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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Please play Cooper Marody if he’s going to be here

On Thursday afternoon, the Oilers announced that Cooper Marody was being recalled for the third time this season, and I have to say that the move has me a little bit confused. It’s not that I don’t think Marody is deserving of the chance, the guy is having a great season with the Condors so far, I just don’t believe that having him sit and watch from the bench or press box is necessarily the best use of his time. 

The first thing I want to do here is to start off by saying that I really like Cooper Marody as a prospect, and the fact that I’m questioning his recall doesn’t have anything to do with him but more to do with his usage. From where I blog, I think the guy has a very intriguing skill set that this organization desperately needs on its depth chart, but I also think that he would be better served by playing big minutes in the AHL rather than seven or less in Edmonton. With the Condors, Marody is over a point per game while centring a successful line with Tyler Benson and Cameron Hebig, and to take him away from that for what will likely be a lot of watching is a bit of a head-scratcher for me.

Unless Hitchcock is going to play him more than we’ve seen so far, Bakersfield seems to make more sense at this stage of his career, no?

If the reason for sending Patrick Russell back down was to get him more minutes than the 8+ he was getting in Edmonton then that makes sense to me, but to replace him with Marody does not. In six games played with the Oilers so far this season, Marody has averaged 6:55 on the ice with a CF% of 51.2 while getting 67.9% of his shifts starting in the offensive zone. In two of those games, however, he played less than four minutes. While there is certainly value in having him test his skills against NHL competition and learn what it takes to make it in the league, I don’t know how much development is going to happen with so few minutes.

Personally, I don’t think that sitting on the bench or in the press box is going to be all that helpful regardless of how good Hitch Daddy’s practices are, and that an important prospect like Marody would be better off playing in all situations with the Condors. Let the kid master swimming in the pool before tossing him in the ocean, ya know?

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Like I said above, the problem I have with the Marody recall isn’t that he was brought up, based on his play in the AHL you could certainly argue that he deserves a chance, but the issue is that he likely won’t be playing much again. To me, I would have filled out the roster by bringing up a guy like Brad Malone because he isn’t likely to figure into the long term plans and it wouldn’t be as big of a deal if he doesn’t play all that much. The guy is an AHL veteran that knows the deal and would fit in just fine as the team’s 13th forward. If he did play, Brad Malone can give the Oilers comparable minutes in a fourth line role without having to sacrifice the playing time of one of their higher end prospects.

Another angle here is that the Oilers are on a bit of a roll right now and that makes me wonder whether or not Marody will even get into the lineup at all. Hitchcock tends to keep everything the same when the boys are winning and that’ll make it tough for Marody to get in. Looking at the forward lines from last night’s game against Minnesota, who would you pull out in favour of him?

Chiasson – McDavid – Draisaitl
Khaira – RNH – Puljujarvi
Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian
Zykov – Spooner – Rattie

Now that my cards are on the table, I’m curious to know what you guys think. Do you think there’s enough value in having Marody practice and travel with the Oilers to make it worth it even if he doesn’t play all that much? Am I overthinking things again? Let me know.

COOPER MARODY’S SEASON SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2018-19 Bakersfield Condors* AHL 11 4 10 14 6 1
2018-19 Edmonton Oilers NHL 6 0 0 0 0 -1
NHL Totals 6 0 0 0 0

 

  • chezzychez

    It’s not like Cooper is getting the call up despite his lack of production in the minors. He seems to be a step above the competition there. Might be worth having him practice with Hitch and the big club for a while and get in a game or two next week. No harm IMO, Hitch will make him earn his ice time.

      • Kevwan

        The NHL pay check. Being able to practice with NHL players/ coaches – getting on the ice to show Hitch what you can do, etc.

        For a few games I don’t think it’s a problem (And I’ll bet Marody doesn’t as well). If this lasts more than a week or 2 then maybe that’s a different story.

  • Rusty Patenaude

    You are correct in asserting that sparse ice-time in the bigs is not good for his development if it were for the long term. But this is not likely to be a long term call up. Cooper will likely be cashing NHL paycheques for a week or two and see the ice for two or three games. Then he will head back to Bakersfield to continue his apprenticeship. He won’t get the kind of ice time he was getting in the AHL, but he will get practice time with Hitchcock and that will be very good for him moving forward. Besides Marody is a college kid used to playing 40 games in a season so this reduced game time could very well act as a bit of an aid to transition to pro hockey. Bottom line a week or two isn’t going to derail his development it will give him a chance to display the progress he has made and get some feedback regarding what areas he most needs to work on in Bakersfield. I also like Marody and I think he will most likely be a nice “glue” player for the Oilers in the not so distant future.

  • Kepler62c

    I agree, it’s confusing to see them pull up a guy who could be a legit NHL player and sit him in the press box. One would think that now that they don’t have to put these guys right into the lineup (ala Caggiula) they’d finally follow the “overdevelop” plan and leave these guys in the AHL at least a whole year so they aren’t overwhelmed or invisible for their first 30-40 games in the NHL.

    Brad Malone would be my first choice for call-up right now. He’s an older player and has over 100 NHL games of experience – if he gets into a game he’ll know how to impact it in a positive way, and not the end of the world for him to sit.

    • Finnaggled

      silly, if brad malone could “impact the game in a positive way”, he’ be in the friggin nhl. he didnt get called up because he’s not very good, 100 nhl games has proven that. Marody, on the other hand, is pretty good, and the coach wants to ice the best lineup he can.

  • scott5017

    Lucic, i would sit lucic. No-one should be above sitting for a game or 2 regardless of how much they make. Big guy looks alot better this year but you can tell hes playing a little cautious, we could really use those 20 goals he used to be good for.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Lucic (-11) , Kassian (-7), and Brodziak (-10) have the team worst plus/minus ratings on the entire team.
      They provide almost zero offence. Kassian 2 pts (26 gm’s), Lucic 6 pt’s (29 gm’s), Brodz 3 pt’s (27 gm’s).
      On any other team, they wouldn’t be in the lineup.

      • Ol_OneNut

        Lots of other teams have guys that don’t get many points lol. Like 6 million dollar Backes on the bruins who just got his third or Louis in Van or Neil in Calgary etc etc etc

        Glad your not the coach or GM of anything

      • Big Nuggets

        toughest matchups leading to worst plus minus, pretty surprising. Who would you give the tough matchups to if these guys weren’t in the lineup as you suggest they wouldn’t be on any other team?

  • Simba99

    Maybe just maybe sit lucic for a couple and see where that goes cause if he goes all year with one goal we have to somehow someway get rid of that 6 million sooner or later

  • Finnaggled

    what professional coach, trainer or player has said that playing 8 odd minutes a game, and practising and spending time with the best in the business….is bad for development? I hear that said a lot and to me makes no sense, I learned a ton of my chosen profession from watching who I deemed the best in the business when I was young.

  • wiseguy

    You’re overthinking things. The Oilers are winning. They have some injuries so there are some spots open. Does it matter who is filling them in and getting rewarded with an NHL paycheck for a temporary position? 2 weeks ago it was sent Puljujarvi to the AHL for the rest of the year. Stop worrying about how to best develop players. An NHLer will make it despite sitting in the press box for some games and a bust will be a bust no matter how many AHL games he plays.

  • Heschultzhescores

    How many of us thought it was stupid to start amTalbot last game? I did. Now my point Hitch was right. Questioning TMac was easy and We were often correct in doing so. My point is, the players bought into Hitch maybe it’s time us fans bought in too and stop questioning the coaches every move. The man is a mad hockey genius

  • hockeyartist

    Baby steps, you cant just throw him out there for 20 minutes and expect him to not trip up. The NHL is a whole new level and it takes time to get comfortable out there. I have total faith in how Hitch is molding this team.

  • RyanCoke

    Could be rewarding him with a huge paycheque as well. Going from 70k/year to 925k/year is huge. If he plays just 7 games in the NHL he makes more than he does all year in the AHL. If I were in his position I would not be upset at all. I get to play and practice with world class players and coaches. Get the first class treatment on meals and hotels and flights. Sounds great to me

    • norm

      I think they have deals with the college guys where they get a certain amount of games in the nhl. he was almost unsignable for Philly. a back room handshake where they say your gonna get nhl money for at least a certain time