Aug. 23, 2018
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Nate</b></div><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Justin Dowling (VAN) & Brad Malone (EDM) on waivers</p>— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) <a href="https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/1491850151614427142?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">February 10, 2022</a></blockquote>
Think he gets claimed?</div></div>
As an Oiler fan, I hope so. I don't understand this signing beyond sentiment.
The mantra surrounding Woodcroft is that he puts offensive players into defensive positions, such as using skilled players on the PK. Definitely a CF%-mentality man. This is a direct contrast to both MacLellan and Tippett's dedicated use of journeymen PK-ers on their fourth lines. Malone is more the kind of player I'd expect to see those coaches using at the NHL level, not Woodcroft.
If Woodcroft is going to use that mantra to optimize Edmonton's bottom six, Malone's isn't the kind of name they should be looking to. It's names like Benson and Marody. If some combination of Draisaitl, Hyman, Kane, McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins, and Puljujarvi are set in top-six stone, then the bottom six would need to operate on the premise of:
Foegele - McLeod - Yamamoto
Benson - Ryan/Sceviour - Marody
as history would suggest that the trio of Hyman, McLeod, and Nugent-Hopkins should be looked at heavily for PK usage. Draisaitl, McDavid, and Yamamoto are still options under Woodcroft too.
Malone isn't going to improve this roster: in my eyes he's going to be at best a voice during practices or in the locker room but it's hard to maintain that level of leadership when you aren't playing or factoring into games. He isn't an upgrade on Benson but Malone's is a name I'd happily welcome over the ilk of Shore and Turris.
God forbid the Oilers run the Unicorns setup and put the big three down the middle, maybe Malone regularly dresses on the fourth line? The dynamic completely changes if getting Holloway and Marody into NHL games becomes priority.
Kane - McDavid - Puljujarvi
Benson - Draisaitl - Hyman
Foegele - Nugent-Hopkins - Yamamoto
Malone - McLeod - Ryan/Sceviour
I'm skeptical of Malone as a full-time NHL option. I'd very much see better forwards coming in to push names down the roster as opposed to forcing names up the roster.