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02-12-2013, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by longtimeoilfan View Post
Someone got my meaning despite my not "defining" my tools, and my silly bird analogy; funny that, 'eh Replacement .

I don't like speculating about who we can trade for. Throwing out names doesn't make it happen. In other posts I have said that I like O'Reilly (I even suggested a swap of him for Gagner - see, I believe Gagner has value). I have no idea who is available, and I - like the rest of you - haven't a clue about the real value of 'our' players around the league. Nor do I/we know who Tambellini's been talking to - or even if he has been talking to anyone. Listing a bunch of names is pointless.

But if you were to ask: What do I want in a center? Someone defensively capable because the top six needs it. I want someone with a penchant for physicality, again because the rest of the top six lacks it - granted Hall and Yakupov do throw their weight around some. And the Oil needs to start winning face offs in the oppositions end. I have watched the Oil struggle on the power play because they have a hard time gaining control of the puck. My position isn't anti-Gagner per se, rather I believe that 'we' need a more effective top six. Gagner on the wing would be fine... he just hasn't the tools (yes, those "undefined tools") to be a useful center.

Note: I did not mention size.

Replacement addressed another's use of stats to support the "we need a better center than Gagner" position - and R might be right, those stats may have little to no statistical validity at this point in time (that is, so early in the season). But why are Gagner's 13 points the only stat that seems to matter? In R's words: "probably [a] more meaningful" stat. The team has lost more than it has won... and no one is correlating Gagner's points (not goals but points) to game winners, to points that actually make a difference, to empty nets, nor to first or second assists. It seems it is fine to cite 13 points (because everyone supporting Gagner as 2C does), but things like defensive play, face off %, +/- (basically the things that frustrate some of us about Gagner as a center) are not important. Do you want to know what I think is not important, any single player's "point streak" when the team has lost more games than it has won. I am not even saying losing is Gagner's fault, but something is amiss on the top lines and many of us see it as a deficiency at center.

Heck trade Nugent-Hopkins for Thornton or Getzlaf and Gagner would probably be fine as 2C. Hall-Thornton-Eberle, oh my. EDIT: Actually, I only wrote this last bit to appease pro-Gagner-at-center people. Even with Thornton as 1C Gagner would still be a liability at center.

Super post, and should be brought forward for all to see again. No one is saying Gagner is a bad centre. But he is not the right fit for this team. We are too soft in the top 6 going forward, not nearly enough physicality and size and can't win a face off if our life depended on it. Horcoff and expecially Belanger are decent on the dot, but they anchor the bottom six. Hall, Nuge, Eberle and Yak aren't going anywhere. Hemsky is driving the 2nd line with his speed. We desperately need a change up from the Nuge, and a better fit.

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