One of Ralph Krueger’s biggest jobs as Oiler coach will be the 4th line. A giant sinkhole since Pat Quinn arrived, the signings this summer suggest same old, same old. Say it ain’t so, Ralph!
Walker works for the Fan in Calgary and would seem to be a reliable sort. Now, I’ve argued that the Darcy Hordichuk signing has value, and the reason for it is that the Oilers are the kind of team that is always going to be “in on” this type of player. As fans, we believe (or most of us who spend time here believe) this kind of player is not helpful in winning games.
So, as a fan, I prefer the Hordichuk signing. He’ll play half the games, 4 minutes a night, and allow the Oilers to give valuable playing time to better players by double shifting Hall or Yakupov or Eberle, etc. In this way, Hordichuk is a good fit for the Oilers. It gives the “old school” portion of the organization a chance to add that enforcer and it also gives a guy like Krueger a chance to be creative. I’ve read Hordichuk’s recent verbal about being more of a factor this coming season, but to me all that means is he’ll be playing less.
Ryan Jones is another candidate for the 4line, but the WOWY in close games for Jones in 11-12 shows there just aren’t that many players Jones can roll with successfully. Eager is a similar situation. However, Magnus Paajarvi’s WOWY in close games gives us some nice matches, among them Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky and Linus Omark.
If we can agree that the 4line needs an overhaul, is it right to suggest Magnus Paajarvi might be a nice starting point?