Tomorrow could be very important for fans of the Oilers- Yup, this is another post about centre ice. Can you tell what has been dominating my thoughts lately? Even though it is highly probable that I would concede (under torture or extreme duress) that the Oilers’ centre ice chart will look much the same on October 1st, 2014 as it does today, as a fan I hold out hope that a big name player will be on his way up north to start the season. After reading Adrian Dater’s blog at the Denver Post website today, it is actually possible that a big name centre could come on the market between now and the trading deadline next season.
Adding a centre- On Saturday we posted a poll asking what Craig Mactavish should do about addressing the Oilers weak centre ice depth. 646 votes later (as of writing this), it is clear that the majority of voters don’t feel trading Jeff Petry for a centre is reasonable nor is bringing Wayne Gretzky or Mark Messier out of retirement for a season. Almost 19% of voters think the team should stay the course and see how Draisaitl and Arcobello fare while just over 68% of voters , spread out between three different options, favour some sort of move.
What is the likelihood of any of the more popular outcomes actually coming to be?
The Gagner hater’s list- With not much else going on in Oiler-land right now, the hot topic is Sam Gagner’s arbitration hearing on Monday. Last night I caught a portion of the Jason Strudwick Show on the Team 1260 and the Sam Gagner haters were out and they were vocal. Their list of complaints was the same old tired stuff we’ve had to endure in Oil Country for years, specifically that:
- He is too small
- He can’t win faceoffs
- He can’t play defence/ his possession numbers are poor
While some of these points are valid, I’ve always asked the question, “but how is the team going to acquire a big, offensive, defensively sound, faceoff winning machine without ripping apart the roster- assuming one is available?” Myself, I have never been a huge Sam Gagner fan, however, I do believe he is a very nice piece for the Oilers to have as finding a second line centre with skill and who will satisfy all is an exercise in futility.
For this post I decided to examine second line centres league-wide to see if the prototypical second line centre the Gagner haters crave exists and if it would be likely that player could be available in a trade.