According to Ryan Rishaug from TSN, via Twitter, the Edmonton Oilers have claimed tough guy Steve MacIntyre off waivers. Yes Oilers fans, the same Steve MacIntyre that has already been a part of this hockey club not once, but twice in the past. And so the trifecta is complete as MacIntyre is brought back for a third time.
The move is simply a reaction one to Saturday night’s events that saw the Vancouver Canucks take liberty on the Oilers young stars. The Gagner injury and a head shot to Taylor Hall left Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish feverishly scrambling to add a policeman to their roster. Enter MacIntyre……again.
He is a tough guy who can exchange blows with the best of them around the league but as far as talent goes outside using his hands to bruise opponents faces, he doesn’t have much else.
We’ve seen MacIntyre in the past with the Oilers. Here’s a guy who averaged just shy of three and a half minutes of ice-time throughout his career, further proving that he does not bring any value to the Oilers. How can he intimidate or even police the ice when Dallas Eakings can’t put him out there on a regular basis because he’s simply a liability?
This move will not help the Oilers win hockey games. Yes it makes them a tougher team as a whole but when one of the Oilers stars gets ran again, by the time MacIntyre gets on the ice, the culprit will either be long gone from the game or sitting on the bench.
Call it a reaction, call it panic by MacTavish. He felt the team needs a legitimate goon to help protect his core group of players but bringing in someone who can barely skate at the NHL level (and that’s being generous) isn’t the answer.
This is the exact problem the Oilers had when the off-season began and MacTavish chose to ignore it. This roster doesn’t have the grit, size or toughness amongst their top nine forwards that championship teams do. David Clarkson was available and aside from his bone head move to leave the bench in last night’s brawl with the Sabres, he’s proving to Leafs fans he can deliver as advertised.
Ryan Clowe, albeit currently injured was another free agent that brings size and sandpaper to the lineup. Another one that the Oilers passed on.
How about Cal Clutterbuck on the Oilers third line? He would’ve looked great wouldn’t he? Mac-T does deserve some credit here as he did attempt to acquire the former Wild agitator who can play a solid two-way game. But Minnesota wisely chose to ship him out of conference.
In the end, bringing back MacIntyre is a move that represents sheer panic by MacTavish and company. His presence on the bench will do very little when comparing it to what Mac-T is hoping for. The Oilers have now wasted a roster spot on a player that doesn’t bring anything to the lineup. Mike Brown and Ben Eager are likely to be the odd men out and at least they can play a well rounded game, or at least something that resembles that. All MacIntyre can do is punch, which is too bad because both Eager and Brown can accomplish that same goal; not to the same level mind you but their other assets far outweigh the one positive that MacIntyre brings.
MacTavish has made some bold moves this past summer and he promised more change around training camp and before the regular season started. This move is a head scratcher and doesn’t resemble anything to the meaning of bold or smart for that matter.