Steve MacIntyre inked a two-way deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this week and yesterday I chatted with the former Oiler about riding shotgun for Sidney Crosby, working on his game so he’ll get more icetime and opening the season against his former teammates.

MacIntyre will make $600,000 in the show and $105,000 if he plays in the AHL, but he is planning on protecting Crosby all season long. He gave a very honest assessment of his game and he seemed to understand why he didn’t get to play very much in Edmonton last year.

"I have to work on my hockey sense. I got caught second guessing myself often. Sometimes I was too hesitant and not going with my gut instinct. I was thinking about things too much. I need to calm down in the games. Everyone can do it in practice, even I could do it in practice, but when it came to the games I was kinda like a deer in the headlights.

"Coach put me in situations where he thought I could succeed, but it was a 50/50 for him, ‘Can Mac get it out, is he going to get it deep,’ and I think that was my biggest downfall. Those instances I need to simplify things and just go out there and play hockey instead of going through and thinking about everything… I need to go out there and just be automatic."

I always found MacIntyre’s honesty refreshing when we chatted in the dressing room. Whether we talked about hockey, hunting or an upcoming fight he never fed you a line of BS. While we chatted on my show yesterday he admitted that on the ice his honesty might have hurt him.

"Another of my downfalls was I might have been too honest on the ice. I have that other side of me (snap factor), but I didn’t show it often enough. The NHL is a lot different than the minors. Down there the guys want it (fights) more. They are hungry and they want to engage. Up here guys are picking their spots, trying to figure out if this will help their team, if it will put them down a man or just how the game is going. There are a lot more facets to it than just going out there and dropping your gloves. It is something I have to learn. I have to engage people and more or less get under their saddle pads and get them off their game."

It sounds like he plans on being more aggressive with Pittsburgh.

"Last year I started out pretty good. Obviously that first night was huge, it was like scoring a hat trick for a tough guy, but then I kind of got caught up in things a little bit during the middle part of the season. In the final ten games I decided that I was going to go out with a bang and do things a bit different. Be more aggressive and hope that I could secure a job for next year. I plan on playing that way from the start this season."

I’ve always felt being a tough guy is the hardest job in pro sports, and as the guys continually get bigger I think it is only getting harder. There is loads of pressure every time a guy drops the gloves, because none of them want to get beat up in front of millions of people watching live or on TV.

I think that job is even more difficult when you are on a 30th place team that can’t kill penalties. 

Teams and fans want their tough guys to be aggressive, but it is hard to be aggressive when you are worrying about taking a penalty while doing it. If a tough guy knows that his team is good enough to kill off the odd aggressive penalty he can run around a bit more. MacIntyre never had that option in Edmonton, but he’ll have more leeway in Pittsburgh because the Pens are a better team.

I asked Big Mac if that was the case at times last year.

"I don’t want to make up any excuses for why I wasn’t more aggressive. That is my job as a professional. I need to learn how I can be a factor in the games. At times I got caught second guessing myself, and with the type of team they are building in Edmonton it a little tougher, but that is part of the growth process for me. Part of being an NHL tough guy is, like the song says, you gotta know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em," laughed MacIntyre.

I didn’t expect MacIntyre to blame the Oilers PK woes for his lack of aggressive play, but it is a factor. When you are as big and as tough as MacIntyre, the refs won’t do you many favours if you land a big hit or get in a scrum. 



The Jordan Eberle TSN play of the year and the MacIntyre KO of Ivanans had Oiler fans dreaming of a Stanley Cup on opening night last year, and MacIntyre plans on being a part of this year’s home opener as well. The only difference is he will be a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"There is a big circle around that day on my calender. I had a chance to talk to Dan Bylsma and I told him that there was this one particular game that if I could at all be a part of, I sure would love to be a part of because there was a couple people who took my job and I don’t take too kindly to that. So I guess we’ll have to see."

MacIntyre ended that statement with a mischievious chuckle, and if he is in the lineup Darcy Hordichuk might have an early season dance partner.

Before saying goodbye Big Mac took a crack at his former teammate and hunting partner, and he had a message for Oiler fans.

"If I could get close enough to Ryan (Jones) in warm-up and chop off a chunk of his hair that would be fun… I’m so very thankful to the Oilers and all the fans. I might be playing on different teams, but I’ll be a fan of the Oilers until the day I die."

It is hard not to cheer for a guy like MacIntyre. I wish him all the best.


Mark Spector has been a regular on my show for two years now. He is a fun guy, who isn’t afraid to speak his mind on any topic. Half the time he’ll does his "hit" on my show from his deck. He epitomizes the guy who likes to sit on his deck and have a beer.

We’ve come up with a fun charitable angle for Spec’s deck.

On Friday August 12th, we will be doing my show from Spec’s deck, and we’ll have five lucky winners join us, along with three of their friends for a hell of a party.

The contest works like this. You donate $100 to help end MS and you get in the draw. We will have FIVE winners and we cap it at 100 entries. You can enter as many times as you wish. $100 gets you one entry, $200 gets you two and so one.

The winner gets to bring three friends with them… Here is what you get.

Blue Sky Limo will pick you up, (Each group of four has one pick up spot) and they take you to Spec’s deck.
The Ranch Golf and County Club will be catering the event. BBQ steak, chicken, potatoes, veggies, etc…
Big Rock will supply beer all night long and in the Limo.
Andrew Peller will supply the wine, because us sports guys are a dignified group.
Bacardi will supply a variety of hard liquor.
Co-Op Taxi will ensure everyone gets home safe and sound. We don’t allow drinking and driving.

The party will start around 4 p.m. and last for as long as we like. Robin Brownlee, Ryan Rishaug, Meg Morrison and their spouses will also be there. I’ve also secured two SPECIAL GUESTS. Two NHL players will spend the evening sharing stories and probably listening to "how you were this close to making the show."

There will also be a musical guest who will be playing a few sets on the deck/backyard.

This will be a great evening of fun, laughs and good times.

To enter click here. Thanks for helping us end MS.

  • lostdog82

    Good luck with the penguins mac. Always a class act and great hockey ambassador to the city.He was out in athabasca this summer for a kids hockey camp put on by the oil. He took the time to meet everyone, sign autographs, take pictures and never turned down a conversation with anyone.Just a down to earth guy who got to the show because of perseverance not skill. Hopefully some of that attitude rubbed off on the kids.

  • Drew - Team no more tanking

    Y does everyone hate on Cogs he was still a pretty decent player. He was still a head of VV and Omarra, also Gagner still played 69 games and the only reason he was out was a fluke cut. Also since then there are three more additions at center Belanger, RNH, and Lander. I have thought about it and the odds are still in favor of Omarra likely not playing in the NHL this season. I would even argue that hartikanen gets called up before omarra even in a center role.

  • Bucknuck

    Our roster depth at centre is an illusion on this injury prone team. If the last few years are anything to go by, O’Marra will be our first line centre by Valentine’s day.

      • The Fish

        You’d have to lose all 4 centers for Omarra to be called up and for him to play 1st line center RNH, Lander and VV would have to get injured as well. 7 centers going down with injury at the same time, I think not.

        • Bucknuck

          Like I said, if the past is anything to go by. I am aware that there are at least five people ahead of O’Marra.

          EDIT – My main point is being lost here. All I mean is that you cannot be too deep at a pivotal (excuse the pun) position like centre. Defense also needs some depth (which the Oil have now thank goodness). Remember in 07 when they called up some guy from Junior to fill in at Defence (Bissaillon).

  • The Fish

    Big Mac said in an interview to Rob Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun about Eager and Hordichuk :”I’m not going to run around like a donkey, but those two guys especially…..they took my job and I don’t take too kindly to that.”
    Nice guy? Yes. Fast enough to catch either one of them? Not a chance in hell. I would bet my car that he doesn’t even play on October 9th.

  • O.C.

    Hopefully SMACaroonie beats the tar outta Nucks and Lames before the game in Edmonton.

    His hit against Calgary (was it McLennan?) was of legendary proportions.

  • The Fish

    Oil aren’t gonna make the playoffs anyway so I hope he scores a goal in his first game back at Rexall. I’m glad he’s playing somewhere else because he was tough to watch but the guy is a super nice fellow and I wish him the best; I hope he improves his game and sticks around for a long time.

    Great idea on that fundraiser too.

    • Bucknuck

      HEY MAN! None of that defeatist attitude yet. It’s all sunshine and kool-aid from here until December.

      Then we start with the sad platitudes of lottery talk.

      You’d think after five years people around here would know the cycle of “woe is me”.

  • Good article, Smac is probably one of the best people in the game. No arguement that he is the best scrapper. He took the high road & not many pro atheletes today are that candid, or able to be that honest I think. He could have piled on the team like others who have left here, but he took the high road.

    I’m gonna try & get some cash in for that draw. Hope my luck is better than last time. :p

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Last year the superheavy champ gets a 4 year deal worth 1.625 a year and that’s on July 1st. This year it takes til the 2nd week of free agency for two of the top superheavy’s to get a contract. Both are for minimal amounts and both are two-way deals, well godard is one-way year two.

    Not a good sign if you are strickly a fighter. Better higher a good investor and in Mac’s case sign some endorsements to get free hunting gear.

    • justDOit

      Personally I’m of the believe that all players should get a base Salary of 1 million(because people would bitch if I said lower) and then after that its based off of performance bonuses. Naturally a guy like Mac would have different bonuses than hall or eberle. Chances of Mac hitting 20 goals in a season is probably less than me winning the lotto max. A setup like that would eliminate the need for these stupid 10-14 year contracts and you would still have to base the cap hit off of previous years performance.

  • paul wodehouse

    …i’m thinkin’ Smac won’t play as much as George played when he was there…Matt Cooke’ll take his runs at other teams players through the year and the fear factor will be spread…

    …all will be well in the town of the flightless birds…even without Smac but hey good that it’s a two way deal for the Smac

  • Tracie

    Good luck Mac! All the best, except against the Oilers!

    For those who are not on twitter, Mac and Jones have a bet…who will have the better flow by bear camp next summer. Tweeps vote and the winner gets to shave the losers hair off and donate it to charity. These guys rock!

      • Quicksilver ballet

        I never put much weight into media related opinions. I rarely listen to that host formerly known as Bob Stauffer, alot of times we’re just hearing rubbish. The Oilers fully control what does and doesn’t get fed to the media. Bob only responds to what the Oilers have allowed him to feed to the airwaves, he’s never in on the initiating part of it.

        Scott Howson recognizes that he’s coming to the end of his rope in Columbus. He’s motivated and needs to make a splash this season to prolong his employment. Hemsky can help him out now whereas with Ryan Johansen is atleast two years away from being the type of contributor the Jackets need now. With a motivated buyer in Howson, there’s a deal to be had there in Hemsky for Johansen. Johansen and a conditional draft pick in exchange for Hemsky. It’s refreshing to see a GM Like Howson pushing all his chips into the middle hoping to error on the side of caution.

        • Let's Rebuild

          The problem with giving up the future (Johansson)for success today (Hemsky) is: What if it works and Howson keeps his job. If Hemsky walks after next year then it is possible Columbus falls back out of the playoffs and Howson is fired a year later. I highly doubt he is only looking at staying alive this year but he probably has a 3-5 year plan which includes adding essential young talent like Johansson.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            There’s a good fit there for Hemsky. He’d have a full year to get accustomed to the Columbus area. This would give the Jackets a 1 year head start at extending him. Ales has plenty of money, i don’t believe he’s looking to strike gold July 1st 2012. Even with a career year this season, Hemsky would be a strong player for them with a cap friendly 5-5.5 cap hit for most if not all of those 5 yrs you were concerned about.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          From some of the comments around this player it sounds like they want to bring him into the NHL this year and feed him limited mins like Boston did with Seguin. I think EDM fans tend to over value hemsky compared to how the rest of the league views him. The big problem is going to be his injury history and the fact that he only has one year left, in the views of other GMs this is a problem. I think everyone can agree that Hemsky is a great player point a game if he can stay healthy.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            The Bruins had the luxury of having a pretty good hockey to help Tyler along. Columbus will be fighting tooth and nail to solidify a playoff spot this year. Like the LA Kings did with Brayden Schenn, if the right piece is available i have to believe Johansen’s available.

            With both his shoulders fixed now there’s a renewed sense of optimism. Of all the top 6 forwards that may or may not be available, i have to believe when it comes to Hemsky and Howson, Scott has a definate case of tunnel vision.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            I would do that if they included Jared Boll but leaving with just Johansen would be good enough for me. With a fail rate over 90%, that second rounder puts alot of pressure on the scouting dept.

          • As much as they like hemsky, I think if they traded Johanson then he would be fired for sure. I would be willing to bet that they would rather part with 2 1st round picks before they get rid of them. Especially if they are planning on trying to make a strong playoff run giving up first rounders would be acceptable. Personally if I was Tambo I would be more willing to take on the 1st rounders. especially for the next draft which is heavy with high quality defenseman. We don’t need another forward prospect right now.

      • geoilersgist

        Well then I wouldn’t even talk to them any more because they nobody else on that $hitty team is even worth talking about. Except of course Nash, Carter but they arent even up for discussion. I might do a Hemsky and Gagner for Johanson but even that bothers me

        • geoilersgist

          If that included a 2 round pick I would do it. The more and more I look at our possible line ups and the current depth of the team I can’t help but think we still may have too many options at center. That trade frees up a roster spot.

    • Ducey

      Tambi tried Hemsky for Johanssen last year at the trade deadline. No dice.

      This article makes it sound like all SMac needs is some better decision making and a better PK and presto he is a surefire NHLer.

      Sorry, but the dude cannot play hockey. No one needs to fight him because he is no threat to anyone except after the play. If you are a tough guy and refuse to fight him, he will not make you fight him becuase he can’t go after your other players as he is not capable of hitting or keeping up with the play.

      How many times is he going to be on the ice with Crosby or Malkin? During the warmup – if he is lucky.

      Hordichuk and Eager are clear upgrades.

  • I’ve got nothing but immense respect for Stevie Mac. It’s one thing for us to discuss what Steve needs to do to make him a full-time NHLer. And it’s quite another to hear it from him directly. His puck management skills needs a severe improvement as well as learning to be effective without the puck. No doubt that he is the best fighter out there but the combination of his immense size and the instigator rule rendered him ineffective. Having that ‘snap’ factor helps keep the other team honest. That is why I was very happy with the Eager signing.

    Good luck in Pitt Steve!

  • freshpotofcoffey


    Awesome article on Mac, and thanks for all the charity work you do. You do more than any other media guy and I appreciate it. I’m going to enter now.