Sam Gagner is going to get better - the question is, how much?
Most fans are down on Sam Gagner, but the Copper & Blue's Derek Zona is moving him up, with a bullet, in the Oilers Top 25 Under 25.
Sam Gagner's 21-year-old season is going to finally allow Edmonton fans to figure out which direction his arrows are going. Is he more like Dave Keon or Peter Zezel?
Oilers - Flyers preview: Memories of happier times, when these two clubs met in one of the greatest of Stanley Cup Finals in the spring of 1987.
Peter Zezel as a Leaf beats Canucks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. Tip to Pension Plan Puppets for finding it.
Can you name the only Canucks trade that was ever nullified? Also looking back at the 2003 draft and seeing who else was available other then Ryan Kesler.
You go back and look at the players on the roster and, my God, they were so young. Mark Howe was the old man on defense, 31. Dave Poulin and Brian Propp were veterans in the group, too, at 27, and Tim Kerr was 26. And then there was this wave of kids: Pelle Eklund and Dave Brown (23), Rick Tocchet, Ron Sutter, Murray Craven and Ron Hextall (22), Zezel and Derrick Smith (21), and Scott Mellanby was 20.
They were just kids, and they went to the Stanley Cup finals in 1987 and took the Edmonton Oilers dynasty to seven games (after losing to the Oilers in five games in the '85 finals). Coach Mike Keenan rode them hard to the finish line and then they were too sore from the whip. Keenan was gone after the next season. The parts began being disassembled. The wilderness years followed for the franchise, followed by Eric Lindros.
But that young group really did make an era its own - and Zezel was there in the middle of it. His death after a decadelong struggle with hemolytic anemia - Zezel was in critical condition with the disease in 2001 - cannot help but remind everyone who was there about that time in the Flyers' history, and about their youthful face.