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.. 

  • Rocket


    Thanks for the extra info on the kid… but he is still very young and most every kid (especially ndefencemen) go thru stages.. He is up and he is down…oh well…

    I fully expect that he is Barons bound this season too but it may be that Eakins and Nelson can hekp the youngster improve this upcoming year.

    At least Horcoff does not cost any more salary or cap hit…

    • DSF

      Yeah, there is always hope for a young defenseman.

      Sometimes the penny drops.

      In this case, MacT traded Horcoff for TWO bags of bucks and apparently didn’t need to eat any salary to do it.

      A salary cap dump pure and simple.

      Northing wrong with that.

      I’m sure Katz is pretty happy he didn’t have to stroke a big cheque.

      • Clyde Frog

        Except one of those bag of pucks is an actual NHL player…

        This must burn on the inside… Where you keep your feelings…

        I seem to recall a certain someone predicting we couldn’t move Horcoff even if we ate his salary.

        I would ask you how being so damn wrong tastes, but you are kind of setting a new record for missed book it’s/predictions.

        • DSF

          He’s an “actual NHL player” in the same sense that Can Barker is “an actual NHL player”.

          Dallas had 8 better options and moved him.

          Can’t fault MacT here…he got $4.5M in cap space for Horcoff…that’s gotta be worth something.

          • DSF

            God, it must suck to be you.

            The Canucks paid Cam Barker $700K to be their 9th defenseman.

            The Oilers are on the hook for Larssen to be their AHL level defenseman for $1.1M.

            That’s a difference of 50%.

            Did you fail math class?

          • Clyde Frog

            Ouch, that hurt…

            On the inside….

            But you forget he is replacing 5.5 million in salary…
            That means he is actually getting paid -4.5 mil for cap reasons.

            I still haven’t heard you explain how Horcoff went from unmovable in your eyes at half salary to us picking up 1 year and 1 million in cap in a 23 year old defence man with 1 great year and 1 poor year in the NHL.

            Don’t worry I’ll wait patiently.

          • DSF

            Horcoff was moveable because Dallas was able to dump a player with a $1.1M cap hit.

            Horcoff is only getting paid $4M this season so the Oilers only save $2.9M in real dollars.

            Good work by MacT in my opinion.

          • Rocket

            Totally. Remember L.A. doing the same trading Ryan Smythe to The Oilers for Colin Frasor so they could free up cap space for Jeff Carter?

            Maybe MacT is on to something bigger here.

  • DSF

    If we do pay Clarkson $6 Million/ year, he would have failed before he even puts on the Jersey. If the haters were on Horc on his salary and Penner on his production…wait till they see Clarkson at $6mill/year…

    Clarkson is a big body with all the tools Oilers need but still not a big point producer, am I right?

  • clarkson ain’t worth $6 mil plus per year with any team in this league…just like Bozak is not worth $40 mil for 8 years…

    If the Oilers want Clarkson (which I would love) I would offer up to $4.5 mil a year to maybe $5 mil per yr max…

    I hope they go for Gordon, Lapiere (agitator/Pk guy/wins faceoffs), and trade for Zack Smith (for some reason I like this kid too)

    • DSF

      I think 5.25 to 5.5 x5 gets it done. Its Malone like, we would like it for 2 years, and hate it the rest. Clark MCarthar sp? at 4-4.5 would be easier to digest. He can score and has some grit.

  • Regardless of the trade coming back, MacT doesn’t have to eat Horc’s contract, which means KLowe’s happy, which means Katz is happy. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but this is definitely a good day with Belanger out of the mix as well. Maybe this Larsen kid isn’t ready for a full season in the show, but you can’t complain about having dman depth.

  • DSF

    I have to admit I am just a little sad to see him go. The team seemed like a different team this last season when he was injured, and seemed to find an extra gear when he came back.He didn’t, but the team did! I thought that even if we got a “lesser” player back in the deal, we would still get the better end of the deal!
    All the same, good luck in Dallas

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Clarkson at 5.75 – 6’ish per, is a risk I feel the Oilers should take. With a much stronger top 2 lines here now, it won’t be all on his shoulders to be the best player here like it was for Penner. Starting to think this Clarkson deal might happen for MacTavish. This one deal alone, would set the Clarkson family up financially for life.

    Also hope MacTavish is able to twist Holmgrens arm and get Couturier. I don’t feel it’s out of line if Paul’s hoping to unload Coburn or Mezaros on Edmonton. Hold out for Sean, Oilers need him moreso than salary dumpers Coburn or Mezaros.

  • If MacT does not have a trade/signing in the books for a center (or two) this could get really ugly.

    RNH (injured)

    That’s all we got on the books.


  • DSF

    Why the heck would the Oilers want to waste the cap space geberated on Clarkson? He is a RW, is he not? Any good generated out of trading Horcoff would be swept away by signing Clarkson.

    Oilers don’t need to be hunt whales up front. The need MacArthur and maybe Grabovski. They need solid 3rd line guys on value deals. They do not need another top 6 RW.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Does anyone else feel ten pounds lighter with Horcoff’s albatross off the books? We’re gonna have to start shelling out more cash for kids soon, the extra 5.5 will be a boon.

  • DSF


    Yeah that type contract you sggest is still okay…and yep…. if Clarkson does get up to $6 mil per yr in an Oiler deal then he will either do great for 3 to 4 yrs of it first…or he will become Gagner’s next partner as a whipping boy…

    But I do hope we get him for this team…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Kings may not be able to afford Dustin Brown (RW) after this coming season. Maybe there’s something that could be done there. Move Eberle into the middle.

    Kings need 6 more bodies and less than 6 mill to work with.

  • Time Travelling Sean


    Yeah Clarkson may be a RW but he will get very good 3rd line minutes and do 2nd line duty too…here and there…

    Not a waste..

    I am wondering more about the Oilers wanting one or both of B. Gordon and speedy Mason Raymond too.. Anyone like these guys???

  • Clyde Frog

    It’s hard to bring it when you realize that your personal goals will not be met with this team, ie. playing playoff hockey and winning the Stanley Cup before you retire.

  • Rocket

    Clarkson is looking for a big payday (I assume), and while I think he would look great in an Oilers sweater, if they sign him for anything over 4Mil. it would be an overpay IMO.

    Plus, they just got rid of Horcoffs awful salary. Why waste the cap space on a role player?

    I like Clarkson but as another poster commented, now is not the time to go whale hunting. Maybe in a couple of years when The Oilers are trying for a deep run in the playoffs.

  • DSF

    Got rid of him w/o any cap splitting. That’s a good deal.

    And it leaves a spot open for a buyout. Who will it be or do they have the option to hold it for next year?

  • Rocket

    With a spare buyout, maybe you can approach Philly about Coburn with the added incentive of taking one of their undesirable contracts and then buying it out. Deadline for buyouts is tonight tho, I believe.

  • Crackenbury

    Why does anyone care what any given player makes? Does it somehow affect your everyday life?

    If you’re hoping for a certain player to be signed, just leave it that and hope they sign them.

    I could give a rats a$$ what the Oilers decide they are willing to pay a player to play here. They have a cap to work within and certain players that are willing to come play in Edmonton. They pay whatever they need to and no more to get the player they want.

    Inevitably some D-bag will come along afterwards and say what a terrible deal it is and MacT”s an idiot for paying so much.

    Book it!

    • Crackenbury

      When you pay someone more than they are worth it hurts your team. For example, if you theoretically pay your third line centre 5.5 million for lots of years, it becomes difficult to add more top 6 forwards to improve your team once you run into the cap.

      Not that anyone would ever pay their 3rd line centre 5.5 million with lots of term. It’s just a theoretical example to illustrate a point.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      People care about salaries because we have 5 big names that are gonna need 5 big paychecks to stay here. Overpaying one guy could mean we have no cap room to re-sign the young talent we just gained from being the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

          • Crackenbury

            I don’t mind a bit of conversation about player salaries in a cap environment, but it seems that today the first thing people judge a new signing is on the $ instead of what the player brings to the team. It gets a little old listening to the Internet GM’s critique the economic ramifications of each signing rather than the players ability and how they fit. Just my opinion.

          • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

            Well part of the reason Oiler fans care so much is, most of us are nervously eyeing the horizon for when the rest of the young gun’s ELCs expire. We have a limited window to win here, salary-wise, before the raw talent of Hall, Yak, et al forces pay raises and causes the team to (at least partially) explode, as the Hawks did after their first cup win. In a cap world, I’d argue salary is equally important as the player earning it.

          • Crackenbury

            There is little to worry about. Teams find a way to pay their stars and build complementary players around them. The Blackhawks are a good example of what successful teams do to keep their core together and make multiple runs at Stanley Cups. I look forward to the day the Oilers become winners and need to do the same.

  • Clyde Frog

    The nightmare deal ,one of the worst we have ever done . We sell salary cap , but have to take on a garbage part they want to get rid of and toss ,giving us an additional contract and a 7th round pick to make us feel better . Why even bother with that useless contract ? We got to go that low in additions we’ll be lucky to reach 29th spot next year . Discusting .

    • DSF

      There’s another way to look at it.

      The Oilers have moved Horcoff’s $5.5M cap hit for a $1.1M cap hit.

      So, they, on the surface, have saved $4.4M.

      Now, they need to acquire another centre to replace Horcoff.

      If they have to pay him $3.5M, they only saved $900K.

      • John Chambers

        Right, but they also save the $1M on a 7th Dman from having in effect replacing Peckham.

        So if, for instance, they signed Grabovski for $3.5M they just a) got a better 3rd line C, b) improved their defensive depth, albeit marginally, and c) still shaved $2M off the cap.

        It’s a very good outcome.

        • DSF


          If the Oilers could sign Grabovski for $3.5M, but he won’t sign for that.

          He’d be off to the KHL in a heartbeat if that was the best offer.

          Your castle has a foundation of sand.

          • Reg Dunlop

            Seriously..? YOU are calling out another poster by saying that their “castle has a foundation of sand”..?

            So what has ALL of your “foundations” been based on then..? Cumulus Clouds..?


          • Rocket

            Grabby is not smart. Hes going to get 10 mil in a buyout and he probably reduced his suitors. Like seriously, you get you 10 mil. Sign a 4 year deal for 4 mil. You’ve just made better coin. For an extra few mil, I’d staple my lips to Carlyles fat ass.

            He has had so many priblems you and with all the culture issues, I think you pass. I love the player not the person.

      • O.C.

        I’m confused.

        I thought I read that Horcoff couldn’t be moved to the minors or if he could, his salary would count against the cap because of his age.

        With Larsen’s age and/or a two way contract, could he not be moved to the minors for zero cap hit?

        Even if I’m wrong, and if Larson’s a legit 7 defender, is that not a net savings on what another defender would likely cost (or at least break even) as an NHL starter?

        It’s a legit number of questions – not provoking here.

        • bazmagoo

          Horcoff’s salary would definitely still count against the cap.

          Larsen likely would be on a two way contract, which would mean he could be sent down to the A.

          Even it he was on a way one contract, I think there is a minimum amount you can bury in the minors because of his age.

          Don’t quote me on that though, I’m high and hungry right now after playing hockey so not a great combination, ha.

    • bazmagoo

      You should be standing on a rock yelling Boss the plane the plane ….. Is your real name tattoo

      Cause you are living on fantasy island if you think any of your many ridiculous trade proposals have any Merritt.

      Both John Shannon and Craig Button said macT was a magician for getting anything for Horcoff.

      TB buys out Vinny gets nothing Toronto buys out Gabby gets nothing Vancouver gets stuck with Lou because no one will take on their contracts all much better players but you don’t think we got enough for Horcoff …. Go back to screaming at the plane….wow

  • Clyde Frog


    Thanks for the carification of Larsen..


    Other than hearing Clarkson is in Edm right now to negotiate and tour, I think you may be right…and I am wondering now about a top 3rd line centre too… (cause I believe Gagner is here this yr at least for sure now)

  • dunk7

    Having a debate with myself about Hall being captain. He’s going to be a great captain. But part of me worries whether it’s too soon. It’s hockey country. People were on MacT’s back on his first day on the job as GM.

      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        I have a feeling he won’t get the C. I don’t know what he’s like in the locker room, but based on what I see of him on the bench and ice, he’s a little too hot headed to talk to the ref’s, and he doesn’t look very vocal with the players other than RNH and Eb’s.

        I’m not he saying he definatley shouldn’t get it, I’d just be a tiny bit suprised if he did.

      • Oilers4ever

        Agreed. Hallsy is the heart and soul of this team and if he’s flying the team tends to go as he does. Nobody else should be the captain of this team for the next 15 years except Hall.

  • DSF


    ya seem disturbed about the horcoff trade dude…were ya not one of the many who have complained about horcoff’s contract being overpaid and have added the oilers must dump Horcoff/

    If not then i take this back bud..

    • Quicksilver ballet

      No I was not . On the contrary ,I thought it best to keep him till at least his final year and deal him at the trade deadline to maximize the return if you recall . At half his salary cap hit he is still a very good and effective player – Dallas really lucked out and got a steal of a deal . We , on the other hand , took on a useless contract for a player probably as effective as Plante or Teubert -both slated to get rid of by the sounds of it . I cringe to think what Hemsky might only bring ,they should wait till trade deadline with him as well to get maximum value . we are still going in a negative direction from Hoecoff deal and that’s disturbing . Even if we kept Horc and Hemsky we were fine with cap space with enough left over to start improving . Now we hacve more cap space but I defy you to find where we are better with this trade included . Happy 4th of July .

      • dunk7

        Come on man, you really think that this move is not part of a bigger plan. Free up more cap space then bring in a couple of solid players. Maybe you overpay but it’s all about the end result. I am very happy that this shows MacT might actually have a plan. Next up…..

      • dunk7

        What kind of return are you hoping to get for a 35 y/o 3rd line sub 40 point player? I think we are the ones that got the steal. Once the starting lineup is set, I think I’ll be able to find how we got better with this trade.