Thursday, 6 October 2011
10/06/11 Gagner on the Move?
One Tweet that Sam Gagner could be a target of the Toronto Maple Leafs does not necessarily make it so, but Damien Cox has been around the game - and the Leafs - for a long time. There may be something to this. On the other hand, Darren Dreger says that Gagner's name hasn't been in any discussions. Even if the Leafs are interested, it doesn't mean that the Oilers would move him.
If we accept the statements of both Cox and Dreger, it means that the Leafs are interested in Gagner and that the Oilers are interested in acquiring a defenseman, and not that the Oilers are interested in moving Sam Gagner to Toronto.
Going forward Tambellini is aware of the need for another top-2 defenseman on this Oilers team. Thanks to the addition of Nugent-Hopkins and the emergence of Anton Lander, Tambellini may consider Gagner to be his best potential trade bait when it comes to acquiring the defenseman he needs. As such, it wouldn't make sense to trade Gagner at this time, when his value is middling at best. What these rumors may tell us is that Gagner's current value around the league is on par with the spare parts on Toronto's defense. If Gagner manages to put together a career year then the Oilers would miss out on a lot of value by trading him now.
Burke is aware of the weakness of the Oilers' situation, and so is the rest of the NHL. These rumors are a fine example of why now is not the time to try to trade for a defenseman. The pieces that the Oilers might be willing to part with (Omark, Gagner) have a low value relative to what Edmonton needs, and other GMs might try to take advantage of a knee-jerk response to injuries and shallow defensive depth.
In this case Tambellini will show his effectiveness as a GM if he doesn't make a move.