HORCOFF SAYS GOODBYE

Jason Gregor
July 09 2013 07:49AM

Shawn Horcoff is the most prolific 99th draft pick in NHL history. Don't scoff at that. The other 12 players picked 99th have combined for 457 points in 2082 games (418 games came from goalies, Marco Baron, Ray Emery and James Reimer). Horcoff tallied 447 points since the Oilers drafted him in the 4th round in 1998, and he's played 796 games. He's actually one of the best draft picks in Oiler history. Only ten Oiler draft picks have scored more points than Horcoff: Messier, Coffey, Kurri, Anderson, Arnott, Smyth, Satan, Tikkanen, Rucinsky and Hemsky and only Satan (111th) was drafted later than Horcoff.

Horcoff was the Oilers #1 centre and best forward during their 2006 Cup run, but that feels like decades ago for most fans and when Horcoff was traded last week many said, "good riddance." I'll never understand why fans got so upset with Horcoff's contract, yes it was an overpayment, but it never hindered the Oilers from signing other players.

Horcoff was far from perfect during his time as an Oiler, and during his tenure as Captain the Oilers struggled. It was time for him and the Oilers to part ways, and I believe Horcoff will go down as one of the most underappreciated Oilers of all-time.

Horcoff and I spoke after he was traded to Dallas and here is what he had to say about his time in Edmonton.

Gregor : Craig MacTavish said he had a conversation with you at the end of the season that maybe it was the right time for both parties to move on. Is that accurate?  

Horcoff : It is. We had a really good talk at the end of the year. I could tell the organization probably felt it was time to move in a different direction, to try something new. Then really for me too, I felt the same way. The last seven years have been tough. The last time I was in the playoffs, we were in the Stanley Cup Finals and one game away. It’s been hard, but I think at the same time it’s just time for a new start. It’s just time to start a new chapter, it felt right. I was pretty much sold on the fact that my time in Edmonton was done right at the end of the season.

Gregor : 2006 was a hell of a run, but since then it has been frustrating. How does a guy mentally try to push forward, when at times, it looks like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel?

Horcoff : It’s tough; I mean it’s really tough. You play this game in order to get into the playoffs first and foremost, because anyone who has ever been there before knows just how special it is- especially playing in Edmonton with our fans. I still vividly remember those game back in ‘06. I think it’s time that those fans- they’re so loyal, deserve another reason to cheer. Unfortunately I’m not going to be there to be a part of it but I am looking forward to starting something new.

Gregor : When you signed that big contract, did you put more pressure on yourself?

Horcoff: I think probably at first, ya for sure. I’m a proud guy and I want to go out there and earn it. As time wore on and as you get older, more mature, I can honestly say I put everything I could into that jersey for thirteen years. I came to the rink everyday and put all my effort I had to not just be the best player I could, but be the best person I could and really represent the Oilers the way that I felt that team should be represented. Do I have regrets? Absolutely. Would I have liked it to have gone better? For sure. But at the same time, I leave holding my head high.

Gregor: Some people think that no one wants to come to Edmonton because the fans are hard on guys. You took the brunt of it from fans on the internet and on radio. Did that impact you at all?

Horcoff : Not me. Listen, I’ve said it before, I have no problem with the fans being the way they were. I think it’s valid. It’s a blue collar town, they’re hard working people, they pay good money to come see the Oilers play and they have a right to say whatever they want. I don’t think it bothered me as much as people think it did just because I was aware of the fact and I was fine with it. I was fine with them saying things like that. I’ve been a fan once and I complained about players on the ice, so I get it. I really didn’t take it that personally, to tell you the truth.

Having said that, Edmonton is known for being tough on guys. It is known for that around the league, it is a hard place to play with the fans. You really have to have strong people to come in there. I’ve seen players and teammates that have come and gone, strictly because they couldn’t handle that pressure. I was always in the belief that you didn’t want those types of players anyway. You wanted really strong people, that when push comes to shove, they are the kind of guys you can lean on.

NEW CAPTAIN?

Gregor: With you leaving, there’s a vacancy for the Captain. There’s a lot of pressure that goes into being a Captain, maybe more than people realize. It’s not just wearing the “C” it’s trying to coordinate the locker room. Do you think one of the young guys is ready for that, or would you give it to a veteran like Ference, rather than put that much pressure on a twenty-one or twenty-two year old?

Horcoff : Well that’s not really my decision anymore, I don’t have a say in that.When  I left, MacT and I met for almost an hour and talked about almost every aspect of the team that you could possibly have. We went over that a little bit, but I don’t really know what they’re feeling. If they decide to go young, Nuge, Ebs, and Hallsy, all are different players and different people but they’d all be excellent candidates. If they decide to go older, it’s a personel decision. I think it really depends on what road the management wants to take and that will be up to the. Ultimately, I’m sure you guys will find by September, what the direction will be.

Gregor : You did have a No Movement Clause. When you heard ‘Dallas,’was it an easy one, or did you tell Craig MacTavish you were open to going anywhere?

Horcoff : No, with my contract I had some options. At one point I did submit a ten team list, more so because it was mandatory just because of the contract. As time wore on here, there were a couple different options that arose, that I won’t really get into. When I heard Dallas, and heard of the opportunity that I was going to have, it was a no-brainer for me. The good thing is, it was an easy decision for me and for my family. It was somewhere where we really wanted to go and it also worked out really well for the team. It was a win-win for both sides.

Gregor: Your new team added Horcoff, Peverly and Seguin all in a span of less than twenty-four hours. You win with strength down the middle, and on the blueline. What do you think of your new team?

Horcoff : I like how we look. First off, I’m comfortable there. I played for Lindy Ruff at the World Championships, Jim Nill was the General Manager and I know the owner. I know a lot of the players on the team. For me, it’s going to be as seamless as you can get. It’s going to be really comfortable for me to make the change. I look at the roster; I think the one thing that I’m confident in is that I believe in Jim Nill. I believe in his ability to put a winner together. I think he’s proven that he’s not afraid to make bold moves. I like the moves he’s made. The defence is strong and there’s some real talent up front. We’re going to be a real competitive team and I look forward to making the push for those playoffs, getting in, and trying to do some damage.

Gregor : You were a number one center in Edmonton for a long time, but you told me at the end of last year that you struggled accepting your role. At this stage of your career, do you see yourself going into Dallas as a number two guy, or more of a number three guy?

Horcoff : I don’t know. I’m going to go in and try to prove I can play. I still think I have lots of good hockey left in me. So I’m going to go in and fight. I think obviously looking at the center position; they want Tyler to fill that number one spot. It seems like they want Jamie to play the wing, so there are definitely open spots up the middle. I’m going in with the attitude that I’m really motivated this summer to go and prove I can still play some real good hockey. I’m not that old yet.

In Edmonton the last couple years they’ve given the younger guys the majority of the offensive minutes. Like I said, I was ok with that. I never complained once about the situation I was in. It’s just now I look forward to going in and trying to play and play myself into a situation where I can get more of those minutes.

Gregor : You’ve always been a guy who was in great shape. In today’s game, if you can’t skate and aren’t conditioned, you really don’t have a prayer to stay in the game. What about learning how to play competitively? You did that very well. Could you define playing hard and how you learned to do it at the NHL level, which is a lot different than doing it in college or junior?

Horcoff : Yeah, well it’s not that easy to learn. I think, for me, playing hard came natural. It’s kind of just a part of me. My Dad was always, from a young age, stressing the importance of playing on both sides of the puck and work ethic. Work ethic being the main focus.

I think too, once I got to University, my coach was always really stressful on playing both sides of the puck. I just always thought when I came to the NHL, the first couple years, when you’re a young player you kind of sit around and watch a little bit at times because you’re just kind of in awe of what’s going on out there.

But I always noticed how the best players in the game were always the guys you hated playing against because they were relentless, they never gave up, they were always on the puck. They hounded you; they were physical when they needed to be- not so much bone crushing hits they were just always there. They were always in your face and they always played hard, went to the hard areas.

I think as the game gets harder, and you get into the playoffs, one thing that has never changed is where the goals are scored. That is always in front of the net, in the tough areas. You’ve got to pay a price for success in this league and especially once the games become more important, that becomes even more prevalent. It’s definitely something you can learn from watching the people around you and watch how they play, but it has to be a personal decision to change your game or attitude of game to become successful in those areas.

Gregor : When you were a young guy coming out of college, you started on the fourth line and then eventually worked your way up to the first line. Did that make you a better player? Did it make you hungrier when you had to work for it?

Horcoff : Ya, I think so. I’m kind of an old school believer in that mentality. When I first came into the league, it was different. The CBA was different. You had to earn your right to play. The veterans were just kind of given their roles and as a young guy you had to come in and earn any offensive minutes that you got, or earn any power play minutes and you really earned your contracts.

You didn’t really make any big money until you were older. Now it’s a lot different. The CBA has changed and the younger players get big contracts kind of early, right out of their first deals. A lot of times, teams are forced to put these players into these situations to produce because of the amount of money that is given to them. A lot of times when that happens, you lose that- they don’t go through that step of having to fight for something.

With top players, they’ve just been so good at every level that they’ve never really had to fight for anything in their life. I’m not saying that happens to every player. I think Edmonton’s really fortunate with the guys that they’ve got there because these are guys who really care about the game. They put in the time; they do the work necessary to better themselves. You do see that in certain guys throughout the league at times.

NUMBER ONE CENTRE

Gregor : Give me your assessment of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He’s a very young guy who seems to have put an onus on the defensive side of the game. Are you impressed by how much he can do at both ends of the rink at his young age?

Horcoff : Ya, I am impressed. I really think he’s got potential to be just an outstanding hockey player. I really, really like Nuge’s game and the fact that he does play both side of the puck. He reminds me a little bit of Datsyuk, who is just so offensively gifted, but at the same time he’s just a dog to play against on the ice. Nuge has that ability. Obviously it’s going to take him a little time and he’s gotta get a little stronger. But he’s just so young that there’s really no ceiling for him. I definitely think he has the potential of being one of the better two-way forwards in the game.

Gregor : For most of your time in Edmonton the team either missed the playoffs or barely made it in. Then you come out of the lockout and there was that miracle run. How much did that year mean to your career, and did it make the past seven years even more disappointing because of that great run?

Horcoff : Personally, it was a pivotal time in my career. I was able to establish myself, I was able to play against some of the top players in the game and out-duel them in the important times, in important games. It really gave me a belief in my abilities. It was important for me, personally. I think even team-wise. That was kind of when you first started seeing the bottom teams, all you had to do was get into the playoffs, actually having a chance at winning.

When I first came into the league, there were powerhouses- Detroit, Dallas, Colorado, all in the west- it was almost impossible if you were the sixth, seventh, eighth seed to get by these teams. If you got by one, you had another one the next round because they were just stacked. Now you have a lot more parity in the league. Just by getting in, anyone has a good chance of winning the Cup.

Gregor : What do you think of the new Stars’ jersey?

Horcoff : I like them, I really like them. I went to school in Michigan State in college, so I’m fond of the green. I think it’s really cool and they seem to be getting some pretty good press about it too. I think a lot of other people like it.

Gregor : You’re a big sports fan, and I know you were always involved in golf and football pools. Have you ever been to a Dallas Cowboys game?

Horcoff : Well I haven’t, but I can’t wait. I’m a big NFL guy so it’s something that I’m really looking forward to.

Gregor : Who is your team?

Horcoff : I don’t really have a team. Honestly, I like the Lions, I always have, but I’ve kind of always been a Steelers fan. Those are probably the two teams I follow the most.

Gregor : Anything you would like to say to the Edmonton fans, after thirteen years with the Oilers?

Horcoff: I appreciate everything and I appreciate all the support they’ve given. I really believe that they are some of the best fans in the league. Like I said, I hope that the team does make it into the playoffs because they deserve something to cheer. They’ve been really good over the last little while.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
July 09 2013, 08:11AM
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Thank you for your years of selfless service Shawn. Both to the club and the community. Good Luck in Dallas

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#2 Ragan
July 09 2013, 08:09AM
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Thank you for shedding a positive like on loosing Shawn Horcoff. I will miss him as a team member. Ryan Jones tweeted it best ... Goodbye to a player who put it out there every night, gave it 100% and was a real leader. You will be missed!

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#3 Henry
July 09 2013, 08:21AM
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Shawn Horcoff, gentleman athlete.

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#4 rickithebear
July 09 2013, 10:09AM
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Oilers who were: 1. Captain of the team 2. lead the forwards in scoring to a cup final 3. NHL Allstar

Gretzky! Messier! Horcoff!

Nuf said!

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#5 cabaj
July 09 2013, 09:21AM
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Smokey wrote:

Too things. Never understood the notion that people have said the Horcoff contract did not hurt the Oilers. Yes it did. There arguement was based on not being a cap team. Frankly it did, we could of paid for other talent, plain and simple. I'm not saying we should of gone whale hunting, but I believe it limited talent coming here.

Secondly I always wondered what Horcoff's camp asked for if he got what 33 mil over 6 years. Did they start at 42 over 7. What on earth was Lowe thinking? So many bad contracts such as Staios, Pisani, Moreau, Horcoff and Lowe's inability to understand the marketplace hurt this team.

You inability to understand the difference between 'two' and 'too' hurts this argument.

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#6 rubbertrout
July 09 2013, 08:14AM
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Smokey wrote:

Too things. Never understood the notion that people have said the Horcoff contract did not hurt the Oilers. Yes it did. There arguement was based on not being a cap team. Frankly it did, we could of paid for other talent, plain and simple. I'm not saying we should of gone whale hunting, but I believe it limited talent coming here.

Secondly I always wondered what Horcoff's camp asked for if he got what 33 mil over 6 years. Did they start at 42 over 7. What on earth was Lowe thinking? So many bad contracts such as Staios, Pisani, Moreau, Horcoff and Lowe's inability to understand the marketplace hurt this team.

Tell me who we were unable to sign because of the contract. You can't.

Your assumption is that this happened but there is no evidence of this at all.

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#7 Racki
July 09 2013, 08:31AM
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Man, Horcoff is such a class act. I'll miss the guy. I was never one of the people that was overly critical on him and tried to run him out of town. That said, even I could see the writing on the wall last year. I wish him the best in Dallas (when not playing the Oilers). Great guy, and awesome to see him shrug off all the idiot fans that chirp him all the time.

It always pissed me off to sit at Rexall and listen to people bag on him .. it's like we're watching the Oilers at the Saddledome. Some people just don't get it. You chirp the other team. There's nothing positive that can come out of fans ripping on their own team's players.

Anyways, I'll definitely miss the guy. Great character/leader. Anyone who doesn't realize that clearly has no clue. Still annoyed by those "locker room cancer" types that throw out every name they don't like as though they know what goes on in there.

Favorite quote on Horcoff came yesterday from Ryan Jones.. something like "I knew this team was doomed when I was claimed off waivers and came to find Horcoff the only positive guy in the room". Ya, what a locker room cancer.

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#8 Taylor Gang
July 09 2013, 10:03AM
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Horcoff is the classic "miss me when I'm gone" situation. I won't deny that I was hard on Horcoff at times, even asking for a compliance buyout. But, he has to be one of the best third liners in the NHL today, plus he never ever complained. Goodbye to one of the classiest Oilers ever.

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#9 Spydyr
July 09 2013, 12:05PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You could be onto something there. With younger players rampant throughout the league. Clubs are stepping up and going that extra mile to draw players in. Maybe NHL teams should expand the role of the player services reps. Hold parties 3 nights a week. Bring in DJ's, drugs, whores and catering and keep it all under one roof/controlled. No cameras/cell phones permitted, eh? Could this be considered progress?

So you want a Minnesota Viking cruise on land?

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#10 Greenlingj
July 09 2013, 08:12AM
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Classy guy, we are gonna miss you Horcoff you are a great player and played through adversity.

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#11 2004Z06
July 09 2013, 09:18AM
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Smokey wrote:

Riduculous comment. Sorry I did not have the NSA wiretap the phones and bug the Oiler offices. Drink some more media koolaid.

I'll say this we have watched teams like Florida who actually put a team together on what everyone thought were slight free agent overpays like Jovocop and Versteeg, Skille, Theodore. Everyone laughed at the Talon. What happened last year. The went to the conference finals. (I will agree they sucked baloney this year) 7 million can buy you reasonable talent, sonetimes 2 or 3 players. On top of that there has been some cap space.

The Oilers could of augmented this team with actual talent used Horcoff dough and been better. You can.accept the woe is me, the Oilers can not attract talent. I don't buy it. I think if this team wasn't such a laughing stock, overpaid Hrcoff, there may be a reason for free agents to come here. We played elite money for nominal talent. More free agents went to Calgary, why? Maybe because Iginla.

I like Horcoff, abd you can believe what u want.

I believe the comment speaks more to the fact that the Oilers were never up against the cap in the post 2006 Horcoff era. They always had room to sign other players and Horcoffs contract did not prevent them from doing so. Many, many , many players were over valued after the 04-05 lockout. Keep in mind Horcoff was coming off a 80pt ish season and had just helped his team to the stanley cup final.

Take some time and look up what other comparable contracts were for 80 pt guys in 2007.

Thats the problem, everyone looked at Horcoffs contract in todays league and not in the league when it was signed. My god man I think Doug Weight was making almost 9 mil.

Its all about perspective. Compare apples to apples and you will understand why he was given the offer he was.

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#12 DrunkGuyTy
July 09 2013, 09:32AM
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@Smokey

So why don't you just admit it's a totally unfounded assumption? We know there were obviously reasons that FA's didn't want to sign here. But to blame it on Horc's contract is naive.

You need to check what's in your own drink...

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#13 LinkfromHyrule
July 09 2013, 09:47AM
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Smokey wrote:

Riduculous comment. Sorry I did not have the NSA wiretap the phones and bug the Oiler offices. Drink some more media koolaid.

I'll say this we have watched teams like Florida who actually put a team together on what everyone thought were slight free agent overpays like Jovocop and Versteeg, Skille, Theodore. Everyone laughed at the Talon. What happened last year. The went to the conference finals. (I will agree they sucked baloney this year) 7 million can buy you reasonable talent, sonetimes 2 or 3 players. On top of that there has been some cap space.

The Oilers could of augmented this team with actual talent used Horcoff dough and been better. You can.accept the woe is me, the Oilers can not attract talent. I don't buy it. I think if this team wasn't such a laughing stock, overpaid Hrcoff, there may be a reason for free agents to come here. We played elite money for nominal talent. More free agents went to Calgary, why? Maybe because Iginla.

I like Horcoff, abd you can believe what u want.

florida went out in the first round last year.... or am I alone here. New jersey went to the conference finals against new York.

not only that, what in your opinion would be a "proper value" for horcoff. 3-4mil? Do you really think that 1.5-2.5 mil would have made any difference at all to a team that wasn't up against the cap to begin with? I don't.

and he is right, there is no evidence showing that this stopped anybody from coming here... Our circus management and perennial lotto finishes prevented good players from wanting to come here

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#14 Benny Botts
July 09 2013, 09:49AM
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Jason,

Great interview, i had the chance to listen to it on my home from work. You can really hear over the radio how comfterable you make guys in your interviews, I feel like your questions really get them engaged in the interview.

Now, to me I see the oilers have 4 big holes in their line up - 2nd line LW thats big and skilled, a 2nd line center (sam is still not signed), a 3rd line winger that has some grit and can play a good defensive game, and another top 4 dman preferably top 2. All not easy to fill! Which holes do you think MacT fills first and realisticly, how many of those 4 do you think he can fill?? NOt to mention they need a 4th line center, to me they can not have anton lander playing on the 4th line when he can play top minutes in the AHL.

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#15 DrDave
July 09 2013, 10:10AM
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Horcoff will have a 50 point season this year and everyone will say ohhh why did we give up on him??? You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't! Best of luck Shawn! Always been a class act!

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#16 smiliegirl15
July 09 2013, 10:14AM
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Frustrating when he'd whiff on a sweet Hemsky pass but at the same time, he worked hard for the team.

I wish all the remaining players had half of his work ethic (I know some of them definitely have more, but the rest of them).

We as fans have unrealistic expectations of players a lot of the time. Who wouldn't have taken the contract he was offered after the 2006 run? We all would have, and gladly!

Thanks for the great interview with a great player and a great man. You will be missed Horc and unfortunately many won't have realized it until it's too late.

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#18 socaldave
July 09 2013, 11:05AM
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I think history will be kind to Horcoff, and it should be - without him the Oilers don't get to the cup final in '06. He never ever once shirked the responsibility as captain and highest paid player. He didn't hold the team hostage to get his money, so I don't get all the venom and hate towards his making all that cheddar.

The man was proud to wear his jersey, took whatever role the coaches asked of him with zeal, was HUGE in the community (rubbertrout, give your head a shake, man!!!) and he's a guy I'd like to see back with the organization when he hangs 'em up.

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#19 Clarko
July 09 2013, 11:21AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

So, should we stand and applaud, or just applaud after the video tribute his first trip back as a Star?

Pretty sure Seguin and Marchand were side by side party buddies. Many a picture tweeted of these two party brothers. Pass on Marchand for me. That dressing room would have to be expanded to make further room for Brads ego.

Who really cares if Marchand likes to party a lot. The fact is he was a big part of a proven winner in Boston. Would love to have that guy in the lineup when we play the Canucks 5-6 times a year against the Sedins.

I don't really care what these guys do off the ice. The Oilers of the 80's certainly weren't angels, but they brought it when it counted.

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#20 Sanaa Montana
July 09 2013, 11:34AM
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madjam wrote:

I think you might find over the years they complimented one another , and a case could be made Hemsky rode the coattails of Horcoff just as easily .If they both play elsewhere you might find out your summation flawed .

Since you say it can easily be done, please-go ahed and make the case that Hemsky rode the tails of Horcoff. Please and Thank You.

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#21 rubbertrout
July 09 2013, 11:48AM
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Smokey wrote:

Riduculous comment. Sorry I did not have the NSA wiretap the phones and bug the Oiler offices. Drink some more media koolaid.

I'll say this we have watched teams like Florida who actually put a team together on what everyone thought were slight free agent overpays like Jovocop and Versteeg, Skille, Theodore. Everyone laughed at the Talon. What happened last year. The went to the conference finals. (I will agree they sucked baloney this year) 7 million can buy you reasonable talent, sonetimes 2 or 3 players. On top of that there has been some cap space.

The Oilers could of augmented this team with actual talent used Horcoff dough and been better. You can.accept the woe is me, the Oilers can not attract talent. I don't buy it. I think if this team wasn't such a laughing stock, overpaid Hrcoff, there may be a reason for free agents to come here. We played elite money for nominal talent. More free agents went to Calgary, why? Maybe because Iginla.

I like Horcoff, abd you can believe what u want.

I can't see the part in my comment where I suggested that the GM of the Oilers did a good job during that period of time. Probably because I didn't say that.

Lowe and Tambo made many many errors over the course of building this team. I've been exceptionally critical of both of them during my entire tenure as a commenter on this site.

I've never suggested that Horc wasn't overpaid. Overpaying Horcoff was one of the mistakes but not the only one.

Your point was that the team was unable to get the services of players because of Horc's contract. I asked for something to back that up and you can't show anything remotely coming close to this--not even a rumour.

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#22 DieHard
July 09 2013, 11:53AM
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I won't be able to cheer for Dallas as they are still in my dog house for those playoff years we had with them. I will be able to cheer for Horcoff though and it will be interesting to see what kind of a year he has.

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#23 Quicksilver ballet
July 09 2013, 12:00PM
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@oliveoilers

You could be onto something there. With younger players rampant throughout the league. Clubs are stepping up and going that extra mile to draw players in. Maybe NHL teams should expand the role of the player services reps. Hold parties 3 nights a week. Bring in DJ's, drugs, whores and catering and keep it all under one roof/controlled. No cameras/cell phones permitted, eh? Could this be considered progress?

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#24 OilersBrass
July 09 2013, 12:28PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Chiarellis actions/dealing Seguin, may say otherwise. Cell phone cameras have revealed players off ice conduct considerably, since the 80's.

Cell phone cameras in the 80's????

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#25 Mr common sense
July 09 2013, 02:40PM
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In Farsi there is famous quote that says "when the horse is dead, speak of its heart not its ass (flaws).

Wish horcoff a good life and sayonara.

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#26 RJ
July 09 2013, 05:29PM
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Dear Horcoff haters,

Horcoff has been traded to the Dallas Stars. But this is not a reason to lose hope.

One of you should set up a fb group for Oiler fans against Horcoff. And then you can save up all your anti-Horcoff sentiments for your fb group. It will mean more if you share your feelings with like-minded individuals.

Sincerely,

everyone else

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#27 Sanaa Montana
July 09 2013, 05:32PM
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RJ wrote:

Dear Horcoff haters,

Horcoff has been traded to the Dallas Stars. But this is not a reason to lose hope.

One of you should set up a fb group for Oiler fans against Horcoff. And then you can save up all your anti-Horcoff sentiments for your fb group. It will mean more if you share your feelings with like-minded individuals.

Sincerely,

everyone else

I'd give you a D+ for effort.

Maybe you could have done better, maybe you couldn't have.

Sincerely,

Sincere

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#28 Walter Sobchak
July 09 2013, 08:09AM
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Hmmmmmm.......Taylor Hall?

also.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_J2JNdC9Vg

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#29 Smokey
July 09 2013, 08:11AM
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Too things. Never understood the notion that people have said the Horcoff contract did not hurt the Oilers. Yes it did. There arguement was based on not being a cap team. Frankly it did, we could of paid for other talent, plain and simple. I'm not saying we should of gone whale hunting, but I believe it limited talent coming here.

Secondly I always wondered what Horcoff's camp asked for if he got what 33 mil over 6 years. Did they start at 42 over 7. What on earth was Lowe thinking? So many bad contracts such as Staios, Pisani, Moreau, Horcoff and Lowe's inability to understand the marketplace hurt this team.

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#30 rubbertrout
July 09 2013, 08:12AM
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I've always liked Horc. Not as community driven as previous captains but I've always thought he was under appreciated.

At least now we won't have to hear about people bitching about how his contract was unmovable or that we'd have to hide him in the minors because of how "terrible" he was.

Obviously he is a guy that still has value to some. I hope he finds success in Dallas.

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#31 WhattaMike
July 09 2013, 08:19AM
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Great Goodbye to Horcoff interview JG...

Overpaid contract or not, Shawn was a very hard working player and I appreciate that a lot as a fan. Great 2006 run he led and I say thanks for the years of Oiler service he did.

I also say thanks for of his and wife giving to charities/community as well.

I wish him all the best with Dallas and the end to his career.

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#32 Peter
July 09 2013, 08:37AM
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Racki wrote:

Man, Horcoff is such a class act. I'll miss the guy. I was never one of the people that was overly critical on him and tried to run him out of town. That said, even I could see the writing on the wall last year. I wish him the best in Dallas (when not playing the Oilers). Great guy, and awesome to see him shrug off all the idiot fans that chirp him all the time.

It always pissed me off to sit at Rexall and listen to people bag on him .. it's like we're watching the Oilers at the Saddledome. Some people just don't get it. You chirp the other team. There's nothing positive that can come out of fans ripping on their own team's players.

Anyways, I'll definitely miss the guy. Great character/leader. Anyone who doesn't realize that clearly has no clue. Still annoyed by those "locker room cancer" types that throw out every name they don't like as though they know what goes on in there.

Favorite quote on Horcoff came yesterday from Ryan Jones.. something like "I knew this team was doomed when I was claimed off waivers and came to find Horcoff the only positive guy in the room". Ya, what a locker room cancer.

Really? Do you have a source for the Jones quote. I'd be interested to read that. Even the young guys were negative? Wow! No wonder this team was in such a funk.

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#33 Rama Lama
July 09 2013, 08:45AM
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Great read........I have always been critical of Horcoff, due to his general lack of hockey talent.

As a player I always appreciated his work ethic, and now we can clearly see that as a person he was special.

Wish him all the best!

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#34 Racki
July 09 2013, 08:46AM
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Peter wrote:

Really? Do you have a source for the Jones quote. I'd be interested to read that. Even the young guys were negative? Wow! No wonder this team was in such a funk.

I do, let me dig it up....

OilersNow ‏@OilersNow 19h Jones says the team was doomed when he was picked up off waivers and Horcoff was the only positive guy in the locker room.

OilersNow I believe is the account used for Bob Stauffer's "Oilers Now" radio show, so it is official stuff, not just some rando.

Remember, this was from when he was picked up in 09/10.. so this is pre-Hall, etc... the roster was way different then:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412010.html

I can't believe how much the roster has changed in such a short time! I looked at the list, and really, it's just Gagner, Smid, Dubnyk still here (assuming Hemsky is gone)

I also suspect there is a bit of hyperbole in what Jones was saying, but probably not far off. And my names above of course exclude guys that hadn't started playing yet but were in the system(ex. Jeff Petry)

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#35 Tracie
July 09 2013, 08:54AM
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Horc, i hope you go to Dallas and have amazing success! You are a great player and an even better person! I'm sad to see you go and wish you nothing but success, even in Dallas! You've now given me a reason to cheer for those buggers!!! I hope you get your Stanley cup ring, even if it's not with us!

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#36 Peter
July 09 2013, 09:00AM
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@Racki

Thanks bud! Yeah that was a pretty terrible team. I can't believe that even Smid and Gagner were negative, but I guess if there's that much of a funk in the room it spreads pretty fast. Wasn't that about the time when we heard of rifts between the vets and youngins?

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#37 Smokey
July 09 2013, 09:09AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Tell me who we were unable to sign because of the contract. You can't.

Your assumption is that this happened but there is no evidence of this at all.

Riduculous comment. Sorry I did not have the NSA wiretap the phones and bug the Oiler offices. Drink some more media koolaid.

I'll say this we have watched teams like Florida who actually put a team together on what everyone thought were slight free agent overpays like Jovocop and Versteeg, Skille, Theodore. Everyone laughed at the Talon. What happened last year. The went to the conference finals. (I will agree they sucked baloney this year) 7 million can buy you reasonable talent, sonetimes 2 or 3 players. On top of that there has been some cap space.

The Oilers could of augmented this team with actual talent used Horcoff dough and been better. You can.accept the woe is me, the Oilers can not attract talent. I don't buy it. I think if this team wasn't such a laughing stock, overpaid Hrcoff, there may be a reason for free agents to come here. We played elite money for nominal talent. More free agents went to Calgary, why? Maybe because Iginla.

I like Horcoff, abd you can believe what u want.

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#38 2004Z06
July 09 2013, 09:12AM
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I always stuck up for this guy. I met him once when he first joined the team, he was sitting in a Denny's of all places and the Oil had just lost to Philly the night before. No one knew he was even on the Oilers in the restaurant. Horc was a class act and regardless of what anyone thought of his contract, he always had the broadest shoulders of anyone on the team and I respect that. Very few could have handled the pressure that he specifically dealt with here.

I hope he gets a standing O the first time Dallas visits next season.

He will be in the playoffs again next year guaranteed.

All the best Horcs!

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#39 Racki
July 09 2013, 09:13AM
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Peter wrote:

Thanks bud! Yeah that was a pretty terrible team. I can't believe that even Smid and Gagner were negative, but I guess if there's that much of a funk in the room it spreads pretty fast. Wasn't that about the time when we heard of rifts between the vets and youngins?

Yah, that was.. Souray was there, Moreau was there, and we heard some stories about them too.

He might have literally meant everyone was negative, but my guess is that he was using a bit of hyperbole. I can't see Strudwick being negative either, or some of the other names. Perhaps some of the other guys also weren't negative, per se, just not as positive as Horcoff was.

Smid strikes me as a guy who is always crazy happy, but maybe back then he and Gagner couldn't really be who they were.. dunno.

Anyways, random thought i discovered today...

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#40 Peter
July 09 2013, 09:18AM
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@Racki

I wouldn't be surprised if they were extra restrained because of how the room was back then. I really think the Moreau capataincy years weren't great for those kids. Remember the story of them skipping out on part of the bill at that restaurant in Calgary? I always found that and if it did happen, it wouldn't surprise me somehow with some of those vets.

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#41 Yakman
July 09 2013, 09:18AM
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I have always been annoyed with people who rip on Horcoff. The worst are people who say he isn't out in the community. He visited my Mom at the Cross Cancer Institute and was really nice, not doing it because he felt he had to but genuinely trying to brighten someone's day during a pretty dark time.

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#42 marty62
July 09 2013, 09:30AM
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If Renney and Kruger had not played Horcoff on the PP and in offensive situations so much, I believe people would have been less critical of Horcoff. His offensive days are long gone, but he is still a good 3rd liner. it just was in everyones face having him out there with the kids watching the play die with him constantly. As for his attitude I personally thinkhe checked out of Edmonton 2 or 3 years ago

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#43 Dangilitis
July 09 2013, 09:31AM
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I used to live in the same condo building as Horcoff. In 2004 when Flames went on the run, one of my annoying Flames friends was touting a Flames shirt (one of those newly bought bandwagon shirts) and spouting Oilers trash talk as we're leaving the condo and Horcoff walks out. She has no idea who Horcs is, and he was very polite to her, but at the same time I could kind of see this was killing him a little. He moved out the next year, and the run the next NHL season, all I could think of was that encounter. Now, after reading his parting words to Gregor, it just validates that he truly was playing for himself and his teammates but also for the fans, so people like me didn't have to have some Calgarian bandwagon fans show us up about playoff success. Will never forget game 3 triple OT winner in 06. Class act. Hopefully Gordon can bring his play but also his leadership. And I believe Horcs will not only bounce back, but play until late 30s. He's got that Brind'amour workmanlike fitness regimen, and he experienced Rod's success in his late 30s firsthand. As DSF would say, book it. All the best #99 (draft pick, of course)

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#44 Racki
July 09 2013, 09:36AM
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Peter wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised if they were extra restrained because of how the room was back then. I really think the Moreau capataincy years weren't great for those kids. Remember the story of them skipping out on part of the bill at that restaurant in Calgary? I always found that and if it did happen, it wouldn't surprise me somehow with some of those vets.

I do remember that, and I'm still not sure what to make of that. To me, it sounded like two parties each fighting for their principles. I'm pretty sure that the Oilers at the time felt they were being taken advantage of because they are rich (or maybe just because they were Oilers in Calgary). I believe when you have parties that size, it's customary to get bottle service, but the Oilers were charged per shot. I'd imagine that was something they should have negotiated first. But at any rate, their bill was a lot higher than it should have been (like $5k?), and I think both sides were feeling like they were being ripped off. Of course we always cheer for the little guy though, so the restaurant owner looked a little better in this.

But I think the Oilers were just feeling like the restaurant was taking them for a ride.

That said, I'd love to hear about it 10-20 years from now (when everyone is retired), how players really felt about that locker room back then..

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#45 15w40
July 09 2013, 09:44AM
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@marty62

I can't say for sure but I believe a lot of it was that Horcoff was their best chance at starting with the puck and not chasing it for the 1st 25 seconds of the PP.

Gagner and Nuge were below him on the dot and Belanger was mostly injured and definitely didn't belong on the PP.

The Oil will still be faced with this issue as Gordon is good on the dot but spent no time on the PP in Phoenix. Unless something changes it will fall to Gagner and RNH.

Will Gagner make a big improvement in faceoffs in year #6 - can't imagine it unless Acton can impart some untaught wisdom on him.

RNH is still going to have strength issues as he won't have been able to do a whole bunch of upper body training because of the shoulder issue.

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#46 Peter
July 09 2013, 09:53AM
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@Racki

Yeah I thought it was wonky when I heard about it at the time too. Of course being in Calgary didn't help the extra trash talk that happened. You're right though, someone ought to write a book about those days and the Private Eyes clapping. LOL! Given MacT's comments about having a "circus" in the dressing room it would certainly be an interesting read.

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#47 The Towel Boy
July 09 2013, 09:53AM
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It's true that maybe the constant losing took a bit out of him, but I really think the Oilers are going to miss him next season. They won't probably miss his contract..but that's not really his fault. Good player. Wrong money.

Good luck Horc! I will not enjoy the many goals/assists you will undoubtedly score on the Oilers every time they play the Stars, as is the norm of the EX OILER CURSE.

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#48 Smokey
July 09 2013, 09:54AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I believe the comment speaks more to the fact that the Oilers were never up against the cap in the post 2006 Horcoff era. They always had room to sign other players and Horcoffs contract did not prevent them from doing so. Many, many , many players were over valued after the 04-05 lockout. Keep in mind Horcoff was coming off a 80pt ish season and had just helped his team to the stanley cup final.

Take some time and look up what other comparable contracts were for 80 pt guys in 2007.

Thats the problem, everyone looked at Horcoffs contract in todays league and not in the league when it was signed. My god man I think Doug Weight was making almost 9 mil.

Its all about perspective. Compare apples to apples and you will understand why he was given the offer he was.

The Oilers should of been able to figure out that Horcoff was carried by Hemsky to those point totals. We all knew, how on earth could they not know?

Chris Kunitz was the third leading scorer in the NHL this year. He's being paid 4 million. The reality is he is not a superstar, hes good player playing on a stacked team. Contract reflects that. Horcoff should of made tops 4.

The only thing I will say in the Oilers defence was that they did not know how to pay such a players. Teams were all over in terms of contract values and terms.

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#49 Smokey
July 09 2013, 09:59AM
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Yep, I was wrong about florida. It was the first round.

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#50 Spydyr
July 09 2013, 10:03AM
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After this thread can we let the whole contract thing go and never talk about Horcoff again?

He has moved on to make his millions elsewhere.

He has been a third line center since 2006-2007.

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