Mark Spector over at Sportsnet has been an interesting read this year. He broke a number of stories, and got what was probably the best quote of the year from an unnamed Oilers veteran. On the other hand, he’s also shown that from time to time he has an axe to grind, and grind it he does.
It’s not so much an axe today, but from that same article quoted below (the Souray speculation) Spector makes a funny comment about ex-Oiler Kyle Brodziak:
The Oilers trade of Kyle Brodziak to Minnesota for a couple of later round draft picks was a clear message by Tambellini. The younger players in that Oilers dressing room have a sense of entitlement that is unhealthy, and a big fourth-liner like Brodziak who constantly passed up hits and lacked energy was the first one to be moved.
I’ve never viewed Brodziak as a lackadaisical sort; sure he wasn’t a physically punishing guy and I would have liked to see more of an edge from him, but he seemed to forecheck aggressively and his work ethic looked just fine from here. It fits with his junior record too; in 2002-03 he was named Moose Jaw’s "Hardest Working Player" and "Unsung Hero". Spector’s comments also stand in stark contrast to those of Chuck Fletcher – the man who made the trade on the Minnesota end:
We shared a farm team with Edmonton in Wilkes-Barre three seasons ago and Kyle’s one of the leaders on the team and played really well for Todd and since then has had two successful seasons in the NHL… he brings a lot of versatility to the lineup and I think he’ll allow our coaching staff to give him different looks and move him around and bring some character and effort to the lineup every night… There’s a lot of things you can do with a Kyle Brodziak. There’s energy, there’s work ethic and there’s character.
I don’t mean to rag on Spector too much; he’s been around for a long while, speaks his mind and every so often breaks news before anyone else does (I believe he was the first to announce MacTavish was fired) but I do think he’s taking the easy route here rather than the strictly accurate one.