Nik Hagman (Calgary)
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02-22-2011, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern Alberta
Ok we've pretty much all stated our opinions on why we'd like the Oilers to pick Hagman up or why we are against it.
Just for argument's sake though... for all those that don't see him as a useful addition... who do you think will actually sign with the Oilers that will fill the "useful veteran" role on this team?
I know people throw out the need for a good PK man... a good faceoff man... a tough, gritty 4th liner who can be defensively responsible and pot a few goals... etc and we all know those roles NEED to be filled if this team is going to improve over the longer term BUT which players do you all think are actually going to sign with the Oilers as FA's to fill those roles?
Last season they signed Foster and Fraser (and picked up Vandermeer in a trade/buyout situation). Obviously all those players are fringe players (although no one 100% knew that then)... but do you all think this off season will be better and all of a sudden quality role players will want to sign in Edmonton?
Do you think quality vets will want to climb aboard the rebuild train with all the rest of the gang here in Edmonton?
I think a much more likely scenario is those role players develop from within... as pointed out players like Vande Velde, Hartikainen, Lander, Hamilton, Martindale etc could very well fill key roles needed on the team BUT a healthy competitive environment where vets are pushed aside by rookies and prospects is the normal way of developing youth instead of handing them spots on a plate.
To me a player like Hagman is a good pinata for the young prospects to beat out of the way to grab that roster spot. I think a veteran player on a 1 year contract with some obvious NHL level skills is a good "target" for the youth to overtake and compete for on the roster and I really don't think that's a bad pickup. You want players EXACTLY like Hagman who are likely only going to be here for a year and then be gone... replaced hopefully by younger prospects in the organization that take his job away.
I actually don't want the Oilers to go out and overpay for other better "quality vets" who'd probably have to be tied up with multi-year contracts just to entice them into the Oilers organization. Those types of players WILL be blocks in the lineup to the younger prospects because the Oilers will be obliged to give them fairly large ice time as they'll likely be on multi-year deals and overpaid contracts and along with that will come those players expectations that they are going to play a large role on the team.
I conversely want a player or two like Hagman who are short term expendables... they have talent but are completely replaceable once the prospects improve to the point where they push them off the roster.
Basically Hagman should be an instant replacement for a player like Brule/JFJ and next season another prospect should similarly be a replacement for Hagman... as the transition phase smoothly ticks over... well in theory anyway.
I guess my main point is the Oilers shouldn't go overpaying and tying up vets for 2-3 year deals when they get players like Hagman falling into their laps with almost no strings attached who can serve that role just as well.
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