Jean-Francois Jacques has gotten a lot of chances with the Edmonton Oilers organization. In the fall of 2007 the club broke camp with the big man included on the roster, meaning Zack Stortini went to Springfield. MacT said on opening night that fall “at this point it’s game-by-game. Based on need. J.F. has got to bring it. He has to be a physical factor. If he’s not, then it’s going to be a situation where we’re looking elsewhere.” By the end of October, Zack Stortini had an NHL job.
- Boxcars: 49gp, 4-7-11
- Shots: 49
- Plus Minus: -15
- Corsi (Rel): -14.9 (12th among F’s)
- GF/GA ON: 18-32
- 5×5/60: 1.26 (10th among F’s)
- 5×4/60: nil
- Quality of Competition: 8th toughest among F’s
- Quality of Teammates: 6th best among F’s
- FO %: 40.0% in 5 FO’s
- Offensive Zone Start FO %: 51.5% (1st-easiest among F’s)
- Cap Hit: $525,000 (RFA this summer)
- What do these numbers tell us? Jacques played in very good situations and delivered well below expectations. Over the years his NHLE’s suggested Jacques should be able to help a little offensively (say 15 goals in a full season) but he didn’t deserve to stay in the lineup this season. He also played with some pretty good linemates a lot of the time and didn’t get much done.
- How can these numbers be better? They can’t, but Jacques would do less harm if he weren’t in a featured role. His presence (when healthy) on the top 6F was distressing and he’s ill-suited to playing minutes when offense is expected from the Oilers. The only excuse I can think of for such a ham-handed season is that his injury robbed him of the ability to make skill plays.
- Will they trade him? No. Based on the number of name-mentions he got in the Tambellini presser he should have paid to be a sponsor. Jacques-this, Jacques-that, it was horrible. Now, Tambellini isn’t a smooth public speaker and sometimes a name or word gets caught in the brain (George Bush was textbook in this manner. How else can you explain the sentence “Brownie is doing a great job”?) so maybe it isn’t a big deal.
- How is his health? Well he has back problems and anyone who has had a back problem knows that those injuries usually come back again and again. I don’t know if he’ll ever be completely healthy.
- Isn’t this another of your boys? The guys you liked back when? Jacques did track well as a bottom 6F for quite some time but he hasn’t really added much to his resume in the last couple of seasons. His back injuries are becoming an annual event.
- Why did Quinn play him on the top 2 lines for so long? The idea was to have a physical player on each line (Stone, Jacques, Moreau, Stortini, etc) but it became obvious early on that he just wasn’t helping at all. Jacques cannot pass and he cannot take a pass, and that is vital at the NHL level. He didn’t need his stick for many shifts this past season.
- How important is he to the Oilers? I think he’s a full negative. Either he was injured last season (hands, brain, something) or he truly cannot play at the NHL level.
Predictions Past 2009-10: 50gp, 3-7-10 (.200)
Performance in 2009-10: 49gp, 4-7-11 (.224)