Robin Brownlee
January 30 2011 09:29PM

I've long assumed NHL players would rather do away with the instigator rule that was put in place in 1992 and police on-ice disputes and cheap shots the good, old-fashioned way -- with fisticuffs. How wrong I was.

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Things to do at the All-Star Break

January 30 2011 08:03AM

I hate the All-Star break. It doesn't count in the standings, there's a long layoff between actual games and at my age any alteration in schedule makes me grumpy. Fortunately, there are some things to do, some of them involving good old hockey. 

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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.

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Strong Debut Seasons

January 29 2011 08:32AM

I love old time photos. This one features the great Gordie Howe in the middle, a young Bryan "Bugsy" Watson (who would one day coach our beloved Oilers) on the right and young Ray Cullen on the left. This photo is from 1966-68. One of the best things about following a team is watching the young players develop; Cullen had the better pedigree and was a better offensive prospect but it was Watson who had the longer NHL career. On the current Oilers roster, who are the keepers? The throwaways? The career minor leaguers? It's always been tough to say.

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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.

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