Rookies 00-08

This is Brian Swanson. He spent 99-00 on the “Bulldog” line in Hamilton with Daniel Cleary and Michel Riesen before they were airlifted into Edmonton (as a line) for one dozen games to start 00-01.

Swanson didn’t have a long career (about one NHL season) but did outlast Michel Riesen (12 games) and of course we know the Daniel Cleary story.

Since 2000 fall, Craig MacTavish has given cups of coffee and first or second chances to Mike Comrie, Shawn Horcoff, Dominic Pittis, Daniel Cleary, Brian Swanson, Michel Riesen, Dan Lacouture, Brad Norton (he made that first club but was suspended), Scott Ferguson, Jason Chimera, Jussi Markkanen, Chris Hajt, Ales Hemsky, Fernando Pisani, Alexei Semenov, Ales Pisa, Marc Andre Bergeron, Jarret Stoll, Alex Henry, Kari Haakana, Mike Bishai, Mikko Luoma, Peter Sarno, Tony Salmelainen, Ty Conklin, Raffi Torres, Marc Pouliot, Brad Winchester, Toby Petersen, JF Jacques, Danny Syvret, Kyle Brodziak, Mike Morrison, Mathieu Roy, Patrick Thoresen, Ladislav Smid, Matt Greene, Jan Hejda, Alexei Mikhnov, Tom Gilbert, Zach Stortini, Bryan Young, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Denis Grebeshkov, Liam Reddox, Theo Peckham, Rob Schremp and I may have missed one or two.

Until this season, the “ones that got away” were Daniel Cleary and Jason Chimera, plus perhaps Mike Comrie who we can list but with as asterisk. I think we may add one more to that list this season, that being Patrick Thoresen. The guy seems to be gathering steam as an NHL player in Philadelphia and it isn’t too hard to imagine he’ll find a home there.

However, in a season when the Oilers gave generous amounts of playing time to Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Denis Grebeshkov, Tom Gilbert, Kyle Brodziak and Zach Stortini it’s hard to find fault with allowing Thoresen through the cracks.

One thing is absolutely certain: these aren’t the 90s when it comes to the scouting department. Those men are kicking ass.

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10 Responses to "Rookies 00-08"

  1. Mark says:

    The thing I’ve never understood about the argument that Mac T doesn’t bring along young guys is that until recently, I don’t think we’ve had the horses to ride. That list is pretty spotty when it comes to NHL talent, and Cleary was almost out of the league until he got his act together and started playing Mac T hockey. I hope the irony isn’t lost on anyone out there. Not that I’m a Mac T apologist, but, can’t the argument be made that maybe, he’s just an excellent assessor of talent and skill and not just dismissive of younger players?

  2. Jonathan says:

    //One thing is absolutely certain: these aren’t the 90s when it comes to the scouting department. Those men are kicking ass.//

    I agree in a lot of things, but looking at that list, I have one objection – how many amateur Europeans have the Oilers drafted who have gone on to be successful at the NHL level? None. Hemsky is the only one who comes close, and he was playing in the QMJHL in his draft year. We’ve been very successful with overage Europeans, but our amateur European scouting department thus far is 0-for-Kevin Lowe.

  3. Gord says:

    I knew Thoresen was a dependable player – but with our multitude of 3rd & 4th line players, there was just no room for him…

    I am very happy for Thoresen – he is filling in quite well on a part time basis with Philadelphia… I hope he gets a one way contract with them over the summer…

  4. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: Zero argument there. The Oilers appear to have been bullied out of Europe altogether and this is an organization that for all intents and purposes invented Finland.

    Hockey-wise.

  5. Tweezer So Cold says:

    Best nickname in ages around here.

    Thoresen’s contract situation? He was on a 2-way here, and my guess is it was a 2 year deal ending this year.

    A great all-around player, who simply was snakebitten around the net – I sense a solid career for him once he stops squeezing the stick in tight.Brodziak’s emergence stole his spot, and Kyle was a very good player down the stretch.

    I hope he winds up back in the Oildrops. He always played an honest game.

  6. CrazyCoach says:

    ////”this is an organization that for all intents and purposes invented Finland.

    Hockey-wise.”////

    Does that include Juha Widing during the WHA days?

  7. digger says:

    I hope he winds up back in the Oildrops. He always played an honest game.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath, seeing as he ripped the Oilers org on his way out the door in the Norwegian media.

    I wish him the best of luck, but I doubt very much he’ll be wearing the Oil drop any time soon.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Juha Widing. I wish he wasn’t dead.

  9. Jonathan says:

    //Jonathan: Zero argument there. The Oilers appear to have been bullied out of Europe altogether and this is an organization that for all intents and purposes invented Finland. //

    For starters, my Mom’s Finn, so I agree with the need for more Finns ;)

    There’s an article I found while researching my blog here: http://oilers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=318097 that you need to read. From the article, it sounds like beyond Kent Nilsson (and Frank Musil as a Euro pro scout), the only amateur scouting done in Europe is at tournaments. Which probably goes a long way to explaining our drafting record.

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