Thread: Speculation: Acq/ Rost. Bldg./ Cap Part IX
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02-26-2012, 03:18 PM
  #89
GrinningBuddha
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Hi guys, I just wanted to contribute a bit on Gagner from an Oiler fan perspective. Sam has struggled until recently with the role the Oilers have put him in due to lack of other options. He's been playing in the NHL since he was 19 and has turned a corner in his play style and effectiveness since January 1st. I'm not even referencing the Chicago game specifically, though that gives you a glimpse at the potential that is in this 22 year old kid.

Sam seems to have been able to learn a lot from Horcoff (yeah, I know, save the laughter) and Nugent-Hopkins this season and is making smarter plays with and without the puck. If you were to look at game film from January 2011 and compare it to game film from this January, you'd notice a marked difference in his play. The changes that he's made bode well for the future, as even we as Oiler fans were starting to wonder if his development had become stunted due to the pressure of playing with the big club since day 1.

If you're looking for a smart, fast, hard-working 2C, you could do a LOT worse than Gagner. That said, my feeling is that Edmonton will not trade him for anything less than a starting top-4 D man under the age of 28. Talented centers are hard to come by, as both of our teams have come to realize.

Personally, I'd be happy with a Gagner-Orlov swap, but it's not ideal for us. Losing Gagner creates a big hole, which is why I don't think he goes anywhere unless it's a no-brainer offer.

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