Rangers Oilers Proposal That Makes Sense
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09-07-2004, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Originally Posted by
Yea but Goons that cant play. Other than Simon, what tough guy did we have that provided both toughness and a bit of scoring?? Please dont say Ms.McCarthy. This is why Sather should have pushed hard for Wiemer. I wonder what tough guys with skill are available.
For one, I'd challenge the assertion that Laraque has much skill. His career best is 29 points, only mariginally better than McCarthy's. Oh, and back when McCarthy got ran out of town for not being tough enough? Well two of his last three seasons in NY he posted 175+ PIMs. Laraque has only been over 150 PIMs once in his NHL career, and last year he didn't even break 100.
As for goons, last year alone: Barnaby, Purinton, and Simon were all regulars, and Murray and McCarthy showed up after the purge. And while they aren't fighters, Holik, Lindros, Mironov, Malakhov, and Kasparitius were also there to provide yet more 'toughness'. Heck, Messier, even in his dotage, isn't exactly a softy (just ask Jason Blake).
Did any of it matter?
Laraque is great. Ten years ago he'd have been a vital cog on a team. Nowadays? Not so much. And certainly not worth trading what it would take to pry him away from an Edmonton fanbase that adores him. Laraque is one of the few seriously marketable players on that roster, and that matters a whole lot to the revenue short Oilers.
Bottom line is that in today's NHL, the enforcer is a marginal player at best. Look at NJ. Who's their enforcer? Colin White? When was the last time Scott Stevens dropped the gloves? Heck, it's not just NJ either. Detroit's enforcer was . . . McCarty? Fischer? . . . Bueller? How about Colorado? How, oh how, did they ever recover from the critical loss of Peter Worrell? Oh wait, no one noticed the big goof was gone. Does Tampa Bay have a brawler? I don't even remember.
At this stage in the game, I'd rather have three PK specialists on the fourth line, and sit a heavy weight stricly brawler (Grenier or Purinton probably) until Toronto, Philly, or the Islanders show up. Heck, Anaheim is using Garrett Burnett in a similar role for chrissakes, and Purinton could hospitalize him with a harsh glare. The Stanley Cup runner ups were using Krystof Oliwa, and it didn't seem to slow them down.
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