Monday, December 1, 2008

Tosh Traded

  • 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.


Rocketwatcher said...

Regan....Where to begin? I agree that Riley does not have the potential of Gogol and Boreyko at this point. Skating and aggression are not there. I rank Gogol ahead of Tosh and Boreko on both those points. Do we need a veteran d man going forward? It depends what you have to give up. Our secondary scoring is so thin if you trade it away and teams gang tackle the top scorers, the d won't matter. Bruce said that goaltending and consistency were his concerns. I feel if you sit the kids for extended periods of time, they will not be ready for prime time. And look no further than Bowman going down to see how quick you have to pressure the rookies into service. A solid d guy would be an asset but not at the development expense of Gogol and Boreyko. I know a few other guys on this post feel the same. Good luck Riley. The Amerks are a good team with a better coach.....

Regan Bartel said...

Gogol and Borejko have to feel fortunate to have seen as much ice time as they have this season. Remember the Rockets had 5 losses in their first 9 games - not a good start by those that picked this team to be one of the best in the West. Bruce Hamilton could have hit the panic button, but laid off it allowing Gogol and Borejko to fight through rough waters. The lack of a trade for a veteran defenseman - which everyone was calling for during the slow start - has the team with 5 losses in their last 18 games. That said, the games get even tougher after Christmas and a veteran d-man is needed to provide support on the blue line. In a season where you think you can make some noise in the playoffs, to go into the post season with 5 - 17 year-old d-men -an 18 year-old and a 20 year-old would be hockey suicide. The Rockets do not have a 19 year-old defensman. Tri City has 4 while Vancouver and Spokane have two each.

Rocketwatcher said...

Well said...I just don't know who is going to trade you a guy like that, and at what cost? And to me TriCities and Vancouver have strong goaltending to set themselves apart from Kelowna, not necessarily that much better of a team. And the media picking Kelowna to go deep doesn't make it gospel.....Bruce knows that as well...