Jacques Dammit

This is Jean-Francois Jacques. He of the Zach Parise trade, the “Crazy-Train” nickname and the very attractive size/speed combination that had some of us Oilers fans pretty damn excited about his future.

Hold that thought.

Guy Flaming has an article up on his blog about Jacques injury although the Oilers are going to hold onto it for awhile. We’ve talked on this site many times about injuries to prospects and the fact that often when people talk about failed draft picks and horrible draft seasons they overlook the injuries. 2001+ for the Oilers in terms of draft picks with promise would include the names Doug Lynch, Jesse Niinimaki, Jarret Stoll, Marc Pouliot, JF Jacques, Mikhail Joukov, Rob Schremp and Alexandre Plante.

Jacques is/was a favorite of mine. Big men with plus speed are all kinds of interesting to hockey fans. He received attention from hockey men early on, as he was the 10th overall pick (Baie-Comeau’s) in the QMJHL draft on June 16 , 2001. He was 16 and a couple of months when drafted, coming off a nice playoff run with Cap-de-la-Madelaine that spring (39gp, 22-13-35 in the regular season and 10gp, 5-8-13 in the playoffs).

Jacques would grow as a player with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, going from 10 goals and 136pims in his freshman season to 36 goals and 56pims in his senior year. He turned pro at 20, impressing in the minor leagues and every training camp (he made the opening night roster 2 times, 2006 & 2007) but looking tentative and unable in the show. This past season injuries slowed his progress (read some of it here).

There is at times a tendency to imply things are a certain way, when the facts dictate otherwise. There may be a need to “write history” for JF Jacques and say this back injury did him in, but the facts are that there was a job opening, the Oilers gave him every chance to grab it and when he didn’t Zack Stortini filled the role with aplomb. The two men were drafted in the same year and in the same range (Jacques at 68, Stortini at 94) and one of them is going to have an NHL career while the other has failed in three auditions and now has a back injury that might require surgery.

This is what happens in hockey. When Raimo Summanen and Esa Tikkanen came over from Finland, everyone talked about Summanen becoming 99′s long lost left winger and we all know how that turned out. Hard work, grey matter, listening to the coach, having a terrific toolbox but lacking in another area, all of those could be reasons for this outcome. Luck was in there too, that bitch.

All the best, Jean-Francois Jacques. We’ll leave a light on and hope for your return.

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11 Responses to "Jacques Dammit"

  1. Ribs says:

    I blame the Hadron Collider.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I blame choogling.

  3. B.C.B. says:

    I blame JFJ.

  4. Doogie2K says:

    I blame CFP.

  5. Schitzo says:

    I blame all of Quebec. When’s the last time the Oilers had a french-canadian player who didn’t have a hole between his ears?

  6. Black Dog says:

    I blame the government – it always comes back to the government.

    And that rock and roll music the kids listen to these days.

  7. Lowetide says:

    It all started when Steve Allen put Don Knotts and Elvis on television the same night.

    The world couldn’t handle it.

  8. Schitzo says:

    Christ you guys are old.

  9. Bryanbryoil says:

    He will be having surgery on his back, the timetable is unknown. From what I’ve been told, the surgery date is still unknown.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Based on Joanne Ireland’s Edmonton Journal article today he “may” require surgery and has an appointment this week with the doctor.

    It sounds like (since there was some positive news earlier this summer) that he’s gone backwards and one suspects surgery is going to happen.

    But you never know with the back. Either way, he’s in a bit of trouble as a hockey player.

  11. Asiaoil says:

    Optimism about this guy should be completely exhausted by now – however – his scoreless streak is now the stuff of legends. Just how does a forward spend that much time on the ice and get nadda? Theoretically he has one last shot next fall since he has a two year deal – but stick a fork in him – he’s done.

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