Scotty Bowman was a happy man when he got a chance to draft Jimmy Roberts at the expansion meeting of June, 1967. “He’s one of the best players in hockey,” Scotty said. “He can play defense or right wing, do an excellent checking job and he can score, too. A good defensive right winger is a must in this league.”
Despite drawing the same checking assignments he’d had in Montreal–against Bobby Hull, for example–Roberts contributed 14 goals last winter.
-Jim Proudfoot, Pro Hockey (Summer 1968)
NHL history is full of coaches heaping praise on a Jimmy Roberts. Why? Because they help win hockey games, they do the dirty work and if they fail at their jobs the coach gets the “bad” television time. They usually make good coaches after they’re done playing.
Fernando Pisani was a Jimmy Roberts. Mike Grier had the role before him (with Daniel Cleary borrowing it for a few months in between) and the glory days Oilers had solid 2-way RW options behind Kurri and Anderson.
I think Tom Renney can do himself a huge favor by finding the elusive Jimmy Roberts. In the last Oiler game, the RW’s were Hemsky, Omark, Jones and Reddox. The club has a quality rookie winger (Jordan Eberle) who also plays the right side.
I’d bet money Eberle could fill that role. Seriously. He’d lose a lot of offense and ideally someone like Reddox could fill the role, but Eberle has a more complete game than most rookies. Another candidate? Pääjärvi.
I posted this over at ON last night, but wanted to pass it along here too. I’ll be hosting a 2-hour show on Team 1260 beginning a week from tomorrow called “Nation Radio.” It’ll be an interview show with lots of room for emails and calls so please consider calling and adding to the conversation. Same rules as here, with the added request to stay away from profanity.
The Oilers are alone in 30th place. Sean Couturier, Adam Larsson, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landeskog await. Or do we need to add Huberdeau? Here are their NHLE’s:
- Couturier 82gp, 13-26-39
- Landeskog 82gp, 19-16-35
- Huberdeau 82gp, 15-20-35
- Nugent-Hopkins 82gp, 8-27-35
- Larsson 82gp, 2-16-18
It really does look like the Oilers are going to have a few players who are similar in quality to choose from if they pick #1 overall. In Stu we trust.