SUN Hockey Pool

Quinn: It's not rocket science

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

EDMONTON — There are subtle messages and there are messages that might as well be tied to sticks of dynamite.

Moving Patrick O’Sullivan to the press box Thursday night, making him a healthy scratch on the worst team in the NHL, is the kind that leaves a mushroom cloud in the dressing room.

“It’s embarrassing for me, but that’s the point of it, I think,” said O’Sullivan. “I can be a lot better. I need to take more responsibility as a top player on the team, that’s what they want and that’s what I know I’m capable of.

“That’s the message. Like I said, it’s embarrassing and I don’t want to be in this situation. The next game I play I have a point of my own I can prove.”

O’Sullivan, with seven points in his last 10 games, is by no means the worst Oilers forward, but he’s minus 22 on the year and has been inconsistent offensively, so there’s a target on his back. And with the return of Mike Comrie and Gilbert Brule, Quinn finally has enough healthy bodies to sit some guys down.

“It’s not rocket science here, if there’s 22 guys on your roster, two don’t play,” said Quinn. “In Patrick’s case he hasn’t met the expectations of this coaching staff in the last little while. We think he can be a better player.

“If that’s the slap on the hand or the strap or whatever you want to call it, there are certain ways that coaches have to try to reach people to help them be better players down the road. When the expectation is it doesn’t matter how I play I’m going to be in the lineup, certain words aren’t being heard.”

The move surely catches the rest of the team’s attention. Who knows who the next designated sitters will be?

“Clearly that’s what it’s going to be about the rest of the season. We have healthy guys now,” said O’Sullivan. “Our team has been awful this year and a lot of the players have been as well. It sucks, but that’s the way it goes. You have to take it the right way and do something with it.”


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