Craig MacTavish’s first major move happened today when he traded Shawn Horcoff to the Dallas Stars. Bob McKenzie tweeted that Horcoff is off to Dallas. We found out later via Darren Dreger that Horcoff was moved for D-man Philip Larsen and a 7th round pick in 2016. The Oilers didn’t have to eat any salary in the deal, so they just freed up $5.5 million in cap space.
This deal isn’t a major surprise. MacTavish made it clear a month ago that Horcoff likely wasn’t coming back, and Jim Nill told me on my radio show a few weeks ago that he wanted to add a veteran centre.

With the Oilers buying out Belanger and trading Horcoff, it is obvious MacTavish will be adding a centre in free agency or via trade. 

Larsen was a 5th round pick in 2008, and he’s played 95 games, including 32 last year. He shots right and is a decent puck mover. This will push Corey Potter further down the depth chart, and should end the speculation that Tom Gilbert will return. The Oilers don’t need another non-hitting right-shooting D-man.

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This trade allows the Oilers to swing big for David Clarkson, if they choose.

David Clarkson was in Edmonton today to meet with the Oilers, according to Aaron Ward. Price point is going to be the issue with Clarkson. I think most agree he is the type of player the Oilers need, but not at $6 million/year.

Stay tuned.. 

  • Kinda sad to see him go, cause I was always a big fan of his. His contract really ruined his reputation here. But this is good for both sides. I’m hoping we didn’t retain salary though, because we’re going to need to replace him now, and that means we could be paying the same price for our replacement, essentially, depending on who we get and how much we retain.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Can we please put the fallacy that Horcoff had nothing to do with his contract to rest?? A contract is a negotiation between two parties, you can be guaranteed the Oilers first offer wasn’t what was settled on. The Oilers were desperate for ‘high end’ players as they were leaving town in droves, and Horcoff and his agent struck while they were in a position of strength. If you can’t blame Horcoff for his contract, then you can’t hold anyone responsible for the amount they earn, which is utter nonsense. Quit being apologists for him, he had no qualms fleecing the team and its fans.

  • bwar

    Does retained salary count against the cap? If so I will delay my elation a little, but elation will ensue nonetheless. Good for the team and for Shawn, whose effort I always appreciated but could never match that horrible contact. Best of luck Mr. Horcoff. And keep er goin MacT!

  • bazmagoo

    So he suckers the team into a complete overpay contract extension, performs poorly from almost the moment he signs, has the team eat half of whats left of his contract as hes traded for a bag of pucks, and there are still fans fawning over his work ethic??

    Because Oilers.

  • 2004Z06

    Always a class act to the end. Played hard on a team with revolving coaches, mediocre teamates (in his prime) and never complained once. Regardless of what some fans thought of his contract situation, he is what the definition of a true professional is. Not like the mercs we see nowadays. Good luck to you in the big D. Horcs will get a taste of something that won’t be here for at least 2 more years…..the playoffs!

  • oliveoilers

    There has to be more to this. MacT has sent two (I counteded dem all by myself, hur, hur!) TWO centres, a position that even the most argumentative of us agree on as a must for next season. As someone mentioned in a previous thread, if we have nothing coming back, why not just say “sorry Shawn, we tried but no takers” and play him one last season before buying him out? And trading him to a division rival that made some serious moves today? I like it not one bit unless MacT is putting up a smoke screen before the blockbuster deal!

    • DSF

      Sergei Gonchar

      Alex Goligoski

      Stephane Robidas

      Trevor Daley

      Brendan Dillon

      Jordie Benn

      Jaimie Oleksiak

      Aaron Rome

      Kevin Connauton

      Cameron Gaunce

      Looks a little better than “no defense” to me.

      Wouldn’t surprise me if they signed another veteran D tomorrow though.

      • Rocket

        Totally. According to some journalists like at The Hockey News (sorry no link), Dallas is very deep in D prospects. Expect some of them to have break out seasons in a couple of years.

      • Rocket

        Wow, your a DB tonight. I.don’t mind a differing opinion,but the leave DBaggery at the door.

        The defence looks about as good as our right now. Need another top 4. Robidas is a fine 3/4. Gogs and Gonchar are soft. After that they got 5/6 and prospect depth.

  • As much as I liked Horcoff, I feel MacTavish performed 3 miracles today:

    – he traded Horcoff period.

    – he traded Horcoff without getting a bad contract in return

    – he traded Horcoff without having to retain salary (it seems).

    • TeeVee

      This is exactly why there should be no complaints.

      We got something and didn’t have to buy him out or have him back in the dressing room after MacT said he should move on.

    • John Chambers

      Well no, he was -10 this past season in 32 games where he averaged just over 14 mins a night.

      That said, at 23 it looks like he’s been progressing well up until this season and probably slots in ahead of Potter and behind Belov at thi point.

      Not a game-changing defenseman, but just a $1M cap and lots of upside.

  • 2004Z06

    In no way shape or form should this be characterized as a “bold” move. Don’t this was likely THE top move desired by oiler fans.

    If the oil have to eat cap and the pick is a late one, then it is a less desirable option than buying him out. And it make be an indication as to how much of a miser mr Katz may actually be.

    Glad to see the back of SH. Yes, he was a bit of a “victim” by getting too lucrative a contract and he should never ever should have been made captain, but in the few games I saw him live he showed pretty crummy work ethic and a lack of intensity and competitiveness.

    Lets hope that his signing and now his trade are the bookends of the worst era in oilers history. Time will tell.

  • Seems that Dreger is calling it 7th+Larsen for Horcoff. No salary retained. Excellent. Perfect deal, even if the player/pick don’t pan out.

    Edit: actually sorry, it might still not be done, but that’s the deal so far. Dreger saying no salary retained though.

  • Oilers4ever

    First is that the time was more than right to trade Horcoff..

    Next is that I wish the guy well with Dallas and though the contract was a bad issue itself, this player worked hard for the Oilers with hard lines to face/tough minutes/defence zone faceoffs etc. There were a lot of good times even amidst the bad Shawn and I say thank you for the work ya did and for the best ya tried to do…

    Third is that I may be premature to say this… but I say Congrats to Taylor Hall as being the next captain of the Oilers…May ya lead this team from out of the wilderness that it was lost in for the past 7 years… Good Luck.

    Now…the centres on this team are listed as RNH, Gagner (likely), then maybe Lander as the 4th. The big gap is at 3rd with hopes for a more experience 4th line centre as well. Lander must come in to the AHL one more time and prove he deserves Oiler work.

  • Rob T. @ Edm Sun just tweeted: “He was a great captain and will be missed by a lot of the guys in the room.” – Oilers winger Taylor Hall on Shawn Horcoff

    Notice Hall said “a lot” not “everybody”…

  • **

    For those who do not know all the updated details, Kypreos stated the following…

    The trade was confirmed that it was Horcoff for Philip Larsen and a 2016 seventh round pick. Thats it and all.

    Larsen is a 6’1″ 184 lbs – right hand shooting, young 23 yr old defenceman from Denmark who split from the Texas stars to dallas this last yr. The yr before he did well for the season in Dallas.

    • DSF

      Here’s a scouting report from a Dallas blog:

      “Which brings us to Philip Larsen. The 6-foot, 190 pound defenseman is one of six NHL defensemen under contract for the Stars next season, and he will be a restricted free agent after 2013-14. But given the glut of youngsters behind him and his rather pedestrian play through large stretches of this year, he may very well have played himself into being the odd man out.

      By nearly every measure, Larsen had a disappointing 2013 season. Injuries and a few trips to the press box limited him to 32 games, and he put up two goals and three assists with a minus-10 rating. That’s the second worst plus-minus on the team behind Jamie Benn.

      The advanced stats also point to him having a rough year. Larsen was highly sheltered in terms of the quality of competition he played against, seeing the vast majority of his time on the team’s third pairing. But he wasn’t able to take advantage of the easier minutes. He was the Stars second worst defenseman in Corsi On (the number of shot attempts taken by a team while a player is on the ice minus the number of shot attempts against) to Aaron Rome, and when that number is made relative to the quality of competition he faced, he was by far the worst defenseman on the team with a number almost double that of Jordie Benn’s.

      So what does that all tell us? Corsi is generally used as a measurement of the possession/offense a player drives while on the ice. Larsen, with his rather lithe frame, is ideally a puck-mover who helps get the puck up ice to create offense going the other way. But he was not able to execute that at the NHL level last season, spending too much time hemmed in his own end with a variety of partners.”


      • Clyde Frog

        Haters gonna hate…

        Now what did you “book” for Horcoff and the Oilers?

        Lol, Dallas got fleeced, the Oil got cap space and a NHL player in a position lacking RHD depth…

        Gonna take more than one random blog to ruin this, keep trying though!
        Maybe you can pull up some stats to prove how amazing Minny was last season as well!

        • DSF


          Happy to oblige.

          Minny went from a goal differential of -49 to -5 in one season.

          Considering they turned over 40% of their roster in one offseason, that’s not too bad.

          Now that the Oilers are turning over their roster, it’ll be interesting to see if they can do the same.

          • Clyde Frog

            Yet -5 is not where a certain person had their improvement predicted… I seem to recall them as Stanley cup contenders and poised to dominate the entire conference…

            Hrmm who said that again?

            But yeah -49 to -5 is an improvement, if only that had been you booked prediction, eh?

  • DSF

    Well, MacT did good for starters….by securing a young body plus a pick and there is no paying of a partial salary/no lingering cap hit on Horcoff’s contract…Excellent!!

    Oh yeah that’s right too…Yak was probably sad for sec that Horcoff is gone but then he grabbed his phone and requested the One Zero..

    Hall will be Captain and it will be announced sooner than later!!! Now if Gagner’s wanting too much salary ($5 mil or plus that per yr) he will be surely dealt by next year if this year MacT does not get a 2nd line centre..

    I got a strong feeling right now that MacT is offering a deal to Philly for one of M. Talbot, B. Schenn or S. Couturier.. Philly’s new deal to Giroux just caused more cap headaches