September 24 2010 05:00PM
When we last left the Liam Reddox story, Edmonton's favorite ginger was newly signed to a two-way deal and well down the depth chart. 44 days later, he's moving on up to the east side. Is there a deluxe apartment in the sky in his future?.
Things are breaking quite nicely for Liam Reddox. After signing his 2-way deal in August, he looked like a solid bet for Oklahoma City with callups here and there a definite possibility. A week into training camp, and things are looking even better: Ryan Jones has a nagging injury that is keeping him from establishing himself on the roster; Ryan O'Marra apparently showed up at camp in less than ideal condition; JF Jacques is being brought along slowly due to last season's injuries, and the skilled men who might have made an impression (Omark, Giroux) aren't going to get much attention with all those rookies cashing. No sir, a solid 2-way option is needed on that 4line, and Reddox looks like a decent bet to slide onto the big league roster sooner than later based on team needs.
Reddox is in a group of players (a very small one) who offer exactly what the Oilers require: effort on every shift, the ability to penalty kill and forecheck like a demon; an engine that won't quit, and most importantly a textbook demonstration about how to play away from the puck every night.
Liam the Lion has a love hate relationship with the fanbase. Craig MacTavish loved him so much Reddox got minutes on the powerplay that should have gone to more gifted lollygaggers. MacT had a tendency to make his point with playing time, which made Reddox the new Toby Petersen for a time.
Pat Quinn didn't get a chance to see Liam at his best, mostly because Quinn the Eskimo came in search of mountain men and couldn't see past JF Jacques and Ryan Stone long enough to notice the mammoth cerebral cortex under Red's helmet.
Powder's motor was running in overdrive last night. Tom Renney wants size and skill in this lineup, but he also needs a penalty killer on the wing. Andrew Cogliano was outstanding in the PK role last night, and if Reddox and Cogliano can provide a second PK unit up front, the club might be able to fashion a #1PK that boasts Horcoff and newcomer Colin Fraser.
I'm not saying Reddox has the job won. I am saying he's in the conversation. Man, does he need to be in the conversation.