PK Specialists

This is Gerry Odrowski. All of his hockey cards list him as a defenseman but much of his NHL career was spent as a “specialty player.” Odrowski was a forward who killed penalties. Of the 10 NHL goals he scored post-expansion, 6 of them came shorthanded. Odrowski: “Charlie Burns and I killed penalties together a lot. One of us would go into the zone and the other would stay back.” In 68-69, Odrowski scored all three of the Oakland Seals’ shorthanded goals.

With the Oilers already devoting a roster spot to a specialty item (enforcer: MacIntyre), and with the penalty-kill so poor at this time, I wonder if it makes sense to call up both Liam Reddox and Ryan O’Marra and use them for the PK (along with 4line minutes). The current group that makes up roster spots 10-14F includes Colin Fraser, Ryan Jones, Zack Stortini, Steve MacIntyre and JF Jacques.

Wouldn’t the Oilers be better off carrying Fraser, Reddox, Stortini, MacIntyre and O’Marra? Jones and Jacques would need to clear waivers before being sent out, but it’s pretty hard to convince anyone either is part of the long term plan at this time. Since the 4line plays so little, the other 9 forwards wouldn’t be affected much if at all and it should give coach Renney a few more moves for most games.

PK specialists used to roam the earth in great quantity. Maybe it’s time for them to return?

Also, Tom Renney apparently had good success with the Rangers using the “diamond” defense on the PK. Perhaps Reddox (and O’Marra) are better suited to the task? Something to consider.

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