Some time in Springfield might benefit Gagner and Cogliano
I don’t particularly enjoy writing about how bad the Edmonton Oilersare week after week, so I come to you with a mild solution that wouldat least preserve the near future.
I don’t particularly enjoy writing about how bad the Edmonton Oilers are week after week, so I come to you with a mild solution that would at least preserve the near future.
It’s time to send Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano to the minors.
The pair of third-year Oilers has done nothing wrong per se; they were clearly brought along too fast by Edmonton brass and the stilted offensive numbers they’ve put up both this season and last are the result.
But the Oilers can reverse this trend. By sending the two down to Springfield in the American League, Edmonton will give both Gagner and Cogliano the opportunity to gain back confidence and build up their games to what they can be.
In the AHL, the skill and speed of the two will result in at least a point per night for each. This is doubly good for Springfield, which, like the Oilers, is wallowing at the bottom of the standings. So the Falcons get a couple more wins than they would have before and two highly-rated prospects get back on track.
Not only that, but Gagner and Cogliano would be out of the media spotlight, no longer quizzed on a daily basis on why they aren’t putting up the points they did as rookies back in 2007-08 and why Edmonton can’t win.
Pressure’s off in the ‘A,’ where, at most, they’d have to answer to two or three reporters per game.
Both players are in the final year of entry-level contracts, so there’s no penalty to the Oilers for sending them down.
The precedent for this has already been set by other NHL teams. Jason Spezza went back and forth between Ottawa and Binghamton, Marc-Andre Fleury was a frequent member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and all of Anaheim’s young guns — Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan, plus current Oiler Dustin Penner — did their time in the world’s second-best league. So why not?
Again, this would be done as a learning experience, not a punishment, and I think Gagner and Cogliano would understand that. It’s the least the Oilers can do for two first-round draft picks with bright futures still ahead of them.