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The Progress Report: Red Ox Renaissance

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers
Liam Reddox (Photo by Andy Devlin / EOHC).

When the 2010-11 season began back in September with the launch of training camp, Liam Reddox was already a veteran of 56 NHL games with the Oilers. Although only a taste was given last season with nine appearances in Edmonton, the bulk of his workload was seen with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.

Removed from the NHL game for nearly a calendar year, Reddox was poised to make an emphatic return to the big leagues. With opportunity abound as the organization opened the door for roster competition, a strong showing in training camp would provide the necessary stage to earn a position.

Camp concluded and Reddox was the beneficiary of three opportunities to shine in pre-season competition. With one assist recorded, in addition to an aggressive and energetic style, Reddox did everything possible to earn his keep.

And so decision day finally arrived.

The cold, rainy autumn weather was fittingly representative of what was to come for eight players on the morning on October 4th. Three days before the regular season was set to begin and the Oilers had trimmed the roster in preparation.

Although he performed well, Reddox was on his way to Oklahoma City.

Throughout his five-year professional career, the 25-year old has laughed in the face of adversity; motivation gained through challenges has been the catalyst for his improvement as a reliable, two-way winger. Most importantly, however, Reddox believed in his ability to make the show.

Reddox spent a full season with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder before making his AHL debut the following year with the Springfield Falcons in 2007-08. With modest offensive numbers to show, the story of persistence was still unwritten.

Highlighting his resume over the next few seasons would be lengthy stints in the AHL, with the occasional call-up providing further opportunity to establish his name with the Oilers organization.

Perhaps his NHL career truly began with his latest assignment to the minors.

Like most instances in his decorated hockey career, Reddox made the most of his most recent challenge. Instead of being content with his role on the farm, his trademark work ethic earned him another shot at the NHL level.

In 37 games with the Barons this season, Reddox posted 18 goals, 33 points and a plus-14 rating. It was a season that saw him accumulate impressive offensive numbers, in addition his already fabulous defensive game. Once again, it was an opportunity earned on the back of incredible work ethic.

Since his recall on January 3rd, Reddox has played in 12 games, tallying five assists to continue a level of valuable offensive production. Considering his newly discovered offensive touch, his two-way game has again proven the true focus.

As Reddox carves into the freshly manicured ice, an overwhelming sense of heart and passion is conveyed through his everlasting on-ice aggression. His desire to succeed is matched only by his intelligence and ability to read the game under intense circumstances.

While he doesn’t possess the most robust offensive skill-set, he plays within his bounds to develop an all-encompassing style that proves successful for his team. Fortunately for everyone involved, this is an area of his game that sees constant development as he looks to manufacture a full-time NHL position.

Accomplishing that goal is an ongoing process, with his physical game being the highlight of an overall aggressive panache.

In only 12 games this season, Reddox has accumulated 31 hits; the 2.6 per game average is best on the Oilers. Bruising rearguard Theo Peckham, who currently leads the Oilers with 127 on the season, cannot match Reddox’s high-paced average. At only 5’11”, 178 pounds, this is yet another testament to his passion and reckless-abandon mentality.

It’s a skill that has translated to success on the penalty kill as well. With intelligence, stamina and poise creating a myriad of defensive skills, Reddox has helped to turn the tide of a once dismal efficiency rate in Edmonton.

All things considered, Liam Reddox is a renaissance man of the 2010-11 season. His unrelenting dedication to the game has helped him establish a well-rounded style that now features a prominent offensive touch. In addition to his already extensive two-way arsenal, his value to the rebuilding Oilers has increased dramatically. 

With strong play providing the backdrop, Reddox now has the opportunity to cement his role as an NHL regular.

Perhaps more than anyone, he’s certainly earned the chance.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |
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