Pat Pending

This is Walt McKechnie. When crusty old Punch Imlach arrived back in Toronto during the summer of 1979 McKechnie became something of a focal point. The problem involved the collective foot speed of the Leaf centermen.

Imlach said he had “5 or 6 good players” and he fretted all summer about center ice. Quoting Imlach in his book Heaven and Hell in the NHL: “We needed more depth everywhere but especially at center. There we had Jimmy Jones who could check but couldn’t score and wasn’t fast enough; Paul Gardner who could score but wasn’t fast enough; Walt McKechnie who could do a lot of things fairly well, except skate fast; and (Darryl) Sittler, who could score but wasn’t quite as fast as he had been, and had some bad habits, like giving away the puck too often and frequently being caught out of the play when he went in too deep.”

We haven’t discussed a few things about Pat Quinn. We’ve touched on “what if he doesn’t match lines and leaves the kids exposed?” and “how many crash and bang forwards will there be on the 3 and 4 lines?” but we haven’t (that I’ve seen) asked how many of these guys are going to be Walt McKechnie’s.

I think center is going to be for Pat Quinn much like it was for Punch Imlach. There are some issues here. He can count on Shawn Horcoff but #10 will no doubt be more help if there’s a veteran presence behind him to help out. Sam Gagner will no doubt improve and may even take some powerplay minutes away from Horcoff (Horc enjoyed 300 pp minutes, Gagner 232). Andrew Cogliano has blazing speed and raw talent, but there are aspects to his game that hurt the team even after two seasons. Marc Pouliot may be a hidden gem but the previous coach found him to be a conundrum. Gilbert Brule is the new Daniel Cleary, losing some of his youth to a bad hockey organization and attempting to find his way by spending a prolonged period in the minors after a long NHL stretch.

And that’s just center. Quinn has already discussed Hemsky (or at least I think he was talking about Hemsky) in a less than flattering light but the man has two eyes and part of his job is going to be squeezing offense out of these men so Hemsky will be a valuable man. Right? Let’s list off the 23-man roster currently and I’ll take a guess at Quinn’s opinion.

  1. Khabibulin: He’ll ride that nag until it drops.
  2. Deslauriers: Won’t last the season.
  3. Souray: Big, big minutes. Monster playing time.
  4. Visnovsky: Quinn’s new Kaberle will be relied upon.
  5. Gilbert: Valuable player Quinn should grow to trust.
  6. Grebeshkov: Has some chaos, Quinn will play him.
  7. Staios: He’ll get steady minutes.
  8. Smid: Quinn will want him to play uglier.
  9. Strudwick: He’ll be a reliable role player.
  10. Horcoff: Quinn will overuse him, he has no choice.
  11. Gagner: I think Gagner may face some early criticism.
  12. Cogliano: A big part of Quinn’s job is finding him a useful role.
  13. Pouliot: He should be a useful player, but MacT thought so too.
  14. Brule: The Oilers are giving him a push, but Quinn has enough question marks.
  15. Penner: I think Quinn gets something extra from him.
  16. O’Sullivan: Should be a quality player under Quinn.
  17. Moreau: Trusted warrior, he’ll get a lot of work.
  18. Jacques: Should be just what Quinn is looking for.
  19. MacIntyre: Likely to play much more this year.
  20. Hemsky: Some concern, but he’s the ignition.
  21. Nilsson: Man most likely to be traded. Now.
  22. Pisani: They’ll play him heavily when healthy.
  23. Stortini: Should play the same role as last time.

I think there are 3 players in quite a bit of danger: Deslauriers, Brule and Nilsson. Gagner and Cogliano need to show strength in clearly defined roles early and health is as always a major concern. Penner, Cogliano and Smid may already be gone. If you were born in the 1970′s, you’re on top of the world.

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136 Responses to "Pat Pending"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Good stuff LT.

    Grebs will be fine. Believe me after years of watching McCabe leave his man uncovered in the slot to roam about inexplicably Quinn will think Grebs is Don Awrey reborn.

    Will be a lot of fun to watch this club, both in a good and a bad way.

  2. RiversQ says:

    MacIntyre: Likely to play much more this year.

    Not more than Stortini though, right?

    I'm not a fan of the goons in general and nor am I big on Stortini, but I think it's pretty obvious that MacIntyre is a really bad hockey player

  3. dawgbone says:

    You touched on the one thing that worries me the most LT…

    Khabibulin: He'll ride that nag until it drops.

    Quinn has a pretty long history of riding his #1 just as hard as MacT does (Renney is right there too).

    One of my biggest concerns about the Bulin signing is that I don't think he'll hold up to that work load.

  4. Gord says:

    RiversQ,

    I like Steve MacIntyre.

    He doesn't take stupid penalties; he managed to get one bone crushing hit every few games; he will drop the gloves as needed. He was only -2 over 22 games last season. He is very inexpensive…

    What more could one ask for from the #14 forward?

  5. quain says:

    What more could one ask for from the #14 forward?

    If he played a full season and the same minutes per game at ES as Shawn Horcoff he would've been -27. Just to give proper context to his 'only -2.'

  6. Smarmy Boss says:

    Is Quinn the kind of guy that rides a few players real hard?

    I seem to recall that his star players seem to have a few less minutes a game then their counterparts. For example, I remember leafs fans stating Sundin was playing 2.5 less minutes a game then Modano so his PPM was higher and therefore he was better.

    I dunno I'm rambling.

    Now during the regular season. Especially the first half. Is it very important for coaches to heavily line match?

    I would suspect that Quinn/Renney will let Horcoff have some easier minutes and challenge the younger guys with some tougher minutes. With 5 minutes left and a one goal lead I suspect the line matching will come out.

  7. RiversQ says:

    Yeah good points Gord. Good rebuttal from quain as well, but I think your points still hold water.

    The best thing about SMac is that he would hopefully be the 14th forward (although I'm not sure that's what LT is implying here) and his minutes can be less than 8min/game if necessary.

    But the dude is a poor player. The term "wobbly pins" comes to mind and that's before the punches start flying.

  8. Smarmy Boss says:

    If he played a full season and the same minutes per game at ES as Shawn Horcoff he would've been -27. Just to give proper context to his 'only -2.',

    Yeah but 14th forwards are that low on the pole for a reason, so I don't think the above example is all that important.

    Plus small fries like having a big guy on their bench. Makes them play bigger.

  9. dawgbone says:

    Gord… he was only -2 because he played less than 4 minutes per game.

    He was by far the worst Oiler on the team in terms of his GF-GA/60 rate.

    If he sees any increase in icetime it's not going to be pretty.

  10. Lowetide says:

    RQ's right, MacIntyre is an awful hockey player. I don't think he'll have a career despite the talent with fists. There's bleeding chances, but grabbing a gun and helping the other side is another thing altogether.

    Smarmy: I did a Pat Quinn in a box thingy awhile back and over the years his 4line was spotted quite a bit. The top 9F's are going to play bigger minutes and the 4line won't see 10 minutes a night based on his past.

  11. Smarmy Boss says:

    Thanks LT. I guess its pretty obvious that if the Oilers keep Smac around that he'll be Quinn's Belak?

  12. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, that's about right. KP (I think it was him) mentioned awhile back that Jacques was going to get a look.

    By the way, if you missed it in last night's thread, CHED (Tencer, Stauffer) had a few interesting updates:

    From Paul Kelly:

    "Dany would certainly consider playing for the Edmonton Oilers"

    "Dany wants to play for a contender"

    From Dan Tencer:

    "The Edmonton offer is still an option (Heatley)."

    "Internal thought to get Pouliot back to his natural position"

    From Bob Stauffer:

    "Oilers mind as well stay in it to the end, [Heatley] is a unique talent"

    "We are to believe Ottawa leaked the names"

    "Tom Kostopolous was a player we were interested in"

    "Smid NEEDS TO SIMPLIFY HIS GAME"

    "Wyatt Smith and Eric Boguniecki (sp) as possible AHL signings"

    Both said Coglaino does not want to leave. 100% scared of leaving. Smid would like to get the opportunity to play Top 4 minutes and would like the Heatley trade to go through.

    "ROBBIE SCHREMP REQUESTED A TRADE"

    That's all courtesy PJ Oil who ripped it from Soli over at HF.

  13. Lowetide says:

    My comments on the above:

    1. I have to hand it to Katz/Lowe, they're playing an excellent De Niro to Heatley's Iris.

    2. Kotsopolous would have been a nice 4line option, but is he a center? All kinds of energy though. I haven't checked his Corsi or toughness of minutes.

    3. I'm please with the Pouliot info.

    4. Rob Schremp requested a trade and the Oilers couldn't get value for him (a 2, i think from NYI). What does this mean? Schremp is on waivers near the end of TC and Schremp followers (Schremp cocktails? What should they be called?) may have their minds blown if he passes through.

  14. HBomb says:

    RE: MacIntyre. For me, it always comes back to the question of "what's better"

    a) 10 minutes a game of Stortini

    or

    b) 4 minutes a game for MacIntyre and an extra six minutes a game spread out among Ales Hemsky, Fernando Pisani and Andrew Cogliano (my top three assumed RW's if the season started today).

    MacIntyre may be a worse player, but it might be better for the team in the big picture (assumption: Quinn runs the bench in a similar fashion to how MacT did with regards to the resident "enforcer" – I'm not sure how valid this argument is anymore).

    If it was me, I'd keep one as my 20-game-per-year 14th forward and find a 4LW that can play the game a little and kill some penalties.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    "I don't know anyone named Iris."

    Heatley's agent

  16. bookie says:

    If he played a full season and the same minutes per game at ES as Shawn Horcoff he would've been -27. Just to give proper context to his 'only -2.'

    By the exact same logic he would have also had 27 goals and been the teams leading scorer. This suggests that Smac was very much underutilized and that he should have been a key offensive cog for the team. Just another example of poor judgement by MacTavish.

  17. knighttown says:

    Jee-sus Christ. Martin Biron just signed with the Islanders for 1 year/ 1.4 million.

    Exactly what I've been saying about the goalie market for months…these guys would be signing for backup money or they'd be going to the KHL.

    This will sound harsh but the Oilers sincerely have no clue.

  18. goldenchild says:

    Having Renney right next to him eases some of my anxiety of having a 78 year old coach who hasnt been in the league for the better part of a decade. Renney know who Hemmer is, what position he plays and how valuable he is to this team and probably would say something when Quinn sends 89 out against the Sedins. At least I hope thats the case.

  19. bookie says:

    This will sound harsh but the Oilers sincerely have no clue.

    This debate was hashed and rehashed in the last blogpost, but the counter argument is that Biron was not seen as valuable to other GMs as some bloggers seem to think he is.

  20. oilerdago says:

    Not to start a Schremp thread, but even if another team is interested, why pay the price (2nd rounder?) when he could very easily be grabbed for nothing in September when he goes on waivers?

    I'm not saying someone would but right now, with the continued logjam of forwards, his chances rest on blowing Quinn and Renney away. Not impossible, but not likely.

    To me the one kid who I hope has the light go on for him (other than Pouliot) it's Jacques. We've waited a long time and actually saw some flashes late last season.

  21. bookie says:

    Not to start a Schremp thread, but even if another team is interested, why pay the price (2nd rounder?) when he could very easily be grabbed for nothing in September when he goes on waivers?

    Because waivers involves a priority system, meaning that you are not guaranteed the player (if you want him – clearly no one did).

  22. dawgbone says:

    Hbomb… why not just play Stortini 4 minutes per night? He has some big hits to his resume and he is turning into a decent fighter.

    Best of both worlds.

  23. hunter1909 says:

    Personally all of my money goes on Schremp making the team out of training camp.

  24. Lowetide says:

    hunter: Would you like to send it to me now or wait until fall? Your choice.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    That's online money, btw.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    I'm a pretty good online fighter too.

  27. Lowetide says:

    hunter: Oh I KNOW! :-)

  28. HBomb says:

    dawgbone: Can't really argue with that philosophy, but if I'm going to have an end of the roster goon for minimal minutes, I want the guy to be making league mininmum and for him to be capable of absolutely destroying guys in fights.

    I know it does nothing to help the team win games, but I enjoy the occasional dash of old-school gratuitous violence.

  29. bookie says:

    Personally all of my money goes on Schremp making the team out of training camp.

    I think you should get something like 10-1 odds on that…

  30. hunter1909 says:

    I suppose it's less than even money Schremp does make the team but…

    With Quinn basically not giving a flying fuck who the players are until training camp, methinks the Golden Jock gets as fair a chance as he's likely to ever get.

    I am awestruck at this blog, how some of you mathematically quantify stuff that in the future will probably be considered natural statistics of the game.

    Me, I'm from the Don Cherry school. Schremp strikes me as a guy who knows what's going on out on the ice, and has the guts to make the plays that lesser mortals shy away from, particularly when compared to the survivors of the MacT regime.

    Like I keep on with, the amount of contempt/hatred that poor trailer trash slob gets is staggering. I mean, we all know for the past lifetime the Oilers are just a rotten, shitty team, but Slats circa 1980's would have figured out how to make a guy like Schremp succeed, instead of the MacT palookaville "I told you he wasn't any good" factory.

  31. HBomb says:

    Brodziak allegedly signs a 3 year, 1.15 million cap hit per annum deal with Minnesota, according to Russo's Twitter.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Brown. Man he was decisive.

  33. Ribs says:

    I think if Poo comes out banging in training camp Quinn is going to really like him. It's just too bad training camps are not his best of times.

    I'm a bit worried about how he'll use Horcoff. Does he know how valuable and useful he is? I hope it doesn't become "Well, if we have to…" when he throws him over the boards. Gagner will indeed get the criticism if this ends up being the case.

    People waiting for the Souray warts to show will see them more prominently if he is overused as he was in Montreal. Hopefully Huddy's magic doesn't wear off.

    I still can't see Brule fitting anywhere on the roster without trades.

    Schremp? Really?

  34. Lowetide says:

    Schremp's compete level in the AHL was nil last season. He'll have to come in and impress the holy hell out of Quinn because one doubts there is a 4line spot for him.

    I'm all for giving him minutes for the first 20 games and then trading him if he can post points.

  35. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: Dave Brown was a downright psycho. I don't know if you could name a better enforcer outside of Bob Probert in the 1980's.

    Here's a 3 minute "best of" video for everyone to enjoy

  36. Dyckster says:

    Hey all,

    1st time poster (I dabble the odd time with ON). I'm with hunter on the Schremp thing. Having never played hockey at that level, I would think there must be a MASSIVE adjustment period for those players that have worked their trade in the minors for as long as he has. My guess is he would need 15 – 20 games with at least 8-12 minutes per game TOI to really show what he's capable (or incapable) of. The guy is god like with the puck on his stick, the Oil could use some of his flair. Hopefully Quinn gives him a fair look beyond TC.

  37. speeds says:

    This debate was hashed and rehashed in the last blogpost, but the counter argument is that Biron was not seen as valuable to other GMs as some bloggers seem to think he is.

    Jan Hejda

  38. HBomb says:

    One more for everyone: this particular Brown vs. Grimson tilt is a piece of Oiler folklore.

    Grimson apparently had been dodging Brown to that point, and this was in the second half of a back-to-back BOA during the 89-90 season. On the way into the rink that night, Brown told a couple members of the Edmonton media "don't go for coffee".

    Talk about a lopsided scrap.

  39. Promethian says:

    //Both said Coglaino does not want to leave. 100% scared of leaving. Smid would like to get the opportunity to play Top 4 minutes and would like the Heatley trade to go through.//

    Double-edged sword situation for me personally. Love both players. Glad Cogs is in for the long haul, disappointed Smid is not.

    Can't someone convince Smid he WILL be top 4 this year once one of our $5M+ d-men goes down to injury in early November?

    Smid would look a lot better with a capable puck-mover – obviously NOT Steve Staios – because if he can't skate it out (which he does well), he defers awkwardly to his partner (Staios, Strudwick – both poor puck movers). Laddy + Grebs, Viz, or Gilbert would certainly highlight his top 4 potential IMO.

  40. Ribs says:

    My guess is he would need 15 – 20 games with at least 8-12 minutes per game TOI to really show what he's capable (or incapable) of.

    He's getting that time in Springfield and isn't doing anything godlike there. Why would he do better in the NHL?

  41. Ribs says:

    …I should say he's getting more time in Springfield.

  42. Dyckster says:

    Ribs,

    I totally get that, but I think his (Schremp's) confidence/ego is probably at an all time low. Ya, he should be like most guys and play his ass off in Springfield to show the big club what he's capable of but, I think considering the ball bashing he got from Mac T, he MAY change his ways and show the stuff he did when he played fot London. Hey if he plays and falls on his ass I'll gladly eat crow, but I think the guy is too good not to give a fair shot.

  43. goldenchild says:

    On the Schremp to NYI deal, they really thought somebody would give up a 2nd rd pick?

  44. Traktor says:

    "Horcoff: Quinn will overuse him, he has no choice"

    Based on what? Justifying the contract?

    I expect Quinn to,

    - cut his PP minutes in half

    - shave some time of his PK work

    - if Quinn doesn't over-coach the game like MacTavish then Horcoff will probably see some of his EV time cut as well

  45. Bill Needle says:

    Love that Brown fight footage. He pretty much made a career punching Jim Kyte in his hearing aid.

  46. HBomb says:

    Traktor: and who is going to take those minutes you suggest Quinn's going to cut from Horcoff's list of assignments? I like Pouliot, Gagner and Brule as much as the next guy, but there's a big drop off from 10 to the next center on this team's depth chart.

    The first unit PP minutes will go to Gagner. That is not a bad idea at all, and probably should have been done this past season to help spread things out more. But Quinn is still going to heavily lean on Horcoff at ES and PK, and he'll certainly still see man advantage time on the second unit.

    Even if they do add Malholtra (as I wish they would), Horcoff's still going to be taking on the lion's share of the toughs in a power-vs-power role. And you say he's going to have a lesser role under Quinn? You're fooling yourself if you think that. It's a stone cold fact he's the best center this team has, and it is not even close.

    (NOTE: I am considering Cogliano a winger for the purposes of these discussions, and I hope Quinn and Renney do the same).

  47. quain says:

    I don't know, I agree with Traktor. For better or worse MacT put a lot of thought into how he wanted his lines used. I don't see Quinn doing that, which means Horcoff might not see nearly as many tough minutes or defensive zone faceoffs. We'll see how he feels if Gagner, Pouliot or Brule start faltering, but to begin with I can't imagine Horcoff getting run out like last season.

  48. quain says:

    But, to follow up on that, if I were coaching the Oilers I'd be much closer to MacT's usage than Quinn's likely usage… a ton of ES and PK minutes, but fewer PP minutes (just because I see him doing better in a playmaker role on the PP, and we have enough guys who can do that but can't play hockey in other situations).

  49. Dyckster says:

    Sorry to get off topic, but I thought this was worth a mention.

    "Hurricanes reward Ruutu for career season
    Physical, skilled left-winger signs 3-year deal worth $11.4M"

    Courtesy of CBC – http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2009/07/23/sp-ruutu-contract.html

    Ummmmmmmm did Jim Rutherford go to the KLowe school of GMing?

  50. DanMan says:

    Nice work, LT.

    Having been a Pat Quinn since the Vancouver days, I have to agree with most of your assessments.

    One you may be mistaken on is Gagner. Quinn will surely keep in mind that he is a great (not elite) offensive talent who is only 20 years old. Gagner WILL get 5v5 minutes with Hemsky within the first 10 games, guaranteed.

    Quinn's blender includes the #1 center, no matter if it was Trevor Linden (one of his favs) or Cliff Ronning (not a fav).

  51. kris says:

    LT,

    I think your Gagner comments are going to be prophetic.

    Look, if Gagner were to become, overnight, the player we expect him to be in a few years, this would be a pretty good forward core, with a nice 1-2 punch at center. Still, there are question marks, but a solid group nonetheless. Could even be dangerous.

    I think the organization sees this too, and they're going to put pressure on Gagner early. I think he may even start the season with Hemsky. It's probably a bad move, but we can keep our fingers crossed.

    The hope is that there is comparison between Gagner's career arc and Getzlaf's. I mean, obviously they're not similar players, but Gagner's about to be in a somewhat similar situation to Getzlaf's: Gagner has Horcoff. Getzlaf had Pahlson.

    It was Getzlaff's 21yr old season that he developed into a soft minutes destroying monster. After that, he's started to get harder minutes. Before that he split a season in the NHL/AHL showing some offensive flair against presumably -we don't have behind the net far enough back- easy comp.

    Last year Gagner faced easy Comp. (-0.04) with great teammates. His GFON/60-GAON/60 was 0.24. He's shown some offensive flair. (He probably should've spent some time in the AHL, too.)

    I think the org. is banking on, and even expects, a rapid, Getzlaff-like development from Gagner and that's why they haven't spent more time addressing help for Horcoff. In fact, I wonder if they dream of Horcoff being Gagner's help.

  52. digger says:

    I tend to agree w/ Traktor's take as well re: Horcoff, at least to start the season.

    I think it's feasible to expect that the Oilers will at least attempt to lean on Gagner more, just to see how he responds to tougher assignments and a heavier workload. Everything I've seen come from Quinn so far in the admittedly brief time that he's been here indicates to me that he will be going into training camp with as open a mind as he can.

    There may not be as many 'benefits of a doubt', as MacT often did, given out if a player has a slow camp.

  53. Coach pb9617 says:

    RE: Brodziak contract. Oh man. 3 years @ 1.15? Really? That's a beauty.

    For better or worse MacT put a lot of thought into how he wanted his lines used. I don't see Quinn doing that, which means Horcoff might not see nearly as many tough minutes or defensive zone faceoffs.

    Renney would though. Renney puts a premium on shielding guys with OffZS. There are a bunch of forwards on this team that need shielding. Horcoff is not one of them. If Renney is pushing the details, Horcoff's workload will increase*

    *If the team goes to Game 1 with Horcoff-Pouliot-Gagner-Brule

  54. bookie says:

    RE: Brodziak contract. Oh man. 3 years @ 1.15? Really? That's a beauty.

    We should have signed him for this, then got some good play out of him under a coach not named MacCrazy and THEN traded him for a little more value.

  55. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacCrazy.

    Awesome. I'm using this.

  56. Phil says:

    and Schremp followers (Schremp cocktails? What should they be called?)

    Followers of HockeyJesus should be called "Dischiples", no?

  57. geowal says:

    At least Dan Barnes realizes the need to move on from Heatley.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Time+Oilers+give+Heatley/1819478/story.html

    Not sure how or why a DVD could change his mind.

  58. Alice says:

    RE: Brodziak contract. Oh man. 3 years @ 1.15? Really? That's a beauty.

    How does he cover that bet?

    Let's see, shows up sober, remembers to put the cap back on the toothpaste, doesn't lay out Havlat in practice. That'd about do, no?

  59. DanMan says:

    I'm glad they're showing Heatley DVD's hahahahaha.

    After a couple missed open-nets by Horcoff, Heatley will surely realize going to TC in Ottawa is the better way to go

  60. DanMan says:

    Quinn rolls 4 lines. He has always done this. If SMac is dressed he will be getting at least 7 min, maybe as much as 8 or 9 (barring fighting twice in a game or a 10 minute misconduct).

    My hope is that he puts a combination of SMac/JFJ/Stortini with a center who can skate (Brule?) out against the top lines of our divisional opponents for one or two shifts a game..

    And RUN them.

    Minnesota has been doing this to us the last couple years, injuring Hemsky (to name one) in the process. It about time we take some runs at the Iginlas, Sedins, Bouchard, etc.

  61. mjsh says:

    Let's see, shows up sober, remembers to put the cap back on the toothpaste, doesn't lay out Havlat in practice. That'd about do, no?

    If he'd laid out Havlat in a real game he would still be here

  62. Woodguy says:

    We should have signed him for this, then got some good play out of him under a coach not named MacCrazy and THEN traded him for a little more value.

    With what roster spot?

    That was the problem and why he had to go.

    You either cut bait on either 67 and/or 78 when you really don't know what you have with either guy and the (i hate this word) "upside" for either of these guys is much more than Brodz

    or

    you cut bait with Brodz because you pretty much know what he is, and he's easier to find than what 78 and/or 67 can turn into.

    If we had 52 roster spots Brodz is on the team.

  63. Traktor says:

    "and who is going to take those minutes you suggest Quinn's going to cut from Horcoff's list of assignments?"

    Gagner and Cogliano could and should take Horcoff's PP minutes.

    If we use 3 sets of penalty killers instead of 2 sets then that will alleviate some of 10's responsibilities right there.

    As for 5×5 play I think it's common sense that most of our young guys will get more responsibility due to increased experience and collectively that will knock some minutes off 10's plate.

    I think most will agree that this team will only take the next step when the kids take the next step so why move mountains to protect them?

    Throw them in the fire and hope for the best. If they get lit up then they get lit up but if you're not making mistakes then you're not learning so there's no point in masking our ugliness if it's only going to delay the learning curve.

    "Horcoff's still going to be taking on the lion's share of the toughs in a power-vs-power role."

    Horcoff is our best defensive center by a mile so we'd be pretty stupid not to play him against top offensive players.

    "And you say he's going to have a lesser role under Quinn? You're fooling yourself if you think that."

    1. Nobody played more special teams last year than Horcoff.

    2. Our horrific special teams play last year was the sole reason we missed the playoffs.

    It's quite clear he can't handle the workload but I'm a fool to think Quinn will lessen it? I guess…

    Horcoff sawing off toughs at 5×5 is hardly a consolation prize when he comes out of the special teams game down 1-0.

  64. bookie says:

    With what roster spot?

    That was the problem and why he had to go.

    You either cut bait on either 67 and/or 78 when you really don't know what you have with either guy and the (i hate this word) "upside" for either of these guys is much more than Brodz

    Hey, don't make this more complex than it need be, adding in complexities like Roster spots, etc…. Sometimes its just fun to say things like "we should have got more for Brodiak" without doing all of the heavy thinking. Its not like we are paid to be GM's.

  65. bookie says:

    By the way, I am just kidding, we should all think before we post. Its just that sometimes we don't.

  66. HBomb says:

    1. Nobody played more special teams last year than Horcoff.

    2. Our horrific special teams play last year was the sole reason we missed the playoffs.

    It's quite clear he can't handle the workload but I'm a fool to think Quinn will lessen it? I guess…

    Horcoff sawing off toughs at 5×5 is hardly a consolation prize when he comes out of the special teams game down 1-0.

    Well, sawing off against the best is not the trivial matter you seem to imply that it is. It's clear he can handle the workload, and quite well too.

    You also seem to imply that Horcoff's the reason our PP and PK stunk here. Correlation does NOT equal causation. Those systems failures are not the fault of any individual player and will improve simply from a change in philosophy.

    Maybe it's not foolish to think Quinn will lessen it – but I do believe it would be foolish to think this team is going to win more hockey games, at least this year, if Quinn decides to ignore who he's throwing the second line (Gagner-Cogliano) out against everyone and anyone. That would be a pure example of short term pain for possible (but not guaranteed) long term gain.

    I am glad MacT is gone, but I don't want to see the philosophy of giving the developing players easier assignments go out the window, because it's good for two things: a) brining guys along at the right pace and b) still winning some hockey games in the process.

  67. HBomb says:

    My apologies to Traktor and everyone else reading it – there's some absolutely attrocious grammar in the second last paragraph of my last post. Is it Friday yet?

  68. DanMan says:

    Traktor: Great post, I agree with almost all of it.

    I think Horc should stay on the #1 PP, though. Those minutes were not the reason he "wore down" last year. The PP faceoff is the most important one, and Horc can get some clean wins. If Quinn uses the 1-3-1 like he did at the juniors, Horc will be nothing more than a decoy in the middle of the slot.

  69. HBomb says:

    DanMan: you raise an interesting idea. Keep Horcoff out there for faceoffs and then perhaps use him in the "Ryan Smyth" role? Could work.

    Only one issue – where does that leave Penner? Based on work done over on C&B by Mr. Zona – he's pretty much a must on the 1st PP unit?

    Conclusion – we need Adam Oates in at training camp to work with Gagner, Pouliot, Brule and Cogliano.

  70. godot10 says:

    //Not to start a Schremp thread, but even if another team is interested, why pay the price (2nd rounder?) when he could very easily be grabbed for nothing in September when he goes on waivers?//

    Because the Oilers want to "force" Schremp to go to Europe where they will retain his rights. If he plays well there, somebody will be forced to cough up the draft pick.

    Asset management.

  71. Tyler says:

    there's some absolutely attrocious grammar

    Spelling sucks too. Fucking engineers.

  72. Tyler says:

    Gagner and Cogliano could and should take Horcoff's PP minutes.

    I'm generally in agreement that PP is where it makes sense to pull back Horcoff's minutes. With that said, I don't know how you expect the PP to be any good when they start 60% of the time by retrieving the puck from behind their own net.

  73. Dyckster says:

    I like Horc OFF (get it?) the #1 PP. ~I'm no Mac T~ but IMHO most successful PP's have guys who each contribute a particular skill that compliments one another. I.E. You need a guy who can gain the offensive zone with the puck (the dump and chase becomes too predictable if that's all you do) – Hemsky or Gagne, A passer – Hemsky or Gagne, a trigger man up front – Sully, and on the back end – Souray or Vis. Every once and a while you change your look and throw a big body in front of the net – Penner. Horcoff doesn't really fill any of those roles particularly well (he could be the trigger man if they used a soccer net).

  74. Coach pb9617 says:

    Hemsky or Gagne, A passer – Hemsky or Gagne, a trigger man up front – Sully, and on the back end – Souray or Vis. Every once and a while you change your look and throw a big body in front of the net – Penner.

    Penner should be on the power play all of the time.

  75. HBomb says:

    Spelling sucks too. Fucking engineers.

    Lord knows I probably deserve that.

  76. DanMan says:

    HBomb: I want Penner in front of the net. He will be the first "1" guy in the 1-3-1. Hemsky and Big Vish on the half walls, and Souray as the point guy.

    Maybe you have Big Vish as the point guy in case of a SH break, but to me thats playing it safe. We have played it safe for 3 years now.

    I really think that could be a dynamic PP.

    I didn't mind MacT as a 5v5 coach, but he should have never been allowed near a PP.

    When a member of the MSM asked Horc why they had 2 guys side by side on the half-boards on that stinker late in the year Horc said "Well, you know, MacT draws up the plays, and we gotta try and execute".

    *DanMan is rocking back in forth in the fetal position with drool hanging off his chin*

  77. Dyckster says:

    "Penner should be on the power play all of the time."

    That would work since Hemsky and Gagne are interchangable with respect to a couple of key pp components and have more than one of the key skills.

    #1 PP forward line:

    Hemsky/Gagne – Sully – Penner

  78. Schitzo says:

    I'm pretty sure Penner is good enough on faceoffs that he could play centre on the PP. He's big enough to scramble the draw in any event, which favours the team with 5 skaters.

  79. Woodguy says:

    DanMan: you raise an interesting idea. Keep Horcoff out there for faceoffs and then perhaps use him in the "Ryan Smyth" role? Could work.

    Only one issue – where does that leave Penner? Based on work done over on C&B by Mr. Zona – he's pretty much a must on the 1st PP unit?

    Small sample size, but Penner's PK FO% is almost identical to Horcoff.

    Horcoff doesn't need to be on the 1st unit.

  80. Woodguy says:

    Sorry, that was meant to say PP FO%

  81. Lowetide says:

    Oilers centers a year ago:

    Shawn Horcoff
    Boxcars: 80gp, 17-36-53, 39pims
    Plus Minus: +7
    Corsi: +0.4
    GF/GA ON: 52-43
    5×5/60: 1.59
    Quality of competition: toughest
    Quality of teammates: best
    FO%: 53.9% in 1756 sorties

    Sam Gagner
    Boxcars: 76gp, 16-25-41, 51pims
    Plus Minus: -1
    Corsi: -0.9
    GF/GA ON: 43-39
    5×5/60: 1.69
    Quality of Competition: 3rd level
    Quality of Teammates: very good 2nd level
    FO %: 42.0% in 690 sorties

    Andrew Cogliano
    Boxcars: 82gp, 18-20-38, 20pims
    Plus Minus: -6
    Corsi: -4.4
    GF/GA ON: 36-37
    5×5/60: 1.69
    Quality of Competition: 3rd level
    Quality of Teammates: 3rd level
    FO %: 37.2% in 702 sorties

    Kyle Brodziak
    Boxcars: 79gp, 11-16-27, 21pims
    Plus Minus: +4
    Corsi: -14.5
    GF/GA ON: 32-32
    5×5/60: 1.62
    Quality of Competition: dregs
    Quality of Teammates: dregs
    FO %: 51.6% in 947 sorties

    Marc Pouliot
    Boxcars: 63gp, 8-12-20, 23pims
    Plus Minus: +1
    Corsi: -4.4
    GF/GA ON: 25-26
    5×5/60: 1.67
    Quality of Competition: dregs
    Quality of Teammates: 3rd level
    FO %: 48.3% in 211 sorties

    And they haven't changed much aside from kicking Brodziak to the curb and (apparently) committing to Pouliot at center.

    Quinn's going to play the crap out of Horcoff unless they make another move.

  82. B.C.B. says:

    Actually Gord I think MacIntyre is one of the worst fighters in league. A while a go I did a study comparing 30 thirty of the most well known pugilists in the game (http://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.com
    /2009/04/brawlers-advanced-pim-stats-and.html).

    SMac scored lower then average in AP/GP (SMac: 0.36, Average: 0.383), higher at LP/GP (SMac: 0.14, Average: 0.134), and lower in Differential (SMac:0.22, Average:0.248). For those unfamiliar with my metrics, that is terrible. He also had the lowest about of TOI/G then any of the fighters.

    While SMac is a qualitatively good fighter (that he has a bomb, and ablitity to scare opposition ), he as also on of the quantitatively worst pugilists in the league. I wouldn't have him as the 14th player on my team, because we already have Zorg and if he gets hurt you can get anther cheap: unless you are Burkie nobody pays more then a 5th rounder for a fighter in a trade.

  83. HBomb says:

    Woodguy: I'd be OK with them furthering that experiment. Penner, like Mr. Iginla, probably would do alright on the dot over a larger sample based on pure physical strength. And Gagner will hopefully improve.

    Second PP unit of O'Sullivan-Horcoff-Cogliano then? Makes sense to do it that way, since all three of those guys theoretically should be among the six primary PK forwards this season (Moreau, Pisani and Pouliot being the other three, assuming no further roster moves).

  84. DanMan says:

    I can't believe I'm sticking up for Horcoff here (It goes against everything I stand for :D), but I really think he belongs on the #1 PP.

    I hope he works on shooting accuracy this summer. And patience. And passing.

  85. Traktor says:

    Tyler:

    Penner went 30-25 on the PP last year.

    Assuming he's on the 1st unit and takes the majority of draws we should be fine.

  86. Lowetide says:

    DanMan: When I started this blog, the name was down to two choices: Lowetide or "Horcoff and Die."

    Horcoff is a revered holy man at Lowetide. Smell the glove!

  87. Black Gold says:

    I don't know how you expect the PP to be any good when they start 60% of the time by retrieving the puck from behind their own net.

    Assuming PKer's are often the top faceoff men.. 60% at best, haha.

  88. speeds says:

    Congrats to Mark Buehrle, who just pitched a perfect game against Tampa!!!

  89. Traktor says:

    "Oilers centers a year ago:

    Quinn's going to play the crap out of Horcoff unless they make another move."

    You are citing advanced statistics of how players performed under MacTavish as your reasoning as to why Quinn will play the shit of of Horcoff yet you forget the reason MacTavish was fired was because how the players performed under MacTavish.

    MacT was fired because Penner, Nilsson, Gagner, Cogliano, O'Sullivan, Pouliot, Brodziak ect have all stagnated or taken a step backwards under MacTavish's tutelage.

    How players performed under MacT has very little relevance on how Quinn will use them considering MacT was part of the problem.

  90. striatic says:

    "While SMac is a qualitatively good fighter (that he has a bomb, and ablitity to scare opposition ), he as also on of the quantitatively worst pugilists in the league."

    fighters have the one job on the ice where being quantitatively good matters much less than being qualitatively good.

  91. DanMan says:

    LT: "Hocroff and die"

    HAHAHAH LMFAO

  92. ian says:

    While we are having some fun with the Smac stats..if we did give him Horcs ice time how much more effective would Hemmer and the kids be?
    Nobody would slashing Hemmers wrists more than once a game.

  93. rickibear says:

    Penner should be on the power play all of the time.

    Coach: Zona's work is great. You may remeber me posting the 07/08 numbers at HF boards after Penners first year when all were bitching.

    I had reviewed his PPG/60 in his last year in anaheim and got 2.35PPG/60. Stating he was a 2.40 PPG/60 guy who needed 4+ minutes on the PP.

    I also pointed out the success rate of the second PP unit when pisani (2.35PPG/60)was the finnisher. We need to get a career 13.3% guy more shots on the PP.

    To me last year was an aberation for most of the players offensively.

    The PK help! Souray(#46D), POS(#38F), and Pisani(#20F) were the only to be in first line numbers last year.
    Renney magic Please!

  94. rickibear says:

    The top 25 PK centers by GA rank last year:
    1. Stoll
    2. Betts
    3. Smithson
    4. M. Koivu
    5. Drury
    6. Belanger
    7. Oshie
    8. Boyd
    9. M. Richards
    10. Axelsson
    11. Marleau
    12. J. Carter
    13. Kreps
    14. Marchant
    15. Mclement
    16. Gaustad
    17. J. Staal
    18. Metropolit
    19. Handzus
    20. Malhotra
    21. Yelle
    22. Talbot
    23. Fiddler
    24. Fraser
    25. Kelly

    Can we get a 3& 4 out of this group!

  95. rickibear says:

    I was pushing Axelsson for #4C.

  96. Ribs says:

    Coach: Zona's work is great. You may remeber me posting the 07/08 numbers at HF boards after Penners first year when all were bitching.

    Wait… I thought Coach was Zona?

  97. Lowetide says:

    One of the things I'll always remember is Martinez' perfect game for Montreal. Dave Van Horne said "El Presidente EL PERFECTO!!!" and I had chills. It was beautiful.

    Never forget it.

  98. Dyckster says:

    Hey LT – quick trivia question, without using Google or Bing, or whatever, do you remember who caught the final out in that game?

  99. Traktor says:

    The player that got away from us is Michael Rupp.

    Signed in Pitts for 825k for the next two seasons.

    28 years old, 6'5, 230 pounds, can play center or LW.

    136 PIM's last year including 16 majors.

    He faced the easiest competition but he also the lowest GFON/60 out of any NJ Devil forward.

  100. bookie says:

    B.C.B. – you stats would be much more effective for a general 'pest' type player or just a power forward. They have very little relevance for the impact of a fighter or big hit intimidation type player.

    I am not really a fan of wasting a spot on a guy like Smac, but moreso because he takes away from the gameplay, not because he is not effective as a fighter.

  101. Traktor says:

    I couldn't help but notice Zajac's numbers when looking at Rupp.

    Check this…

    - Toughest Qualcomp out of any forward.

    - 2.17 PTS/60

    - 3.31 GFON/60

    - 1.94 GAON/60

    - 1.37 differential

    Lou just locked him up at 3.88 x 4

    Sigh.

  102. B.C.B. says:

    striatic said…
    "fighters have the one job on the ice where being quantitatively good matters much less than being qualitatively good."

    I disagree.

    1st- We can measure aggression in a quantitative way, for example fights per game (or my Aggressive Penalties per game), but we often cannot measure who wins these fights.

    2nd- Fighters need to play for more time then they fight for: for example if SMac fights once per game (and he doesn't), he'll also have to play 3 minutes. If in that three minutes he hits less then Zorg, takes more 'lazy' penalties, and scores less- why play him instead of Zorg?

    3- Players like Tootoo, Clutterbuck, and Glenncross will never fight a player like SMac, but these are players that need to be neutralized by the fourth line of the Oilers. Zorg can/will fight every weight class: this is a valuable assist which often gets ignored. Again this is reflected in quantitative stats (pure numbers of fights), not a qualitative narratives.

  103. bookie says:

    B.C.B

    That is like saying that AK47's were more influential in the Cold War because Nuclear Bombs were never used between the USA and the USSR.

    Ok, its not quite like that, but the point I am trying to make is that there is a difference between a player who's primary role is to act as a terrifying threat who sits on the bench and anther who is there to agrivate the opposition players on an ongoing basis.

    You simply cannot use the same stats to compare the influence of the two players. With that said, the best 'enforcers' are effective at both intimidation and agrivation.

    Sortini intimidates nobody on the ice.

  104. Vic Ferrari says:

    This has probably been mentioned elsewhere, but if you want to get a feel for how Quinn runs a bench in the regular season just go to NHL.com and look at the old shift charts.

    If you pick a game with very few penalties you'll see that he really did just roll the lines. Dude is a throwback to the 70s.

    1-2-3
    1-2-3-4
    repeat.

    If there are penalties then the fourth line misses it's shift usually, unless one or two of them PK.

    And he absolutely never runs a forward on the PP point. This is a man who, when he ran into Dman injuries at the World Cup, put Eric Brewer on the PP point for Canada. Fully eight forwards on that squad played the PP point for their NHL teams. Quinn played the guy who has the lowest points-per-minute of any NHLer with significant icetime in the modern era (whose name doesn't rhyme with Brad Stuart).

    So signing Kotalik doesn't make much sense.

    You'll see much harder forward matchups with Quinn vs Carlyle, Hitchcock, Quenneville, Babcock, Wilson and the other aggressive bench coaches. Because MacTavish was as aggressive and shrewd as any of those guys except maybe Hitchcock. And if they wanted different things they each got their share or settled for second choice matchups (home coach with first dibs, of course).

    It's a good reference point really, you see exactly what the other coach wants, in terms of ice time matchups, zone play, against tired legs, etc. How they switch things up depending on the time and score on the clock, and so on.

    If you have a deep, solid team that's fine. At the very least you reduce the icetime of the other team's stars. i.e. If Babcock wants to hard match Zetterberg/Datsyuk to Horcoff/Hemsky he'll have to run 1-2-3. 1-2-3-4. also.

    But that's not the case with the Oilers. They aren't exactly swimming with forwards who are hard on the puck. This could end badly. Either that or Renney gets given charge of the forwards on the bench before Xmas.

    We'll see.

  105. B.C.B. says:

    bookie: Lets follow your AK47 and nuclear bomb analogy to its conclusion: that the AK47 of the Vietcong (Russian/Chinese proxy) cause far greater damage to America then the Russian nuclear threat ever did.
    Zorg/AK47 is a more effective response then SMac/nuclear bombs. Zorg is more versitile, as he can fight all weight class, while only the biggest boys fight SMac: the AK47 can be employeed in may situations with a degree of effectiveness while the nuclear bomb only has one context where it is extremely effective.
    Stortini running around hitting folks and possible fighting anyone for Clutterbuck to the Boggyman is both more effect use of a fourth line spot (and more entertaining) then SMac's one staged fight- every two or three games- against the Boggyman.

    I think I can use the same metrics to compare heavy weights and middle weights (or pests, power forwards, and pure fighters).. If you look at the comparisons, there is true fighters and pests spread through out each of the metrics: i.e. the top 10 AP/GP last season included pests like Carcillo and Neil; middle weights Stortini, Boll, and Orr; as well as heavy weights in Cote, Ivanans, and Godard. Just like any other stat, fighting metrics give you a way to compare players, but never give you the entire picture.

  106. dawgbone says:

    Danman… there's a reason no one sets up in an umbrealla as a standard PP formation… it's too damn easy to defend.

    Not only that, but your point man at the top needs to able to do 3 things:

    1. Handle the puck.
    2. Pass the puck.
    3. Shoot the puck.

    Souray does one of those well and 2 of them rather poorly.

    You throw Souray at the top and you allow the other team to take away his shot and you force him to try and make the harder pass to the right.

  107. Courtney says:

    dawgbone:

    It's unfair to use the term rather poor for his puck handling and passing skills, if you're only going to say that he shoots 'well'.

  108. dawgbone says:

    Fair enough Courtney.

    He's fantastic at one of those things and rather poor at the other 2.

  109. Lowetide says:

    Dyckster: I'm certain it was Grissom.

  110. dawgbone says:

    Wow… Just read it again.

    You aren't proposing an umbrella you are proposing a diamond with an extra guy hanging out in the middle of the zone.

    Why would a team not also employ a diamond and collapse the players who are playing off the puck eliminating the man in the middle and every other potential pass?

  111. Bank Shot says:

    Zorg is more versitile, as he can fight all weight classes.

    But no one is scared of Stortini. I think MacIntyre was pretty effective as a deterrent in the games he played. All of the Calgary games he played in after he wiped out Prust were very tame, and the Oilers actually had some success against Calgary last year.

    Cam Janssen is a guy that takes alot of big runs, and also fights in the heavyweight class. Flames fans did alot of complaining about him and his runs. I barely even noticed he was playing when Mac was in the lineup versus the Blues.

    MacIntyre won't stop every cheapshot, but I think he does prevent other teams from using intimidation tactics.

  112. quain says:

    …and the Oilers actually had some success against Calgary last year.

    We went 3-3 against them last season. The season before we went 4-4.

  113. Dyckster says:

    LT:

    Grissom, right on the money!

  114. B.C.B. says:

    BankShot: the problem with the intimidation or scariness factor of SMac is that it only effects a few players: the BoogyMans and Janssens of the world (and there are less then 30 players like this in the NHL). It does nothing to be effective against the smaller men (who generally are playing more, on more teams, and 'cause more injuries then the big men). In other words, folks like Burrows, Cooke, Laperriere, etc are not afraid of SMac because they will never have to fight him and the teams they play on there is no true heavy weight to have to answer for them. While Zorg might not be really scary, the pest and other middle weights know they will have to answer to Zorg for their transgressions: hence my ascertain that Zorg is a more effective fourth liner then SMac (oh, and he hits more, is involved in more offense, skates better, and reads the game better).

  115. PunjabiOil says:

    I think now is the best time to remind everyone just how stupid, idiotic, and brain-dead it was to draft Cameron Abney in the third round.

  116. Bank Shot says:

    BCB- I agree with your statement that Stortini is a better 4th liner.

    However, if I had to choose between the two, I'd pick MacIntyre to play his 30 games, and find a better 4th liner than Stortini to play the rest.

  117. Bank Shot says:

    Also the guys that don't answer to MacIntyre, also don't have to answer to Stortini. Even if they do, they don't have to fear getting punched or anything. They can just hang on to him and fall down.

    Stortini is not scary in the slightest, and is treated as a joke around the league by anyone who is even remotely tough. He got his ass kicked by that smurf Rypien in Vancouver for crying out loud.

    If you want a 4th liner that can play hockey and fight occasionally you can do alot better then Stortini.

  118. Bank Shot says:

    PJO- The worst part is that Abney doesn't even look to be that great at what he does. A few youtube clips show him to be a rather Stortini-esque fighter.

  119. Woodguy says:

    BankShot: the problem with the intimidation or scariness factor of SMac is that it only effects a few players: the BoogyMans and Janssens of the world (and there are less then 30 players like this in the NHL). It does nothing to be effective against the smaller men (who generally are playing more, on more teams, and 'cause more injuries then the big men). In other words, folks like Burrows, Cooke, Laperriere, etc are not afraid of SMac because they will never have to fight him and the teams they play on there is no true heavy weight to have to answer for them. While Zorg might not be really scary, the pest and other middle weights know they will have to answer to Zorg for their transgressions: hence my ascertain that Zorg is a more effective fourth liner then SMac (oh, and he hits more, is involved in more offense, skates better, and reads the game better).

    I think you are right on the money with pretty much everything above.

    That still does not mean SMac is not needed. He is just needed 18-30 games.

    Zorg needs to have a regular shift, and SMac needs to be deployed when needed.

    If not then you end up with someone like Staios or Torres standing up to Boogard after he hurts someone important.

    I saw it before SMac got here, none after.

    That is worth paying him $750K/yr and dress in 24ish games.

  120. pboy says:

    Completely off topic but can anyone recommend any nice Italian restaurants in Edmonton?

  121. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    pboy said…
    Completely off topic but can anyone recommend any nice Italian restaurants in Edmonton?

    "Il Pasticcio

    Located across from the Le Marchand mansion, this hip eatery's superb quality of food, the copious servings and the outstanding service remains nearly unmatched.
    Address: 11520-100 Ave. | Edmonton, AB
    Tel: 1 780 488-9543

    Reviews & Ratings
    August 2008 Overall, Best Italian in Edmonton 8.83/10
    August 2007 Excellent Pasta 7.83/10"

    Owned and operated by a friend…best authentic Italian eatery in town.

  122. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    "I think bravery and fear are both infectious. I think we have a bigger, rougher group and I think that it will benefit all of our players, not just the ones that play like that."

    Who am I?

  123. HBomb says:

    pboy: Another recommendation – Tasty Tomato on Stony Plain road just west of 142 street. Excellent home-cooked Italian.

  124. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Can also agree with HBomb although that would be my second choice. Can't go wring with either.

  125. HBomb says:

    Two other good alternatives for Italian – Piccolino on 142 street and Sicilian Pasta Kitchen, either downtown or on the south side.

    And call me crazy, but I still enjoy the lasagna at Old Spaghetti Factory.

  126. Oilman says:

    Lowetide: Dave Brown was a downright psycho. I don't know if you could name a better enforcer outside of Bob Probert in the 1980's.

    Here's a 3 minute "best of" video for everyone to enjoy

    at 2:55 of that video Brown is absolutely destroying a Calgary Flame – has him prone on the ice and doesn't stop punching. I remember watching that game – a playoff tilt, and I believe the Flame is Jim Kyte(?). I remember this fight because Brown hesitated for a second when Kyte hit the ice and Brown landed on top of him, before he beat the ever living shit out of him. I either saw or read an interview with Brown after where he said that when they went down he was not going to throw any more and then thought "what would Kyte do to me in this situation" and resumed the beatdown.

  127. rickibear says:

    Wait… I thought Coach was Zona?

    Well don't i feel like an ass.

    Plus coach: just got to your message on HF re Blog site. how many month's late.

    Working on major projects since Jan. and was hoping for no revisit re: custody battle. She filed today.

    Got to love new family laws. Can revisit every year. I make 120K her new hubby makes 400K. Yearly challenges here we come.

    Ah well, the change at top in oilers team will be an excuse to see what assets can step up.

  128. Woodguy says:

    I remember this fight because Brown hesitated for a second when Kyte hit the ice and Brown landed on top of him, before he beat the ever living shit out of him. I either saw or read an interview with Brown after where he said that when they went down he was not going to throw any more and then thought "what would Kyte do to me in this situation" and resumed the beatdown.

    Watch the video again.

    Brown doesn't punch Kyte until Kyte punches up at Brown.

    Brown looks down at him with a very "Are you serious?" look on his face.

    Then he starts the lawnmower on him looking very much like "I really didn't want to do this", while making the bones in his face mush.

    The referee skates by and does nothing.

  129. pboy says:

    Thanks for the recommendations guys, much appreciated.

  130. Oilmaniac says:

    Just remember that MacIntyre got his face destroyed last year by godard, a real heavy weight…

    The oil still dont have a serious enforcer/deterient and if this is the player your looking for than keep looking..

    Storts brings other things and seemed to actually throw some punches as the year went on. Plus Storts brings it every single game/shift.. Im not a huge Storts fan, but value some aspects of the game that he does bring…

    MacIntyre is a 'seen him good' from that great shift against calgary.. my vote is games per season (tops), with the use of a double shifted hemsky/etc..

    (I kinda like the idea of rolling JFJ and Storts on the same line cus there is the chance the other big man may bring some middle weight pain too.. kinda like, where is the 'payback' going to come from if some sht goes down)

  131. Oilmaniac says:

    shoot.. supposed to say, Big Mac for 20 games tops if hes kept around as an enforcer/deterient..

  132. PDO says:

    FCM:

    How much is a night out there for two with a glass of wine each?

    $50?

    $75?

    $100?

    Way outta no where, but the best food in town is at Red Ox Inn. Certainly expensive… but worth every penny. You'll need a reservation, and you'll be very surprised when you walk into a place that seats 10 or so tables at the most.

  133. Jfry says:

    not to defend Zorg, but everyone and their (pit bull) dog loses to Rypien. The kid is a killer and launches that left before anyone knows it's coming…a total beauty. his dad was a canadian boxing champ and owned/ran a training facility.

    I think a Rypien vs Emery fight would be amazing.

  134. striatic says:

    –"We can measure aggression in a quantitative way."–

    you *can* measure aggression in a quantitative way, but it doesn't really matter. so long as fans in the seats and players on the ice feel that the player is aggressive, that's all that matters.

    if the player picks memorable moments to fight, that can matter a lot more than how often they actually fight.

    –"Fighters need to play for more time then they fight for: for example if SMac fights once per game (and he doesn't), he'll also have to play 3 minutes."

    in those three minutes, the defense and other players know why the fighter is on the ice and his limitations. they should be capable of compensating for this over the short time span.

    –"Players like Tootoo, Clutterbuck, and Glenncross will never fight a player like SMac, but these are players that need to be neutralized by the fourth line of the Oilers. Zorg can/will fight every weight class: this is a valuable assist which often gets ignored. Again this is reflected in quantitative stats (pure numbers of fights), not a qualitative narratives."–

    if they are neutralized by deterrent that can be just as effective as actually having the fight. so long as a fighter is influencing the game when it counts, you don't have to count every fight.

  135. Councilman Les Winan says:

    FCM – re: your quote – I thought about Googling it, but I think that was RCM?

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