I like this.
Wait, the pessimists will say that the Oilers are losing an asset for nothing, and they will hate this. “Why did we sign him just to waive him?” I will definitely grant that. But we gave it a shot with Eager. I like that we tried. When we first got him, he was a hockey player.. and the guy we were looking for. He could skate fast (still does) and was a willing combatant and worked hard. That seems to have dropped off a cliff. He doesn’t seem to be at all helpful to the team anymore. He did fight once this year, but it’s starting to become clear that for whatever reason, he isn’t interested in that role. He’s not protecting his teammates anymore, and Mike Brown has come in and robbed him of his job.
Mike Brown has been doing all the things we could expect of him. He’s played with a lot of energy, already drawn a couple penalties, gotten into two scraps, PKed a small bit, gotten himself a goal, and one of his drawn penalties led to a PP goal (can’t remember if the one last night did too). He is exactly what I’d hoped for. He’s made Ben Eager completely unnecessary. A lot of people hated that we picked up Mike Brown, but the way I saw it, we were picking up a guy to replace Darcy Hordichuk and Ben Eager, and I think we did that perfectly.
Now I don’t want to rag on Ben Eager too much. Enforcer is absolutely the hardest role in hockey. I don’t know why he has stopped being that guy to stand up for teammates. My best guess is that the concussions he’s suffered have played a big part, and for that I feel bad for him, if it’s true. I don’t think he’s become soft, or a pansy or anything like that.. something is holding him back other than him just wanting to turn into a scorer, I believe (which isn’t going to happen). So I wish him best of luck, but I hope he is claimed on waivers. That will bring the Oilers down to 48 contracts, and be a good move in trimming more fat from this team.
Next goals by deadline day: move Ryan Whitney, Eric Belanger, and (sorry Steve-O) Ales Hemsky for better parts.