Edmonton Oilers trade for Mike Brown

Jonathan Willis
March 04 2013 09:17AM

 

Photo: Michael Miller/Wikimedia

On Monday morning, the Edmonton Oilers' official Twitter feed announced that the club had acquired forward Mike Brown from Toronto in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2014.

Brown has played in 12 games with the Maple Leafs this year, picking up a single assist, but his ice-time and importance to the team had diminished sharply with the ascension of fellow tough guys Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren. After averaging more than 9:00 per game in 2011-12, he was down to 4:39 this season, and often spent time in the pressbox. So why are the Oilers interested in a player the Maple Leafs have identified as a spare part?

Pugilism

Brown is likely best known for his physical play - both fighting and hitting. He's had 15 fights since the start of 2011-12 season and hits everything that moves. His size isn't ideal to the role - Brown is listed at 5'11", 212 pounds - but he's very willing and judging by his fight card has had some success against bigger players in the past.

But can he do more than fight?

Can He Play?

The answer to this question is a qualified yes.

The big caveat is that Brown will not score; he's averaged roughly one point for every 10 games over his major-league career, and his career high in NHL points is eight. His career high in the AHL is 15 points, a total he achieved over 78 contests as a rookie professional.

On the other hand, Brown isn't a total liability as a defensive forward. His diminished role this year means he hasn't seen much time on the penalty kill, but NHL coaches in his recent past have used him there - he saw some time in 2011-12, and averaged a career-high 1:35 while shorthanded in 2010-11. It's probably worth noting that the penalty kills he has spent a lot of time on have typically been pretty bad; in significant minutes in 2009-10 with Anaheim and 2010-11 in Toronto, neither club managed to crack the 80% mark in terms of success killing off power plays. 

Brown also saw some success in 2011-12 on a checking line, playing mostly with Dave Steckel - despite a fairly heavy ratio of defensive zone starts, the line came close to holding its own in terms of shots for and against with Brown on the ice. Unfortunately, that's as good as it gets for Brown - in previous years, his line has been lit up despite offensive zone shifts in Anaheim and in defensive zone work in Toronto.

Is it a good move?

There are positives. Brown is likely more capable of playing a regular shift on the fourth line than his predecessor, Darcy Hordichuk, and he will add an edge to whichever line he finds himself on. A fourth-round draft pick is a pretty small price to pay, particularly since it isn't until 2014.

With a logjam of wingers already in the system, this will force the Oilers to move another player off the roster. Maybe that player is Lennart Petrell - a bigger forward who is better defensively and roughly equivalent offensively, but who doesn't fight. Maybe that forward is Magnus Paajarvi or Teemu Hartikainen, in which case the Oilers are sacrificing ability in order to bring in a fighter. Certainly one hopes that head coach Ralph Krueger was on-board with the move, given that his unwillingness to play a part-time guy in Hordichuk ultimately resulted in the veteran getting consigned to the minors.

Ultimately, how Brown responds to the chance to play will determine whether this was a solid move for the Oilers or not. He will upgrade the team's toughness on its bottom lines, but in terms of out-playing the opposition this looks like at best a 'treading water' move. 

Update: Bob McKenzie reports that the draft pick is conditional - if the Oilers make the playoffs this season, it becomes a third-round pick in 2014.

Leafs Nation also has a post up on this trade.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 vetinari
March 04 2013, 10:19AM
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Maybe Tambellini is confusing him with DUSTIN Brown! Unless Mike Brown is being brought in to punch slacking Oiler players in the head during intermissions, WHATTHEHELLTAMBELLINI????

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Ambassador humantorch wrote:

I don't think you can take proximity to last nights' game into account since Tambicakes has probably been sitting on this deal for weeks, assessing Brown's poise.

I bet Tambellini was still eating cereal and watching morning cartoons when Lowe and MacT did this.

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#3 Yep
March 04 2013, 12:29PM
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The only people less qualified to GM an NHL team are OilersNation commenters.

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#4 DSF
March 04 2013, 09:40AM
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Puzzling.

Could have plucked Sestito off waivers for nothing but to then go and use a pick to acquire a player with lesser value is baffling.

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
March 04 2013, 11:09AM
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Bob Stauffer delivers as promised with this WOW move. Just took a little while to iron out the details i guess, huh?

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#6 Ducey
March 04 2013, 01:05PM
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Yep wrote:

The only people less qualified to GM an NHL team are OilersNation commenters.

And Jay Feaster

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#8 vetinari
March 04 2013, 11:17AM
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Our friends at capgeek tell us that Mike Brown has another year after this season on his contract at $736,667 per year...

The part about the 4th rounder turning into a 3rd rounder if we make the playoffs this year almost had me spewing coffee across my computer screen... how did that go down?

ST: "Nonis, we need an angry, S.O.B. for our fourth line-- preferably a winger-- is Mike Brown available? Would you take a contract back... maybe Hordichuk or Peckham?"

DN: "Steve, I could part with Brown for maybe a mid-rounder in 2014, but keep your deadwood."

ST: "How about a fifth round pick-- you know-- what he went for last time Anaheim traded him to you guys."

DN: "I was thinking a third rounder."

ST: "Why don't we split the difference at a 4th round pick. Tell you what-- I'll make it a third rounder when we make the playoffs this year."

DN: [dead silence]

ST: "Dave?"

DN: "Sorry. I was just checking the call display. It does say area code 780. What the hell. Dream big Steve. Done."

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#9 Ales Hallsky
March 04 2013, 10:37AM
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Also, is about time we had a good Moustache on the team

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#10 bwar
March 04 2013, 10:46AM
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My only issue with this trade is that if Krueger refused to give Hordichuk ice time why will he give Brown any?

Also who cares about any draft pick outside of our yearly #1 pick? Trade em all who cares.

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#11 TKB2677
March 04 2013, 10:51AM
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I just love it when someone loses their mind over trading a 4th rounder for a player that actually can fill a role and play in the NHL.

Anyone know the percentage of 4th round picks that actually play in the NHL? After every round the percentage drops lower and lower. Once you get past the 3rd round, it drops to something like less than 10%

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#12 James
March 04 2013, 12:50PM
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Coming from a leafs fan, enjoy brown for what he is and you will quickly find him among your favourite players. Sad to see him go.

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#13 TigerUnderGlass
March 04 2013, 01:36PM
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@Hair bag

You can't win with a team full of Gretzky's...

When did this nonsense start becoming accepted as fact? Of course you can win with a team full of Gretzkys. You just can't pay for them.

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#14 Mike Krushelnyski
March 04 2013, 03:37PM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

Not so sure man, Team full of Gretzky's might not be so great against a team full of Hartnells. It would look like friggin football out there with all the hits. Could you imagine a team full of Dustin Brown's.

There's only one way to settle this: Fire up Ice Hockey for NES and play a team of all skinny guys against a team of all fat guys.

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This deal is a sign of life from a management team that looks to be dead.

The day after this loser team (tell me they're not losers) craps out one of its worst performances, where they put up ZERO shots on net in an entire period, management steps up gets a guy who plays as hard as he can every shift.

He's not brought here to score or dominate the heavy weight class. He's here to help drive change. This team needs to pull up its socks in the effort and give-a-crap departments.

And if Brown can skate (and it sounds like he can), he's infinitely better than Sestito, Hordichuck, Stortini, etc.

Two reasons I like this deal:

1. It happens the day after the team completely ***** the bed. Management shows the team this type of play is not okay and that changes will be made.

2. Brown's play should rival Hallsy's for the level of effort a player puts into a game. This is a step in the right direction for this loser team.

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#16 BigOil
March 04 2013, 10:49AM
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I love how people say that this move was terrible and yet say this team needs to be better.

What do we trade to get something of real value from another team? Everyone says we can't trade the kids..... News flash, they are the only thing the Oilers have that anybody wants. Sorry armchair GMs, no one is going to give us Chara or Getzlaf for Belanger or Potter and the rights to Omark.

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#17 Old Retired Guy
March 04 2013, 10:56AM
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Hayek wrote:

What a terrible trade. We give up a 4th rounder for a useless goon who can't play. He has one of the worst corsi on Toronto, and gets outshot like crazy. What, do the Oilers need more players on the team that will have us outshot even more now?

But hey, let's please the retarded masses and give them a goon in the lineup once again. First we waste a 3rd rounder for Fistric, who can't play defence, but can hit. Now we waste a 4th on Mike Brown who can't play hockey, but can fight.

Disagree with eveything Hayek says hear.....unless this is actually Selma.....in which case she is right about everything...plain and simple....

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#18 Eddie Shore
March 04 2013, 10:57AM
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Hayek wrote:

I do, but you realize Mike Brown turning out to be a productive NHLer is non-existent right?

I'm okay with trading late picks, but how about for someone that could help the team. Trading away assets (even realitively less valuable assets) for no return is poor management. Mike Brown is no return (in my opinion)

Mike Brown fills a role. Whether or not you agree with the role is a different argument altogether. I think fans here will like the way he plays - he is what we thought Eager would be (minus the offence obviously). He hits, fights and will actually instigate and stir it up rather than react to what the other team does. He will inject some energy into our lineup.

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#19 Mr. Sense Common
March 04 2013, 11:01AM
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WOW. Tammy did something useful!

Excellent acquisition. Better than excellent. I have often said "Edm needs 3 Steve Ott's"....well here is 1. Think Tazmanian Devil, in look and speed...this guy is a machine. No need to micro-analyze his points/shots, etc...this guy should be told one thing: HIT.

Excellent move and only took 6yrs. Sheesh...the first thing Bergevin did in Mtl was lock up Prust and Armstrong and the skilled midgets in Mtl are flyin......

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#20 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 11:27AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Henrik Zetterberg was drafted 210th overall in the seventh round

Daniel Alfredsson was chosen 133rd overall

Datsyuk 171st pick in 1998

Lidstrom 53rd pick

Pavel Bure 113th pick.

Milan Lucic 50 overall

Yah who cares about any of those guys

How many other guys were picked late and never made it to the NHL? The odds are strongly in favor of failure man. You should never go to Vegas. You will lose everything.

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#21 Hair bag
March 04 2013, 12:04PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

This is hilarious, defending the most incompetent hockey player on the Oilers roster. Eric Belenger. His only claim to fame is an average face off percentage........so what!

If Brown can do anything more than Belenger, he is automatically an upgrade. It's because we think guys like Belenger, Horcoff, and Petrell are so good that we are where we are.

A total upgrade on the bottom six is required, not trading for someone else's castoffs. If Tamby and Lowe think that somehow adding a marginal player is going to improve our fortunes.......they are sadly mistaken.

I do not see the value of this deal from any angle.

Rama Lama you don't see the value in anything. It is obvious with every post you put on this website that you know nothing about the dynamics of hockey, the dressing room, role players - I would say hockey in general other than being able to turn on your tv to the channel that has the game on. Then you bitch and complain on here like you're some kind of expert. I used to be annoyed when I read your dribble now I just have to laugh at you...if I didn't know any better I would swear you and DAF or DSF whatever his handle is were paid to be on here to stoke the flames of controversy with you asinine comments.

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#22 Lochenzo
March 04 2013, 12:51PM
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Mike Brown is already doing his job. Instead of wallowing in blue and orange pity, we are talking about fighting and hitting. Now if that effect could also happen on the ice just a handful of times the rest of the season...

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#23 Mikey
March 04 2013, 04:53PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Henrik Zetterberg was drafted 210th overall in the seventh round

Daniel Alfredsson was chosen 133rd overall

Datsyuk 171st pick in 1998

Lidstrom 53rd pick

Pavel Bure 113th pick.

Milan Lucic 50 overall

Yah who cares about any of those guys

Yea name some more? Or did you run out? Want to see my list of guys in that range who never even got a sniff of coffee?

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#24 dougtheslug
March 04 2013, 07:08PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I think that we traded our third round pick.......Fistric?? I would not worry about our picks beyond the second.........we have no track record to speak of guys drafted in the third rounds and later...........at least not like Detroit.

With great respect, in the last 10 drafts, the Redwings have selected exactly one player in the third round or later that has played significant time in the NHL. He is Darren Helm, drafted 5th in 2005, 249 games, 32 goals, 83 total points. They have a handful that had a cup of coffee (Gustav Nyquist, 3rd round, 2008, 20 NHL games, Jan Musak 6th round 2006, 46 games, 4 points, Mattias Ritola 4th round 2005, 43 games, 9 points.) Other than that, zippo. Nada. Nothing.

Over the same period of time, Oilers drafted,in the third round or later, Teemu Hartikeinen, Chris Vandevelde, Linus Omark, Philippe Cornet, as well as Jean Francois Jacques, Kyle Brodziak and Zach Stortini. Not a list of world beaters, by any means, and the Oilers certainly had an easier roster to crack over that period.

Detoit forged their draft reputation over a decade ago, with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and to a lesser extent, Filppula and Ericsson. Since then they have been dining out on that reputation, which is no longer deserved.

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#25 GXL
March 04 2013, 09:21AM
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Fist! Way to go Tabellini!!! Lots of fight in life "minor-leafer"... Man this team sucks in the procurement department.

GXL

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#26 Rama Lama
March 04 2013, 09:27AM
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Yea a saviour is born! The season is finally saved........way to go Tamby, what a courageous, creative, and well-thought out deal!

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#27 Jaw17
March 04 2013, 09:32AM
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Wow now we're taking the leafs cast offs, that'a a sure sign of a successful franchise! Good greif!

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#28 CaptainLander
March 04 2013, 09:32AM
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Can't recall seeing him play, how does he differ from Hordichuck?

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#29 Reg Dunlop
March 04 2013, 09:38AM
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This is just a practice trade, Tambo getting a feel for dealing. We need some top 6 forwards with nuts, another press box plug does nothing.

A fourth round pick is nothing to give up and you get nothing for nothing.

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#30 Along For The Ride
March 04 2013, 09:45AM
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Steve, please pick a direction on the 'tough guy' thing. In effect, we gave up Hordichuk and a 4th for Mike Brown??? Ugh.

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#31 vetinari
March 04 2013, 09:45AM
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This is a great move! Without moves like this, Tambellini may accidently improve the team and allow us to move up the standings and receive a lesser quality draft pick in 2013! This way, we keep our string of (near) last place finishes alive!

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#32 Zamboni Driver
March 04 2013, 10:01AM
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Wow.

I would think they pay pro scouts to be 'creative', eh?

And they come up with a guy named

Mike Brown.

Who is also less than 6 feet tall.

Problem solved.

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#33 2004Z06
March 04 2013, 10:02AM
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I have no issues with this move. We need these types of players. I just hope this is a pre cursor to something bigger involving the top 6.

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#34 Shaun
March 04 2013, 10:03AM
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Bad trade. He will just fill the press box

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Who goes through waivers is a good question. Maybe it's Potter........

Dare to dream.........

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#38 Hayek
March 04 2013, 10:29AM
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What a terrible trade. We give up a 4th rounder for a useless goon who can't play. He has one of the worst corsi on Toronto, and gets outshot like crazy. What, do the Oilers need more players on the team that will have us outshot even more now?

But hey, let's please the retarded masses and give them a goon in the lineup once again. First we waste a 3rd rounder for Fistric, who can't play defence, but can hit. Now we waste a 4th on Mike Brown who can't play hockey, but can fight.

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Hayek wrote:

What a terrible trade. We give up a 4th rounder for a useless goon who can't play. He has one of the worst corsi on Toronto, and gets outshot like crazy. What, do the Oilers need more players on the team that will have us outshot even more now?

But hey, let's please the retarded masses and give them a goon in the lineup once again. First we waste a 3rd rounder for Fistric, who can't play defence, but can hit. Now we waste a 4th on Mike Brown who can't play hockey, but can fight.

Are you whiskey drunk at 10 am?

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#40 Spydyr
March 04 2013, 10:35AM
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Bob McKenzie reports that the draft pick is conditional - if the Oilers make the playoffs this season, it becomes a third-round pick in 2014.

Now that is some funny stuff. LOL on that one.

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#41 TKB2677
March 04 2013, 10:38AM
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Facts are the Oilers top to bottom are a wussy team. Addressing the problems in the top 6 is a major issue but one that is extremely hard to do. Every single team wants a Lucic. Very few exist and if you have them you sure as hell aren't going to give them away.

To address the Oilers 6 top problem, the average Oiler fan is unable to handle what it would take. Teams don't give these guy up. To get a player with size, grit that can play on your second line, it is going to take what many would call an "overpayment". I'm taking like say a Hemsky, MPS (at the very least) for player X. Might even take a draft pick as well. OR the Oilers have to take a chance on a player that is on another teams 3rd line. Stauffer keeps mentioning Bryan Bickell from the Hawks. But to get him would take what many would call and "overpayment".

For now, until the Oilers can somehow address the top 6 problems. If you are going to have a top 6 of smaller, less physical guys, you better have a bottom 6 full of miserable, SOB's to play against.

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#42 Eddie Shore
March 04 2013, 10:46AM
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Hayek wrote:

Fair enough, and I realize shot metrics are not everything.

But last year for Toronto, Corsi Rel QoC which adjusts for relative corsi and quality of competition he was ranked 15th out of 19 Toronto forwards. Just looking at corsi relative, he was 15th out of 19 Toronto forwards.

This guy cannot play hockey.

And we gave up a 4th round pick for him...

You do realize that the odds of a 4th rounder turning out to be anything are slim to none right?

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#43 Shane
March 04 2013, 10:48AM
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.

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#44 ScottieA
March 04 2013, 10:51AM
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Trade just got worse. It's a conditional 4th rounder. It becomes a 3rd rounder if the Oilers make the playoffs. Now that is definitely an overpayment.

Well the chances of them making the playoffs are fading fast...

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#45 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 10:57AM
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Hayek wrote:

Funny that was the argument that most blogs (not sure if you did) when Hordichuk came to the team. They said he could take a pass, unlike McIntyre, and would actually be an improvement at even strength. Now I hear the same thing with Mike Brown, and am more than skeptical.

In all fairness Hordi was an upgrade over Big Mac. Just not much of one.

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#46 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 11:10AM
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Bonvie wrote:

In what world was Hordichuk an upgrade in an enforcer position over McIntyre. At the end of the day there is no difference in terms of wether the Oilers are getting outscored during either of their 2 minutes of ice time. The difference being who would want to fight Steve McIntyre, he is feared.

Not really feared because guys could just skate away from him and he couldn't keep up if he wanted to. being feared is when you know the guy is going to run you down like a dog if you don't stand toe to toe with him. Mac would just shrug his shoulders and go back to the bench.

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#47 Eddie Shore
March 04 2013, 11:11AM
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Hayek wrote:

Why is it that we have trouble filling our bottom 6 with useful hockey players? The top 6 should be the tough part. These are talented guys, and salary always is a factor.

The bottom 6 should be such an easy part to fill. The thing is, Oilers don't even use guys in their own organization. Omark led the Swiss League in scoring this year. Arcobello is putting up a ton of points in OKC. Look at the good teams in the league, and look at their scoring in their bottom 6 (...it exists!!!)

If you say something enough times, the people will believe it. So this concept of grit gets said over and over by sheep in the media, and now it's thought that grit wins games.

Scoring wins games. Creating turnovers wins games. Maintaining possession wins games. Being positionally aware wins games. Drawing penalties wins games.

Grit does not win games.

How do you create turnovers? How do you get the puck back when you lose possession? How do you win one on one battles? You're right, grit isn't important at all.

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#48 Todd
March 04 2013, 11:14AM
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we suck

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#49 Oil Change?
March 04 2013, 11:18AM
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It sounds like Brown actually competes and takes NHL hockey as an occupation. Right from that I think we have to be happy. We constantly get out worked. I have no clue as to where this lack of compete comes from but it has been around for years now.

It is very obvious when Taylor Hall is not in the lineup. Having our best player be our hardest worker makes me appreciate him even more. I am just concerned as to how long it takes for him to question why he cares so much when others clearly do not.

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#50 Will
March 04 2013, 11:20AM
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Well the team isn't playing fantastic or anything so it's hard to root for our GM. However, can anyone here name a better trade that any other GM has made recently? Other than Lubo for a third round pick at the start of the year, all the trades around the league have not been of the blockbuster variety. I mean the Cole trade is the largest one. Hell Feaster nearly just gave away his draft picks for absolutely nothing.

I don't think anyone understands how difficult it is to make a trade in the NHL, especially one that benefit both teams, and especially one at this point in the season. I think there have been extensive articles about how mid season trades are never big moves.

I seem to remember everyone a few months ago loving the Fistric trade. And getting this guy for a fourth round pick? That is nothing. It really is nothing. Sure he may turn out to be crap, but so what, we literally didn't lose anything for him. You think our scouts are yelling at Management right now being like, "No, there was a sleeper we were going to pick up in the fourth round!" Nope. A week ago everyone on these blogs was crying that we need an enforcer, or functional toughness. Well, unless we're willing to give up something pretty grand dios, there's no way to get those guys from other teams.

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