Gregor discusses the season with Horcoff

Jason Gregor
April 09 2009 03:42PM

Horcoff scores on a hapless goalie

You know that feeling of dread when you stroll up to a party of your better half’s co-workers, or going out with your buddy after his wife/gf just dumped him, or your annual evaluation with the boss. You walk in wishing you could be somewhere else.

At the party you are forced to talk to people you don’t know or don’t like, and then you have to stay sober so the lady can have her three coolers.

Your buddy is devastated and maybe even cries. You feel awkward and try to convince him to just get drunk and hit on another girl. This turns out to be the worst advice because after six beers and a few shots, he is telling you about how he can’t go on without her. Even worse he talks to a girl and starts telling her about his ex. You watch in horror as he crashes and burns because you know he will come to you looking to be consoled.

Your boss asks you all sorts of impossible-to-answer-correctly type of questions.

What are you goals for next year?

What are your weaknesses?

How do you plan to maximize your time?

As the sweat beads down your brow, you struggle through the agonizing 30 minutes relieved just to get out of there without having to hear about his family holiday.

Well today that’s how it felt at Oilers practice. None of them wanted to be there, and neither did any media types. They might has well have had the game-day music director playing one of his usual downer songs in the locker room. (Honestly the music in the third period of the Kings game was the worst EVER).

Craig MacTavish wasn’t available, and since the Oilers won’t have a morning skate tomorrow or Saturday, MacTavish will only do post-game interviews until Monday when the Oilers have their final availability.

The Oil have missed the playoffs five of MacTavish’s last seven years, but I can’t recall a time where he went unavailable for three straight mornings. It signifies how distraught and disappointed the organization is as a whole.

They expected better, they expected to compete for the division, not a top-ten draft pick.

Is MacT’s unusual silence foreshadowing a move this summer? I sure think so. Granted there isn’t much he can say right now about the team, but I think his silence shows he doesn’t want to talk about the future, at least not until the season is over.

Outside of the coach’s future, another hot topic this summer will be how can Shawn Horcoff possibly live up to his $7 million deal next year?

Horcoff, was the consummate pro today and stood in and answered my questions.


JG: Did you play more power on power this year, and did it hinder your offence?

SH: I definitely played in more defensive situations and more defensive minutes this year than the previous two. Could I still have produced more offence with the role I had this year? Absolutely. I didn’t get off to the start I wanted. For whatever reason the first 15 to 20 games were a tough start for me. I need to work on something this summer and be better offensively next year.

JG: That contract doesn’t start until next season. When you signed it, was the expectation to be in a situation where you could live up to it? Do you need to be put in a situation where you will be given an opportunity to live up to it?

SH: I didn’t get that contract just off my offensive numbers, though, I think that’s what people need to realize. What puts me in that type of pay scale is a lot of the intangibles that I bring, the situations that I play, the minutes, the face-offs and the defensive minutes. But you are probably right, in order to put up 65 to 70+ points a year, you have to play offensive situation and pure offensive minutes. Without those minutes, it will be tough for anyone. But I have to finish better, that’s obvious.

JG: You led the league in face-offs, and played a lot of minutes. There’s a big difference between playing 20 minutes rather than 24. Were you fatigued at times?

SH: For the first time in my career, this year there were times where I hit rock-bottom maybe a little bit. There were games with 26, 25, 24 minutes and they’re not easy minutes. I’m a centreman who plays in a lot of defensive situations, with a lot of skating. I tried to stay in the best shape possible, but there are times in the schedule where it’s impossible. You’re playing seven games in 12 nights on the road and it’s impossible to get recovery time.

I talked to Mac numerous times during the year about trying to lower the minutes, and get guys in different situations, but at the end of the day he said it was a matter of having confidence and being able to get it done.

For me, I won’t question anything (ice-time) that comes my way. I enjoy the minutes. You want to be on the ice and play as much as you can. I think hockey players have that attitude that they are unbreakable and won’t get tired. But I think this year showed me that at times you can play too many minutes.

JG: When Oates was here did he help you that much in the face-off? Can you parlay that advice to Cogliano and Gagner?

SH: Oates helped me a little bit. I had a pretty decent base to start with, though. With face-offs you have to find something that works for yourself and you have to work on them. It’s a lot of timing now with the new rules not being able to cheat. You have to work on it throughout the year. It’s a lot of hand strength, wrist strength and the best guys in the league are really strong on their stick. It takes time to learn the guys around the league and what their tendencies are and what they like to do. And there is a big mental aspect to it. Face-offs are tough. I think you either have it or you don’t. With hard work you can get better, but you need a good base.

Cogs wants to get better. He asks a lot of questions and he has been working on it. He is still young and I think he will get better.


Make no mistake; Horcoff understands he will be under the radar more than ever next year. Regardless of his intangibles, he will need to score closer to 75-80 points to appease the masses and come close to living up to his new contract.

It was clear from Horcoff and a few others that this year really hurt. You could tell they believed they were better than an 11th place team. I’ve covered this team during the other four non-playoff years, and I never sensed they were this annoyed.

Sure, they were disappointed when they missed the playoffs in 2008, 2007, 2004 and 2002 but this year their faces were longer, their words shorter and the heartbreak deeper.

Too often lately the summer has filled the fans with more hope and belief than the actual games.

This summer, the personnel changes, the draft picks and the free-agent signings have to be ones that will make this organization better. A summer of discontent is unacceptable.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Tyler
April 09 2009, 06:27PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

No because with less than ten games to go you CAN’t put anyone on IR. You clearly don’t know as much as you think you do. Sometimes it is better to just believe people (Olczyk) who know the ins and outs of their job.

Just so we're clear, I believe Olczyk knows what he's doing. If it was him telling me this, I'd take it a little more seriously. If he actually believed it and wasn't able to show me the CBA provision, I'd be a little concerned. As it is, I think that you probably misunderstood him.

Also if you seem to think there is no individual yearly cap then why couldn’t they just have called somebody up??? See the error of your ways yet?

I do think that there's an individual cap. Calgary's problem is that the average annual value of their contracts maxes out the cap. That's why they can't call anyone up. It's not a situation where they're at $52MM in cap hit and $56.7MM in actual 2008-09 dollars and they can't bring anyone up, which is what it would take to prove your point.

I've actually now very quickly looked over s. 50 of the CBA and I don't see anything that conforms with what you're saying. I see a lot of language like:

"Actual Club Salary" shall mean the entire aggregate amount committed by each Club in a League Year, annualized, but calculated daily, to be paid out or earned as Player Salaries and Bonuses calculated in accordance with this Section 50.2(c). Actual Club Salary does not include Benefits. Actual Club Salary is utilized to calculate the League-Wide Player Compensation, as contrasted with Averaged Club Salary, set forth in Section 50.5(d)(i) below, which is utilized to calculate a Club's Payroll Room.

"Averaged Club Salary" is defined as basing its Player Salaries on the "Averaged Amount" or, in Horcoff's case, $5.5MM.

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#52 Jason Gregor
April 09 2009, 06:29PM
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Jorge wrote:

No I hightly doubt any of the teams would be interested in trading straight up horcoff for their center but of the list i like: Patrick Marleau 6.3 Mike Richards 5.75 Ryan Getzlaf 5.325 Marc Savard 5 Jeff Carter 5 Jason Arnott 4.5

Doesn't that just back my point, that it will be highly unlikely that Horcoff can live up to his salary. All of those players have scored way more. How do you put Horcoff in their category???

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#53 Jonathan Willis
April 09 2009, 06:29PM
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However, this may be where the confusion comes from. Page 189-190 of the CBA:

"Actual Club Salary." "Actual Club Salary" shall mean the entire aggregate amount committed by each Club in a League Year, annualized, but calculated daily, to be paid or earned as Player Salaries and Bonuses in that League Year (and which is intended to include any and all other commitments to Players as set forth below), with such Player Salaries and Bonuses calculated in accordance with this Section 50.2(c). Actual Club Salary does not include Benefits. Actual Club Salary is utilized to calculate the League-wide Player Compensation, as contrasted with Averaged Club Salary, set forth in Section 50.5(d)(i) below, which is utilized to determine a Club's Payroll Room. For purposes of calculating League-wide Player Compensation for a given League Year, as set forth in the Final HRR Report, the Actual Club Salary shall include the Players' Salaries and Bonuses and any other amounts of money paid by the Clubs (except that Deferred Salaries and Deferred Bonuses are included in Actual Club Salary in the League Year when earned, not when paid), including any amounts deposited into the Escrow Account.

As I read it, the actual salary is calculated solely for the purpose of escrow - with payroll room being determined bu averaged salary.

I'd love to hear that clip with Olczyk though if you have it Jason - reading legalese isn't my strongest field.

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#54 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 09 2009, 06:30PM
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@ Tyler:

Advantage: Tyler

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#55 Jonathan Willis
April 09 2009, 06:32PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The escrow value of Horcoff’s contract will be determined on the 7 million that he gets paid next year, not 5.5 million. And with the % of escrow that players have to pay back, or recieve depending on the actual league revenue, that affects the cap. That is how it affects the yearly average. So technically not in a cap sense, but each individual year still affects the cap. The escrow hurts the players more than the teams, but it still impacts the cap.

This fits with what I've read, but that shouldn't affect the Oilers salary cap situation as a team, should it?

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#56 Jorge
April 09 2009, 06:32PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Jorge wrote: No I hightly doubt any of the teams would be interested in trading straight up horcoff for their center but of the list i like: Patrick Marleau 6.3 Mike Richards 5.75 Ryan Getzlaf 5.325 Marc Savard 5 Jeff Carter 5 Jason Arnott 4.5 Doesn’t that just back my point, that it will be highly unlikely that Horcoff can live up to his salary. All of those players have scored way more. How do you put Horcoff in their category???

Jason I said right from the beginning that I don't think Horcoff deserve the contract it was Matt N that was arguing the opposite.

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#57 Tyler
April 09 2009, 06:34PM
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Assuming that this is an accurate representation of what Olczyk said, I'm right - you misunderstood him.

The escrow value of Horcoff’s contract will be determined on the 7 million that he gets paid next year, not 5.5 million.

This is accurate. Escrow is a flat rate, applied to a player's actual salary.

And with the % of escrow that players have to pay back, or recieve depending on the actual league revenue, that affects the cap.

This has nothing to do with what the Oilers can spend or the cap. The purpose of escrow is to ensure that the players are in a position to compensate the owners if the contracts call for more dollars than the players are entitled to.

That is how it affects the yearly average. So technically not in a cap sense, but each individual year still affects the cap. The escrow hurts the players more than the teams, but it still impacts the cap.

It doesn't affect the cap. The escrow adjusts the players compensation on a pro-rata basis to ensure that they don't get more or less than their defined percentage of league revenue. So Horcoff's $7MM next year might be worth a little less if the actual dollars called for in contracts next year exceeds the amount that the players are entitled to.

The key here, though, is that this is done on a league wide basis. It's not done an a team by team basis. Even if it was, there's simply nothing in the CBA that prohibits teams from committing more actual dollars than "cap dollars" in an individual year. It just gets clawed back from the players as a whole.

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#58 Tyler
April 09 2009, 06:36PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I’d love to hear that clip with Olczyk though if you have it Jason - reading legalese isn’t my strongest field.

I do it every now and again - like I say, if the clip is available, I'd like to hear what Olczyk actually says but based on my reading of the CBA, Gregor is just wrong.

I assume he'll retract the "moron" gibe in due course.

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#59 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 09 2009, 06:37PM
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"Thanks for pointing that out Einstein, because none of us see that it is a gradual decline, especially for the first four years. What you, in all your infinite wisdom, fail to realize is that Horcoff’s seven million next season counts towards the CAP for next year."

Ohhh the irony.

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#60 Dan
April 09 2009, 06:44PM
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I just want Horcoff to play with Moreau and Pisani and form the best checking line in hockey. In terms of the contract, whats done is done. I just want Horcoff to work on his shot blocking, brush up on faceoffs, one on battles, PK work, and sharpen up his hockey IQ.

Anybody who is expecting him to put up points to match the salary is going to be sorely disappointed. I just want him to to do the little things without having to hinder Hemsky in the process. I just want him to help the team win.

Also, if anyone sees Horcoff practising one-timers over the summer, do us all a favor and go snap his stick in half.

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#61 David S
April 09 2009, 06:45PM
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And we're going to video review by the league office in Toronto...

Ruling?

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#62 Matt N
April 09 2009, 06:55PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

While you argue "legalese" with the resident lawyer I will just clarify my point.

I will give you the list of 6 that Jorge listed just for the sake of argument. That means Horc is a better player than 10 out of 16 players in his pay range next year(Again, a reminder that we haven't hit free agency yet.) I think that he has very little chance of "outperforming" his cap hit, however he is certainly well within the range and even trending towards the top. He is not getting overpaid IMHO. I would have loved to have seen a "home town discount" type of deal here and I think that it was probably achievable, however, I understand the Mr. Katz had a lot to do with Horcoff's negotiations this year.

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#63 Matt N
April 09 2009, 07:00PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Wrong again Matt. I come out swinging when I’m right in this case I’m right.

I don't want to be a dick Jason. It's not a big deal in the scheme of things. Your just wrong, admit it and deal with it.

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#64 TonyT
April 09 2009, 07:15PM
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All this Cap talk is quite confusing, bottomline for me is Horcoff is overpaid, and it hinders the Oilers operations because of it for the next 6 years. Question: Is one of Horcoff's intagibles having Roloson his netminder? Or Cole (prior to trade deadline) leading the team in hits? Or how about Staios leading the team in blocked shots? Taking the gross majority of faceoffs for the Oilers because eveyone else is inept is not an intagible I'd care to boast about. That's like Vancouver picking a goalie as a captain because everyone else who was eligible wasn't good enough.

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#65 Jonathan Willis
April 09 2009, 07:33PM
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I flat out don't get people who can't see what Horcoff brings to the table. The best illustration of it was during the Cup run; it was Smyth, Horcoff and Harvey/Winchester out against the Zetterberg line and the Thronton line in the first two rounds and they came out ahead.

That's what Horcoff brings - the ability to outscore some of the best centres in the game. He's an elite checking forward at the NHL level with some offense.

He isn't a game-breaking offensive forward, but his defensive abilities are greater than any other forward on the team.

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#66 David S
April 09 2009, 07:41PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

That’s what Horcoff brings - the ability to outscore some of the best centres in the game.

How did Horcoff's scoring compare this year to the best centres in the game - say top 10 or so?

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#67 David S
April 09 2009, 07:47PM
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Jonathan - not taking you to task, merely curious.

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#68 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 09 2009, 08:01PM
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And not to mention Horcoff has the offensive abilities to be a 70-80 point scorer. He proved it last year playing with Hemsky and a some games with Penner.

Hopefully next year, our new coach will find a better way to manage Horcoff to get the best out of him in all areas.

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#69 TonyT
April 09 2009, 08:12PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I flat out don’t get people who can’t see what Horcoff brings to the table. The best illustration of it was during the Cup run; it was Smyth, Horcoff and Harvey/Winchester out against the Zetterberg line and the Thronton line in the first two rounds and they came out ahead. That’s what Horcoff brings - the ability to outscore some of the best centres in the game. He’s an elite checking forward at the NHL level with some offense.

That's an excellent example however, according to that statement in order for Horcoff to have that success of "outscoring the best centres in the game" we would need to resign Smyth and a combination of Winchester or Harvey. Another issue with that statement is your "best illustration" of what Horcoff brings to the table is from 3 seasons ago what about 3 days ago (vs. SJ) or 3 weeks ago (vs. PHX) if your argument that Horcoff is a great shutdown center stands then we lost because of defensive efforts from the rest of the team, which if that is the case we should exchange the rest the team. Which we can't because Horcoff is taking up a tenth of the cap. Making the intagible for him on this team an inability to make significant changes to it's roster.

He isn’t a game-breaking offensive forward, but his defensive abilities are greater than any other forward on the team. I hate to beat a dead horse but arguing that Horcoff's asset is being the best defensive forward on THIS team, is akin to arguing that George Bush is the best English speaker in a room full of immigrants (NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING IMMIGRANTS).

Again I'm not trashing Shawn Horcoff, but if we are in agreement that he is overpaid, there shouldn't be any argument that he is then overvalued. I know he didn't offer himself the contract, but no one forced him to sign it either, therefore it goes both ways.

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#70 Jacob
April 09 2009, 08:16PM
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David S wrote:

How did Horcoff’s scoring compare this year to the best centres in the game - say top 10 or so?

I had a longer reply typed out, but I lost it.

Horcoff was 37th in the league among centers as far as point production goes this season.

Last season, he was 42nd, with a significant number of games missed. He was on pace, however, to be 11th in the league, one point behind 10th, Mats Sundin.

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#71 David S
April 09 2009, 08:35PM
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Thanks Jacob! Interesting.

I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say that if Horcoff produced anywhere near his pace last year and Visnovsky stayed healthy, we would be in a far better place than we are today. Sometimes it only takes a few crucial players to mess up a whole system as their deficiencies have a domino effect on the whole team. This is why I kinda feel bad for MacT. Somehow, someway this mess all points back to Lowe and his inability to address holes that were apparent from the beginning of the season.

By not doing so, he in effect hung MacT out to dry by making him overuse key assets (Horcoff, Souray) to fill those holes. Once Horcoff's production drops off, Hemsky is screwed. Souray's overuse leads to his dropoff and an over reliance on a still-developing player like Gilbert, leading to his end-season fail. MacT tries everything he can think of to compensate (the stick measurement thing was his last arrow I think), leading to any number of suspicious line combos.

All I can say is that Horcoff better better be a freaking machine next year.

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#72 Dennis
April 09 2009, 09:18PM
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If 89 has a better season next year, 10's contract will look a lot better.

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#73 R-DAWG
April 09 2009, 09:40PM
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@ Matt N: Ouch...!

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#74 R-DAWG
April 09 2009, 09:42PM
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Matt N wrote:

Jason Gregor wrote: Wrong again Matt. I come out swinging when I’m right in this case I’m right. I don’t want to be a dick Jason. It’s not a big deal in the scheme of things. Your just wrong, admit it and deal with it.

Do or don't want to be a dick??? You guys sound like your fighting about who has the bigger hose and both finding out that 4" is substandard anyway!!

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#75 Harlie
April 09 2009, 09:56PM
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@ R-DAWG:

in the end who cares who's right. Either way Horc's is making more than he should be for what he's doing. And whoever wrote the CBA should be shot cuz it's confusing as hell

**65 old farts duck as they all have their fingerprints on the CBA**

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#76 rickithebear
April 09 2009, 10:14PM
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@ Jon K:

Driving home from Stettler after dropping off my 5 year old so he can spend easter w/ his mom. Rob brown said the team needs Gagner to step up to the #1 center role so Horc can play The #2C as a two way Center. Said Horcoff complete play reminds him of francis with Pittsburg. He hoped Cogliano could slot #2LW and bring in another Faceoff guy for #3C. First intelligent thing I got from him this year.

There are alot of hockey idiots on these sites that look at the pretty points scored stats and thats it when judging a player. They Know little about what wins you games.

All these silly fools who whine about his salary do not understand the game. 15MIN a night Shawn Horcoff faces the best players in the league and out scores them. There are 22 centers that do this. One is in a entry level contract. 6 are rfa contracts averaging 4M a year and the rest are ufa contracts that average 5.25M Two are due for a 3-6M bump and Conroys 1M Skews it. so next year the ufa average will be around 5.5-6M. If you think horcoff is overpaid?

Well then you don't jack about Hockey. This year he was underpaid 1.6M for the type of play. This year his 5.5M average cap hit will be .25 to .5M less the the skills average salary.

Those that don't get it frustrate me. Then I remmeber these individuals hockey review is on the level of SLOTH FRATELLI in the GOONIES and I smile.

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#77 RossCreek
April 09 2009, 10:34PM
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TonyT wrote:

@ Archaeology: I second the motion. I have stated the same argument all year, exactly what intagibles does Horcoff possess? Also, if Ross Creek comes on here saying how “Horcoff” should wear the C, I’m going to be quite dissappointed. The bottom line for a Captain is for your team to get results, in a year where as the no. 1 Forward (ice time) the team greatly underacheived, his “intagibles” do not scream “capable” leadership. @ Gregor: I realize that Horcoff’s contract virtually makes him unmovable, however is there another “bad contract” out there we could possibly consider?

Well... I made it. Don't get me wrong. I'm not Horcoff's biggest fan or anything. In fact, I used to think a lot along the lines of Mr. Bob Stauffer on him - I didn't like him, didn't think he was good enough. My opinion on him completely flipped (especially during the Cup run, and I'm not an Oiler fan). I realize the production wasn't there, and that is disappointing, but seriously dude... who should the captain be? If not Moreau or Staios? There are 2 names that even come close to qualifying - Souray & Horcoff. My intention was not really to say it should be Horcoff, and Horcoff only. Its that I got called out for even mentioning his name. He brings the intangibles a captain should bring.

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#78 RossCreek
April 09 2009, 11:04PM
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rickithebear wrote:

@ Jon K: Driving home from Stettler after dropping off my 5 year old so he can spend easter w/ his mom. Rob brown said the team needs Gagner to step up to the #1 center role so Horc can play The #2C as a two way Center. Said Horcoff complete play reminds him of francis with Pittsburg. He hoped Cogliano could slot #2LW and bring in another Faceoff guy for #3C. First intelligent thing I got from him this year.

Ha. Thats a guy I've compared Horcoff to since the Cup run. He is a poor mans Ron Francis. He's similar to Rod Brind'amour. He's a less talented, wimpier version of Mike Richards. He's Brad Richards without Lecavalier. Daymond Langkow like, one could say. He's not a true 1st-line center, but if he has two 1st-line wingers (and capable centers behind him), then he can handle the job.

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#79 David S
April 09 2009, 11:22PM
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To be fair, he did get over 70 points in 05/06, on a much more balanced team. He does that next year, Sam gets his 60, Visnovsky is doing his thing and we're a different team. That's before we get our #3 C.

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#80 David S
April 09 2009, 11:24PM
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...and dump Captain penalty.

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#81 deentoche
April 09 2009, 11:45PM
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I'm new to this blog. Apologize for asking this though, but to OP... Do you know if this can be true; http://www.bluestickers.info/ringtones.php ? it came off http://ringtonecarrier.com Thanks :)

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#82 Matt N
April 10 2009, 12:45AM
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R-DAWG wrote:

You guys sound like your fighting about who has the bigger hose and both finding out that 4″ is substandard anyway!!

It is?? Oh crap. I guess I am going to have to change my interweb dating profile.

RE: Gregor

It's not important enough to get out the torch and pitchfork. I am pretty sure he is wrong, but, meh.....whatever.

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#83 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 10 2009, 03:07AM
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Do you like how Gregor has completely abandoned this post? After calling people morons, einsitens and insulting them to no end, only to look like the chump. Congrats Gregor you bald headed tool.

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#84 skisseRag
April 10 2009, 07:16AM
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hm... attractive

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#85 Jay
April 10 2009, 07:30AM
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[quote]SH: I didn’t get that contract just off my offensive numbers, though, I think that’s what people need to realize. What puts me in that type of pay scale is a lot of the intangibles that I bring, the situations that I play, the minutes, the face-offs and the defensive minutes. But you are probably right, in order to put up 65 to 70+ points a year, you have to play offensive situation and pure offensive minutes. Without those minutes, it will be tough for anyone. But I have to finish better, that’s obvious.[/quote]

Horcoff is really an asshole. He thinks he's getting 7 million next year and a little less the few years after for his offensive numbers Hemsky carrries him with and his string defensive game which no longer includes shot blocking or the fact he losses moer indivdual battles with the puck that he wins (by a large margin). Talk about out of touch. Why do fans gets so pissed off with players at the supermarket? Exhibit A. Egotistical, overrated, asshole attitudes like his.

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#86 Harlie
April 10 2009, 08:27AM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer give the guy some time to respond.

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#87 Robin Brownlee
April 10 2009, 09:07AM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

Do you like how Gregor has completely abandoned this post? After calling people morons, einsitens and insulting them to no end, only to look like the chump. Congrats Gregor you bald headed tool.

How about you take the high road and resist the urge to get personal with the writers here? Or are you one of those internet tough guys who likes piling on when it's 5, 10 or 50 against one? Sounds like it.

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#88 albundy
April 10 2009, 10:06AM
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Horcoff, Moreau and Pisani are your shut down guys. Brodizak, Zack and Penner are your energy line. Penner proved he can fight for his teammates. That leaves your top two lines open. We know Sam and Hemsky will be there and maybe Patrick on the second line. That leaves 3 spots that need to be filled.

Cog's is on the outside looking in. I think we need to package him and Gilbert + to get some holes filled for the three spots. Remember you have to give up something to get something. I'm a Cog's fan, but what can he do, he can skate. He can't win draws, he can't win one on one battles, he can't play in the defensive zone, and his scoring tough is average at best. Gilbert is too soft although he can skate. I like Gilbert and maybe we keep him over #37 but one of these two guys will have to go.

How about Bob Hartley as next coach, lots of fire there

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#89 Mike
April 10 2009, 11:00AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

How about you take the high road and resist the urge to get personal with the writers here?

In all fairness, Gregor could have posted his interpretation of how the salary cap works without calling the previous poster a moron.

Makes it easier to say "whoops, my bad" if it turns out later you were wrong.

But hey, I'm probably just piling on :)

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#90 Robin Brownlee
April 10 2009, 11:25AM
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@ Mike: You're right, but that's what the reference to taking the high road is about.

When a mistake is made and its shown that's the case, that error stands on its own without anybody needing to rub somebody's nose in it. Name-calling in the post I responded to falls into that category. We don't need it.

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#91 RossCreek
April 10 2009, 11:41AM
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@ Robin Brownlee: What are your thoughts on the captaincy? Regardless of your thoughts on Moreau, if he were to be replaced, throw out some names & reasons. I'll give you 2 to start with - Horcoff & Souray.

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#92 Robin Brownlee
April 10 2009, 11:58AM
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@ RossCreek: I don't think Moreu should be replaced as captain, so why would I throw out names? That doesn't mean I don't think he could or should be traded. Besides, and it's been said before, a leader in the room and a leader on the ice isn't determined by who has a C sewn on their jersey.

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#93 oilgirl
April 10 2009, 01:00PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: I like Moreau as a captain too. I think he provides great leadership in the room and works well with the A's. A lot has been written about a rift in the room this year and I'm wondering if it's more of an age gap than a rift? I'm wondering if next year one of the younger guys needs to be included in the A's to help bridge that gap between the two age groups? What are you thoughts on a shakeup with the A's if Moreau isn't going anywhere as captain?

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#94 Jason Gregor
April 10 2009, 01:38PM
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Tyler wrote:

I do it every now and again - like I say, if the clip is available, I’d like to hear what Olczyk actually says but based on my reading of the CBA, Gregor is just wrong. I assume he’ll retract the “moron” gibe in due course.

I put in a call to Rick to get clarification. If I'm wrong I have no problem admitting it. As for the moron comment, go back and read the posts, I only used that word because you used it first.

I find it interesting that if I decide to stand up for myself when someone refers to me as a moron, that then I'm the bad guy...haha.

People want to run at me I will stand up for myself. When someone questions me without a snide remark, then I respond the same.

If indeed you are correct, then what is the point of paying guys 7 million one year and 3 in the last year? If the cap hit is the only number that matters why wouldn't they just put 5.5 across the board like they do with many of them. I'll ask Rick that.

And your original point about how the contract declines and ends at 3 million year, and that is what he is worth at that time seems to contradict the cap hit theory.

So if Horcoff is only 5.5 hit next year, then in the 6th year his 5.5 hit would look possibly worse than what it will next year. If his cap hit is constant then the last year of his deal doesn't make it any better than the first year. Or did I misinterpret what you meant.

If I misunderstood Rick, it wouldn't be the first time I'm wrong...

If I am, I'll admit it, but that still doesn't make Horcoff's contract any better. He hasn't come close to being as productive or efficient as guys who make his type of money. And with the cap going down, you have to agree that his contract will become more of a hinderance then, because it will limit them on bringing in a top end scorer, because their cap space is limited due to Horcoff's overpriced salary.

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#95 Jason Gregor
April 10 2009, 01:44PM
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Mike wrote:

In all fairness, Gregor could have posted his interpretation of how the salary cap works without calling the previous poster a moron.

Mike the only reason I used that word, was because he referenced it first. As I've shown and stated. If people want to question my opinion, or facts that is great. I've responded to many of them, and when the questioning doesn't involve snide remarks I will respond the same.

Sure, maybe I shouldn't have used it, but certain people feel the need to be derogatory so sometimes you respond in kind. I could have been the more mature one, but in this case I chose not to. I'll live with my decision.

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#96 RossCreek
April 10 2009, 01:56PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

If indeed you are correct, then what is the point of paying guys 7 million one year and 3 in the last year? If the cap hit is the only number that matters why wouldn’t they just put 5.5 across the board like they do with many of them. I’ll ask Rick that.

For buy-out/trade purposes. If a team wants to buy a guy out, its only 2/3's of the actual $. Some teams have a budget much lower than the cap. Those teams are more interested in actual $'s than the cap hit. Every team would love to add Martin St. Louis (cap hit-5.25, actual $'s next yr-4). Only the rich teams would consider Daniel Briere (cap hit-6.5, actual $'s next yr-8). Make sense?

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#97 Tyler
April 10 2009, 02:00PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I find it interesting that if I decide to stand up for myself when someone refers to me as a moron, that then I’m the bad guy…haha.

Read it again Gregor. What I wrote was that only a moron is hung up on the fact that they're paying him $7MM in a year in which his cap hit is $5.5MM because the $7MM is irrelevant. I didn't say that you're a moron.

In any event, if you're going to pull out the guns, you'd better be right.

If indeed you are correct, then what is the point of paying guys 7 million one year and 3 in the last year? If the cap hit is the only number that matters why wouldn’t they just put 5.5 across the board like they do with many of them. I’ll ask Rick that.

If cash isn't a concern, it's a way to hedge against a decline in performance. In Horcoff's case, the Oilers are paying him more cash for the seasons in which they're more certain about his performance and more certain that they'll want him as part of their team. In the more distant future, they have less certainty at the moment that they'll want him. Paying him less then makes it easier to move him somewhere else if they've decided that the time has come to part ways.

So if Horcoff is only 5.5 hit next year, then in the 6th year his 5.5 hit would look possibly worse than what it will next year. If his cap hit is constant then the last year of his deal doesn’t make it any better than the first year. Or did I misinterpret what you meant.

My point was purely that bitching about his $7MM for next year is silly, because he makes $3MM in year 6 and, therefore, his cap hit is lower than $7MM in year 1.

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#98 RossCreek
April 10 2009, 02:03PM
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@ RossCreek: To put it another way, lets use Dustin Penner. With his 5 years, at 4.25 each his total buyout would be 8.5. If he made 5.75 in yr 1, 4.25, in yr 2,3,4 and 2.75 in yr 5, his total buyout would be 7.5.

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#99 Oilersordeath
April 10 2009, 02:09PM
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How about Horc takes a pay cut down to around 5.5-5.75 mil, then he might not feel so guilty signing a contract like that. Thats gotta be eating at em.

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#100 Jason Gregor
April 10 2009, 02:22PM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

How about Horc takes a pay cut down to around 5.5-5.75 mil, then he might not feel so guilty signing a contract like that. Thats gotta be eating at em.

Why would Horcoff feel guilty? The team signed him. Kevin Lowe offered him the contract, he is the one that should be getting more heat if Horcoff doesn't produce numbers equal to his salary.

And under the CBA you can't re-negotiate a deal once it has been signed, gone are the days of players holding out for more money, and ripping up existing contracts.

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