McDonald Loving It

Lowetide
December 20 2010 08:17PM

Colin McDonald has done a lot of things well this season: porn moustache, goal scoring, working hard at EVs, PK and PP. There is a "window of opportunity" for an Oiler forward currently being occupied by Gilbert Brule. Technically called "3rd line right-winger", this player needs to bring a physical style, some goal scoring and perhaps most importantly supply the coach with a reliable checker. Is Colin McDonald a candidate? Or is he too old? 

Fernando Pisani played for my town team (St. Albert Saints) many moons ago. The Oilers drafted Pisani after a stellar AJHL season with the Saints and followed his progress at Providence (NCAA). Shortly after playing his first college game, Pisani turned 20 years old. In four seasons with Providence he delivered consistent offense and gained the reputation for being a solid 2-way winger.

Shortly after making his pro debut in 2000 fall, Fernando turned 24. His first AHL season was solid if unspectacular (52gp, 12-13-25, good for 8th among Bulldog forwards that season) but in his second season in the minors Pisani began to impact the offensive game. A 60-point season in the AHL followed; in 02-03,

Pisani laid waste to the AHL (he was 26 years old now) and posted 17-15-32 numbers in 41 games before being called up to the Oilers on January 8, 2003. The Pisani callup was made necessary when Mike Comrie fractured his right thumb.

Oiler fans were hoping Jani Rita would grab the available job (Daniel Cleary was faltering, much like Brule and Cogliano are currently) but it was Pisani who won the day. That summer, Cleary was moved along and the legend that was Fernando in Edmonton took flight.

Colin McDonald played his junior hockey in New England and had a better draft pedigree than Pisani. He was selected high in the very good 2003 Entry Draft (51st overall) and ahead of notables like Patrick O'Sullivan and David Backes, among others.

The Oilers followed his progress through 4 seasons at Providence (NCAA). Shortly before playing his first college game, McDonald turned 19 years old. In four seasons with Providence he delivered below average offense while gaining the reputation of being a solid checker.

Shortly before making his pro debut in 2007, McDonald turned 23. His first AHL season showed he was still a little shy offensively (73gp, 12-11-23 ranked him 7th among Falcon forwards that season). McDonald didn't enjoy the boost in offense that Pisani managed in year two of pro hockey; in fact, the young man ran in place in each of the following seasons.

McDonald is about the same age now as Fernando Pisani was when he got his call to the show. I don't think he is as good offensively as Fernando was but he does have some nice things going for him this season. For the first time since being drafted, Colin McDonald is going to post a strong offensive boxcar.

Here are his current stats:

  • 32gp, 15-4-19, Even

He's been in three fights, the coaching staff is saying nice things about him. Earlier this week, I wrote on my blog Colin McDonald is not technically Edmonton Oiler property at this time. He owns an AHL contract and the Oklahoma City Barons are paying him. However, NHL teams often "purchase" such contracts and I believe the Edmonton Oilers will do just that at some point in 2011.

The things that need to happen (injury on RW, ineffective play by multiple players above him on the depth chart, the lack of a "player with a wide range of skills" in the system at the pro level) are all part of the current script at the big league level. All Colin McDonald needs is an inspired thought from management and perhaps something like a 4-goal game to get his name above the event horizon.

McDonald has been playing on a line with AHL veterans Brad Moran and Alex Giroux for much of the season. Coach Todd Nelson: “Those other guys have certainly had a lot to do with it. But that's not taking anything away from Colin. He's getting down there and making things happen for us right now.”

McDonald has size, some grit and is on pace for a 25+ goal season in the AHL. He might get a real shot at the NHL if he continues to play well while others above him on the depth chart falter. The script is playing out perfectly.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 EberleFTW
December 20 2010, 08:21PM
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w00t w00t my FIST official FIST\!!!

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#2 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
December 20 2010, 08:51PM
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@EberleFTW

1 prop for you *Thumbs up*

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#3 dolbydo2002
December 20 2010, 08:54PM
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I hear that Brule's sick again. Wasn't he sick for a good part of last year as well? This is one area in which he is consistent. His position on the roster is up for grabs. Look forward to seeing who can grab the brass ring.

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#4 Jonathan Willis
December 20 2010, 09:27PM
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McDonald's a player I like a lot, and unlike Reddox he brings some size to the lineup (although his offence is probably less developed).

It'd be really nice if one of the two had a San Fernando career.

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#5 Top Right
December 20 2010, 09:54PM
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This post seems almost boring compared to Robin's last one. Cmon LT, take some shots at Brian Hall or sumthin'

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#6 DSF
December 20 2010, 10:05PM
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If McDonald is the answer, the question must have been "how desperate are the Oilers?"

Good grief.

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#8 Adam D
December 20 2010, 10:18PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Boring is my style, man. :-)

Can't you at least expose a league official of bias and corruption a la Tyler Dellow?

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#9 Quicksilver ballet
December 20 2010, 10:29PM
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Frag some arse LT!

Oilersnation has been in a slump for a week now.... Tazer someone. It's been too long since someone wrote a Pros and Cons to buying out Shawn Horcoff article.

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#11 BLT
December 20 2010, 10:36PM
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Good grief - LT writes an informative, insightful article without dozens of gratuitous pics and you ADD-addled Mountain Dew swillers yell "BOOOOOOOORRRRRRRIIIIING"?

Keep 'em coming, LT. Those of us with taste and sophistication will keep reading.

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#13 Quicksilver ballet
December 20 2010, 10:41PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I prefer to stay away from upsetting topics, especially when it involves Russians. The Kremlin reads my mail.

Throw a cow under the bus then....we need something to eat come Christmas.

.....any truth to the rumour that Oilersnation.com is going to be giving away 100 free turkeys this week, email said you guys were going to release 100 turkeys from a helicopter and let them fly down to the fortunate recipients awaiting down below?

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#14 Wanyes bastard child
December 20 2010, 10:43PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I prefer to stay away from upsetting topics, especially when it involves Russians. The Kremlin reads my mail.

I read your mail too, 'Martha Stewert Living' ?!

Seriously!?

Please tell me its for the wife...

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#17 Wanyes bastard child
December 20 2010, 10:50PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I only buy it for the articles.

Okay, I will concede that there are some good recipes in there ;-)

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#18 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
December 20 2010, 11:22PM
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I'm going to get this baby back on track. We'll burn some crosses after.

Let's lay this out; O'Marra is on the team now; Willis is pitching for Reddox; and LT believes McDonald has a future (2011) with the big club.

Oh and the absolutely uninspiring Colin Fraser is getting 10 minutes a night right now.

So many options, so little time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously though, McDonald>O'Marra>>>>>Fraser... and the red headed kid is just different, but I like him. If I'm Tambellini, and I regularly am, McDonald and Reddox are on this team next year at the expense of the obscene amount of useless pluggers sucking the bottom of the Oil tank right now. I'd do it this year if I could.

Anyway, as promised... heard 23 is going to take his next shootout attempt blindfolded while using Mikko Koivu's stick and Peckman wants to change his number to 44, says he's confident he can break the curse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Suck on those multi-orgasmic facts, Nation!

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#19 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
December 21 2010, 12:04AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Throw a cow under the bus then....we need something to eat come Christmas.

.....any truth to the rumour that Oilersnation.com is going to be giving away 100 free turkeys this week, email said you guys were going to release 100 turkeys from a helicopter and let them fly down to the fortunate recipients awaiting down below?

Must be in line with theleafnation.com's unstoppable waffle promotions! They's lettin' it rain!!

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#20 stevezie
December 21 2010, 03:06AM
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Does Giroux have any hope?

In Re Helicopter turkey-release: Baby, if you ever wonder...

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#21 Oilcruzer
December 21 2010, 03:36AM
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Seriously, is Giroux a career AHL first liner?

Other than Jones and maybe Linus, it seems there are a plethora of "almost have what it take options" who do nothing more than prove they almost have what it takes.

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#22 J-Dogg
December 21 2010, 05:07AM
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"heard 23 is going to take his next shootout attempt blindfolded while using Mikko Koivu's stick"

Throw in some flaming arrows, and a dancing bear and I'm on board. Although, I guess he has to leave himself somewhere to go.

Wait!! Got it, replace Koivu's stick with a chainsaw after that.

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#23 Stone Hands McOsta
December 21 2010, 05:16AM
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LT, I like the fact that you brought up Fernando and his rise with the Saints...it brought back some memories for me as a young buck going to Akinsdale Arena and seeing some nice talent come up through (also) my home town team. Too bad St.Albert couldn't get their poop in a group and build them a new arena in time before they took off for Spruce.

Ever since the Saints left and the Traders came to town and changed to the Steel, I have completely lost touch with the AJHL. For some reason, I just can't see the same traditionally exciting players that came from the Saints like Pisani, Comrie, Lundmark or Rene Bourque being developed out of the St.Albert Steel organization.

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#24 DN
December 21 2010, 06:48AM
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Want another Pisani ? Could have had the real thing ... just saying,

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#25 Steve-O
December 21 2010, 08:23AM
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@Lowetide

...or explain how you know what a porn mustache looks like.

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#27 Ender
December 21 2010, 10:05AM
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I thought McDonald looked very good for the Oilers in preseason play this year. He was dominent in his game versus Vancouver. While I don't know if he'll ever catch the break he needs at this stage in his career (when Reddox is ahead of you on the depth chart, you know you have problems) I still wish him the best and hope he makes it. To be Pisani 2.0 is a fine aspiration for him.

@ stevezie

I wondered how many people would pick up on Quicksilver's reference. You can really mark the elderly with something like that.

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#28 smiliegirl15
December 21 2010, 11:39AM
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A classic is always a classic Ender.

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#29 9 Inches Uncut
December 21 2010, 12:05PM
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Brule gets sick more often then a coke head. Plus they need to shoot JFJ behind the Zamboni.

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#30 Romanus
December 21 2010, 12:06PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Somehow you can turn every article into a message about how you hate Horcoff.

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#31 Rip van Winkle
December 21 2010, 12:29PM
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It's T - 8 hrs, we need a G.D.B already

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#32 Action Jackson
December 21 2010, 12:29PM
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Whitney is the 12th defenceman overall in plus minus and the 7th dman overall in points on the last place team in the western conference. Leave to the NHL to leave him off the all star voting page. Write him in as your vote!

http://vote.nhl.com/

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#33 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
December 21 2010, 12:34PM
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@Action Jackson

Pretty sure he'll be the only non-rookie Oiler going to the all-star game no matter what.

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#34 David S
December 21 2010, 01:00PM
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To me it doesn't matter how old McDonald is nearly as much as how good he is. It seems we treat all our AHL guys as NHL players-in-waiting, when the sad reality is that with certain exceptions, they're just AHL players period. Let's face it. Every athlete has his ceiling and not many will ever succeed at the highest level.

If we were really intent on winning, how many AHL-level talent athletes would we really have on this team (I'm looking at you JFJ, Fraser, SMac. O'Marra...)? It seems the team is hyping the Barons and their supposed talent because it's so much easier to ice a substandard team if people believe you're testing out high-level prospects from the farm.

I've seen us play games games where the other teams' call-ups were just short of sensational, or at the very least positive contributors. Other than Omark, that hasn't been the case here. And no other team I've watched us play iced more than one or two call-ups at the most, and even then only as the result of an emergency. Here, its "throw 'em all in - YEE HAW!!".

[EDIT] @ Bicepus Maximus (most excellent screen name BTW) - correction applied. I can't access the comments right now - site seems to be crapping out.

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#35 Diamond
December 21 2010, 01:03PM
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There is always a diamond in the rough. You think Storts still has anything but hugging people to death to offer. Give Mcdonald a chance, he needs to be put in a roll he can succeed in. Same goes for Giroux.

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#36 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
December 21 2010, 01:30PM
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@David S

Either you have a person grudge against Foster (which by the way is okay - I have many of those) or you meant to say Fraser (which is also okay - I would pick him as my goat, but unfortunately his play is so useless, he can't make a large enough negative impact).

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#37 laughing pug
December 21 2010, 02:33PM
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I'm getting the shakes from lack of GDB

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#38 Bar Qu
December 21 2010, 02:49PM
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Funny how the last three articles all touch on bringing guys up to fill the OBVIOUS GAPING HOLES in the roster (sorry, apparently a key got stuck).

I am sure that there is a plan behind not having Macdonald or Reddox come up to help the bottom six options. Toonces is always thinking, ain't he?

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#39 David S
December 21 2010, 03:33PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Either you have a person grudge against Foster (which by the way is okay - I have many of those) or you meant to say Fraser (which is also okay - I would pick him as my goat, but unfortunately his play is so useless, he can't make a large enough negative impact).

Thanks for pointing out my error. Edit applied. Yeah, maybe Foster too but Fraser - eewww!

Site seems a bit buggy today.

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