Friday, February 4, 2011
For all of you Fretting about Gagner...
But why I'm stressing calmness about Gagner is because of a stat I randomly dug up earlier today. I've always compared Gagner to Doug Weight, and thought he has a chance of developing similar to Weight, whose career started slow due to his lack of size and speed, but began to take off as his hockey IQ and body matured. Gagner's still got a ways to go in both aspects as well right now, but here's a comparison of the 2 players at the same age in the NHL:
SAM GAGNER (21)
50GP, 11G, 19A, 30P, -11
DOUG WEIGHT (21)
53GP, 8G, 22A, 30P, -3
Weight was playing on a Rangers team featuring Mark Messier, a team much better than the Oilers team Gagner plays for right now - which could help explain the +/- differential. Neither have ever been depended upon to be solid defensively in their careers, so it's excusable that they are minus players. They're similar players in stature, both 5'11, and Weight was playing at around the same weight as Gagner (190lb) earlier in his career as well.
Gagner's recent improvements bode well for those hoping he still has some development left in him. I'm not saying he turns into the offensive dynamo Weight was (consistent 80+ point scorer), but he still has a chance to turn into the 60-70 point player this team needs in it's top-6 if it's going to be a contender in years to come. If he can continue to mature physically and show improvements in understanding the game, it may be in the cards.