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.