Is Cogs still a good fit?

TORONTO, ON MARCH 13: Andrew Cogliano #13 of the Edmonton Oilers skates in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 13, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

After an eventful five days that included qualifying ten players, walking away from six players, signing four UFAs, a trade, a buy-out, waiving a captain and waiving and retaining a disgruntled employee how do the Oilers look?

The Oilers are much bigger and tougher than they were last week. Jason Strudwick, Steve MacIntyre, Jim Vandermeer are tough, while Kurtis Foster adds size and a heavy shot on the backend. These are all depth guys, although Foster should contribute the most.

Saying goodbye to Patrick O’Sullivan, Marc Pouliot, Ryan Potulny and Robert Nilsson was pure brilliance, regardless of who replaces them. They were dead weight and were never going to contribute enough to make this team competitive.

The time was right to say goodbye to Ethan Moreau, and it was a bonus that the Blue Jackets claimed him and saved the Oilers over a million in buyout money. No one claimed Sheldon Souray, which surprised nobody, and I won’t be surprised if Souray shows up at training camp. Dustin Penner wasn’t happy in April of 2009, but by October he was fine. Why can’t the same thing happen with Souray?

Colin Fraser signed a two-year deal, so that leaves nine of the ten qualified players yet to sign. Look for Gilbert Brule to file for arbitration. Liam Reddox and Jeff Deslauriers can also file, but I doubt they will since neither has a strong case, and the NHLPA prefers to only have players with strong cases go to arbitration.

Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano will be signed, but I see Gagner getting a longer term deal than Cogliano. Cogliano is a hard player to figure out. I see the NHL changing to three scoring lines, with one of them good enough to moonlight as a checking line, and one energy line. I think the days of a pure shut down line, with little offense to offer, are over.

Look at Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia. Their top-end guys: Datsyuk, Toews and Richards produce offence, but are good enough defensively to match up against the opposition’s top line.

With that philosophy in mind is there room for Cogliano?

As a rookie he scored 18 goals — only one on the PP but two SH — was +1, averaged 13:39 of icetime, had a ridiculous 18.4 shooting percentage, was a woeful 39.5% in the dot and tallied 45 points.

His sophomore year he potted 18 goals — four on the PP, zero SH — was -6, averaged 14:24 on the ice, had a solid 15.5 shooting %, was even worse in the dot at 37.2% and scored 38 points.

He dipped a bit in his second season, but nothing too dramatic.

Last year his stats plummeted.

He scored ten goals — one on the PP, zero SH — was -5, averaged 14:10 of icetime, had a woeful 7.2 shooting percentage, improved to 43% in the dot but only had 28 points.

His offensive numbers were down, but I think he actually competed much harder on loose pucks and in the corners. I’m not sure how much he improved in the dot because in 2009 he took 702 faceoffs, and last year he only took 379. He won 43% of them compared to 37% in 2009, but he might have been sheltered a bit more last year.

I’m not sure the Oilers know what they have in Cogliano just yet.

It’s obvious he isn’t great in the dot, but if he is given 40 or 50 games with offensive-minded players, could he produce more? Can he and Sam Gagner be the two offensive centres in 2010?

There is no debate that Shawn Horcoff is the best overall centre on the Oilers. Sam Gagner has better offensive instincts, but he doesn’t have Horcoff’s two-way game. JW and others have proven that Ales Hemsky produces better with Horcoff than any other centre, but with Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi Svenssonand, and Jordan Eberle entering the mix, can one of them combined with Gagner or Cogliano work with Hemsky?

Horcoff won’t give the Oilers the offence that a Datsyuk, Richards or Toews will, but he can play the tough minutes and if he has an MPS on one wing his offence should be okay. Which leads me back to Cogliano.

From day one, Gagner has been given more of an offensive role than Cogliano, because he is a better pure offensive player. But the numbers show he isn’t that much better of a goal scorer. Gagner has averaged 0.197 goals per game in three years, while Cogliano has averaged 0.186. Keep in mind that Cogliano has six PP goals in his career while Gagner has 16.

I’ve questioned if the Oilers can keep Cogliano and Gagner long-term and be successful. I don’t think they can, but there is a part of me that is curious to see if both were given a chance with offensive players how they’d fare. The Oilers don’t have any wingers who are pure checkers right now. Ryan Jones is more of an energy guy than a checker, while Zack Stortini, JF Jacques, and Steve MacIntyre don’t fit the bill.

Taylor Hall and Hemsky are destined to play together, but can Gagner keep up with them? Could Renney try Cogliano in the middle with them and put Gagner between Dustin Penner and Gilbert Brule/Eberle? Or is Cogliano a better fit with Penner, because Penner can take some of the draws. MPS skates well with a reputation of being a solid two-way player, so put him with Horcoff and either Eberle/Brule and have them as your offensive/checking line.

I’m positive the Oilers don’t know where and how to use Cogliano and that’s why his name has continually surfaced in trade rumours. But I don’t see the Oilers just giving him away. Why not keep him for one more year at a low cap hit; play him a lot so they can increase his trade value or, ideally, show the organization what type of player he can be?

I don’t think the first three seasons have been a clear indication of how good, inconsistent or indifferent he actually is.

How many more can Tambo add?

I still think the Oilers need a veteran 3rd line centre or winger with some size, grit and little offence, but can they bring him in to the mix and still play all the kids.

Penner, Hemsky, Hall, Horcoff, MPS and Eberle are signed. Gagner, Cogliano and Brule will get signed so that’s nine forwards. Toss in Fraser, Jones, Stortini, Jacques and MacIntyre and that is 14. Alex Giroux was signed yesterday and he’ll push for a spot, but is likely to start in Oklahoma City. (Keep in mind I said there was no way Ryan Stone would make the team out of camp last year.) The Oilers could re-sign Stone, because it’s questionable whether Jacques will be ready when camp starts.

If Tambellini brings in a veteran via free agency, he then has to make a deal and move out a top-nine forward or plan to have one of Eberle or MPS start in the minors. Maybe he rolls the dice and goes with three rookies in the top-nine and a question mark in Cogliano.

Could the Oilers start the season with what they have, or do they need a veteran?

Should they give Cogliano a shot with offensive guys, or is his inability to win a draw to big of a risk?

These are some of the main questions Tambellini and Tom Renney are contemplating as the free agent frenzy slows down and the Oilers start filling out "white board" lineups.

No Omark — how come?

Many have asked why Linus Omark won’t be at the development camp starting Tuesday. Omark is 23 and has played four and a half years of pro hockey in the SEL and KHL, so he doesn’t qualify. The Oilers consider him a pro player at this point.

The on-ice sessions start Tuesday from 10 a.m to noon and are open to the public at the Clareview Arena. You will see Hall, Eberle, MPS, Jeff Petry, Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Chris Vande Velde, all of the other ten draft picks from 2010 and a total of 18 forwards, seven D-men and three goalies.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Itd be just the oilers luck if they trade cogs..probly turn into a 30g scorer lol. keep him for at least another yr or 2 then theyd have a really good idea what kind of player he’s going to be.

    If I was tambi i might as well keep souray around now, he’s not goin to get what he’d like for souray. Sourays goin to have somethin to prove and might just have a chip on his shoulder not directed at managment this time, and then come trade deadline ask #44 if he’d still like to get the hell outta compton, at least for the 1st half the season between Souray and Foster the goals from the backend on the pp would be awsome to see

  • SkinnyD

    ADAGE DAYS ? ” Those who ignor history are bound to repeat it ” and “low moral= low productivity ” . Will the toxic environment refesture irregardless of a complete change of personnel on the ice ?

    D. Barnes seems to say Souray will never again grace the Oilers locker room except to depart , and Cogs is pretty much a forgone conclusion as well . Via trade or otherwise Barnes suggests Cogs will not be part of the new Oilers moving forward .

    Souray headed toward KHL to bury his salary hit ?

    How deep into current roster does TAM’S intend on going is the question . Will he even try to keep Penner or Horcoff ? Is Pitluck going to draw in as another center. He may at this rate .

    The dynamics of new team may be gutted of veterans by seasons start . Doesn’t appear Pisani, Comrie or many other older veterans will be on next years roster either .

    Penner only player that had a banner year and was awarded the “A” last season . Will he be new captain ?

    Oilers team by seasons start could look far different than any of us realize at this juncture .

  • The goal is to rebuild, if Cogliano cant land you a better prospect then keep him. It doesnt matter that he doesnt quite fit the 3rd line checking role right now. The truth is that the Oilers dont have a checking line anyway. The only player that has consistently played well defensively of late is Penner.

    The 3rd line centre of the club last year was Horcoff, who was in the running for the green jacket at -29. No Pisani, No Moreau, no Checking line proper. That might change by the beginning of the year, but it hasnt yet.

    So if the team doesnt have the players to form a checking line then maybe they should consider something else. In the spirit of rebuilding and developing the young guys maybe they should split up the rookies on the top 3 lines and let them play in all kinds of situations. Put the Power against Power with Hemsky or Penner’s (I prefer Penner) line against the other team’s best.

    1) Hall-Gagner-Hemsky 2)Penner-Brule-Eberle 3)MPS-Horc-Cogliano 4)MacIntyre-Fraser-Stortini

    Cogliano is a tweener kind of player right now after a bad season, but the team is a tweener club right now too. The Oilers dont have many players with defined roles, but they do have guys that can play up and down the lineup. Horcoff can take an important faceoff late in the game on the 1st line and has done so consistently in the past. Penner can score, but he is also excellent defensively. Because the lineup is so interchangeable I dont think a guy like Cogliano has to go. If this team were legitimately looking to challenge for the Cup then I’d say get rid of him for that prototypical 3rd line guy.

    However, the Oilers arent at that place yet, so they have some time to continue developing Cogliano. His value isnt very high but he is an NHL player with only 3 seasons under his belt. Let him grow with the team.

  • Pitluck , Hall, OMark , Svensson , Eberle , Gagner , Penner , Hemsky and possibly Brule be our top 9 forwards in our youth movement . Hartekeinen , Fraser and Stortini on a 4th line ? If it takes time , and we finish again at 30th , we may get another bonus in Coutourier( a highly touted center ) next draft year .

    Could be exciting watching a youthfull group like that emerge over next season , if not much chance older ones destined for heap are going to be gone within next couple of seasons one way or the other .

    Not a complete 360 , but harbouring close to it ? I think i might enjoy it over retention of some of current veteran forwards and AHL’ers .

  • Cogs got the absolute shaft last year. How can “any” player develop with the linemates he had last season? Captain Penalty is off playing his selfish game and is quite frankly not smart or fast enough to play Cogs game. Cogliano is a skilled technical player and needs to linemates that compliment his game so that ne “CAN” develop.

    Normally playing with the captain of the team does benefit a young player, But with Moreau, the opposite was true. A low skilled selfish penalty driven captain was the worst matchup Cogliano could have ever had. Plus his name linked with the Heatley deal really messed up his confidence. He admitted that.

    madjam – Good lord! Souray is NOT going to go the the KHL. He has 2 small children in LA. Think…just a little.

  • Curious about Cogliano’s attitude. In interviews, I get the impression he feels he is more than others think he is. Nothing wrong with confidence and healthy ego, but he doesn’t have the humility aspect of a Gagner. Did he not predict 30 goals for himself for 09-10?

    I suspect he was one Tambellini’s players who, in exit interview at year’s end, talked about his linemates sucking and not was not concerned about “how the team did”. Just my observations/impressions, I am probably way off.

    • SkinnyD

      FINAL ADAGE OF THE DAY – and one Oiler fans might think upon . Hermann Hesse ” Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it . Beyond the pairs of opposits of which the world consists, other , new insights begin ” .

  • I’m sure its common knowledge by now, but Horcoff went through a completely different style of training last off-season and said he was reverting back to his old style for this off-season. It is possible that his training style was a factor in his slide. Just like its possible that playing with a wonky shoulder for 50+ games may have been a factor. Just like playing the toughest comp on the shartiest team may have been a factor. Heck, alcohol may have been a factor (jk).

    Every player thats ever played any sport has season’s that fall above expectations & below expectations. Fact of the matter is, if Horcoff can bounce back to being a strong two-way player that is good on face-offs & puts up 55 pts, he’s worth at least $4.5M. Alright, he’s getting $5.5M… live with it. If he’s terrible this year, THEN start your bitchin. But at least wait til he stinks the joint out for 10 games before trying to exile the guy. He’s obviously not an ideal 1st line C, but he has been a very capable 2nd line C.

    • Crackenbury

      Thanks for that. I can never understand why guys want to crucify players that have a season below their own standards and obviously know it. No one wants to earn their salary on this team more than Horcoff. That’s probably part of the problem.

    • RC, it might just be me but many of us who don’t want to see Horcoff in a top six role aren’t saying anything about the 5.5 mil cap hit….we’re past that.

      We just don’t want to see him in our top six…why do people insist on going back to it when it doesn’t work?

      I’m certainly not trying to exile the guy…I’ll be happy if they use him as they should…as a shutdown guy.

      I have been stoked for almost every move that has been made by the club from the time they acquired Ryan Whitney, to the drafting of Hall, to the acquisitions of Fraser and Big Mac, all the way to now. All that’s left is for the team to rid us of the anthem guy, the guy who announces the goals and assists and to stop force feeding us fans Horcoff on one of the top 2 lines and on our PP.

      If Horc can return to some decent faceoff numbers and check I’ll certainly be happy but I for one don’t want to see him out there on PP’s and watch the play continually die with him because he can’t make a decision quick enough, or because he isn’t skilled enough to do things as simple as make a nice saucer pass, or because he misses one timing the puck on a sweet Hemsky pass for the umpteenth time.

      I don’t hate Horcoff I just want to see him used the way he should be…NO HHH line

      • SkinnyD

        So then, who do you pencil in on that line with Hall and Hemsky that can keep up and has a shred of defense to his game?

        Unless you’re thinking Hall is going to be our #1C, and I can’t really see that…just a personal opinion.

        • SkinnyD

          For me the guy that gets the #1 center role it’s Gagner…it’s time, IMO he’s the most skilled center, with the best hockey sense on the team. He can make quick decisions and make skilled passes. Around the net he knows what to do with the puck. He distributes the puck well down low on the PP. I think if Renney makes the move that Gagner will reward us with a good offensive season.

          If Hall plays center then he could end up the top line center…I’m sure though given the Oilers have such a young team that there will be experimenting. Possibly Brule will get a look or Cogs if he’s here, maybe even Penner will play some center…

          I just hope that fans remember this is a young team and we are going to have to learn to endure us taking our lumps once in awhile. It’s not going to be perfect but at least IMO we would be moving forward with the new guard.

          All I’m saying is for the love of peat, no more Horcoff…it’s time to move forward.

          • SkinnyD

            Yup, I’d imagine it’ll be a bit of a blender up there this year. I like Gagner on that line more if he’s got more speed…but then again a Centerman doesn’t have to be first in the zone. Personally I like his game better with Penner – they cycle well together, and Eberle plays unbelievably well without the puck. That’s a fantastic 2nd line in my opinion.

            I’m not sure how you ‘move forward’ without Horcoff – he’s here, like it or not. If he’s healthy and regains some confidence, he’s the best guy we have for #1C – he has the speed, tenacity and smarts. There’s enough creativity up there with Hemsky and Hall, he just needs to win the faceoff, bulldoze a path and let them do their thing. It should also be noted that Hemsky benefits from playing with him as much as the other way around…I believe it’s been documented…of course, I’m far too fat and lazy to look it up. 😉

  • SkinnyD

    Hall-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Penner-Gagner-Eberle

    Blinding speed and skill on the top line, awesome cycling 2nd line.

    Maybe Cogliano fits on a 3rd line with Brule and Paajarvi? More speed and power…3 scoring lines, albeit extremely young.

    • m3sh

      I’d like to see them find a way to get Brule on a line with Penner, last year they showed really good chemistry through that 5-game road win streak, and then never really went back to it and instead lost 13 games straight or whatever it was… That is still one of the oddest things I saw last year out of Quinn, I never understood why we changed the lineup after that road win streak. That was when it became all too clear how bad the season was going to turn out. Ahhh… memories.

      So…

      Hall-Horc-Hemsky
      Penner-Gagner-Brule

      But then I’d be left with:

      MPS-Cogs-Eberle
      SMAC-Fraser-Stortini

      I feel like I’ve overlooked someone.

      MPS isn’t small by any means, if he brings some grit along with his game that would be perfect, but I don’t think this 3rd line would get anything but pushed around. Still, I want to see Brule and Penner together at some point.

      • Shapeman

        Everyone it seems has left Ryan Jones out of their lines even though he’s signed for this year. He’s a fairly good energy guy and could slot in at out 3/4 line RW/LW position.

        • m3sh

          Right… facepalm. Not to mention JFJ, assuming they sign something.

          I’m coming to the conclusion we won’t be seeing Eberle and MPS before some of the inevitable injuries.

  • SkinnyD

    The addition of Giroux today will add strength to the Oilers in OK City. A proven performer at the AHL level with the ability to fill in on your 3/4 th lines at the NHL level when need be. He will be a great example to the kids playing in AHL in this year. At 500,000 he is the type of player this organization needs at thier AHL affiliate. Kudos to Tambo for realizing that the organization needs to rebuild at all levels.

    • m3sh

      Maybe add Giroux to my list of new Oilers making the squad , if he seems as offensively productive as he has shown last couple of seasons in AHL ? Tams cutting knife seems huge by D. Barnes column in Journal today .

  • Shapeman

    Horcoff has not put up good numbers for **FOUR** years. He was the lucky recipient of playing with Hemmer and Smyth. Same lucky recipient as say Carter was playing with the Sedin Sisters.

    As we’ve see the last few years, he’s not a leader, won’t hit, won’t/can’t quarterback an offensive play to save his soul. Unless he’s playing with 2 superstars to pump up his numbers, there won’t be any big numbers from #10. He is to the players to what kevin lowe is to the management of the team.

    And man.. I’m sure getting tired of the old “shoulder excuse”. How many years can you use that one? If it was that bad, why was he playing last season at all? When you’re in last place, there’s no reason to be playing “hurt”. I don’t buy it for a second. But he’s the “golden boy”.

    And for a guy that’s 6’01” and 208 pounds, he plays like he’s 5’5” 170 pounds. He’s plays the “smallest” out of all the forwards. Why is that?

  • SkinnyD

    Very good analysis Jason.

    One thought that could address several issues:

    I like Cogs and think he has a lot of upside if used correctly. (He also appears to be a good team guy and a good citizen.) Unfortunately, I don’t see much room for him in the team as it evolving. I also don’t think he has been used properly for much of his time here. Could Cogs and Souray be packaged up to Dallas for Robiero and perhaps a pick or a prospect?Robiero has three years left @ $5 million salary and cap hit, so we would be taking on one more year of a big contract vs Sourays contract and cap hit. Robiero has decent numbers and could probably play 1st or 2nd centre. Cogs might get a bigger role in Dallas. Souray would be gone and Dallas needs another D. Robiero’s big contract would be done when we have to re-up Hall and Eberle.

    That could work for all parties and players involved.

  • Crackenbury

    article from Feb 2008:

    “Center Shawn Horcoff of the Edmonton Oilers will miss the rest of the NHL season.

    Word is that Horcoff—who will have surgery on his left shoulder this week, in effect ending his season—aggravated the injury during the NHL All-Star Game over a week ago.

    Horcoff, who was on pace to top 30 goals for the first time in his career, seemed destined to set career highs in goals (22) and had an outside shot at surpassing his high in points (73) until this setback.”

    Horcoff reinjures his shoulder in Nov 2009. He’s had a seriuos shoulder injury since Feb 2008. If he is phsically able, I expect his numbers to improve.

    I hope Hall doesn’t get injured in his rookie season. All the experts will be saying what a bust he was.

  • Don't Do it Len... think of the children

    This started off an article about Cogliano and ends about Horcoff – sort of put through the blender like the Oilers have been for the past three years.

    I would if Cogliano really understands what his role is… what his place/role in the NHL will be?

    First of all for a team plagued with injuries the past three years he has played all 82 games the past three years.

    He has been a player that is offensively skilled but hardly placed in a position to excel. He has the instints of a sniper always in position in the slot or for me he is reminiscent of Anderson with his speed coming down the wing.

    Why has he not excelled? For one he has played too much in a 3rd/4th line role. Both of these require being on a line with someone who can get him the puck at the right time. He’s not going to have that amazing pass or carry the puck up the ice.

    He is learning the defensive part of the game, learning that you don’t have to do the impossible – to drill a guy through the boards to get a puck.

    I think he has so much grow into and putting him with someone like Hemsky and Hall would be interesting… so much blazing speed and a couple of guys for Hemmer to pass to!

  • Don't Do it Len... think of the children

    I don’t think Cogs should be here simply because he’s not coachable. He thinks he’s 1st or 2nd line material, but doesn’t have the numbers to back that up. When he’s given a Marchant example, he scoffs at the possibility (which caused Marchant himself to remind him of his 15 year career).

    Someone always comes along and claims he played with plugs and so never got a good chance to succeed. Yet Gags managed to play with a couple of plugs and played his way back up to the scoring lines. Hemmer started on the 4th and worked his way up. But some folks say Cogs is different?

    Blazing speed, no hands, no commitment to change his game to match the opportunity, no desire to win. Time to move him while there might be an opportunity with other GMs.

    • Shapeman

      Uncoachable? C’mon man. Do you honestly think he has been put in a situation to suceed? He is in a position similar to Laddy a couple years ago and I don’t blame him for being frustrated. I hope we learned from our past experiences and can give him some offensive linemates and minutes this year. However, I suspect he may not be here by the time TC starts.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        C’mon, yourself. Cogs has been given lots of opportunity. It knocked, he ignored the door. He exudes an attitude of entitlement, and should be shown the door before anyone else in the league notices it.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Souray took a media hit in a one time event when he grumbled about the Oilers management. This out lash transcended with the help of the media, as it always does. However, I don’t think it’s impossible to reunite.

    If one thinks about the events Souray went through last year, it’s easy to understand and forgive. The guy went through a string of injuries, the first being the severe concussion. That concussion was immediately followed by a law suit worth millions of dollars; courtesy of his ex-wife. Convenient timing I must say and kudos to her.

    If he felt he was ignored by the team and wasn’t been followed up on, then I can see his case. Thinking back to that duration of time, we never heard about Souray for weeks on end. It does make one wonder if the Oilers brass are very good at communicating. Human relations may need to be improved.

    So is it really a situation where the fence can’t be mended? I don’t think so. One moment of the media’s time and Souray can have this turned right around. The fishbowl that is Edmonton can rehack a story 10 times over. Souray just needs to play it right, and I think he will be back on the ice in no time.

    However, a trade is still the answer as of now. But if it can’t be done, this may be the route both parties need to take.

  • Don't Do it Len... think of the children

    Hey I saw Smid in Edmonton today gave him the thumbs up..I am excited for next season boys! Go oilers go
    Can’t wait to make all the oiler hater hate us even more..we are going to be awesome!!!!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Not sure if this makes much sense but when i watch Cogliano he looks a little over coached, like he’s very afraid of every possible mistake. That moments hesitation could be all thats in his way, maybe he needs to be a little more selfish and go with his instincts instead of living in fear of returning to the bench after a mistake. It certainly is a headscratcher seeing someone with his gifts not be more successful than he has been to date. The game doesn’t appear to be enjoyable for Andrew in the time he has been here, maybe if he was more selfish we’d see him smile more.

    How many years have we watched the play die on the stick of Ales Hemsky, that don’t give a rats arse attitude seems to have worked for him…..maybe Cogs should take alot more chances offensively and say screw the mistakes as well.

  • I was paying close attention to it, last season. We’re not talking about the last 3 yrs, we’re talking about where we’re at now and moving forward I think Gagner and others have overtaken Horcoff…

    Horcoff’s last season was terrible and I believe there is a debate as to whether he can be called the best overall center the Oilers have….he was but I don’t think he is now…

    It is most certainly debatable.

    IMO things began changing last year and Horcoff’s season last year can’t be called on any level as him showing he plays well defensively…this could be an off year and this year will be better for Horcoff….I sure hope this year will be better but given last year…it is open for debate as to how good Horcoff is defensively at this point compared to other up and comers on the team.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    OK- First off kudos to CRASH for not being a biased Oiler fan. I love the Oil, but Horcoff has been riding Hemsky’s coat tails from the moment he became Edmonton’s “#1 Center”.

    I say “#1 Center” because on any other team he is a third liner at BEST. He played a whole season (give or take a few games) and finished -29! This tells you he is defensively responsible?!? We’re not talking a bad week,or bad month, a whole bloody year!

    He turns the puck over 80% of the time, never wins big face-offs(or many for that matter). He’s weak on his skates and gets knocked off the puck way too easily at an NHL level. He wins as many puck battles as Stortini does fights. (It happens every once in awhile). His confidence is in the toilet. All that and he has the disctinction of most overpaid player in the NHL.

    The only debate is whether he should be in Oklahoma or Edmonton!

  • SkinnyD

    You both need to give your collective heads a shake. Kevin Lowe didn’t get Horcoff into the All-Star game…he did that all by himself by playing unbelievably well. The shoulder injury he sustained that year takes at least a year and a half to recover from, so here we are. Are you going to be talking smack about Hemsky in the same vein at the end of this coming year? He has the exact same injury and missed over half of last year because of it.

  • SkinnyD

    I’d be willing to bet that Hemsky won’t fall to one of the leagues worst +/- players in the entire league this year…

    Have a look at post #62 by Archaeologuy that pretty much sums up Horcoff in more recent times…

    He mentions hoping desperately that Horcoff can get back to being a 50 point player….heck I’d be happy if he could get to 30pts and play a shutdown 3rd line checking center role and try to stay above -10 on the season…that would work for me.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    The only one who needs to give their collective head a shake is YOU Skinny D. The only reason Goony Ga Ga was in the Allstar game was because they wanted to have one representative from each team. I suppose you actually think Horcoff was the fastest skater in the NHL that year too, even though he got blown out of the water- yet somehow posted a faster time!

    To answer your question- IF Hemmer puts up a -29 and a mind boggling 36 pts- All while making $5.5, then your F#CKING right I would talk smack about him! (FYI Hemmer had 22 pts in 22 games prior to his injury)

    You still think Horcoff isn’t riding his coat tails-GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE!

    GET HIM OFF THE PP AND OUT OF THE TOP 6!

  • Why do you think his +/- was so bad? He played the most friggin min against the best comp while having a shoddy D and even more shoddy goaltending.

    I’m not the guy for this article, but I want to see another “Look at Horcoff” piece from Willis or Lowetide.

    Horcoff was terrible last year. Everybody knows that. He knows that. Let’s move on.

  • SkinnyD

    I’d be willing to bet that Hemsky would be one of the league’s worst +/- players in the entire league if he’s playing with a shoulder at 70% on a team completely decimated by injuries, and taking defensive zone faceoffs with 5 other AHL-quality players in the zone with him like Horcoff. Just sayin’.

    I’m sure Arch hopes he’s a 70 point guy on the top line like the rest of us, but he’s a realist…we’d all be ecstatic if he got 50 pts and was even on the +/-.

  • SkinnyD

    He was having an all-star year, jackass.

    Hemsky doesn’t take faceoffs. He doesn’t kill penalties. He wasn’t the only person on a team filled with hurt AHLers being relied on regularly to do these things while playing with a hurt wing all year. Ever tried to take a face off or connect on a one-timer with a hurt shoulder? There’s no way Hemsky’s going to put up the same kind of bad numbers Horcoff did last year…you completely missed my point.

    Yup, Horcoff had a bad year last year, bad shoulder or not, and he should at least be on the 2nd unit PP – when healthy his one-timer is very good. But if you have a better option for #1C on this team I’m all ears. Gagner isn’t fast enough, and Hall isn’t ready. (FYI Horcs had 50 pts in 53 games prior to his injury, smart guy).

    When healthy, Horcoff and Hemsky ride each other’s coat tails…

  • Agreed. I think his very poor play in offensive situations last year and his AHL one-timer need to actually show they’ve improved before he gets a spot on either PP.

    If/When he gets his mojo back, he’s welcome to play on the powerplay.