December 17 2011 06:46AM
Magnus Paajarvi took it like a man. A demotion is never an easy thing, but older folks will tell you good things can come from times of trouble. The list of men who have gone before him is, well, pretty damn long.
The most famous Oiler demotion came early in franchise history. Mark Messier had done a few things to get the attention of the elders, but missing a flight won him a ticket to the Central Hockey League. In late October of 1979, the news hit the fan.
Legend has it Messier partied all of his days in Houston and came back as cocky as ever. Either way, Paajarvi's situation is different and not nearly as famous.
Magnus Paajarvi lost his job. I can create a back story that suggests coach Renney didn't put him in a position to succeed but then again the player didn't exactly force him to re-think the decision to move him down the depth chart. He isn't scoring and what's more he is spending little time in the scoring zones and his healthy scratches are becoming more common.
It's time for a change,
HOW BAD IS IT?
Not that bad. Paajarvi has played 273 minutes at even strength with 3 assists. If he had three more points the young man would be on the same pace as one year ago. I don't think it's terminal and in fact will help him get some swagger back. We should be watching for lots of goals and assists, a player of Magnum's calibre should be able to score at more than a point-per-game. The AHL is a tough league so he'll have to work for it.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers haven't had a failed first round pick since Rob Schremp in 2004--I define a failed first round pick as any skater with fewer than 250 NHL games played--and Paajarvi is extremely unlikely to fail as an NHLer to that level. He may have to change his game a little and become less of a perimeter player. He's skilled and has great speed, but NHL goaltenders get beaten most of the time in the offensive scoring zones.
Magnus Paajarvi spends too little time in those zones. Perimeter skill forwards with average shots don't survive in the NHL.
It's a busy Nation Radio today on Team 1260 at noon.
- David Staples from the Cult of Hockey will talk to us about the difficulty the Oilers have been facing over the last few weeks.
- Jim Byers from the OKC Barons will be on to talk about OKC and their outstanding run. We'll also find out which players are carrying the mail.
- Cam Moon from the Red Deer Rebels will help us preview the world juniors and talk to us about 2012 draft prospect Matt Dumba.
- Bruce McCurdy will also chime in on the WJ's and tell us about the Oil Kings too. Bruce always has an opinion on the Oilers and we'll ask him about the Paajarvi demotion.
- Terry Jones will pop by to talk Oilers and we'll talk about his HHOF experience.
- Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report will help us set the table for the WJ's.
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