Home > Edmonton Oilers > What’s the point of MacIntyre?

What’s the point of MacIntyre?

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m sure Steve MacIntyre is a nice guy but, nice guy or not, I just don’t understand why he’s employed by the Oilers. I didn’t understand it when Tambellini signed him as a free agent in the off season and I don’t understand it now. Presumably his presence is intended to deter the opposition from taking liberties with our young and/or small forwards, but does that really happen? He’s only skated in 11 of the Oilers 41 games this season. Is he really that intimidating in the press box? When he is in the lineup he averages on 3:51 of ice time, which doesn’t seem like much time to accomplish much of anything. But even if MacIntyre was played more frequently would it really impact how other teams play against the Oilers?

I don’t know why it would because he doesn’t fight the average player, only other heavyweights (in MacIntyre’s defense he isn’t alone here, all heavyweights do this). So in the event that a player did take a run at an Oiler or threw a borderline hit they, in all likelihood, wouldn’t have to answer to MacIntyre for it. His fight card this season doesn’t dispute this. His four fights have been with Ivanas, Boogaard (twice), and Orr – not a group of guys known for their hockey skills. So why would any player change their game for fear of MacIntyre if they wouldn’t have to fight MacIntyre?

But still, lets assume his presence does act as a deterrent, then presumably the Oilers opponent would be less physical and consequently the Oilers would get hit less frequently when MacIntyre dresses. But did it seem like Ott was avoiding contact last night? What about Morrow? Or any of the Canucks the game before? Didn’t think so. Over the last two games the Oilers opponents has been credited with 33 and 32 hits. Vancouver averages 23.5 hits/game and Dallas 27.1 hits/game. Those numbers show that even though the MacIntyre was dressed the Oilers opponent was actually more physical than normal. Again, if guys are afraid of having to answer to MacIntyre I’m certainly not seeing the evidence.

The bottom line is MacIntyre doesn’t affect a single thing the opposition does. And when it comes to actually hockey skills he is a terrible hockey player. All he does for the Oilers is fill a roster spot. A spot that the Oilers would be far better off filling with a player like Liam Reddox.

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