YOU BETTER YOU BET

Lowetide
July 05 2013 09:20PM

Craig MacTavish went to market with a long shopping list and acquired Boyd Gordon as the de facto 3 line C to replace Shawn Horcoff. Is Gordon the better bet?

BOYD GORDON REPLACING SHAWN HORCOFF

Last year, Shawn Horcoff played 11:50 a night at evens, 2:29 on the PK and 2:31 on the PP. Gordon played 12:00 a night at evens, 2:51 on the PK and didn’t play PP. Gordon played the same role and minutes as Horcoff save for the PP. We should expect him to play the same EV and PK minutes as #10, with the PP minutes headed elsewhere.

Horcoff 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.34 (9th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.13 (8th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 8th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 8th best available teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -4.4 (10th best among regular forwards) (-13.77 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 42.1% (4th toughest, 12th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 45.2% (14th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 41/17.07% (2nd among F’s>40 shots)
  • Boxcars: 31gp, 7-5-12
  • Faceoff percentage: 49, 51st best in the NHL
  • Most Common Linemates: Yakupov, Hall, Jones,Hemsky

Gordon 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.18 (9th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 16.51 (1st among regular forwards, but small sample size)
  • Qual Comp: 6th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: best available teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 0.6 (6th best among regular forwards) (1.61 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 32.6% (toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 41.4% (10th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 59/6.78%
  • Boxcars: 48, 4-10-14
  • Faceoff percentage: 57.3, 8th best in the NHL
  • Most Common Linemates: Moss, Klinkhammer, Korpikoski

The big differences between these players are:

  • Quality of Linemates: Horcoff's were clearly superior
  • Age: Horcoff (34) is the older player (Gordon is 29)
  • Cap hit: Horcoff's (5.5) is more than Gordon's (3)
  • Zone start: Both were severe, Gordon's moreso
  • Faceoff percentage: Gordon is one of the best in the NHL
  • Shawn Horcoff was deployed on the PP

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Gordon's defensive coverage looks a little more impressive to me (zone start, faceoffs, he's terrific on the PK), and the offense appears about equal despite Horc's clearly superior linemates. Given a year of Hall and Yakupov (which will never happen, of course) I imagine Gordon might be looking at a far superior number.

I think you can make the argument that the Oilers would have been just fine with Horcoff in the 3line role--in fact I have, all offseason. Having said that, Gordon would appear to be a younger, better and less expensive replacement.

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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 Bucknuck
July 05 2013, 11:40PM
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Jeffff wrote:

Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL since the 2004 lockout.

The damage that has been done to this team is evident. 8 yrs and this team has got so many holes. So many teams have passed the Oilers. You have to ask who is responsible for this mess. How can the Oilers be so bad.

I can't believe we are talking about the major holes Oilers have after 8 years. Shocking

in 2006 they didn't have any holes. What are you talking about? Since 2007 they have been a mess. The man who is responsible for that is Steve Tambellini. he was fired. Move on.

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#2 Al36
July 05 2013, 09:35PM
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Hi Lowetide! The Oil still need one more center is Zach Smith from Ottawa a good fit or do we need a 3rd with more offensive abilities?I think Gordon is best at 4th personally!

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#3 Smokey
July 05 2013, 09:39PM
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His zone starts and finish is impressive. Minus Horc's pp time, Gordon is a better defensive option.Just need another center.

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#4 OILERSORDEATH
July 05 2013, 10:28PM
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Can't express how stoked knowing that now when Watchin Oil I won't be yelling "Goddamit Horcoff!!" My wife hates when I say Goddamnit

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#5 LinkfromHyrule
July 05 2013, 10:36PM
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@Al36

lmao glad I'm not the only one!

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#6 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 11:15PM
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Whew, glad that's over.

RNH,Gagner,Gordon and Lander, if THAT, center ice depth doesn't put the fear of God in the rest of the western conference, I don't know what will. Oiler domination to follow.

We're already a much stronger team than we were when the season ended. Crisis avoided!

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#7 G Money
July 05 2013, 11:21PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Whew, glad that's over.

RNH,Gagner,Gordon and Lander, if THAT, center ice depth doesn't put the fear of God in the rest of the western conference, I don't know what will. Oiler domination to follow.

We're already a much stronger team than we were when the season ended. Crisis avoided!

To be fair, Gagner is not signed yet.

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#8 Mike Krushelnyski
July 06 2013, 12:40AM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Once again the Oilers fail to address their 3 most critical needs.

1. A top 6 forward that can be productive and still protect the other 5. There is only one forward in the NHL that can accomplish both of these, and he was a UFA. =Ryane Clowe

2. A top pairing D-man. None were available today by free agency, but if Homer can swing all these deals, Mac T should certainly have been able to put a package together to land one. i.e. Yandle. He should also look to offer sheet Pietrangelo.

3. An agitator. i.e. Lapierre

Grrrrr...

There were no top pairing D men signed by any team today. Ryan Clowe cost $25 million. Free agency was never going to be the way that MacT was going to add these pieces. There are three months too add players via trade, we have Hemsky, Gagner, Kelfbom, Paajarvi, Smid, N Schultz, Petry, Marincin and draft picks all in play as fairly significant assets. I'm not saying I'm sold on MacT's ability to right the ship, but he's still got 3 months to get it done.

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#9 fig pucker
July 06 2013, 06:28AM
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Oilers#1Fool wrote:

In 2 years you will all wish justin Shultz was traded this summer. I think He could have been used in a package to bring in a big skilled forward

our defense in worse shape than our offence, and you want to put further stress on the teams weakest link by trading j.schultz? that's just nonsense.

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#10 Ca$h-Money!
July 06 2013, 07:48AM
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Jeffff wrote:

Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL since the 2004 lockout.

The damage that has been done to this team is evident. 8 yrs and this team has got so many holes. So many teams have passed the Oilers. You have to ask who is responsible for this mess. How can the Oilers be so bad.

I can't believe we are talking about the major holes Oilers have after 8 years. Shocking

Worst team in the NHL since the 2004 lockout? How can you say that? The mighty Oilers have the best playoff winning percentage of any team in the NHL BAR-NONE since that time.

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#11 shea78
July 06 2013, 10:16AM
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Al36 wrote:

Hi Lowetide! The Oil still need one more center is Zach Smith from Ottawa a good fit or do we need a 3rd with more offensive abilities?I think Gordon is best at 4th personally!

I agree 100%. I'm hoping that there is a trade in the works that brings in both Coburn and Schenn. Philly needs cap relief.

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#12 MB
July 06 2013, 10:21AM
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When are you all going to learn??? You cannot trade for top pairing d-man!!! you must draft them and than show Patience while they grow. The problem is that Oiler fans want everything right now and will not wait. You will drive them out of town and we will watch them flourish on anther team!!!

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#13 Wheresyourtowel
July 05 2013, 09:27PM
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I'm ok with Gordon. Whatever deficiency there may be moving from Horc to Gordon is made up for by the cap savings.

This had to happen and I'm happy Gordon is the piece.

If we can find a way that Gordon is replacing Belanger instead of Horc, I'll be all the more happy.

Thanks for all your analysis today LT.

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#14 rockmoss
July 05 2013, 09:27PM
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I have always appreciated Horcoff but I like what Gordon brings.

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#15 wiseguy
July 05 2013, 09:40PM
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Sometimes change for the sake of change is needed. My worry is that your analysis showing that Gordon should fit our needs well sound eerily similar to our being excited when Belanger was signed as a 3C penalty killer/ faceoff guy with some offense. I hope the result will be different.

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#17 Oilersman
July 05 2013, 09:54PM
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I think it's a great signing. A fresh start for both players, cheaper option for us and the best part....a power play with the bestplayers on the ice. (hoping our 1st/2nd line centers can win those draws)

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#19 Al36
July 05 2013, 10:02PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Smith would be a good option now imo because the things he doesn't do well (PK) Gordon is very good at, so that's a nice fit.

I'd maybe bring Smith in for the 3line as a RW with Gordon and say Paajarvi. Although maybe Joensu gets that job this fall.

Ya but this is fantasy GM time here sir!I would hope we had a more proven option over Joensu (is it one U or 2 lol) and a legit 3rd line center with a little size and offense!Have any options in mind that us space cadet know it alls can realistically debate?

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#20 Oiler Al
July 05 2013, 10:07PM
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Gordon a decent pick up, but like most all UFA,signings is an over-pay. He doubled his salary from previous deal. $ 3 million for a 3 or 4th line center is a tad rich.

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#21 madjam
July 05 2013, 10:09PM
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I'll believe when I see it- no Kool-Aid required . Not too many acquisitions have reached their hype here over the last several years .

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#22 gongshow
July 05 2013, 10:14PM
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LT - Thanks for the breakdown. You answered pretty much exactly what I was wondering today, but didn't have the time to go look up. Based upon this, I'm very happy with the tradeoff.

Can't wait to see what's next.

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#23 Naky
July 05 2013, 10:19PM
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People saying Gordon got overpaid? Could be worse, could be the Leafs who just paid 2.4m per year for a completely unproven backup goaltender with 62 NHL games under his belt. Who would you rather have for nearly 3m per now?

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#24 Al36
July 05 2013, 10:24PM
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P.S You have gotten me in a lot of trouble reading your posts,because of all the lovely ladies that are on all your blogs! My ball and chain doesn't by that im there for the articles lol!

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#25 OILERSORDEATH
July 05 2013, 10:33PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

Can't express how stoked knowing that now when Watchin Oil I won't be yelling "Goddamit Horcoff!!" My wife hates when I say Goddamnit

*how stoked I am*

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#26 Jackson
July 05 2013, 10:35PM
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Horcoff is a depreciating asset MacT got what he could. Obviously he can still play and the Oilers are better with him but he would be worthless by the end of the season and since oilers are not yet competing for the Cup it was a good move.

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#27 G Money
July 05 2013, 10:37PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Gordon is 29, Belanger was 33 and clearly fading upon arrival. But youre right, no guarantees

The other thing that plays into it is that Belanger seemed to be unhappy from the time he got here - the persistent rumour being that he wanted to either go back somewhere warm, or home to Quebec. His play certainly seemed to be disinterested more often than not.

Boyd Gordon on the other hand is a good Saskatchewan boy, so hopefully he'll feel at home here, and his on-ice play will reflect wanting to be here.

But as you say - no guarantees.

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#28 Al36
July 05 2013, 10:40PM
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LinkfromHyrule wrote:

lmao glad I'm not the only one!

Lowetide has to consider the grief that he puts us through! lol

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#29 Jeffff
July 05 2013, 10:55PM
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Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL since the 2004 lockout.

The damage that has been done to this team is evident. 8 yrs and this team has got so many holes. So many teams have passed the Oilers. You have to ask who is responsible for this mess. How can the Oilers be so bad.

I can't believe we are talking about the major holes Oilers have after 8 years. Shocking

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#30 Rob...
July 05 2013, 10:56PM
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I think it may have been Gregor who often pointed out that the Oilers powerplay was better with Horcoff on it. (sorry Jason if I'm wrong). What was Horcoff providing on the powerplay that we are now missing and is there a player available that can fill that void?

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#31 nugeishuge
July 05 2013, 10:58PM
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Im just throwing thos out there but something like hemsky for neil and n schultz plus musil and a 4th for coburn?

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#32 nugeishuge
July 05 2013, 11:01PM
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What about a trade for Boedker?

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#33 Oilersman
July 05 2013, 11:06PM
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Gordon, 2014 points leader for the almighty Oil. "Book it"? Haha

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#34 Reg Dunlop
July 05 2013, 11:21PM
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Obviously many young oilers have never had successful, veteran teammates to learn from. They have had questionable vets such as Whitney and Belanger. Ference will be a solid role model here, hopefully Gordon will also be a positive. Does anyone remember Adam Oates finishing his career here? I know Manny Malhotra can't be compared to Oates but the opportunity for RNH and Gagner to practice draws daily with one of the best could have value. As it sits now, who teaches skills like faceoffs during oiler practice? Buchberger? No wonder we struggle. I think a year of Malhotra, even if he only plays 40 games, is a good gamble.

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#35 Dave
July 05 2013, 11:25PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Whew, glad that's over.

RNH,Gagner,Gordon and Lander, if THAT, center ice depth doesn't put the fear of God in the rest of the western conference, I don't know what will. Oiler domination to follow.

We're already a much stronger team than we were when the season ended. Crisis avoided!

No way I am going to drink the Kool Aid this year.. got to remember that.. Put it on the fridge.

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#36 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 11:27PM
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@Reg Dunlop

I really thought Mike Sillinger would lend a hand in that department. He was well above average in his day. I remember Adam, when he left here, he was genuinely disappointed he didn't get here 5 or 7 yrs earlier in his career. He enjoyed his short time here, but shortly after his arrival, he just realized he couldn't compete anymore.

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#37 Oilers#1Fool
July 05 2013, 11:34PM
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In 2 years you will all wish justin Shultz was traded this summer. I think He could have been used in a package to bring in a big skilled forward

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#38 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 11:42PM
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Oilers#1Fool wrote:

In 2 years you will all wish justin Shultz was traded this summer. I think He could have been used in a package to bring in a big skilled forward

You didn't hear? He was moved, they sent him to the Oilers for some elite potential point a game power forward kid named Taylor Hall. They both play in Edmonton now. The paperwork obviously hasn't cleared through league offices yet. Damn those late Friday afternoon transactions!

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#39 db7db7db7
July 05 2013, 11:45PM
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Once again the Oilers fail to address their 3 most critical needs.

1. A top 6 forward that can be productive and still protect the other 5. There is only one forward in the NHL that can accomplish both of these, and he was a UFA. =Ryane Clowe

2. A top pairing D-man. None were available today by free agency, but if Homer can swing all these deals, Mac T should certainly have been able to put a package together to land one. i.e. Yandle. He should also look to offer sheet Pietrangelo.

3. An agitator. i.e. Lapierre

Grrrrr...

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
July 05 2013, 11:58PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

in 2006 they didn't have any holes. What are you talking about? Since 2007 they have been a mess. The man who is responsible for that is Steve Tambellini. he was fired. Move on.

Jefff is right Bucky. Steve was brought in to take the fall for sending this team into the ditch. He was just the fall guy/front man for 30th, 30th,29th and 24th place finishes. Lowe was hoping those premium picks would soon help right the ship, but he was wrong. Craig MacTavish is clearly in over his head and unable to fill the many holes this team still has.

Their mistake was throwing Tambellini to the wolves when the job was only half done. Our 10 ring management group is more likely, up the creek without a paddle it seems. Steve was nothing more than a shield/deflector to keep the wolves from Lowes doorstep. Kevin Lowe might as well be the owner of this club. Katz does whatever Lowe tells him to do. Daryl doesn't have a pair to stand up to/question anything Lowe does. The one constant through the darkest era of Oilers hockey ever these last 15 yrs, is still pulling the strings here. Could Lowes ego be out of control here?

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#41 jonny94
July 06 2013, 02:58AM
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You gotta be careful with free agents and MacT knows it... I agree many holes to fill still, the team did improve today but I don't think anyone is afraid to play Edmonton. As you can see many teams overpaid free agents, we may have swung and missed on a few bigger free agents but at least we heard that MacT was involved and it was nice to hear that Clarkson considered to play in Edmonton which over the past few years was unheard of.

The next moves will be via trade so lets see what comes, this team is led by the kids so its up to them to determine the Oilers fate for next season... Lets just hope the right pieces come in to give the kids some room to get us some extras Ws

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#42 TV6
July 06 2013, 03:34AM
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Naky wrote:

People saying Gordon got overpaid? Could be worse, could be the Leafs who just paid 2.4m per year for a completely unproven backup goaltender with 62 NHL games under his belt. Who would you rather have for nearly 3m per now?

I'd take Bernier at the price point every single day of the week & 6x on Sundays...

x6

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#43 TV6
July 06 2013, 03:36AM
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Rob... wrote:

I think it may have been Gregor who often pointed out that the Oilers powerplay was better with Horcoff on it. (sorry Jason if I'm wrong). What was Horcoff providing on the powerplay that we are now missing and is there a player available that can fill that void?

Easy... 2 Words...

Puck Retrieval...

Not many, but MPS could sure help with it a little.

x6

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#44 TV6
July 06 2013, 03:41AM
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@Reg Dunlop

The Oilers just signed exactly that man last week to be their Associate Coach.

Keith Acton grew up on puck learning from the masters of taking a draw, & he & Eakins specifically stated that he/Acton will be working hand in hand with the Centers from this point forward.

x6

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#45 chuckcouples
July 06 2013, 04:04AM
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Does anyone else think that Horcoff's "defensive" numbers were worse than Gordon's last year because he played with "better" linemates? When Gordon is on the ice with Moss, Klinkhammer or Korpikoski, none of them are even thinking about trying to score a goal as they are all offensively lacking players who know that if they don't play good defense, they don't play. Compare that to Horcoff's linemates in Hall, Yakupov, Hemsky and Ryan Jones. None of these players are in the NHL due to their defensive abilities so Horcoff had to pick up a lot more of the slack in the defensive zone.

There is no way the Oilers team is better by replacing Horcoff with Gordon.

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#46 Aitch
July 06 2013, 05:42AM
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@db7db7db7

Clowe is gping to turn into an expenaive mistake for the Devils. There's no way he'll finish that contract and still have it look like anything remotely like value. There's a very good reason that SJ took off after trading him and Murray. They're too damn slow for today's game.

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#47 non descript
July 06 2013, 05:48AM
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gordon should be more effective than horcoff was because he understands and accepts his role.

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#48 MMAX
July 06 2013, 05:59AM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

There were no top pairing D men signed by any team today. Ryan Clowe cost $25 million. Free agency was never going to be the way that MacT was going to add these pieces. There are three months too add players via trade, we have Hemsky, Gagner, Kelfbom, Paajarvi, Smid, N Schultz, Petry, Marincin and draft picks all in play as fairly significant assets. I'm not saying I'm sold on MacT's ability to right the ship, but he's still got 3 months to get it done.

You can take Klefbom off that list. He ain't going anywhere until they see what he can do.

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#49 madjam
July 06 2013, 07:21AM
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Oilers#1Fool wrote:

In 2 years you will all wish justin Shultz was traded this summer. I think He could have been used in a package to bring in a big skilled forward

I doubt his value will do anything but markedly rise this season and fetch a lot more value next season . Having said that , his value might rise to a value where it might be too high for us to keep considering what Hopkins value could be . I'd be more worried about keeping him here , and his contract demands to remain here . Try to deal him now would be defeatist as his value is probably at the lowest part of his career . Not very good asset management in your scenario .

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#50 madjam
July 06 2013, 07:35AM
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non descript wrote:

gordon should be more effective than horcoff was because he understands and accepts his role.

I would hope he can be as effective as Horcoff was for us , or better, as we can use any upgrade . I doubt he will be an upgrade however . His former club let him get away rather easily , so be crefull with how much Kool-Aid your passing around . I think if you put their contracts at zero or even for starters , you'd find 90% of Gm's would choose Horcoff .

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