Table set for Gogulla move

With their DEL regular season complete, the Cologne Sharks have announced that Philip Gogulla will not return to the club for the 2009-10 season. Failing to make the playoffs a year after reaching the league finals, the 6'2, 198-pound wing finished as the Sharks' third-leading scorer with 17 goals and 38 points on the year. It's not plausible that the Sharks would just dump their 21-year old budding star. So barring an unlikely jump to the SEL or KHL, it appears that Gogulla will finally land in North America for the 2009-10 season as originally planned when he extended his deal with Cologne in May of 2006. With the 2005 pick already under contract (he was "loaned" to Cologne), why not look at the possibility of letting the winger get his feet wet down the stretch this season in Portland? It makes sense to explore the option on a few different levels. Gogulla played 48 of his team's 52 game season. On basic principle, getting as much experience under his belt in one calendar year will only lead to better preparation for the long grind of an 80+ game North American schedule. Inside of that idea, the opportunity to gel with the current Pirates prospects through a playoff run would go a long way towards building chemistry and confidence on and off the ice if a move is indeed pending next fall. He played well with Nathan Gerbe and Marek Zagrapan at the summer development camp, and generally looked good in training camp and preseason contests. His mere presence on the farm could open things up immensely, giving the Pirates a more balanced forward look. Let's also not forget that Gogulla will represent Germany in the Olympics next February. National Team coach Uwe Krupp, a former teammate of Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, should be on the phone encouraging his agent to make the move possible for the development of his young forward. Overall, it seems like a protracted visit could work out well for all parties involved. Until anything happens, we'll continue to wait for more news about Gogulla's future intentions.
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Anonymous
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Saturday, March 07, 2009 ×

It's about time. I'd really like to see him or Kennedy on the roster at the start of next season (someone to replace MacArthur). I wouldn't mind a surprise or two like rolling the dice on someone like Zagrapan or Mancari. What do you think Bakes?

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Kris Baker
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Saturday, March 07, 2009 ×

I think Gogulla thinks he's making the big club when he comes over, but it'll be tough out of the gate. Possible, but tough. It could come down to how quickly he adopts the Buffalo "system".

Gerbe replaces UFA Afinogenov. Kennedy can potentially replace Moore down the middle.

Ennis is an immediate wildcard if you ask me...

There could be four guys on their first contract fighting for roster spots next season. (Butler, Weber, Gerbe, Kennedy, Myers(?!))

Zagrapan and Mancari...too early to say.

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Anonymous
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Sunday, March 08, 2009 ×

Come on Kris, the Sabres don't force feed their prospects into the NHL. Ennis with junior eligibility still left will no make the Sabres baring injuries in training camp injuries. Myers is the truly intriguing prospect. However, if you’re truly a fan then you want a slow development on him so he can reach his fullest potential. Imagine a back end with Myers, Butler, Weber and Sekera. Four player, all with different abilities.

Gogulla, he’s a tough call. At prospects camp he looks to a potential star but is he ready for the NHL. I think a year on the farm would truly help him and he’d end up being one of the first call ups. Is he a third liner or a second? Certainly the hope is he has second line skills and talent but how many of those players do we need?

Connolly, Vanek, Stafford, Roy, Poms will all be top two line players. There’s a spot for Gerbe or Gogulla available. Guastad, Hecht and Paille are firmly entrenched as checking line players, along with Kaleta, Mair, Ellis and Peters. How many will be back? How many youngster will the Sabres want to carry. Surely no more than two or three. Kennedy would likely to be the first guy brough in to play this role. He is the team’s future third line pivot man because he plays the game with the combination of skill and scrappiness. I think he has a good shot of making the roster next year.

krt88

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Kris Baker
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Sunday, March 08, 2009 ×

They definitely haven't force-fed, that's for sure, but I think there's something different/special about the Twin Tylers. Ennis is a late birthday so he's been 19 most of this season and probably will turn pro for 2009. He's beyond going back to juniors next season, and it's not like he's going to get any bigger in the AHL. Already ahead of the the bottom-6 forwards in terms of sheer talent, he could translate to impact quicker than some think.

With Myers developing the way he has, I think there's less of a need to go fishing for a JayBo (not that they'd shell out 7-8MM per). Intriguing is right. I'm really struggling with the prospects of keeping him in the WHL next season.

For now, it's probably best to treat Gogulla like a Hecht. We can pencil him as a second line player with his size, boards work, and decent touch, but he'll probably start with third line minutes. I would rather see him in the AHL as well, but you never know who jumps up and wins those last spots out of camp so I'm trying to keep an open mind.

The point about how many youngsters is exactly what I was looking at as well. In the financial model, they'll want as many cheap, young first contracts as possible. I can't see more than four being within reason, but they'll have to find that blend. Two on D and two on F likely as of now.

Kennedy yes - third line center for next season while Connolly and Roy pivot the top two lines.

I'm just hoping that Gogulla finally makes it over and learns to enjoy the North American style. Training camp in the fall was a better experience than his other visits.

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Kris Baker
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Sunday, March 08, 2009 ×

To be clear though, I think Ennis signs and creates immediate pressure - from the AHL level of course. I can't get behind him making the team right away.

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