When the Wild traded away AHL All-Star Maxim Noreau to the Devils for David McIntyre, many fans had a little bit of an aneurysm. Why trade away a puck moving, offensive d-man for yet another center? Why not get Max his shot in the big leagues and reward him for being such a good soldier for so long?
Well, because he wasn't very good in the NHL, that's why. He got his chances, and he did nothing with them. Thus, the trade to shore up what was, at one point, a very weak position.
Now, McIntyre has been called up from Houston, and according to the Wild Twitter account, will play tonight against the Lightning. This means he will make is NHL debut, which means, we need to figure out who this guy is.
First off, as always, some basics:
Now, some video to see what he might bring to the table.
So... he knows where the net is. Not exactly what his role will be here in St. Paul, but good to know he doesn't need a compass. There was also a video of him "fighting" in the AHL, but it was more of a hug fest than anything, and lasted exactly 15 seconds. We declined the offer.
Finally, we turn to the people who know him:
If you read above, McIntyre came to the Wild via the Devils organization. Turning to our friends at In Lou We Trust, we find one of the most excellent player profiles I have ever read. Seriously. Go read the entire thing, I am a bit surprised they left out his shoe size.
From that post:
Coming into 2010-2011 what should we see from McIntyre? He will likely be groomed for a checking line/penalty kill role in Albany. I wouldn't expect him to see the ice for the Devils unless there are injuries that force him into the lineup. Based on his past development you would expect him to need at least a year and possibly more to excel at the AHL level. Should he develop his game at Albany I would expect to see him get a few NHL games under his belt by the end of the 2011-2012 season. That being said, I wouldn't be shocked to see him as a 4th line energy player either late this year or early next year. With his physical play and skating ability he should be able to add energy to the Devils for 5-7 minutes per night. Of course the limited play in New Jersey could be a detriment to his development considering the ice time he would have in Albany, but injuries and roster needs sometimes dictate promotion more than anything else.
Down the road I can see McIntyre playing a role as a 3rd line checking center and penalty kill contributor. To do this he will need to improve his faceoff skills as I worry about his drop off in face off wins during his college career. His best value to the Devils is as a center, as the Devils have plenty of depth at the wing. That said, if the Devils end up with a future checking line with both Adam Henrique and McIntyre, that could be a prolific two way line. At a minimum McIntyre does seem like a good addition to a 4th line adding energy, puck handling ability and above average skating skills.
In looking for a comparable player currently in the NHL I had hoped to state that McIntyre was comparable to John Madden. While they do share career path similarities (both played tier 2 Canadian Junior Hockey, played out there full NCAA eligibility and excelled in the NCAA) I think a Madden comparison would be too aggressive at this point. Let's give him a year in the Devils organization and I think we will be able to project his future a bit better.
Exactly what he expected to do for the Wild. And a comparison to John Madden? If he can live up to that, he'll never leave. The likelihood of that may be a bit small, but it is what it is. Devils fans know a little about Madden, so if they say Madden, I'll buy it.
Wild fans are lucky. McIntyre is a beast. Fast, good hands, creative, smart (both hockey and otherwise), tough (but not distractingly so *cough*STAUBITZ*cough*), strong on the puck. I'd say if anybody epitomizes a Mike Yeo type of player, DMac is it. I just can't say enough good things about him. Plus, his mo is thick and rich. Clutterstache might get intimidated.
I wondered when he was going to get his chance up there and now I'm very worried we won't get him back. But thanks for the Prosser and Peters!