This Generation's Stan Weir

Lowetide
July 07 2010 07:41AM

This is Stan Weir. He is a very important figure in Oilers history, because of his role on the first three Oiler NHL teams. He was a vital part of the group in 79-80, his role began to fade the following season (as detailed by Peter Gzowski in his classic book The Game of Our Lives).

Weir did the difficult work until the gifted kids could take on the chores, and in that way lives forever in Oiler lore. 

In the past few days, we've heard Steve Tambellini talk about adding a veteran presence (wanted a C, would settle for a W) and the truth is the club could use both of those player types (a Mike Peca and a Fernando Pisani).

Free agents don't flock to 30th place teams, but they will in future years with the opportunity to play alongside more mature versions of Hall, MPS and Eberle.

In the absence of this free agent signing (unlikely this summer as the quality UFA's slowly sign with other teams) the "Stan Weir" role will probably fall to Shawn Horcoff. He is the most complete player among the forwards (which is not the same as most talented) and he has displayed a willingness to do whatever is asked of him.

He has been to a SCF, he blocked a shot with his face in an important playoff game, he is a leader and he can help show the way. He did not (apparently) associate himself too closely with the veteran group (Souray, Moreau) that has been flushed (or will be flushed).

Horcoff will likely start the season on the top two lines, but as the kids develop (and possibly by next year) the trip down the depth chart will begin (as it did with Weir). By this time next season, Sam Gagner might be the 1C, the top 4 wingers might include Hall, MPS and Eberle, and Shawn Horcoff might be on the checking line.

Fans associate Shawn Horcoff with his massive contract and that's human nature. I do hope the boos give way to cheers at some point, as Horcoff's role on the new Oilers will be the most difficult one on the roster.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 Bandwagon jumper
July 07 2010, 09:48AM
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Yeah, I thought I should clear that up.

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#52 Milli
July 07 2010, 09:49AM
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Totally agree about horc. He will teach these young guys so many things about being, a pro, work ethic, what it takes to be an NHLer. And really, he is the only choice for Captain.

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#53 DonDon
July 07 2010, 09:52AM
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dunnonuttin wrote:

I don't know what it is about Horcoff's manner of speaking, but it drives me up the wall.

I aggree that he's probably the best option for captain going forward... I just hate the thought of listening to him talk after every game.

I couldn't agree more about Horcoff's annoying style of responding to questions after games. And Iglina has the same bad habit. Very vanilla and no sense that they have any passion in the game.

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#54 Downright Fierce
July 07 2010, 09:57AM
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In the past few days, we've heard Steve Tambellini talk about adding a veteran presence (wanted a C, would settle for a W) and the truth is the club could use both of those player types (a Mike Peca and a Fernando Pisani).

Rob Niedermayer agrees to 1 year with Buffalo, as per Dreger and LeBrun's twitters. No numbers yet, though Shaugger seemed to think he was looking for a hair over 1-mil. Rishaug also reported the Org was one of six teams in the mix for Robbie and that he would strongly consider Edmonton, but there was no report of any offer.

A missed opportunity. Unless he's getting stupid money from the Sabres.

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#55 Gregors dirty 'stash
July 07 2010, 09:59AM
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Iginla is just slowed down from the gran canyon on his forhead, and the only reason horcoff is so good at faceoffs is because of his oger like appearnaces care off opponents

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#56 madjam
July 07 2010, 10:09AM
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Milli wrote:

Totally agree about horc. He will teach these young guys so many things about being, a pro, work ethic, what it takes to be an NHLer. And really, he is the only choice for Captain.

Got roundly chastised by the old Score group for even mentioning Horcoff for Captaincy over Moreau . My how things have changed . Horcoff was my choice back then , and probably still , except being the player rep for team and his union dealings are taxing enough on a lot of his time outside the game . From leadership qualities he certainly has the credentials , but his union committments might somewhere come in conflict (lagerhead) with management - which may not be a good thing down the road .

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#57 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 07 2010, 10:17AM
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GSC wrote:

Smyth: .72 PPG

Horcoff: .58 PPG

Uh, no. And you added the "with respect to Horc's heart" bit after the fact.

So 11 points per 82 games makes two guys Incomparable?

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#58 Cru Jones
July 07 2010, 10:21AM
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Gregors dirty 'stash wrote:

Iginla is just slowed down from the gran canyon on his forhead, and the only reason horcoff is so good at faceoffs is because of his oger like appearnaces care off opponents

Oh, the humorous irony of misspelling ogre.

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#59 DC
July 07 2010, 10:23AM
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Chris. wrote:

~:Denotes sarcasm.

I'm a Horcoff fan, and have taken a beating on this site over the last two years from the slack jawed mouth breathers who like to write things like: "Horcoff would be an AHLer on any other team."

My bad, sorry. But I'm not wrong either.

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#60 Downright Fierce
July 07 2010, 10:26AM
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LeBrun now reporting the Oil was one of three teams in on Niedermayer at the end. He chose Buffalo over Pittsburgh and Edmonton.

Fair enough. Glad Tambellini was giving it his best.

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#61 Chris.
July 07 2010, 10:26AM
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@ Archaeologuy:

C'mon Arch... I wasn't talking about you. I think you undervalue Horcoff, and I don't understand why he is your goat when there were so many players on the roster who played like they didn't even want to be in Edmonton... It's guys like Hatecoff: (slack jawed mouth breathers) to whom I was referring.

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#62 Aussie
July 07 2010, 10:27AM
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Everyone should back off Horcoff and just let him play. It is not his fault that he is over paid it is managements fault. There is not a single person out there that if their boss offered them some ridiculous raise that they would not take it. I'm sure Sean puts enough pressure on himself because of the contract he signed to perform. I’m sure he is not the type of guy that if he plays bad he says well at least im getting paid. He is not my favourite player i am just saying he is a very good third line center that took a good deal for himself and his family.

GO OIL

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#63 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 10:28AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

So 11 points per 82 games makes two guys Incomparable?

How about...

Smyth: 8x 20 or more goals with the Oilers

Horcoff: 2x 20 or more goals with the Oilers

Smyth: 4x 30 or more goals

Horcoff: 0x 30 or more goals

Smyth: actual 1st liner while playing in Edmonton

Horcoff: Couldnt stay on the top two lines of the 30th placed club in the NHL last year.

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#64 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 10:32AM
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Chris. wrote:

@ Archaeologuy:

C'mon Arch... I wasn't talking about you. I think you undervalue Horcoff, and I don't understand why he is your goat when there were so many players on the roster who played like they didn't even want to be in Edmonton... It's guys like Hatecoff: (slack jawed mouth breathers) to whom I was referring.

He was my goat because the team needs more from him than he was giving last year. He was my goat because there are other players in the organization that can have off years and it wont affect the club nearly as much as when Horcoff has bad years.

Much to my dismay, the Oilers need Horcoff to be successful in order to themselves be successful. At least until the kids really get it figured out.

POS mailing it in all year hurt the team significantly less than Horcoff dropping his production by 20 points.

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#65 Gregors dirty 'stash
July 07 2010, 10:34AM
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@Cru Jones

Oops!

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#66 Chris.
July 07 2010, 10:37AM
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Arch. Here you go again:

Horcoff: Couldnt stay on the top two lines of the 30th placed club in the NHL last year.

Since when did you become a big fan of how Quinn ran his lines? You can't condemn Quinn for playing JFJ on the first line one thread, than later use Quinns (mis)management of Horcoff on another thread as evidence that Horcoff is no longer a top six forward.

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#67 tdslvr
July 07 2010, 10:37AM
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Great article.

Horcoff is a key component to the development to the current crop of kids. Teaching them what it means to be a pro, everything from fitness to how to use your face to block slapshots.

A fine candidate to be the next Oilers captain. And not because he's the only choice, but because he's a great choice.

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Downright Fierce wrote:

LeBrun now reporting the Oil was one of three teams in on Niedermayer at the end. He chose Buffalo over Pittsburgh and Edmonton.

Fair enough. Glad Tambellini was giving it his best.

I wonder who is next? We now have to keep in mind that we are bidding against Pittsburgh. I wonder if Rob would've taken a 2 year deal?

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#69 Stef
July 07 2010, 10:38AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

LT: You're absolutely right. While there's reason for optimism with the new wave of Hall, Eberle and MPS etc., Horcoff is going to be a key transitional player.

He's well-suited to that role for several reasons, and I won't be surprised if/when he's named captain.

In that regard, he's also going to be this generation's version of Lee Fogolin as well. At some point, he may just hand off the C to one of the kids, Hall, Lander, Gagner...

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#70 Dyckster
July 07 2010, 10:39AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

He was my goat because the team needs more from him than he was giving last year. He was my goat because there are other players in the organization that can have off years and it wont affect the club nearly as much as when Horcoff has bad years.

Much to my dismay, the Oilers need Horcoff to be successful in order to themselves be successful. At least until the kids really get it figured out.

POS mailing it in all year hurt the team significantly less than Horcoff dropping his production by 20 points.

Arch,

I'm not trying to come across as prickish here, but if Horcoff was making $2.5m per year, would he still be your goat?

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#71 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 07 2010, 10:41AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

How about...

Smyth: 8x 20 or more goals with the Oilers

Horcoff: 2x 20 or more goals with the Oilers

Smyth: 4x 30 or more goals

Horcoff: 0x 30 or more goals

Smyth: actual 1st liner while playing in Edmonton

Horcoff: Couldnt stay on the top two lines of the 30th placed club in the NHL last year.

So what about it. The guy brought up PPG as his proof that they are incomparible.

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#72 Barfly
July 07 2010, 10:50AM
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I agree it's the salary that gets Horcoff all the criticism. He's a decent player getting star player money. Or would we like Scott Gomez, who is the most grossly overpaid player in the game. At least Horcoff will get his nose dirty, and I think he would make a good captain.

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#73 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 10:53AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Arch,

I'm not trying to come across as prickish here, but if Horcoff was making $2.5m per year, would he still be your goat?

Would the Oilers still expect him to be the #1 centre if he was making 2.5 a year?

Like I said, he's my goat because I think he failed to deliver what the Oilers desperately needed from him.

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#74 madjam
July 07 2010, 10:54AM
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WHICH WAY TO GO ? HISTORY 2006 . Oilers had a core group of players that had maxed out by year 2005 . That year we went to big free agents like Pronger and Peca with still little hope of making playoffs , until they added a lot more around trade deadline that led us to the Stanley Cup final in 2006 !

Mass exodus occurred and we were back with core that wasn't good enough again . Then we have years since then where we failed to get big names to help decaying core . We also let Smyth go then as well . Instead of blowing it all back then , we ended up not letting a younger core stay long enough together to form a new core . A lot of our 23-26 year olds were let go . Stoll, Pitkanen , Torres , Green etc..

Now it appears we are committed to a younger core template , and ridding the remnants of the old core .

The old template that got us to Stanley Cup final is no more . How successfull will this new younger template take to be successfull, if at all, is the question ? The last successfull template we never were able to replicate due to managements unsuccessfull abilities to land any big names to lure others here .

Changing of the guard to a younger core by design or option is basically our option , as we've been unsuccessfull at trying to fill the old template .It'll be exciting to watch the new core develop !

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#75 Ender
July 07 2010, 10:55AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Arch,

I'm not trying to come across as prickish here, but if Horcoff was making $2.5m per year, would he still be your goat?

That's not really a fair question. I think Horc is doing fine but if someone wants to hate his salary they can do so. The fact that Dr. Nick Riviera will do a spleen transplant for tips doesn't make him a good doctor; it just makes him cheaper than a real doctor.

Sure Horcoff's contract would be nicer if he was a $2.5M cap hit. But it's not, so asking Arch if Horc would be a better player at that point is meaningless. Horc would be the same hockey player just as Dr. Nick would be the same 'doctor' at twice the money.

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#76 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 10:55AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

So what about it. The guy brought up PPG as his proof that they are incomparible.

Ok, but .12 PPG translates into roughly 10 points a year. 10 Points is a a lot. He used PPG, I was showing how the two players arent comparable for other reasons.

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#77 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 10:58AM
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I would also like to note that I have not brought up his contract once in this discussion. The only people bringing up his contract are his supporters.

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I came to peace with Horcoff early last year when it was apparent that we were stuck with him and that we might as well use him to help the team in anyway he can.

What gets me is people like to rip on him and all the other Oilers for getting contracts after one good year, but yet we still hear fans saying give Brule a 3 year contract or Gagner a long-term one. Wouldn't these be the same mistakes we made with Horcoff, Nilsson, Pisani etc.?

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Nabokov 4year 6mil a year, Russia. Unreal.

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#80 Dyckster
July 07 2010, 11:01AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Would the Oilers still expect him to be the #1 centre if he was making 2.5 a year?

Like I said, he's my goat because I think he failed to deliver what the Oilers desperately needed from him.

Would the Oilers still expect him to be the #1 centre if he was making 2.5 a year?

Absolutely not, but that's kinda my point. We're expecting #1 Ctr. results from him BECAUSE of the $$. We're definately not receiving bang for the buck, but our expectations are such because of the contract. He is who is is at 5.5 or 2.5 per year. Our judgement is clouded (mine included at times) becuase of his salary.

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#81 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 07 2010, 11:03AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Nabokov 4year 6mil a year, Russia. Unreal.

Wow

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#82 Dyckster
July 07 2010, 11:05AM
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Ender wrote:

That's not really a fair question. I think Horc is doing fine but if someone wants to hate his salary they can do so. The fact that Dr. Nick Riviera will do a spleen transplant for tips doesn't make him a good doctor; it just makes him cheaper than a real doctor.

Sure Horcoff's contract would be nicer if he was a $2.5M cap hit. But it's not, so asking Arch if Horc would be a better player at that point is meaningless. Horc would be the same hockey player just as Dr. Nick would be the same 'doctor' at twice the money.

I agree 100%, I was asking him if his "goat" choice would differ if Horcoff was making less $$. Geez, I hope that makes sense?

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@Dyckster

It shouldn't be clouded anymore, the Oilers finally realized at the end of the year that if Horcoff can't produce offensively then play him as a defensive forward. You can only push so hard before you realize it just isn't going to work.

I really don't care if he starts at #1 next year or #4, but if he is struggling at #1 then move him off that line. Same goes if he is on line 4, if he is producing then give him a bigger role.

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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

And Zherdev to Philly, so I suspect Gagne is closer to being moved now.

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#85 Gregors dirty 'stash
July 07 2010, 11:08AM
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That Nabakov deal is crazy

Does anyone else feel that this KHL will soon crumple (10 years or so) and then all these palyers will be wanting NHL jobs again?

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#86 Gregors dirty 'stash
July 07 2010, 11:09AM
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Big Sexy for Gagne

Would never happen though

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#87 Downright Fierce
July 07 2010, 11:10AM
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I wonder if Rob would've taken a 2 year deal?

Rishaug seemed to think he was after a one year with a pay raise. Terms are 1.150 from the Sabres with playoff bonuses and I think that's precisely what Niedermayer was looking for. Don't blame him for passing on the middle-of-the-pack (best case)/lottery pick (worst case) Oilers.

The Org also just swung and missed on AHL stud Corey Locke. He signed with the Sens, Shaugger reporting Oil were his second choice.

I wonder who is next?

Good question. I'm hoping they give John Madden or Eric Belanger a good pitch. I'm absolutely terrified that we're going to go after Arron Asham.

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#88 Dyckster
July 07 2010, 11:11AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

It shouldn't be clouded anymore, the Oilers finally realized at the end of the year that if Horcoff can't produce offensively then play him as a defensive forward. You can only push so hard before you realize it just isn't going to work.

I really don't care if he starts at #1 next year or #4, but if he is struggling at #1 then move him off that line. Same goes if he is on line 4, if he is producing then give him a bigger role.

I think he'll play much better if/when he loses the #1 C label. Even if he's paired with a set of wingers who could potentially be on the first line, if Horc knows he's not expected to rack up the points he'll be much more effective imho.

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Gregors dirty 'stash wrote:

That Nabakov deal is crazy

Does anyone else feel that this KHL will soon crumple (10 years or so) and then all these palyers will be wanting NHL jobs again?

10 years? I give it 2-3 before the have to re-structure that league back to the way it was before they started going crazy.

Edit: It's already happening why do you think guys like Zherdev are coming back?

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#90 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 11:13AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Would the Oilers still expect him to be the #1 centre if he was making 2.5 a year?

Absolutely not, but that's kinda my point. We're expecting #1 Ctr. results from him BECAUSE of the $$. We're definately not receiving bang for the buck, but our expectations are such because of the contract. He is who is is at 5.5 or 2.5 per year. Our judgement is clouded (mine included at times) becuase of his salary.

Look. I dont think Horc can be a number 1 centre again. I think if the Oilers were paying him half his contract size then they would also be more comfortable keeping on the 3rd line where he belongs.

I'm not expecting #1 results, unfortunately the Team does. They keep puting him in a position to fail on the PP and 1st line where he has looked completely out of place since his shoulder injury.

He was asked to perform at X level and could not, as a result the team struggled greatly. If that's not a great reason to have a guy as my goat then I dont know what a good reason is. I am generally past his salary, it's his role that I have a problem with.

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#91 GSC
July 07 2010, 11:15AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Smyth is the better scorer and better offensive player, he's proven it. Not to mention the following:

Smyth: ten 20+ goal seasons, Horcoff: two 20+ goal seasons

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@Downright Fierce

I forgot about Madden, he'd be a very solid pickup. I have no problem going with Asham as a phsyical winger.

I don't really blame the team for losing out on either guy, Locke was most likely a AHL signing anyways. As for Nidermayer I'm more confused of BUF>PIT, then anything.

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#93 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 07 2010, 11:16AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

And Zherdev to Philly, so I suspect Gagne is closer to being moved now.

I can't believe the flyers brought in Zherdev and Shelly at the expense of Gagne.

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#94 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 11:17AM
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If you're gonna say that X player has signed a crazy deal in Russia, could we at least provide a link?

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@Archaeologuy

It's all over twitter. I'm not going to post the link, because I'll hear "i'm waiting for Dreger or McKenzie to say something"

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#96 Dyckster
July 07 2010, 11:25AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Look. I dont think Horc can be a number 1 centre again. I think if the Oilers were paying him half his contract size then they would also be more comfortable keeping on the 3rd line where he belongs.

I'm not expecting #1 results, unfortunately the Team does. They keep puting him in a position to fail on the PP and 1st line where he has looked completely out of place since his shoulder injury.

He was asked to perform at X level and could not, as a result the team struggled greatly. If that's not a great reason to have a guy as my goat then I dont know what a good reason is. I am generally past his salary, it's his role that I have a problem with.

Very fair assessment,

But, if player X is labelled a 'goat' because the coach(es) put him in a position where his skills cleary don't match. Is the player or the person who put him there the goat?

Kinda like a basketball coach insisting a guy who's 5'7" play centre and then chastising him for the inevitible suckage he's going to display.

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#97 GSC
July 07 2010, 11:28AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Very fair assessment,

But, if player X is labelled a 'goat' because the coach(es) put him in a position where his skills cleary don't match. Is the player or the person who put him there the goat?

Kinda like a basketball coach insisting a guy who's 5'7" play centre and then chastising him for the inevitible suckage he's going to display.

He was paid to produce. Lowetide and several other bloggers have insisted that Horcoff is 1st line material. He's also the highest paid forward, so the expectations follow as such.

It's unfair to blame the coach(es) who put him in that situation, because that's what Horcoff is supposedly capable of. Some of us knew better...

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@GSC

Sooner or later you have to stop kidding yourself and see the situation for what it is.

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#99 Archaeologuy
July 07 2010, 11:31AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Very fair assessment,

But, if player X is labelled a 'goat' because the coach(es) put him in a position where his skills cleary don't match. Is the player or the person who put him there the goat?

Kinda like a basketball coach insisting a guy who's 5'7" play centre and then chastising him for the inevitible suckage he's going to display.

Ok, but I had to pick a player as my Goat. I wasnt prepared to make Quinn or Management my goat last season. I mean, I would have put Tambellini in there, but the excercise was to pick a player.

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#100 BBOil
July 07 2010, 11:31AM
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@GSC

GSC - Team Orange wrote

"If his health has been an issue (particularly his shoulder), then why didn't he sit out the remainder of last season and heal up? Why did he continue to play? If he's in that much pain and unable to perform, he shouldn't have been playing. He could have spent much of last season healing and working on that shoulder.

Instead, he played and that's the only thing that matters. Obviously he wasn't "injured enough" to warrant him missing games, so what else can we go on? He played, had an awful season, and that's that. Hold him to it rather than making excuses."

See where you are coming from, especially considering how many other guys were hurt throughout the year and packed it in, but maybe, just maybe, Horcs decided to earn some of that big contract on the ice rather than in rehab. If he was hurt and it was effecting his game I'd rather he packed it in too, but I can't blame the guy for going out and battling through it either.

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