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02-01-2013, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Sam Gagners evolution has been textbook in the NHL, he came in a a highly touted offensive star, was allowed to use that skill for a year and a half, then was abruptly put into defensive learning mode which he has just emerged from this year as a well rounded two way NHL centerman.

I see him a statisticly being our #1 centerman right now and have no reason to believe this will change all year long. Nuge will need to really find ways to help his line produce within Ralphs system of play as this is where Gagner is excelling and will continue to excel. Eihter we allow the system to compliment the elite players or we allow the system to collar their individual special dimensions and seek player parity systemwise. So far the system itself has collared this talent, the defense has been nice to see but this has nothing to do with catalysing the offense. Our current system neglects dynamic cohesion in terms of line structure and personel matchups.

Sam Gagner has had to adjust to Hemskys game and style , it is working to some degree but nowhere near as well as Gagner could produce linewide offense if he had Hall instead of Hemmer making zone entrys. Sam is the anchor and needs to catalyse the lines offense for 60 mins. Same with Nuge, he is also a 3 dimensional thinking player who needs to be the catalyst of his line, in other words both men need their linemates to do consistant predictable things on the ice so they can use their creativivty and vision to catalyse offense by breaking the opponents system. They need to be setting up the coup de gras every night not always executing the coup de gras but always catalysing it.

Sam isnt 2nd line center material as he is a 3D thinker and has the capability of running a 1st line dynamicly at the NHL level. Gagner will push for the team points lead for the rest of his career if he is in the top 6, its that simple. Our biggest problem is already deciding if we shouls push Hemmer and gagner up to the first line and drop RNH and a winger down to the 2nd with Yakupov, RNH might have more chemistry in this dynamic, the wingers mean little outside of Hemmer they are all two dimensional and can be inserted anywhere in the top 6 with predictible results.

Sam Gagner and Ryan Nugent Hopkins are 3D visual thnkers who see the ice differently than their teammates do, they are our two top 6 line catalysts we need to be relying on to guide us into the future. Hemsky is also a line catalyst capable of anchoring an NHL top 6 line but on this team he is better suited for a 3rd line role , this is because the rest of our top 6 are all 2 and 3D thinkers and players who dont need to adjust or change their games to execute together this way. Hemmer is elite but he forces his entire line to adjust so he can play this way, with the exception of the last game where he was going to the tough spots and drawing coverage by going into the shoting lanes and areas, this opened up the ice for his line a bit more than usual and if he continues to do this and can get Sam and Yak both scoring he may prove he can be more 2 dimensional. We still need Hemmers scoring on the 3rd line and this is a coaching error period. Our recent sucess is nice to see but does not preclude constructive observations.

Sam Gagner should be wearing the C this year in my opinion and he is going to make the Oilers pay dearly for his services next contract, they will regret not tieing him up long term, you see we wont be able to just trade and replace him because of how he thinks and sees the ice now that he has evolved. After he carries the 2nd line and the team this year and into the playoffs it will take a real idiot to even whisper Sam Gagners name in a negative way as has been done here in Edmonton for far to long.

The Oilers organisation has proven that you can take an offensive player who is very young and play him in the NHL early and often and still evolve him into a two-way player, a completely well rounded two-way NHL player with NHL caliber upside. Now that Sam has obviously taken the next step and evolved as an over a PPG NHL two-way offensively capable centerman the Oilers need to support him as he continues his offensive and leadership evolution. We wont see Sams ceiling till the end of next year. Sam has never regressed in his entire career, once he establishes himself as a PPG NHL player as he has done this year he will maintain that for the rest of his career. I challenge anyone to put Sam in the top line, he can effectively provide gamechanging offense from both the 1st and 2nd lines because of how he generates it, once Nuge figures out what Sam knows now he will eclipse Sammys numbers but it wont be a slight on Gagner because I see 120 pts from Nuge within 3 yrs. Silent Sam had to "learn" to be a 3 dimensional thinker on the ice and it is what catalysed the final phase of the evolution we are now seeing from him into a two-way offensive threat for 60 mins, Sam recently altered the way he sees the game in some huge core value areas and it changed his game permanently. Nuge was born with this ability to see the ice 3 dimensionally, he didnt have to feel his way towards it, he just woke up with it on day one-- rumor has it he deked his way out into the world on his first birthday before his mom even knew what was happening and then went high glove side before the doctor trying to help out could get the assist, he probably had the cookie jar delivered to him instead of dragging a chair up to the cupboard to get it down when he was a wee kid.

Sam Gagner will show us all what he is worth at his age with his resume when he renegotiates his contract, and trust me we will not get off easy, and quite seriously when we realise this year that he is the catalyst of the 2nd lines gamebreaking offense we will be in a poor negotiating position for sure, if Sam puts up a few 5 or 6 point nights and maintains a PPG pace this year which is highly likely can you imagine how his resume will look?

Sam Gagner is a core player on this team and will carry us to more than one Cup if we follow him and the rest of these young developing leaders. My final word concerning Sam Gagners role on this team will always be this-- only Wayne Gretzky could have grabbed the moment and taken a lineup full of first round top ten picks and catalysed their minds and emotions as he dissected an NHL team for 8 points, that epic on-ice example of leadership and class was historic and firmly established a record setting bar of performance for a group of the games best young studs to reach for, and that bar was set right before their very eyes while they were on the ice being a part of it, absolutely classic. Just try to tell me these guys like Hall and Ebbs and Nuge and Schultz and Yakupov do not trust Sams abilitys and heart, these guys will already follow him into the fire in a playoff series because in their minds and hearts will forever be burned the truth and reality of the feelings they experienced with Sam that big night. And he doesnt have the C already? I think Horcs is holding it for Silent Sam and that Ebbs and Hallsy might be As for a lot longer then they might anticipate after this years playoff run and Sammys performance. All Gagners ever asked for or needed is a chance and he delivers every single time, hes like the Mailman he always delivers one way or another he finds a way to get the job done.

Last edited by BadMedicine*: 02-01-2013 at 10:41 PM.
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