Thread: Confirmed with Link: Oilers re-sign Sam Gagner (1yr/$3.2M)
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07-20-2012, 10:22 AM
Moose Coleman
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Originally Posted by CupofOil View Post
It's called common sense. Strength down the middle is almost mandatory in the NHL and that is perhaps the Oilers biggest weakness and likely always will be until the little guy is dealt. Is Gagner all of a sudden going to morph into a strong 2 way center who will line up against the tough matchups and succeed? I would say that is highly unlikely.
He doesn't have to be. We have a #1C for that.

If the Oilers had somebody like Getzlaf at center then Gagner would be a fit but on a team filled with top 6 skill and little grit, changes will have to be made if the team is to take the next step.
Do big skilled 60 point centres grow on trees? No. So how do you propose we go about ticking that box off without weakening some other area of the team?

It's not about points, it's about his weakness in other areas. Gagner gets schooled against tougher competition and he is a 5 year veteran now.
A five year veteran who is still 22. Most players who aren't phenoms aren't owning tough competition at that age.

Outside of his out of this world hot streak, he plays well against teams like Columbus and Colorado who aren't big, strong teams and struggles against most other teams. His offense which is supposed to be a strength is wildly inconsistent and this is with very skilled players surrounding and him getting plenty of PP time. If the Oilers had a center like Getzlaf to shelter him, i could see a place for him long term but that's simply not the case. It's just a matter of him being a bad fit for this particular team.
It's all well and good to talk about what the Oilers need, but identifying those needs and meeting them are two different things. I see Gagner as a not-ideal, but entirely serviceable 2C who would benefit from being paired with a winger with some size and grit. It'd be great to have a Dustin Brown or a Getzlaf. But we don't.

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