The Case for Keeping “The Red Ox”

By , September 24, 2010 8:25 pm
The simplest, yet most fitting nickname I have heard for anyone

The simplest, yet most fitting nickname I have heard for anyone

So there’s been a bit of buzz lately in Oilerland around Magnus Paajarvi, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and a few others. One guy that has crept up every now and then is Liam Reddox, but I personally don’t think his name can be mentioned enough.

It seems that since last year, he’s been doing everything in his power to make a name for himself and stay on this roster. Last year, Reddox was just giving us a taste of what he can do in a checking role, but didn’t last past November. An interesting stat of his from last year was his 24 hits in 9 games (only Peckham and Jacques had hits per game for the Oilers last year, although granted that’s a pretty hard pace to maintain).

The thing with Liam Reddox is his biggest issue has always been size. He’s got something to prove every night, and tries his darndest (yes I just said darndest) to prove he is a solid checker, but could never really manage to body guys off pucks effectively. He plays a high tempo game, and isn’t afraid to block shots if needed. He was good for Springfield as well too, being in the top 5 in scoring last year for the team, but at the same time, that isn’t a great feat given the sad display of offense that team put on last year. But this year I see something in Reddox I hadn’t seen before. For whatever reason, he actually seems to have the strength to bang guys off the pucks. I remember hearing last year that he was working on his strength, but we didn’t really get to see it enough. This year though, I’m not sure if he’s been curling soup cans, but I’ve already seen him rock 3 different guys that are bigger than him (isn’t everyone) between the Joey Moss Cup and the game versus the lightning. OK, perhaps “rock” is extreme, but he did either hit them hard enough to separate them from the puck or knock them on their butts, which is pretty good for what we’re used to seeing.

This guy is all heart with limited natural ability (unfortunately). That kind of play is inspiring to watch for not just the fans, but the players. I hope they keep him around for as long as they can, if they end up sending him down. But I would like to see him start the year on the 4th line with Fraser and Stortini. And if and when he does get sent down, I’m pretty sure he’s drawn enough attention to make a case for being a call up. Good on him for battling and overcoming the size issue. Let’s face it.. Gingerballs is 5’10″ and 180lbs with all his gear on. Keep on reppin’ those soup cans, Liam.

11 Responses to “The Case for Keeping “The Red Ox””

  1. Ryley says:

    He plays like a checker should. brings the most energy I’ve seen all preseason. Yes his size will prevent him from making the team, but he will be called up and play well at some point guaranteed. Great perspective on Reddox.

  2. Racki says:

    Hey Ryley, thanks for the comment. I agree too that he’s brought the most energy (aside from the offensive guns) for any players we’ve seen yet.

  3. chucker says:

    I’ve always made no bones about really liking Reddox. He’s fast, has enough skill to finish a play and hits like crazy. Yes he’s another Patrick Thoresen, but quite frankly, that’s what we’ve been lacking and it’s always been here.

    I think that if JFJ was not an Oiler, he would have been up for the last few years. He’s good on the PK as well, which is something you can never have enough of.

    The guy’s paid his dues for sure. I’d be very happy for the guy if he made it, because I really don’t see much difference in terms of benefit for any of the other guys to make it for the role he’d be playing.

    He’s low maintainance and knows his role. He’s the kind of guy that Chicago would keep around to fill those roles because he has speed and team committment. If he had been up the last few years, I think we’d have been very pleased with how our fourth line is rounding out.

    As for the hits, even if it doesn’t always hurt, it stops you and slows you down. That’s mostly the point. Starting and stopping momentum is hard to do and it usually happens with a hit. He’s good at that. Put him with Fraser and Storts with an alternate for other nights and we have a fine fourth line to me.

  4. 3rd Line Centre says:

    I thought he had a pretty great game on Thursday, but I’m not sure who he beats out for an NHL roster spot. Probably JFJ, but that’s about it right now.

    I’d like to see Omark with some decent linemates before anointing ‘The Red Ox’ with a roster spot.

    >3lc

  5. Racki says:

    Well said. I have been thinking a lot more about our bottom six these days than the top six (or well, top 9 perhaps). Those top guys seem pretty set in stone.. very little room for variation. But the “glue” players I kind of wonder about.. who really can be an impact player on this team at both ends, since it’s all about scoring more than you allow. Tough to say who all deserves to stick around, but I think Liam definitely has that hunger that we lack here.

    3lc: welcome to the Foil (missed that on your other post). Valid argument. Like I posted above, I’ve been thinking about the bottom six (or 4th line) a lot, and yah, it’s hard to justifying pushing a guy out for him. That’s kind of the story for a lot of guys here. I just think he has what it takes to surprise us. I’m not sure if he makes the team this year off the start, but I think he’ll make a reliable call up at least and should do pretty well this year in OKC if he isn’t up here.

  6. chucker says:

    Liam’s speed gives him an advantage. He’s also proven he can play the role effectively. Maybe Ondrus is another guy you’d look to for that role, but Reddox has had a better camp to me so far.

    O’Marra, I wish would finally show up and be an effective both six guy, but he’s gonna be on the farm for sure I think.

    Jones will be on the team if healthy too I think. Giroux goes down, same with Hartikainen. The only other guy I could see taking that role is Stewart.

    So basically, from my point of view, it’s between Reddox, Ondrus and Stewart for that last potential forward spot. This all of course hinges on them not keeping 8 d men up, which they just might.

  7. Racki says:

    Yes, I agree almost entirely with that. Giroux… I kind of have him as a dark horse though… but he’ll almost likely go down, like you said. But I kind of wonder though, if he has a couple of good games, maybe that changes.

    My thoughts are bang on with O’Marra.. he’s just seeming like he doesn’t care.

    Stewart I’ve been really impressed with too. Not sure about Ondrus, as I haven’t watched him closely enough. But those guys (and even Giroux) I’m certain were claimed for the farm team.

    But hey, nothing like a little healthy competition… in all roles. We’ve got top offensive guys competing for jobs, we got pluggers competing for jobs, and we’ve got d-men competing for jobs. Petiot and Plante were pretty damn impressive last night, imho. This all is good to see. However there are some obvious choices for sending down, which isn’t so nice to see. But some guys that aren’t ready now might be in another year or two, so I’m not worried.

  8. gr8one says:

    yeah, good stuff guys.

    Shawn Belle has looked pretty good too. Like Racki said, it really is fantastic seeing so much competition for so many roles, it feels like a long time since it’s been that way in this organization. I guess because it has been a long time, lol.

    At the very least, OKC should have a great inaugural season.

  9. MetalOil says:

    I see room for him on the team. 4th line and 2nd PK unit would be a good role for him. He could be our Pisani replacement.

  10. neufab says:

    Maybe that line 1 LW spot – Mighty Mouse (HERE I come to save the DAY) — kidding.

    Bang on assessment!
    I like what he brings to the table, but it will be easier for Jones and JFJ to make the team. I can see Reddox doing better with Stortini and Fraser than Omark, just because that’s more his game.

    Side note: Omark is fun to watch but he clearly needs time in the AHL.

  11. oilinblood says:

    I like Reddox but ive been even more impressed with Ondrus, who i believe brings more threat to our lineup in a retalitory way. I never liked Ondrus before, but he has made some good smart plays and will be nice to seee on the 4th line. Decent speed, works well with Storts, seems like a good team guy.

    Does ONdrus need to clear waivers?

    Can i trouble anyone for a list of players who need to clear waivers if re-assigned?

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