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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#101 charlie
April 22 2009, 03:01PM
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THIS TEAM NEEDS CHARLIE OR A FAN EXACTLY LIKE HIM

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#102 Rick
April 22 2009, 03:01PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

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”

I've never suggested that Horcoff shouldn'thave been re-signed.

I just think his contract is bad not only in terms of what he delivers but also in terms of how it will handcuff the Oilers down the road if or when there is an opportunity to improve their team.

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#103 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 03:02PM
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Since the term "HFClowns" has been tossed around liberally this morning, here's a fun quote from Giant Moo of HFBoards on this article:

Quote: 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. To prove his point, he then compared Horcoff to the first-line centres on all the other teams in the lea... oh wait he didn't? Okay then, to prove his point, he then compared Horcoff to the top-30 centres in the Western Conf... no? Okay... so... to definitely absolutely prove his point, he compared Horcoff to the top-30 "outscorers" in... oh come on now. So what did he do? Did he compare Horcoff with anyone? ...wait, you're telling me he compared Shawn Horcoff to only the other centres on the Oilers, to prove his point Horcoff is a first-line centre in the league? ... Seriously? ... ...let's run that story about the squirrel waterskiing instead.

Of course, I didn't make the comparison in this article because I did it ten days ago. I actually meant to link to that post, but I didn't format it correctly and it never showed up in the article.

But, I suppose every forum has its idiots.

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#104 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 03:13PM
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J-Bird wrote:

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.

1. They didn't have an AHL goalie as back up all year, the had Garon whom they CHOOSE to trade away... they were not forced to trade him over $$

2. Bad contracts are only bad if the prevent you from landing someone better....

- UFA's are highly unlikely to come here - If they do they will likely become the next "bad contract" - If we land a superior player in trade, money will likely be going the other way - Their are enough loop holes in the CBA that if a owner is willing to spend, the cap is more of a hinderance then anything

I already listed results vs $$ spent, Edmonton had the 13th highest payroll with the 20th best record. Their were also 5 teams within 1 million in payroll, so in other words trading Garon at the start of the year would have left the team with the 18th highest payroll. (roughly)

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#105 The Menace
April 22 2009, 03:14PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

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.

~I think you're being too hasty - It's my understanding that owners and GMs love Horcoff.~

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#106 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 03:14PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: It's ok Willis. You just go ahead and use that evil voodoo on him like you did with your statistics.

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#107 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 03:15PM
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Rick wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: 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” I’ve never suggested that Horcoff shouldn’thave been re-signed. I just think his contract is bad not only in terms of what he delivers but also in terms of how it will handcuff the Oilers down the road if or when there is an opportunity to improve their team.

And by not giving him the contract the team ran the risk of him walking away for nothing. Meaning you (or fans in general) are strongly voicing that they would have prefferd to lose him in the hopes of maybe, some day getting someone better to spend the money on.

Looks like a pretty poor plan to me.

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#108 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 03:18PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

And by not giving him the contract the team ran the risk of him walking away for nothing. Meaning you (or fans in general) are strongly voicing that they would have prefferd to lose him in the hopes of maybe, some day getting someone better to spend the money on. Looks like a pretty poor plan to me.

Uh, he would have walked away THIS year. What do you think his chances of making big money elsewhere would be after THIS year? Oilers could have resigned him at 4 mill a season and THAT would have been generous.

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#109 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 03:22PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: And by not giving him the contract the team ran the risk of him walking away for nothing. Meaning you (or fans in general) are strongly voicing that they would have prefferd to lose him in the hopes of maybe, some day getting someone better to spend the money on. Looks like a pretty poor plan to me. Uh, he would have walked away THIS year. What do you think his chances of making big money elsewhere would be after THIS year? Oilers could have resigned him at 4 mill a season and THAT would have been generous.

Sigh, and now the debate changes again

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#110 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 03:23PM
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@ Ogden Brother: LOL

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#111 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 03:29PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Are you seriously happy with the way this team is managed?

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#112 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 03:33PM
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J-Bird wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Are you seriously happy with the way this team is managed?

All circumstances considerd, I think the team is going in the right the direction.

I think the main problem is most people are stuck in such an Oilers bubble that they think all these terrible things are happening here, when for the most part the team opperates similar to the rest of the league.

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#113 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 03:37PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

1. They didn’t have an AHL goalie as back up all year, the had Garon whom they CHOOSE to trade away… they were not forced to trade him over $$ 2. Bad contracts are only bad if the prevent you from landing someone better…. - UFA’s are highly unlikely to come here - If they do they will likely become the next “bad contract” - If we land a superior player in trade, money will likely be going the other way - Their are enough loop holes in the CBA that if a owner is willing to spend, the cap is more of a hinderance then anything I already listed results vs $$ spent, Edmonton had the 13th highest payroll with the 20th best record. Their were also 5 teams within 1 million in payroll, so in other words trading Garon at the start of the year would have left the team with the 18th highest payroll. (roughly)

You seriously believe that Deslauriers woulda been with the big club had he not been on a one way? Come on. Bad management. 3 goalie practices aren't fun for the back up, whoever he was supposed to be. Hurt everybody. Probably hurt Garon the most. Mac pics favorites as usual and the benifactor was Roli.

As for results vs money spent. I'm talking individual money vs production in comparison to their pier group. The Oilers contracts would line up very poorly. Because they overpay for character IMO.

Who's a "deal" on this team?

Who's "fair" on this team?

And who's overpaid on this team?

There's entirely too many in the latter category than the first category right now. And wait until next year!

Bad news Oil fans, it's going to be a while before the team gets better.

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#114 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 03:42PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Do you work for the team?

A little critisism is warrented after the past 3 seasons of no playoffs, the questionable moves and contracts, and certainly missing the playoffs 5 of 8 tries under the management team, and under this coach.

I don't think any fan is wrong to question what is going on with those kind of results. Batting 25% on just making the playoff under the level playing field the EIG, Lowe, et al, had us brainwashed into believing would make the team competative going forward.

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#115 RossCreek
April 22 2009, 03:43PM
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@ Archaeologuy: @ Ogden Brother: If they would've kept a guy like Stoll, they wouldn't have been pressured into resigning Horcoff so badly. Stoll signed a new deal in LA for the same 3.6 that Horcoff made this year. Holding off on resigning Horcoff when they did could've definately saved them money. There's always the risk that if he had a superb year, he would've got the same deal he did (but surely not more than what he got).

Oh ya, on another note - Roli, see ya elsewhere.

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#116 RossCreek
April 22 2009, 03:48PM
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Remember the first 4 games of the season? Garon had 3 starts and stole the games. JDD had a start. And then Mact felt the need to get everyone a chance and inexplicably gave Roli a start. So in the first 5 games, Garon stole 3 and sat for 2. Nice message-sending there Mac. And Garon was never the same.

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#117 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 03:54PM
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@ RossCreek:

I don't disagree that MacTavish handled Garon badly (although if Garon were a legit #1 guy, you'd think he could handle it, given that he's in his 30's and presumably has the professionalism/maturity to do so) but I remember him looking shaky at times to start the season.

You may not believe this is me, but in that particular example his early-season statistics were flattering in comparison to his play.

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#118 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 03:55PM
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@ J-Bird:

As I've said 100 times, the contracts don't affect on ice performance. Theirs no bonus points for having good contracts.

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#119 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 03:56PM
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J-Bird wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Do you work for the team? A little critisism is warrented after the past 3 seasons of no playoffs, the questionable moves and contracts, and certainly missing the playoffs 5 of 8 tries under the management team, and under this coach. I don’t think any fan is wrong to question what is going on with those kind of results. Batting 25% on just making the playoff under the level playing field the EIG, Lowe, et al, had us brainwashed into believing would make the team competative going forward.

You hit the nail on the head, most have been brainwashed.

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#120 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 03:57PM
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RossCreek wrote:

@ Archaeologuy: @ Ogden Brother: If they would’ve kept a guy like Stoll, they wouldn’t have been pressured into resigning Horcoff so badly. Stoll signed a new deal in LA for the same 3.6 that Horcoff made this year. Holding off on resigning Horcoff when they did could’ve definately saved them money. There’s always the risk that if he had a superb year, he would’ve got the same deal he did (but surely not more than what he got). Oh ya, on another note - Roli, see ya elsewhere.

I remember Oil country trying to run Stoll out of town.

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#121 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 04:11PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

@ J-Bird: As I’ve said 100 times, the contracts don’t affect on ice performance. Theirs no bonus points for having good contracts.

I have the opinion that this statement is dead wrong.

Detroit is a power because guys play there for 75 cents on the dollar out producing their contracts. San Jose is loaded with guys out producing their contracts.

Anaheim won with Getzlaf and Perry out producing their contracts. Carolina won with Staal and Ward out producing their contracts. Detroit had Zetterburg and Osgood out producing their contracts, among others.

Boston this year is getting Tim Thomas, David Krejci, Phil Kessel, and others out producing their contracts. Vancouver has many players out producing their contracts. Washington does as well. New Jersey. These aren't coinsidences in any way. There is a direct link between the two.

The Oilers have far too many guys on the other end of the scale. And they have them for a LONG time.

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#122 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 04:12PM
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@ RossCreek: There was the whole issue of Stoll being a defensive liability AND not producing offensively that year. Id make the trade for Vis 10 times out of 10. 3rd line centres shouldnt be that hard to replace, the Oilers just goofed. No visnovsky ALL season and it doesnt matter how well Stoll played because the Oil dont make the playoffs anyways. The Oil tried to land Hossa and thus failed to resign Glencross and Reasoner. Add those 2 guys and the PK and physicality is better all year.

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#123 topshelf
April 22 2009, 04:14PM
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@ J-Bird: YOU my friend have hit the nail on the head.

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#124 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 04:25PM
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J-Bird wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: @ J-Bird: As I’ve said 100 times, the contracts don’t affect on ice performance. Theirs no bonus points for having good contracts. I have the opinion that this statement is dead wrong. Detroit is a power because guys play there for 75 cents on the dollar out producing their contracts. San Jose is loaded with guys out producing their contracts. Anaheim won with Getzlaf and Perry out producing their contracts. Carolina won with Staal and Ward out producing their contracts. Detroit had Zetterburg and Osgood out producing their contracts, among others. Boston this year is getting Tim Thomas, David Krejci, Phil Kessel, and others out producing their contracts. Vancouver has many players out producing their contracts. Washington does as well. New Jersey. These aren’t coinsidences in any way. There is a direct link between the two. The Oilers have far too many guys on the other end of the scale. And they have them for a LONG time.

That logic is completly flawed, it isn't the contracts, it's the players on the ice. Rolling back the Oilers payroll to 46 million doesn't make them a better team.

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#125 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 04:26PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Id make the trade for Vis 10 times out of 10. 3rd line centres shouldnt be that hard to replace, the Oilers just goofed. No visnovsky ALL season and it doesnt matter how well Stoll played because the Oil dont make the playoffs anyways.

That's an accurate statement if ever I've seen one. Lowe seems to have the ability to hit home runs, but he flubs every time he tries to bunt.

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#126 Archaeologuy
April 22 2009, 04:33PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

That’s an accurate statement if ever I’ve seen one. Lowe seems to have the ability to hit home runs, but he flubs every time he tries to bunt.

I always felt that Lowe brought more talent to the team than Sather was able to do in his last decade here. My biggest problem with him was his inability to get rid of the coach, but you're right, it was the minor tweaks he wasnt making. For example, I dont think he ever really replaced that Moreau-Marchant-Grier line the entire time he was here. I didnt really turn on Lowe until this past season, so I have to go back and re-evaluate his actions.

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#127 zagreb
April 22 2009, 04:39PM
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I ike horcoff, i think hes a winner, and he succeeds because of his determination, but the biggest problem with horcoff is his salary, its ridiculous. He is a great second line centre because he could play with young offensive talent and help them out defensively. Ideally he would be in that role, or else centering a 3rd line that could take the hard minutes, but hes still a hit of 5.5 mill for how many seasons? his contract is a much bigger inhibitor for this team than his game is, but thats not his fault.

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#128 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 04:40PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

That logic is completly flawed, it isn’t the contracts, it’s the players on the ice. Rolling back the Oilers payroll to 46 million doesn’t make them a better team.

I completely disagree. If the Oil could spend $10 million more on players keeping what they already have, do you not think they'd be a better team? Rediculous. That's flawed logic man. If they have what they have at $46 million, we'd be overjoyed because they would get to ADD $10 million in payrole without moving anybody.

Out performing a contract, above all else in a cap world, is how you win.

Perry, Getzlaf, Kunitz and Penner were all on entry level deals when they won, playing LARGE roles, which allows for the Prongers, Neidermayers, Selanne's to be added in. Anaheim couldn't keep them all, and look at them now.

Detroit is a fine example of everybody buying in to taking less as it adds depth. The get to add a Rafalski when he comes up, a Hossa when he comes up, because they have 14 other guys taking less which adds to their depth. Franzen's cap hit is less than $4 million going forward, he's going to out perform that big time.

Right now, in San Jose, how much is Settagouchi producing vs what he's being paid? Clowe? Vlasic?

Boston has Krejci, Kessel, Thomas, Weidman, way out producing theirs, and the money they do have spent on guys like Chara and Savard are living up to those contracts.

In New Jersey, the best goalie in the game isn't paid like him. Zajac. Gionta. They also have tremendous depth because of value contracts.

In Washington, are Semin, Backstrom, Green, out performing their contracts big time right now or what?

Vancouver has the twins for cheap right now, Burrows, Kesler. It allowed for a Sundin add in at a max cap hit.

That's what you need to win. A few guys out performing their contract, and those with a big contract to perform to that level.

I don't ever see Horcoff, Moreau, Staois, Pisani ever producing to their contracts, let alone out producing it.

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#129 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 04:48PM
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@ J-Bird:

Should I keep beating the dead horse?

THE PRICE OF THE TEAM IS IRRELAVANT... you could pay this Oiler team cap floor or cap roof and they still finish in 10th... please tell me you understand that it is the players on the ice, not the cheque that they cash that detirmens wins and loses.

The only time $$ matters is when it costs you someone better, when that time comes then complain all you want. Until then your whole argument is based on maybes and mights.

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#130 J-Bird
April 22 2009, 04:59PM
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I think you're completely dead wrong, 1000%.

The price of the team is very relevant. The Oil have no cap space, no starting goaltender, no money to offer a UFA, a cap that will be coming down after the next season, with huge money to committed to underperforming players in comparison to their contracts for a long period of time.

That effects WHO the players are ON THE ICE. That affects that it'll have to be Horcoff/Penner/Nilsson/Staios/Moreau/Pisani. Because the team can't trade them. And they'll be underproducing. Which doesn't allow for add ons. It already cost the team GlennX and Reasoner just this past year. And that didn't affect the team? Riiiiiight.

And in a cap world, that determines wins and losses. It's been proven by each and every cup winner since the lockout. It's proven by each and every division winner right now as well. Value contracts.

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#131 myteammytown
April 22 2009, 05:03PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

@ J-Bird: Should I keep beating the dead horse? THE PRICE OF THE TEAM IS IRRELAVANT… you could pay this Oiler team cap floor or cap roof and they still finish in 10th… please tell me you understand that it is the players on the ice, not the cheque that they cash that detirmens wins and loses. The only time $$ matters is when it costs you someone better, when that time comes then complain all you want. Until then your whole argument is based on maybes and mights.

good god, beating the **** out of this dead horse again?

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#132 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 05:07PM
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@ J-Bird:

Sorry man, their was more then enough space to sign GlenX and Reasoner.

It was poor personel decisions that cost those guys, not poor cap management.

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#133 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 05:07PM
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myteammytown wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: @ J-Bird: Should I keep beating the dead horse? THE PRICE OF THE TEAM IS IRRELAVANT… you could pay this Oiler team cap floor or cap roof and they still finish in 10th… please tell me you understand that it is the players on the ice, not the cheque that they cash that detirmens wins and loses. The only time $$ matters is when it costs you someone better, when that time comes then complain all you want. Until then your whole argument is based on maybes and mights. good god, beating the **** out of this dead horse again?

Haha, slow work day.

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#134 Ogden Brother
April 22 2009, 05:12PM
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@ J-Bird:

Your whole premise is that the team can get FA's on "value contracts" you realize that right?

Now what do you think the odds are of the team getting value contracts through FA?

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#135 Jason Gregor
April 22 2009, 07:26PM
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rickithebear wrote:

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.

I'm curious how he is 8th in outscoring other centres when he was 49th in EV strength scoring amongst them this season. He had 32 pts EV, so please fill us in on how he managed to be 8th amongst centers.

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#136 Reapermanfunk
April 22 2009, 08:20PM
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I like horcoff but not for the money and not as a 1st line center. He would be a valuable 2nd line center on this or 90% of the teams in the NHL. He was one of MacT's boys and he will be painted, fairly or unfairly, with that brush

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#137 BarryS
April 22 2009, 08:27PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Remember the first 4 games of the season? Garon had 3 starts and stole the games. JDD had a start. And then Mact felt the need to get everyone a chance and inexplicably gave Roli a start. So in the first 5 games, Garon stole 3 and sat for 2. Nice message-sending there Mac. And Garon was never the same.

The rap against Garon his whole career is he has the mental toughness of a bowl of jello in a 400 degree oven. Sorry, goalies who are not mentally tough are worst than useless. There was a reason we could get him for a million a year. NOBODY else wanted him. The mistake was not letting Garon go, it was signing him in the first place.

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#138 BarryS
April 22 2009, 08:31PM
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I just love how people on this site think keeping fringe players would have made this team better. Sorry, Reasoner and Glencross are fringe players and always will be.

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#139 alphah
April 22 2009, 08:33PM
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Remember that game where Shawn Horcoff was our center with 1 minute remaining, the opposition had pulled their goalie, and Horc was sprung on a 1 on 1 situation? All he had to do was slide that puck into the empty net and we would have iced away those 2 points. But Horc misses the empty (might have shot it into the players shinpads), and we wind up with a faceoff in the Oilers zone with a few seconds left. Horc is our guy, we send him out for the important defensive zone faceoff. He fails on the faceoff, losing it cleanly, and then misses his coverage in front of the net. We get scored on.

We go into overtime, and he makes some mistakes almost losing it for us. We go to the shootout, he misses his shootout opportunity with a terrible shot. We lose.

That really rattled my confidence in Horc and his counting numbers this season have been woefully unacceptable. He needs to produce like he did last season (around 50 pts in 50 games, evenly split between goals and assists), or else he is not worth it. Might as well have Marty Reasoner back up there.

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#140 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 22 2009, 08:35PM
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Reasoner or Glencross would bring that extra something that could turn the tide in a game or two. They could lay that one hit, or win that one faceoff that would kill off that one powerplay and you do that once every 15-20 games, there is the difference in making the playoffs and not making the playoffs.

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#141 David S
April 22 2009, 10:34PM
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BarryS wrote:

I just love how people on this site think keeping fringe players would have made this team better. Sorry, Reasoner and Glencross are fringe players and always will be.

Glencross - 13g/27a/40 and he already has 3a in the playoffs.

That's one "fringe" player we would could have used on our team this year. Not to mention that we would have had one of the best 4th lines in the league.

As for Horcoff, well he was over-extended because we had no other decent C. He pretty much admitted as much during the post season interviews. Everybody here is evaluating his performance this year as if he was playing in his regular role, with regular minutes. In fact, he was driven into the ground due to management's inability to fill key holes.

We make the required adjustments next year and Horcoff still gets a weak 50 points or so and THEN you'll have an argument.

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#142 RossCreek
April 22 2009, 10:38PM
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *and it burns burns burns that burning ring of fire*

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#143 RossCreek
April 22 2009, 10:41PM
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Let sleeping giants sleep (right Gregor, lol) *i feel like i just removed my mask*

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#144 esa tikkanen
April 22 2009, 10:46PM
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Do you folks notice that the teams doing well in the playoffs are built from the goalie to the defence to the forwards? Vancouver and Anaheim, Detroit and Boston all have some fantastic defencemen. Some offensive ones but shutdown ones too.

I think the Oilers should go hard after Bouwmeester as a franchise player. Sign him to a 12 year deal for 80 million, front end load it so he can't say no. Trade a second round pick if necessary to get the rights to negotiate with him exclusively for a few weeks. He could be as good as Pronger. Why is Anaheim so good? They have two elite dmen. Trade Visnovsky for a high end prospect or draft pick who won't go against the cap this year, and trade Gilbert for a top 6 forward with grit (Scott Hartnell is my pick). Sign Malhotra or Paulson or trade Nilson to Tampa for Halpern. There we are grittier with one more top forward 6 forward, more physical on the back and at the third line center spot. Voila could be good enough to make the playoffs with that team if Horcoff rebounds and Gagner and Cogliano continue to develop

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#145 David S
April 22 2009, 10:59PM
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BarryS wrote:

I just love how people on this site think keeping fringe players would have made this team better. Sorry, Reasoner and Glencross are fringe players and always will be.

Glencross had 40 points this year in Calgary (13g, 27a). You don't spend the ENTIRE season wishing your GM pissed away a "fringe" player.

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#146 David S
April 22 2009, 11:00PM
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*hadn't pissed away*

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#147 David S
April 22 2009, 11:01PM
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*hadn't pissed away*

WTF? Two of my posts got lost.

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#148 David S
April 22 2009, 11:06PM
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@ BarryS @ MODS

Sorry for the double post. There's a huge lag in posting tonight. Makes it look like your post got lost.

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#149 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2009, 11:43PM
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I like Bouwmeester, but I wonder sometimes about Oilers fans. He hasn't even hit 50 points in the NHL yet; anointing him as the great saviour will lead to disappointment I think.

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#150 GSC
April 22 2009, 11:53PM
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Sure, the Oilers could use another Horcoff. At about $3.5 MIL less in terms of a salary cap hit.

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