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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#101 CaptainLander
September 23 2013, 12:23PM
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@Michael

McSorley was good for jumping in but also dirty enough for "eye for an eye". SMAC will never catch anyone but a similar player to himself. Pointless, unless players in the room just wan him there. The league is the only one that can really protect it's stars. A guy like Wiess will never care about hurting a star playing or whether he gets punch in the face a couple time for doing so. But for him it is a catch 22, if he doesn't headhunt he has no job. Until the league gets rid of this player al together how can you blame him for just doing his job. As for a solution? (maybe suspend the teams top point getter for the length of the suspension given to the goon)

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#102 james_dean
September 23 2013, 12:25PM
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Dear mac t

Proactive > reactionary

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#103 DieHard
September 23 2013, 12:25PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I often try to back up your point of view here as I think you generally provide a reasonable alternative perspective.

In this case you and several others continue to speak to Mac T's lack of addressing center depth as being "dumb".

Do you honestly believe that Mac T does not recognize the lack of depth especially after seeing what happened last year with injuries?

I don't care what Jim Nill did. It takes 2 to tango. I assume there were no trade partners and/or players did not want to come here. I.E Clarkson even after offered the big money.

I really do not think that a GM with Mac T's background would just "overlook" this item.

I suspect that plan B was to see what we had in the system after no other options were available with the intent of seeing what was available after teams finalized their rosters, or closer to the deadline.

You cannot turn over half of your roster in one summer anyways. No GM could.

Top flight physical, gritty centers and 1-2 D men do not grow on trees.

You should have added. Good Grief.

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#104 Don W
September 23 2013, 12:35PM
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SAT, 12 APR 2014 - Vancouver better hope the Oilers have something to play for. Otherwise, I would suggest MacT acquire as many thugs as he can and play all of them that night.

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#105 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 01:05PM
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DSF wrote:

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".

Not sure what you are talking about.

The fight seemed pretty even with Brown maybe having a slight edge until he lost his footing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvPKN7vF164

Weise suffered a small cut it appears on the forehead. Not sure how getting hit in the head and having your opponent slip works out to "laid a beating."

The play by Kassian was so far behind the play that no one was around to step up to Kassian who was surrounded by refs by the time they arrived.

The damage was done and would be again. You can't deter someone like Kassian. You've already conceded that, though you now hold a different opinion.

What good would someone fighting Kassian after the fact accomplish? Gagner's still injured. Kassian will still be an idiot.

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#106 pkam
September 23 2013, 01:17PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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.

Give it up. It is meaningless to debate with them. They choose to believe in something that facts prove otherwise.

I have tried with facts as argument and ask him to counter that with facts and unable to do, he responded with "why do you think the players all stand up and hit the board with their sticks when a fight broke out".

It is like trying to tell someone who enjoys smoking that research has proved smoking is bad to his health and he asks you then why so many people still smoke.

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#107 Gkpoil
September 23 2013, 01:34PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I think this gets to the heart of the matter for a lot of the side conversations here.

I love hockey. I love a good tilt. I love a good hit. I love the odd Messier elbow.

But I love hockey.

I don't love goon shows. I don't love players who can't do anything but hit meat.

I also don't think these kind of players help you win games. Which, is the object of hockey.

Yes the object is to score, but you can't if you are laying on the ice with a broken jaw. In a perfect world you don't need the Smacks of the league, but when you have teams that dress the Kassians of the league you need to protect your assets.

No, fighting Kassian would not do any good and no, Smack is not going to score you many goals (if any). But if he goons another teams star in retaliation the message will be sent, 'eye for an eye'.

And responding to an earlier post, if Smack knocks out Kesler or a sister for a month for Kassian's actions.... good. We lose Smack for a while but other team's goons will be aware that their actions against our stars will have serious reprecussions. Remember we play evey team twice now...

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#108 pkam
September 23 2013, 01:49PM
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Gkpoil wrote:

Yes the object is to score, but you can't if you are laying on the ice with a broken jaw. In a perfect world you don't need the Smacks of the league, but when you have teams that dress the Kassians of the league you need to protect your assets.

No, fighting Kassian would not do any good and no, Smack is not going to score you many goals (if any). But if he goons another teams star in retaliation the message will be sent, 'eye for an eye'.

And responding to an earlier post, if Smack knocks out Kesler or a sister for a month for Kassian's actions.... good. We lose Smack for a while but other team's goons will be aware that their actions against our stars will have serious reprecussions. Remember we play evey team twice now...

I agree running their star players is the best way to send a message.

But why do we need SMack to knock out Kesler or Sedins? We have Eager, Brown, Joensuu, Acton, Hamilton, Jones, Smyth, Pitlick, Lander, none of them can do it? Worse case, we can call Abney up from minors.

Kassian and Wiese are not going to fight SMack. In fact, nobody will. And he can't play and I think he might even have trouble just trying to hit Kesler or Sedins. Probably all he can do is sitting on the bench yelling.

There is a reason why the Pens put him on waiver and send him down to the minors. He only played 12 games in 11-12 and 1 game last year.

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#109 The-End
September 23 2013, 03:58PM
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When someone cheap shots RNH-Eberle-Yakapov and Steve Destroys the culprit or better yet someone of equal skill on the opposition , you very hypocrite's will be the first to stand and applaud. I've been there, seen it and done it.

Your Team , like it or not, just grew 3 inches and put on 20 lbs and grew some nads.

Me

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#110 GVBlackhawk
September 23 2013, 06:23PM
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oilersplumber wrote:

I wonder how many of you out there are over 50 ? Doubt we would be having this discussion if most of you were and could have seen the Flyers, Bruins, even the Rangers and Canadiens of the day.......I wonder if that was why Slats had a few of his own. You think Wayne would have had the room he had with out them ? Doubtful.........aaah the wisdom that comes with age......

The game has changed a lot since the 1970's and 1980's. You can't get away with the stuff that they did back then.

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#111 madjam
September 23 2013, 09:48AM
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Oilers sent a clear message to opposition again by last games antics . The Oilers can take more , but still sadly lack defending their own or instigating/implimating a physical game . Run the Oilers and throw them off their skill game will still run true again this year with present makeup . Management does not give this situation it's due diligence . We need two deterrents , not just one because of our makeup and nature of players . Brown tried but did not fare well against Weise . Kassian we have no answer for , and may further injure another player trying to do so . MacT. was supposed to address this gap , but still has not succeeded in doing so . Till then , our players are like sitting ducks to opposition toughness . Most teams have depth at functional toughness or better , we sadly lack far behind all the others . We need more toughness still to neutralize how teams continually play us . If not we are headed back to cellar of league until we do . I believe MacT. and Eakins are sadly mistaken if they feel present core can overcome it's softness label .

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#112 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
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DSF wrote:

Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 1m Oil claim Mcintyre

a link to the story

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/23/edmonton-oilers-claim-steve-macintyre-on-waivers/

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#113 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:20AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

The psychological value I'm happy to acknowledge. People consistently claim it has value. I'm not going to quarrel with it.

BUT... the actual empirical claims made have never yielded results.

Attempting to measure intimidation empirically is tilting at wind mills.

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#114 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:21AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

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

We all have gaps in knowledge and blindsides... MacT has done a lot of things that make a lot of sense.

He's very smart and has done a really solid job in a limited time.

BUT... leaving the C depth this weak was a poor decision and looks to be the product of over-valuing the hangers on down the chart (seems he really over valued Miller, Acro and Acton)

AND... when your already weak C depth gets shattered to the bone, you think your biggest concern is finding a guy who will accomplish nothing and play maybe 30% of the games for 2-3 minutes a night... is just plain ridiculous.

It doesn't invalidate him, his work or his smarts.

It's a classic case of I said you're "acting like a x" rather than you "are an x"

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#115 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:24AM
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DSF wrote:

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.

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.

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#116 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:26AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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

Except it doesn't.

People who make those claims can't prove it...the same problem you face when you try and insist it had no value.

Ask the players...like Jason Strudwick... who outlined it's value in the above article.

Or perhaps you're insinuating he doesn't know what he's talking about.

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#117 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 10:40AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

We all have gaps in knowledge and blindsides... MacT has done a lot of things that make a lot of sense.

He's very smart and has done a really solid job in a limited time.

BUT... leaving the C depth this weak was a poor decision and looks to be the product of over-valuing the hangers on down the chart (seems he really over valued Miller, Acro and Acton)

AND... when your already weak C depth gets shattered to the bone, you think your biggest concern is finding a guy who will accomplish nothing and play maybe 30% of the games for 2-3 minutes a night... is just plain ridiculous.

It doesn't invalidate him, his work or his smarts.

It's a classic case of I said you're "acting like a x" rather than you "are an x"

No sarcasm here....that is a reasoned response....and a pretty good one to defend/make your point.....I can respect that even though I disagree with you....

Your criticism of C depth is fair....I would argue that as GM your options are limited by many factors that you and I....or at least I, have no view into.....negotiations, team roster road maps, insider knowledge of player attributes and short comings, etc.......being a reasonable man, I have reason to believe that Mac T thoroughly considered all the options available and did what it was practical to do. (it is also reasonable to question or debate his choices).

As for the need for short term solution to the "toughness quotient" ...I will respectfully disagree with you.....and while I, like many here, value the practice of questioning authority at every turn....in this specific case.....I really do put a higher value on the opinion and judgement of Craig MacTavish as to what is needed here and now than I do that of you or I.

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#118 Truth
September 23 2013, 10:44AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

That's a frightening thought, isn't it?

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

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#119 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:48AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Beautiful! Way to make a statement, MacT. Mr. Dithers would have pondered this for a while.

A knuckle dragger with a screw loose... now that's intimidation!

Too bad there aren't two of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hImezA0nbDU

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.

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#120 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:59AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

You are consistently a very poor reader.

You say: "when you try and insist it had no value."

I said: "The psychological value I'm happy to acknowledge. People consistently claim it has value. I'm not going to quarrel with it."

Here's is the claim of real world empirical results, which can be observed and demonstrated to be true or false:

"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."

Except that when the Oiler had a very tough lineup, it didn't prevent a hits, cheapshots, injury, etc.

The people making this claim are making a very real claim. They need to acknowledge reality doesn't operate within the confines of their fantasy.

You appear to be intentionally melding 2 very different claims in order to prove a point that you cannot prove.

Having a tougher lineup does not necessarily prevent cheap shots or injury but having players who will respond to that kind of behaviour does have an impact on the future.

When Taylor Hall went knee of knee against Clutterbuck and was suspended for two games, are you suggesting there was ZERO impact?

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#121 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:05AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

This from a man who hailed the nucks signing Cam Barker last year for depth.

If we were up against the 50 man list, or the cap, you might have a point. The team can easily add a C without concern. Or trade/waive a scrub if it comes right down to it.

Top 2 D don't grow in trees. Acknowledge the conditions on the ground. In a short span of time, MacT reinvented the D corps and added competition for roster spots. In any serious analysis that is a good thing.

The C depth is a real blindspot, a huge mistake and gamble that has predictably blown up in MacT's face.

Only an incredibly petulant person would ignore the good for the bad, just as only an incredible sycophantic person would ignore the bad for the good.

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.

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#122 The Soup Fascist
September 23 2013, 11:16AM
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The good news that results when SMac is on the bench - we should see some double shifting of Hall / Yak / etc on the 4th line. That can't be a bad thing.

EDIT: Oops. I see Spyder said the same thing about double shifting earlier (although I am pretty sure there is no chance SMAc / Eager and Brown are ALL on the 23 man roster)

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#123 JJ
September 23 2013, 11:22AM
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Why are people downvoting me for suggesting he'll compete with Brown for a spot.

If Brown took Eager's spot, why can't someone take Brown's spot? I don't think anyone in the bottom 6 should be a lock.

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#124 **
September 23 2013, 11:26AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Bruce McCurdy ‏@BruceMcCurdy Here we go, I turn on the radio & 1st thing I hear is "Oilers didn't have as many injuries with Steve MacIntyre in the line-up." Oh, please.

Bruce McCurdy ‏@BruceMcCurdy During SMac's full year in #EDM, Eberle missed 13 games,Gagner 14,Hall 17 (hurt fighting!),Hemsky & Horcoff 35 each. Only 3 F reached 70 GP.

Dude, he actually said the opposite of that: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/23/edmonton-oilers-claim-steve-macintyre-on-waivers/

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#125 madjam
September 23 2013, 11:26AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

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

STEVE MACINTYRE

A million dollars????????

It's called asset management acquisition . Protection for your stars players is paramount and necessary . Small price to pay if it saves and deters injuries to star players in the future .

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#126 Reinman
September 23 2013, 11:29AM
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Justice would be for Vancouver to give us Kesler until Gagner returns. :-)

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#127 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:30AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'm not melding anything.

I'm changeling claims made. People can't make a bunch of claims and then turtle when asked to confront reality.

If you want to leave it at some amorphous quality like the players "feel tougher" on the bench when SMac is around, fine.

When you claim having a player like SMac around leads to tangible results you have to confront the reality that this simply isn't the case.

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?

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#128 Truth
September 23 2013, 11:31AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

He should have been looking for a C from day one.

SMac is a bad pick up regardless of the situation.

There are options remaining for Cs... every second counts.

MacIntyre is a free pick up. Play him in the rest of the preseason games, if he's horrible and someone else warrants a spot ahead of him then cut him. If he provides value keep him. There is no doubt the Oilers would be better with Couturier, or B. Schenn, or J. Staal on the team, but they aren't cheap to acquire. At this point the best bet for MacT is to see who falls through on waivers or who could potentially become available with new hires coming out of pre-season.

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#129 Truth
September 23 2013, 11:38AM
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** wrote:

why is Dave Steckel not on an oilers jersey yet?

He and Mac skate at about the same pace.

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#130 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:45AM
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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?

Is this a one-off or a conversation. Honest question?

If the latter, you should be able to discern that we are (and have been unless you suffer from some form of isolated amnesia) talking about the argument put forward by many, specifically here Struds, that having some kind of intimidation factor leads to real world results.

Those people need to back up their claims.

I never said you personally advocated for SMac. I said those people claiming x happens in the real world when y is present need to acknowledge that claim.

SMac is a huge blunder by MacT. On that we agree.

Clarkson was a huge blunder by MacT. On that we apparently disagree... though I'd wager in another context you'd acknowledge offering him a massive contract at his age and rate of production is a big mistake. The Leafs have a fine player, who is also eating too much cap hit and for too much term.

Morrow is too slow to do anything for this team. I'd happily take Larsen, Potter and Belov over him. Grebs... meh. toss-up.

Not sure why we are comparing D to Fs again though.

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#131 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 23 2013, 11:46AM
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Bill wrote:

Justice would be sidelining Kesler or one of the Sedins for a month or two.

That's not justice - just so you know.

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#132 michael
September 23 2013, 11:48AM
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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.

RA. What impact has Ben Eager or Ryan Jones had on the lineup? Ryan Jones. Soft. Eager. Hard but lacks impact on the game consistently.

How do you see Smacks role on this team? A 82 game kinda guy? Not even close. He at best will be 20-25 game guy. 2-6 minutes a night. A guy who is known as a role player with whom the teams 6 million dollar men have a comfort level built in.

This is not about Smack scoring a single point on the season. Its about ensuring the team has a guy who will bring the hammer when needed to give space to those guys who need it.

Let Smack play his 2-6 minutes. Let Yak take the extra 4-5 minutes.

If I had my druthers I'll take Smack over RJ or BE. All day.Every Day.

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#133 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 23 2013, 11:54AM
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Michael wrote:

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

Hall and Ebs will giving Smack their All Star cars.

Those had better be Deloreans, because that argument belongs in the pre-1992 NHL.

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#134 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:01PM
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michael wrote:

RA. What impact has Ben Eager or Ryan Jones had on the lineup? Ryan Jones. Soft. Eager. Hard but lacks impact on the game consistently.

How do you see Smacks role on this team? A 82 game kinda guy? Not even close. He at best will be 20-25 game guy. 2-6 minutes a night. A guy who is known as a role player with whom the teams 6 million dollar men have a comfort level built in.

This is not about Smack scoring a single point on the season. Its about ensuring the team has a guy who will bring the hammer when needed to give space to those guys who need it.

Let Smack play his 2-6 minutes. Let Yak take the extra 4-5 minutes.

If I had my druthers I'll take Smack over RJ or BE. All day.Every Day.

If he's not even on the bench how is he deterring anything?

I want hockey players not facepunchers.

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#135 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:05PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Is this a one-off or a conversation. Honest question?

If the latter, you should be able to discern that we are (and have been unless you suffer from some form of isolated amnesia) talking about the argument put forward by many, specifically here Struds, that having some kind of intimidation factor leads to real world results.

Those people need to back up their claims.

I never said you personally advocated for SMac. I said those people claiming x happens in the real world when y is present need to acknowledge that claim.

SMac is a huge blunder by MacT. On that we agree.

Clarkson was a huge blunder by MacT. On that we apparently disagree... though I'd wager in another context you'd acknowledge offering him a massive contract at his age and rate of production is a big mistake. The Leafs have a fine player, who is also eating too much cap hit and for too much term.

Morrow is too slow to do anything for this team. I'd happily take Larsen, Potter and Belov over him. Grebs... meh. toss-up.

Not sure why we are comparing D to Fs again though.

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

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#136 Rod from Viking
September 23 2013, 12:09PM
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Truth wrote:

He and Mac skate at about the same pace.

John Shannon made the statement on Oilers Now a while ago that David Steckle has easily the lowest hockey IQ of any one in the league, this probably why NO ONE has signed him.

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#137 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 12:21PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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.

Seriously Rom....call it day on this one....you're rebuttals are getting weaker and it's getting difficult to stay respectful.

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#138 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:29PM
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DieHard wrote:

You should have added. Good Grief.

Good grief.

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#139 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 01:12PM
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Gkpoil wrote:

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)

I think this gets to the heart of the matter for a lot of the side conversations here.

I love hockey. I love a good tilt. I love a good hit. I love the odd Messier elbow.

But I love hockey.

I don't love goon shows. I don't love players who can't do anything but hit meat.

I also don't think these kind of players help you win games. Which, is the object of hockey.

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#140 Hemmercules
September 23 2013, 01:22PM
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They never seem to use Smac the right way. It always plays out the same. Regehr runs hemsky. They send out Smac after the fact to pick a fight with him. Regehr declines to fight. Smac fights the nearest goon. Nobody learn anything other than don't fight Smac because he breaks faces.

The only way Smac works is if he brings something else to the game, which if I remember from last time, he didn't.

If he is a beast at killing penalties and they maybe put him out early in the game to run a couple hard shifts to send an early message then maybe he works out. Useless player if he just sits 90% of the time in games they actually use him in and then just run him out to fight another 7' goon.

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#141 MessyEH!
September 23 2013, 03:21PM
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pkam wrote:

You think Kassian will stand there an let Gagner crank him in his throat?

The result is probably Gagner get smash at his jaw and end up with a more serious injury and out for even longer.

Just send a goon out the next game and get the Sedins and Kesler and make sure they will be out longer than Gagner. Don't even bother to answer any call to fight.

I didn't think Gags would stand there and let Kassian nail him in the jaw.

Oh right he wasn't expecting it.

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#142 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 03:55PM
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Good blog.......I really enjoyed it...including 90% of Rom's posts....I think the various opinions were well represented......it would be pretty boring if we all agreed about everything.

On to the next article.....

THANKS STRUDS!

We're gonna have a Battle of the Blades party and have a shot every time your butt hits the ice!

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#143 MessyEH!
September 23 2013, 04:19PM
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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.

Imagine if all the fab 5 played with a little sand in there panties. Closed in and circled like wolves.

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#144 oilersplumber
September 23 2013, 05:51PM
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I wonder how many of you out there are over 50 ? Doubt we would be having this discussion if most of you were and could have seen the Flyers, Bruins, even the Rangers and Canadiens of the day.......I wonder if that was why Slats had a few of his own. You think Wayne would have had the room he had with out them ? Doubtful.........aaah the wisdom that comes with age......

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#145 oilersplumber
September 23 2013, 06:26PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

The game has changed a lot since the 1970's and 1980's. You can't get away with the stuff that they did back then.

Apparently they already have.

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#146 Gaz
September 23 2013, 11:34PM
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@DSF

Oh dear.

Weiss didn't 'lay a beating' on Brown. Watch it again. Brown started hammering so Weiss wrestled him to the ground. That's fine, and a smart play by Weiss for sure. Please don't alter what happened to fit your narrative.

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#147 MessyEH!
September 24 2013, 03:21AM
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Now if SMac is aloud to do this the next time an Oilers star is cheap shooted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGAdHcuJOkQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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#148 MessyEH!
September 24 2013, 09:25AM
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@Czar

That's a beast of a nuclear deterent. You hurt our skill, and we release a smack down on your goalie. Someone, from there team will respond and they get leveled.

RELEASE THE SMACKEN.

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#149 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 24 2013, 10:33AM
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This is how intimidation is supposed to work in the NHL...

Weise almost elbows Hall in the melon, then Brown needs to take a run at Canuck X.

Kassian swings his stick at Gagner's face, SMac just blindsides Canuck X.

Eventually, Canuck X will go to Weiss and Kassian and tell them to start playing hockey because they're tired of being run themselves.

Does this make sense?

Nobody needs to bring a shiv and gut somebody on the ice.

Like the brush back pitch, eventually the skill guys get tired of playing like this and straighten their own teams out.

It might take a game or two, but respect is eventually born out of intense rivalries such as these.

Take a few penalties and just let the other team know you'll run with them if that how they want to play...

Unfortunately, the Oilers are no where close to compete like that....

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#150 Oil_Dude
September 23 2013, 08:54AM
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Hey Struds as a player does having an enforcer in the lineup change your mindset? If so where do you stand on the "fighting doesn't belong in the game anymore"argument?

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