OKC RE 13-14: RYAN MARTINDALE

In the tortoise versus tortoise versus tortoise race that is Pitlick v Hamilton v Martinale, former Ottawa 67′s center Ryan Martindale is the best offensive prospect in the group. He’s also the healthiest and may be the least consistent. Wow. (Martindale photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

RE 13-14: 70, 13-17-30

hurdle gif

 Martindale’s Ranking over the Years

  • Summer 2010: #14: Stu MacGregor: “He was their top line centerman, he played with Toffoli. He was a very solid, big guy. He has to improve his game in some areas, but he has size and skill. His overall commitment needs to be there every night. He’s a big kid that has a lot of talent.”
  • Winter 2010: #13
  • Summer 2011: #20
  • Winter 2011: #20
  • Summer 2012: NR
  • Winter 2012: #28
  • Summer 2013: #29 Martindale is still looking for regular work as a pro. Battled injury but also lost playing time this year due to period of ineffective play. His boxcars (41, 6-8-14) and NHLE (82, 5-7-12) aren’t close to good enough and despite size (6.03, 207) no one ever talks about his physical play.

Martindale always impresses me in the fall. He’s usually solid to very good early and then fades as the pre-season games see more established NHL players. I think the Stu MacGregor scouting report above is a strong tell, and this season that commitment has to be there (or we won’t be talking about Martindale anymore).

  1. What’s the connection between Martindale and the sprinter? There isn’t one. Readers who click on this post should be rewarded, though.
  2. What about your female readers? Female readers of this blog are the real hockey fans.
  3. Why do you bother writing about this guy? Well, unless I’m mistaken, Martindale is a strong candidate for big minutes on a skill line in OKC this fall.
  4. Why on earth would Todd Nelson play Martindaleo on a skill line every night? Mainly because Craig MacTavish took all the proven skill guys out behind the barn and finished them with a luger.
  5. Your RE numbers don’t look like he’s going to play on a skill line. Well, Martindale is a skill C, so he’ll be in competition with Mark Arcobello and Andrew Miller for playing time. I do think he’ll play some on the wing too.
  6. Is there anything about his game that’s interesting? He scored 2 pp goals last season, that’s interesting. I do think he’ll score some goals if he gets a push.
  7. What’s your best guess for the top 2lines in the AHL this winter? C-L-R: Arcobello-Ryan Hamilton-Derek Nesbitt; Andrew Miller-Martindale-Matthew Ford; CJ Stretch-Eager-Tyler Pitlick; Travis Ewanyk-Kale Kessy-Curtis Hamilton.
  8. Jesus Murphy. Yeah. MacT has taken all of Todd Nelson’s toys away.
  9. How many skill forwards are gone from last season’s team? Well, including out Hall, Ebs, Nuge, Etc, the Oilers have said goodbye to Toni Rajala, Phil Cornet, Teemu Hartikainen, Jonathan Cheechoo, Magnus Paajarvi.
  10. Would MacT really do that? I think yesterday proves that this blog has a very strong handle on what MacT is doing. However, evidence is evidence and this looks like that scene in Moneyball where the guy from Thelma and Louise trades the phenom first baseman so the guy from Jack Goes Boating will have to play the catcher with the bum arm at first base.
  11. Could you TRY to be more concise? No.
  12. And hand in your man card for the Thelma and Louise reference. Whatever. I find beauty everywhere.
  13. Speaking of beauty, WHY do I find that sprinter so compelling? Just enjoy it, idiot. You think too much.
  14. Says the guy doing a Ryan Martindale profile in August. Yeah, well.

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25 Responses to "OKC RE 13-14: RYAN MARTINDALE"

  1. sliderule says:

    I have never been able to figure this guy out.

    Big,put up points in junior and rated the top face off guy in OHL.

    I wonder how much of a factor Nelsons drive to win over prospect development had to do with it.

    I guess we will see this year as MacT has ordered better development of prospects by word and deed.

  2. jp says:

    I don’t think Nelson’s drive to win has hurt Martindale. He hasn’t scored in the ECHL either (39-8-9-17 and a -15), and iirc he played a lot of those 41 AHL games last season on the 2nd or 3rd line. He got no shortage of icetime or decent teammates last season. I don’t know, but it sure sounds like it goes back to Stu’s comment about commitment. Reminds me a little of Jason Bonsignore, though obviously with a less dear pick spent on him.

    Funny how all 3 of Pitlick, Hamilton and Martindale really do appear to have all the tools and skill, but just can’t seem to play hockey at a high level. One more year to see if they can get back on track, otherwise goodbye.

  3. Hammers says:

    The Barons this year will have a couple of “D” in there top 5 players getting points or they won’t make the playoffs.

  4. jfry says:

    Aha! You have seen moneyball!!!!

  5. jfry says:

    Also, macT, while enjoyable for his interviews and video game style GMing, has made some very curious moves lately.
    seems weird that the trifecta from 2010 is still here but we flushed 2/3 of our first line in the ahl with nothing coming back, while basically ignoring substantial improvement on our bottom six in the show.

    From a distance it would appear that we still have a shit bottom six and our ahl team will be weaker.

    And im not a believer in the new back up goalie…im worried that mact is going to be the bestgm at interviews and not necessarily at team building

  6. Lowetide says:

    jfry: I like the LaBarbera signing. Very much. I do think the AHL team will be significantly worse in GF, though. Unless someone has a breakout season, and I think that’s what MacT is building the foundation of the team around. As in, “these are the guys we care about, these are the guys who get the at-bats”.

    If the Barons win only 20 games, but deliver a useful forward with size? I’d take that all day.

  7. dawgtoy says:

    Michelle Jenneke. Well done LT, you have impeccable taste. As for the coke machines, grinders, bangers, and truculent types on the farm … Sooner or later someone is bound to take the next step. As to which one, that’s anyone’s guess.

  8. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide:
    jfry: I like the LaBarbera signing. Very much. I do think the AHL team will be significantly worse in GF, though. Unless someone has a breakout season, and I think that’s what MacT is building the foundation of the team around. As in, “these are the guys we care about, these are the guys who get the at-bats”.

    If the Barons win only 20 games, but deliver a useful forward with size? I’d take that all day.

    The problem with that is that the Barons are owned by a local ownership group, not by the Oilers.

    If the Barons are dreadful on the ice their attendance, which is already the worst in the AHL, will plummet even further.

    I can’t imagine Prodigal Hockey LLC, the Barons’ ownership group, is thrilled about the prospect of a team that can’t score.

  9. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    Hammers:
    The Barons this year will have a couple of “D” in there top 5 players getting points or they won’t make the playoffs.

    OKC’s offense won’t be all that much worse. From last years playoff run, Rajala, Hartikainen, Cheechoo, Green and Cornet are gone. Andrew Miller, Ryan Hamilton, Derek Nesbitt and Matthew Ford have been brought in to replace them. I think all of those guys can be reasonably expected to provide offense in a top 6 role (and have done so in the past). None of them brings the pure offense that Rajala did, but they’re all solid players.

    The Barons also signed Austin Fyten and Nic Tremblay from the ECHL. There’s a chance they can play a top 9 role like Stretch did last year. And you never know, one of Pitlick/Martindale/Hamilton might actually start to bring some offense. They don’t have a Rajala replacement, but the Barons offense shouldn’t be a black hole. I think they’ll be fine when you take into account their improved D.

  10. FastOil says:

    Lowetide:
    jfry: I like the LaBarbera signing. Very much. I do think the AHL team will be significantly worse in GF, though. Unless someone has a breakout season, and I think that’s what MacT is building the foundation of the team around. As in, “these are the guys we care about, these are the guys who get the at-bats”.

    If the Barons win only 20 games, but deliver a useful forward with size? I’d take that all day.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if GF goes down and attendance goes up. OKC Chiefs!

    I do agree that the focus of the farm has to be much more on development than winning, not that they’re mutually exclusive. Time to see if the trio has it or not and let them move on to the next phase of their careers, rinse repeat with the next bunch.

  11. nelson88 says:

    I’m on the Martindale bandwagon to pull a “Rajala” in 2013-14 and up his stock. Then again I was also a big booster of; Thor, Radunske, Rajala and a few others now plying their trade outside the best league on the planet…

  12. OilTastic says:

    I have a feeling he’ll not be re-signed by the Oilers after he has another mediocre season this year and it wouldn’t bother me, they can’t all make it.

  13. G Money says:

    Lowetide: As in, “these are the guys we care about, these are the guys who get the at-bats”.
    If the Barons win only 20 games, but deliver a useful forward with size? I’d take that all day.

    Assuming that MacT is an intelligent man – and I do believe he is – this rationale seems to best fit the reality of what we’re seeing lately.

    The Oilers have the top-end talent on forward, and a rich pipeline of prospects at D.

    It is the bottom 6 that suck, and continue to suck.

    When Yak and RNH and Schultz gotta get paid, we need good players on bargain contracts in the bottom 6 to offset those increases.

    It makes sense (the only way it makes sense is) that this move is all about getting future NHL bottom 6 players time – real development time – in the AHL top 6 today.

  14. dessert1111 says:

    I think I’m in the minority when it comes to prospect development. I think that guys who were higher picks should be given some chances initially, sure, but at some point they have to be earned. IMO, they have done nothing with what they’ve been given and have done nothing to force the issue. I’d rather Nelson reward players who play well with playing time. It’s up to the individual player to rise to the top, regardless of what league he’s in. If the guys rising to the top are the small skilled forwards, so be it, as long as they’re the ones who have proven they are the best players.

    We can wish the big guys with some perceived skill to make it to the NHL till we’re blue in the face, but ultimately it’s up to them. If these guys were going to succeed as NHL players, they wouldn’t need to be gift-wrapped skill minutes in their 3rd pro years — they’d have earned them by now, or they’ll force the issue this year. You win some, you lose some.

  15. ASkoreyko says:

    I think it comes down to how you think your young players will develop the best.

    Do you place them in a winning environment where they will learn the habits of a winning team but still not receive that much time towards their own development? Or do you place them in a middling environment and hope they learn to become a winning team on there own?

    The AHL team is there to develop prospects and MacT must believe insulating the prospects with more AHL vets is not the recipe for success.

    But I agree with LT, if a terrible season in OKC this year delivers one of the three horsemen as an actual NHL player then it will be all worth it.

  16. jfry says:

    So, if I get this straight. We flush small offensive players hoping to instead produce pahlsson bickell and pisani?

    Isn’t that kinda like drafting moroz in the second?

  17. Lowetide says:

    jfry:
    So, if I get this straight. We flush small offensive players hoping to instead produce pahlsson bickell and pisani?

    Isn’t that kinda like drafting moroz in the second?

    Makes exactly as much sense as the decision to release Toni Rajala. And, as I mentioned, they have smaller players at center (Arco, Miller)

  18. FastOil says:

    jfry:
    So, if I get this straight. We flush small offensive players hoping to instead produce pahlsson bickell and pisani?

    Isn’t that kinda like drafting moroz in the second?

    A large part of development has less to do with hockey growth than attitude and temperament from what I gather. Most of these kids are great athletes, obviously good enough at hockey in at least some respect excepting the fighters.

    I think guys can feel they’re getting the short end, Martindale for instance. He can’t produce because of linemates, TOI, no PP, whatever. It’s a lack of opportunity as opposed to him.

    The best role players are re-branded junior skill players like Torres. This sweep out does provide a chance to give the stragglers all the good things and if they still flounder, the org can put it on them and say either change your game or consider Europe.

    Not necessarily a bad play when the top 6 is not open. I believe the team would also rather have a Torres type player slide up because they have some skill when injuries happen rather than bring up an AHL scorer.

    I’d rather have Martindale or Pitlick playing 4th because they chose to change than the non offensive guys, because when a chance arises the odds are higher they’ll finish.

    Or maybe MacT wants an upclose at the St Louis way, loaded D, no elite forwards, lots of beef.

  19. hags9k says:

    Lol. Great post LT. Does a guy need to see Jack Goes Boating? I would have called him the guy from Along Came Polly. The boardroom scene is imho his finest work period.

    Oh yeah and what’s this Selma and Louise all about too? *looks around sheepishly*
    Cuz haven’t seen that 4 times either…..

  20. jfry says:

    Lowetide,

    jw has a nice measured article up on rajala now. I tend to agree with his last two paragrahs

  21. Colonel Obvious says:

    The Rajala move shows that this organization is still being run by retarded monkeys.

    Europeans are willing to spend time in the minors for Detroit because they know that sooner or later they will get their chance. Europeans (three is now a trend) aren’t willing to kill time in the minors for Edmonton because they know that it is impossible to play your way onto the Oilers.

    The fault here lies with the Oilers and the greatest evil in hockey: the dogma that there is such a thing as a top six and bottom six players.

    It’s a mythical idea that destroys hockey teams. The Leafs destroyed their team in the offseason based on this idea and the Oilers are actively making their team get worse based on the same delusion.

    When you are watching the fourth line get destroyed this year I want you to imagine an alternate universe in which Omark, Rajala, and Hartikainen are on the team. I don’t know who is going to be on the fourth line but I’m 100% positive they will be worse hockey players than those three.

    Intentionally icing a worse fourth line than you need to costs you goals, which costs you wins, which is why you play the game.

    The NHL establishment is filled with incompetent morons who don’t know anything about how to do their jobs.

  22. Lowetide says:

    CO: Agreed. It isn’t going to change in our lifetime, unless Mike Babcock comes here.

  23. lance says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    The ones who know the answer are usually left behind. I remember hearing Don Cherry talk about not drinking water during a game and players eating ice off their skates when the coach wasn’t looking. Bruce’s recent EJ post described the same reluctance to embrace Nielson stats.

    If a first line gets easy zone starts (Sedins), a second line gets a more balanced view, a third line gets checking assignments against the other team’s #1′s, and a 4th line is supposed to neither win the game or lose it, then fine. If these line allocations go much beyond that, then it sounds like Punch Imlach benching players for using a curved stick (or equal foolishness).

    Hockey players can have all the ego in the world when they retire, but it nary makes a good GM. If the six ring circus thinks for it he knows more than another, then, well, he’s a regular white man and probably about to be left behind.

    Rajala is clearly an elite hockey player. To think there is some prescription for a 4th line and that he doesn’t belong would be enough to make me bail on this organization too.

  24. VanOil says:

    I agree with the Cononel’s point on the bottom 6. Good players are better than role players.

    If you look at the Oilers forward prospects with an eye to finding good Hockey players it is pretty grim right now. I hold out little hope for any of our current AHL players even being replacement level for Ryan Jones. A player that say could, with some puck luck and some playing time high end talent due to injury, score 20+ goals in an NHL season.

    At the Pro level, and giving our Pro scouts the benefit of the doubt they have not earned, Joensuu might be the guy.

    In the AHL I can’t see a 20 goal scorer right now, even straight up with no NHL Equivalences.

    In the Org maybe one of the KHL crew Anton Slepyshev, Bogdan Yakimov, Daniil Zharkov have a shot. In the CHL Marco Roy and Jujhar Khaira might. If 1/5 make it, one of these 5 might. But given that none of these guys is even in the AHL yet our bottom six in the NHL looks to be puck optional for years to come.

    Thank goodness for Jennke

  25. supernova says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Very good point.

    It seems that most of the establishment views it that in the bottom 6 you have.

    Gritty role players who don’t give up goals, and where out the opposition.

    So either the oilers do this better than average, or decide to buck the trend and out skill them through all the lines.

    If I am a betting man, it seems the odds are stacked one way.

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