Liam Reddox is hockey’s Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. The Oilers look under every rock and call all outposts before finally giving up and inserting Reddox into the lineup.
What happens next?
Aggressive on the forecheck, the penalty kill spends more time in the opposition zone and most importantly that ridiculous passive PK is out the window with Ginger in town. Reddox has formed what I believe to be an effective PK unit with young Andrew Cogliano, another benefit of having #85 around.
As a Liam Reddox fan I know this will be short-lived. The Oilers don’t have any idea what they have here and will lose him on waivers eventually to a town where the management team will use his strengths and overlook his weaknesses. Reddox has played in 66 NHL games and is 5-14-19 -7 on a terrible club. I hope he gets a shot with an NHL team one day.
Jim Vandermeer is back in the lineup and that’s important. The Oilers need him to play a lot over the next 5 weeks in order to get a pick for him. I suspect he’s worth a 4th round pick in today’s NHL, but defensemen always get more than they’re worth at the deadline.
Elliotte Friedman’s article (I wrote about it here) about the Oilers quietly shopping Penner and Hemsky is an eye opener. If you were hoping this team was going to compete next season, that’s a tell. We should be prepared for another lottery pick if Steve Tambellini sells them off for prospects or picks.
Coyotes are 10 games better than the Oilers in the standings and the big difference is the number of actual NHL players. They seem to be saving Kyle Turris too, that coaching staff is killer. Oilers coach Tom Renney seems to have given up on Gilbert Brule (or maybe his injuries tag team I don’t know) but we have to give credit where due in regard to Andrew Cogliano.