THE COURAGE FOR THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Lowetide
August 25 2012 05:32AM

First time I saw Shawn Horcoff was fall 2000, one dozen years ago. It was a pre-season game, he marked his man at center ice after a turnover and shadowed him down the ice, tied up his stick as a perfect pass came flying through the slot and rode the man out the scoring area. Textbook from a rookie, music!

Shawn Horcoff was there the night Mike Comrie bolted the team, he was there on that very effective 4line he played on as a rookie. He spent time on the wing, learned the hard lessons MacT gave all the kids in those years and emerged as a solid 2-way center. Big, strong, good skater and some touch around the net. I well remember the spring of 2006, his ‘face block’ in the dying seconds of the Red Wings season, and remember too his tireless effort in the lost seasons caused by a rebuild undertaken in the heart of his career. The ‘contract’ brought him riches and much derision.

All of this during a time he was still effective, playing at a quality level and facing suffocating zone starts. Shawn Horcoff is a solid NHL player and has been a standup captain all down the line. I have never heard a word in print or on the air about Horcoff passing off a responsibility or refusing to execute the gameplan.I don't need to 'name names' but Edmonton's captains have a long and varied history, with at least one being an historically poor choice.

CAPTAIN!

The day Horcoff was named captain, many of the things accomplished above were quoted as being reasons for his getting such an honor. The captain is the leader, and Horcoff led in the field of conditioning, effort, playing while injured and never giving up in the face of adversity.

VIDEO EVIDENCE!

There’s a very funny video (Colin Priestner's) Oiler fans know well in which Horcoff is first mocked and then exhalted in short order—and that’s pretty much the story of #10 (1:23 to 1:26 in the video below).

THAT SAID.....

Shawn Horcoff is in a unique situation today. The captain watches over a team whose best young players are taking on more difficult roles, and the young cluster is pushing for more playing time and more responsibility. Sooner or later, Taylor Hall is going to be the captain of this hockey club, and if not Hall then Jordan Eberle or the Nuge.

When does one make that decision? Does Shawn Horcoff wait for the team to come calling or make things happen on his own terms, to (as Lee Fogolin did with such class) pass the torch to a new generation? Horcoff’s time as captain has been difficult, and the contract has made him less popular than he should be among the fanbase. A single gesture like abdicating his captaincy would no doubt be greeted with a tremendous response from Oilers Nation and represent a smooth transition to the inevitable.

#10

And if he’s willing to go that far, perhaps Horcoff might do as another Oiler captain did and give up his number 10 to a new phenon--in this case Nail Yakupov. Horcoff’s time with the team is nowhere near the end—that contract will keep him here for the duration—but his role has and will continue to be reduced and the time is coming when he will not be on the ice in pivotal moments of the game.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Shawn Horcoff doesn’t have to prove one damn thing to Oiler fans. He’s been a loyal soldier and signed a contract offered and accepted in good faith and worked his tail off to deliver. The contract is no longer an issue beyond representing a different time in Oilers history.

At this point, it's more about the way he'd like to handle a sensitive issue. Shawn Horcoff is still the captain of the Edmonton Oilers in name, but the young cluster represents the future and at some point the organization will segue into a younger captain for the future.

A new beginning, a new number and a new captain might suit Shawn Horcoff and the Oilers in equal parts. A chance for the Oilers to transition smoothly and an opportunity for the player--once again--to show Oiler fans Shawn Horcoff is an admirable, stand up guy.

I don't know if blocking a puck with your face is more difficult than passing the torch to a younger man, but I suspect Shawn Horcoff will have both experiences before he calls it a day.

NATION RADIO

Team 1260 at high noon, email is nationradio@theteam1260.com and you can post comments and questions below. Twitter is my second home @Lowetide_ and @ItsNationRadio for your thoughts. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tom Lynn from Veritas Hockey will help us on the CBA, the impact of a lockout on players below the NHL and his experience at the recent Ivan Hlinka tournament. 
  • Jason Strudwick, former NHL player, Oilers Nation contributor and bon vivant about town. We'll discuss the impact of a lockout on players and their families and find out how much players know about the issues.
  • Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey will break down the Taylor Hall contract and its possible impact, the CBA and impending lockout and we'll ponder lockout entertainment options.
  • Kent Simpson, Oil Kings color commentator will touch base on the Oil Kings and the massive season ahead.
  • Rob Soria from Oil Drop will talk about his recent Chris Pronger article.
  • Ilya Ostrovsky owner of the EMHL and a man who grew up in the shadow of the Kremlin. We'll talk about adult hockey in Edmonton and what's available, and I'll ask him about his unique connection to hockey in Russian and in Canada.

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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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#1 HOFFFF
August 25 2012, 05:42AM
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Good Morning.

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#3 dohfOs
August 25 2012, 05:48AM
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Great post LT, simple as that.

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#4 dawgbone
August 25 2012, 06:21AM
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As much as the C means something symbolically, I don't really think it's all that important to be honest.

Back in 2006, Jason Smith was the captain, but guys like Pronger and Peca (former captains) were able to lead without having letters on their shirts.

I think everyone in the locker room knows that this is Taylor Hall's team, especially now that he's signed his extension. The transition now is not a matter of passing the torch in terms of leadership, but the young kids carrying the team to the playoffs.

When the captaincy changes, I expect it will be after the Oilers next playoff appearance. That keeps the media directing the what went wrong questions to Horcoff.

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#5 pelhem grenville
August 25 2012, 08:21AM
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...as I remember

when Lee Fogolin passed the gavel[torch or whatever] to 99 it was he who got a tonne of respect AND a share in the ovation the night Gretzky took to the ice with the "C" on his shoulder ...

i think Horcoff could be the class act he probably is by doing much the same... in private and let the MSM beat photographer get the exclusive picture with both Shawn and Taylor grouping and grinning showing the transfer in power illustrated nicely...

anyways

last thing I want is the chant to go up[mentioned in a thread a day or so ago] by rabid heroin beer fueled fans in the nose bleeds when Horcoff isn't having one of his dominating & signature nights ...AND while he's at it he might wanna get double-dip kodos from his less than admiring fanbase and dress The Yak in the numero [what's spanish for the number ten]

...he is definitely stuck between a Yak and a Fanbase...yes Gene Principe you can use that!

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#6 TwoSkidoos
August 25 2012, 08:31AM
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There is a time and a place for passing of the torch, and its not yet - the kids aren't there yet.

Great point by Dawgbone - shelter them on AND off the ice, redirect the questions to Horcoff when things aren't going right.

Hall will have the C in 2 seasons. APG (haha)

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#7 The Soup Fascist
August 25 2012, 08:33AM
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The captaincy change should happen next year or so with Horcoff "pullling a Fogolin". Would be the right thing to do.

Horcoff should not offer up #10 and if he did Yak would be advised to politely decline. Horc has been a good soldier and has earned the right to wear the number. Yak has done zip to date. Yak taking #10 would say something unsettling about him.

Horc wears his contract like an anchor around his neck. Worst thing that could have happened to him. Not his fault that KLowe decided to bid himself up.

BTW, L.T, appreciate you not wanting to sling mud. Very admirable, and it is one of many reasons why you are so well- respected. I sadly, do not share that same moral compass. Shane Corson was a brutal captain.

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#8 madjam
August 25 2012, 08:55AM
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I think you hit the nail on the head when you alluded to he was from a bygone area . With all the other bygone areas gone , how can one justify holding onto that contract for so long ? Seems to me something should have been done about player and contract over two years ago . Justification is only because they still haven't done anything about it .

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#9 oilers2k14
August 25 2012, 09:04AM
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there's no way that a kid who has averaged only about 60 or so games a season should be captain over the 10plus year veteran, Ebs has one season over 50 points, NUGE is much too young for another 3 seasons.. If anything I see keep Horcoff captain for another three seasons if he's healthy most of that time, by that time I think Yakupov would be the obvious choice to be team Captain..but probably any of the other three would be solid candidates as well.. I Oilers want another solid, stand up guy as their captain then they should wait on Yakupov..yes he hasn't played a game in the NHL yet..but he just strikes me as future captain material..

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#10 madjam
August 25 2012, 09:06AM
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FANS UNIONIZE ? Oilers fans pay full price of season tickets if they finish in top 1/3 of league , get 1/3rd back if they finish below 1/2 of league, and pay only 1/2 if they finish in botton 1/3rd of league .

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#11 Johnny
August 25 2012, 09:15AM
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Horcoff has been reminding me lately of Ethan Moreau. He demonstrates a sort of arrogance that, to me, is not setting a good example. He does not carry himself like Yzerman, Sakic or Iginla.

LT, what do you think when you hear Horcoff had trouble accepting his role last year?? Does that scream good leader to you?? And i heard a lot of belly aching about not scoring because a lack of PP time and playing the tough minutes. JUST SHUT-UP AND DO YOUR JOB!!! We have needed a tough minutes third-line center since we traded Stoll, Brodziak and Reasoner. Horc's ego is so damn big he can't get past his own stats and see how valuable that is.

This is not the right year to give up the captaincy, nor his number, but the year after....

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#12 DonDon
August 25 2012, 09:21AM
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Recommended transition to Oilers captaincy for Taylor Hall: Start with designating him as an Assistant Captain. Present Assistant Captains are Hemsky and Whitney, both physically fragile and injury prone, which means they miss games.

Don't know how Hemsky earned the designation in the first place; not his fault that he doesn't appear to have the attributes necessary to fill this important role.

Horcoff, Hemsky and Whitney are in the twilight of their dwindling careers and as designated leaders of the team make it difficult to ask more from other players when they are not producing themselves.

Who picks the captains and assistant captains?

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#13 michael
August 25 2012, 09:30AM
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CBA. 3 hours a week isn't going get this deal done. What a joke. Bettman and the Players should be ashamed of thier actions. What do they think a lockout is going to accomplish? The players are wealthier than ever. The top tier of salaried players probably could retire tommorow and not ever blink an eye at the thought of playing ever again. Guys like Crosby and Ovechkin have made millions. Hall and Ebs already have banked more than the average Joe makes in 5 lifetimes. Its frakin nonsense. The only players going to hurt are your 1st and 2cd year pro's . Guy like Lennart Petrell for example. What did he cash last season/800,000? After Finnish taxes he would lucky to have 100,000 large left over. My point stands. The players may sit this one out for a whole season. They have the war chest.The stars are already set. And to the owners who are losing money the players could'nt give a crap. Rick Nash isn't staying up at night worrying if CBJ's owner is losing 25 million a year. He's counting the millions he already has in the bank. This is going to end badly for the owners. Not for the players. For the fans we just sit back and take it up the ole craw once again. I think I'll go join a gym this winter. Looks like I'll have alot of time on hand.

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#14 oilswell
August 25 2012, 09:46AM
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Good article. Great looking lineup.

I remember reading oilers captains being enormously involved in off-ice activities such as organizing social events, welcoming new players and their families, and generally somehow making sure the locker room is tight. Plus Fogolin gave up the captaincy to a guy was historically the best guy on the ice and one of the best ever off it and in front of the mikes. Having Horcoff as captain for a while might be a good thing.

And for the Horcoff haters: remember the number of captains they have traded or lost over the years.

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#15 justasiamlloyd
August 25 2012, 09:47AM
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Taylor Hall is not ready to be captain. Why are fans so quick to rip the "C" off #10's jersey? Horc might not be the first line centre Oiler fans dream of nor produce enough points to warrant the size of contract he signed. However, the "C" on his jersey has never been tarnished by his leadership. If you asked the players who their Captain is, to a man they would back Horc. Don't blame him for the stupidity of management for the numbers that appear on his contract. "Captain, Oh My Captain!"

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#16 nunyour
August 25 2012, 09:53AM
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to soon for a young captain,forget horcoff's paycheck we all would have taken it,he gives us all he's got,what more can you ask?

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#17 NewAgeSys
August 25 2012, 10:17AM
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Absolutely accurate perspective,and I agree completely.

I might add that Sam Gager might just get the C handed to him by Horcs,the Oilers have some history of Captains chooseing their protege,after all it takes one to know one,the captain knows who else has the rooms ear and trust.I remember the looks on all of the young studs faces as they watched Sam dismantle a team over 60mins useing hard work and system committment,If you watch the gametapes and freeze-frame on the looks on the faces of everyone it shows us a glimpse of the future.I cannot imagine any other way a player could take the reins of a group of studs like we have here,that was textbook perfect and NO one else has come close to that level of on-ice leadership here in twenty years,case close for me right there.No one in the dressing room will feel confident enough to become a leader here until they can unseat Sam and that is now apparent and obvious.We have some pedigree here but I am afraid they arent in Gagners league yet as a total NHL package.

But I do trust Horcoff to make the right and classy decision when he feels the time is right or his selection is ready,there are always young guys chomping at the bit to be leaders,but there are a lot of other ways to lead a team than by carrying a letter.

And possibly this year will be the year that defines the next set of leaders in Edmonton,however,Horcoff is a valuable system asset and has a role here beyond the letter,I watched Messier lead the Oilers on many nights and Coffey as well and others,they were willing to lead by commitee many nights based on energy and skill executed well systemwise.

We need to see how the room feels,because sometimes it feels good knowing your captain can win games for you on his own back,that is serious mojo to not be overlooked on a team as deep with skll and talent as this one.You need sn elite level of skill before you add the intangibles in order to have the ears and respect of players like we have here now,not many guys on our squad now fit that bill,in fact I only see Gagner out of the next generation at this point.

I dont think Horcs is out of the running though,he has all the qualitys the team needs,its a matter of application and role reduction and restructure.

No one should overlook the offense he can bring when he is healthy and has a green light---I certainly hope he can bring that to the fourth or third line this year because it is that level of depth that makes playoff and championship teams,balance stemming from experience from deep in the lineup.

I believe Horcoff has the courage to make the right call at the right time,however he might surprise us all by handing the C to Sam or Laddy,someone off the radar.Actually Those two seem to be good fits from different dimensions.Maybe a one two.

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#18 ratzazz
August 25 2012, 10:30AM
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Shouldn't give up his number and probably a year away from giving up captaincy

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#19 Sloppy Joe
August 25 2012, 10:34AM
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Johnny wrote:

Horcoff has been reminding me lately of Ethan Moreau. He demonstrates a sort of arrogance that, to me, is not setting a good example. He does not carry himself like Yzerman, Sakic or Iginla.

LT, what do you think when you hear Horcoff had trouble accepting his role last year?? Does that scream good leader to you?? And i heard a lot of belly aching about not scoring because a lack of PP time and playing the tough minutes. JUST SHUT-UP AND DO YOUR JOB!!! We have needed a tough minutes third-line center since we traded Stoll, Brodziak and Reasoner. Horc's ego is so damn big he can't get past his own stats and see how valuable that is.

This is not the right year to give up the captaincy, nor his number, but the year after....

I hope that post was meant to be a joke, becuase otherwise someone should punch you.

You are the first person I've ever heard talk about Horcoff having a "trouble accepting his role" or "belly aching about ... playing the tough minutes".

The guy has spent the prime of his career as a loyal soldier on a crap team, and I've never heard a complaint from him once. No complaints despite being crapped on by fans for the contract (that any one of us would have signed), and skating uphill every game. He does a ton in the community too.

Although not as talented as Yzerman, Sakic, or Iggy, he definitely carries himself like them.

Also - why does everyone seem so loathe to say that Moreau was an histocially, epically bad captain? Why all the tap dancing and LT not wanting to "name names"? Call a spade a spade.

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#20 Bleeding Oil
August 25 2012, 11:11AM
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michael wrote:

CBA. 3 hours a week isn't going get this deal done. What a joke. Bettman and the Players should be ashamed of thier actions. What do they think a lockout is going to accomplish? The players are wealthier than ever. The top tier of salaried players probably could retire tommorow and not ever blink an eye at the thought of playing ever again. Guys like Crosby and Ovechkin have made millions. Hall and Ebs already have banked more than the average Joe makes in 5 lifetimes. Its frakin nonsense. The only players going to hurt are your 1st and 2cd year pro's . Guy like Lennart Petrell for example. What did he cash last season/800,000? After Finnish taxes he would lucky to have 100,000 large left over. My point stands. The players may sit this one out for a whole season. They have the war chest.The stars are already set. And to the owners who are losing money the players could'nt give a crap. Rick Nash isn't staying up at night worrying if CBJ's owner is losing 25 million a year. He's counting the millions he already has in the bank. This is going to end badly for the owners. Not for the players. For the fans we just sit back and take it up the ole craw once again. I think I'll go join a gym this winter. Looks like I'll have alot of time on hand.

psst.....Nash was traded......its a secret though.

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#21 carson
August 25 2012, 11:18AM
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@Sloppy Joe

lt was alluding to Shane Corson, Moreau was bad, but Corson was a true cancer

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#22 Wretched Oil
August 25 2012, 11:23AM
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Damn! That made me like Horcoff a little more.

Thanks LT, I forget how dedicated this guy is.

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#23 Rama Lama
August 25 2012, 11:29AM
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Horcoff seems to be a good captain on the surface, but the problem he has faced throughout his career, is that he has no offensive talent.

That is not his fault..........we all understand that, the problem is he thinks that he should play with high skilled players. If he were to accept his role of shut-down third line player, than most of his detractors would accept him.

I see no reason why he cannot continue to be captian if he accepts his role. Let the kids battle it out for a full year and let's see who rises to the top.

Horcoff, needs to be told his new role and he nneeds to embrace it.

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#24 carson
August 25 2012, 11:31AM
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For more on Corson, this hatchet piece is an all-timer: http://www.coppernblue.com/2010/9/28/1700540/the-worst-captain-in-oiler-history

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#25 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 25 2012, 11:37AM
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I would guess these "issues" are a lot more important to the fans then they are the players.

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#26 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 25 2012, 11:38AM
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IMO none of the young guys are ready for the C, maybe this time next year.

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#27 Westcoastoil
August 25 2012, 11:44AM
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There's no chance any of the kids, particularly Hall who has so much respect for the game, are in a rush to see Horcoff pass the C on. It will happen when the time is right, and the only people who will really know when that time is are the players & coaches in the dressing room - Horcoff first amongst them.

As for #10, it's insulting to any vet let alone your captain to suggest he give up his number to a kid who just got drafted. Instead, think of this: if Horcoff plays out his contract (and maybe resigns a few 1 yr value deals to fulfill the veteran 4C role when they are chasing Stanley...) does anyone ever get to wear 10 again?

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#28 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
August 25 2012, 11:52AM
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By this time next yr this issue will have sorted itself out. The No.10 and the captains C will be vacant. Taylor Hall made a leap of faith this week by commiting here long term, the Oilers reciprocate by offering him the C next summer. Shawn is dealt to a floor team looking for bargains.

This shot that Horcoff supposedly blocked with his face in the 06 playoffs. seeing it a number of times it looks to me like he took that Lidstrom blast up in the collar bone area. Pales in comparison to taking one for the team in the face. Anyone else get a better look at it?

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#29 stopyellingshotonthepp
August 25 2012, 11:59AM
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LT:

I agree with most post here, that now is not the time to give Hall the C yet, but I don't think that necessarily means Horcoff should continue to wear it. Horcoff's play is clearly on the downslide; points are all but gone, face-offs percentage trending negatively, and his role on this team has changed. Would he not be better served giving up the C? He could focus on his game only, absorb the role, flourish in it.

Dallas took the C off Mike Modano when he was struggling with the additional responsibility, why can't Edmonton do the same (to a far less significant player)? Hall, and the other kids aren't ready yet? Then perfect, hand the C to Ryan Smyth. Correct a wrong, and give the man the keys to the car. Smyth is signed for two years (buys time for the kids), and should accelerate faster than expected, Smyth would welcome the opportunity to once again sacrifice for the team, and hand the battalion off to the next generation of Oilers.

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#30 Pouzar99
August 25 2012, 12:08PM
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michael wrote:

CBA. 3 hours a week isn't going get this deal done. What a joke. Bettman and the Players should be ashamed of thier actions. What do they think a lockout is going to accomplish? The players are wealthier than ever. The top tier of salaried players probably could retire tommorow and not ever blink an eye at the thought of playing ever again. Guys like Crosby and Ovechkin have made millions. Hall and Ebs already have banked more than the average Joe makes in 5 lifetimes. Its frakin nonsense. The only players going to hurt are your 1st and 2cd year pro's . Guy like Lennart Petrell for example. What did he cash last season/800,000? After Finnish taxes he would lucky to have 100,000 large left over. My point stands. The players may sit this one out for a whole season. They have the war chest.The stars are already set. And to the owners who are losing money the players could'nt give a crap. Rick Nash isn't staying up at night worrying if CBJ's owner is losing 25 million a year. He's counting the millions he already has in the bank. This is going to end badly for the owners. Not for the players. For the fans we just sit back and take it up the ole craw once again. I think I'll go join a gym this winter. Looks like I'll have alot of time on hand.

Do you think the rich owners give a crap about the suckers they fleeced for nearly $600 million in 'expansion fees' to set-up in loser, non-hockey southern markets and then saddled with a cancelled season? The big teams' fans came back but not so much in the junk markets. Do you think Snider and Jacobs and the corporate owners who are raking it in care or are losing sleep about their money-losing brothers? The players actually care more about those markets but only because they represent player jobs. They are all, owners and players, in it for themselves and we are their suckers.

And no it will likely end badly for the players not the owners, at least not the big owners who run the league, just like in 2005. The big owners have the leverage because they can afford to miss a season, or half of it, because when the players cave they will more than make up the lost money during the life-span of the new CBA, as they did over the past 7 years. The players have a much shorter window of big earnings. The one thing we can be sure of is it will end badly for the fans, who will have to do without their favourite sport yet again as both parties fight over our money.

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#31 Donnybrook
August 25 2012, 12:10PM
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Comparing Horcoff giving up his number to Kevin Lowe giving up his own number to Hall is ridiculous. Lowe was retired for 20 years when he offered it to Hall. Horcoff is still wearing it. Giving it away to a rookie that's never played a game in the league would say a lot of negative things about Horcoff, as well as giving up the C. The optics would show he has no confidence in his own abilities any more. Yakupov can have the # when Horcoff is moved within the next 3 years, not sure what the big deal with a number is anyhow. As for the C, I don't think Hall is ready, although I believe he will be the chosen one. As has been said, let Horcoff take the media heat for a while longer while Hall hones his game and maturity.

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#32 Donnybrook
August 25 2012, 12:14PM
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stopyellingshotonthepp wrote:

LT:

I agree with most post here, that now is not the time to give Hall the C yet, but I don't think that necessarily means Horcoff should continue to wear it. Horcoff's play is clearly on the downslide; points are all but gone, face-offs percentage trending negatively, and his role on this team has changed. Would he not be better served giving up the C? He could focus on his game only, absorb the role, flourish in it.

Dallas took the C off Mike Modano when he was struggling with the additional responsibility, why can't Edmonton do the same (to a far less significant player)? Hall, and the other kids aren't ready yet? Then perfect, hand the C to Ryan Smyth. Correct a wrong, and give the man the keys to the car. Smyth is signed for two years (buys time for the kids), and should accelerate faster than expected, Smyth would welcome the opportunity to once again sacrifice for the team, and hand the battalion off to the next generation of Oilers.

One problem with giving the keys and the C to Smyth. He was worse than Horcoff for the last part of last year, and was argueably their worst forward at that time. Whether that was from being burnt out or not, I don't know. Moving it to Smyth for a year or two is nothing but a sideways move at best and accomplishes nothing. From what I understand, the young guys and everyone else is comfortable where the C resides at this moment in time, so let well enough alone. It will happen in due course when the time is right.

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#33 David S
August 25 2012, 12:38PM
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I never had any problems with Horcoff as the C. He got every crap minute and was drilled into the ground night after night.

That being said, enough with the "character guys" wearing the C. How about having a leader ON the ice as well as off. I'm talking about a player who has the guts and ability to take the team on his back and will it to win. Lead by example. Hall is that guy.

Somebody up above in the commentz mentioned Sam Gagner. Never thought about Sam that way but he does bring intensity and will to win when he's on. That might not fly with the "he's to small" crowd, but now that I think of it...*scratches chin, looks upward*

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#34 Bob
August 25 2012, 12:58PM
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As Tony Bennett would say, "What a great, great piece." Probably wasn't reading about the Oilers at the time but it works. I hope this is a segue to a 'piece' about the captains through the years.

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#35 madjam
August 25 2012, 01:14PM
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FAMILIARITY BREEDS DISCONTENT . Rather than watching a repeat of last years veterans continue on a downslide which may well happen again , i'd rather get excited about some other new talents we have in prospects ledger . Do we really want to watch them again (veterans) with likely little to excite the fans . If it's another wasted season of same old or worse from veterans , i'd rather see 6 or more struggling new talents to be honest . Hard to get excited about our familiar veterans , whom as a group , have not performed well to begin with .

Bring on the prospects !! Their is excitement in newness .

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#36 Bob
August 25 2012, 01:19PM
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Do not read the Corson piece from Copper n' Blue referenced in a previous comment. Horrible, horrible times that should never be revisited.

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#37 Johnny
August 25 2012, 01:35PM
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Sloppy Joe wrote:

I hope that post was meant to be a joke, becuase otherwise someone should punch you.

You are the first person I've ever heard talk about Horcoff having a "trouble accepting his role" or "belly aching about ... playing the tough minutes".

The guy has spent the prime of his career as a loyal soldier on a crap team, and I've never heard a complaint from him once. No complaints despite being crapped on by fans for the contract (that any one of us would have signed), and skating uphill every game. He does a ton in the community too.

Although not as talented as Yzerman, Sakic, or Iggy, he definitely carries himself like them.

Also - why does everyone seem so loathe to say that Moreau was an histocially, epically bad captain? Why all the tap dancing and LT not wanting to "name names"? Call a spade a spade.

Not a joke. I don't have the time to dig up where that surfaced, but Horc admitted to having trouble "accepting his new role." It's called ego, and he's got a big one.

My only solace is that I believe Kreuger is going to take charge of this team and get them playing like one. I do believe this will happen because of everything I have heard about Ralph, including him talking to Smytty about him accepting HIS new role.

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#38 PutzStew
August 25 2012, 01:50PM
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Know what would make the Oilers a much better team....If Horcoff wasn't on it.

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#39 PutzStew
August 25 2012, 01:50PM
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Know what would make the Oilers a much better team....If Horcoff wasn't on it.

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#40 Reg Dunlop
August 25 2012, 02:09PM
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oilswell wrote:

Good article. Great looking lineup.

I remember reading oilers captains being enormously involved in off-ice activities such as organizing social events, welcoming new players and their families, and generally somehow making sure the locker room is tight. Plus Fogolin gave up the captaincy to a guy was historically the best guy on the ice and one of the best ever off it and in front of the mikes. Having Horcoff as captain for a while might be a good thing.

And for the Horcoff haters: remember the number of captains they have traded or lost over the years.

If it is true that part of a captain's job is to organize off ice social events then critisism of Corson is unwarranted. Who could have done a better job of bolting when DeBrusk got boot-jacked in front of a bar on Whyte,allegedly?

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#41 Reg Dunlop
August 25 2012, 02:34PM
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Regarding the impending work-stoppage, I have heard conspiracy-types suggest that it is a way to cull the half-dozen weaklings that will always remain money pits. The potential loss of 150 NHL jobs, and the union dues,would be unacceptable to any union looking out for it's member's interests and it's own coffers. However, losing all or a large part of this season could very well mark the end of the Coyotes, Panthers, Devils, Jackets, Preds and Flames(kidding).

Would this be good or bad? Would there be a dispersal draft? Would pick-order be based on last year's standings? Would there be any other way to get Weber? I'm just speculating here before I go on a beer-run. At any rate, lock-out=BOHICA.

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#42 Dog Train
August 25 2012, 02:46PM
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When the team is ready for success, the move will be obvious. I still foresee another non-playoff season on the horizon. The time is soon but it is not now.

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#43 @Oilanderp
August 25 2012, 03:16PM
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Johnny wrote:

Not a joke. I don't have the time to dig up where that surfaced, but Horc admitted to having trouble "accepting his new role." It's called ego, and he's got a big one.

My only solace is that I believe Kreuger is going to take charge of this team and get them playing like one. I do believe this will happen because of everything I have heard about Ralph, including him talking to Smytty about him accepting HIS new role.

The only joke here is you if you think you have time to slander the captain and yet not have time to provide any evidence.

Go back to your ladies book club where you can sit around all day sipping tea and spitting rumourous poison about anyone who has perkier mammaries than you, you old bag of knitting yarn.

Put up or shut up.

I call.

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#44 ubermiguel
August 25 2012, 03:17PM
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Horcs should keep the C and the #10. He's earned them leading a lousy team with professionalism.

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#45 ubermiguel
August 25 2012, 03:57PM
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Bob wrote:

Do not read the Corson piece from Copper n' Blue referenced in a previous comment. Horrible, horrible times that should never be revisited.

I didn't heed your warning and read the article (and most of the linked articles). If half that stuff about Corson is true he might be the worst choice of captain for any sports team ever. Makes me love Horcs as captain even more.

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#46 Hemmertime
August 25 2012, 04:46PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

By this time next yr this issue will have sorted itself out. The No.10 and the captains C will be vacant. Taylor Hall made a leap of faith this week by commiting here long term, the Oilers reciprocate by offering him the C next summer. Shawn is dealt to a floor team looking for bargains.

This shot that Horcoff supposedly blocked with his face in the 06 playoffs. seeing it a number of times it looks to me like he took that Lidstrom blast up in the collar bone area. Pales in comparison to taking one for the team in the face. Anyone else get a better look at it?

So because he was WILLING to face block it but it hit 3 inches below his face it doesnt matter?

Fk that, Horc is willing to do what Stifler did in "Goon" to keep the puck out.

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#47 The Real Scuba Steve
August 25 2012, 05:19PM
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Worst cap in Oil history.

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#48 Spydyr
August 25 2012, 06:49PM
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As for the talk of a 12 year vet, captain of the team giving his number up to a raw rookie.Well that is asinine.Plan and simple.What would be even worse if Yak accepted it.

Now for giving up the captaincy.Let Horcoff wear the C for the time being.Hall is just to young(it shows up on the ice quite often) and even though the team is going towards the young guns.It is not time.......yet.

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#49 DonDon
August 25 2012, 07:14PM
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With all the talk about Oilers' captains, no one has answered the question as to who picks the captains? And what are the captains' roles as determined by who picks them?

Are the captains go-betweens players and coaches?

Some of us would expect that captains should be leaders, but that is obviously not the case with the Oilers. Case in point: Hemsky. With all his lost ice time due to injuries, what kind of captain is Whitney?

Some posters are very defensive about Horcoff's performance last year. I think everyone understands that Horcoff's contract isn't a value contract. But what value does he actually bring?\

Lowetide, what about a survey on Horcoff's performance as a player and captain? Results would be interesting, as long as bloggers can't vote more than once.

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#50 BlacqueJacque
August 25 2012, 08:05PM
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I disliked Horcoff and his contract for years after he signed it.

Yet I think he's going to be the first captain I sympathize with when he passes the C on. We're close in age and we both have young bucks nipping at our heels. It gives me some sort of empathy, until I remember he earned more in 1 year than I will in my life.

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