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Steve MacIntyre: The new Mister Zero

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We got guys who got a stat line of zero, zero, zero, zero, zero.

-- Sam Mitchell, (former) head coach, Toronto Raptors

   ... which pretty much describes Steve MacIntyre's contribution to the 2009-10 Edmonton Oilers. Not that he doesn't want to contribute -- Steve, if you're reading this and I run into you at Safeway, it's really not aimed at you -- but the evidence is clear he does not have the confidence of his coach.

On four occasions that Pat Quinn has had no choice but to dress every healthy body on the roster, MacIntyre has played 2:44, 0:51, 1:19, and 1:24. Twelve shifts in all, for 6:18 of total ice time. Otherwise his stat line is completely zeroes: zero goals, zero assists, zero points, zero shots, zero hits, zeroes as far as the eye can see, with the exception of 7 minutes of penalties. 6 minutes ice time, 7 minutes penalties, nice ratio. SMac had the big fight with McGrattan pictured up top which, while quite a show, accomplished pretty much zero within the context of that game; and he had an early tripping minor last night which could have hurt, but didn't.

What does hurt is that on a short-staffed team that has needed help in many different areas -- scoring, checking, penalty killing, hitting -- MacIntyre has provided pretty much Zero except the occasional glower from the bench or (more often) press box. Why do the Oilers have a guy who the coach refuses to use on the active roster, while Chris Minard, Charles Linglet, Ryan Potulny, Liam Reddox etc. are held down on the farm? Surely any one of those guys would have seen more ice in a single game than MacIntyre has in the season to date. Surely any of them would have put some crooked numbers somewhere on the stat sheet for goodness sake.

Ultimately it's not so much a question about the player and his known limitations as it is about the management's vision of the team. On this front it seems Pat Quinn and Steve Tambellini are nowhere near the same page. Which is a page that needs turning in any event. Let's get a real player in that spot.