Steve MacIntyre – Still Relevant?

Steve MacIntyre had a pretty good start to 2010-11. He played a little over five minutes in the season opener against Calgary, demolished Raitis Ivanans in a heavyweight battle, and with Tom Renney in charge behind the bench the promise of more minutes awaited.

Things haven’t really worked out all that well since.

MacIntyre played in just three more games during the month of October, and he was utilized less in both November and December, playing just two games during each month. He’s certainly done his best to be involved when he has been given the opportunity to play – he’s fought three times in his last three games, and got a game misconduct after tussling with Colton Orr in his last contest on December 14th.

That hasn’t been enough to keep him in the line-up, however, and I’m not sure why. Renney’s record in New York shows a coach unafraid to use a one-trick pony like MacIntyre; he regularly utilized the services of players like Colton Orr and Ryan Hollweg. Likely, it isn’t an aversion to enforcers that has MacIntyre press-boxed.

Perhaps it is simply a matter of who the Oilers have been playing – although some of their opponents the last while do have legitimate fighters, a quick glance through the last few games MacIntyre has missed shows they haven’t generally been dressed.

I’m not pining for a call-up to replace MacIntyre; after all, between Jacques and O’Marra there are plenty of options for a demotion, and I’m not sold that Linus Omark deserves a longer stint in the big leagues than he got, at least at this point in time.  I’d still like to see Liam Reddox get a stint on this year’s team, but that’s a minor point rather than any kind of priority.

No, I’m looking more to next season. Is MacIntyre a relevant part of the future of this team? Do the Oilers need an enforcer if they aren’t going to use the one they have in a season where winning and losing is of less relevance than it will be at any point in the foreseeable future? If there is a season when it makes sense to ice an enforcer to protect younger players, it would be this one, yet the Oilers aren’t doing it.

I don’t know if the Oilers plan to keep using a part-time fighter.

  • kawi460

    In my opinon there is a spot on the Oilers roster for a guy like Mac. That being said i don’t think there is room for JF and Stortini. The Oilers should try to trade JF as Renney knows what he will get from stort, a fearless player that always gives it 100% and JF looks lost sometimes, he doesn’t know his role.

    That being said I don’t think the Oilers need to dress Mac and Stort the same game, unless they are on a different line. Just look at the Pens roster: Asham, Engelland, Godard, and Rupp. They are one of the top teams in the league and they have pleanty of guys willing to drop the mitts.

  • magisterrex

    It really doesn’t matter if anyone here at ON thinks Big Mac should stay or should go; the only people who will decide his fate are is teammates, and in particular, the star or future star players. If they feel more comfortable with Mac on the team (regardless of what the stats might say or not say; stats are redundant in this case), he’ll be here.

  • @ magisterrex:

    Management and the coaching staff will make the final decision, but I imagine the feelings of the players will be a big factor.

    The point here though is that they aren’t using MacIntyre now, and I’m asking if that indicates a shift in how the coaches view him.

    • magisterrex

      I suspect that if Hall, Eberle, and Hemsky tell Tambi that they want Big Mac in the lineup, it won’t matter if Renney doesn’t want him. And Renney is a smart man; he won’t fight battles that he can’t win; he’ll just pull a Kirk solution to the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

      Dealing with the JFJ, Cogliano, and Brule situations seem far more important right now. I wonder what Mac would look like back on the d-line? He wouldn’t be the first Steve to make the switch during his NHL career (and be the better for it).

  • Jamie B.

    Based on last night, apparently Sam Gagner’s the new enforcer. So if nothing else, maybe the guys he challenges will spend a few crucial seconds distracted from the play because they’re laughing?

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    nice dude. crap player. Stauffer’s strategy of being “BROOTAL” with a Nuclear Deterrent is so overrated. its more like a radiation leak that kills communities. no one has to fight him if they dont choose (as we seen with Colton Orr) and hes too slow to forecheck and cause chaos.

    rebuild the bottom 6 starting now with some quality NHLers. not phony players who people feel sorry for as they embarrass themselves and try Hard As Hell Bro for the “community”. i know, its novel and noble but its no way to build a real contender. Tambo better get some quality bottom 6 dudes in the next 2-3 years who are smart, fast, mean as hell, cause chaos and have enough ability to make teams pay when that chaos pays off.

  • I think it proves that everyone loves heavyweight enforcers more than coaches do. Managers, owners, the owners’ personal mouthpieces, the regular media, and the fans all want one in there.

    • Crash

      Funny thing is, during Oil Change part 2 it was Renney that wanted Big Mac and proceeded to talk about how the young stars would be protected.

      So he got his guy and doesn’t use him….strange

  • @ Ron Burgundy:

    Penalty killing, decent offence for a fourth liner, hustle, and a defensive conscience.

    Or in other words: hockey skills, something the fourth line could use.

    I’ll keep bringing it up until it is no longer applicable.

  • Dan the Man

    We need someone who is a better fighter than Stortini but a better hockey player than MacIntyre.

    I know, easier said than done.

    I like Stortini and I know he is more than willing but he shouldn’t really be fighting the super heavies.

    I’d lean toward playing Big Mac a little more right now since playoffs are clearly not going to happen.

  • Dan the Man

    Never draft a goalie in the first round, always draft a defenceman in the second round, and always, always keep a nuke on the team. That game last night, against a barely northwest division opponent, should have shown why a nuke is necessary. Mac would have neutralized Koci, so Peckham could neutralize Wilson for that crap hit to the head that went unpunished. Imagine a game against Vancouver that was meaningful, with those ugly little keslers and burrows running around. (anyone else notice that Canuck players are mostly really ugly?)

  • Dan the Man

    You should do an article on how bad the Rexall ice is. Thats the place majority of injuries had happened. The training staff didn’t do a good enough job on the ice. Tambi is one hotshot GM.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I think havin a guy like Mac is worth it, even if he only hits the ice for 5min a game, the other 5min or so the 4th line plays could get a player like MPS a few extra shifts. Id like to see Mac on the ice a hell of alot more than huggy bear and jfj thats for sure. I like a previous post try SM on d, hes gotta b better than father time himself(strudwick).

  • Milli

    I was 110% on board with Mac, but am not anymore. Watching Peckham, man that guys has guts and attitude and a mean streak. Play Storts, replace JFJ with a guy who can hit and fight. Gagners got moxie, and is playing a hell of a lot bigger than he is (and man is he having a year!!!!) and Hall is starting to bang. To me, between Peckham and Storts, they have to police the chippy middleweight stuff, Mac, i dunno, maybe, maybe for games like tonight, but thats it.