Shawn Horcoff’s NHL career has been a very successful one. When he arrived fall 2000 (and was sent down) any fool could tell he played the game with enough skill and intelligence to make the show.
It didn’t take him long (24 games in Hamilton) to make the grade and Horc’s move up the team depth chart (4th line L to 1line C) happened in predictable fashion. His wide range of skills made him a big part of every team after the lockout, including the beauty team that went all the way to G7, SCF.
Oiler fans love him (hat tip to the ladies of Hot Oil for the photo of unnamed female flying the colors) and hate hit him (talk to any Oiler fan now and there’s either a degree of concern or disdain), sometimes in the same day.
Shawn Horcoff is in the middle of a terrible slump to start this season. 08-09 was a solid year (depending on the person you’re talking to) and we discussed it here. This is the important part of the post for today’s purposes:
- How important is Horcoff to this team? Vital. There are several skills (size, intelligence, experience, faceoff skills, playing successfully with Hemsky) that are not duplicated on this roster.
The Oilers appear to have found another center who can play with Hemsky. That’s excellent, but the other items on the list still apply. Meaning that whatever else is ailing the Edmonton Oilers, they sure as hell better figure out what’s up with Horcoff. They’re not going too damn far without him and that’s for sure.
There have been rumors about a foot injury and that makes a ton of sense. When men Horcoff’s age fall away in terms of their established performance level, it is usually injury. If this injury is a long ranger, they’re probably wise to place him on the IR and get him healthy.
Except they can’t, because there is no replacement. Got Horcoff? Sure do. And once again, he’s the best possible option for the coach. Even on one leg.