For the Edmonton Oilers, trading a 4th rd draft pick for Mike Brown makes it very clear just how important the enforcer position ranks in their team building priorities. Having already signed free agents Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk in 2011 summer using a 3rd rd pick in 2009 (Cameron Abney) the club was forced to trade for Mike Brown in order to have a reliable player to fill the role.

 MIKE BROWN 12-13 (two teams)

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.42
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: easy
  • Qual Team: 4liine
  • Corsi Rel: -12.3 (-20.67 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 52.7%
  • Zone Finish: 51.9%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 18/5.56%
  • Boxcars: 39, 1-1-2
  • Plus Minus: -7
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Brown’s an enforcer, we shouldn’t expect too much in the way of offense or sending the puck in a good direction. None of the things we discuss on this blog measure an enforcer. 
  2. Well then why bother doing an RE? He’s on the team, might as well talk about him.
  3. Is he a good enforcer? He appears to be, Oilers seem to like him. Brown certainly was a willing fighter, and there’s evidence (anecdotal) that the skill guys do appreciate having a teammate like that on their side. I think it’s probably the equivalent of a good rain that stills the thunder and brings out the sunshine and keeps the dust down.
  4. Real poetic. Thanks. I do think the enforcer role has its uses, but miss the olden days when these guys could actually play (John Ferguson, Terry O’Rielly, etc).
  5. Will he be back? No idea.
  6. You seem to endorse all of these enforers. It isn’t my favorite area of the game, so I endorse all of them in hopes they work out and the Oilers don’t have to spend more assets on the next guy to replace this guy. The guys are piling up since Laraque left, too.
  7. How many since BG? Well, there was Zack Stortini, JF Jacques, Brad Winchester, Steve MacIntyre, Hordichuk, Eager, Brown.
  8. Where does Brown rank? I’d guess he’s the best since, lacks the big size (5.11, 205) but he fought 7 times in one third of a season.
  9. Okay, how much did he play? Too much. 8:35 at evens with Edmonton, 4:36 in Toronto.
  10. How does that compare to the Golden days of Laraque? BG had years he played 8.5 minutes a night, but he also had a season of 13 goals and several seasons where he post point totals in the ‘teens.
  11. Did Brown replace Eager or Hordichuk? Eager to my eye.
  12. So they need another tough guy? God I hope not, that’s part of the problem.
  13. Oilers won more games when they fought. Jonathan Willis covered the subject here. Quoting Jon: “being willing to drop the gloves is a useful skill in the NHL, but one that should be well down on the priority list. No matter how often Don Cherry says otherwise.”
  14. Why this song? Because Bruce never wrote “I make my living crushing faces, all I have to do is break noses and do up my laces.”
  15. You said earlier you understood why teams employ fighters. Sure, it’s like having a nuclear deterrent. I get that, and there are times when things are getting a little crazy (Regehr running around in Calgary, Boogaard in Minny) when having a guy who can handle things is a Godsend. But I’d much prefer that he could play the game.
  16. How many guys can fight and play the game in the modern NHL? There were 50 NHL forwards with 5 or more fights this season. Among them, I would say that Milan Lucic, David Clarkson, Wayne Simmonds, Derek Dorsett, Kyle Clifford, Zack Smith, Steve Ott and Chris Neil qualify.
  17. Eight guys? Yes. Not very many.
  18. Who was the last Oiler who could do it? I’ll say Billy Guerin.
  19. Hoo boy, Billy Guerin. All day.

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33 Responses to "MIKE BROWN RE 12-13: TOUGHER THAN THE REST"

  1. Kris11 says:

    Is there a chance MacT dumps Brown and brings in no tough guy?

    If you have to have a tough guy, Brown is fine (meh), but does MacT think you need a tough guy?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Is there a chance MacT dumps Brown and brings in no tough guy?

    If you have to have a tough guy, Brown is fine (meh), but does MacT think you need a tough guy?

    For most of MacT’s coaching career, he went with BG or guys who could do something else like Storitni and Winchester. Maybe “doing something else” is too strong, maybe “has a chance to develop into someone who can do something else” would be a better description.

    Brown isn’t going to help you playing the crazy minutes Ralph had him playing, but 4 or 5 minutes a night? Seems as reasonable a solution as any.

  3. Lowetide says:

    OKC_Barons 24s
    #OKCBarons probable forward lines: Cornet-Arcobello-Cheechoo, Rajala-Stretch-Hartikainen, Green-VandeVelde-Pitlick, Eager-House-Tyrvainen

    probable D pairings: Marincin-Fedun, Davidson-Stafford and Jones-Hotham

  4. justDOit says:

    While I’m not a proponent of the ‘nucklear deterrent’, I like Brown. He’s a decent skater, can make a pass and can switch hands without missing a jackhammer beat.

    “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie.”

  5. Lowetide says:

    I saw a documentary about the NO disaster and Brownie (just before Bush said that) had spent some time telling the president how very badly things were going. And then Bush says that! Brown was the fall guy, but man that was one incredible mess.

    Those poor people in New Orleans. It still makes me feel like crying.

  6. cdean says:

    I do believe that a go to person to drop the mitts is nice have on a team. I wish they could have one on every line, but to reference MacT, they need to be a threat to score. I just want the Oilers to have some push back.

    Why can they not dress 7 defensemen and have a couple of them be more than willing to drop the mitts? It would be much easier on the shift rotatation.

    Also to comment on the prospect of Cameron Abney, I do not think he will make it to the NHL, if anything I don’t think they resign him as RFA this year.

  7. RickDeckard says:

    OKC outshoots Texas 16-10, Rajala with 6 shots in the first period. I hope he gets a call up next year.

  8. Lowetide says:

    RickDeckard: OKC outshoots Texas 16-10, Rajala with 6 shots in the first period. I hope he gets a call up next year.

    The kid is insane.

  9. RickDeckard says:


    If the Oilers were a functioning team a fourth line of Rajala-Lander-Harti would be perfect. Too bad the middle 6 needs fixing and only Horcoff can win a faceoff.

  10. VOR says:

    The mention of Bill Guerin (what a player) and all the draft talk here reminded of a story about the 1989 draft.

    Imagine this, it is late in the night of June 17th, 1989. We are flys on the wall at a bar in Bloomington, Minnesota. A group of scouts sit drowning their sorrows. They had had a chance to change the fate of their team forever that day. Lord knows it needed changing. Their European scout had spotted a sleeper, a generational talent, a winger from CSKA Moscow named Pavel Bure. The scouts were sure he was the one, the only player in the draft who might be as good as Mats Sundin. At 3 OV they had what they had spotted what they hoped was an unknown American by the name of Billy Guerin. Going into the draft that day they had been sure that either Bure or Guerin could turn their team around.

    However, their GM had ruled organizational need came first and that they had to focus on centers and dmen. What they need was a 1D, a 2D, and 2C who could check. No wingers needed, simple as that. As a result they had watched Pavel Bure go in the sixth round. It wasn’t sitting well with any of them. As it happens other teams had noticed Guerin and he went before they had a chance at him or they might have all slit their wrists their and then.

    Those scouts all felt sure they had just taken part in one of the worst performances at a draft by any team in NHL history. They had become the poster boys for why you don`t draft for organizational need and even they they knew it. It didn`t get better, that awful feeling, when in the fall of 89 not a single one of the players they had picked made the team.

    Time has passed and of course now we know what happened. In one remarkable draft that group of scouts got a 1D, a 2D, and a 2C. In fact, they got almost 6000 games and several Hall of Famers. Nobody has ever come close to the draft the Detroit Red Wings had in June of 1989. Sillinger, Boughner, Lidstrom, Fedorov, Drake, and Konstantinov in one draft.

    But that night in the bar all they could think about was the one that got away.

    I am kindly trying to say if all the experts in the world tell you that the talent in any draft is in the first two rounds or that Lady Luck isn`t sitting at each year`s draft think about 1989 and the Detroit Red Wings as they entered the 3rd round of the NHL draft their hands tied behind their backs. The situation would appear hopeless made worse by knowing Pavel Bure, the Russian Rocket is out there waiting and you can`t take him. Instead you are forced to take a long shot on a kid playing in a man`s league in Sweden.

    Imagine how they`d feel if he`d been the one that got away.

  11. Lowetide says:

    VOR: Awesome, just awesome.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Stretch (Davidson, Rajala) Rajala now tied for 4th in league scoring.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Arcobello (Cornet) 2-2

  14. LMHF#1 says:

    I’d rather have them paying 42 year old Bill Guerin a couple mil to glare from the bench, drop in on the powerplay and occasionally pop someone in the face than watch Brown make idiotic decisions that cost the team games.

  15. "Steve Smith" says:

    I never liked Guerin. Hell of a player, I just didn’t like him. Was pretty sure, on the basis of absolutely zero evidence, that he was the ringleader of that US Olympic team that trashed their hotel room. I could never reconcile my conviction that he was an evil man with his obvious friendship with Dougie Weight, who could of course do no wrong.

    Never liked Guerin. Never liked Kevin Lowe as a player, either, although he was also outstanding. I wish today’s Oilers had so much talent that I could afford not to like a player like one of those two.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Tryvainen scores to tie it. Only good thing he’s done in North America.

    SS: Guerin? I wish I could find the video, but he went apedoodle on some kid when he played for Dallas at training camp. Kid stood up to him and Guerin went nuts.

    Stars released the kid, next day.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Fedun scores to make it 4-3

  18. Lowetide says:

    Pitlick and Marincin pick up assists.

  19. Rocknrolla says:

    OKC pouring it on…6-3 now with an empty net. Will go up 3-1 in series.

  20. Rocknrolla says:

    LT, are you watching the games via hockey streams or radio?

  21. Lowetide says:

    LT, are you watching the games via hockey streams or radio?

    Radio tonight, have the Hawks game on the tv.

  22. Lowetide says:

    7-3 now

  23. Rocknrolla says:

    Ya I am listening on the iPhone app. Works pretty good. It’s called live365.

    Big win for the barons tonight. I didn’t notice any of the kids on the game sheet, were gernat, musil, or ewanyk in the lineups? Or re they planning on playing them?

  24. VanOil says:

    I was refreshing the OKC game log which seemed stuck at 4-3 with 3:45 to go. I was getting nervous they were in trouble, then holy hell 7-3! This team looks to be in it for the long haul. I will likely be wandering in the Midwest in the first week of June and I figure Chicago tickets will be hard to come by, maybe I should head south to OKC.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Ya I am listening on the iPhone app. Works pretty good.It’s called live365.

    Big win for the barons tonight. I didn’t notice any of the kids on the game sheet, were gernat, musil, or ewanyk in the lineups?Or re they planning on playing them?

    None of the kids were in, doubt they’ll play although Ewanyk is a C and with Lander out you never know. Pitlick with 2 assists tonight, hope they can keep this spring going maybe he’ll post some good numbers.

  26. RickDeckard says:


    I’d rather land Bure than McCosh. That draft was just lucky circumstances. If the Cold War had continued all those Russian draftees mean nothing. They had already bet the farm on them, why not go all in and take that gamebreaker winger too instead of that Canadian center that was an over ager?

    OKC dominated Texas on the shot clock, 18-5 in the third. I wish playoff Pitlick would show up in the regular season.

  27. Rondo says:


    I really don’t follow the AHL but to me it seems like the AHL is full of small talented forwards, that don’t quite make it in the NHL?

  28. Lowetide says:


    I really don’t follow the AHL but to me it seems likethe AHL is full of small talented forwards, that don’t quite make itin the NHL?

    No, not at all. The AHL is for three sets of players:

    1. Those who need a little more time (less than 100 games) to adjust to pro hockey. The Hawks have guys like Stalberg, Andrew Shaw and Dave Bolland.

    2. Guys who can’t quite make the connection and take three seasons. Hawks tonight included Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell.

    3. AHL veterans who are unlikely to get more than a cup of coffee in the NHL (Josh Green of the Oilers is an example).

    As for size, all shapes and sizes.

  29. Rondo says:



  30. Kitchener says:

    Theoretical question: If Rajala gets chance in Edmonton next year, who would be ideal or realistic linemates to let HIM shine?

    Ideal: Hall-Gags-Rajala, right? Hall draws the defensive attention and Gagner is grittier than RNH.

    Realististic: These seem like safe working boundaries:
    – size on the line would be required
    – 4th line or PK duty is unsuitable for Rajala’s skills & size
    – with Ebs & Nail also RW, 3rd line RW is the only spot left

    So, who’s realistic from the 2012-13 roster at 3LW and 3C who could compliment Rajala?

    56 (6’1″, 214) or 91 (6’3″, 208) along with Horcoff (6’1″, 208) actually looks pretty good. Horcoff’s ability to “shelter the kid” would be needed.

    Of course, with ~5 new forwards coming in, new options emerge…

    Do we have any OKC #’s supporting Rajala’s chemistry with 56, 91, or anyone else?

  31. Lois Lowe says:

    Rajala is good asset to have available for trade, most GMs likely can see the upside but may have qualms about the small sample size. He’s totally going to be a part of the 3 for 1 trade this summer.

  32. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Really interesting to me is the way Tambo handled sudden gaps in the roster this year. We know he struggled with structural gaps… but that is for another day.

    When Peckham showed up out of condition, he spent a 3rd on Fistric because he valued a gritty, mean D that much.

    When RK wouldn’t play Hordichuk and Eager under-impressed he put in a call for Volpatti, missed and spent a 4th on Brown because he valued an enforcer that much.

    So… it isn’t the case that Tambo, by constitution, “dithers.” He showed a robust ability to make decisions about “needs” and aggressively purpose their fulfilment.

    His problem really wasn’t that he couldn’t make decisions about what the team needed and pull the trigger to achieve his vision. His problem was that he was terrible at analyzing the needs of the team and if anything showed a willingness to be too aggressive in the pursuit of his vision.

    He consistently overpaid in terms of trade, contract dollars and term for what he believed to be critical needs of the team.

  33. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The most important element of any winning organization is previous years playoff faceoff winning percentage.


    When all that costs you is a fourth rounder, you win every time.

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