Why Marty Reasoner? Because the Oilers need someone who can fill that role. Faceoff man, blocking shots with face man, guy who’ll accept 15 minutes one night and a HS the next. A penalty killer, a guy who helps the kids who will eventually take his job to perfect the exact skills that have him on the roster. A class act who does his job well and makes himself valuable by doing everything asked while being a positive influence.
It’s a very important role, especially on a team with a lot of youth.
Reasoner is a utility outfielder, a guy who can field well enough to fill-in at centerfield and hit well enough to get a few spot starts in left and right. He’s Del Unser. Pretty decent hitter who could play regularly for a few weeks and then come in the day after losing his starting job and rip a double off the wall as a pinch-hitter.
Del Unser’s don’t have huge value in free agency and their skills are duplicated throughout the roster, but they’re extremely valuable because the things they do well are quite often areas of weakness for young players. The Del Unser’s of hockey don’t get signed July 1st, but they come in pretty fricking handy from October to June.
If Marc Pouliot had stayed healthy during the spring of 2006 (the Mono year) or if Kyle Brodziak had another year of experience then Marty Reasoner may already have signed in Los Angeles or Columbus or Jokerit or Yaroslavl. One day not too far in the distance, Marty Reasoner will be waiting by the phone for the call from the Edmonton Oilers and it won’t come.
I don’t think this is the year.