Big Decisions: The Andrew Cogliano Trade

Jonathan Willis
July 11 2012 10:22AM

Photo by Michael Miller, via Wikimedia Commons

Last summer, the Edmonton Oilers made the decision to cut ties with Andrew Cogliano, sending the young centre to Anaheim in exchange for a second round draft pick. A year later, how is that decision looking?

Cogliano, who had just completed his second contract – a one-year deal worth $1.0 million – was promptly signed to a three-year deal with an annual cap hit of $2.39 million by his new club. At the time, I thought general manager Steve Tambellini deserved high marks for making the decision to divest the Oilers of Cogliano:

The dollar figure on Cogliano’s new contract makes Steve Tambellini look better for trading him. We might present it as a choice, one between Eric Belanger and a second round pick as well as roughly $700,000 in savings, or Andrew Cogliano. Given that Belanger’s the better player, cheaper, was available at no cost other than money, and most importantly fits team needs better, that’s a great choice. Even so, on a rebuilding team, it may not have been an easy one to make. Trading Cogliano is a risk; he’s young, has scored in the past, has blazing speed and rarely left anyone questioning his effort level. He’s also been exceptionally durable. Personally, I think it’s a smart risk.

After Cogliano’s first year with the Ducks, that decision continues to look good. Cogliano played middling competition for the Ducks, failed to produce offensively (finishing with a career-low 26 points) and wasn’t any great shakes defensively either. Bruce Boudreau is still optimistic that Cogliano has more to give, but plans to use him on the wing for all of next season – a move that’s several been several years in the making, given Cogliano poor work in the circle.

The return on Cogliano wasn’t exceptional – a second round pick in 2013 – but that’s okay because it’s difficult to see where he would fit in on the Oilers now. His skills are not ones that are in short supply in Edmonton; it’s not that he’s a terrible player, just that he isn’t a good fit for need.

Trading him was the right decision, and time has only confirmed that.

Previously in this series

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 OILER86
July 11 2012, 06:48PM
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@waxman riley lol agreed on both points! When did this site get so pretentious and arrogant? And hipsters are annoying as all hell.

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#52 GVBlackhawk
July 11 2012, 07:27PM
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Brownlee loves the word meow wrote:

Bring that up with Brownlee. He owns free speech apparently.

No I think he was just voicing his annoyance with you. And speaking on behalf of everyone who reads the site.

Meow was funny on Super Troopers. It is not funny coming from you on an Oilers blog site.

Oilers Domination to Follow also sounds ridiculous when the team has been embarrassingly awful for so long. How about "Oilers Ascension to 20th to Follow".

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#53 The Soup Fascist
July 11 2012, 07:28PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

I am all for a classy site, but there is a fine line between class and pretentiousness.

With all due respect, pretentiousness is defined as "demanding a position of merit, which is often unjustified". OILERS DOMINANCE TO FOLLOW" could be the example in the dictionary following the definition.

Look, I am not the moral police or the compass of good taste. And the irony of dragging out a definition to prove a point about pretentiousness is not lost on me. Write whatever you want. All I am saying is we call out Flames fans who gloat about their ninth place finishes and our drafting record or the self-gratifying Canuck fans who talk about their "great organization" that has not won a cup since it's incarnation 40 plus years ago.

So if you want to wave the "Domination" flag for a team that has not made the playoffs in 6 years, fill your boots. Just offering a friendly POV as a fellow Oilers fan.

An unpretentious "Peace out".

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Crap all my life I thought the expression was "pretend shoes" as in pretending to be in someone else's shoes. Learn something new everyday.

I'm glad we traded Cogs, he was being pretend shoes acting like a legit NHL center.

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#55 Cheap Shot Charlie
July 11 2012, 09:03PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Cogs and Gagne showed well in their first year here in Edmonton. What's odd though is they both stalled/stagnated with their offensive contributions.

Feel the Oilers would've been better off moving Gags and keeping a premier PK'er like Andrew.

I can see where you're coming from thinking that a C-man who can kill penalties while standing on his head is more valuable than a 45-55 point hobbit. However, Cogs is the epitome of a tweener. Few guys are able to show first line skill in junior and can be effective 3/4 line guys in the bigs. Correct me if I'm wrong but there aren't maybe Danny Cleary's in the league who can pass the test of time. Of course, that being said Sam will need elite talent around him to excel beyond 55 pts. I think the right choice was made, it's just too bad that Gags isn't turning into Datsyuk. I think we'd all love that!

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#57 Brownlee loves the word meow
July 11 2012, 09:20PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

No I think he was just voicing his annoyance with you. And speaking on behalf of everyone who reads the site.

Meow was funny on Super Troopers. It is not funny coming from you on an Oilers blog site.

Oilers Domination to Follow also sounds ridiculous when the team has been embarrassingly awful for so long. How about "Oilers Ascension to 20th to Follow".

I'm very sorry that the word meow annoyed you so much. It was never meant to be funny coming from me. It was something that tied into my avatar, and the movie super troopers.

As far as the comment you replied to.. I was actually referring to sensoring the comments on blogs. it is one thing to control something that is deemed inappropriate or abuse.. I wasn't picked on today but some other commenters were... undeservingly. loosing marbles about something so insignificant that it isn't even worth talking about.... Is a waste of time. Just like me writing this as it will undoubtably be deleted again

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#58 madjam
July 11 2012, 09:22PM
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Any interest in obtaining M.Green or Semin (UFA) from Washington ? What deal are the Oilers looking at seriously - notice bare minimum of one ?

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#59 Pouzar99
July 11 2012, 10:07PM
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Unfortunately the dominant voices among the owners prefer plough horses to thoroughbreds and so the officiating, especially in the playoffs when it matters, favours size and obstruction over speed and skill. Bad news for Cogs, not great for the Oilers generally and it has really hurt the Canucks. Plough horses are cheaper of course and getting the standard of officiating changed at the All Star break certainly had an impact. Too bad only bush leagues do that. Speaking of which I guess the Oilers kids will have to really kiss ass with the officials this year so they will actually get some calls. Someone will have to explain this to Yakupov I'm afraid.

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#60 Kent Wilson
July 11 2012, 10:43PM
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On the war of words and comment habits and such:

Let's try to keep the discussion to hockey folks. Feel free to disagree - vehemently even - but avoid veering into the personal. We like having an active community and lively debate here at ON, but if comment strings become flame wars and pissing matches it just clutters things and we have to start deleting comments and banning users, which is no fun for anyone.

And remember that Robin Brownlee is an author and moderator of OilersNation. As such, he gets to more or less dictate the terms of the discussion.

In short - don't poke the bear.

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#61 Ianf
July 11 2012, 11:44PM
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I love our team. I wish all the the flames fans twice what we've felt with. But geese some of these replies are redickulous. I wish this intensity came from the gm. How come Gretzky isn't our gm yet. Since we're all complaining and such.

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#62 David S
July 12 2012, 12:27AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

On the war of words and comment habits and such:

Let's try to keep the discussion to hockey folks. Feel free to disagree - vehemently even - but avoid veering into the personal. We like having an active community and lively debate here at ON, but if comment strings become flame wars and pissing matches it just clutters things and we have to start deleting comments and banning users, which is no fun for anyone.

And remember that Robin Brownlee is an author and moderator of OilersNation. As such, he gets to more or less dictate the terms of the discussion.

In short - don't poke the bear.

BROWNLEE DOMINATION TO FOLLOW!!!

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#63 Robin Brownlee
July 12 2012, 03:39AM
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BROWNLEE DOMINATION TO FOLLOW!!!

Uh, no.

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#64 @Oilanderp
July 12 2012, 03:54AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

If we are looking to use that pick how about we convince Toronto to give up Cody Franson by submitting an offer sheet? If we super-overpaid for one year at $3.3 million and the Leafs decided not to match (I can't see why they would, they don't even use the guy), then we would owe them a second rounder as compensation.

I'm not saying Franson is worth 3.3 million, that bid is just to make the Leafs not match the offer.

It could come back to haunt us, but trading Cogs for a 6'5" right handed young offensive d-man would sure be a good trade in my mind.

I put this up on the twitters but I guess I don't have enough followers yet to warrant a response. Thoughts?

I think your idea is completely dumb and you suck. Obviously you knew that a team must use its own picks for an offer sheet. Therefore your suggestion was a thinly veiled attempt at hijacking the thread and discussing a way to acquire your true love Cody Franson. Every time he's put on the ice he gets a point, then he is benched for the rest of the game and a few more games after that. If you love him so much why don't you marry him?

P.S. Get out of here or start talking about the catch phrase of the day. We don't like your kind.

P.P.S. If you don't like talking about catch phrases at least talk about something realistic like acquiring Shea Weber for Omark and a 6th rounder. You suck.

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#65 The Beaker
July 12 2012, 06:44AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Oh C'mon, even you have to admit that was a tad funny.

Props David

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#66 The Beaker
July 12 2012, 06:47AM
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@Oilanderp

It's ok, we all get lonely sometimes.

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#67 pelhem grenville
July 12 2012, 08:06AM
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... the crux of this whole matter of what Robin Brownlee does when he's the author and moderator on this our ON site has devolved for one reason and only one reason ...there's so little to talk hockey about at this arsewhole time of year... the draft is done and we have all collectively fawned our silly heads off over our (yet again) first overall draft pick until we're all clinging to every word written but it's just the same 'ol same 'ol...the summer doldrums have set in and we are now talking about a year old trade of a former smurf who didn't measure up in the literal sense and a second round draft pick that we got for him that doesn't hit the books for another year after this !!!!!!...no offense meant JW

IMO> it's reverse cabin fever and if we continue, I for one will thoroughly enjoy how some of the citizens sabre rattle their fool heads off but it's only mildly entertaining when our curmudgeonly one needs to pen threatening notices ...Kent said it all just now ...DON'T POKE THE BEAR

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#68 @Oilanderp
July 12 2012, 09:18AM
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Let's get a new article up here about how the Oil have traded Khabibulin for Scott Hartnell or something. STAT!

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#69 madjam
July 12 2012, 09:18AM
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T.J.Oshie or Ryan (another ) O'Reilly worth persuing as Rfa's ? Voracek , who Oilers seem to like from before? J.Carlson ? All young emerging Nhl'ers .

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#70 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 12 2012, 11:21AM
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But, poking the bear makes us feel alive, in pursuit of every ounce of enjoyment that life has to offer. Get out of your comfort zone all. Stare at the probablity of danger in the eyes and feel alive.

Grab that bag of marshmallows and start chucking them at the bear. He wants to feel alive i'm sure as well. Most men crave those masculin scars that may occur while living life to the fullest. Fear not, the big bear, he probably wants to roll over on his back so you can rub his tummy.

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#71 Pucker
July 12 2012, 12:27PM
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you all are probably all gone now but this was an entertaining read. Thanks everyone.

Meow was got old very fast. Domination thing is just an indication of how serious to take that poster.

Somtimes some people need to take happy-pills.

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#72 Rama Lama
July 12 2012, 04:53PM
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I dont mind the trade, however I fail to see how Belenger is better.

I don't care so much about the stats, I would much rather watch Opra sing opera, or paint dry in the dark.

Belenger is absolutely the worst hockey player in the entire NHL, of that there is no doubt!

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#73 The Beaker
July 13 2012, 08:39AM
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@Rama Lama

In the role Belenger played I'm sure Cogs wouldnt have done much better offensively and probably would have won 30% less faceoffs the Belenger. Last year Belenger sucked the big one, true, but if we have to have him in the lineup this year i am willing to keep an open mind and hope he can bounce back.

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