MacT Godsend?

Lowetide
June 09 2011 10:10PM

Rumors tonight have Craig MacTavish in the final group under consideration for the Ottawa Senators coaching job. Should MacT win the day, could that impact the 2011 draft board and inspire a trade or two between Ottawa and Edmonton?  

Craig MacTavish has been loyal to most of his players since leaving the Oiler organization, to the point of a painful television moment this past winter where he defended Shawn Horcoff as a capable option in many circumstances. I've long felt that Craig MacTavish was an excellent coach who stayed too long at the fair in Edmonton and lost the veterans on the club. Much of that likely came from his very public rips of Dustin Penner, which continue unabated by others on the left coast. 

MacT left some fine players in Edmonton, men he'd come to count on. Many of his foot soldiers have been sent down the line (Moreau, Staios, etc), but there are a few still living in Edmonton. 

Remember 2006?

Among the 2006 Oilers, center Shawn Horcoff (always a MacT favorite) and winger Ales Hemsky remain. Both would be helpful additions to the Ottawa Senators, but that team is also in building mode so would be unlikely to add either player.

MacT's Rookies

From fall 2000 through the day MacT stepped down as coach, a lot of kids graduated to the show under his watch. Some, like Daniel Cleary and Raffi Torres, came from other organizations. Others were Oilers draft picks and through his years on the job MacTavish displayed an admirable quality: pedigree didn't count for much.

MacT's list of rookies is a long one and they displayed a wide variety of skills. He played Sam Gagner the most among rookie forwards, Steve MacIntyre the least. The 07-08 group was probably the best (Gagner, Cogliano, Brodziak, Gilbert, etc) and 05-06 didn't have much to offer as the veteran team tracked destiny.

Here are 5 current Oilers I can see coach MacT asking his GM to acquire:

  1. Tom Gilbert: Still an effective defenseman but may have outstayed his welcome in Edmonton. The Senators could use an effective finesse defender and Gilbert could be available.
  2. Andrew Cogliano: The double whammy here, as GM Murray tried to grab Cogs in the Dany Heatley deal. Cogliano no doubt pleased coach Renney so it might be a no-go from Edmonton, but one imagines he'll ask.
  3. Ladislav Smid: As with Cogliano, Murray attempted to acquire Smid in the Heatley trade a couple of whiskey sour's ago. Ottawa is building a tight blue line, perhaps Smid would be an effective role player.
  4. Zack Stortini: Stortini played his best NHL hockey under MacT and could be a solid 13-14F for the veteran coach. Added value: with Stortini on the roster, there's one guy who'll always have your back.
  5. JF Jacques: Laugh at your peril. MacT gave him a job and then give him chance after chance to establish himself in the National Hockey League.

What's coming back? 

Ottawa has a few things that Edmonton would find attractive. Along with draft picks (Sens want to trade up btw), Edmonton might like the looks of men like Chris Neil, prospect Jared Cowen, Bobby Butler and Colin Greening.

I don't think much will come of this, maybe a Stortini trade for a depth pick. Still, should MacT get the job it makes sense that the Senators might come knocking and ask after some of his former players.

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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#1 robinrussia
June 09 2011, 10:14PM
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I hope he's not Minny's fist choice...Ottowa would be fine for me. Keep him away from the oilers, as he'd likely own us for a few years.

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#2 jybute
June 09 2011, 10:16PM
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What the FIST??

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#3 jybute
June 09 2011, 10:17PM
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jybute wrote:

What the FIST??

Unbelievable. Must have been three point five

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#4 mario66
June 09 2011, 10:20PM
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MacT never coached Steve MacIntyre.

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#5 gongshow
June 09 2011, 10:21PM
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Chris Neil would be fantastic. I'm crossing my fingers that the Oil can add Neil and/or Zenon the Barbarian this offseason.

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#7 Wanyes bastard child
June 09 2011, 10:27PM
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@mario66

Pwned :P

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#8 Oilcruzer
June 09 2011, 10:58PM
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mario66 wrote:

MacT never coached Steve MacIntyre.

He never coached a lot of players that last year. But Big Mac was there.

Bring on the draft. The scenarios are boggling.

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#9 sizedoesmatter
June 09 2011, 11:01PM
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MacT has been gone long enough that I miss him hope he gets the job in Ottawa.

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#10 Mrs. Potato Dick
June 09 2011, 11:17PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

He never coached a lot of players that last year. But Big Mac was there.

Bring on the draft. The scenarios are boggling.

Yeah the possible scenarios are mind boggling...the reality usually far less so. I can't see much happening. The signing of Jim Vandermeer will be the biggest off-season news.

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#11 Velo
June 10 2011, 12:18AM
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I'd love Stortini to get a job over there. I think he's more serviceable than our coaching staff believes.

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#12 Peterborough
June 10 2011, 12:46AM
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Velo wrote:

I'd love Stortini to get a job over there. I think he's more serviceable than our coaching staff believes.

It would be sweet to get a 6-7th rounder for him, JF too!

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#13 Velo
June 10 2011, 02:21AM
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@Peterborough

To be truthful, I think in the proper roles Storts is more valuable and more responsible defensively than JFJ. Anything for these players would be good at this juncture.

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#14 pelhem grenville
June 10 2011, 04:30AM
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...look at that, MacT with choices...hmmm Minny or the Sens...i had a lot of time for MacT but...

i can only hope that wherever he goes, he asks for JackFakeJock so he can give him more chances to establish himself in the NHL...please ask

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#15 mayorpoop
June 10 2011, 06:12AM
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good luck to him where ever he goes.

back to business tho,

go bruins and mavs!

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#16 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
June 10 2011, 07:21AM
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If the Bruins win tonight its over they will win at home as well. If Vancouver wins it will go seven games as the Bruins will still win at home. If it goes to Seven odds will be in Vancouver's Favor.

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#17 justDOit
June 10 2011, 07:29AM
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How desperate are we that just the thought of MacT landing in Ottawa brings hope that he'll want some of our cast-offs? And I'm just as desperate as anyone!

The Sens do have some interesting trade options though, so let the speculation begin!

Spezza for Cogs and Horcs + 2nd or 3rd? I think he'd bring his play up considerably if he didn't have a GM who pronounced his name like "Jatzshin Tzspetztztzha".

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#18 Pronger's Wife
June 10 2011, 08:04AM
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Always liked MacT, and I think it's pretty clear now that it wasn't he that was the problem(besides playing Reddox on the first line that is - what the?!).

Chris Neal would be an interesting acquisition for the Oil. BTW, any news on the Oilers thoughts on Hemsky? If he doesn't re-sign this summer, I think he's as good as gone. Hope that's not the case, as we need some veteran help for the kids and it would be too bad to get rid of him in his prime.

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#19 Pronger's Wife
June 10 2011, 08:04AM
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Ooops sorry - double posted!

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#20 jake
June 10 2011, 08:29AM
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"Tom Gilbert: Still an effective defenseman but may have outstayed his welcome in Edmonton"

Lowetide, is this from a fan or organization perspective??

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What do you seriously get for Jacques and Stortini? Stortini won't be qualified and even if Jacques is qualified I don't think he has any value as he is probably a waiver wire guy come October.

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#22 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:13AM
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For the love of God, please take Shawn Horcoff.

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#23 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 10 2011, 09:18AM
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Brad wrote:

For the love of God, please take Shawn Horcoff.

~No doubt, the team would be far better running Gagner/Cogliano/Brule/Fraser down the middle~

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#24 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:23AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

~No doubt, the team would be far better running Gagner/Cogliano/Brule/Fraser down the middle~

Pretty shortsighted way of looking at things.

a) dollar for dollar he has one of the worst contracts in the leauge

b) an expansion team pick up a better group of centers than Edmonton.. but yeah.. lets cling to the worst group of C's in the NHL.

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#25 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 10 2011, 09:29AM
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Brad wrote:

Pretty shortsighted way of looking at things.

a) dollar for dollar he has one of the worst contracts in the leauge

b) an expansion team pick up a better group of centers than Edmonton.. but yeah.. lets cling to the worst group of C's in the NHL.

Same old song and dance.

Until the Oilers are a cap team (likely 2-3 more years) his cap hit is irrelavant.

Sure it sucks to have (one of) the worst group of centers in the league, I'm pretty sure the answer isn't to remove the best of the group though

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#26 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 10 2011, 09:31AM
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@Brad

Since no one else seems to be able to get through to you, I'll refer you to one of the top coaches in the league and what his thoughts are on Horcoff:

"but one thing not a lot of people are talking about is Horcoff is back healthy. He is a real good two-way centre and he's looked good."

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#27 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:35AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Same old song and dance.

Until the Oilers are a cap team (likely 2-3 more years) his cap hit is irrelavant.

Sure it sucks to have (one of) the worst group of centers in the league, I'm pretty sure the answer isn't to remove the best of the group though

Horcoff could make a million dollars and still be poor value if he plays in the top 6 because he's a below average top 6 player. Waaaay below.

Comparing him to 3rd liner centers around the league, way below average in terms of physical play, below average in terms of draws, average-below average on the PK

Bottom line is Horcoff is owed 19.5M real money. Anyone who suggests Edmonton could make better use of those resources is an idiot.

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#28 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:37AM
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"but one thing not a lot of people are talking about is Horcoff is back healthy. He is a real good two-way centre and he's looked good."

"Robert Nilsson could lead this team in points."

- Craig MacTavish

Some random comment from a coach means nothing.

Pretty amazing that Horcoff is healthy in the OFFSEASON. lol

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#29 raceguy
June 10 2011, 09:39AM
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Brad wrote:

Horcoff could make a million dollars and still be poor value if he plays in the top 6 because he's a below average top 6 player. Waaaay below.

Comparing him to 3rd liner centers around the league, way below average in terms of physical play, below average in terms of draws, average-below average on the PK

Bottom line is Horcoff is owed 19.5M real money. Anyone who suggests Edmonton could make better use of those resources is an idiot.

Brad,

Let it go man,lifes too short.Yeah the contract worked out bad with the injuries.Shyte happens.

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#30 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:40AM
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MacTavish is basically the only window that we could get out of Horcoff's contract. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea.

Couple years ago there was rumors that Montreal was interested in Gomez and Horcoff.

Lets not make the same mistake twice.

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#31 Quicksilver ballet
June 10 2011, 09:43AM
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@Brad

I like your thinking Brad but this just isn't the Oiler way of doing things. Many here are resigned to the fact that this is such a bad deal that nobody else will be willing to take on a contract like this, and for the most part, they're correct if everyone just sits on their hands and does nothing.

There has to be some way to fudge him into another organization somehow, the OIlers need to be creative and perhaps send a second/third round pick with him and take another shorter term bad contract back this way. I could tolerate one more yr of Horcoff but 4 more yrs of Horcoff is a farce with a 5.5 cap hit. Like it or not this contract is hancuffing the Oilers, it needs to disappear in the next 12 months. For Christ's sake bury him in Oklahoma and let him be a role model to the kids down there.

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#32 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:45AM
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raceguy wrote:

Brad,

Let it go man,lifes too short.Yeah the contract worked out bad with the injuries.Shyte happens.

So anyone that wants a better defense than Strudwick and Vandy should let it go?

Anyone that wants a better goalie than Khabby should let it go?

Or does Horcoff have some sort of special immunity where its taboo to suggest improving the position he plays?

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#33 John Chambers
June 10 2011, 09:53AM
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justDOit wrote:

How desperate are we that just the thought of MacT landing in Ottawa brings hope that he'll want some of our cast-offs? And I'm just as desperate as anyone!

The Sens do have some interesting trade options though, so let the speculation begin!

Spezza for Cogs and Horcs + 2nd or 3rd? I think he'd bring his play up considerably if he didn't have a GM who pronounced his name like "Jatzshin Tzspetztztzha".

Bryan Murray speech impediment jokes are high quality and will never grow old.

A funny name to run through the Murray slobber-mill is Gabriel Landetztzshkog. God I hope the Sens draft him. It will make my Jun 24th to hear that interview.

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#34 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:54AM
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@ Quicksilver Ballet

I'm not a huge fan of Brain Burke but if he was our GM an under-performing big ticket like Horcoff would be called out and eventually shipped out of town. Tambellini doesn't have the balls for that though.

He would rather blame everything on Souray.. the only Oiler besides Peckham that played with an edge.

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#35 LoDog
June 10 2011, 09:56AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I like your thinking Brad but this just isn't the Oiler way of doing things. Many here are resigned to the fact that this is such a bad deal that nobody else will be willing to take on a contract like this, and for the most part, they're correct if everyone just sits on their hands and does nothing.

There has to be some way to fudge him into another organization somehow, the OIlers need to be creative and perhaps send a second/third round pick with him and take another shorter term bad contract back this way. I could tolerate one more yr of Horcoff but 4 more yrs of Horcoff is a farce with a 5.5 cap hit. Like it or not this contract is hancuffing the Oilers, it needs to disappear in the next 12 months. For Christ's sake bury him in Oklahoma and let him be a role model to the kids down there.

Horcoff can't be sent to the minors until after the 2012-2013 season. If his contract is a burden at that time (the kids will need to resigned) then I expect he will be traded or sent down. Until then I suspect he will stay an Oiler.

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#36 Brad
June 10 2011, 09:57AM
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Speaking if Tambellini not having enough "test".. when Edmonton passes on RNH, know that he did so because he didn't want to trade Sam Gagner (RNH and Gagner 1-2 isn't a match) so he will take the easy way out.

Would love to be proved wrong though.

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#37 Ender
June 10 2011, 10:05AM
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I love reading high fantasy.

There are more trolls in this thread than a Tolkien novel.

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#38 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 10 2011, 10:06AM
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Brad wrote:

"but one thing not a lot of people are talking about is Horcoff is back healthy. He is a real good two-way centre and he's looked good."

"Robert Nilsson could lead this team in points."

- Craig MacTavish

Some random comment from a coach means nothing.

Pretty amazing that Horcoff is healthy in the OFFSEASON. lol

Comment was made in season.

Sorry Brad

Backock >>>>>>>>>>>>> Brad

When it comes to assesing hockey ability.

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#39 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 10 2011, 10:08AM
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Brad wrote:

So anyone that wants a better defense than Strudwick and Vandy should let it go?

Anyone that wants a better goalie than Khabby should let it go?

Or does Horcoff have some sort of special immunity where its taboo to suggest improving the position he plays?

Horc has special immunity because he's still an NHL caliber talent, something that Strudwick isn't and Bulin and Vandy are barely clinging too.

Cap hit aside, their isn't a team in the leauge that Horcoff doesn't make.

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#40 brodie
June 10 2011, 10:10AM
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Love him or hate him Horcoff is the Oilers best center. You don't improve your team by trading the best player at a certain position. As an aside wouldn't it be embarrassing if Winnipeg made the playoffs and the Oilers don't.

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#41 Brad
June 10 2011, 10:10AM
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@ Ender

There is more Homers in this thread than one of Sammy Sosa's corked bats in the steroid era.

Look at how physical the SCF is. The sad thing is the Sedin's sisters would slap Horcoff around.

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#42 Brad
June 10 2011, 10:17AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Horc has special immunity because he's still an NHL caliber talent, something that Strudwick isn't and Bulin and Vandy are barely clinging too.

Cap hit aside, their isn't a team in the leauge that Horcoff doesn't make.

Horcoff could probably play on every clubs 4th line (assuming they weren't looking for physical play).

Look at the two clubs in the finals right now.

On Boston Horcoff would be playng behind Krejci, Bergeron and Kelly.

On Vancouver Horcoff would be playing behind Sedin, Kesler and Malhotra.

He's a bottom 6 player on any good team.

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#43 Westcoastoil
June 10 2011, 10:19AM
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The constant hate against Horcoff makes no sense and is plain stupid. The last few years he's had to carry the C load on a club by himself like few others in the league have been asked to do. It's reasonable to assume that this has had an impact on his injuries. He works hard, plays hard, is a solid 2 way player and a very good leader. What more do you want?

Sure he has bad contract, but: 1) that's not his fault - are you going to turn down too much salary? 2) most teams have a least 1 bad contract 3) we aren't up against the cap.

Take a look at the roster and he isn't the problem. Give him 2 top 6 wingers and that's an effective 2nd line.

We're what 3/4 years into his contract - get over it already. And don't bring up the BS about "overpaid millionaire lazy players". They're all millionaires, they're all overpaid and he isn't lazy.

Vent at something else.

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#44 Westcoastoil
June 10 2011, 10:24AM
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Brad wrote:

Horcoff could probably play on every clubs 4th line (assuming they weren't looking for physical play).

Look at the two clubs in the finals right now.

On Boston Horcoff would be playng behind Krejci, Bergeron and Kelly.

On Vancouver Horcoff would be playing behind Sedin, Kesler and Malhotra.

He's a bottom 6 player on any good team.

Why would Horcoff automatically be behind Malhotra? Manny is better on the dot, but he also has the benefit of being behind 2 other centres. Horc brings more offence and can shut down just as well as Manny.

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#45 Westcoastoil
June 10 2011, 10:25AM
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@Brad

and he'd play ahead of Kelly

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#46 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 10 2011, 10:26AM
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Brad wrote:

Horcoff could probably play on every clubs 4th line (assuming they weren't looking for physical play).

Look at the two clubs in the finals right now.

On Boston Horcoff would be playng behind Krejci, Bergeron and Kelly.

On Vancouver Horcoff would be playing behind Sedin, Kesler and Malhotra.

He's a bottom 6 player on any good team.

I'm pretty confident he'd be ahead of Kelly for sure, probably Malhotra as well.

What guys like you never seem to grasp is that to become a better hockey team we need to get to a point where Horcoff is the 3C here *because* we have 2 superior centers, simply removing him from the team makes the team worse, not better.

It's mind numbing that theirs so many people that can't understand this.

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#47 David S
June 10 2011, 10:28AM
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Ender wrote:

I love reading high fantasy.

There are more trolls in this thread than a Tolkien novel.

Propped.

Ender, this may be your best post EVAR!

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#48 David S
June 10 2011, 10:35AM
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And I'd bet Horcoff would take a pay cut to play with the same level of guys Malholtra gets to play with.

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#49 Quicksilver ballet
June 10 2011, 10:36AM
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Brad wrote:

@ Ender

There is more Homers in this thread than one of Sammy Sosa's corked bats in the steroid era.

Look at how physical the SCF is. The sad thing is the Sedin's sisters would slap Horcoff around.

There's no end to the complacency here Brad, it's rampant amongst many members here as well. They seem to want to just sit in the corner and suck their thumbs till another Wayne Gretzky comes along.

Trolls we are i guess....but we know this is more or less the pots callings us kettles black eh.

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#50 D-Man
June 10 2011, 10:37AM
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Brad wrote:

Horcoff could probably play on every clubs 4th line (assuming they weren't looking for physical play).

Look at the two clubs in the finals right now.

On Boston Horcoff would be playng behind Krejci, Bergeron and Kelly.

On Vancouver Horcoff would be playing behind Sedin, Kesler and Malhotra.

He's a bottom 6 player on any good team.

Of course, by using the top two teams as your sample size supports your argument.. But if you expanded that sample size to every team in the league - you'd see that Horc would be an good #2 center and an excellent #3... We don't really need to look at the stats but for arguments sake...

Phoenix - Belanger, Turris, Hanzal

Los Angeles - Richardson, Handzus, Stoll

Anaheim - Getzlaf, Koivu, McMillan

Chicago - Toews, Sharp, Bolland

Tampa Bay - Stamkos, Lecavaleir, Moore

Here are five teams that I'd argue would be better if Horcoff were there #2 center (Phoenix, LA) or #3 center (Anaheim, Chicago, Tampa Bay).. Horcoff got about as many points as their #3's in half the games (27 points/47 games)... He might not be as physical as maybe Bolland - but defensively, is as good or better than most of the centers (seeded #2 or #3) on this list..

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