July 04 2013 06:24PM
Craig MacTavish's first major move happened today when he traded Shawn Horcoff to the Dallas Stars. Bob McKenzie tweeted that Horcoff is off to Dallas. We found out later via Darren Dreger that Horcoff was moved for D-man Philip Larsen and a 7th round pick in 2016. The Oilers didn't have to eat any salary in the deal, so they just freed up $5.5 million in cap space.
This deal isn't a major surprise. MacTavish made it clear a month ago that Horcoff likely wasn't coming back, and Jim Nill told me on my radio show a few weeks ago that he wanted to add a veteran centre.
With the Oilers buying out Belanger and trading Horcoff, it is obvious MacTavish will be adding a centre in free agency or via trade.
Larsen was a 5th round pick in 2008, and he's played 95 games, including 32 last year. He shots right and is a decent puck mover. This will push Corey Potter further down the depth chart, and should end the speculation that Tom Gilbert will return. The Oilers don't need another non-hitting right-shooting D-man.
This trade allows the Oilers to swing big for David Clarkson, if they choose.
David Clarkson was in Edmonton today to meet with the Oilers, according to Aaron Ward. Price point is going to be the issue with Clarkson. I think most agree he is the type of player the Oilers need, but not at $6 million/year.