This Team Needs Shawn Horcoff Or A Player Exactly Like Him

Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009 10:41AM

Horcoff goal

Shawn Horcoff’s a player that I have some difficulty discussing objectively. He’s a good player with a wide range of skills and an underrated offensive game; in point of fact, his offensive game has been of first-line quality since the lockout. Horcoff is also a player that the majority of the Oilers’ fan-base don’t seem to appreciate; despite the mess on left wing this season, “a real first line centre” is routinely listed as a major team need on the message boards and in the hallowed halls (if I’m not allowed to use hackneyed phrases than I’m quitting to work for the Sun) of the comment sections here.

The disdain for such a useful player drives me nuts; I’ve overreacted more than once while defending Horcoff’s performance, and as a result it’s difficult for me to be objective. So I’m not going to get hung up on what his exact value to the team is here. I’m going to use some basic logic to make a point about team needs.

First off, the ages of the current group of Oilers’ centre-men:

  • Shawn Horcoff: 30
  • Sam Gagner: 19
  • Andrew Cogliano: 21
  • Kyle Brodziak: 24

Other players used include Marc Pouliot (23), Liam Reddox (23) and Patrick O’Sullivan (24). In other words, there’s exactly one guy in the position over the age of 25. This isn’t rocket science; there’s a very young group here and Horcoff is the only player currently in the prime of his career.

Secondly, let’s look at professional experience. The current group by total number of NHL games played:

  • Shawn Horcoff: 560
  • Sam Gagner: 155
  • Andrew Cogliano: 164
  • Kyle Brodziak: 175

Other players used include Marc Pouliot (141GP), Liam Reddox (47GP) and Patrick O’Sullivan (207GP). If I wanted to really drive the point home I’d list the number of games these guys had managed prior to the start of this season; it’s not only a young group, it’s an inexperienced one.

Thirdly, let’s look at faceoff ability. Here’s the faceoff percentage of the various Oilers’ centres this past season:

  • Shawn Horcoff: 53.9% (1756 taken)
  • Sam Gagner: 42.0% (690 taken)
  • Andrew Cogliano: 37.2% (702 taken)
  • Kyle Brodziak: 51.6% (947 taken)

Other players used include Marc Pouliot (48.3% - 211 taken), Liam Reddox (44% - 25 taken) and Patrick O’Sullivan (41.4% - 99 taken).

Now we’re going to consider game situations. The fourth item is actually a question: with one minute left in the third period, with the goaltender pulled and the Oilers down by one, a faceoff occurs in the offensive zone – which player should be sent out to take the faceoff against the other team’s best defensive players? Looking at this roster, I only see one viable option. Cogliano, Gagner and O’Sullivan have some offensive ability, but Shawn Horcoff is the only player with both the offensive acumen and faceoff savvy to be on the ice in that position. He’s not a perfect player; obviously as a coach I’d rather see a player with more high-end offensive talent out there, but he’s the best option currently on the roster. If he were (hypothetically) to be dealt, this team would need a new player for those sorts of situations.

The fifth item for consideration is almost the opposite of that: with one minute left in the third period, with the opposition net empty and the Oilers up by one, a faceoff occurs in the defensive zone – which player should be sent out to take the faceoff against the other team’s best offensive players? Looking at this roster, I only see one viable option. Kyle Brodziak can win faceoffs, but he doesn’t have the defensive acumen to contain the best players in the game – Shawn Horcoff does. He’s the perfect player for the situation; if he were (again hypothetically) to be dealt, this team would need a new player for those sorts of situations.

So, looking at this list, what conclusion do we come to? I know the conclusion I come to – that if the Oilers dealt Shawn Horcoff, they’d need to find a player who has a) NHL experience, b) is in the prime of his career, c) is a faceoff expert, d) averages at least .75 points per game and e) can contain the best players in the NHL when the game is on the line. Maybe they could fill that hole with two players; they’re very unlikely to fill it with one.

This team is young down the middle; eventually Gagner, Cogliano and perhaps others can fill some of the roles that Shawn Horcoff now plays. For now though, he’s far too valuable to the team offensively and defensively to be traded except for a complete player of a higher caliber, and those sort of players aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. This isn’t a defense of Horcoff’s contract, an evaluation of his worth league-wide, or anything of the sort – it’s a practical look at the holes this roster has down the middle, and an explanation that if this team wants to develop it’s young centres (and it should!) they need players like Shawn Horcoff to carry the burden until those players are ready.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 12:06PM
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Chaz wrote:

Amen JW, very well said. I hope fans will cheer for Horcs the player and not boo his salary. If you want to do that, Boo KLowe! Also, wasn’t Horcs faceoff total a team record? (Or was it a league record?) Either way, you can’t really expect too much offensively out of a guy who absolutely carried your team in terms of faceoffs all year. Have patience with Horcs Oil Nation, even if his contract next year is ridiculous.

Chaz: I have Seen JW defend Horcoff On HF Boards. You are wise to see the truth. But you are wrong he is over paid.

When discussing Horcoff At HF boards I got to a point were I created a club I called The Hockey Future Clowns. "Dashing Silver Fox" you are hockey Future clown #1 "good day HFC #1" Need less to say I was Almost banned.

The point is the embarrasing fascination with Point totals to Establish player value. A guy who is involved in 80 goals but gives up 90. Well he there is a winning Idea. But hey he is a Point per game guy and well worth it. This is being a HFC.

You win games by: 1. Outscoring the other team at even. 2. Being Above the league average on the PP. 3. Effectively killing Penalties.

Shawn Outscores the other teams best. He is one of 16 centers in the league who face the best and outscore them. He ranks #8 just behind Sydney Crosby at #7. The man plays 14 minutes of even play a night and we are usually ahead after his 14 minutes of play. Now if the rest of the time we could break even.

The point when you look at the Average Salary's of the 16. The RFA centers average was 4M a year. (Horcoff made 3.6M) The UFA centers average was 5.25M and should jump to 5.75-6M.

Horcoff will make 5.5M versus the 5.75-6M.

From a winning the game point of view not the HFC look at the pretty point veiw. He is one of the men.

Replace him! With Who? And how many assets would be required to get these guys;

Pavel Datsyuk 6.8M cap Travis Zajac: Whats his new cap hit going to be? D. Bolland (we took Hockey Jesus) AHHHHHHHH H. Sedin: 6.5M+ J. Toews: Whats his new cap hit going to be? S Crosby: 8.7M D. Roy: 4m RFA Contract M. Koivu: 3.25M Rfa contract E. Staal: 8.25m D. Krejci: Whats his new cap hit going to be? P. Bergeron: 4.75M J. Thorton: 7.2M

If you do not believe this people post a comment saying you do not. I will assign you a Hockey Future Clown #.

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#52 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 12:06PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Will see July one, but I’ll bet he moves down the list of highest salary/cap hit at least a few notches.

sure, but who takes over from him? Cammalleri? He almost scored 40 goals this year. Even he will be hard pressed to find that kind of dough given the economic situation in the NHL.

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#53 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 12:06PM
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My biggest problem with the Shawn Horcoff contract isn't that he doesn't deserve the money, it's that offense is what gets the big money in the NHL.

I think Horcoff was probably signable for between 4.5-5MM a season, since paycheck seems directly proportionate to total points scored.

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#54 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 12:08PM
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I see the clowns have come out!

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#55 Greg MC
April 22 2009, 12:09PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

His salary is actually 18th highest amoungst forwards next year (and a few guys will proabably bump him a little futher) 18th highest scoring forward had 79 points…. so no high 80’s low 90’s isn’t right.

OK, dude, but he will underperform his contract. He is 31 now, we have seen his peak season. It is a brutal deal for the Oil, great for Horcoff. If he scores 70 points or more next season I will buy you a 24 of wobbly pops.

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#56 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 12:13PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Horcoff is a fine player, Jon, but really you shoot yourself directly in the foot with any argument when you say, “…if the Oilers dealt Horcoff…” There is absolutely no chance in a million years (well actually three years at least) that they can trade him. The frustration that Horcoff bears (and deserves, taking a beating when he cranks out a miserable season like this one - it’s part of the gig) is that his contract (Lowe’s fault) has absolutely killed this team for at least 3 years. You can quote any stat you want, do the calculus, get out your abacus….if you say that seven million for Horcoff is a good investment, the paint from your rose coloured glasses is toxic.

3.6M for the 8th best outscoring Center in the league.

HFC say: "Look at the pretty points" "Points, points, points."

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#57 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 12:14PM
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Greg MC wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: His salary is actually 18th highest amoungst forwards next year (and a few guys will proabably bump him a little futher) 18th highest scoring forward had 79 points…. so no high 80’s low 90’s isn’t right. OK, dude, but he will underperform his contract. He is 31 now, we have seen his peak season. It is a brutal deal for the Oil, great for Horcoff. If he scores 70 points or more next season I will buy you a 24 of wobbly pops.

HFC say: “Look at the pretty points” “Points, points, points.”

Do you want a number?

JW: I will Quit! Don't want to get banned here.

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#58 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 12:14PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

My biggest problem with the Shawn Horcoff contract isn’t that he doesn’t deserve the money, it’s that offense is what gets the big money in the NHL.

Offense is what got Horc the money. He came off of a dominating 50 games before injury, the Cap went up again, no one knew the world's economy would crash in October, all was well.

Horc was supposed to be the 1st line offensive centre, not the 3rd line checking guru. If he becomes a Selke winner next year in a 2nd line role then he earns most of his contract, though it will still be high. However, no selke and no points = Rabid Bloodthirsty Fans.

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#59 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 12:16PM
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@ rickithebear:

Please do. There's no need to call everybody clowns.

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#60 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 12:17PM
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rickithebear wrote:

3.6M for the 8th best outscoring Center in the league.

that sure helped the Oil make it deep into the playoffs, didnt it? He was so awesome and helpful in the last 20 games of the season, wasnt he?

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#61 Greg MC
April 22 2009, 12:17PM
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@ rickithebear: *uck off.

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#62 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 12:18PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Have you looked at the list of Selke winners over the last ten years?

Suffice to say that the pinnacle of defensive achievement isn't winning that trophy.

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#63 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 12:19PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Remember when the line was that Ovechkin only deserved the Hart Trophy if the Captials made the playoffs? That was nonsense, too.

20+ players on every team.

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#64 Joey Moss
April 22 2009, 12:23PM
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horcoff is a good fit for the team and a useful player on any organization but at that salary i would prefer they find a player exactly like him for a little less.

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#65 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 12:23PM
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Rick wrote:

As far as the contract goes, it shouldn’t be off limits to comment on because the real problem that arises is that it makes it near impossible to bring in another high priced center to compliment Horcoff.

Dustin Penners was a center; 50% FO; and outscores at a better rate than Horcoff. His rate would be #5 in the league just behind Sedin. Kotalik-Penner-Hemsky Cogliano-Horcoff-UFA RW

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#66 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 12:23PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Fair enough, but he showed everyone by leading his team to the playoffs with Theodore in net. That alone is worthy of a trophy of some kind.

Seriously, if he cant bounce back to near point per game then there is a much higher chance that the Oilers will be paying him to play in Springfield or on another club then there is that the Oilers will pay him to play on the top line.

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#67 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 12:27PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

rickithebear wrote: 3.6M for the 8th best outscoring Center in the league. that sure helped the Oil make it deep into the playoffs, didnt it? He was so awesome and helpful in the last 20 games of the season, wasnt he?

Make a list in the last 20 Games:

Start with Sullivan and hemsky and go from there.

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#68 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 12:27PM
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Greg MC wrote:

@ rickithebear: *uck off.

No I enjoy laughing at you.

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#69 Rob
April 22 2009, 12:28PM
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Yes Horcoff is WELL over paid, and yes he IS a good centerman, but he ISN'T a first line centerman!!! The best way to look at it is, if he was on any other team in the NHL what line would he be on?!

Dertoit - 3rd San Jose - 2nd at best Calgary - 2nd Vancouver - 2nd Ottawa - 2nd NYR - 2nd wash. - 2nd Columbus - 2nd Minnisota - 2nd St. Louis - 2nd LA - 2nd Anahiem - 2nd Dallas - 2nd

and so on and so on.......!!! Bottom line is we DO need a FIRST line center, if Tambo can get him or not is another question. Will Horcoff's contract handcuff the team in getting that center or signing our young guys next year?? MAYBE!!!!

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#70 Greg MC
April 22 2009, 12:32PM
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@ rickithebear: Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that why these sites exist. Really, your opinion and mine do not impact the club in any way. The Oilers are in the entertainment business.

I don't care if anyone agrees with me or not, I enjoy the differences of opinion and insight from all the posters. And I will not call you names because you disagree with me.

Just show some respect.

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#71 Jeetz
April 22 2009, 12:38PM
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The problem with Horcoff isn't Horcoff. It is how we use him.

He can be a defensive center or and offensive center but not both. It is like the Oilers want him to be 2 different players at hte same time.

Does he take 90% of our defensive zone faceoffs...120' from the opposition's net?

or

Do we use him in key situations in the offensive zone and maximize our #1 offensive line?

Because at 5.5 mil cap hit it would be nice to give him a specific role and eveluate Horcoff and his contract on that.

Personally, if we could replace him as 1st line center and make him our #2, and have a 'Reasoner' type center to take care of the defensive center role, Horcoff would be a better all around player and the Oilers would be a better all around team.

Think Patric Marleau and Mike Richards for minutes played and team role. (not comparing players just using them as an examples of how the Oilers should use Horcoff)

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#72 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 12:39PM
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topshelf wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: His salary is actually 18th highest amoungst forwards next year (and a few guys will proabably bump him a little futher) 18th highest scoring forward had 79 points Is that more or less than 53?

It sure as heck isn't high 80's low 90's like alot of people seem to want to think.

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#73 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 12:41PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

topshelf wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: His salary is actually 18th highest amoungst forwards next year (and a few guys will proabably bump him a little futher) 18th highest scoring forward had 79 points Is that more or less than 53? It sure as heck isn’t high 80’s low 90’s like alot of people seem to want to think.

youre deflecting the question

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#74 Greg MC
April 22 2009, 12:42PM
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Looks like I hurt some peoples feelings today.

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#75 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 12:45PM
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rickithebear wrote:

Chaz wrote: Amen JW, very well said. I hope fans will cheer for Horcs the player and not boo his salary. If you want to do that, Boo KLowe! Also, wasn’t Horcs faceoff total a team record? (Or was it a league record?) Either way, you can’t really expect too much offensively out of a guy who absolutely carried your team in terms of faceoffs all year. Have patience with Horcs Oil Nation, even if his contract next year is ridiculous. Chaz: I have Seen JW defend Horcoff On HF Boards. You are wise to see the truth. But you are wrong he is over paid. When discussing Horcoff At HF boards I got to a point were I created a club I called The Hockey Future Clowns. “Dashing Silver Fox” you are hockey Future clown #1 “good day HFC #1″ Need less to say I was Almost banned. The point is the embarrasing fascination with Point totals to Establish player value. A guy who is involved in 80 goals but gives up 90. Well he there is a winning Idea. But hey he is a Point per game guy and well worth it. This is being a HFC. You win games by: 1. Outscoring the other team at even. 2. Being Above the league average on the PP. 3. Effectively killing Penalties. Shawn Outscores the other teams best. He is one of 16 centers in the league who face the best and outscore them. He ranks #8 just behind Sydney Crosby at #7. The man plays 14 minutes of even play a night and we are usually ahead after his 14 minutes of play. Now if the rest of the time we could break even. The point when you look at the Average Salary’s of the 16. The RFA centers average was 4M a year. (Horcoff made 3.6M) The UFA centers average was 5.25M and should jump to 5.75-6M. Horcoff will make 5.5M versus the 5.75-6M. From a winning the game point of view not the HFC look at the pretty point veiw. He is one of the men. Replace him! With Who? And how many assets would be required to get these guys; Pavel Datsyuk 6.8M cap Travis Zajac: Whats his new cap hit going to be? D. Bolland (we took Hockey Jesus) AHHHHHHHH H. Sedin: 6.5M+ J. Toews: Whats his new cap hit going to be? S Crosby: 8.7M D. Roy: 4m RFA Contract M. Koivu: 3.25M Rfa contract E. Staal: 8.25m D. Krejci: Whats his new cap hit going to be? P. Bergeron: 4.75M J. Thorton: 7.2M If you do not believe this people post a comment saying you do not. I will assign you a Hockey Future Clown #.

Did you have a link to where this is all broken down? I'd love to see it.

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#76 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 12:50PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Will see July one, but I’ll bet he moves down the list of highest salary/cap hit at least a few notches. sure, but who takes over from him? Cammalleri? He almost scored 40 goals this year. Even he will be hard pressed to find that kind of dough given the economic situation in the NHL.

Hardly, did you not see the new contracts just signed? Zetts got 10 per for alot of years.

Hossa and Gaborik will almost guaranteed bump him down, Cammy/Sedins likely will, Havlat may and then Jokenin/Toews/kane/Backstrom (amoungst others) have a good shot at getting bigger deals.

Alot will also depend on how the deals are structured, alot of teams are getting smart and giving high front loaded with 3-4 fluff years at a million each at the end of the deal.... something that for some reason isn't understood here.

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#77 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 12:51PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

My biggest problem with the Shawn Horcoff contract isn’t that he doesn’t deserve the money, it’s that offense is what gets the big money in the NHL. I think Horcoff was probably signable for between 4.5-5MM a season, since paycheck seems directly proportionate to total points scored.

Agreed completly, seems like we've got a massive overaction here for a guy making .5 - 1 too much.

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#78 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 12:54PM
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I wanna change the subject briefly.

What does everyone think about Keenan implying that Burish's trash talking might include racial comments? No comments of the sort were made but Keenan brought it up and Burish had to answer questions about it. Now both teams have released statements that no such comments occured.

personally i think Keenan is a douche and he played the race card to gain some kind of advantage psychologically with the refs and the Blackhawks.

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#79 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 12:56PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: topshelf wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: His salary is actually 18th highest amoungst forwards next year (and a few guys will proabably bump him a little futher) 18th highest scoring forward had 79 points Is that more or less than 53? It sure as heck isn’t high 80’s low 90’s like alot of people seem to want to think. youre deflecting the question

"The question is pointless" the original point was that 18th biggest paycheck doesn't = high 80 to low 90 points. I never said 53 will do, I said 70 will do.

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#80 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 01:01PM
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Greg MC wrote:

@ rickithebear: Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that why these sites exist. Really, your opinion and mine do not impact the club in any way. The Oilers are in the entertainment business. I don’t care if anyone agrees with me or not, I enjoy the differences of opinion and insight from all the posters. And I will not call you names because you disagree with me. Just show some respect.

I am a person who respects this site and people who post on here. Today not so much. Your not on unless you are a fan. You sought this level of discussion out.

Heck I have had my opinion changed through sites like this.

What is silly is the comment first line center. You pretty much need Each individauals concept of what they think a first line center is. It varies from person to person. Really you fill out a team based on the roles required to achieve the three things that wsin you games.

Shawn Horcoff is a guy who fills many situational needs on the team; As JW has pointed out.

The HFC is a button pusher. I put it out there.

You Responded with a childish response not far from the level of my label. Yes the HFC label is childish. Though i consider it on the level of the "points only" player valuing.

I laughed respondeed to your post. You then responded with a comment more deserving of Johnathans articles.

PS:

What do you consider a "first line center"

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#81 Rick
April 22 2009, 01:06PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

How many centers better then Horc are going to be up for FA in the next 3/4 years? 3? 4? You really think they would come here?

I'm not really sure what you're getting at.

Maybe there aren't any, maybe there is one or maybe one becomes available through trade.

Really though, what is most relevant is that if an opportunity does arise to get one the Oilers have already pretty much taken themselves out of the running to go after him.

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#82 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 01:11PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Personally i think Keenan is a douche and he played the race card to gain some kind of advantage psychologically with the refs and the Blackhawks.

~Not Mike Keenan! He's so... upstanding.~

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#83 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 01:15PM
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Rick wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: How many centers better then Horc are going to be up for FA in the next 3/4 years? 3? 4? You really think they would come here? I’m not really sure what you’re getting at. Maybe there aren’t any, maybe there is one or maybe one becomes available through trade. Really though, what is most relevant is that if an opportunity does arise to get one the Oilers have already pretty much taken themselves out of the running to go after him.

what I'm getting at is: We're always playing this game of "so and so shouldn't have been re-signed because sometime down the road someone better MAY become available"

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#84 Zamboni Driver
April 22 2009, 01:35PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Here is the discussion you need to get your head around.

If the Oilers wanted to move Horcoff, they can't.

And stop saying $5.5....IT IS NOT $5.5

Here is the discussion that happens in 29 other board rooms in North America.

GM Dumber than Lowe - "We need Horcoff." Owner, Bleeding money right not - "Who?" GM - "Shawn Horcoff, real good on faceoffs, scores a little, sexy eyes." Owner, 20 seconds poorer - "Okay. How much." GM - "$5.5 Cap hit." Owner, collecting food stamps - "So I have to pay him $5.5 next year?" GM (half way out the door now) - "Uh, no. You need to pay him seven." Owner, half way through a bottle of Colt 45 - "Seven...what?" GM (now thinking better of it) - "uhmmm....million." Owner - "Dollars??!! Well he must score like Jarome then?" GM - "Uhmmmm....did I tell you about his eyes?"

THAT is the problem. A ridiculous salary for a mediocre asset.

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#85 Greg MC
April 22 2009, 01:36PM
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rickithebear wrote:

What do you consider a “first line center”

I agree with you about Horc outscoring, I just think its too much money for what he does. I think he is a first line center, I would just like a higher scoring one.

I think you need a balanced approach in this cap world to building a team. My opinion is there is too much money invested in Horc, Vish and Souray.

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#86 Taylor
April 22 2009, 01:40PM
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Chaz: I have Seen JW defend Horcoff On HF Boards. You are wise to see the truth. But you are wrong he is over paid. When discussing Horcoff At HF boards I got to a point were I created a club I called The Hockey Future Clowns. “Dashing Silver Fox” you are hockey Future clown #1 “good day HFC #1″ Need less to say I was Almost banned. The point is the embarrasing fascination with Point totals to Establish player value. A guy who is involved in 80 goals but gives up 90. Well he there is a winning Idea. But hey he is a Point per game guy and well worth it. This is being a HFC. You win games by: 1. Outscoring the other team at even. 2. Being Above the league average on the PP. 3. Effectively killing Penalties. Shawn Outscores the other teams best. He is one of 16 centers in the league who face the best and outscore them. He ranks #8 just behind Sydney Crosby at #7. The man plays 14 minutes of even play a night and we are usually ahead after his 14 minutes of play. Now if the rest of the time we could break even. The point when you look at the Average Salary’s of the 16. The RFA centers average was 4M a year. (Horcoff made 3.6M) The UFA centers average was 5.25M and should jump to 5.75-6M. Horcoff will make 5.5M versus the 5.75-6M. From a winning the game point of view not the HFC look at the pretty point veiw. He is one of the men. Replace him! With Who? And how many assets would be required to get these guys; Pavel Datsyuk 6.8M cap Travis Zajac: Whats his new cap hit going to be? D. Bolland (we took Hockey Jesus) AHHHHHHHH H. Sedin: 6.5M+ J. Toews: Whats his new cap hit going to be? S Crosby: 8.7M D. Roy: 4m RFA Contract M. Koivu: 3.25M Rfa contract E. Staal: 8.25m D. Krejci: Whats his new cap hit going to be? P. Bergeron: 4.75M J. Thorton: 7.2M If you do not believe this people post a comment saying you do not. I will assign you a Hockey Future Clown #.

Here's the players that actually got the outscoring job done his season.

http://www.fromtherink.com/2009/4/18/843358/why-the-sedins-have-arrived-as

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#87 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 01:45PM
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@ Zamboni Driver:

You do realize that there are only six teams in the league paying less than 50MM in salary this year? And that two of them (Los Angeles and Toronto) are rebuilding, not having cap problems?

In other words, your conversation only makes sense for maybe half a dozen teams, and probably less than that.

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#88 namflashback
April 22 2009, 01:45PM
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There are many centers playing in the NHL who have a better points to time on ice ratio per $$ paid in salary/caphit. True statement. I'd love to have Mike Richards, or Jonathan Toews, or Jason Arnott, or Eric Staal, or Ryan Getzlaf.

Let's call these guys "true first line centres (tm)"

So, how do you get one?

1) Option 1 -- Trade How many of them are available via trade in a given year? Maybe 1 a year? That's my count.

Thornton in 05-06 -- November 05 Brad Richards in 07-08 -- trade deadline 08 Olli Jokinen in 07-08, 08-09 -- draft 07, and again trade deadline 09

You can argue whether or not these three players are truly the impact players, but only 4 bodies available in 4 seasons. 1 a year.

What's the market for these guys? Which teams don't have a TFLC at the time?

EDM, CBJ, ATL, NJD, TOR, CGY, FLA

2) Option 2 -- Draft'em Obviously the best way. How many of our trademarked TFLC's were drafted by the team that has them on a bargain contract? Most of them. Past (and well documented) sins of the scouting staff aside -- we do not have a TFLC in the system. Maybe the Oilers find some way to draft one in the next few years, but that guy is 4-6 years away from being the impact player on the NHL team.

Again, wish we had one -- but if you didn't draft one you can't change history. Definitely improve your drafting and development on a go forward basis -- but at the time of the Horcoff extension - the Oilers did not have the TFLC in their system.

3) Option 3 - UFA?

How many TFLC's come up as UFA? Maybe 1 a year? How many were to be available this coming summer.

Henrik Sedin is the only one on the list. There's other two-way C options that are interesting on the list -- but I don't know that you can make the case that anyone other H.Sedin would be a better choice than what the Oilers have. List of UFA Centres available this summer. You might certainly make the claim that Manny Malhotra would be a less expensive choice than Horcoff -- but you might also think that Manny had his wheels greased by Nash. So -- they could have gone with a value option that wasn't a TFLC -- I grant you that.

EDM, CBJ, ATL, NJD, TOR, VAN, FLA

Given the rarity and competition that comes the trade scenarios with #1, the fact that the DID NOT draft the guy in #2, and that the market competition for (conservatively 6 teams for 2 players) the UFA in #3 made the Oilers jump early to sign Horcoff.

-- disclaimer,

I think Horcoff is a very decent player and I like him and him as an Oiler. I think -- given the situation they are in -- namely three more years of the Hemsky deal that they need to make some sort of reasonable competitive push in the next three seasons.

I am willing to accept that he is not a TFLC, but that he is the guy they have and that the alternative would mean that we would have to wait much longer to field a competitive team.

There might have been other value decisions they could have made (Malhotra) instead -- but its not as easy as simply saying "I'd rather have Mike Richards or Eric Staal" because you are never going to get those guys.

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#89 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 01:53PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Here is the discussion you need to get your head around. If the Oilers wanted to move Horcoff, they can’t. And stop saying $5.5….IT IS NOT $5.5 Here is the discussion that happens in 29 other board rooms in North America. GM Dumber than Lowe - “We need Horcoff.” Owner, Bleeding money right not - “Who?” GM - “Shawn Horcoff, real good on faceoffs, scores a little, sexy eyes.” Owner, 20 seconds poorer - “Okay. How much.” GM - “$5.5 Cap hit.” Owner, collecting food stamps - “So I have to pay him $5.5 next year?” GM (half way out the door now) - “Uh, no. You need to pay him seven.” Owner, half way through a bottle of Colt 45 - “Seven…what?” GM (now thinking better of it) - “uhmmm….million.” Owner - “Dollars??!! Well he must score like Jarome then?” GM - “Uhmmmm….did I tell you about his eyes?” THAT is the problem. A ridiculous salary for a mediocre asset.

*pushes the repeat button*

He wasn't signed to trade (at least right away)

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#90 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 02:00PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Zamboni Driver: You do realize that there are only six teams in the league paying less than 50MM in salary this year? And that two of them (Los Angeles and Toronto) are rebuilding, not having cap problems? In other words, your conversation only makes sense for maybe half a dozen teams, and probably less than that.

And a more heavly front loaded contract would have opened the doors for those last three teams.

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#91 Zamboni Driver
April 22 2009, 02:27PM
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@ Ogden Brother: Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Zamboni Driver: You do realize that there are only six teams in the league paying less than 50MM in salary this year? And that two of them (Los Angeles and Toronto) are rebuilding, not having cap problems? In other words, your conversation only makes sense for maybe half a dozen teams, and probably less than that.

Uhmmm...you might want to check some stats in the business sections, Jon. I am not referencing the salary cap....I'm referencing the fact that every owner in every sports league in the entire world is getting poorer by the second.

Wasting $7 million on Horcoff just is not going to happen - and to be clear, what I was referencing was your note that "If he were to be dealt..."

I personally don't hate Horcoff, I think he's a fine player. Not a great player, not really even a 'very good' player, to me, he's fine. What I am saying is the problem with his contract is that he's an unmovable asset - not a single other GM in the league would touch that contract, not the least of which being their owner would fire their @sses on the spot for paying that guy, that money.

In this economy, 'cap hit' is not the issue anymore.

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#92 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 02:31PM
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I don't know what we're argueing about Horcoff for, he's signed and not going anywhere for a while.

He got the money and term from what I would say is one of the worst GM's in the NHL during his tenure, Kevin Lowe.

Tambo has a ton of work to do to clean up this all out catastrophe of a hockey team. It's not just Horcoff that's overpaid, there's a bunch of bad contracts in there.

The drafting hasn't been fantastic by any stretch either. I look at what Philly is able to do while most the time having a mid to late round pics, and they get home runs in the likes of Carter (11) and Richards (24). Two pics like that set your team up for years. Then they get Giroux at 22. They got Gagne at 22 as well. They also hit on guys no longer with them in Williams & Patrick Sharp. They are also able to swing deals to move them up in the draft, or to acquire a higher pic.

The Oil got Hemsky at 13. Gagner at 6. Cogliano at 24 is probably one of the better ones. The rest of the history isn't great IMO.

I don't know if anybody knows this, but I'm not the biggest Kevin Lowe as GM fan.

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#93 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 02:31PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Jonathan Willis wrote: @ Zamboni Driver: You do realize that there are only six teams in the league paying less than 50MM in salary this year? And that two of them (Los Angeles and Toronto) are rebuilding, not having cap problems? In other words, your conversation only makes sense for maybe half a dozen teams, and probably less than that. Uhmmm…you might want to check some stats in the business sections, Jon. I am not referencing the salary cap….I’m referencing the fact that every owner in every sports league in the entire world is getting poorer by the second. Wasting $7 million on Horcoff just is not going to happen - and to be clear, what I was referencing was your note that “If he were to be dealt…” I personally don’t hate Horcoff, I think he’s a fine player. Not a great player, not really even a ‘very good’ player, to me, he’s fine. What I am saying is the problem with his contract is that he’s an unmovable asset - not a single other GM in the league would touch that contract, not the least of which being their owner would fire their @sses on the spot for paying that guy, that money. In this economy, ‘cap hit’ is not the issue anymore.

That's great, because I'm pretty confident the team has no intentions of trading him before or during the 09/10 season... I'd give it a 99% that they have no intentions of trading him the following year either.

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#94 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 02:33PM
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J-Bird wrote:

How many bonus points do teams get for having good contracts?
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#95 topshelf
April 22 2009, 02:39PM
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I hope Scorcoff gets 30 goals next year so we don't have this dicussion again at the end of next season...

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#96 Rob
April 22 2009, 02:47PM
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@ topshelf:

Agreed.

So does anyone else think the Oil would have won at least one game had they made the show?? St.louis and Columbus, pffft, weak.

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#97 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 02:52PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Uhmmm…you might want to check some stats in the business sections, Jon. I am not referencing the salary cap….I’m referencing the fact that every owner in every sports league in the entire world is getting poorer by the second.

And I'm referencing the fact that 24 of them are still spending 50MM+ on their team's payroll (not operating cost, payroll) this season. In other words, I wouldn't worry to much about Ilitch, the Wirtz's, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and whoever else closing their pockets just yet.

For every team like Phoneix or Nashville there's a New York or Philadelphia, willing to spend to the cap every year for a competitive team.

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#98 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 02:54PM
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OB, do you really believe that bad contracts don't tie your team's hands? I've seen this sort of comment from you over and over again? Please explain.

It's ONLY because of contract that they had an AHL goaltender using up a roster spot pretty much all year. Bad managment. As usual. And the goaltending is still no clearer. Pouliot here because of contract and no other reason, developing in the NHL instead of the AHL because that's the Oiler's way for whatever reason. Jacques the same. We had roster spots wasted completely due to poor asset management in throwing out one way deals for AHL hockey players.

If Philly is in cap trouble, which they might be next season when Carter's and Richards new deals kick in, I don't think the Oil can afford to go after him. A team that's rebuilding like the Oilers, are doing it at the max cap which just makes me shake my head.

I'd like to write a book called "Money Hockey". As a percentage of the cap vs production for the team. I would be willing to bet that the Oilers get the least amount of bang for their buck in the NHL.

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#99 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 02:55PM
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By "him" in Philly I mean Gagne who I'm hearing might be traded due to cap reasons. Typo. Sorry.

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#100 rickithebear
April 22 2009, 03:01PM
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Taylor wrote:

http://www.fromtherink.com/2009/4/18/843358/why-the-sedins-have-arrived-as

I created a Excel file from behind the net with sheets for center, RW, LW and Defence. Looked at the players who were 0.00 Quality of Comp who outscored the opposition. There is around thirty each for the forward positions and 50 in defence. JW may remember me refering to players as the 30-50 club on Lowetides site. I started doing that back in December.

If you want the great; look at the ones with a Qual of Comp Above .03 who outscore. Edmonton has one player that does this.

As for the 30-50 club: Horcoff Penner Hemsky Souray Gilbert Vish had been 0.00 Qual of comp up until near his injury when it dropped to -0.01. He outscored at the third best rate 0.71. Behind Grebeshkov 0.86 and Penner 0.81. Though Grebs had soft minutes with -0.03 Comp.

Gagner and Nilsson outscored as well but they faced soft parade -0.03.

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