Oilers sign McDonald

This is Colin McDonald in the faceoff circle for the Springfield Falcons. According to capgeek (or, the Bible as it is quickly becoming known) the Edmonton Oilers have signed McDonald to a 1-year, $550,000 contract. This actually represents a cut in pay on his entry level deal ($662,500) but he never saw the light of day anyway during that contract.

I think this may be a huge year in the career of Colin McDonald. After a couple of seasons of running in place, there are several significant arrows pointing in the right direction.

First, he seemed to blossom under coach Rob Daum late in this past AHL season. In McDonald’s final 10 games of the season, he went 3-2-5 +1 (he was 7-10-17 -9 in his previous 67 games). Also (according to Jonathan Willis’ Quality of Competition for the Falcons) he played tough minutes all year.

We can’t get ahead of ourselves here, the Oilers have plenty of options when it comes to wingers with size. McDonald has a plus shot (that hasn’t fooled AHL goalies) and although he does have size he’s not using it as much as the organization would like him to based on reports.

McDonald may have caught a break with the coaching change. Pat Quinn likes the big wingers for the bottom 6 F’s and McDonald has a clean slate with him. When Craig MacTavish arrived in Edmonton fall 2000, he elevated an entire line (Bulldog line-Brian Swanson, Michel Riesen and Daniel Cleary) along with defenseman Brad Norton and big winger Dan Lacouture. If McDonald had some more of Lacouture’s grit, he’d have an even better chance at sticking with the big club for 2009-10.

I like to do comparables from time to time, and will spend quite a bit of this summer on the subject. I’ve compared Colin McDonald in the past to college forwards Fernando Pisani and Brad Winchester and would like to add this past season to the comparison. You can find the yearly results going back to college here but for today I’ll just focus on the pro seasons.

Age 23
  • Pisani 52gp, 12-13-25 (.481ppg) AHL
  • McDonald 73gp, 12-11-23 (.315ppg) AHL
  • Winchester 65gp, 13-6-19 (.292ppg) AHL

We don’t really know the time on ice, the role of each player and there is certainly a difference in the offense of each team. McDonald was 8th on his team in points in his first pro season, Winchester was 15th in team scoring as an AHL rookie (this was not a shared farm team) and Pisani was 8th on his club. I should also mention that during this time the Oilers expressed concerns about Winchester not using his size as an asset.

Age 24

  • Fernando Pisani 79gp, 26-34-60 (.759ppg) AHL
  • Brad Winchester 76gp, 22-18-40 (.526ppg) AHL
  • Colin McDonald 77gp, 10-12-22 (.286ppg) AHL

McDonald clearly had an inferior season to both of the men we’re comparing him to here. Pisani was in on 24.3% of his team’s offense and ranked 4th in points. Winchester was in on 20.3% of his team’s offense and was 3rd on the club in points. McDonald was in on 12.15% of his team’s offense and ranked 6th among Falcons in 09-10. In the interests of giving him every possible leeway, McDonald did play tough minutes and we don’t know for certain how that would compare to the other two (although logic and good sense tells us Pisani had been climbing hills long before he arrived in Edmonton).

At this point we could reasonably expect about 11 points (Desjardins’ NHLE) from McDonald in a full season. That’s Stortini territory, and there’s little doubt Zack Stortini is a better 11 point player than Colin McDonald.

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38 Responses to "Oilers sign McDonald"

  1. mc79hockey says:

    That's pretty weird LT. I suppose his minor league salary isn't known but either that's a one way deal or the Oilers through some extra money on the AHL half of the deal to get him to accept the bite. Otherwise, why not sign the QO?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Not sure, MC. I cannot believe it would be a one-way deal, though.

  3. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Speaking of the Bible LT, would you consider adding Cap Geek to your blog roll to save lazy readers like me an extra click or two?

  4. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Done, and a great idea.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Now that I think about it, they may have done two things:

    1. Given him an extra boost in terms of AHL pay (as MC suggested)

    2. Suggested this would give him a better chance to make the end of the roster.

    But I can't see a 1-way NHL deal here. Why tie the coach's hands?

  6. Dennis says:

    Flames pick Nigel Dawes off waivers.

    Seems like a pretty nice little move all things considering.

  7. Moose says:

    'The Bible' has Hrabal still on the books. Didn't Guy say he was bought out?

    Cue Holy War.

  8. Traktor says:

    MC:

    Edmonton probably offered him a 2 year contract paying him league min in the second year.

  9. Traktor says:

    If you want to keep a players rights but you don't want to qualify them that's usually the procedure.

  10. R-Gib says:

    So does that bring us up to 46 contracts now? 47 maybe?

  11. Lowetide says:

    Still 47 contracts, which includes Hrabal and the two "slide risks" in Eberle and Rajala. As for Hrabal, maybe the Oilers have in fact done it (bought him out) but haven't filed it with the NHL. Does that make any sense? He has one year left on his entry deal. Also, capgeek lists McDonald's deal as a one year contract.

  12. Phil says:

    I like to do comparables from time to time

    Kind of like saying Tiger Woods likes to hit the odd golf ball now and then…

    I always find myself looking at guys like Lucic and Byfuglien with envy, and the hockey fan in me is dying for a coke machine to come out of obscurity from within the organization and become a dominant force for the team.

    That part of me will be the one cheering for McDonald, but my brain can't get on board; for the exact reasons you point out, LT. He just seems to be too far behind the curve for his age.

  13. bookie says:

    I suggested before that its hard to judge the performance of individuals on last year's Oilers because of the general weirdness of the team (coaching, etc), would it be reasonable to say the same for Springfield?

  14. Mr DeBakey says:

    A few weeks back I commented that McDonald was more likely to play for the Oilers this coming season than Reddox.

    Its nice to have my check mark for the year.

    I sure wish, though, that it had been on my Goaltender ideas instead.

  15. NBOilerFan says:

    Speaking of the bible, look at what Capgeek just posted on their twitter account…

    "CapGeek is working on a new feature — a waiver calculator. Enter a few simple fields and find out whether or not a player is exempt."

    How sweet is that. :D

  16. oilerdago says:

    bookie: I think you have to look at Springfield last year and treat everyone as if they played 2 seasons.

    It's obvious that Daum has a much better grasp of player development and situational usage of individuals than Truett did. That's not to say Truett was a dolt, but that he did not have a good enough grasp of the AHL game – which is very different from juniors.

    That said, there were still some obvious holes (d-men) that I'm glad to see the org addressing this summer.

    And if McDonald ever does make it, I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong, because he was trending as a big time wasted pick for a couple of years before showing something. I'm just hoping it's more "light came on" than "playing for a contract".

  17. Yeti says:

    I have strong doubts that McDonald could conceivably out-perform JFJ to a wide enough degree to get into the frame of the big club. I can only imagine that coaching is thinking of a fourth line of JFJ, Stortini with either Brule or Pouliot between them. And that would be fine.

  18. Gord says:

    Speaking of the blog roll, is there a reason you keep links to blogs that are not updated?

    i.e. Igor Ulanov for over a year

    Just wondering…

  19. mc79hockey says:

    Yeah, and I haven't had much in the way of interesting content at my site this week. Why aren't you writing posts for me and posting them?

  20. Lowetide says:

    Igor stays. It's run by women. If there were 20 Oiler blogs run by women I'd delete every damn one of you.

    Just the way it is.

  21. Coach pb9617 says:

    How sweet is that. :D

    YOU ARE WRONG

  22. Lowetide says:

    I understand they're about to post another site called "the othercap geek.com" and that should help too.

  23. Coach pb9617 says:

    Outstanding LT.

    As per Tencer:

    Prendergast: "…I think we've given up hope on the Heatley scenario…it's pretty evident what's going to happen…"

  24. Masamax says:

    I must admit, I know next to nothing about this guy. How does he trend in terms of style compared to a guy like Stortini? Is he really just a coke machine, or does he have any ancilliary skills to peek anyone's interest? Is this really a potential NHL player or are we looking at a career AHL/ECHLer? I am a huge fan of Storts, and frankly, I don't see the point in having more than one of him on the roster.

  25. gary b says:

    the full Prendergast piece (from Dan Tencer):

    On Heatley:

    "I think we've given up hope on the Heatley scenario; but, I guess it's not dead in the water. But, at this point, it looks like we'll go to camp with the same team we finished with last year outside of a new goaltender."

    "I think at this point, it's pretty evident what's going to happen. But, we haven't closed the door on the whole issue yet."

    On Penner, Cogliano and Smid

    "I'm sure there's going to be a little fence mending that has to be done. It's not as if we didn't want these players, we certainly want them. We hope that they're going to be a big part of our team if they're still here."

    On Grebeshkov

    "I don't think we're all that far apart in the whole scenario. I think the whole Heatley thing has sorta pushed it back a little bit. We still have time to get it done; one way or another, he's gonna get signed."

    On Reddox

    "We haven't heard back from the agent or Liam at this point. We thought what we offered was fair, but obviously they didn't. It's the same group that represented Linus Omark and headed to Russia without really talking to us fairly at that point. If Liam feels he wants to go to Russia, then so be it; we have other players in our system that we know can play."

    - Dan Tencer

  26. Councilman Les Winan says:

    OT, I know, but I just read on TSN.ca that Calgary traded for Keith Seabrook (after signing Staffan Kronwall a couple of days ago).

    Anybody else wondering if Sutter is forgetting to check first names? ;-)

  27. NBOilerFan says:

    "… But, at this point, it looks like we'll go to camp with the same team we finished with last year outside of a new goaltender."

    Ahhh no Kevin Prendergast… you mean… "…outside of a new goaltender… and without three good nhl players in Kotalik, Brodziak and Reddox."

    *Shakes Head*

    This is the Assitant GM is it not… pathetic. It almost sounds as if the whole offseason plan was to just acquire Heatley.

    Will the real Kevin Lowe, please stand up.

  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    Fill my eyes…with that Tunnel vision.

  29. Asciutto says:

    "But, at this point, it looks like we'll go to camp with the same team we finished with last year outside of a new goaltender."

    Are not Boston, Philadelphia & Chicago looking to move bodies?
    Cheaper, younger bodies than Heatley?
    I realize none of those teams are likely willing to take Fatso in return but still
    Wasn't it obvious to everyone that the Heatley thing was as dead as a fart on July 1?
    How could it not have been?

  30. Woodguy says:

    How sweet is that. :D

    YOU ARE WRONG.

    Dammit!

    I wanted to post that.

    I understand they're about to post another site called "the othercap geek.com" and that should help too.

    That too.

    As an aside, I am willing to wager 1:1 that the NHL cap is not going to fall below 53 Million next year if it falls at all.

  31. NBOilerFan says:

    Woodguy said…
    Dammit!
    I wanted to post that.

    That too.

    This is all over my head.

  32. PDO says:

    … we're actually entering next season with the exact same roster that missed the playoffs minus Kotalik, Brodziak and Reddox.

    WTF?

  33. Woodguy says:

    This is all over my head.

    This is a pretty good synopsis of the whole thing.

    Make sure you read all the links in there too.

    Comedy gold.

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3157

  34. oilerdago says:

    //This is the Assitant GM is it not… pathetic. It almost sounds as if the whole offseason plan was to just acquire Heatley.//

    Pretty close. They had to clean up issues on the roster. There were too many forwards with similar skills so contracts needed to go too.

    They tried to solve the #1LW issue and that in one shot and I think we're fortunate it did not happen.

    In the long run, I think this gives us a better chance to build a strong foundation, but it does mean that next season is at best going to be a sneak in the playoffs thing.

    They may yet do something small though in late August when you have some cheap options who could be looking for contracts at 3C. Don't give up hope yet.

  35. Woodguy says:

    "I don't think we're all that far apart in the whole scenario. I think the whole Heatley thing has sorta pushed it back a little bit. We still have time to get it done; one way or another, he's gonna get signed".

    Answers like this really make me shake my head.

    This is very similar to the answer that Lowe gave when GlenX slid away to the south. Back then he was too preoccupied with chasing Moby Hossa to pay attention to anything else.

    Now they can't resign a very good defenseman because they are chasing Moby Heatley???

    Even if those were not the real reasons why they didn't sign these guys, can they come up with an answer that doesn't make you think a company with over $100M in revenue isn't run by guys who can't walk and chew gum at the same time?

    Mind you, many of my competitors have 100M in revenue and the level of stupidity in senior management in some of these companies can never be underestimated….

  36. godot10 says:

    "But, at this point, it looks like we'll go to camp with the same team we finished with last year outside of a new goaltender."

    //Are not Boston, Philadelphia & Chicago looking to move bodies?//

    If you are trying to mend fences with Cogliano and Smid (and well, Penner), you aren't going to announce publically that you are still actively seeking to make major changes prior to training camp.

  37. Steve says:

    Anybody else wondering if Sutter is forgetting to check first names? ;-)

    I was once in a hockey pool with a guy who accidentally built his team around Marcel Hossa.

  38. boopronger says:

    Does capgeek calculate both caps? ;)

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