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 TSN 1260.
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#51 non descript
July 06 2013, 08:17AM
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madjam wrote:

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 .

yes, because that is what i do. "pass the kool-aid".

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#52 nunyour
July 06 2013, 08:22AM
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hemi wrote:

Honest question: Do the regular "negative" posters ever get tired of being in a perpetual funk?

No,that's what makes their world go round.Then they sit and wonder why it is so hard to attract ufa's to come play under the microscope.

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#53 Gritty Waldo
July 06 2013, 08:33AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

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.

No kidding he is being overpaid to play for the Oilers....When are Oiler fans going to come to the realization that where the Oilers are right now that is the only way they will attract free agents. We are currently a losing team that has not made the play offs in a long time and no players want to be part of that regardless of the "potential" of the team. The travel of the team is another huge negative as the Oilers have one of the worse and most miles travelled especially compared to down east as well the city of Edmonton is not a desired destination for most players over the many other cities in the US especially. The team can't control the last two but bottom line is if they win then solid FA's will follow. I hope Oiler fans finally figure it out and stop complaining about FA salaries.

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#54 Mike Krushelnyski
July 06 2013, 08:44AM
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MMAX wrote:

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

I would have agreed a week ago, but Nurse just became our top defensive prospect. I think Klefbom is in play if the right offer comes along.

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#55 rob
July 06 2013, 08:57AM
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blockbuster coming-hemsky,klefbom a first and second to Philly for coburn and cotuorier(mabey throw in pajjarvi and get schenn)

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#56 rob
July 06 2013, 09:20AM
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@madjam

I hope a mistake because Yaks will be our leading scorer for years to come,if anyone goes you need to trade first round picks,klefbom,pajjarvvi,marcinin,ganger hemsky and n schultz.

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#57 fatso
July 06 2013, 09:21AM
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all we need now is Dave Semenko, for our young guns so they have a bit more room and don't get run.

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#58 michael
July 06 2013, 09:37AM
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G Money wrote:

To be fair, Gagner is not signed yet.

For those us awake at this time of the day I'll be brief. Gagner is an RFA. He was qualified by MacT already. He'll play come the fall unless somebody offers him a redonkulous contract that would see the Oilers take the picks instead of matching the offer sheet. So as far as Gagner not being signed by the Oilers its all rather moot because its the extension that is up for discussion. If they decide just to sign for this year he'll be a Free Agent at the end of next year. Which for some would be preferable. And others not so much.

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#59 2004Z06
July 06 2013, 09:41AM
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Ugggh Matt Cooke to Minny for 3 years and Lapierre to St.Louis! Raffi re-signs in SJ. So much for getting Clutterbuck out of our conference. We need a s**t disturber.

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#60 Smokey
July 06 2013, 09:47AM
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rob wrote:

blockbuster coming-hemsky,klefbom a first and second to Philly for coburn and cotuorier(mabey throw in pajjarvi and get schenn)

Hockeybuzz or Mackenzie?

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#61 K_Mart
July 06 2013, 09:51AM
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chuckcouples wrote:

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.

I would argue that Jones is better defensively than those guys you mentioned. Smytty is at least AS good. Plus, the offensive side at times can keep the play out of the defensive zone altogether via strong puck possession.

Yak was worse defensively, no doubt about that, however he only played alongside Horc for a short amount of time. Also, I felt like Yak's defensive game improved by leaps and bounds from game 1 to game 48.

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#62 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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#63 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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#64 Rama Lama
July 06 2013, 10:41AM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I would have agreed a week ago, but Nurse just became our top defensive prospect. I think Klefbom is in play if the right offer comes along.

Really..........Nurse is 18 year old and is a string bean, a highly talented string bean, but a string bean none the less.

He need to add at least 30 lbs before he can become a dominant force physically.........he is at least three years away. You have never seen Klefblom play, I think that you will be surprised.

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#65 MB
July 06 2013, 10:45AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Really..........Nurse is 18 year old and is a string bean, a highly talented string bean, but a string bean none the less.

He need to add at least 30 lbs before he can become a dominant force physically.........he is at least three years away. You have never seen Klefblom play, I think that you will be surprised.

In this town?!!! Klefblom will have 1 bad game, the fans will run him out of town and than he will win a Norris trophy with anther team!!!!!

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#66 EHH Team
July 06 2013, 10:57AM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I would have agreed a week ago, but Nurse just became our top defensive prospect. I think Klefbom is in play if the right offer comes along.

Mikey, I think that would be a mistake. It is far too soon to move Klefbom.

While Nurse is a top prospect, he probably will return to junior for one more year and might need a year in the AHL after that. Then his first full year in the NHL might be 2015-2016, and he shouldn't be expected to be a top pairing defenceman right away. In fact, he might never be one.

Klefbom, on the other hand, might be able to make the Oilers sometime during 2013-14, if not out of camp. If Klefbom proves to be as good as projected, he will be at least two years ahead of Nurse.

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#67 MB
July 06 2013, 11:00AM
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EHH Team wrote:

Mikey, I think that would be a mistake. It is far too soon to move Klefbom.

While Nurse is a top prospect, he probably will return to junior for one more year and might need a year in the AHL after that. Then his first full year in the NHL might be 2015-2016, and he shouldn't be expected to be a top pairing defenceman right away. In fact, he might never be one.

Klefbom, on the other hand, might be able to make the Oilers sometime during 2013-14, if not out of camp. If Klefbom proves to be as good as projected, he will be at least two years ahead of Nurse.

Nurse cannot play in the AHL for 2 years! It will be 4 years before he is ready nobody in this town will wait that long!

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#68 madjam
July 06 2013, 11:12AM
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Smokey wrote:

Hockeybuzz or Mackenzie?

Can't imagine Philly taking on Hemsky's contract . Fear they might try and pry one of our youngsters .

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#69 messyEH!
July 06 2013, 01:31PM
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Let nurse play 2 years in junior. Then 2 years of his entry level deal in the AHL. He would be 22 at that piont and almost ready to make the jump. But for christ sake I hope they checked out this kids shoulders already.

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