The Road Gets a Little Bumpier

Jason Strudwick
September 23 2013 09:33AM

Saturday night, in a preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks there was a stupid stick swinging incident involving the Canucks Zack Kassian. The result has really put a dent in the Oilers ability to have a strong start to this season.

Sam Gagner was hit by Kassian's stick in the mouth and by all reports he will miss a yet to be determined number of regular season games thanks to a broken jaw. The timing of this is very frustrating for any player.

All players work very hard in the summer to be fine tuned to get off to a good start. Hours in the gym and on the ice make sure they are ready to go. There is never a good time to be injured but I always felt that getting hurt in preseason was brutal.

The rest of the NHL continues right along and a player injured in exhibition is left behind. It is inevitable that Gagner will lose the fine edge he was worked on all summer. His level of conditioning will be challenged in two ways:

One, I would not expect a lot of training for him while the injury is acute. Two, his calorie and diet intake will be altered. After losing teeth and breaking your jaw would you feel like consuming the necessary calories to maintain your weight and energy levels?

I once took a puck to the mouth the morning after our team's rookie party (great times by the way). The dentist described the state of my mouth like this... "it looks like a grenade went off on your lips." Not what I wanted to hear, especially after a late night. A bunch of teeth were loose and I had to wear a brace across my top row of teeth. I lived on soup and protein shakes for a few weeks. Until I could eat whole foods again I was losing weight faster then Gregor was losing his hair at the age of eighteen.

This isn't good news for Gagner. In time he will get to the level he wants to be but it will not be right away. I know how competitive he is and the high expectations he puts on himself. The longer his down time, the longer it will take for him to get back to playing at his self imposed high level.

For the Oilers, the Gagner injury will leave them without their top two centers to start the season. Due to the Olympic break the Oilers have a full month of games in October. Wins will be harder to come by without both Gagner and Nuge. Take the top two centers off any team and that team will struggle.

As for Zach Kassian this was a very stupid play. I honestly don't understand how his stick could end up hitting Gagner in the face. I feel that a player is always responsible for his stick. Always. I do not think it was by accident that it flew up and hit Gagner in the face. It was on or near the ice and then flies up? Makes no sense to me.

The Consequences

Kassian will probably be suspended. If I am the Oilers why do I care about that? It doesn't bring back Gagner any sooner. One, two, 5, 10 games...doesn't make a difference. Even for the Canucks, at this stage in Kassian's development their team will move on without him.

I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with.

I know Edmonton got a lot of power plays against the Canucks Saturday. The plan is to score on those PP attempts frequently enough that the opponent will have to tone down the physical play. I get that, but at some point doesn't the team need to have the ability to stand up for itself?

When is enough enough? And when they get to that point who will be the guy to do it? I really like Brown as a player, he played very well saturday, but it is unfair to ask one undersized guy to fight the whole team's battles. I am not saying go out and bring in a Steve MacIntyre type player, just bring in someone who can play and step up when needed.

Last summer the Canadians signed Brandon Prust to a nice contract. He plays hard and fought most of the team's battles when needed. He did a good job but it is a lonely job if you are the only one doing it and you are undersized. Marc Bergevin saw the need to get him some help. This off season he brought in George Parros to take the pressure off Prust. I guarantee all the Habs are walking taller this season.

I don't care if Kassian gets suspended for one or ten games. I do care how the Oilers respond when they play him again. It is important for the team to not brush this over like nothing happened or it was an accident. The Oiler team can make a statement to not only the Canucks but all the teams in the league with some kind of a response.

Will someone stand up and say enough is enough?

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#51 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:22AM
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DSF wrote:

Attempting to measure intimidation empirically is tilting at wind mills.

People claim it has real world results. It stops people from being run, hit, injured, etc.

Except it doesn't.

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#52 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 11:12AM
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OilFan J wrote:

Signing SMac was a decision made in haste. How is Mac gonna intimidate and enforce from the bench. We've all seen him play and as I recall, he can't play at this level. Next question: Who's roster spot does he take ?

He takes the fourth line centers roster spot. Then you double shift Hall as the fourth line center between Brown and Eager who hit everything in sight.

Smac comes out to play when needed. When someone has to bleed.

Easy huh?

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#53 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
September 23 2013, 11:22AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

what are you talking about?

what's the hypocrisy?

Or, do you not recognize a difference between, say Lucic and SMac?

WHAT?? MACT COULD HAVE CLAIMED LUCIC BUT PICKED UP SMAC INSTEAD?? WHAT AN IDIOT!

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#54 JJ
September 23 2013, 11:34AM
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DSF wrote:

When did I advocate for SMac?

The guy can't play hockey. At all.

Another dumb move by MacT in my opinion.

Setting that up as your straw man is not all that helpful.

Other more enlightened GM's have, instead placed an emphasis on team toughness and have been acquiring big, tough players who can play.

Despite what happened last night, the Leafs acquisition of David Clarkson is an excellent example of that.

MacT also apparently recognized Clarkson's value when trying to sign him in the offseason, but he failed and didn't produce an alternative while many existed in a the marketplace.

For example, Brendan Morrow signed with the Blues today for $1.5M.

Who do you think would add more value to the Oilers lineup this season...Morrow or Grebs, Larsen, Belov or Potter?

Your first DSF fallacy is assuming Morrow would sign with the Oil. Pretty sure he wanted to play for a 'cup contender' (Hence the Blues).

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#55 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 12:09PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

So, what is the fantasy here...

SMac is put on the ice against the Sedins.

If.. and this is a big if, he manages to catch up to one of them without the Oil getting scored on, he smashes one.

A Sedin is out for x amount of time.

SMac is suspended for x amount of time.

The Oilers don't improve having the Nucks lose a player. Probably lose the game. And now they are without their hulking beast.

You gain nothing other than violence and are back to square one.

Enough already....we get that you don't get it!

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#56 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:42PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

In that very game Brown fought Weise.

Didn't help Hall, who could have been seriously effed +/- a couple of inches.

And... after that Kassian still acted look a twerb.

Add five more twerbs to the Oil. Kassian doesn't change his routine.

You agree with that. You are fighting with yourself.

Keep trying.

Thing is, Weiss laid a beating on Brown and no one stepped up to challenge Kassian because they would have received a beating too.

Adding a player or two who doesn't hide under a table the during the fight in the bar would make a significant difference whether or not you believe it.

Had someone made Kassian pay for his sins I would wager he would have "changed his routine".

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#57 Reg Dunlop
September 23 2013, 09:30AM
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Will wrote:

Struds I'm pretty sure MacT tried to bring in David Clarkson, Clutterbuck, and other functional tough guys last year. But unless they can play with our skill, what;s the point.

I really think you're glossing over the fact that all their running around lead to a bunch of powerplays. It was also pre season so win or lose it doesn't matter. The best enforcer will always be a deadly power play.

What's the point? What's the point in having a bunch of small, skilled guys if they are constantly injured or intimidated to the point that their skill is only on display when PP opportunities arise(which will be seldom when refs put away the whistles later this season). Does anyone remember how much tougher Peckham and Stortini were when Glencross was here? Time to get someone to ride shotgun for Brown.

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#58 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:34AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Let's not get carried away here.

I've said all along that C depth is brutal.

But having a blindspot doesn't make someone dumb. It makes someone who, despite their smarts, acted dumb.

Thing is... time exists. MacT has a chance to address this issue, correct past mistakes and adapt... like all of us.

And, your point about D is ridiculous. Total nonsense. The two aren't related even. There is no zero sum game here. Adding competition to the D depth chart doesn't keep you from doing anything with the C position. That is total BS.

The D depth is MacT's shining achievement this offseason. Pretend it isn't all you want.

This is all patent nonsense.

The salary cap and the 50 man roster limit create a zero sum game.

The D depth is just swell but not as impressive when you consider the Oilers need TWO top pairing D not a battalion of tweeners.

That a NHL GM is willing to go into a new season with only 3 actual NHL centres while one of them is recovering from major surgery and then loses another one during pre-season is about as convincing an indictment as you'll ever get.

JIm Nill, in Dallas, recognized immediately that his team had poor centre depth and acquired 3 of them in ONE DAY.

That didn't prevent him from also acquiring an actual NHL top pairing defenseman in the same off season.

Call MacT's performance a blind spot if you like...I'll call it dumb.

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#59 2004Z06
September 23 2013, 11:00AM
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Only way to prevent the cheap shots is to get rid of the instigator rule. A guy like Smac is useless unless he can hop over the boards and go pound on someone in retaliation. Essentially neutered.

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#60 Truth
September 23 2013, 11:03AM
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Gene Principe ‏@GenePrincipe 4m "I always said that having even a cutout of Dave Brown on the bench was worth a hundred thousand dollars a year."Craig MacTavish

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#61 Bloodsweatandoil
September 23 2013, 11:40AM
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Awesome post Dan!!

Mac T had to do something,and that is the great thing about him. He has not been the manager for very long and he has moved the right peices in and out very quickly with what was available,combined with if the aquisistion wants to play here. I do not think he has missed the boat on anything yet as his juggling is not done. This is one of those knee-jerk reactions that I respect and agree with. This Oiler team is now playing for serious along with a proper manager and a coach moulding it. The makeup and the character of this team has just changed for the better again,and their respect level from other clubs has also just elevated that much more.

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#62 Michael
September 23 2013, 11:50AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I betcha that Oilers' lockerroom feels better after the pickup of MacIntyre. That alone makes this a good move.

Ask Wayne Gretzky why he wanted Marty MCSorley with him in LA.

Hall and Ebs will giving Smack their All Star cars.

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#63 David S
September 23 2013, 12:05PM
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I'm just as p!ssed as everybody (who's sane) about MacT adding a useless facepuncher to the roster.

But you have to remember we have essentially ZERO cap space so SMac was the only realistic "grit" option as he only costs $625K. All you guys lobbying for an actual NHL'er who is tough as nails and can play need to think about how much that guy will cost - if he even wanted to come here or some team would be dumb enough to give up a guy like that.

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#64 Gkpoil
September 23 2013, 12:46PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

So, what is the fantasy here...

SMac is put on the ice against the Sedins.

If.. and this is a big if, he manages to catch up to one of them without the Oil getting scored on, he smashes one.

A Sedin is out for x amount of time.

SMac is suspended for x amount of time.

The Oilers don't improve having the Nucks lose a player. Probably lose the game. And now they are without their hulking beast.

You gain nothing other than violence and are back to square one.

Maybe hockey is too violent for you, prehaps tennis is more your type of game.

Face it Smack isn't the final answer for the oil but at least he offers a response, hopefully Eakins will let him goon it up when needed (but I don't expect you to understand why targeting another teams' stars can be a useful deterent)

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#65 Reach Advantage
September 23 2013, 07:03PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Hey at least it may be a stop gap until a Colton Orr type of player comes available.

As for Kassian's comment. He is right, Macyntire's skating ability should be the furthest thing from his mind. Keeping that last tooth in his head however will be.

The only way this works is if Mac goes over the boards, grabs Kassian and pounds the crap out of him regardless of whether Kassian wants to go or not.

Take the instigator penalty, take the suspension. The rest of the league then knows that while it may not happen again, it CAN happen again. You only have to push the button once before people realize that you will if need be.

There is your nuclear deterrent.

Agree

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#66 Todd
September 23 2013, 07:25PM
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Reach Advantage wrote:

You gain this very valuable thing:

Kassian doesn't do what he did again.

Also, other teams see what happened and they don't do what Kassian did.

Very valuable.

I agree with you. If someone does something crazy it forever alters the game. The fact that John Scott was willing to jump a 5'9" elite scorer proves his head isn't on straight. He is crazy, unpredictable and might just snap.

This is how enforcers did it in the 80s. If any goal scorer in the league was mouthy enough, cheap enough and asked for it, he might be killed by the toughest guy in the league.

Now guys like Smac just fight pre-arranged honor fights against the other guys goon. This is pointless. I hope hope Smac is told to pull a John Scott. If every single guy on the other team knows that if he steps out of line or flaps his mouth off too much ala Kessle he might get killed (literally, dead), that would change things more than some staged nuclear deterrant fight.

Also semi related, I can't stop laughing at some of the people in these comments who think they know more about hockey than Struds. I played major junior, and I still play beer league like the rest of us know it alls. It just kills me when people think they know more than a guy who played 14 years in the show. Unreal.... Some peoples kids.

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#67 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 09:41AM
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I can't remember if it was Pierre Page or Brian Sutter, but years ago, during the flames YoungGun years, they had just lost a game against Detroit. Post game one of the reporters asked why he wasnt playing Rocky Thompson more. The response? Because every time I do Bowman just shift changes and throws out Yzerman and Fedorov.

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#68 bdiddy18
September 23 2013, 09:51AM
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At the time of the injury - and in the replay it looked like a inadvertant stick to the face which would mean some lost teeth.

thats how both team reacted to the play. If a more serious injury was known I'm sure even Ryan Smyth would have engaged Kassian to answer the bell.

Problem with a getting a guy who has cement hands for goal scoring but very useful for pounding a guy's head for retribution is that he probably also has cement legs and is a major liability out there (Steve MacIntyre) which means each time he is dressed you are literally playing one man short for the game.

And who cares about the meathead that hurts one of our players... I'd rather man up fight your own battles and don't take it out on that guy - send a message run their goalie!hit their top 6! in this game - hit a sedin.. you don't need a heavyweight to hit a sedin.

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#69 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:06AM
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Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 1m Oil claim Mcintyre

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#70 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 23 2013, 10:35AM
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The Oilers are easy to play against.

That's the problem.

Goons, fighters, enforcers, whatever you call them, has been proven to be a waste of a roster spot....

However, there is no team that has any reservations about "checking" their game when they play us.

How that changes, IMO, is the whole team gets tougher.

Goalie gets snowed, 5 guys start face-washing.

Guy runs Eberle, he gets slashed in the calf the way back up the ice.

Every chance we get, our skills guys need to be chirping, hacking, and getting greasy.

No body wins in hockey being "nice". Chicago had guys like Bolland, Shaw and Carcillo for a reason.

We know this team has a good PP.

Time to work on the PK so we can afford a couple of penalties....

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#71 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:58AM
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Truth wrote:

How is it possible to quantify the amount of games Hall and Eberle would have missed if SMACK wasn't on the team?

Eberle surely wouldn't have rolled his ankle. Or maybe he would have done it twice!

The fact is Weise would have had to fight SMACK, not Mike Brown on Saturday. I think that would have ended differently. Hopefully differently enough that Kassian wouldn't be "losing his balance" and swinging his stick in the teeth region of Gagner. I will guarantee SMACK is on the ice for the first shift Kassian is next time, and that makes me happy. I can't imagine how Gagner, Eberle, Hall, Yak, RNH, Schultz, Nurse, Perron, etc. etc. feel about it, but I bet they like the idea.

Edit: sorry replied to wrong individual. Meant to be Romulus' Apotheosis re: missed games with or without SMACK in the lineup

Go through every team Smac has played on... every time key players have still gotten injured.

He's just not good at hockey. That will hurt the team more than the opposition.

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#72 Truth
September 23 2013, 10:59AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Dithers actually did the exact same thing.

C depth collapses and he put a claim in on Volpatti and traded for Brown while Hall and Jussi J passed on waivers.

MacT is reading the wrong playbook today.

I think this would be a knock on MacT if Hall and Jussi J were on waivers today. They weren't, MacIntyre was. I have no doubts that MacT is searching for a stop gap C.

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#73 Lochenzo
September 23 2013, 11:05AM
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Well, speak of the devil...Smackintyre!! There was an overall attitude by Vancouver on Saturday that wanted run the Oilers out of the building. This after embarrassing Vancouver at home the game before.

The rules combined with MacIntyre being too good at his job as an enforcer made it hard to get into fights as many opponents turned him down. I think Steve needs to decide for himself that sometimes taking the instigator penalty is ok. If Weise said no to a fight after his head shot on Hall, I'd drop the gloves anyway.

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#74 He Who Knows
September 23 2013, 11:12AM
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I like MacT, he has a better grasp on things than the guy before him but for heaven sakes man, you need to address the toughness issue. The Oilers have been an easy team to play against since Laraque was not given a NTC. Then K-Lowe traded away Gator and that was it in terms of other teams having any sort of fear against the Oil. This team needs to ride and die together, show the opposition a nasty side. Gator, Chopper, Staios, Laraque, and the rest of the guys during those times were a close bunch and they kept other teams honest and even struck fear into them.

"I hate the Edmonton Oilers because they are a competitive team that find a way to get into the playoffs" -Adrian Aucoin

Yeah that was in the early 2000's. Those Oiler teams were a close family and went to war every night. They had Dougie Weight as the only star player and he was protected plus he had balls. Even after Weight left, the Oil were a handful. K-Lowe, Katz, that dithering bast*** and company miscalculated. Hopefully Ference can be like a Jason Smith and teach that locker room on how to play like a team and defend each other. Enough is Enough.

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#75 Bob Cob
September 23 2013, 11:26AM
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I like the Mac signing, the only way it works though is if he is willing to play like Boogaurd did, run other teams players and not just look to fight the teams tough guys. Enforcers are only good if they are willing to take liberties at opportune times, this should open up room for Brown and Eager to run amuck and and stand a little taller.

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#76 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:32AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

WHAT?? MACT COULD HAVE CLAIMED LUCIC BUT PICKED UP SMAC INSTEAD?? WHAT AN IDIOT!

This makes less sense than your last comment.

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#77 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:38AM
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JJ wrote:

Your first DSF fallacy is assuming Morrow would sign with the Oil. Pretty sure he wanted to play for a 'cup contender' (Hence the Blues).

Yes.

If we assume no one wants to sign with the Oilers...MacT is a genius.

Jeebus....there is more than 1 player in the league who is tough to play against.

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#78 DieHard
September 23 2013, 12:07PM
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Just because MacT gets Smac from the wire doesn't mean he stays with the team. If another, better option becomes available, he'll try to grab him and waive Smac. MacT is just getting in the game that he needs to be in. We need an enforcer that can play (somewhat) and preferably a center.

No one will fight Smac except another superheavywight, so really what's the point. He's not fast enough to catch someone like a Sedin and that is the type that should be targeted. If the Oil manage to put a Sedin on the shelf for the season as payback, then maybe the league with do what it should do with these goons. 40 games for that ignorant stick swing and big fines to the Canucks.

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#79 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:15PM
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DSF wrote:

Why does an NHL player with 674 games to his credit have to "back up his claims" to you?

Thinking that physical intimidation has zero impact on results is not only counter intuitive but will be quickly refuted by anyone who has played competitive hockey, football or basketball.

That you can't measure it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

"Not all that can be measured, counts.

Not all that counts, can be measured."

- Albert Einstein

Arguments from authority have limited value at best and are mostly fallacious.

No one should be concerned to have to back up their empirical claims. It is not an onerous request.

I don't recall saying anything resembling: "physical intimidation has zero impact on results."

I've said that "All one need do is watch hockey to understand that the crippling injuries suffered by freak accident or horrible goonery have nothing to do with whether the offending team/player concerns themselves/himself with the tough guys opposite."

Freak accidents and horrible goonery are remarkably ignorant of deterrents.

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#80 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:24PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

"Freak accidents and horrible goonery are remarkably ignorant of deterrents."

On that we can agree.

But the failure to respond to physical play has consequences that you cannot and will not ever be able to measure.

And yet you are still trying to use your high school logic classes to refute the knowledge of those with far more insight into the issue at hand.

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#81 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:35PM
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DSF wrote:

"Freak accidents and horrible goonery are remarkably ignorant of deterrents."

On that we can agree.

But the failure to respond to physical play has consequences that you cannot and will not ever be able to measure.

And yet you are still trying to use your high school logic classes to refute the knowledge of those with far more insight into the issue at hand.

In that very game Brown fought Weise.

Didn't help Hall, who could have been seriously effed +/- a couple of inches.

And... after that Kassian still acted look a twerb.

Add five more twerbs to the Oil. Kassian doesn't change his routine.

You agree with that. You are fighting with yourself.

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#82 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:52PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I've told you why.....but you won't shut up!

Twenty people have told you why....but you keep nattering on in circles....it's unbecoming.

So, the argument you agree with is "becoming" but hearing an alternative is "unbecoming"?

I guess those of us who don't agree should leave you to it? Is that more interesting?

Seems like a pretty bland way to run a comments section.

If you are just tired of the circles, I agree with you it is tedious. But the alternative is to stop reading. After all, we are all still on topic.

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#83 Eastern Oil
September 23 2013, 12:58PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Give it a rest. Explain why you disagree with Rom's position instead of resorting to playground antics.

All I hear in the lower levels of discourse is cliches and catch words. Whether you disagree with either of their positions or not, at least they are having a decent discussion about it.

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#84 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 03:43PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

You want a deterent. Gagner should get up and two hand crank Kassian in the throat. Yeah Gagner gets suspended. He'd be off injured anyway. But now he gets space. Now he gets left alone.

Or Eakins tells one of the tryouts to run the goalie in the next shift. "Chicken wing elbow as you cross the crease. "

Having a goon on the bench isn't a deterrent, having a couple players who will end your career is.

You must have read Theo Fluerry's book......cause that's what he said worked for him.

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#85 MessyEH!
September 23 2013, 04:02PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

You must have read Theo Fluerry's book......cause that's what he said worked for him.

I hated Fleury for his dirty play. But no one cheap shotted him twice.

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#86 Todd
September 23 2013, 07:29PM
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Reach Advantage wrote:

Agree

^^ this X10

Smac does something crazy, kills someone. Don't worry about instigator or suspension. Then the rest of the year you just say "do you want what Kassian got". That is a nuclear deterrent IMO. Not staged honorable "wanna go" Smac VS some other nuclear heavy fight.

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#87 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 10:15AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

MacT just got dumber in the last 48 hours.

SMac is the wrong way to go.

Memories of Tambo putting in a claim on Volpatti but watching Hall and Jussi J float down the river while our center depth was non-existent.

Same old, same old.

Yeah we get it.....you're smarter than Mac T....

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#88 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 10:16AM
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Say you have 30 million in gold (the Kids) 5 x 6=30 million by the time the all sign wouldn't you protect it?

Or would you rather have someone steal it from you?

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#89 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

MacT just got dumber in the last 48 hours.

SMac is the wrong way to go.

Memories of Tambo putting in a claim on Volpatti but watching Hall and Jussi J float down the river while our center depth was non-existent.

Same old, same old.

Maybe he was never as smart as you thought he was.

Not addressing the lack of centre depth over the summer and halfway through the pre-season while stockpiling 37 bottom pairing defensemen would seem to indicate that is true.

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#90 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
September 23 2013, 10:21AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

"I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with."

I honestly understand the sentiment here. It's a conventional wisdom that's worn more than a few tires down past all-weather conditions.

But, it is complete nonsense. All one need do is watch hockey to understand that the crippling injuries suffered by freak accident or horrible goonery have nothing to do with whether the offending team/player concerns themselves/himself with the tough guys opposite.

Smac prevented nothing when he was here.

As someone at LT's mentioned: Chara, Lucic and Thornton... not one of them prevented Savard's injury.

This never works.

By all means acquire an actual hockey player who can play with an edge. By all means.

But don't delude yourself into thinking this will prevent injury or goonery. This is simply wishful thinking.

The hypocrisy in this comment (and a few others) is ludicrous!

MacTavish said it a number of times - "functional tough guys" are hard to acquire. Perhaps that's why he threw $5M/year at Clarkson.

When your options are limited, you do what you can, not contend "conventional wisdom" with "conventional wisdom."

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#91 Zamboni Driver
September 23 2013, 10:21AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Absolutely right.

Oilers had two great heavyweights in the past. When they fought they were the best fighters.

PROBLEM

Georges didn't like it, and had no clue when to do it.

Macintyre is not a hockey player.

But alas, the "braintrust" with absolutely no fresh ideas goes back to Macintyre.

Oh boy.

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#92 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 23 2013, 10:23AM
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DSF wrote:

Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 1m Oil claim Mcintyre

@Bob_Stauffer Steve MacIntyre is down to 245 pounds and in great shape. But I don't see the #Oilers claiming him on waivers

Rare miss for Bob on that one.

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#93 book¡e
September 23 2013, 10:45AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Surely SURELY TO GOD "1m" does not mean they're paying

STEVE MACINTYRE

A million dollars????????

No, its just $625,000

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#94 OilFan J
September 23 2013, 11:09AM
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Signing SMac was a decision made in haste. How is Mac gonna intimidate and enforce from the bench. We've all seen him play and as I recall, he can't play at this level. Next question: Who's roster spot does he take ?

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#95 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:15AM
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DSF wrote:

No one is disputing that having D depth is a good thing but given the organizational depth at the position adding Ference, Belov, Grebs, Larsen and Hunt while totalling ignoring C is not defensible.

Only an apogolist would call that a "blind spot".

It's dumb.

Learn how to read.

I said it was dumb. That's how this conversation started.

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#96 BK
September 23 2013, 11:21AM
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I believe the league needs to consider "Designated Suspensions". Regardless of WHICH team is affected by the actions, that same team should also have the opportunity to benefit from the suspension.

The affected team should get to choose the game(s) which the player has to sit out/take a roster spot. It gives leverage to the affected team so they can at least feel some justice is served, without some kind of "retribution" needing to take place on the ice.

Of course there would be terms and rules in place, but if we could have Zack Kassian take a roster spot, and have to sit out the next game or two against US, isn't that more effective than him sitting out against say San Jose and Chicago?

I think so.

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#97 **
September 23 2013, 11:22AM
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" I am not saying go out and bring in a Steve MacIntyre type player..". Oh the irony.

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#98 **
September 23 2013, 11:31AM
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why is Dave Steckel not on an oilers jersey yet?

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#99 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 11:53AM
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I hope we get to revisit all these happy comments 3 months from now. I suspect a lot of you will remember MacIntyre sucks by then. He won't fight Kassian once this year.

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#100 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:53AM
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Dan Murphy ‏@sportsnetmurph 5m

Kassian on #oilers picking up MacIntyre as a deterrent, "Perfect. I don't think he can skate, that's the last thing on our mind."

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