It was on July 5th when the Edmonton Oilers traded their captain Shawn Horcoff to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 7th round pick in 2016 and Philip Larsen. Since then, there has been some wondering as to who will be wearing the C for the Edmonton Oilers this season. One of the names that's been thrown out there quite a bit has been Taylor Hall's, who would be a solid choice, but no the best.
It was last Wednesday when reports came out of Edmonton saying that'll Sam Gagner wearing the C for the Oilers this season. Nothing has been confirmed, nor has there been anything ceremonies to happen since the reports came out. If it is true that Sam Gagner is the next captain, that, would be the right decision.
I would say that a really solid argument could be made that Sam Gagner was the best Oiler all last year. Sam Gagner was 2nd in points for the Oilers, he also lead all forwards in on ice team. Sam Gagner was also ice for the penalty kill more than Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov combined. Gagner was also fourth in on ice time on the power play, so he's player that you can put out there on any occasion. Don't you want your captain to be able to play on all occasions?
Gagner has also shown the ability to persevere, another reason why he should be captain. It was three years ago when the Oilers had the #1 overall pick in the draft. It was with that pick the Oilers decided to go with the Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. From Gagner's prospective, things didn't look good.
The Oilers had just selected the Center with their #1 overall pick and it looked like Sam Gagner was going to take a solid fall down the Oiler's depth chart. When the season came, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was flying, getting minutes on the 1st line with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle while Sam Gagner was getting duties on the 3rd line.
It wasn't until February 2nd of that season when things started to change for Sam Gagner. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was out with a shoulder injury and it was Gagner's turn to get first line minutes with Hall and Eberle. The Oilers that night were hosting the Chicago Blackhawks, and Gagner would have the game of his career. Sam Gagner scored four goals, tallied four assists, and was the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd star of the night. From that magical night on, Gagner would continue to change the tide.
Of course this past season, we was fantastic, 2nd in scoring on the Oilers, leading all forwards in on ice time. To be able to persevere and climb up the depth chart the way he did is also reason why Sam Gagner should be wearing the C on his sweater.