JUST LUCKY I GUESS

Lowetide
October 02 2013 06:04PM

 

Mark Arcobello graduated Yale in 2010 and signed at the very bottom of the hockey business--an ECHL contract with no major league affiliation. That's not exactly the end of the earth for a pro prospect, but you can see it from there. Arcobello's story--small forward with skill--results in a career ended long before the NHL a large percentage of the time. However, once in a long while a player hangs around long enough, scores enough, impresses enough people, and finds his way. 

Last year, Mark Arcobello had a cup of coffee in the NHL.  That made him a success in hockey no matter what else happened afterward, but for Arcobello it meant one thing: try harder, do more, impress more. The line between a top flight AHL player and an NHL role player isn't a huge one, but a player like Arcobello can get buried early and never recover.

Entering this year's training camp, Arcobello was "one in a crowd" of centermen trying to find an NHL job behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Boyd Gordon. Along with Anton Lander, Andrew Miller and Will Acton, Arcobello had some things to recommend him but was far from the favorite for the 4line/extra C job the Oilers had available. 

How then did he end up on the 2line opening night? During the summer, GM Craig MacTavish had this to say about the small C:

  • MacT: I liked him last year, I was an advocate of giving him an opportunity, especially in our bottom six last year, but he only came up for the one game. It all boils down to your ability to make plays with the puck. When he played with Hall and Eberle in Oklahoma City this year earlier, his production was excellent. It was actually on par with Nuge. I’m not saying that he’s Nuge, but it was on par with Ryan. So I think that we’ll get him to training camp. When we signed him again to a contract I had a conversation with him and told him that he would get a look at training camp. He hasn’t played in an exhibition game or didn’t last year, so we’ll get a look and the rest will be up to him to prove to the coaching staff that he’s got enough game to warrant a bigger look as training camp goes by. I promised him that opportunity and we’re going to give it to him.

As it turned out, Sam Gagner's injury gave two centermen a chance for opening night, and Arcobello (plus Will Acton) beat out Miller (who was injured) and Anton Lander. 

OPENING NIGHT

Last night, Mark Arcobello played 15 minutes for the Edmonton Oilers, had 4 shots on goal, an assist and went 52.9% on 17 faceoffs. He enjoyed three minutes on the powerplay, 2 takaways and 1 hit. His Corsi? 14-9 +5, the 4th best Corsi/min total on the team. 

Just lucky I guess. Again. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Don't bet against Mark Arcobello. Too small, not enough skill, can't skate fast, he's heard it so often he can't hear you. Mark Arcobello has overcome odds and left players in the dust for several years now at the pro level. 

We have to respect that, because history tells us a lot of players of his type never got this close to making it. Can he go beyond this?

Don't bet against it. He's just lucky, I guess. 

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 Team 1260.
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#51 Hammers
October 03 2013, 12:22AM
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When RNH comes back I would give him Hall LW & Yak . Leave Arco with Ebs & Perron . Hemsky / Gordon / JJ looks a good 3rd line . Someone please tell me the Nuge is 10 days away .

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#52 Time Travelling Sean
October 03 2013, 12:42AM
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DSF wrote:

Mark Arcobello is Andrew Ebbett.

Arcobello:

5'9" 165

4 years at Yale

Best NCAA season - 15G 34P

Ebbett 5'9" 174

4 years at U of Michigan

Best NCAA season - 14G 42P

BEST NHL SEASON - 8G 32P

Neither player is skilled enough to play top 6 in the NHL and both are too small to play in the bottom 6.

Ebbett has managed to play 191 NHL games since his college career but that was 7 years ago.

Arcobello will likely follow a similar career path.

At the age of 30, Ebbett can't find employment in the NHL.

What was Ebbett's best season in the AHL?

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#53 Hair bag
October 03 2013, 01:21AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Really?

Let's take a bet and see where Arcobello is next year.

What say you? $100 says he's in the AHL or Europe but not in the Oilers org.

You're an idiot! The point is I don't give a sh*t where he is playing next year, I only care to see what he does in the next 10games or so and does he hold his own with the best in the world. The fact is that he is a skilled type player but he is definitely not better than Nuge or Gags so he likely won't have an opportunity to play once they get back - barring another injury. BUT, that doesn't mean he isn't a good hockey player and that he can't compete in the NHL - that is what I am interested in seeing. Maybe he is playing in the AHL or Europe next year but that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have the skill to play in the NHL, it just means that he might be in an organization where the numbers are against him because he doesn't have the size to play a bottom 6 role and the top two centers that he has to beat out are high first round draft picks with more talent. Alas, let the kid play - I am positive every game he plays in the show is a game more than you ever have....give the kid some credit. Sometimes on these blogs I wish I was sitting across from you in a bar so I could see if you really are stupid or just an ass looking to antagonize - it's too easy to come on here and be a prick - it's a little different when you are looking someone in the eye.

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#54 Walter Sobchak
October 03 2013, 06:06AM
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StHenriOilBomb wrote:

C'mon man, everyone needs a break. Arco's here because he's outplayed a ton of guys who were more highly touted, bigger, stronger, and given more opportunity than him. He's beat the odds already, even if his only NHL games are as an injury replacement.

Yes & NO, I agree that people need a break from time to time......IF they earn it!

Arcobello got it by default. The Oilers need an NHL center NOT an inexperienced AHL center. I don’t care how feel good the story is, the Oilers need to win, and win now!

10 games in and the Oilers could be in a massive hole.

I guess giving this dude his shot is oh, so good though.

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#55 Walter Sobchak
October 03 2013, 06:12AM
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OilLeak wrote:

I bet you kick puppies in you spare time for fun. Provide some useful insight or stop trolling and GTFO.

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

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#56 HardBoiledOil
October 03 2013, 07:03AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

^you da man, Wes!! :-)

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#57 djc
October 03 2013, 07:45AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

When you start listing your resume in a comments section and trying to prove how much of a fan you are, it might be a sign you are taking yourself and this blog a bit too seriously.

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#58 Walter Sobchak
October 03 2013, 08:09AM
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@djc

That's not my résumé, just don't like being called a troll, when clearly I'm not. Nor do I take this blog at all seriously, I believe if someone calls you out, then I should be able to back it up. Done.

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#59 Mike Bottcher
October 03 2013, 08:26AM
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Arcs is alright. He will give us a chance to win. Nuff said.

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#60 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 08:30AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

You're talking to an internet forum LEGEND, son. Show some respect!

Good for Arco, but I don't think I'm going to miss him when he goes back to the AHL. Faceoffs were a nice surprise though.

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#61 G Money
October 03 2013, 08:42AM
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Seems like people are hating on Arco because he's not the Nuge. *shrug* haters gonna hate.

As far as I'm concerned, he's a kid who's beat all the odds, jumped from sixth on the "healthy C" depth chart to win the right to fill in for Gagner on the second line, played a solid game (all the more impressive for it being his second ever NHL game), and in addition to his positive Corsi, winning faceoff %, and assist, could easily have had a goal or two.

Good on ya, Arco. Keep beating those odds.

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#62 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 03 2013, 08:57AM
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Oiler fans dissing Marchant... that is new to me.

Marchant is pure gold over here in my world. Pure Damn Gold.

Every Oiler team, every year could use 2 or 3 Marchants and never once think to itself... this guy isn't helping.

Marchants win you games.

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#63 fuzzy muppet
October 03 2013, 09:04AM
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I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

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#64 merfer
October 03 2013, 09:15AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

THIS

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#65 Batfink
October 03 2013, 09:15AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

A different perspective. If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line centre - when both of your top 2 centres are injured - then your team doesn't suck. If the Pens lose their top two, not saying Gags and Nuge is Sid and Malks, do the Pens make the playoffs? Mark just has to hold the fort. The more skilled guys will be asked to dig a little deeper. It is ever thus on injury hit teams throughout the sporting world.

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#66 fuzzy muppet
October 03 2013, 09:21AM
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@Batfink

I understand the injury argument. But they were short-handed at center going into the season.

Being strong down the middle is imperative to winning. They had Gordon and Sam Gagner. They KNEW RNH wasn't going to be ready and they didn't do a damn thing about getting a pivot that can play in this league. They gambled and subsequently lost.

Unless they go out and acquire another NHL (not AHL!) center, they are up poop creek without a paddle and we are discussing which prospect we want by January.

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#67 StHenriOilBomb
October 03 2013, 09:29AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Yes & NO, I agree that people need a break from time to time......IF they earn it!

Arcobello got it by default. The Oilers need an NHL center NOT an inexperienced AHL center. I don’t care how feel good the story is, the Oilers need to win, and win now!

10 games in and the Oilers could be in a massive hole.

I guess giving this dude his shot is oh, so good though.

He may be here right now by default, but he made it to this position (first callup for an offensive roll) because he's been able to out-score his contemporaries these past couple of years.

This isn't about being 'good' to Arco, and it's not about whether he's going to win us games.

This is about how he was never even expected to get a single game.

It seems many are reacting to the statement: "wouldn't bet against him", not realizing the implied: "even though he's not expected to cover the bet".

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#68 Reg Dunlop
October 03 2013, 09:36AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

No question the oil fumbled away this situation, relying on a tiny AHLer to fill in for a quarter of the season but what is really unfortunate is that in the process the oil turned the games best young left wing into a non-NHL caliber starting center in the process. Lottery, here we come.

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#69 Reg Dunlop
October 03 2013, 09:43AM
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Further to the point, with Dubnyk fighting the puck, does anyone remember how Hall dropped into a butterfly back when Kruger pulled the tender last year with the oil down and out of the game and Hall skated off shaking his head? He looked good, maybe we should try him out in net. We could turn a non-NHL caliber center into a solid backup option in goal.

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#70 Batfink
October 03 2013, 09:46AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I understand the injury argument. But they were short-handed at center going into the season.

Being strong down the middle is imperative to winning. They had Gordon and Sam Gagner. They KNEW RNH wasn't going to be ready and they didn't do a damn thing about getting a pivot that can play in this league. They gambled and subsequently lost.

Unless they go out and acquire another NHL (not AHL!) center, they are up poop creek without a paddle and we are discussing which prospect we want by January.

An interesting argument, but I don't think the MacT is that inept as to not have thought of this. There are some givens, going on what you suggest:

1. You have to give something up to get something. All joking aside, the rights to Omark do Not get you an NHL centre.

2. It's a sellers market. Other GMs know our situation. Ref point 1.

3. What do we do with this NHL centre when RNH and Gags is fit? Send him down? Fourth line? Maybe we gave up a certain rugged winger who would be useful down the stretch....

I'm saying we're more screwed by circumstance than by bad management THIS TIME! I think we're just that desensitised we don't recognise the differences in the situation between last year and this.

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#71 Batfink
October 03 2013, 09:49AM
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This armchair GMing is easy!

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#72 mayorblaine
October 03 2013, 09:52AM
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Wes/Ronnie is no troll. to further that, anytime someone disagrees with you does NOT mean they are a troll. simple really. ie. DSF.

differing opinions are good.

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#73 DSF
October 03 2013, 09:54AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

What was Ebbett's best season in the AHL?

Ebbett's best - 18G 72P in 74GP

Arcobello's best - 22G 68P in 74GP.

Both at the age of 24.

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#74 DSF
October 03 2013, 09:56AM
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Charlotte Checkers ‏@CheckersHockey

The Checkers have signed NHL veteran Manny Malhotra to a 25-game professional tryout contract. More: http://bit.ly/16kEtXj

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#75 Lochenzo
October 03 2013, 10:03AM
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I liked Arcobello's game on Tuesday and I see the Corsi numbers back that. He's not big, he's not fast. But he's in good position. Seemed responsible in the defensive zone and managing the puck. And he had a couple of grade a scoring chances. My only critique is tha he should have fired it right away on that chance in the slot in the final couple of minutes. Don't allow the goalie to set.

Arcobello is a rookie and he's exceeded my expectations, albeit in 1 game.

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#76 pkam
October 03 2013, 10:26AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Mitchell Moroz with a hat trick tonight, he's 5, 6-1-7 so far this season in the WHL.

I watch him play and I have to say he is a smart player. He seems to find the open space in front of the net and very often he is around the crease where there is the rebound. Something that is missing from Pitlick and Paajarvi.

That goal he scored in the preseason is a good example. He found the open spot in front of the net at the right time to bury the pass from Larsen. Perhaps Pitlick will be there one day but I have yet to see it from him.

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#77 Lochenzo
October 03 2013, 10:30AM
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DSF wrote:

Charlotte Checkers ‏@CheckersHockey

The Checkers have signed NHL veteran Manny Malhotra to a 25-game professional tryout contract. More: http://bit.ly/16kEtXj

I like Malholtra, but I worry about his eye. During the Rangers/Oilers preseason game, Mark Staal carried the puck in the defensive zone and got checked by a guy coming from the side. Now, maybe Mark just failed to see the checker because he was too puck focused or too focused up the ice. But it was openly speculated that maybe Mark missed him because of poor peripheral vision in that injured eye.

That's a good question and it's tough to get an answer for it. Furthermore, you have to ask how much it will affect their game? Is it a safety issue? By the time Manny proves himself inthe AHL, the Oilers should be healthy at centre.

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#78 DSF
October 03 2013, 10:45AM
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@Lochenzo

Yeah, I saw that too.

I don't think I would gamble on Malhotra either.

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#79 Spydyr
October 03 2013, 10:56AM
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I just hope Malhotra does not get injured even more.You have to give him props for the courage it takes to keep trying a come back.

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#80 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 11:40AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

Thank you. Gagner's injury was impossible to predict, but we've known that Nuge was going to be out since April. There's no excuse for not having addressed the depth at center by this point.

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#81 Peter
October 03 2013, 11:55AM
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Good news tweeted by Stauffer. Gagner is back on the ice for practice with a face shield. Hopefully he's back in 2-3 weeks.

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#82 tileguy
October 03 2013, 01:17PM
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Reality Check wrote "You have to wonder why there is so much hating going on in Oiler country." 7 (likely 8) years of missing the playoffs will do that.

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#83 pkam
October 03 2013, 02:00PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

Thank you. Gagner's injury was impossible to predict, but we've known that Nuge was going to be out since April. There's no excuse for not having addressed the depth at center by this point.

How many times has the Oilers management repeated the message "The optimistic return date for RNH is Oct 1 and the pessimistic date is Nov 1. So the realistic return date is somewhere in between. For argument sake, let say Oct 15, which means RNH will be out for 7-8 games.

Does it sound like good decision to acquire a legitimate top 2 center to play in our top 6 for 7-8 games then in the bottom 6 for 75 games?

I'll agree with you if RNH is expected to be out for 1/2 of the season.

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#84 pkam
October 03 2013, 02:06PM
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Tyler Hoeksema wrote:

New lines at practice have Eberle switched with Yak. Smytty remains out of his element and 15 strides behind on the first line. Geez

I don't like Smyth in the top 6 neither, but you have to realize how many time Smyth is the first man back.

Eakins is using the Smyth experience to cover the defensive weakness of Hall.

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#85 pkam
October 03 2013, 02:29PM
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Will he be MSL v2? Hard to tell. But what I can say is some Oilers fans here certainly resemble the Flames fans 15 years ago. 5'9, 170 lbs and 1-1-2 in 13 games? Got to be hands of stone and 0 chance of making the NHL.

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#86 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 02:33PM
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@pkam

I'm not saying we should have gone out and spent $5M on Grabovski, but we should have tried to address the position with either someone who could play 4th line regularly and be serviceable in the top-6 on a short term basis, or a legit 3/4 line center and temporarily play Gordon on the second line.

Having Acton and Arcobello walk onto the team out of training camp because there is no competition at center is unacceptable. And if you think having too many NHL centers is a problem, have a look at last year

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#87 Johe
October 03 2013, 02:51PM
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Gregor saying that there's a good chance RNH is back next week to play against the Habs on Thursday.

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#88 pkam
October 03 2013, 03:03PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I'm not saying we should have gone out and spent $5M on Grabovski, but we should have tried to address the position with either someone who could play 4th line regularly and be serviceable in the top-6 on a short term basis, or a legit 3/4 line center and temporarily play Gordon on the second line.

Having Acton and Arcobello walk onto the team out of training camp because there is no competition at center is unacceptable. And if you think having too many NHL centers is a problem, have a look at last year

Our top 3 centres are pretty much set to begin the season. The idea is to have Hall or Acrobello it compete for the hole that RNH leaves for a month. The only opening spot is the 4C. We have Lander, Anton, Acrobello and Martindale competing for it. Not sure if a veteran 4c like Smithson we had last year makes any difference.

You do realize we have 49 players and only one spot left for the year so we can only acquire one more player, unless we make a trade to unload some of our players. And this is after we agreed to release a young prospect Rajala. You can't just sign as many UFA as you want and send them to the minors if they can't make the roster. And salary cap is another factor. If you sign a player to 2M and send him down to the minor, he still burn 1.075M of your salary cap. The more player to compete, the more burden on our 50 man roster and salary cap. You have to balance between them.

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#89 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 03:23PM
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So don't you think some of those 50 contracts could have been better used on an NHL center rather than loading up on goons and depth defencemen?

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#90 pkam
October 03 2013, 03:44PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

So don't you think some of those 50 contracts could have been better used on an NHL center rather than loading up on goons and depth defencemen?

I am not a believer of enforcer but yes on depth defencemen. Belov is a great signing, Grebeshkov is debatable.

We don't know what the management and coaches think. Perhaps they believe one of our AHL player should be able to handle the 4C role? Perhaps they have tried but price is too high. I still think that 3rd round pick for Smithson is a stupid contract. I'll rather play one of our AHL player and save that 3rd rounder.

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#91 Quicksilver ballet
October 03 2013, 07:32PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

That's not my résumé, just don't like being called a troll, when clearly I'm not. Nor do I take this blog at all seriously, I believe if someone calls you out, then I should be able to back it up. Done.

Pay no attention to this dipship (djc) Wes. All he does is attack other posters and then falls back on his go to phrase troll. Think of it as a complement, you made his, you intimidate me list. Just ignore the blithering idiot. Look at his efforts. All he does is attack other posters.

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#92 Hair bag
October 04 2013, 06:16AM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I'm not saying we should have gone out and spent $5M on Grabovski, but we should have tried to address the position with either someone who could play 4th line regularly and be serviceable in the top-6 on a short term basis, or a legit 3/4 line center and temporarily play Gordon on the second line.

Having Acton and Arcobello walk onto the team out of training camp because there is no competition at center is unacceptable. And if you think having too many NHL centers is a problem, have a look at last year

Do you honestly think that their are 4th line guys out there who can play in your top 6, if so name one? 4th line guys are 4th line guys for a reason - they fill a role - playing top 6 for any period of time is not in their job description. Otherwise they wouldn't be on the 4th line to begin with - think about it....

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#93 Walter Sobchak
October 04 2013, 09:37AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Pay no attention to this dipship (djc) Wes. All he does is attack other posters and then falls back on his go to phrase troll. Think of it as a complement, you made his, you intimidate me list. Just ignore the blithering idiot. Look at his efforts. All he does is attack other posters.

Thanks Quick.

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#94 Towersofdub
October 04 2013, 02:20PM
Trash it!
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Cheers
1
cheers

I don't want to stretch this comparison too far, but isn't Martin St. Louis an undrafted, smallish forward, who had a decent college career, toiled in the minors, and eventually made his way to the NHL? From '98 to '02, St. Louis wasn't much of a player. How many people were predicting him to be a first line player, who'll put up 1000 pts in his career, Stanley cup winner, Hart Trophy Winner, Art Ross winner, back in 1999? I don't know if Arcobello will ever become that, butat the end of the day, whatever he chooses do do with his life is up to him, not bloggers on Oilers nation, but if nothing else, there are a couple of non-draft worthy, throw away players in nhl history, and the present day he can look at and think..."that could be me"

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