Horcoff Injury Has Major Impact

A few days ago, the Edmonton Oilers remained relatively untouched by injury; today, they are facing some very difficult choices in terms of roster makup for the next two months or more. Faceoffs, penalty-kill, the powerplay, evens. This has an impact on everything.  

Hemsky’s gone for 4 weeks, Horcoff is out for a long time (8 weeks or more). He’ll have an MRI today, and surgery hasn’t been ruled out. Horcoff plays a lot every game in every situation:

  • 14:03 at evs (5th on the team among F’s)
  • 2:07 on the PK (1st among forwards)
  • 2:33 on the PP (4th among forwards)

Horcoff was doing an excellent job in the mentor role with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. All reports suggested he was an excellent captain and took his role seriously. This is a bitter pill, made doubly so because well known "borderline" player Corey Perry was involved.

Accidental my ass.

The Oilers will be calling someone up today, possibly two players:

  • Linus Omark: Highly skilled but there is concern about what he’ll leave behind and how often he’ll be on the wrong side of the puck upon turnover. Could help on the PP.
  • Liam Reddox: Ginger has been effective on the farm (again) and could help out on the PK.
  • Ryan O’Marra: Could help in the dot and on the PK.

I think it might be wise to recall all three. It might require placing Jason Strudwick on IR, but at this point the Oilers need all capable hands on deck up front. They may move Dustin Penner or Gilbert Brule over to center, giving the depth chart the folllowing look: Penner, Gagner, Cogliano, Fraser.

I’ve always felt this season was best spent in the basement. Get Sean Couturier and then add those quality veterans over next summer with an eye to being competitive for 2012 spring. The hockey Gods appear to agree. That’s the only explanation I can think of at this point in time.

  • Cheesenaka

    I imagine that they’ll give O’Marra decent minutes to see if he has topped out in terms of development (@ 4th liner status), and then check the waiver wire; as there do not seem to be any viable in-system alternatives, apart from playing Penner out of position (if he were perceived as a genuine NHL centre, he’d have been moved there years ago), or moving Brule (back) to centre (where results have been spotty, at best).

    In terms of cheaper/waiver options that migh exist, I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned Mike Comrie, who is currently rotting in Pittsburgh’s press-box. I expect the Penguins would list him as “free to a good home”.


    • NastyNate

      From what I’ve heard Comrie has major hip problems and will likely require surgery. I imagine all lines will be thrown into the blender in time for fridays game. Hall & Ebs will obviously stay together, but i bet the next couple of days Renney will be feeling out new combinations in practice.

    • PerryK

      “In terms of cheaper/waiver options that migh exist, I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned Mike Comrie, who is currently rotting in Pittsburgh’s press-box. I expect the Penguins would list him as “free to a good home”.


      Great idea! However, the last time around, he insisted that he is a winger and not a center.

      We need him to play as a productive top 6 center. I wonder if he would be willing to take that role on. I believe that he is probably at his best as a play making center.

  • smiliegirl15

    I think one of the reasons they may have left Reddox in the minors is because he must now pass through waivers.
    Do they think we are in that big of a risk to lose him? Better then, if he stays with the Barons to help them keep winning without Omark and O’Marra.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Bringing up OMark shows a commitment to try and win at least . That mortgage proposal of Winters sounds promising to tax payers and city officials by the sounds of it . Looks like Katz could have some competition on a new arena ? Horcoff will be missed make no mistake about it . Injuries starting to mount , not something this club requires again this season , especially to our top veterans ! Anyone else on my Musil bandwagon yet ?

  • Cheesenaka

    @Steve Smith

    As per TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, Reddox can be recalled without re-entry waivers, however after someone is healthy and we need to send him back down to Oklahoma, he will have to pass through waivers.

    Omark on the other hand can go up and down without waivers or re-entry waivers.

  • Cheesenaka

    It’s really hard to say what the lines will be. I imagine they don’t want to break up some lines that seem to be working together, however I don’t particularly like promoting Fraser anywhere through the lineup (see below):

    Penner – Cogliano – Brule

    Hall – Fraser – Eberle

    Paajarvi – Gagner – Omark

    Jones – O’Marra – Stortini

    I would much rather see something like this:

    Hall – Brule – Eberle

    Penner – Cogliano – Omark

    Paajarvi – Gagner – Jones

    Fraser – O’Marra – Stortini

    • Chris.

      I like the Cogliano, Brule, Penner line. Why break up a group that is producing? I’d put Jones with Fraiser on the fourth line; play O’Marra with Omark and MPS in a sheltered role; and see how Gagner looks with Hall and Eberle against quality competition… Maybe the kids will continue to surprise.

      • NastyNate

        Jones is playing with alot of confidence right now (could have easily had 2 goals last night), he is a nice complement to the playmaking ability of Gagner and raw skills of Pajaarvi (like you said why break up a group that is prodcuing)

        [91 89 28] [4 67 14] [27 13 Omark] [46 ROM Fraser]

        is what I would go with

  • Oilers4ever

    I don`t really know how the Oilers should approach this but there`s two ways to look at it:

    – load up two lines and match

    – spread it out.

    It`s probably best to spread it out and have 89-27-13-16 down the middle but here`s something else to consider.

    I like 46 but now that we`re gonna be hurting at EV it`s more important than ever to stock up when it comes to PK personnel and I think that means that from last night`s lineup you delete 10-22-46 and you bring up all of Omark-Reddox-ROM.

    I noticed renney going with just two pairs on the PK last night – 13-27 and 16-28 – and he didn`t use 89 and he hasn`t used 14 in a long time now.

    If we`re gonna ride guys like 13 and 27 at EV then you can`t expect to do it on the PK as well so let`s bring up Reddox-ROM and use them as a tandem in that regard.

    So, to wit:


    That`s thin to be sure and, yeah, another season is over before Xmas.

    It`s a shame too because with 91 showing some real confidence – I love how he drove to the net on the PP last night – if 83 had stayed healthy we might have seen some nice chem on the 91-89-83 line to augment 10`s group; plus 27 carrying the third line.

    Put that along with a possible reconcilation withSouray and two PKers on the 4th line – ROM and Reddox for example – and it would have been a fun season.

  • Oilers4ever

    Yay… they called up some help… saves me having to rant more about trying to lose the season. šŸ™‚

    Will be interesting how they do against the Bolts on Friday… Not the easiest team to step in and play against.. how come we can’t be playing the Islanders.. šŸ™‚

  • Dominoiler

    “Hall – Brule – Eberle

    Penner – Cogliano – Omark

    Paajarvi – Gagner – Jones

    Fraser – O’Marra – Stortini”

    5 rookies, 3 marginal tweener / 4th liners.. One Solid ‘vet’, and three young smallish top-6/9ers..

    bring on the hurt..

  • IRONIC ! MacDonald, the game before, spears Horcoff in the knee with his helmet on . He phones his old buddy Perry to finish Horcoff’s knee off on his visit to Edmonton . Probably not , but a strange bit of fate/coincidence considering MacDonald out with concussion , and now Horcoff out as well .