The Oilers Will Have to Break Up the Kid Line

Faiz-Ali VirjiCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2008

As much as Oiler fans would love to see the Kid Line of Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson and Andrew Cogliano make a return this season, the chances of them being kept together is slim.

With the new addition of Erik Cole, there are seven players on the Oilers who are legitimate top 6 forwards: the kids, Cole, Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, and Dustin Penner. How does this affect the kids?

One of Penner or Cole is going to join Hemsky and Horcoff on the top line, while the other will play on the second line with Gagner and most likely Nilsson. That leaves Cogliano to center the third line.

While at times the Kid Line will be reunited, it won't be long term. It just doesn't make sense to have one of Penner or Cole, both 4 million dollar men, on the third line. Both are proven 20 goal scorers, who would not help the Oilers in any way on the third line, as they are both scorers and have playing styles more suited for the top six. The benefit is that there is a big goal scoring winger to complement Gagner and Nilsson, who are both play makers, and on the smallish side. Penner or Cole would also help them to avoid the dreaded "sophomore slump". Cogliano could also benefit from being the third line center. While his offensive input would decrease, his defensive game would improve drastically.

Even though almost every Oiler fan dreams of seeing the kids recreating their success from late last season, the reality is that sooner or later (most likely sooner) this season, they will have to be split up. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing.