elected,but I'm not sure either.

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  20. Matt: Cogliano Was sucessful Cause he was Playing With Nilsson.

    Gagner: was near 1 PPG playing with Penner and Hemsky last half his first year.

    Wonder how he does Between Smyth and Hemsky. This is the time to prop his numbers between these two. While RNH spends a year killing the WHL. 1.85-2.25 ppg is killing the dub. Then for sure RNH will be ready.

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  21. Section 12.9.c of the CBA:
    The party against whom an arbitration election was filed (i.e., the Club in Player-elected salary arbitration and the Player in Club-elected salary arbitration) shall elect in its brief whether the arbitration award shall be for a one or two-year SPC. Failure to make such an election shall be deemed to constitute an election for a one-year SPC.

    i.e. player opts for arbitration, team chooses term
    i.e. team opts for arbitration, player choose term

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  22. Cogliano is pretty mediocre, but I'd take him over Jones any day. That guy is just wasting oxygen. Keeping him around for another year, maybe spent on the wing could be a good thing.

    I like Gagner and I think he's already a serviceable player, but he does need to take the next step this year. Proving he can be a real PP contributor would be one way to do that.

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  23. RYAN JONES is going to be a tough minutes winger!? I'm scared...

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  24. Blogger Woodguy said...

    Cogliano for Gunnarsson

    Or

    Gagner for Aulie

    Not sure Burke trades for either given his love of size, but they need a C.

    The Leafs don't need a C that bad that they would take Gagner for Aulie.

    Connolly, Grabovski, Bozak and Kadri/Colborne might not be the most accomplished in the league but Gagner would be third in that rotation at best.

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  25. Jay: I don't see a way around it, at least not at the beginning. Once he bleeds awhile they might try Eberle or maybe Paajarvi emerges as a guy they can count on but this is all too early.

    Maybe Omark can do it lol.

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  26. RYAN JONES is going to be a tough minutes winger!? I'm scared...

    Nobody said who the minutes were going to be tough for...

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  27. WG: Gagner for Aulie? Now that's terrible.

    You can probably get him for Jones, or some other garbage.

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  28. DSF: That stud who put up 2 points last year? No way!

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  29. Gagner would be a 2 in TO and Burke said Kadre is playing the wing.

    FPV,

    Well Cogliano won't get Aulie and he showed very well in his 40 games last year. Check his numbers. Maybe Burke throws something in to even it out.

    Oilers don't have a ton of trading chips and there was a lot of smoke around 89/13 for a D.

    Something will probably happen once everyone's out of arbitration.

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  30. Blogger flamingpavelbure said...

    DSF: That stud who put up 2 points last year? No way!

    If you're judging young defensemen by their offensive output, you should take Smid out behind the barn and put him out of his misery.

    Burke loves the guy:

    "Back in late January of 2010, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke addressed the media in Toronto to announce a blockbuster deal sending Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White, and Jamal Mayars to Calgary in exchange for Dion Phaneuf, Keith Aulie, and Fredrick Sjostrom.

    Leafs fans were drooling over the fact they acquired All-Star defenseman Dion Phaneuf as he was the major piece of the seven piece deal. But the often forgot about asset in that deal was prospect Keith Aulie who was at the top of the Calgary Flames prospect chart before being dealt to Toronto. Brian Burke made it clear during the conference call that the Phaneuf deal would not have been made if Keith Aulie wasn’t involved."

    Aulie is the same age as Gagner and, as we all know, defensemen take longer to develop.

    I can't see Burke getting excited by a former first round pick who has been passed on the highway by a bevy of other youngsters...especially one as small and as weak as Gagner.

    Burke loves his truculence.

    Sam ain't got none.

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  31. Woodguy said...

    Gagner would be a 2 in TO and Burke said Kadre is playing the wing.


    So, in your world, is Gagner supplanting Connolly or Grabovski?

    Connolly was signed to play with Kessel since he has the speed and defensive chops.

    Grabovski scored 29 goals and 58 points last season.

    Not a chance.

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  32. When you project Cogliano as a 4th liner, you're assuming no injuries. What are the chances that none of the top 9 are injured early in the season? I suppose if you could get a decent young defenseman for him, you'd probably be wise to trade him. I wouldn't trade him unless it's for someone who's still going to be around in 3 years.

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  33. DSF: No. But at this point when your offense is so low it negates a good part of your defensive play. Sure he was at the ''top of the charts'' with his huge 6 points in 50 AHL games. C'man.

    WG: Even if he is effective, that's spectacular and unnecessary overpay, for a guy we already have in bunches. (Franson was traded for money... and he's way better).

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  34. Even if no rookies make the team out of training camp, one of Cogliano or Brulé must still go.

    I think we all would prefer that be Brulé, but his trade value must be seriously limited, if he's even tradeable at this point. It's too bad the way his season went, because if he had stayed healthy he would probably bringing some value back. As it is he's likely to see the waiver wire one day.

    As far as Cogs goes I think they'd be happy with a pick. Surely they can get a 3rd at least right now and if they don't get any better offers, they may have to settle for that.

    They can hang on and see how the injury bug goes in camp, but I'm not sure his value will be any higher then, and trades are tough to make once we get into the season. But, some other team may get nipped by the injury bug and who knows maybe a better deal can be had.

    But I don't think he lasts the summer. He doesn't seem to be a part of the team's future. With the love Lander is being shown, it's pretty obvious he's eventually going to be on the big squad. Belanger is signed for 3 yrs, IIRC, so I can't see a role going forward. The team is insisting on size for their 4th line wingers, so that's out too. If that's the case, get what you can for him sooner rather than later.

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  35. No need to trade anyone unless there is a very good return.

    Gagner is reltively cheap and should take another step forward this year. That could be 50+ pts. RNH will eventually take his job but its not likely to be this year.

    Hemsky's bionic shoulders could give out, Smyth could get rag dolled, Horcoff's overtrained body will snap again, Jones' flow will get caught up in the Zamboni, RNH may look like he is 18. The odds of a F not being injured in the first 10 games is very low.

    There will be lots of TOI for all.

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  36. Blogger flamingpavelbure said...

    DSF: No. But at this point when your offense is so low it negates a good part of your defensive play. Sure he was at the ''top of the charts'' with his huge 6 points in 50 AHL games. C'man.

    Well FPV, it just doesn't.

    He's a 22 year old, 6'5", 220 lb stay at home defenseman who finished -1 on a team that couldn't keep the puck out of the net.

    That has way more value than a player who would be hard pressed to be a #3C on any good team in the league.

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  37. DSF:

    He played toughs with toughs.

    -15,50 Corsi REL

    -21,50 Corsi ON

    He simply enjoyed a very sky high ,940% save. Something not to repeat.

    Anyway.

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  38. flamingpavelbure said...

    DSF:

    He played toughs with toughs.

    -15,50 Corsi REL

    -21,50 Corsi ON

    He simply enjoyed a very sky high ,940% save. Something not to repeat.

    FPV.

    I'll restate...he's a 22 year old defenseman.

    Gagner played, for the most part, with the best, against the worst.

    His 5V5 numbers are underwhelming and his 5V4 numbers were appallingly bad. (2.51/60 - 199th in the league)

    BTW, there is likely a direct correlation between Aulie's ON SV% and his defensive abilities but that is a metric that has so far eluded the cognoscenti.

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  39. Burke loves his truculence.
    Sam ain't got none.


    I beg to differ. Guy's a regular Stu Grimson :)

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  40. DSF: Yes, surely being trapped in your own zone is indicative of success as a defenseman.

    As stated again, it's a stupid overpay. You could trade a middling pick for a 25 years old Aulie.

    His age adds almost no value, as he doesn't have offensive upside to develop. In the eyes of the league he'l just stay a ''reliable guy'' which sure are cheap.

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  41. Top 15 in save%:

    George Parros, the best defensive forward in the league. All studs.

    GEORGEPARROS SHAWNTHORNTON JOHNNYBOYCHUK JEFFTAMBELLINI GREGORYCAMPBELL KEITHBALLARD JAMALMAYERS
    TOMPYATT VERNONFIDDLER
    RYANCARTER
    JEFFWOYWITKA
    BENEAGER
    ANDREASNODL ADAMMCQUAID JANNIKHANSEN

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  42. flamingpavelbure said...

    DSF: Yes, surely being trapped in your own zone is indicative of success as a defenseman.

    As stated again, it's a stupid overpay. You could trade a middling pick for a 25 years old Aulie.

    His age adds almost no value, as he doesn't have offensive upside to develop. In the eyes of the league he'l just stay a ''reliable guy'' which sure are cheap.

    Think you could trade a "middling pick" for a 22 year old Scot Hannan or Willie Mitchell?

    Good luck.

    The kind is a keeper.

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  43. Blogger Noodles said...

    Burke loves his truculence.
    Sam ain't got none.

    I beg to differ. Guy's a regular Stu Grimson :)

    A rather unfortunate example.

    Johnson stole little Sammy's lunch money.

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  44. DSF: How in the hell ?

    No. High profile guys cost a lot. But there's a shitload of low profiled guys who cost nothing.

    Franson was Aulie but WAY better offensively and better defensively. And he was had for MONEY.

    Think about it.

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  45. Gagner for Aulie would make me sick...

    Aulie is a very poor man's hal gill.

    I wouldn't trade Gagner for Hal Gill.

    I understand trading Gagner but why give him away?

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  46. flamingpavelbure said...

    DSF: How in the hell ?

    No. High profile guys cost a lot. But there's a shitload of low profiled guys who cost nothing.

    Franson was Aulie but WAY better offensively and better defensively. And he was had for MONEY.

    I don't have to think about it....Burke does.

    He has no use for a small, slow, weak, third line centre.

    He already has one.

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  47. DSF: Ah! Well that wasn't the point. ANyway. I understand how others come to just skipping your posts.

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  48. Wait DSF is defending Aulie's stink by stating he is 22 at the same time as he is denigrating 21 and 22 year old centers?

    Well I never.

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  49. Blogger Smarmy Boss said...

    Wait DSF is defending Aulie's stink by stating he is 22 at the same time as he is denigrating 21 and 22 year old centers?

    Well I never.

    If Aulie was an Oiler prospect you would be gushing.

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  50. Aulie had:

    Toughest Comp 1/6
    Medium Help 3/6
    Best +/-ON/60 (-0.09) 1/6

    All that in his first 40 games in the NHL.

    I'd take him.

    DSF,

    Connelly will get hurt and its Graboski's last year before UFA.

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  51. Not to mention he had to cover for Frankenueft putting himself out of position going for THE BIG HIT all the time.

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  52. Woodguy said...
    Aulie had:

    Toughest Comp 1/6
    Medium Help 3/6
    Best +/-ON/60 (-0.09) 1/6

    All that in his first 40 games in the NHL.

    I'd take him.

    DSF,

    Connelly will get hurt and its Graboski's last year before UFA.

    Connolly may well get hurt but you don't build a team around what ifs.

    If Crosby, Malkin and and Staal all get injured again, Gagner might seem attractive but, unless that happens, he's a non starter.

    It's also exceedingly likely that Whitney, Horcoff, Hemsky, Hall and Gagner will suffer season ending injuries but do you replace them before the season starts?

    No, no you don't.

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  53. WG: Yeah and putrid Corsi.

    Guess who had a better Corsi ON then Keith Aulie?

    Jason Strudwick.

    He had inflated numbers and that's the only thing that made him look good.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Blogger flamingpavelbure said...

    WG: Yeah and putrid Corsi.

    " Guess who had a better Corsi ON then Keith Aulie?

    Jason Strudwick.

    He had inflated numbers and that's the only thing that made him look good."

    Well there you go.

    Aulie is totally responsible for the Leafs woeful performance.

    Might as well trade him for a third line centre that the Leafs don't need or want.

    Not a chance a 22 year old 6'4" 200 lb defenseman will get better.

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  55. There's one big thing that makes me concerned about getting rid of Cogliano:

    Who's going to play 2nd line centre after Horcoff, Gagner, and Belanger all go down with the ankle-itis that's been sniping off Oilers forwards the last couple seasons?

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  56. DSF: When well he's along in the section with Colton Orr and Chris Hanson, he's participating.

    Did you know the Leafs actually had players in the + this year?

    In Corsi and +-/60 ? Crazy huh!

    It's like the Konopka logic : He couldn't be good he was on the Islanders! Not like Franz Nielsen was good!

    God damn. You make some fucking huge redirection of speech. Like WTF, sometimes they don't even have a link together.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Maybe ST is making decisions based on experience.

    Stockpiling. The injuries are a comin'.

    ReplyDelete
  58. flamingpavelbure said...

    DSF : เมื่อเขาดีพร้อมในส่วนที่มี Colton Orr แฮนสันและคริสเขาก็มีส่วนร่วม

    คุณรู้หรือไม่จริงลีฟส์มีผู้เล่นใน + ปีนี้?

    ใน Corsi และ + -/60? บ้าฮะ!

    มันเหมือนตรรกะ Konopka : เขาอาจจะไม่ดีเขาอยู่ในหมู่เกาะที่ ไม่ชอบฟรานซ์นีลเส็นได้ดี!

    แช่งพระเจ้า คุณทำให้บางคนเปลี่ยนเส้นทางใหญ่เย็ดในการพูด ชอบจังบางครั้งพวกเขาไม่ได้มีการเชื่อมโยงเข้าด้วยกัน

    Oh sorry...I see what you mean.

    ReplyDelete
  59. In today's Ask Matty:

    "NHL rules won’t allow the Oilers to buy out Khabibulin, who has two years left on his contract, because he was older than 35 when he was signed as a free agent. The Oilers could bury his contract in OK City and get it off the NHL salary-cap books, but they wouldn’t do that for two years. They could loan him to a KHL team, I suppose."

    Wow...just, wow...

    I don't expect the same level of analysis or thought from the MSM guys as I do from the LT and the rest of the Oilogosphere, but that "Hall of Fame" journo made multiple distinct, significant errors in a single paragraph. It's not like he's even doing investigative research, the entire CBA is available for free online. Just read it and post the relevant sections. Jesus, Matty...

    Also, for a little context, of all forwards drafted in 2007 or later who played 10+ games this season, Sam Gagner ranked 11th in points/game this past season at .618, behind Stamkos, PKane, Tavares, Duchene, Benn, Skinner, Couture, Pacioretty, Hall, and Eberle. That's some pretty decent company, and it puts him ahead of the likes of Voracek, JVR, Bailey, and Sutter.

    ReplyDelete
  60. ranford4life said...

    "Also, for a little context, of all forwards drafted in 2007 or later who played 10+ games this season, Sam Gagner ranked 11th in points/game this past season at .618, behind Stamkos, PKane, Tavares, Duchene, Benn, Skinner, Couture, Pacioretty, Hall, and Eberle. That's some pretty decent company."

    So what you're saying is virtually every team who drafted in the same are code, got a better player.

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  61. DSF: How about Shirokov? How did that work out last time?

    ReplyDelete
  62. flamingpavelbure said...

    DSF: How about Shirokov? How did that work out last time?

    Shirokov, Wellwood and Gagner will all do time in the KHL.

    Book it.

    There's a Tambellini connection in all three if you look closely enough. :)

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  63. Kris: Whatever I do. I kill shit to you anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Aulie is alright. Not sure why we all have to huddle up and suck each others dinks about it.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I think that's an Emily Dickinson poem:

    Whatever I do
    I kill shit to you
    Anyway

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  66. I think it's an Émile Nelligan poem translated:

    I think that's
    An
    Emily Dickinson
    Poem

    ReplyDelete
  67. DSF brought his C game tonight but still managed to come out with the troll win. I'm disappointed.

    The problem with Cogliano is that he looks like the kind of guy who'll always be overpaid by the Oil if he sticks -- he could round nicely into a bottom six winger who could do spot time down the middle but if the Oil keep him they'll always be paying him more than he is worth. They have the money now but will they in 2 years time? Yet the return on a trade would be peanuts -- maybe a second rounder -- so it is probably worth holding onto him to see if the light bulb goes on.

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  68. Or:

    Fast Cogliano
    Makes too much money today
    Trade him if you can

    ReplyDelete
  69. I've been making Pad Thai all week (DeadmanWoking) and never wondered about the Thai language until now. I was using Korean noodles and Japanese tofu and tamarind from India.

    Wikipedia tells me that Thai is an isolating language, with no spaces between words in the written script, so it all looks like lalalalalalala if you're inhaling too much Windex.

    Unfortunately, so far I'm mostly getting a tangled mess. Stirring starch into hot oil is a bit of an art form. And there are other problems. If you add too many shrimp, you can never get them all properly spaced out. One time the sprouts completely took over. It's a never-ending challenge.

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  70. I believe the key in cooking anything is experience. And booze.

    So hang in there, and pour yourself a glass of something for crying out loud. :-)

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  71. A good adult beverage can make everything you cook that much better.

    If that doesn't work though, have a second adult beverage.

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  72. DSF: If you are going to consistently quote other posts in full at the start of your own comment, is it too much to learn the 7 key strokes it takes to italicize <> (with an "i" in the middle) and unitalicize <> with an "/i" in the middle)?

    Your stuff is hard enough to read as it is, without doubling up on the words of everybody who's arguing with you and presenting everything in plain font.

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  73. For whomever is not in the long range forecast, it would be nice to see them given the best chance to get points and look desirable to other teams.

    It seems sometimes the Oil do the opposite, and end up devalueing players. To grow the strength of the team they need to get value for their higher picks.

    It's a building year, and that is part of it done well.

    If goons aren't the answer, for those of us who feel some size is necessary in the top 9, some of the current group needs to be cashed in for some talent with size and attitude.

    Can't be done if Cogs, Omark etc. are left half out getting crappy points. I would take whoever I want gone and build them up to career years.

    If Cogs or Omark got 50 points from being babied and given PP etc. (I think they both have enough ability to do it with easy minutes), they would have a fair bit of cache I think and value towards a tougher skill player or quality D.

    We're likely going to have a rough year, so why not?

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  74. Okay Omark then. Good luck Cogs. Nice return Oilers, take a first rounder and make it a second.

    Yes Cogs had to do with his lack of success, but to me, the org has as much to do with putting players in a place to succeed, and moving them sooner rather than later. I guess they tried on the Heatley thing.

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