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?
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