With Steve MacIntyre back in the Edmonton Oilers line-up against the St. Louis Blues tonight, I’d be willing to wager that somebody is going to get punched in the mouth. Repeatedly, perhaps.

The only question is if it’s going to be B.J. Crombeen, Cam Janssen or big Brad Winchester, a collection of formidable ruffians who’ll make up the fourth line for the Blues tonight. It doesn’t matter who, really.

With the humongous MacIntyre back in business for the first time since Jan. 16 and likely blowing snot bubbles in anticipation of riding shotgun for Tom Renney’s runts against a very tough St. Louis outfit, we might see some, ahem, old-fashioned hockey.

With apologies to the sensitivities of those offended by my anticipation of some start-the-lawnmower action — if you use the term "knuckle-dragger," you probably fall into that group — tonight might be the perfect game to pull on my old Rudy Poeschek jersey, sit back and watch the saliva fly.

What, the final score matters?


As somebody who seldom — never, even — was known for skill or offensive prowess in a decidedly mediocre run as a lacrosse and hockey player during my youth, I’ve long had an appreciation and respect for the guys who do the dirty work. The hammers. The tough guys.

Likewise, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Blues even when they’ve been lousy, which has been often, because they always made it policy to keep a beat cop around who could take care of business — the likes of Tony Twist, Kelly Chase, Basil McRae and Poeschek, who is the toughest man I’ve ever known — so the real players could do their thing. A little Poeschek action here:

As happy as I am Jordan Eberle will make his return to the line-up tonight — there’s nothing wrong with being small and skilled and playing the game with your gloves on or with fans enjoying the talents of players who do — it’s good to see that MacIntyre will draw in.

With Dustin Penner out of action with the flu, J.F. Jacques apparently a healthy scratch and Zack Stortini banished to Oklahoma City, the Oilers will be icing a small and young line-up against the robust Blues. Enter Macintyre. Mr. MacIntyre you, B.J.


Given that Winchester, Crombeen and Janssen have a combined 27 fighting majors this season, which is more than Edmonton’s entire line-up — the Oilers have 23 majors if you take Stortini’s eight bouts out of the equation — it’s no surprise Renney is giving MacIntyre the tap.

I’m not saying inserting MacIntyre is necessarily going to change what happens on the scoreboard or that nobody will dare lay a glove on Taylor Hall or Eberle or Sam Gagner within the rules out on the ice. It’s hockey, not volleyball.

But I’m guessing that MacIntyre will make an impact in the 180 seconds or so that he plays tonight after being stuck in the press box with the fat guys and know-it-alls for all but 14 games this season.

Maybe MacIntyre will do it by putting out the word that nobody gets stupid with the kids or there’ll be hell to pay — those who don’t believe that happens probably have never participated in a blood sport above the bantam house league level — and it’s a quiet night.

Maybe Crombeen or Janssen or Winchester says, "Screw you, Mac," or puts a glove in somebody’s face and this game isn’t so quiet. That will not bother me a bit, either. To be honest, I’m in the mood for the latter.

Knuckle-dragger that I am.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • MacIntyre does plenty of extra work in all aspects of the game.

    Like most players in the 250-pound range, MacIntyre’s biggest challenge isn’t his top-end speed, it’s his overall agility and the ability to get moving quickly that limits him.

  • SourSquirt 8==> ~~o

    Has Mac ever played with the Red Ox before? I’m asking cause Fraser is usually pretty consistent with “dump & chase.” Liam is a solid forechecker. Maybe Mac can catch people with pucks in there feet, if Liam is making STL force the puck along the boards? I want blood.thanks:)

  • Mitch

    Big Mac isn’t gonna find a dance partner unless he lays a devistating hit on someone and St. Louis reacts to it. I haven’t seen Mac go after anybody because of a big hit on Hall or Eberle, not that he would fight Doughty or another player like that. What I need to see him do is be in ill humor like Boogaurd would be and hit Backes, Johnson, Jackman, Steen, run the show out there his toughness is a MAJOR factor, teams will back away and it becomes easier for Hall and Hemsky to dangle. Go consistantly looking for it, show the other team you mean business, this will seperate him from a tough guy to a superstar toughguy the reason Boogard got a big contract from the Rangers.

  • Does anyone have any thoughts as to why Vandermeer has only 1 fight this year, and it didn’t come until January?

    I vividly remember Vandermeer embarassing Smac when Vandermeer was a flame. The guy can fight; it’s been a part of his role on other teams throughout his career; and he has indicated in interviews that he likes the role.

    So why isn’t he busting heads this year? I thought that was supposed to be part of his role when we got him. Am I missing something?

  • Smac is useless.

    My prediciton:

    He gets a penalty in his first 120 seconds of ice time, and the Blues score on the power play.

    If there is a fight, he will get an instigator penalty, an extra two minute penalty (with the accompanying PP goal against) , and ejected from the game.

    You might have to fight in the NHL sometimes, but nobody expects a non-superheavyweight to fight Smac, and unless he can actually play a little bit (like Boogard) and affect how players play (like Boogard), nobody is going to fight him.

    Smac is useless, except for taking penalties and power play goals against.

  • bigguy13

    Robin, So after Macintyre destroys Winchester, who will handle Crombeen running amuck on Hemsky and Hall??? Vandermeer? Not!, Pecks, Not! Macintyre will be serving 5 and maybe even a game after he runs someone through the boards! What happens when after Mac is gone then one of the goons hurts our stars? I wish this team was tougher. I really do!!!

  • Ducey

    I’d be willing to wager that somebody is going to get punched in the mouth. Repeatedly, perhaps

    No doubt one of the smaller/ younger Oilers while Smac is stapled to the bench because he can’t play hockey.

    The dude is irrelevant. They could have him perform with the enforcer from the other team between periods. He will make no difference.

    I am all for punch-ups, but we need a few guys that can play a semi regular shift.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Speaking of fights and bones breaking, whats this news Spec is reporting on that the rangers are looking at Souray?? How can they aquire him without him going through the waiver wire??

    Little off topic sorry

        • Ender

          Spector wrote:

          If the Rangers were to approach the Edmonton Oilers about Souray, there is no guarantee that he would be New York bound. However, Edmonton would have to put Souray on re-entry waivers, which would make him available to all teams lower in the standings than the Rangers, who were in tenth place in the National Hockey League prior to play Friday.

          Upon an expression of interest from another team — which the Oilers brass has said has been nonexistent since sending Souray to play for the Washington Capitals farm team at the beginning of the 2010-11 season — Edmonton would have two choices: They could put Souray on re-entry waivers, and if he is picked up they would be stuck with half of his $5.4 million cap hit (and $4.5 million salary) for the remainder of this season and next, when his current contract expires. If Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini left Souray in the minors and bought out the final year of Souray’s deal in the summer, it would cost Edmonton two-thirds of the contract, spread out over the next two seasons.

          Or, Tambellini could hang on to Souray until the season is over and the re-entry requirement ends. The strategy there would be to trade him at the draft or during the summer, reap a return for the asset, and not be stuck with any of the remaining contract obligation. “There is no chance anyone trades for him at that number,” an Eastern Conference source told Friday. “Even with only one year left.”

          All things considered, I have serious doubts that Souray is a Ranger (or anything at all other than a Bear) this season.

          • Crash

            I don’t think it’s really all that far fetched. A team like the Rangers who are in a playoff spot and in serious need of a PP d-man might just see some value in having Souray for the rest of this year and next year at half the contract.

            From all reports it seems the Oilers would gladly put Souray on re-entry waivers if someone wanted him.

          • Ender

            Yes. If we buy out the contract, the cap hit remaining (determined by complex mathmatical formulae) is spread over the next two seasons, meaning we’d have a little something to remember Souray by for the 11-12 and the 12-13 seasons. Granted, we probably wouldn’t need the $1-2M in cap room that would be used, but . . . something tells me the Oilers aren’t going to chew up both cap space and real money besides for Souray to get to go play for someone else as a UFA. This is more likely, maybe, than the Oilers agreeing to lose him on re-entry waivers, paying half his salary and eating a full 50% of his cap hit for the 11-12 season (which I why I can’t see the Rangers acquiring him this season), but still not in my mind something I’d bet my money on.

            If the Oilers dump him at all, it will be in the summer. And even for that to happen, since no one is trading value for him, I’m thinking they wait for Shelly to offer to tear up his deal. I’d bet he’s still a Bear this time next year.

          • Crash

            IMHO, the only way he’s a bear next season is if the Washington Capitals somehow get Souray and then send him down.

            I don’t think there’s anyway the Oilers will fully pay Souray’s contract next season, he will either be:

            1. Picked up on re-entry waivers this season

            2. Traded after this season is over or

            3. Bought out

            I think Souray likely realizes that his career is near the end and he won’t consider tearing up his deal.

          • Crash

            Just trying to help.

            If ST buys out Souray after this year the cap hit will be spread out over not just next year but the year after as well.

            The cap hit right now is 5.4 mil per season, the buyout cap hit would be 2/3rds of that which is 3.6mil cap hit. This would be spread over the next two years.

            The cap hit then being 1.8 mil in 2011/12 and 1.8 mil again in 2012/13.

            The actual payout to Souray would be 2/3rds of his 4.5mil so it would be cheaper for Katz if someone picked up Souray on recall waivers. The Oilers would still be stuck with one season of a 2.7mil cap hit and salary of 2.25mil in 2011/12. But nothing in 2012/13.

  • Straight up Slap Shot style, tin foil and all. I would love to see hall snap and kick the living crap out of someone same with cogs. And any of the Dmen but Peckham he has shown what hes made of the rest sure as hell haven’t.

    In all seriousness, I would like to see big Mac get into a fight but I would also like to see him start developing into more that just a fighter. Get the feet moving, start using the forecheck and start crashing the next, if you take a penalty for running over the goaltender then so be it. Next time maybe he’ll move out of the way rather than be run over by a monster.

  • Bucknuck

    I’m with Borwnlee. I would love to see some gloves thrown on the ice tonight. Let’s see some punches thrown and some team spirit. If they are going to lose something, I would love to see it be their temper.

  • Horcsky

    Meh, I put the chances of a MacIntyre fight tonight at about 50:50. He’s barely fought this year, and the Oilers rarely show any toughness as an organization. Here’s hopin’ though!

  • Ender

    Holy crap. I admit I’d never heard the name Poeschek before today, but what an animal. 10 punches in 5 seconds, most of which looked like they really hurt, and the other guy never even got one. That’s a man I can’t see wanting angry with me. If Big Mac ever becomes that guy, no one will question if he should have a place on this team.

    • Rudy only played 350 or so games in the NHL before a bad back ended his career 10 years ago. A real honest player and a great story for even making it that far after being drafted 238th overall by the Rangers in 1985.

      Rudy was In Kamloops of the WHL when I was there in the early-1980s and he was absolutely scary tough. Fought everybody and anybody in the NHL — Probert, Twist, Dave Brown, Craig Berube, McRae, Rob Ray etc etc. If you want a punch-in-the-face contest, check out Poeschek-Berube on YouTube when Rudy was with Tampa Bay and Berube was with Washington. Tough job.

      • Ender

        You’re right, that was quite a fight too. Both guys throwing 10 or 11 punches and landing them dead square; I’ve got to think the last several were just the autonomic nervous system taking over with carrying out the last instructions received. The most incredible thing about that fight is the fact they both somehow skated off under their own power.

        No question that the Poeschek in those videos could play on my Oilers team any day.

  • VMR

    I dont know, everytime we seem to expect fights and mayhem and a hungry Mac back in the lineup it ends up being a tame night with no fists flying whatsoever. I think it’ll end up a 3-2 night with nobody daring to risk an instigator.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Time to start showing people what happens when you even THINK about touching ebs and hall…

    I was SO amazed at how Peckham SMASHED those guys during the last game. I sure hope Mac and Peckham absolutely demolish some blues tonight.

    If a guy like Doughty wants to run Hall several times during the game… isn’t it time some one lays his ass out? I mean, Doughty has NOT seen enought little birdies around his head.

    Time to bust so skulls! GO MIG MAC

  • Zamboni Driver

    Robin, I’m a huge fan of yours, not blowing sunshine, it’s true – but this makes zero sense. The logic of it is really ludicrous.

    What in the world would possess any of those guys…BRAD WINCHESTER??!!…to want to fight Macintyre? And he’s not going to force his will on anyone – he never has – he’s of the Laraque school of tough guy…needs to be in his weight class, needs to be right after the drop of a puck…etc.

    Other than Winchester (same guy that was here, I assume?) I’ve never heard of any of those guys, but ostensibly they are something Macintyre is not….hockey players. Also not morons. They aren’t going to fight, and his threats to any middleweights are going to fall on deaf ears, but for the 4th line guys who might play a little more than Big Mac.

      • Zamboni Driver

        I guess that’s true, but I do know they’re not Boogard, and other than him, who is Macintyre going to fight?

        I suppose Crombeen sounds like a tough guy name, now that you mention it, but honestly, if I am a no name tough guy wanna be – I’m certainly not going to risk making my bones against Macintyre. I’m going to do it against a tough guy that anyone else in the league has heard of – Boogie, Ott, etc. At least if one of those guys kicks my @ss people go “whoa, he went with Boogie!” I don’t think Macintyre has that cache…so I don’t think they’re dumb enough to go with him unless absolutely necessary.

        It just has never made any sense why two guys who will have zero bearing on the game fighting after a faceoff (you gotta admit 99% of tough guy fights are the meaningless staged-kind) has any impact on whether or not Hemsky or Hall get pounded.

        • A couple of things, and keep in mind that I have zero interest in coverting you or anybody else to the bare-knuckles side. Like I wrote, it’s just fine to appreciate the skill guys who don’t fight. Everybody has a job to do.

          — People who talk about the “size” of tough guys don’t get it. Toughness is a state of mind, not of stature.

          — MacIntyre doesn’t have cachet? When you put Raitis Ivanans out for the season, maybe for his career, everybody knows your name. There isn’t a tough guy in the NHL who comes to Rexall Place and doesn’t inquire if MacIntyre is going to be in the line-up. Believe it or not. It’s true. You go with MacIntyre, you’re “earning your bones” in the eyes of every player in the league.

          — As for Crombeen, calling him a no-name wannabe tough guy tells me more more about what you don’t know than about anything that applies to him.

  • God blees the knuckle draggers!

    All the leaf lickin tree huggers who abhore the rough stuff can sit quietly watching the shopping channel with there wife as she holds the remote and orders him to make her another “spritzer” or whatever the hell those people drink while the rest of us watch the game the way it should be played!

    Peace through superior firepower!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    For the love of GOD, please let there be some physical action in this game, I’m tired of seeing half the Oilers sitting on their asses all night

    Mac, Pecks, Vande, get to work, and for entertainment value, Gags too!