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.

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.

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

  • 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.