It’s a good thing this page is not a popularity contest, as what I’m about to say will be un-popular among a significant portion of the fan base; the Oilers should keep Sam Gagner.
No, I don’t smell burnt toast.
Give you one good reason why MacT shouldn’t trade Sam Gagner?
One? I’ll give you 10:
10. He’s a “real” NHL player. Gagner has 100 NHL goals, and is just shy of 300 career points. He knows how to produce at an NHL level, at his age, on a consistent basis. Have you checked how hard that is to do?
9. The hole in the donut. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be a very good #1 center. Boyd Gordon should be a great #4. Past Sam Gagner, the Oilers depth at
center is, with respect, proven only at the AHL level.
8. Hockey IQ. Sam Gagner comes from a hockey family, a smart hockey family. His dad Dave was a respected NHL-er. His sister Jessica is a high-level female player. An athlete with his bloodlines is usually a good, long-term bet.
7. Coaching changes are always an adjustment. Look at Gagner a year ago. Ralph Krueger worked him into his PK teams, with decent success, Sam employing smart positioning & a quick stick. I’ve witnessed it.
6. Few dumped on Gagner a year ago. We saw a break-out, strike-shortened season, witnessed his terrific vision and ability to find an open man, and with Nuge hurt we were bloody relieved that we had 89. He’s still that guy.
5. Leadership. Gagner didn’t get that “A” by accident. The other Oilers consider #89 a great teammate. Witness the scrap Sam picked with Francois Beauchemin, after the latter’s cheap shot against Taylor Hall. He’s game.
4. Age. Sam Gagner is 25 years old. 25! Do I really need to recount all of the relatively young Oilers that this organization has given up on, only to watch them thrive elsewhere? No, you do a fine job of that on Twitter each night.
3. Buy high, sell low? That’s a pretty great business plan you have there, friend, remind me to never let you manage my portfolio. And the impending no-trade clause? It’s for a player in Edmonton. Think about that.
1. The injury. In his previous 5 seasons, Alex Burrows averaged 28 goals and a +24. One broken jaw later, his boxcars were 49-5-10-15, with a -9. Sam Gagner
wasn’t good in 13-14, but not because he forgot how to play. He, thanks
mostly to Zack Kassian, just wasn’t “right”.
Try eating your meals through a straw for a while, and see how you make out.
A fan of Sam, of Sam I am.