OKC V TEXAS 21.12.12

The current OKC Barons are going to be remembered for the number of NHL players who appeared during this season. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are in fact NHL players, and Justin Schultz will be the moment they turn the lights back on. Teemu Hartikainen, Magnus Paajarvi, Anton Lander, Colten Teubert, Chris VandeVelde, Alex Plante, Phil Cornet and Yann Danis have already played in the NHL. And of course there are prospects beyond Schultz, including Martin Marincin, Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and Taylor Fedun.

No matter how many graduate, I think the Montreal Voyageurs 1969-70 under coach Al MacNeil had more quality than any minor league team in the game’s history. The following is a list of NHL games played after spring 1970 by the roster players from that team:

  1. D Guy Lapointe 888
  2. C Peter Mahovlich 766
  3. D Bob Murdoch 757
  4. C Guy Charron 729
  5. C Jude Drouin 654
  6. C Dennis Hextall 640
  7. R Rejean Houle 626
  8. D Pierre Bouchard 595
  9. L Bob Berry 539
  10. L Marc Tardif 499
  11. G Phil Myre 429
  12. R Phil Roberto 378
  13. C Bobby Sheehan 294
  14. R Larry Mickey 196
  15. L Robin Burns 190
  16. D Paul Curtis 184
  17. R Lucien Grenier 128
  18. C Fran Huck 92
  19. D Bart Crashley 79
  20. C Larry Pleau 74
  21. G Jack Norris 25
  22. G Lyle Carter 15

I think that’s incredible, just unreal. And you know what? When they graduated Lapointe and Mahovlich and Murdoch and Myre, you know what they left the Nova Scotia Voyageurs with for 1970-71: new arrivals Chuck Lefley, Rey Comeau, Ken Dryden, Craig Patrick, Wayne Thomas.

I haven’t run the numbers, but the Voyageurs under Al MacNeil in the 1970s were beyond real. NO team currently would be able to stockpile that level of talent, it just isn’t possible. In the fall of 1971, when Glenn Resch turned pro they had to hide him in Muskegon (IHL) and ended up trading him to Bill Torrey at the expansion draft that brought the Islanders and the Flames into the NHL.

That my friends is a diamond mine.

I’d guess that Hall, Ebs, Eberle and Schultz all fly by 800 career games, but that assumes health and that’s never a lock. Question for you: among the other OKC players, which one would you choose to pass 800 career NHL games?

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51 Responses to "OKC V TEXAS 21.12.12"

  1. Radman says:

    Paajarvi. Too much talent there not to crest 800. Just needs to settle on a role or a team that fits his skill set.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, he’d be my choice too. Those speed demons take forever to slow down to the point where they get flushed from the league. I think he spends a decade somewhere a a 40 point 2-way winger on a 3line.

  3. blackdog says:

    Paajarvi for sure.

    I would say that Marancin will as well. Too many tools not to have a career and he’s not lost out there in the AHL early on. He’s a player/

  4. Woodguy says:

    I think MPS is a lot like Frolik.

    Moves the puck the right way, bigger body, fast skater.

    FLA traded him for peanuts when his SH% hit the basement. Now he plays the toughs with Toews and Hossa and does a good job of it.

    MPS will have an NHL career.

    Probably not in Edmonton though.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    MPS plays like a natural born Selke candidate so what do the perennial lottery pick Oilers do?

    Fret about his offence.

    What’s 100% right about the previous statement?

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Play MPS on the third line with Smyth and Horcoff, where his exceptional speed can be used to cover up the increasing lack of speed in the others.

    Renney was the exact same tool he ended up becoming in NY. Kreuger will be a highly successful head coach right off the bat imo. I only say this because bad/terrible coaching destroys so much in young impressionable players. In the case of veterans, not so much.

    Justin Schultz gives the team FIVE bona fide star prospects, and some of the young supporting cast like Gagner/MPS/Petry aren’t too shabby either.

    Hilariously, it all depends on how well the defence will be able to cover up Dubnyk’s appalling lateral ability.

  7. OilClog says:

    I’m going to say RNH since LT you’ve said Ebs, and Eberle.. the twins are amazing.

    MPS, he’s going to have a solid career, Dvorak like.

    I want to say Teemu too, but he needs to find some Ruutu in himself for me to say he’s got a chance.

  8. OilClog says:

    hunter1909,

    I don’t know about this appalling lateral ability you speak of.. he was a bit out of sorts to start the year.. but the stats and play down the last two months of the season, kind of squashed that.. or am I the only one remembering some of the Ranford like saves he was pulling off. His lateral ability seemed more a confidence issue in himself and defenders, once he gained confidence in the crease it all but vanished. Just because some hoot on tv says it’s a problem doesn’t mean it’s true.

  9. Jon K says:

    If I were a betting man, I’d only place wagers on Paajarvi and Hartikainen. Lander and Marincin would be the borderline picks.

  10. regwald says:

    OilClog:
    hunter1909,

    I don’t know about this appalling lateral ability you speak of.. he was a bit out of sorts to start the year.. but the stats and play down the last two months of the season, kind of squashed that.. or am I the only one remembering some of the Ranford like saves he was pulling off. His lateral ability seemed more a confidence issue in himself and defenders, once he gained confidence in the crease it all but vanished. Just because some hoot on tv says it’s a problem doesn’t mean it’s true.

    Can’t remember who made the comment ? Pierre MacQuire ? Who was quoted as saying that scouts questioned his lateral movement and that’s why he’s getting beat badly on PK goals because he gives up too many goals on cross crease passes.

  11. jp says:

    That Voyageurs team was unreal. Wow.

    Agreed on MPS too. Don’t think I’d bet on any of the others reaching 800GP. Trades need to happen to help fill holes, but I hope those games are with the Oilers. But not holding my breath on that…

  12. Ryan says:

    Players with speed to burn and hands of stone are an interesting breed.

    What I find interesting is that comparisons to Todd Marchant often seem to have a derogatory connotation. Sure he had absolute brick hands, but the guy was an incredibly useful hockey player.

    Incidentally, I did run into Marchant way back during his playing years. I’m 6’1″ and just over a deuce. Comparatively, he looked like a jockey. Not sure what his playing weight/size was listed at but by eye he looked like he was maybe 5’7″ 150 lbs max.

    Memory being flawed etc, but I remember Marchant being an absolute defensive stud. He could gun down Modano in full flight… made smart reads… and had a very good stick. In short, I also remember Marchant’s speed being used effectively for checking.

    We all know cogliano was groomed into a defensive role. What I find curious is that as fast as he skates, I don’t remember him ever doing much with his speed in terms of creating chances or closing a big gaps back checking etc. He also seemed to have an on/off switch with no gears to shift up or down (to vary his speed).

    I have no clue who’s actually a faster top-end skater, but we see a player like Hall demonstrates far more use of explosive burst of speed and shifting gears to his advantage than say a Cogs or MPS. Even with Hall, my flawed memory includes some heroic back checking efforts closing down gaps.

    MPS seems sort of more like a Cogliano type speed demon where he doesn’t shift gears or demonstrate explosive bursts of speed. More of a top end speed type of guy… I also can’t recall any moments where he’s really made much use of his speed to create offense or backcheck (though there are gaps the size of the moon in games he’s played that I’ve missed).

    MPS could hope to carve out a Chimera type career though. With his size/speed he’ll never run out of at bats.

  13. wheatnoil says:

    A few posts ago there was a discussion about where effective third line players come from. (My parents told me a stork dropped them off at the doorstep of teams like Detroit). I think Paajarvi has all the makings of being that third line player. A high draft pick forward is expected to put up points. He hasn’t and likely won’t. So the drafting team gives up on him. There will always be a Team B or C for a top 10 draft pick though and THAT team knows he can’t score. What they notice, though, is his size, speed, defensive ability, and attitude. At least publicly, Paajarvi handled his demotion to OKC last year quite well. NHL teams tend to make room for guys that can play hockey and put the team first (so long as they have size and speed).

    At the end of the day, despite a lack of offense, Paajarvi hasn’t played poorly and he’s still young… there’s a player here. If he becomes that player with the Oilers, all the better, but I’ll be cheering for him no matter where he goes.

  14. Oilanderp says:

    They’re gonna trade him, and we will be filled with regret for years to come.

  15. VOR says:

    Hey, since it has come up again can somebody define third line player for me?

    I am not in anyway being sarcastic. I got to thinking about it and wondering what sort of difference definition might make to the set: “third line players”. I think often people mean checking forward when they say third line player and boy does it make a difference whether you take the players who play the third most minutes at each forward position or the ones that play the other teams’ best players. The differences are significant and totally change the answer to the questions about where these sorts of players are drafted, how they are acquired, and their pre-draft resumes.

    I think the problem is that there is no set pattern to how teams match lines. Some teams seem to run three skill lines (don’t tell the Oilers they might get ideas) and the players with the worst zone starts against the toughest players are playing fourth line minutes (they take the first 50 to 50 seconds of the other team’s #1 line and then as soon as possible get off the ice – Jim Slater in Winnipeg). Then there are teams where the 3rd line minutes are eaten by the tough minutes guys (Carolina seems last year to have pretty consistenly rolled Sutter, Dwyer and Nodl for example). Then there are teams that like PvP and roll their 1st line out against the other team’s 1st line when they can (Anahiem for example with Perry, Getzlaf, and Ryan). Then there are teams who it is impossible to figure out who is doing what (Colorado – particularly after the trade).

    Even if we are using minutes played as the sole criteria then is it only EVs or Total TOI?

    For example, we can reasonably argue any of the following 7/8 players were the 3rd liners for the Oilers in 2011/2012 depending what definition we pick: Horcoff, Gagner, Smyth, Hemsky, Hall, Jones, and Petrell/Pajaarvi.

    So what do you think – what is meant when we say a third liner?

  16. Lowetide says:

    Dubnyk to the Spengler.

    VOR: I always have that problem and find myself wincing when I use 3C or 4D. Because I honestly dont know. when I said it, it was in a “he won’t be on the PP but will get PK minutes and play evens against tougher comp” kind of way.

  17. spoiler says:

    Lowetide:
    Dubnyk to the Spengler.

    Fantastic news.

    I’m trying to give tsn.com less hits, so without you guys, I hear nothing.

    I’m also not drinking Canadian during this detente.

  18. dessert1111 says:

    MPS. Marincin, maybe. For a couple of dark horses I’d take Fedun and Hamilton, could be real steady players.

  19. AussieRules says:

    I would like to think the oilers would be good enough to find a place for Paarvi after his gracious acceptance of the demotion last year. It’s feel good notions like this that help people to believe hockey is some how more honourable, loyal, and gentlemanly than some other sports. The truth is, down the track people will only actually feel good about keeping Paarvi around if he steps up and becomes an effective hockey player. Holding on to what turns out to be a half useless Paarvi for reasons of loyalty would be seen with similar cynicism as Horcoff’s contract. I think management gets this, hence if a decent trade is offered and it involves Paarvi, the trade will get done.
    I was once as excited about Paarvi and Gagner, as I am about Hall and Yakupov, and I am still hoping these guys develop further. We’ve seen the swich get flicked with the oft-used example of the Sedins. However if the two of them could get the Oilers a legitimate no. 2 dman I think it is worth it. With the wingers the Oilers have it is gonna be easy to make a lot of potential no.2 centermen look good.

  20. VOR says:

    LT,

    I actually did wonder about using top 4 forwards on PK, top 6 forwards in Corsi Relative QofC as the definition of third liner.

    For the Oilers that gives the “third liners” being Horcoff, Smyth, and Jones. That seems about right, much as people think Ryan Jones can’t back check.

  21. Lowetide says:

    That would be my 3line list on the Oilers, for sure

  22. Lowetide says:

    Hamilton-Arcobello-Eberle, Hall-Green-Hartikainen, Paajarvi-Lander-Pitlick, Byers-VandeVelde-House

    D-Pairs: Deck/Schultz, Fedun/Teubert, Marincin/Henry. Yann Danis in net

  23. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons
    #OKCBarons scratches: Davidson, Plante, Ringwald, Tyrvainen, Cornet, Martindale, Pelss

    Alex Plante. Lordy.

  24. crude says:

    Ya, really gotta feel for Plante. Things not boding well at all.

  25. JohnnyRocket says:

    Any good feeds for the game?

  26. Lucinius says:

    You really got to feel for those squeezed out of the Barons line up because of the lockout.

    So many scratches..

  27. Lowetide says:

    Barons playing in mud again, some nice chem between Hall and Harski..

  28. Lucinius says:

    They’re just trying to help their goalies get their save percentages up.

    Meh. Makes you wonder what’s going on with the team sometimes when they’ve been coming out like this.

  29. voxwah says:

    LT’s link is working now…

  30. Lowetide says:

    Schultz with an ill advised pass.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Barons look like they found a giant spliff on the way to the rink.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Teubert played that as badly as badly can be. Good lord.

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    The only thing worse than this feed is this game. My word, both are gawdawful.

  34. voxwah says:

    Lowetide,

    Must have shared in the bus on the way over. Sheesh.

  35. Lowetide says:

    This is the worst game I’ve seen since the last lockout and the Swedish Elite League game that made me question hockey as a sport. God this is bad. If not for Hall and Ebs it would be unwatchable.

  36. Lucinius says:

    You guys weren’t kidding, this game is bad.

    Can’t wait for the Can-Swe prelim game tomorrow morning to wash this out of my mind.

  37. voxwah says:

    I think I might need a few shooters to finish watching this

  38. Lowetide says:

    Crown Royal has been a required addition to this game.

  39. Rebilled says:

    The Kraken has been released over here. Glad i missed most of this lacrosse game. I can’t tell which sport with this feed.

  40. OilLeak says:

    Rebilled:
    The Kraken has been released over here. Glad i missed most of this lacrosse game. I can’t tell which sport with this feed.

    Me too, where are the NHLers that are supposedly dressed for this game?

  41. eidy says:

    Even though Green has been injured, he would have to be considered a disappointment. This has been a very poor year.

  42. Rebilled says:

    I can’t see without my binoculars.

  43. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Now I have to grade this pig. I couldn’t even identify players off the puck half the time, but if they were wearing blue they were coming out second best about 97% of the time. Texas played great, but Barons need to have a look in the mirror.

  44. voxwah says:

    Hey LT can you put up the game day thread for tomorrows game now to help us forget about this stinker?? Hehe, thanks in advance.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Man. What a mess. Bruce, my heart goes out to you. F for fail. Lordy.

    Voxwah: I don’t think I could find the keys. :-)

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    @LT: Thanks. Am feeling hard done by a.t.m. Got a blazing headache from trying to track that feed, & am not feeling kindly disposed towards the whole shebang. F for Fail is a good summary, I may use it.

  47. hunter1909 says:

    Merry Christmas, Bruce!

    No need to watch these turkeys with Christmas coming up.

    Mid-January appears the deadline for the 2013 season.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  48. Lowetide says:

    You too, Hunter. All the best to all and safe travels.

  49. Oilertown says:

    Marry Christmas Hunter LT and all the rest of you great people on this great blog run by you Allen.

  50. Lucinius says:

    Its painful watching team Canada.. they have no idea what it means to not take a penalty.

    Also, the powerplay is painful to watch. RNH gets the puck.. and every single Canadian player stops moving. Now, where have I seen that before?

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