There is always room for improvement, as the saying goes, and when it comes to building hockey teams, the proverb rings true. Take the Edmonton Oilers for example.
There are a few holes, not only with the NHL team but also throughout the entire organization. One such weakness is that there hasn’t been an agitator or a pest to follow in the footsteps of Esa Tikkanen or Kenny Linseman for years.
Raffi Torres was supposed to be that type of player for the Oilers this year but his emergence as a goal scorer has propelled the winger into a more profound role.
There is still one other notable figure in the system that could give a woodpecker a headache and he goes by the name of Dan Baum. The rookie forward has played for three different teams this year including wearing the maple leaf on his chest for the first time in his career.
Make no mistake, Baum knows his job and it’s one he relishes in. The fact that he is the only true agitator in the system increases the attention that the Oiler brass must pay towards Baum but they already know what he brings to the table.
“We think he’s got a chance to be a gritty, in your face, two-way centerman that can get under people’s skin,” said assistant GM Scott Howson. “He’s got that agitator in him that we seem to lack (in Edmonton) at times. He’s got a chance that way to find that role, that’s his game; agitating and getting under people’s skin. He’s got some skill though too, he’s not a guy who won’t know what to do with the puck around the net.”