Simply The Best

Lowetide
June 07 2011 07:37PM

This is Shawn Horcoff before the turn of the century. Although many Oiler fans have been calling for his head since 2007, Horcoff remains the best center in town. Will that change any time soon? 

Shawn Horcoff is the most complete center on the Oilers roster. He faced the toughest opponents, had the best faceoff percentage, was entrusted with the elite calibre rookies. In every demonstrable way, Shawn Horcoff was the leader of the Edmonton Oilers. Again.

Center: 5x5 scoring (points-per-60 minutes)

  1. Sam Gagner 1.91
  2. Shawn Horcoff 1.47
  3. Andrew Cogliano 1.33
  4. Colin Fraser 0.48

Center: Quality of Competition

  1. Shawn Horcoff .057
  2. Andrew Cogliano .022
  3. Sam Gagner -.013
  4. Colin Fraser -.086

Center CorsiRel

  1. Sam Gagner 7.0
  2. Shawn Horcoff 7.0
  3. Andrew Cogliano 2.3
  4. Colin Fraser -9.6

Center: Scoring Chances

  1. Shawn Horcoff 199-186 .517
  2. Andrew Cogliano 290-329 .468
  3. Sam Gagner 271-317 .461
  4. Colin Fraser 90-135 .400

The first three sets of numbers are courtesy Gabriel Desjardins behind the net, the final numbers (scoring chances) are from the brilliant work at C&B.

What does it all mean?

The Oilers have two very young centermen trying to grow up quickly in Gagner and Cogliano. Gags numbers show the offensive ability and a fine CorsiRel, but he faced easy competition and the scoring chance numbers should have been better. Was this a result of his struggles with the two Swedish kids? Don't know. We are reaching a point where even the most stubborn Gagner supporters (me, Zona, a few others) should begin to wonder if he's going to be the player forecast those years ago. I'm still betting on him.

Cogliano is making progress, and I think coach Renney has been helpful in the process. Cogs isn't scoring a lot and his scoring chance totals are about the same as Gagner's but he did it in tougher waters. It's small progress but there's a heartbeat.

Colin Fraser's numbers are disappointing but we also have to remember that the man was playing with some subpar linemates for much of the season. Edmonton's depth forwards were among the worst in the NHL.

This is Gilbert Perreault as a Montreal Junior Canadien, shortly before Buffalo drafted him in 1970. There is no 20-year old Gilbert Perreault in this draft, so the Oilers options for improving center involve the following:

  1. Signing a free agent like Brooks Laich.
  2. Trading for a qualitied veteran center.
  3. Trusting that Gagner-Cogliano can improve this coming season.
  4. Inserting Anton Lander in the mix and hoping for the best.
  5. Allowing the number one overall pick to stick with the big club if he impresses.
  6. Moving Taylor Hall to center full time.
  7. Go crazy and offer the moon for Mike Richards.

I think option six looms large.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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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#151 Wäx Män Riley
June 08 2011, 07:28PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Really!? or u just wishful thinkin? If Dithers was able to get a NHL body back for Souray I'd be UBER impressed.

Bahh! Not really true. I got a bit excited there too.

But on an unrelated, yet funny note, my research turned up an interesting little tidbit:

On Capgeek.com, Dany Heatly is the player most looked at for a buyout.

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#152 Chris.
June 08 2011, 07:40PM
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Marchand with the 3rd! Holy DejaVu!

>Five to go.

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#153 Quicksilver ballet
June 08 2011, 07:43PM
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TOUCHDOWN BRUINS!

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#154 @Oilanderp
June 08 2011, 08:01PM
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I'm gonna take a ferry over to Vancouver and start burning things. Let the mayhem begin! AAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

All it takes is one bad apple.

EDIT: Muhahahahhahaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa..... haaaa *cough* My mother taught me not to take pleasure in other people's misfortune but I can't help it.

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#155 Chris.
June 08 2011, 08:17PM
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Is it too much to ask for Luongo to collapse again in the 3rd thus creating a full fledged goal tending controversy for game 5?

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#156 Chris.
June 08 2011, 08:17PM
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Nevermind.

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#157 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
June 08 2011, 08:41PM
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I am feeling so smug right now.

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#158 Chris.
June 08 2011, 08:49PM
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Marchand reminds me of Ray Ferraro. The Little Ball Of Hate 2.0.

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#159 @Oilanderp
June 08 2011, 08:50PM
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Trade for Marchand NOW! lol

Edit: Does anyone remember the talk this time last year of a trade Thomas for Khabibulin straight up? lol....*cry* lol

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#160 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
June 08 2011, 09:00PM
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Nikolai Khabibulin for Tim Thomas We will even throw in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's autograph.

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#161 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
June 08 2011, 09:03PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Trade for Marchand NOW! lol

Edit: Does anyone remember the talk this time last year of a trade Thomas for Khabibulin straight up? lol....*cry* lol

I just read your post LOL It must be going to happen we were both thinking the same thing!!!

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#162 Peterborough
June 08 2011, 09:36PM
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John Chambers wrote:

& @ Indiana Jones

I agree with Ricky 100%. I see no reason to rush Nugent into the NHL next year. Too young ... he would enter the NHL a full 8 months younger than Hall. I somewhat agree with Arch's logic that anyone should be able to earn a spot, but organizationally you also have to consider a longer-term development plan. Seguin hardly got any ice this year - perhaps he would've been better in the O again.

My lineup at Centre for opening night would be: 1) Horcoff 2) Gagner 3) Tim Connolly, signed as a UFA on a 1-year deal 4) Lander

Cogliano moves to the wing on the 3rd line, Foster is in OKC or waived, and Nugent of course is a Rebel, and plies his trade for Red Deer.

Not Connolly he's small injury prone and not physical. I'm not concerned about winning next year its not going to happen. Just get a big centre who can win draws and play physical and chip in a bit. Brooks Laich at 2 years 3.5 per or so a bit of an over pay but when its up guys like RNH and other should be ready. Also I see no reason to rush in Lander. Start him in the AHL and make him play his way on to the club. Cogs was our best player over the final 15 games with really tough assignments. Lets try and be team don't give up on a guy who actually tries. . . . or go back to being team I miss Penner the lazy bum who has tallent but chooses to eat lots of Pizza instead.

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#163 Oilcruzer
June 08 2011, 09:43PM
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And then there were three.

Like to know what the Vegas odds are now.

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#164 Crash
June 08 2011, 10:30PM
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Ender wrote:

Honestly asking - can't remember; who was the last #1 overall pick* who started the season in the minors or junior? Gregor must have written the answer to that at some point . . .

*Edit: I think I need to specify "at the forward position" here. If someone were to hold up a defenceman that went first overall that hadn't developed enough to play in the bigs yet in his draft year, well, to quote Iago "I think I'm going to have a heart-attack and die of not-surprise." Crash said after training camp last season that sending Hall back down would be the first time that had happened in over a decade. I have no idea how much truth there is there, but it sounds pretty accurate to me. Probably a lot longer, really.

Digger has it in post 129 with Mike Modano back in 88....although on a technicality E. Lindros didn't play in the nhl his draft year 91...he went back to the OHL's Oshawa Generals but only for 13 games. He then joined the Canadian Oly team for the rest of his draft year. I'm pretty sure he would have stepped directly into the NHL except for he refused to play for Quebec and had to wait for a trade to Philly.

Owen Nolan actually went straight to the minors after being drafted in 90 but he was only there for 6 games and was then called up to the bigs in his draft year.

So Lindros is the most recent to not play in the nhl his draft year and Modano before him....So it's been 2 decades since a forward taken 1st overall hasn't cracked the NHL in his draft yr.

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#165 pelhem grenville
June 09 2011, 04:51AM
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Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement wrote:

PROPS PROPS PROPS

DMan wrote:" ...Can you FIST at one hundred and one?? I didn't think we were allowed to do that?..."

...you did say "allowed" right? ...sage advise from a grizzled interweb blog veteran came to me once...he said this is a place where one can come to get the crap kicked outta him without having to go to the hospital for repairs...thanksQ

...soft hands himself most generously gave me 3 props for the hundred fist thingy here ...that alone should say that we, including you & me, at OilersNation are "allowed" to do or say just about anything...

no matter how silly or unexplainable...

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#166 pelhem grenville
June 09 2011, 04:54AM
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...and the Boston Bruins have taken a commanding 2 games to 2 lead in the series heading back to the left coast...

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#167 D-Man
June 09 2011, 09:08AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

DMan wrote:" ...Can you FIST at one hundred and one?? I didn't think we were allowed to do that?..."

...you did say "allowed" right? ...sage advise from a grizzled interweb blog veteran came to me once...he said this is a place where one can come to get the crap kicked outta him without having to go to the hospital for repairs...thanksQ

...soft hands himself most generously gave me 3 props for the hundred fist thingy here ...that alone should say that we, including you & me, at OilersNation are "allowed" to do or say just about anything...

no matter how silly or unexplainable...

SWEET...

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#168 The Voice Of Reason
June 10 2011, 06:39AM
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Just some musings

Pick RNH Period and keep him in Junior for at least 6 Months. This is an asset we can wait for.

Hemsky is your "Ace In The hole" Keep him in play by signing him for 2 more years at $4.5 - 5M. He is still one of the few players we have that brings me out of my seat. All the kids will benefit and improve by by watching his skill and effort.

Horcoff is the perfect 3rd line shut down / penalty kill / transitional center, and will be The Captain for the next two years. PERIOD

Look at the two remaining teams in the Playoffs / DEFENCE and GRIT / Enough said

Aquire Konopka (would be an impressive transitional player for the next 2 years) / otherwise keep MAC.

On defense DO NOT expect anyone from the farm to be ready this year

For the 2011-12 season the defense should be Whitney, Gilbert, Petry (top 3) with Peckam and possibly Smid (as your 5 / 6).

That leaves a spot for a TOP 4 and another 5/6/7.

Hall, Eberle, Magnus, and Omark will all have better years. Play them in every conceiveable situation / position.

Keep Lander in the AHL for one year. He may well be a better "Horcoff" in 2 years and that would be great.

Have a great Thursday and GO OIL!!

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#169 striker777
June 10 2011, 09:33PM
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Taylor Hall should be given opportunities at both Wing and Center for extended periods of time. Then, see where he is more effective.

Signed: Team Couturier

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#170 Cowbell_Feva
June 11 2011, 08:17AM
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madjam wrote:

Horcoff is a player that is reliable in all facets of game , and only his exhorbitant salary makes him appear anything less . He's still our best centerman by quite a stretch , although he is not elite status as his contract seems to imply . Why put him on second or third line, when he is clearly the best we still have for first line at this juncture ?

When/if we get a better centerman than Horcoff ,then maybe they should look at rplaacing him on first line . Special teams he is no slouch at either .

If in anybody's mind Horcoff is our best centerman, because of some bogus Corsi stats, then I could tell you the Sedin sisters are physical players and you'd believe it. I agree totally with Brad. Not a Troll, just speaking the truth! I've ripped Horcoff plenty in the past and got a tonne of people up in arms over it. It's not rocket science- the more I watch him play, the worse I think he is. This has nothing to do with salary. He has been slotted #1 by default, sure, but let's not be delusional fans (like in Calgary) and pretend Horcoff is everything the lovers are saying he is on this website.

Renney should have him our #3 centerman and PK time ONLY! He has zero offensive instinct or ablility. Yes, our rookies banked a couple off him and he kicked one in on the PP, but if the guy could hit a wide open net, Ales Hemsky would be in the top 10 point race annually. Poor, poor Ales.

P.S. Brule has been a band-aid (much like Horcoff) but I would take him on an important faceoff anyday over Horcoff.

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#171 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 11 2011, 04:24PM
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Cowbell_Feva wrote:

If in anybody's mind Horcoff is our best centerman, because of some bogus Corsi stats, then I could tell you the Sedin sisters are physical players and you'd believe it. I agree totally with Brad. Not a Troll, just speaking the truth! I've ripped Horcoff plenty in the past and got a tonne of people up in arms over it. It's not rocket science- the more I watch him play, the worse I think he is. This has nothing to do with salary. He has been slotted #1 by default, sure, but let's not be delusional fans (like in Calgary) and pretend Horcoff is everything the lovers are saying he is on this website.

Renney should have him our #3 centerman and PK time ONLY! He has zero offensive instinct or ablility. Yes, our rookies banked a couple off him and he kicked one in on the PP, but if the guy could hit a wide open net, Ales Hemsky would be in the top 10 point race annually. Poor, poor Ales.

P.S. Brule has been a band-aid (much like Horcoff) but I would take him on an important faceoff anyday over Horcoff.

Look who comes out from under his bridge!!

3 NHL coaches all thought he was the teams best center....so....

Sidney Crosby can't boost his linemates production so I highly doubt Eberle and Hall boosted Horcoff's.

More failure from Cowbell!!

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#172 Cowbell_Feva
June 12 2011, 03:35PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Look who comes out from under his bridge!!

3 NHL coaches all thought he was the teams best center....so....

Sidney Crosby can't boost his linemates production so I highly doubt Eberle and Hall boosted Horcoff's.

More failure from Cowbell!!

Are you on glue?? Seriously? Sidney Crosby can't boost his linemates production? What kind of Kool-Aid are you drinking? He is the best player in the world for Christ sakes.

3 NHL coaches had no other option, but played Horcoff WAY too much. Finishing -29 a couple years back is proof of that.

If you think Eberle and Hall didn't boost Horcoff then you truely know nothing about hockey, and have probably never strapped skates on in your life. Those 2 rookies have more offensive instinct already than Horcoff ever will.

Stick with the Dungeons and Dragons because you know nothing about hockey. Keep believing the local media about "Mr.Everything" you blind sheep.

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