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 TSN 1260.
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#51 #ThereGoesTheOilers
October 02 2013, 09:16PM
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@Cynic

Well he wouldn't be the first guy with Poli-Sci degree to end up working construction.

Then again, I haven't seen anything from Arco to not make me like him. Who's to say he doesn't make something of his time with the big club?

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#52 Walter Sobchak
October 02 2013, 09:42PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

It's because this article isn't about the Oilers' Centre depth. It's not about management. It isn't about the Calder.

It's about someone that is making it; he's living a dream. Haven't you seen Rudy? It had nothing to do with Rudy not making the NFL, and if all someone gets out of this article is "AHL player, time will show that.", then they didn't read it, they just skimmed it so they could DSF* the thread.

*I have a copyright pending

A false sense of reality!

Arcobello wouldn't make this team had injuries not occurred to RNH or Gagner, he's not made anything!

He was gifted the spot on a technicality, not skill, right place at the right time, and maybe just a shade better then Millar!

However, you go with Rudy! Rudy had enough talent to barley make a down in College NOT the NFL, which makes Rudy just a very good high school player!

Thanks for playing though.

Keep living the dream In those techno coloured blue & orange goggles

, maybe if you want it bad enough, Hartikianen, Petrel and Omark will magically BE better too.

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#53 Wax Man Riley
October 02 2013, 10:59PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I've seen Rudy before, but the reference stands. Nobody cares he didn't play in the bigs, or be a regular for ND, it doesn't make me cry any less at the end. His dream was to play for Notre Dame, and he did that.

Rudy! Rudy! Arco!

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#54 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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 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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#58 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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#59 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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#60 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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#61 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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#62 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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#63 Wax Man Riley
October 02 2013, 10:53PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

A false sense of reality!

Arcobello wouldn't make this team had injuries not occurred to RNH or Gagner, he's not made anything!

He was gifted the spot on a technicality, not skill, right place at the right time, and maybe just a shade better then Millar!

However, you go with Rudy! Rudy had enough talent to barley make a down in College NOT the NFL, which makes Rudy just a very good high school player!

Thanks for playing though.

Keep living the dream In those techno coloured blue & orange goggles

, maybe if you want it bad enough, Hartikianen, Petrel and Omark will magically BE better too.

You're still missing the point.

I don't think Arco is ever going to be an NHL regular..Ever.

I bet nobody thought he would be playing 2nd line centre in the NHL either though. You do have to be good to be lucky, but this also shows that you have to be lucky to be good.

I'm not championing for Arcobello in the least, I'm just saying that him being a regular in the NHL is not the point if the piece.

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#64 Wax Man Riley
October 02 2013, 10:53PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Some people can't handle the truth

Lol.... See above.

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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 Rocket
October 02 2013, 10:01PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I agree but at least The Oilers aren't relying on Liam Reddux or Alis Kotalik to fill the gaps.

All I want is for Arcobello to play decent and not embarrass himself or the organisation.

And having him help prospects in the AHL is OK by me.

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#69 JJ
October 02 2013, 10:36PM
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Sorry LT, but this is a joke of an article. Nice try, cherry-picking 4th best Corsi of all things in your argument. Hell, he better have that kind of Corsi and F/O percentage if he's being started in the offensive zone against weak competition all game. Especially with the line-mates he had.

Arco is a career AHLer. He had so many open nets, so many chances and couldn't do anything with it. Plain and simple, no need to be pussy-footing around with it.

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#70 nunyour
October 03 2013, 12:00AM
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Try Arcobello in net.

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#71 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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#72 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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#73 @Oilanderp
October 02 2013, 06:54PM
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I prefer to turn my head to the right.

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#74 Walter Sobchak
October 02 2013, 09:51PM
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Hair bag wrote:

Nobody is saying he is or isn't, only that he deserves his shot - no different than what Omark already has (65 NHL games). He's not going to replace Nuge or Gags but in the meantime lets see what he can do. You must have some kind of crystal ball because you already know what he will be - there have been plenty of players that weren't drafted but through hard work forged a career for themselves. If they listened to guys like you there would be no underdog stories...sit back and watch instead of pretending you're some kind of expert.

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.

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#75 Spydyr
October 02 2013, 10:09PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

A false sense of reality!

Arcobello wouldn't make this team had injuries not occurred to RNH or Gagner, he's not made anything!

He was gifted the spot on a technicality, not skill, right place at the right time, and maybe just a shade better then Millar!

However, you go with Rudy! Rudy had enough talent to barley make a down in College NOT the NFL, which makes Rudy just a very good high school player!

Thanks for playing though.

Keep living the dream In those techno coloured blue & orange goggles

, maybe if you want it bad enough, Hartikianen, Petrel and Omark will magically BE better too.

Some people can't handle the truth

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#76 Sidney Crosby
October 02 2013, 10:54PM
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hockeycrazed wrote:

My sentiment exactly! Arcobello has proved his worth in the minors, it's his chance to show every Dick and Harry he belongs in the bigs! What more can a prospect do in order to earn the coaches trust?!

Did someone say something about Harry Dick?

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#77 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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#78 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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#79 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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#80 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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#81 Cynic
October 02 2013, 10:26PM
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I think my comments were interpreted as a jab at Arcobello. They were aimed at Oiler fan. Completely off-planet, as usual.

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#82 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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#83 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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#84 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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#85 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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#86 Towersofdub
October 04 2013, 02:20PM
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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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#87 "Frank the dog"
October 02 2013, 09:30PM
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Wasn't it Nuge that recommended Arcobello to the Oilers Brass, or was that someone else he recommended? Didn't they play together somewhere at one time?

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#88 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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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#92 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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#93 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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#94 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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