Edmonton Oilers Re-Sign Darcy Hordichuk

As per the Oilers’ official Twitter feed, Darcy Hordichuk will be back for an encore performance with the team on a one-year deal. TSN reports that he will earn $850,000.

Hordichuk earned rave reviews from many covering the team for his professionalism last season. 630 CHED’s Dan Tencer immediately called the signing "fantastic, fantastic news" and praised the player’s "positive energy" and called him "phenomenal" in the room.

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As far as players in the "designated enforcer" role go, Hordichuk’s not so bad. He’s a decent skater and a good enough player that he can handle a regular shift on the fourth line when called upon. He generally wasn’t asked to do that last season – he played just 43 games and averaged 4:21 of ice-time in those contests.

He’s also not a penalty-taking machine. Over the last four seasons, he’s actually drawn more penalties than he’s taken in three of them (data as per behindthenet.ca). We saw him at his best in the video above, where he goaded Brad Staubitz into taking two stupid double-minors.

There are those who won’t be a fan of this signing on general principle. I’m one of them; I personally disagree with the need to ice a Hordichuk-type player in the modern NHL. However, the Oilers have made it clear time and again that they prefer to have a guy like Hordichuk on the roster.

When it comes to players in that role, Hordichuk’s pretty much as good as it gets: reportedly good off the ice, a passable enough hockey player, and not the kind of guy who typically takes a ton of stupid penalties. He’s certainly an upgrade over a player like Steve MacIntyre, even if he isn’t the same calibre of heavyweight as the one-time Oilers’ enforcer.

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An interesting byproduct of this decision might be that the Oilers opt for 14 forwards once again. Teams need to make a choice between including a 14th forward, an 8th defenseman, or a third goalie on the roster; it seems unlikely that the Oilers would choose to make Hordichuk their 13th forward given how they used him last season. That may matter because with the addition of Justin Schultz (and including RFA defenders Jeff Petry and Theo Peckham) the Oilers have eight defensemen on one-way contracts, and are rumoured to be looking to add another. This makes it more likely that they dump Peckham or Corey Potter, and if they add another defenseman likely both players will be on the outs.

This week by Jonathan Willis

  • 2004Z06

    Would a trade for Kieth Yandle make sense now that Ray Whitney is gone in Pheonix. Gagner along with Eager and Potter and a pick for Yandle? Pheonix needs a center.

  • Reg Dunlop

    @Dan the Man

    According to the article, Hordi is reportedly good off the ice. TooToo,maybe not so much, since the young guys don’t need any instruction on how to get loaded.

    I like the signing but would still like to see Peckham/Potter exchanged for a real NHL Dman that can also protect the small skill.

    • Tootoo is always willing and ready to back his team mates as well as agitate. Hordichuk actually was willing to drop them and back up his team.

      We already have Khabiboozin showing the kids how to drink and drive lol. I think there still might be a need for a super heavyweight but Hordichuk will do. From all accounts everyone in the room.loves the guy.

      • “From all accounts everyone in the room.loves the guy.”

        Unless you’re a member of the team, how would you know this?

        Dan Tencer said so?

        Don’t doubt he is good in the locker room, just hate when people say it like they know. Nobody knows except for the people who are in that room.

  • vetinari

    Meh… If this means that Harti or Paajarvi are going to have to play another year in the AHL, then what was the point? There is only so many roster spots on a team and to use one on a guy that averages about 4.5 minutes a game? Really Tambi?

  • Hudler would not come cheap. With Zetterberg aging. Would hudler be expendable if Detroit thought that Parise would sign with them?

    I am stunned that the Bobby Ryan/Rick Nash saga continues to play out.

    Anything on the Belanger and Eager trade front? One player turned out to be a square peg and the other turned out to be a dud. Would you buy either out?

  • oilersplumber

    Is it me or is Burke content to do nothing? If he asked Marty to come to the Leafs what would be the price? 10 million for 2 years? Or more? Vancouver? Lou to Florida for ??? Picks is mu guess. I wouldn’t give them JH or anyone elso on thier roster. Nucks are in a no win position contrary to Gillis’s assertions.

    What happens if the NHL has to own New Jersey and Pheonix?

    • From the article:

      There are those who won’t be a fan of this signing on general principle. I’m one of them; I personally disagree with the need to ice a Hordichuk-type player in the modern NHL.

      I made my opinion known, but this wasn’t about my opinion so much as it was a news piece. Not only that, but many people disagree with that particular opinion – and if you disagree with that particular opinion, than your take on the Hordichuk signing changes dramatically.

      • Understand you slipped that in there but overall the blog was a very positive one on Hordichuk; which was confusing as apparently you don’t like the signing.

        The game vs Minnesota was Hordichuk playing the pest role. However, that was the only memorable game for Hordichuk last year.

        He’s a lousy fighter, no hockey sense and doesn’t contribute in any other capacity except showing some courage against a few grunts in the league.

        If we signed him just for his locker room presence is this a normality across the league. Signing players to be an addition to the coaching staff?

        Oilers tend to hold onto players who bring no significants on the ice but are said to have a good locker room presence. Just like they held onto Jason Strudwick for much too long.

  • By my calculations he played 188 minutes last season and was paid a bit over $4,500 for each. Hmm. This appears to rule out Tootoo, who would be a superior option. He can play and hits everything that moves. Hordy is a great guy and JT is a nasty SOB. I’d rather have a beer with Hordy but have the Tootoo train forcing the opposition to keep their heads up.
    We will be pushed around again this season I fear. RK is going to have to ride herd on the players who have to be leaned on to play physical. Like Jonesy. And Eager.
    Partially because of Cap management and partially because they have screwed up so many times, the brain trust is reluctant to splash on FAs. We already have too many forwards and D men so I would be surprised if we add anyone else. So it is last year’s team plus Yakupov and Schultz, with the kids a year older. Is that enough to make the playoffs in the age of parity? Maybe. Probably not. Unless RK can get a bit more out of them and the defence stays relatively healthy. Still not big enough, still short of defensive depth, still without a genuine second goalie. They will be better for sure. The holes are smaller, but they still remain.

  • 2004Z06

    hey Mr.willis,I thought tambo and co started out great with getting schultz,resigning smyth and denis but once again we are stuck with the reality that nothing big will happen,I know we probably are better off with the trade route,but as a die hard oil fan just once I would love to see tambo rock the boat,anything you think he could do to really make us better,because one more lottery pick and I am giving up!!

  • 2004Z06

    Parise to Chicago? Are they getting ready to move Kane?

    Whitney’s comments say alot about the Yotes and how the uncertainty is affecting its former and current players. I really think Bettman needs to resolve this situation in the next 2 weeks.

    Quebec City should be slavering at the thought of the Yote’s legal issues with Goldwater. I love Goldwater. Canada’s best friend Goldwater. I would make a donation to them if QC gets the Yotes.

  • 2004Z06

    I think the point Jonathan was trying to make, is while he doesn’t agree with the need for a fourth line scrapper, Hordichuk isn’t the worse choice for that role, since the oilers seem to think they need one.

    • This team has had a very unfortunate run of having our players be on the recieving end of dirty hits. Everything from Torres trying to take off Eberles head to Hemsky being blasted shoulder first into the boards by Handzus which put him on the shelf for a year.

      When Big George was here the other teams big guys played honest. When we have big teams like LA or San Jose come in they tend to run all over the place. BG all his years was Ryan Smyths board play partner. You don’t think that any of the kids like Eberle or Nuge might not benefit from having a huge 6’3 270 pound monster play keep away with you at practice? I thinkthere still could be use for him here. Hordichuk is a smaller heavyweight but I think BG would be a good option too.

  • Jason Garrison to Van City for 6 x 4.6. Thank you for your continued afirmation of how ridiculous you are in Vancouver. Souray at 3.6 to Anaheim? What were they thinking? Probably what alot of teams think on July one that dmen are not easy to find.

    The price points on some of the veterans today seems outlandish. Vancouver is on the precipice of mediocrity. Its not thier d that has been an issue its been thier 2cd and 3rd line contributions.

  • Jon, didn’t Krueger during his five games behind the bench, insert Hordichuk and play him a few more minutes a game than Renney was? I’m just going off memory, but, I recall both Hordichuk and Eager getting a big push from the interm coach. I think Krueger used this move to increase the whole teams resistance to intimidation and there level of aggression. This move also changed how these two players were handled by Tom when he returned resulting in better play throughout the remainder of the season.

    Could this signing be more Ralph Krueger than Tambollini? If this is a Krueger signing, than how much influence did he have in signing Petrell? Can Hordichuk and pals expect to have a more pronounced role under the new coach?

    I’m looking forward to watching how Ralph runs the bottom six. Make no mistake this has been an Oiler weekness since Rem and George left in 06′. Poor coaching and terrible managment was the contributing factor. If he can give this group of forwards the time and system to showcase there type of hockey the oilers will field a much tougher team to play against.

  • oilredemption

    Can’t see them moving Peckham maybe Potter. If two dmen needs to be moved, IMO, I would move Sutton because of his age. Peckham is all heart and soul, he would fight anyone to protect his teammates at any cost. Worst case scenario for him would be to move him to a forward position.

  • oilredemption

    The oilers have done everything right so far i believe… (patience is a virtue)

    -Draft Nail
    -Hire Kruger
    -Sign Shultz
    -Re-up Smyth and keep Danis for Roy’s development
    -Keep guys that are proud of the organization now and where its going and want to be here.

    Next on the list (IMO)…

    -Take flyers on Doan, Mueller and Gragnani
    -Take a flyer on asking price for Streit and Yandle are
    -Dump some Contracts (Peckham, Belanger, Jones,etc) {Not that i dont like these guys because i actually like them and see a fit but i also see possible upgrades on what i listed above}

  • oilredemption

    I strongly believe Mueller has some game and size and would possibly be an upgrade on gagner if he stays healthy… I say take a flyer. Do a physical to make sure (like latendresse did with ottawa) start him on the wing on the third line and keep belanger and work him into the middle some way and see him grow from there and maybe gagner becomes expendable and use mueller there (big right hand center with skill)

    Hall Mueller Hemsky
    Yakupov RNH Eberle
    Smyth Horcoff Paajarvi
    Eager Belanger Jones

    looks good to me

  • oilredemption

    IMO, signing Hordy is a good deal and a cheap one as well. Kassian, Konopka, Tootoo all signed elsewhere and very fast into the free agency period.

    Hordy did well last year with what Renney allowed him to do minimally. Four and a half minutes a game is not playing, its just an appearance. Krueger will use him more smartly IMO.

    Now…. for those who are wanting more….it is obvious the Oilers have to dump players,and not add and add.

    I am in agreement with the team management position that trades are the next wave of actions, not free agency. we have to now get some very good to elite players (one goaltender, one defenceman) with by trading two to three players.

    With what the Oilers did this summer so far(draft/Yakupov,, Justin Schultz, Smyth, Danis, Hordichuk)its been a super great start for next season.

    Thanks Oilers….from one long time fan.

  • oilredemption

    I think it’s interesting everyone has been clamoring for Steve Ott (who is singed now anyway), but many people see this signing as a bad one. Hordichuck hits, hits clean, draws penalties, is good in the locker room, and is a decent fighter willing to go up against much tougher opponents, and comes cheap, plus he’s not a defensive liability or takes unnecessary penalties. I wouldn’t even call this guy an enforcer, I call him a utility player, and would like to see him getting more minutes. Every time the Oil score a goal on a penalty he draws, that’s as good as scoring one himself. We are a great powerplay team so having a guy that gets us on the powerplay is just fantastic. I hope he’s used more this year cause every time he’s on the ice, something exciting usually happens.