VIDEO: Tyler Biggs instigates a fight in OHL debut

Cam Charron
September 21 2012 07:58AM

It's almost so expected.

You get just ten fights before you start serving two-game suspensions, and first-rounder Tyler Biggs got a leg-up on the competition here, getting into the first fight of the season. Ty Bilcke, who led the league last season with 37 scraps in Windsor, apparently mustered the stomach to turn down a fight with Daniel Zweep.

So a rough OHL debut for Biggs, you'd say. Well, depends who you ask.

Terry Koshan has a puzzling article in the Toronto Sun this morning, entitled, "Leafs' Biggs shows truculence". Well what on earth does that even mean?

If Brian Burke wants truculence, the Maple Leafs general manager might have found it in Tyler Biggs.

Lord knows the Leafs have not had much of that kind of hockey in Burke’s reign in Toronto, but there was Biggs, in his first game in the Ontario Hockey League, dropping his gloves.

Pardon me for thinking that the reason the Leafs have been bad in recent years is due to a limited number of good players, not limited numbers of guys who could fight in the OHL. Biggs' goal this season is to develop into an elite offensive talent, not to be the next Jamie Devane.

Devane scored 19 times in his 19-year old season after being selected in the third round by the Maple Leafs. Biggs was a first round pick, selected ahead of notables such as Zack Phillips, Rickard Rakell and Ty Rattie, and ought to be expected to carry some sort of offence, particularly since he has such a well-developed frame for an OHL player. What was his overall impact?

As for Tyler Biggs, the much-talked-about Toronto Maple Leafs first round pick who finally made his way to Oshawa this summer, he started the night skating alongside Jenner and Uvira. Throughout the first period he made his presence felt down low on the forecheck and buzzed around the net on a couple of occasions. In the second, however, he made his most obvious impact, dropping the gloves with Peterborough's Clark Seymour after the Petes defender took a run at rookie Michael Dal Colle. Unfortunately for Biggs he drew an instigator call on the play and sat out until the third.

Boone Jenner, who plays on a line with Biggs, is probably a better offensive player, even after being drafted 15 slots South.

"Truculence" shouldn't be what the Leafs are looking for at this point. They need good hockey players. He justified his fight by saying "somebody has to step in there" after Clark Seymour threw a hit on Michael Dal Colle, a 1996-born rookie and first round pick.

I think a lot of people will defend the performance by suggesting a) Oshawa won and b) Biggs acted like a good teammate, but that shouldn't be Biggs' job. His job is to develop into an elite scorer, and anything else is a failed season for a former first-round pick.

Here's the video:

UPDATE - Working with non-factual information here. The boxscore published Biggs' boxscore as "0" minutes rather than 10, which led me to believe he got a game for the instigator. This is apparently false, as he did play past his fight, but not too well. The original post title has been updated, as Tyler Biggs was not kicked out.

63811cbf517d2d685ea09e103488ea3a
Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
Avatar
#1 Top Shelf
September 22 2012, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This disdain of Biggs (by many) which is rooted in the fact that Burke moved two picks to get him and also bypassed other players with more offensive upside is unfair and tired. I think the best we can hope for is a poor man's version of Lucic, someone who can play a well rounded game on the 2nd line, do the dirty work in the corners and stick up for teammates when need be.

Realistically, I'd be thrilled if he turns into a good 3rd liner who plays well defensively and can chip in offensively. Of course the Leafs need more good hockey players, a couple who can also fight would be nice too. I know it's hard to quantify, but I've played on hockey on teams who are overwhelmed and intimidated physically and witnessed some players wilt under those conditions. That is they become less willing to battle for pucks in the corner, less willing to go at the net, to collect rebounds for scoring chances. I'm not going to argue that fighting "is part of the game" and has to stay, but as long as it is there, having some good hockey players who handle themselves would benefit the team.

Avatar
#2 Top Shelf
September 22 2012, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This disdain of Biggs (by many) which is rooted in the fact that Burke moved two picks to get him and also bypassed other players with more offensive upside is unfair and tired. I think the best we can hope for is a poor man's version of Lucic, someone who can play a well rounded game on the 2nd line, do the dirty work in the corners and stick up for teammates when need be.

Realistically, I'd be thrilled if he turns into a good 3rd liner who plays well defensively and can chip in offensively. Of course the Leafs need more good hockey players, a couple who can also fight would be nice too. I know it's hard to quantify, but I've played on hockey on teams who are overwhelmed and intimidated physically and witnessed some players wilt under those conditions. That is they become less willing to battle for pucks in the corner, less willing to go at the net, to collect rebounds for scoring chances. I'm not going to argue that fighting "is part of the game" and has to stay, but as long as it is there, having some good hockey players who handle themselves would benefit the team.

Avatar
#3 leafer4life
September 22 2012, 09:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Biggs is just what the leafs need. A talented big body to open up space. People are far too negative - he won't be a third liner he will be first liner for certain.

That said, if Biggs becomes a third liner, then swapping a 1st rounder + 2nd rounder for a couple spaces higher 1st round pick is poor asset management.

Avatar
#4 khanlari
September 22 2012, 11:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

he'll be a colby armstrong. bigger, meaner, some hands, decent shot. hopefully he can stay healthy

Avatar
#5 Top Shelf
September 23 2012, 08:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
leafer4life wrote:

Biggs is just what the leafs need. A talented big body to open up space. People are far too negative - he won't be a third liner he will be first liner for certain.

That said, if Biggs becomes a third liner, then swapping a 1st rounder + 2nd rounder for a couple spaces higher 1st round pick is poor asset management.

First liner for certain? hmm. That would be nice, I don't see it though. If Biggs could end up something like Kulemin, but can fight, that'd be great. Kind of a 2nd/3rd liner offensively, but excellent defensively and can chuck knuckles when need be.

Trading a first and 2nd(30th and 39th) to move up to a 22nd overall, is more often than not going to be poor asset management. The unfortunate thing is Biggs seems to take a little extra heat among many in Leafs Nation because of it, which of course is unfair.

Avatar
#6 Steve Dangle
September 24 2012, 12:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

The consensus I got from Twitter last week is that, as big as Zweep is, he's pretty useless and it probably best to actually let him play.

Comments are closed for this article.