Mike Bloom was a guy I followed from the day he was drafted. A big guy, Bloom was drafted at the end of the first round (1972) by the Boston Bruins following their second Stanley Cup victory in two seasons. Bloom had an opportunity with the Bruins because of the expansion draft that summer, and the WHA raids that were happening. Boston lost Daniel Bouchard and Eddie Westfall in the expansion draft (they got killed) and then watched as Gerry Cheevers, Johnny McKenzie, Derek Sanderson and Ted Green jumped to the WHA.
Mike Bloom was a left-winger, but none of the LW’s (Wayne Cashman, Johnny Bucyk, Mike Walton, Garnet Bailey, Don Marcotte) went anywhere. THAT was bad damn luck for Bloom, and he ended up toiling in the minors until the 1974 expansion draft.
Bloom was selected by Washington (ironically by Milt Schmidt, who was the Boston GM the day he let Dan Bouchard go) and was on to Detroit by the time 1975 saw spring. He would play just over 200 games in the NHL, none in the WHA. For the era, that’s not an impressive return on a first round selection.
Anton Lander doesn’t have much on his resume that suggests he’ll score in the NHL. Now, we know the AHL offense is a tell that Lander does have offensive talent, but he’s been playing with skill of late in the NHL (these injuries have been timely) and still has only one point.
Mike Bloom was blocked by a mile of fine LW’s, Lander has very little in his way. The young man’s two-way game has a great rep and there are some underlying numbers of interest, but we’re almost five years into the investment, the entry level deal is done, and we’re still wondering:
- if he has the foot speed for the job
- if there’s enough offense even for a support role
I can get behind his career being handled poorly at 2011 TC (he needed to go to OKC), but this is serious stuff here. The Edmonton Oilers need 12 good forwards who can do the job beginning in the fall and Anton Lander’s audition this year (to date) is no screaming hell. IS Anton Lander’s defense and penalty killing good enough to warrant a roster spot despite hitting below the Mendoza line?
Those AHL numbers tease like mad, but as an NHL player I don’t think we should be terribly surprised if the Oilers walk Lander this summer. There are 11 games left to change minds.