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12-05-2003, 11:57 AM
Master Lok
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 6,999
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I think you're oversimplying your statistics to make an unreal conclusion that Brown was an invaluable member of the Oiler defense. He was a sixth defenseman, sometimes 5th, and rarely 4th. The Oilers gave him a chance and stuck with him and he improved slowly. I think the Oil had hopes that he would be a reliable defensive defenseman with an edge but he never panned out reliably. I remember there were spells every year where he would be sat out because his outlet passes were so poor and he couldn't get the puck out safely.

The end result, losing Brown hurt us more in the PIM's than in the +/-. Ferguson has done a capable job. I think Ferguson is less intimidating than Brown but cheaper salary-wise. The fact that Brown has lost his place with the B's and that NJ has sent him down to the AHL bears out that he's only a marginal NHL'er. Maybe we'll see him again the NHL... but I think that NJ is merely using him as insurance for an NHL experienced sixth defender.

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