Learning From The Horcoff Contract

Jonathan Willis
January 29 2011 05:40PM

Let’s get something straight off the top: this is not a post to rehash how awful Shawn Horcoff’s contract is, or to revisit the same tired battles that get fought every time someone mentions his name.

In retrospect, however, it’s pretty clear that the Oilers made a mistake paying Horcoff like he was going to maintain his 2007-08 form forever.

Read Article | 40 Comments

Shawn Horcoff, You Lucky/Unlucky Dog

Jonathan Willis
January 28 2011 05:04PM

Shawn Horcoff’s ugly minus-29 rating last season did not go over well with fans of the Edmonton Oilers. The veteran centre, inked to a long-term big-dollars pact, was in the richest year of that deal. The expectation was that he provide both offence and defence, but in a season where his point totals fell off and his plus/minus wandered into the sewer he became an easy target on a miserable team.

This season, things are different. Horcoff was named captain in the summer, and while the team is still struggling on the ice there is hope off of it. Despite injury, Horcoff’s offence has come around and he has a plus-3 rating on a team that has allowed 46 more goals than it has scored.

Some of that – specifically, Horcoff’s plus/minus – is illusory.

Read Article | 48 Comments

Paajarvi Should Have Been Held Back A Year

Jonathan Willis
January 27 2011 09:47AM

This fall, some argued that the Oilers were making a mistake inserting all three of their blue-chip forward prospects into the line-up at the same time. The player I suggested should have been given another year of seasoning at a lower professional level was Magnus Paajarvi, and given what we’ve seen so far this season I think that would have been the correct decision.

Read Article | 142 Comments

Souray, Tambellini, and Pyrrhus

Jonathan Willis
January 20 2011 10:09PM

Sheldon Souray’s fall from grace has been almost absolute. A season ago he was admired by the vast majority of Oilers fans, respected for his powerful shot, surprisingly good defence, and perhaps most of all for a nasty streak which demonstrated itself time and again. Now, he finds himself an outcast, reviled by many of those same fans, and struggling to stay healthy in the American Hockey League.

Read Article | 100 Comments

Trades, Now

Jonathan Willis
January 19 2011 08:03PM

The 2010-11 Edmonton Oilers were a team built to fail. From the opening faceoff, obvious roster problems were left unaddressed. The goaltending was a question mark, the defence a haunted wasteland, and the forward pool young, talented and terribly shallow.

The 2011-12 Oilers cannot enter the season in that kind of disarray.

Read Article | 190 Comments