- Here is my two cents on the Rockets dealing Riley McIntosh (known as 'tosh' to his teammates) to the Tri City Americans for a 5th round bantam pick in 2010. First off the deal shouldn't come as a surprise. While McIntosh was playing the best hockey of his career, he is only showing now that he can play consistently at this level. Is he heads and tails better than newcomers Aaron Borejko or Curt Gogol? The answer is no. While he's improved, where would he fit into the big scheme of things next season with the Rockets expected to get back every defenseman from this years roster with the exception being overager Tysen Dowzak? It just doesn't make sense to hold onto an 18 year-old defenseman when five - 17 year-olds (Bowman - Verdino - Borejko - Gogol - Barrie) are just as good, or in Bowman and Barrie's case, better.
- Can McIntosh have a positive impact on the Americans? Sure he can. He is serviceable for three years ( two more after this season). McIntosh could be a top 4 defenseman by the time he is 20, who knows? McIntosh now moves to a very good team, so it will be interesting to see how he fits into Don Nachbaur's plans. If anyone can get more out of a player, Nachbaur can.
- It always confuses me how a defenseman who is 6 foot 5 plays a game that doesn't revolve around physical play. If McIntosh was dynamic offensively, I could take the lack of physicality in his game. But with just one goal in 104 career games, it would be interesting to hear his explanation as to what type of defenseman he see's himself as. One thing is certain...he sure can skate.
- In my opinion this clears room for the Rockets to acquire a veteran defenseman at the trade deadline. Don't fool yourself, this defensive core (as good as they may be during this five game winning streak) still lacks the depth necessary to compete against the top teams. I have nothing against Borejko or Gogol, but those two are rookies and need time to develop. For them to see the ice consistently in a seven games playoff series against Vancouver, Tri City or Spokane at this time in their young careers just wouldn't be wise. Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton is too smart a man not to recognize this.
- To even get out of the Western Conference playoffs this spring the Rockets would likely have to go through two of three top end teams in Vancouver, Spokane and Tri City. So you have to ask yourself, what's needed to get past those three teams in a possible seven game series? The Rockets management have to ask themselves this question now, with the trade deadline just over a month away. Something tells me that question was asked three weeks into the season, not on the first day of December.
- It's only by coincidence, but I find it interesting that McIntosh follows a long list of Rockets 2nd round bantam picks that have been traded over the years. Let's look deeper:
McIntosh - 2nd round pick 2005 - traded to Tri City Americans
Brett Breitkreuz - 2nd round pick 2004 - left unprotected Edmonton Oil Kings Expansion Draft
Kirt Hill - 2nd round pick in 2003 - traded to Regina Pats
David Jacobson - 2nd round pick in 2000 - traded to Everett Silvertips
Ryan Coghlan - 2nd round pick in 1999 - traded to Vancouver Giants
Seth Leonard - while Leonard was the Rockets 3rd round pick in 1998, he was the teams second pick in the draft. Leonard was traded to Prince Albert.
Note: Say all you want about trading 2nd round picks, but first round home-runs with Schenn, Myers, Barrie and now with what appears to be a good one in Shane McColgan makes you feel pretty good about Lorne Frey's success at the draft table.