Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Good news for Liam Reddox and Linus Omark today but bad bad news for Zach Stortini, whose sideburns grated Tom Renney's tit or somesuch. Stortini waived and while there are two guys who are far less useful than the former captain of my hometown junior club (I'm looking at you JF Jacques and Steve MacIntyre) Stortini's ouster is not that much of a surprise. Its been clear since day one that Renney was not a fan and the feeling was that these were the last days for Stortini as an Oiler. A comment at Lowetide's site noted that likely Stortini was offered around and there were no takers. We'll see if that's true - if the big lug clears waivers then he'll certainly be a help to OKC's chase for a playoff spot.
With Gilbert Brule's status a moving target (ankle? flu? irritated labia?) its unclear as to what is happening with him or if we will ever see him again. And for Omark and Reddox this can only mean good news. The two aforementioned plugs (Jacques and MacIntyre that is) obviously have their champions within the organization for some reason despite the fact that both Omark and Reddox are far better hockey players. In Omark's case especially its pretty imperative to see if he can play at the NHL level and contribute on the PP and against soft opposition. The bet here is that he can. And Reddox, while a replaceable sort, brings energy and speed and some creativity and hard work and that's a good combination allround to have in a guy who is on your fourth line. Plus he probably likes the paycheque after years in the minors.
As for Stortini well its a hard thing to see for two reasons. First of all buddy worked his bag off to become an NHL player. He wasn't gifted with much in the way of speed or hands or any of that but he worked hard and made himself into a relatively useful player. Its tough to see a guy like that get sent down when there are guys with tons of talent and ability floating (literally) through the league, making big bucks.
And secondly the aforementioned two plugs. Jacques has been playing better lately but it was impossible to be worse than he was before and he's still absolutely terrible. And MacIntyre? Well the whole deterrent thing is such a crock its hard to take. Its easy to cheer for a guy who is living the life but Stortini was the same type of story and a better player to boot.
We all knew this day would come. Stortini was a fourth liner on the poorest team in the league and he was in the coach's bad books for whatever reason. Not a huge deal but of course we said that when we lost Thoresen and Brodziak and Reasoner and many others it seems who were also never replaced. I would have to think that next fall Jacques will be gone and maybe Fraser too, replaced by kids like Lander and Hartikainen and Hamilton. The next wave is coming and its starting to wash away some of the guys who have been around for a bit.
Good luck to Stortini though. By all accounts he's a fine fellow on top of it all. Hope he lands on his feet. Now excuse me, I have to go talk Bruce McCurdy off of a bridge.
Actually knowing Bruce he's on his way down to Rexall right now with a heavy blunt object.
Posted by Black Dog at 3:55 PM