Edmonton Oilers trade for Mike Brown

Jonathan Willis
March 04 2013 09:17AM

 

Photo: Michael Miller/Wikimedia

On Monday morning, the Edmonton Oilers' official Twitter feed announced that the club had acquired forward Mike Brown from Toronto in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2014.

Brown has played in 12 games with the Maple Leafs this year, picking up a single assist, but his ice-time and importance to the team had diminished sharply with the ascension of fellow tough guys Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren. After averaging more than 9:00 per game in 2011-12, he was down to 4:39 this season, and often spent time in the pressbox. So why are the Oilers interested in a player the Maple Leafs have identified as a spare part?

Pugilism

Brown is likely best known for his physical play - both fighting and hitting. He's had 15 fights since the start of 2011-12 season and hits everything that moves. His size isn't ideal to the role - Brown is listed at 5'11", 212 pounds - but he's very willing and judging by his fight card has had some success against bigger players in the past.

But can he do more than fight?

Can He Play?

The answer to this question is a qualified yes.

The big caveat is that Brown will not score; he's averaged roughly one point for every 10 games over his major-league career, and his career high in NHL points is eight. His career high in the AHL is 15 points, a total he achieved over 78 contests as a rookie professional.

On the other hand, Brown isn't a total liability as a defensive forward. His diminished role this year means he hasn't seen much time on the penalty kill, but NHL coaches in his recent past have used him there - he saw some time in 2011-12, and averaged a career-high 1:35 while shorthanded in 2010-11. It's probably worth noting that the penalty kills he has spent a lot of time on have typically been pretty bad; in significant minutes in 2009-10 with Anaheim and 2010-11 in Toronto, neither club managed to crack the 80% mark in terms of success killing off power plays. 

Brown also saw some success in 2011-12 on a checking line, playing mostly with Dave Steckel - despite a fairly heavy ratio of defensive zone starts, the line came close to holding its own in terms of shots for and against with Brown on the ice. Unfortunately, that's as good as it gets for Brown - in previous years, his line has been lit up despite offensive zone shifts in Anaheim and in defensive zone work in Toronto.

Is it a good move?

There are positives. Brown is likely more capable of playing a regular shift on the fourth line than his predecessor, Darcy Hordichuk, and he will add an edge to whichever line he finds himself on. A fourth-round draft pick is a pretty small price to pay, particularly since it isn't until 2014.

With a logjam of wingers already in the system, this will force the Oilers to move another player off the roster. Maybe that player is Lennart Petrell - a bigger forward who is better defensively and roughly equivalent offensively, but who doesn't fight. Maybe that forward is Magnus Paajarvi or Teemu Hartikainen, in which case the Oilers are sacrificing ability in order to bring in a fighter. Certainly one hopes that head coach Ralph Krueger was on-board with the move, given that his unwillingness to play a part-time guy in Hordichuk ultimately resulted in the veteran getting consigned to the minors.

Ultimately, how Brown responds to the chance to play will determine whether this was a solid move for the Oilers or not. He will upgrade the team's toughness on its bottom lines, but in terms of out-playing the opposition this looks like at best a 'treading water' move. 

Update: Bob McKenzie reports that the draft pick is conditional - if the Oilers make the playoffs this season, it becomes a third-round pick in 2014.

Leafs Nation also has a post up on this trade.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Hayek
March 04 2013, 10:40AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I wouldn't put much weight in his shot metrics this year - shots are more frequent than goals, but given how few minutes Brown has played there simply isn't enough data there for a good judgment.

His numbers from last year are much better, though I sort of suspect he was more complementary player on that line than driving force.

Fair enough, and I realize shot metrics are not everything.

But last year for Toronto, Corsi Rel QoC which adjusts for relative corsi and quality of competition he was ranked 15th out of 19 Toronto forwards. Just looking at corsi relative, he was 15th out of 19 Toronto forwards.

This guy cannot play hockey.

And we gave up a 4th round pick for him...

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#52 Hayek
March 04 2013, 10:44AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Stop trading future assets for quick fixes. At this rate they won't have any late round draft picks. It goes to show no one wants anyone on the Oilers bottom six.

It's nice to see that there are some people here with some intelligent thought into the future of the team.

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#53 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 10:45AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

That's hilarious.

I actually don't mind Mike Brown, but he's instantly the most incompetent scorer among the Oilers' forward corps. The idea that he'll magically generate goals through grit despite a long-established record of being a sinkhole offensively is ridiculous.

I want to argue, I think Belanger is most incompetent scorer. Brown will be second. But I like what he brings and this opens up the option of moving eager. Maybe a Hemsky, Eager, Whitney to the Islanders for Nino and Vishnofsky. Why do the players need to have such hard a$$ names to spell?

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#54 Eddie Shore
March 04 2013, 10:46AM
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Hayek wrote:

Fair enough, and I realize shot metrics are not everything.

But last year for Toronto, Corsi Rel QoC which adjusts for relative corsi and quality of competition he was ranked 15th out of 19 Toronto forwards. Just looking at corsi relative, he was 15th out of 19 Toronto forwards.

This guy cannot play hockey.

And we gave up a 4th round pick for him...

You do realize that the odds of a 4th rounder turning out to be anything are slim to none right?

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#55 bwar
March 04 2013, 10:46AM
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My only issue with this trade is that if Krueger refused to give Hordichuk ice time why will he give Brown any?

Also who cares about any draft pick outside of our yearly #1 pick? Trade em all who cares.

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#56 MooseMess
March 04 2013, 10:46AM
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Excellent acquisition for the Oil. Hope it doesn't result in MPS getting sent down, but either Petrell being waived or Eager traded.

Statheads will write this off as an overpay for a 'coke machine' which ironically reveals their own tightly held bias.

Anyone who's ever played competitive hockey knows otherwise. The effort Brown brings will have a big influence on this team's work ethic and the young guns will all grow a foot taller with this guy in the lineup.

Yes, functional toughness in the Top 6 would be preferable. But no team's giving away the David Clarkson's and Dustin Brown's of the world. You have to draft and develop those guys, hence Moroz.

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#57 Shane
March 04 2013, 10:48AM
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.

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#58 BigOil
March 04 2013, 10:49AM
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I love how people say that this move was terrible and yet say this team needs to be better.

What do we trade to get something of real value from another team? Everyone says we can't trade the kids..... News flash, they are the only thing the Oilers have that anybody wants. Sorry armchair GMs, no one is going to give us Chara or Getzlaf for Belanger or Potter and the rights to Omark.

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#59 thebiggestmanintheworld
March 04 2013, 10:50AM
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We need someone to teach these kids to shave in four, five years when they attempt a playoff push.........right?

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#61 ScottieA
March 04 2013, 10:51AM
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Trade just got worse. It's a conditional 4th rounder. It becomes a 3rd rounder if the Oilers make the playoffs. Now that is definitely an overpayment.

Well the chances of them making the playoffs are fading fast...

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#62 TKB2677
March 04 2013, 10:51AM
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I just love it when someone loses their mind over trading a 4th rounder for a player that actually can fill a role and play in the NHL.

Anyone know the percentage of 4th round picks that actually play in the NHL? After every round the percentage drops lower and lower. Once you get past the 3rd round, it drops to something like less than 10%

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#63 Hayek
March 04 2013, 10:51AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

You do realize that the odds of a 4th rounder turning out to be anything are slim to none right?

I do, but you realize Mike Brown turning out to be a productive NHLer is non-existent right?

I'm okay with trading late picks, but how about for someone that could help the team. Trading away assets (even realitively less valuable assets) for no return is poor management. Mike Brown is no return (in my opinion)

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#65 common sense
March 04 2013, 10:53AM
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The reason this puts egg on management is because these kinds of moves should've been before the need arose. Most everyone knew what this team lacked. Tambo et.al. are a joke. We need someone, anyone who will act proactively.

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#67 Czar
March 04 2013, 10:54AM
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Park him out front and hopefully he can deflect a couple off the "stache."

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#68 Hayek
March 04 2013, 10:55AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Because unlike Darcy Hordichuk, Mike Brown has a fairly decent record of playing a regular shift in the NHL.

Funny that was the argument that most blogs (not sure if you did) when Hordichuk came to the team. They said he could take a pass, unlike McIntyre, and would actually be an improvement at even strength. Now I hear the same thing with Mike Brown, and am more than skeptical.

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#69 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 10:55AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I know you were kidding, but I feel compelled to point out that on eight different occasions, Eric Belanger has scored more points in a season than Mike Brown has in his entire NHL career.

I was more just making reference to the whole belanger triangle thing from last season. Which I find funny because he's been pretty much the same this year but no one has said anything.

JW what do you think the odds are of this being a precursor to an other 2-3 moves by the team up to the deadline?

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#70 fuzzy muppet
March 04 2013, 10:56AM
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Hayek wrote:

I do, but you realize Mike Brown turning out to be a productive NHLer is non-existent right?

I'm okay with trading late picks, but how about for someone that could help the team. Trading away assets (even realitively less valuable assets) for no return is poor management. Mike Brown is no return (in my opinion)

And why didn't they acquire a Center??

Chris Vandevelde is a terrible hockey player, yet you pick up a guy that can't replace him?

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#71 Old Retired Guy
March 04 2013, 10:56AM
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Hayek wrote:

What a terrible trade. We give up a 4th rounder for a useless goon who can't play. He has one of the worst corsi on Toronto, and gets outshot like crazy. What, do the Oilers need more players on the team that will have us outshot even more now?

But hey, let's please the retarded masses and give them a goon in the lineup once again. First we waste a 3rd rounder for Fistric, who can't play defence, but can hit. Now we waste a 4th on Mike Brown who can't play hockey, but can fight.

Disagree with eveything Hayek says hear.....unless this is actually Selma.....in which case she is right about everything...plain and simple....

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#72 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 10:57AM
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Hayek wrote:

Funny that was the argument that most blogs (not sure if you did) when Hordichuk came to the team. They said he could take a pass, unlike McIntyre, and would actually be an improvement at even strength. Now I hear the same thing with Mike Brown, and am more than skeptical.

In all fairness Hordi was an upgrade over Big Mac. Just not much of one.

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#73 Eddie Shore
March 04 2013, 10:57AM
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Hayek wrote:

I do, but you realize Mike Brown turning out to be a productive NHLer is non-existent right?

I'm okay with trading late picks, but how about for someone that could help the team. Trading away assets (even realitively less valuable assets) for no return is poor management. Mike Brown is no return (in my opinion)

Mike Brown fills a role. Whether or not you agree with the role is a different argument altogether. I think fans here will like the way he plays - he is what we thought Eager would be (minus the offence obviously). He hits, fights and will actually instigate and stir it up rather than react to what the other team does. He will inject some energy into our lineup.

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#74 Todd
March 04 2013, 10:59AM
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Every time I see a picture of Tambicakes my blood pressure rises a bit.

SS Titanic Oilers is steaming full speed in the dark towards an iceberg and he is busy changing the wallpaper in his luxury suite.

No amount of tinkering with spare parts and waiver castoffs is going to help the screwed up structure of the entire team. Time to step up and do your job Tambo. Get some real grit in the TOP 6. Get a top 2 d man. It'll take something called being a shrewd and smart GM. It'll take moving out valuable pieces that will be painful to lose.

The Penguins traded away Goligovsky but got JAmes Neal. At the time that was a painful trade of a young stud puck moving d man. Now Neal is ripping home 40 goals. It took balls AND giving up something of value to get something back.

It appears as if Tambi's only plan is to put together a real terrible team to get a bunch of #1 draft picks. Then add some waiver castoff losers from other teams to round things out and close his eyes and pray.

#FAIL #fireTambellini

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#75 Bonvie
March 04 2013, 10:59AM
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common sense wrote:

The reason this puts egg on management is because these kinds of moves should've been before the need arose. Most everyone knew what this team lacked. Tambo et.al. are a joke. We need someone, anyone who will act proactively.

Vancouver just picked up a better Mike Brown on WAIVERS!!!!

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#77 Mr. Sense Common
March 04 2013, 11:01AM
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WOW. Tammy did something useful!

Excellent acquisition. Better than excellent. I have often said "Edm needs 3 Steve Ott's"....well here is 1. Think Tazmanian Devil, in look and speed...this guy is a machine. No need to micro-analyze his points/shots, etc...this guy should be told one thing: HIT.

Excellent move and only took 6yrs. Sheesh...the first thing Bergevin did in Mtl was lock up Prust and Armstrong and the skilled midgets in Mtl are flyin......

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#79 andrewmk20
March 04 2013, 11:04AM
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@Hayek

Actually the issue I have is that Tambellini consistently overpays in relation to the NHL trade market. Loktionov was dealt for a 5th rounder and he projects to be a top 6-9 forward. Simon Gagne and Matthew Lombardi were both dealt for 4th rounders. It just seems that he can never get any value for his picks. It`s a little troubling because to build a contender the GM needs to be able to squeeze good value out of the assets he`s giving up and so far outside of Fistric, which at this point is a fair deal, I haven`t seen Tambellini do so. I mean we all rag on Lowe but he attained quite a bit of value out of the deals he made when he was GM. From Dan McGillis, Anson Carter, and Janne Niinimaa, he attained good players from assets that were going to leave or for picks and spare parts.

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#80 Mr. Sense Common
March 04 2013, 11:04AM
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WOW. Tammy did something useful!

Excellent acquisition. Better than excellent. I have often said "Edm needs 3 Steve Ott's"....well here is 1. Think Tazmanian Devil, in look and speed...this guy is a machine. No need to micro-analyze his points/shots, etc...this guy should be told one thing: HIT.

Excellent move and only took 6yrs. Sheesh...the first thing Bergevin did in Mtl was lock up Prust and Armstrong and the skilled midgets in Mtl are flyin......

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#81 Bonvie
March 04 2013, 11:05AM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

In all fairness Hordi was an upgrade over Big Mac. Just not much of one.

In what world was Hordichuk an upgrade in an enforcer position over McIntyre. At the end of the day there is no difference in terms of wether the Oilers are getting outscored during either of their 2 minutes of ice time. The difference being who would want to fight Steve McIntyre, he is feared.

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#82 Hayek
March 04 2013, 11:06AM
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Why is it that we have trouble filling our bottom 6 with useful hockey players? The top 6 should be the tough part. These are talented guys, and salary always is a factor.

The bottom 6 should be such an easy part to fill. The thing is, Oilers don't even use guys in their own organization. Omark led the Swiss League in scoring this year. Arcobello is putting up a ton of points in OKC. Look at the good teams in the league, and look at their scoring in their bottom 6 (...it exists!!!)

If you say something enough times, the people will believe it. So this concept of grit gets said over and over by sheep in the media, and now it's thought that grit wins games.

Scoring wins games. Creating turnovers wins games. Maintaining possession wins games. Being positionally aware wins games. Drawing penalties wins games.

Grit does not win games.

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#83 Todd
March 04 2013, 11:08AM
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andrewmk20 wrote:

Actually the issue I have is that Tambellini consistently overpays in relation to the NHL trade market. Loktionov was dealt for a 5th rounder and he projects to be a top 6-9 forward. Simon Gagne and Matthew Lombardi were both dealt for 4th rounders. It just seems that he can never get any value for his picks. It`s a little troubling because to build a contender the GM needs to be able to squeeze good value out of the assets he`s giving up and so far outside of Fistric, which at this point is a fair deal, I haven`t seen Tambellini do so. I mean we all rag on Lowe but he attained quite a bit of value out of the deals he made when he was GM. From Dan McGillis, Anson Carter, and Janne Niinimaa, he attained good players from assets that were going to leave or for picks and spare parts.

Tambo is a shmuck. Name 1 good thing he has done. He tanked the team and got us 3 skilled stars. He tried his hardest to give Hemsky away and failed, so he had to overpay to resign him. JSchultz came here cause of the kids, nothing to do with Tambo.

He has done nothing good in 4 years. Epic fail.

FAIL!

Is there a list of everything Tambo has ever done? I'd like to see it. In my mind it plays out like a B horror movie. But perhaps I'm forgetting something good he did.... Anything?

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#84 Sanaa Montana
March 04 2013, 11:08AM
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So our 5v5 just improved?

This trade was made to keep the fans and media quiet and talking about something else.

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#85 Quicksilver ballet
March 04 2013, 11:09AM
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Bob Stauffer delivers as promised with this WOW move. Just took a little while to iron out the details i guess, huh?

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#86 Hayek
March 04 2013, 11:09AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

It's all relative. Hordichuk is am uch better hockey player than MacIntyre; Brown is a better hockey player than Hordichuk.

And I'll take your word on that, but Hordichuk was terrible. Why are we setting the bar so low? So who is Brown better than on the team right now? My point is just that improving on terrible players isn't really improving.

If you are going to trade for someone, make it someone useful.

(I think you already mentioned this, so I agree with most of what you are saying. Just don't understand the part where you said Brown was useful last year. Where is this coming from?)

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#87 Bonvie
March 04 2013, 11:10AM
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@Jonathan Willis

And any one of MPS, Hartakanen, VV, Green, Arcobello, Rajalla etc are better hockey players than Hordichuck and Brown.

But if we are talking enforcers than McIntyre will eat Brown and Hordichuks lunch every time.

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#88 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 11:10AM
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Bonvie wrote:

In what world was Hordichuk an upgrade in an enforcer position over McIntyre. At the end of the day there is no difference in terms of wether the Oilers are getting outscored during either of their 2 minutes of ice time. The difference being who would want to fight Steve McIntyre, he is feared.

Not really feared because guys could just skate away from him and he couldn't keep up if he wanted to. being feared is when you know the guy is going to run you down like a dog if you don't stand toe to toe with him. Mac would just shrug his shoulders and go back to the bench.

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#89 Eddie Shore
March 04 2013, 11:11AM
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Hayek wrote:

Why is it that we have trouble filling our bottom 6 with useful hockey players? The top 6 should be the tough part. These are talented guys, and salary always is a factor.

The bottom 6 should be such an easy part to fill. The thing is, Oilers don't even use guys in their own organization. Omark led the Swiss League in scoring this year. Arcobello is putting up a ton of points in OKC. Look at the good teams in the league, and look at their scoring in their bottom 6 (...it exists!!!)

If you say something enough times, the people will believe it. So this concept of grit gets said over and over by sheep in the media, and now it's thought that grit wins games.

Scoring wins games. Creating turnovers wins games. Maintaining possession wins games. Being positionally aware wins games. Drawing penalties wins games.

Grit does not win games.

How do you create turnovers? How do you get the puck back when you lose possession? How do you win one on one battles? You're right, grit isn't important at all.

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#90 Hayek
March 04 2013, 11:12AM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

So our 5v5 just improved?

This trade was made to keep the fans and media quiet and talking about something else.

Lol, so very true. Now at least sheeple will be quiet about getting more grit. Because after all, we would be in the playoffs right now if our truculence/60 was at a higher level....

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#91 Todd
March 04 2013, 11:14AM
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we suck

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#92 Hayek
March 04 2013, 11:16AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

How do you create turnovers? How do you get the puck back when you lose possession? How do you win one on one battles? You're right, grit isn't important at all.

See, I agree with you here.

But I quantified things that win games, other people don't quantify grit. I assume they quantify grit as someone who runs around like a chicken with head cut off. Someone who has lots of hits, and someone who gets into scrums after the whistle.

Hitting a guy after he has already passed the puck does not create a turnover. Hitting a guy, and knocking him off the puck does.

That's what irritates me, is when people use the word grit, and don't really know what it means (they just tend to want tough guys, who hit, and fight).

I'm not saying you are one of these people by the way.

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#93 vetinari
March 04 2013, 11:17AM
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Our friends at capgeek tell us that Mike Brown has another year after this season on his contract at $736,667 per year...

The part about the 4th rounder turning into a 3rd rounder if we make the playoffs this year almost had me spewing coffee across my computer screen... how did that go down?

ST: "Nonis, we need an angry, S.O.B. for our fourth line-- preferably a winger-- is Mike Brown available? Would you take a contract back... maybe Hordichuk or Peckham?"

DN: "Steve, I could part with Brown for maybe a mid-rounder in 2014, but keep your deadwood."

ST: "How about a fifth round pick-- you know-- what he went for last time Anaheim traded him to you guys."

DN: "I was thinking a third rounder."

ST: "Why don't we split the difference at a 4th round pick. Tell you what-- I'll make it a third rounder when we make the playoffs this year."

DN: [dead silence]

ST: "Dave?"

DN: "Sorry. I was just checking the call display. It does say area code 780. What the hell. Dream big Steve. Done."

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#94 Quicksilver ballet
March 04 2013, 11:17AM
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Mike Brown = Darcy Hordichuk.

Repeat,repeat.....repeat. Oilers Management has to be the posterchild of insanity.

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#95 Oil Change?
March 04 2013, 11:18AM
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It sounds like Brown actually competes and takes NHL hockey as an occupation. Right from that I think we have to be happy. We constantly get out worked. I have no clue as to where this lack of compete comes from but it has been around for years now.

It is very obvious when Taylor Hall is not in the lineup. Having our best player be our hardest worker makes me appreciate him even more. I am just concerned as to how long it takes for him to question why he cares so much when others clearly do not.

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#96 Sanaa Montana
March 04 2013, 11:18AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

How do you create turnovers? How do you get the puck back when you lose possession? How do you win one on one battles? You're right, grit isn't important at all.

So is grit defense, or is defense grit? If they're not two of the same: what is more important; defense or grit?

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#97 Will
March 04 2013, 11:20AM
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Well the team isn't playing fantastic or anything so it's hard to root for our GM. However, can anyone here name a better trade that any other GM has made recently? Other than Lubo for a third round pick at the start of the year, all the trades around the league have not been of the blockbuster variety. I mean the Cole trade is the largest one. Hell Feaster nearly just gave away his draft picks for absolutely nothing.

I don't think anyone understands how difficult it is to make a trade in the NHL, especially one that benefit both teams, and especially one at this point in the season. I think there have been extensive articles about how mid season trades are never big moves.

I seem to remember everyone a few months ago loving the Fistric trade. And getting this guy for a fourth round pick? That is nothing. It really is nothing. Sure he may turn out to be crap, but so what, we literally didn't lose anything for him. You think our scouts are yelling at Management right now being like, "No, there was a sleeper we were going to pick up in the fourth round!" Nope. A week ago everyone on these blogs was crying that we need an enforcer, or functional toughness. Well, unless we're willing to give up something pretty grand dios, there's no way to get those guys from other teams.

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#98 Hayek
March 04 2013, 11:20AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

How do you create turnovers? How do you get the puck back when you lose possession? How do you win one on one battles? You're right, grit isn't important at all.

Oh, by your definition here, you pretty well explain Omark spot on. He creates a lot of turnovers, mostly through the use of his stick. He wins one on one battles, and is shockingly great on the boards for a player of his size. Yet in my mind, I would not consider him a gritty player, because he doesn`t hit that often, and he doesn`t fight.

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#99 fuzzy muppet
March 04 2013, 11:20AM
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I'm Fine with Brown as a player that knows his role.

What I am not fine with is that this kind of player is constantly on the waiver wire and is worth no more than 6th rounder.

Another small overpay. You add up all these small over pays (like schultz for gilbert, 3rd for fistric, eberle contract, eagers contract term, Belanger contract term etc...)you end up with bad asset management.

Edmonton is great at bad asset management.

And i'm really not fine with this if they send out Pajaarvi to make room. It's f*&%ing lunacy.

Avatar
#100 Zamboni Driver
March 04 2013, 11:21AM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
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props

Again a list of 'my blind faith favourites'...

NONE of you, ZERO had any clue who Mike Brown was 45 minutes ago.

But now he's EXACTLY what we need.

Well...other than maybe Macintyre and Penner, of course.

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