RE 12-13: SHAWN HORCOFF

Shawn Horcoff spent the last 6 years as the tough minutes center on the Edmonton Oilers, which is almost exactly like being in the dance band on the Titanic.

RE 12-13: 75, 11-16-27

  1. Not a lot of offense left. This is about the same as last year with the PP time reduced. I think the Oilers will use him on a tough minutes line and lighten the load with fewer PP minutes.
  2. He was poor in 11-12. Horcoff was a star of the Sledgehammer graph  with tough zone starts and competition. The zone starts alone were killer. He’s barely on the freaking graph.
  3. Who should he play with? Smyth and maybe Hemsky, although you probably want #83 on a skill line. I admit to being partial to Horcoff as the best available Paajarvi mentor, maybe that duo and Smyth can take care of business. But I expect Horcoff-Smyth-Jones to win the day.
  4. Still taking faceoffs? Led team in faceoffs taken, 2nd in % at 49.4 (behind Belanger).
  5. Horcoff is wildly unpopular with the fans. People tend to attack him on the money and then the conversation heads in another direction. We can agree Horcoff is off his previous levels, but the Oilers keep using him in extreme circumstances and he’s the best available man on the roster for those zone starts and protecting the kids.
  6. You think that changes this year? A little bit, yes. I expect the Oilers will use Horcoff (and Belanger) as EV and PK options, with Gagner perhaps taking on some of the zone start mountain. But my guess is that the PP time will be clipped to keep him fresh. Buddy was born in 1978.
  7. Gagner? No way. Well, if my theory is correct Gagner will have Hall and Hemsky as linemates and that trio should be able to handle some of the tougher minutes.
  8. How severe was Horcoff’s situation? His off. zone start % was 43.9, second toughest on the team (Belanger). His zone finish % was 45.4, meaning overall he was on the ice for a positive result. What we know at this point about hockey is that zone starts make offense more difficult. And as we venture further into each season, that difficulty becomes more obvious and severe. All kinds of factors, including shift length, are a part of the equation (if you take 20 seconds to get out of your zone then the sortie begins halfway through your shift). Suffice to say Horcoff did some tough work and as the Sledgehammer graphic shows above it worked out pretty well considering all factors.
  9. Except for the giant -23. Well, we know that Horcoff’s line was battling tough situations and we know this was not a good hockey club. Horcoff’s GF/GA on ice was -1.04 and the team GF/GA when he was off ice was about even. So it makes sense to share the tough zone starts at this point in time.
  10. What about PDO and SP? Horcoff’s PDO was 978 and the on ice shooting perctange a mere 6.97. On ice SP was .909, among the lower totals on the club.
  11. But -23 is still a big damn number. Right. You could run this season again on a better team and Horcoff’s plus minus would be much better. Even better luck would have fixed it some. But I think it reasonable to suggest that the Gagner line takes on some of those zone starts.
  12. And tougher competition? Well, that’ll happen automatically. Taylor Hall’s numbers suggest other NHL teams will be aware of his on ice presence and conduct themselves accordingly.
  13. So you’re suggesting they use Horcoff for offenzive zone starts? Not really. I’m suggesting 3rd line minutes for Horcoff.
  14. He’s been 3rd line forever. Well, no. Horcoff has been playing the most minutes of any Oiler center for some time.
  15. Riiigght. Really. Shawn Horcoff has led Oiler forwards in TOI/per game every season since the lockout. The last guy to beat him in that category was Ryan Smyth–by 14 seconds in 2005-06.
  16. Who was the big minutes C before Horcoff took over? Todd Marchant.
  17. Wow. He really has been here a long time. 765 games, ranking him 6th. He’ll pass Bucky this year.
  18. How many goals? 155, tied for 10th on the all-time Oiler list. He’s tied with MacT, 2 behind Dougie Weight. 9th in points–435–one behind Tikkanen and he trails Weight by 122. Tied for 6th in years played, with Charlie Huddy and Ethan Moreau.
  19. How will he be remembered? Oilersnation will remember the contract, the feet of clay and the missed opportunities goalmouth. A few of us will remember the blocked shot (with his face) in Detroit, answering the bell even on those nights when all was lost during the anthem, and the fact that he was the best “dirty work” option on the team for a long time.
  20. You always liked him. From the first time I saw him mark his man, gain position and ride him out of the play as a perfect pass zipped through the slot, fall 2000 TC. I’ll be writing a ‘Sail on, Trail Smoke Eater’ sooner than later, but I’ve enjoyed watching Shawn Horcoff play hockey. Very much.

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141 Responses to "RE 12-13: SHAWN HORCOFF"

  1. Spydyr says:

    Six years out of the playoffs with Horcoff as the team leader.Yep he is a keeper.It will be a toss up if there is a contact amnesty clause between him and Khabby who goes.Hopping it is one-timer a swing and a miss.

  2. Bar_Qu says:

    This is bound to be a balanced, rational thread.

  3. gcw_rocks says:

    I can’t beleive the Oilers haven’t sold high on Jones. His value will never be higher, expect maybe at the trade deadline. MPS is probably already better at the defensive aspects of the game and with Yakupov coming aboard they can take the risk of shedding a few of Jones’ goals if MPS’s offence doesn’t come through. Madness.

    I also found your definition of first line interesting. Both you and Willis seem to base it on minutes. In my view, its based on role. Your first line is the line you count on for the most offense, where your most skilled guys are. Your second line is where the second level scoring comes from and your third line plays a shut down role and chips in where they can. Minutes are awarded based on the game situation and the effectiveness of the lines in acheiving thier role/objectives.

    Perhaps I am old school in that thinking, but in a 30 team league very few teams have the depth of talent to ice three scoring lines, so I generally think this concept holds for most teams even today (Horcoff’s line, Bolland’s line, Malholtra’s line, Gaustad’s line, etc.).

  4. gcw_rocks says:

    My issue with Horcoff is his contract. If his contract wasn’t on the books, would the Oilers have gone after Semin? Quite possiblly.

    That’s Lowe’s fault primarily, but Horcoff signed it to and he had to know the expectations that come with that kind of money.

    If there is an amnesty, then I would expect the Oilers to buy him out, but they will definitely miss what he brings when Horcoff is gone, even if they don’t miss the contract.

  5. mike.c33 says:

    Spydyr,

    You are proposing the Oilers buy out their best defensive forward. Which leaves them with what? RNH-Gagner-Belanger-CVV/Lander at centre? Doesn’t the math show Lander was an offensive black hole last season? Personally, I find our odds of making the playoffs next season to be much better with Horcoff in the mix.

  6. mike.c33 says:

    gcw_rocks,

    I think the Oilers had the cap room to sign Semin to the same contract the Hurricanes did.

    However, according to Wikipedia, Semin plays right wing – already a pretty stacked position on the Oilers with Eberle, Hemsky and Yakupov*.

  7. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Shawn Horcoff fucking rocks. That’s all I have to say on the matter.

  8. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    I can see why fans hate that contract, but why hate the player? The role he’s shouldered for the past 4 years has given the kids the chances they do. Not sure why people are so anxious to give Hall the C. The kid is a beast, but he is still learning. Horcoff continues to do all the little things and carry the drop with class. Outside of the contract, I’m not sure how fans can come down on a guy that gives it all for the team and community. Great soldier. Great captain.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Interesting that typed in “horcoff” instead of “hunter1909″ when logged in.

    Horcoff is a decent enough player in his way, constrained to derision by the howling fan-mob.

    Of course, he possesses fuck all leadership qualities, scoring skill, plus the endless intangibles that make a great or even good captain. He appears more like the company man…content to perpetually dwell in the halls of mediocrity…which hardly makes him anything like an effective captain.

    Naturally, it follows, that he should probably volunteer to resign his pathetic captaincy to Taylor Hall…either this season or at it’s conclusion.

    Hilarious/sad reality: The idiots have “built” the team around him. So, in fact, the pro-Horcoff lobby always has a great case – after all…”Who else can take on those tough minutes?”.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—,

    till_horcoff_is_coach,

    “Are you out of your fucking mind?” Jack Torrance

  11. gcw_rocks says:

    mike.c33,

    Yep, but they need that contract off the books to pay up for Hall, Eberle, RHN and Yakupov, plus hopefully sign/trade for some impact defenders.

    They can go sign/trade for a Dominic Moore type player for cheap to bridge the gap for this year.

    I would much rather that money go to a Semin or a Doan or even a Wideman/Boumeester.

  12. rickithebear says:

    Spyder :
    Since 06-07 horcoff’s role has a historical plus minus of -12/season for 5 of the 6 season’s. The cumulative total for those 6 years should be – 68. he was -67. he was average for those 6 season’s. A role that averages 4.5M/Season.

    Last half of the season he looked slower and was unable maintain average for that role.

    He was the player to get the best offensive results out of Hall and they outscored 2nd comp.
    Roll these two out to crush first comp in a better zone start situation. Now if we could find a young strong skating and Shooting RW with a elite historical defensive history, who is an elite goal scorer, and strong on the PK to play with them.

    Oh wait everyone wnat s to trade he and Musil + to improve our .35 Sv% d Core base of Smid petry, Peckham, Potter

  13. gcw_rocks says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach,

    I don’t hate the player. I think he is a very good 3rd line centre, but I am willing to let go of the player to get rid of the contract. With the salary cap flexibility that comes from removing Horcoff’s contract, I am less concerned about signing the big four and putting quality players around them, and I as much as I like what Horcoff brings, he is easier to replace than a top six forward or a top pairing defenceman, which I what I hope they use the money for.

  14. russ99 says:

    The contract doesn’t really bother me as far as pay vs. performance (though that doesn’t really pan out as being even), but that the contract makes Horcoff untradeable.

    Which means if his play is just as poor as last year, then we’re still stuck with him for another couple of years affecting how much cap room we can use to keep the kids together.

    His NTC becomes a limited NMC with specified teams he can block a move to next summer, but unless we take a equally bad contract in return, I can’t envision any takers. The only hope to fix this is either amnesty, exiling Horc to the AHL or a painful buyout.

  15. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    hunter1909,

    No, I am simply able to see what Horcoff does for this team.

    I’d call a guy who for six years of godawful Oilers teams (and no he is not the problem) has been put in some of the toughest playing situations in the entire league whilst struggling with injuries and still able to put up 3rd line offense a pretty freakin good hockey player, a pretty freakin good captain, and a pretty freakin good Oiler.

    If Shawn Horcoff was on my team, he would be my first ballot captain. Every. Single. Time.

    Shawn Horcoff fucking rocks.

  16. gagan54 says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    Shawn Horcoff fucking rocks.That’s all I have to say on the matter.

    This is a genius.

    I have not argued with my friends more about anything then the value of Shawn Horcoff.
    Without him we would be lost.

  17. remember reijo says:

    I’ll bet Horcoff throws a kick ass backyard bbq. He just looks like the type. Uses the good stuff too, no ExtraFoods potato salad or kraft slices. I’ll bet he wears an apron with a punny word on it like “score-coff”. Man, I dont even have a bbq, or a backyard. We usually just order KFC. I hate Horcoff

  18. Lucinius says:

    I’ve always been a fan of Horcoff. Yes, the last few (hah) years he’s been an offensive black hole due to injury, being over-worked, the King of Whiff, etc., etc., but the man has laid it out there for the Oilers. You can say many negative things about Horcoff, but his work ethic and willingness to do the tough sledding with nary a complaint deserves praise.

    As for his contract; you cannot hold Horcoff accountable for that. If you do you aren’t in touch with reality. People take what they are offered, period. The management group that offered him that contract? They are to blame for being idiots. Horcoff has never been worth the money he’s paid, especially since that first major injury during his potential break out year, but its not on him.

    I’m glad Horcoff is (hopefully) seeing his role diminished a little in terms of minutes and such, as it should help keep him going for the full length of the season. And while he’s not the Captain of the future (that’s likely Hall or one of the other kids) he’s been a decent Captain to finish the march through hell and back into the light of team relevance.

    He’s been a good soldier and I’m glad he’s been here.

  19. franksterra says:

    Question for the Advanced Stats brigade:

    Do Horc’s advanced stats show that he:

    1) has done a very good to great job in the difficult role he’s played?

    or

    2) has managed to hold his own and not been a liability, given the difficult role he’s played?

  20. Oilanderp says:

    Sean Horcoff wrote this song to Oiler fans some time ago:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i28UEoLXVFQ

    I can’t tell ya baby what went wrong
    I can’t make you feel what you felt so long ago
    I’ll let it show
    I can’t give you back what’s been hurt
    Heartaches come and go and all that’s left are the words
    I can’t let go
    If we take some time to think it over baby
    Take some time, let me know
    If you really want to go

    Don’t know what you got till it’s gone
    Don’t know what it is I did so wrong
    Now I know what I got
    It’s just this song
    And it ain’t easy to get back
    Takes so long

    I can’t feel the things that cause you pain
    I can’t clear my heart of your love it falls like rain
    Ain’t the same
    I hear you calling far away
    Tearing through my soul I just can’t take another day
    Who’s to blame
    If we take some time to think it over baby
    Take some time let me know
    If you really want to go

    Don’t know what you got till it’s gone
    Don’t know what it is I did so wrong
    Now I know what I got
    It’s just this song
    And it ain’t easy to get back
    Takes so long

    Do you want to see me beggin’ baby
    Can’t you give me just one more day
    Can’t you see my heart’s been draggin’ lately
    I’ve been lookin’ for the words to say

    Don’t know what you got till it’s gone
    Don’t know what it is I did so wrong
    Now I know what I got
    It’s just this song
    And it ain’t easy to get back
    Takes so long

  21. steveb12344 says:

    Lucinius,

    I have to totally agree with this!

    If he was still Hemsky’s centre on the first line then yeah that would be very bad.

    In a role as a third liner though, the guy is a perfect fit and we have noone else that could do it as well.

    His cap hit is not a problem, and i assure you that every move management makes is to assure that the young core will be able to be kept together when the time comes.

    I for one have no problem with him, and as long as he’s not counted on too much in an offensive role, then i believe that we have a better team with him then if we just dropped him and were without.

  22. Dipstick says:

    After overpaying the guy, the beat him like a rented mule. If it looks like he is skating uphill all game, it’s because he is.

  23. bendelson says:

    By my eye, Horcoff started the past couple of seasons like a house on fire. Before long, he is banged up a little (or a lot), gets a little slower (or a lot), and then those tough minutes start to eat him up. By mid- season he has been beaten into the ground, and finishes the season a mere shadow of himself.

    Kreuger hopefully has a little more foresight than Renney did when it comes to the crazy tough minutes put on the captains shoulders and the painful cumulative effect of said minutes, and somehow keeps him effective for the entire season.

    Probably NOT a reasonable expectation.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Horcoff’s problems as a player are magnified to no end by that contract albatross.

    the question I have is whether Krueger has the same insistence as Renney did RE: having a FO specialist on the PP.

    Seeing Horcoff and Belanger out on the PP at times last year was maddening (after a draw had been taken) and I’ll be interested to see if Krueger does in fact greatly reduce Horcoff’s PP time, what his approach will be.

  25. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    I’m not going to attack Horcoff cause of his salary, that’s on Lowe’s head; I’m not going to attack Horcoff on his TOI that’s on Mac-T, Renney and Lowe’s head.

    I will say that he’s just not that good of player to be playing the amount he has, or where he has, he’s a forth line player on any other NHL team.

    That contract will leave the Oilers without being able to acquire necessary players come next year, the kids will be getting paid what there worth and we have important players that have to get signed before they become UFA”s

    The Oilers will eventually have to buy him out, ask yourselves is Horcoff better then any of these teams 2nd or 3rd line centers?

    St. Louis Blues – NO Los Angeles Kings – No Vancouver Canucks – No Chicago Blackhawks – No San Jose Sharks – No Nashville Predators – No Detroit Red Wings – No Minnesota Wild – No Dallas Stars – No Colorado Avalanche – No Columbus Blue Jackets-Not anymore.

    That leaves only Calgary – Anaheim – and Phoenix , you could argue that Phoenix 3rd line center is better then Horcoff. Horcoff is a forth line player.

  26. hockeyguy10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Since Krueger was in charge of the PP last year,I would imagine Horcoff and Belanger were out there because he wanted them to be.

  27. Ducey says:

    3.Who should he play with? Smyth and maybe Hemsky, although you probably want #83 on a skill line. I admit to being partial to Horcoff as the best available Paajarvi mentor, maybe that duo and Smyth can take care of business. But I expect Horcoff-Smyth-Jones to win the day.

    Based on the bubble boy graph, Jones might be the right fit. He played slightly easier competition but had harder zone starts than Smyth.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hockeyguy10,

    Yea… I thought of that… and then I assumed that was a directive from on high… that plus everyone’s sense that Horcoff and Belanger will get a lot less PP time…

    so if that holds up… (H and B less on the PP), does that mean the strategy has changed (we don’t need someone on to win FOs anymore in the PP) or that Krueger is going to trust in RNH, Gags, Hall, or x to do the job?

  29. dessert1111 says:

    I don’t mind Horcoff but wish he came off the books after next year or even after two years from now. For some reason I feel like the team can’t be a serious competitor until his contract is up, whether it’s because I expect him to continue to regress and that we’ll need a 3C upgrade or due to cap flexibility reasons. It’d be nice to be a buyer at the deadline but that 5.5 mill is going to be killer at the deadline a year and a half and two and a half years from now. I’m okay with one more development year with some improvements but I’d like the Oilers to be buyers in 13-14.

  30. mumbai max says:

    Best 3rd line center in the league. Who cares about the money. The Oil have cap space, and none of us are signing his cheques.. Sometimes, you would think Horcoff haters were having a decuction from their paycheque. It is lunch money for Katz, so focus on the fact that he is a perfect for the task of 3rd line center. (Belanger being perfect for 4th line center duties) As long as RNH or Sam do not get traded or injured, I would refer the Oil as ‘strong down the middle’. Those two will likely rack up 120 points between them, which would be among the best in the league. Meanwhile Horcoff covers their butts and doesn’t complain. The perfect complementary player.

    Two more years the landscape will change, but by then the buyout/trade options will look much different.

    Enjoy him for who he is. And did I mention to forget about the contract?

  31. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    mumbai max,

    Best third line center in the LEAGUE!! You’re out to lunch! You would refer the Oilers as strong down the MIDDLE!! WOW!

    St. Louis Blues – Los Angeles Kings – Vancouver Canucks – Chicago Blackhawks – San Jose Sharks – Nashville Predators – Detroit Red Wings – Minnesota Wild – No Dallas Stars – Colorado Avalanche – Columbus Blue Jackets

    ALL have better middles, or haven’t you noticed the 30th 30th 29th place finishes?

    Horcoff IS a fourth line center!

  32. gcw_rocks says:

    steveb12344,

    In what way is his cap hit not a problem? The most you should be paying a 3rd line centre is $3.00M, maybe $3.5M if they bring something special to the table. His cap hit is $2.0 to $2.5M higher than that. The Oilers have the 8th highest payroll in the league and they suck. If you look at the teams that are successful their contracts align well with the value they receive from them.

    The Oilers, on the other hand, are overpaying:

    Horcoff
    Whitney (based on his dimished capacity)
    Sutton
    Khabibulin

    If the team can flush those 4 guys and replace them with players either worth the salary, or pay equivilent players at value and redeploy the cash elsewhere they will be a better team.

    When your team sucks, you should not be wed to any player, and if you are, it should be to Hall, RNH, and Yakupov. Everyone else should be available if it improves the team, even if its just the first move in a series of moves (e.g step 1 flush horcoff, step 2 sign Semin). Its a chess game.

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    gcw_rocks: I also found your definition of first line interesting. Both you and Willis seem to base it on minutes. In my view, its based on role. Your first line is the line you count on for the most offense, where your most skilled guys are. Your second line is where the second level scoring comes from and your third line plays a shut down role and chips in where they can. Minutes are awarded based on the game situation and the effectiveness of the lines in acheiving thier role/objectives.

    Hmm, seems to me LT has unrolled the pivots as follows: 1) RNH 2) Gagner 3) Horcoff. I did it exactly the same way, even as I felt obliged to point out in a recent Horcoff feature that it’s the captain who (always) plays the most minutes. But in terms of role, he best fits this team in a defence-first capacity, which to me is the definition of Line 3. He picks up the extra minutes by being a regular on both special teams, whereas 93 and 89 only play PP.

    I think it would be a healthy thing if in 2012-13 (assuming there is one) that Horc ranks 2nd or even 3rd among Oiler pivots in TOI/G, with those two kids each picking up 1-2 minutes per.

    bendelson: By my eye, Horcoff started the past couple of seasons like a house on fire. Before long, he is banged up a little (or a lot), gets a little slower (or a lot), and then those tough minutes start to eat him up. By mid- season he has been beaten into the ground, and finishes the season a mere shadow of himself.

    Good points about health. I also think it weighed on these vets that the team was going nowhere, that the fans were (rightly!) talking about tanking for draft picks. Motivation to over-achieve has to go out the window at some point. (See also: Khabibulin, Smyth) Perhaps I’m a cockeyed optimist, but I expect some of these vets to be better in the second half if there is actually something to play for.

  34. remlap says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: mumbai max, Best third line center in the LEAGUE!! You’re out to lunch! You would refer the Oilers as strong down the MIDDLE!! WOW!St. Louis Blues – Los Angeles Kings – Vancouver Canucks – Chicago Blackhawks – San Jose Sharks – Nashville Predators – Detroit Red Wings – Minnesota Wild – No Dallas Stars – Colorado Avalanche – Columbus Blue JacketsALL have better middles, or haven’t you noticed the 30th 30th 29th place finishes?Horcoff IS a fourth line center!

    Could you kindly refer to which players on these teams 3rd lines are better than Horcoff? Who is the 3rd line center for the Avs that is better than Horcoff? What about the Stars? The Blue Jackets?

    It seems like you have some unreasonable hate for Horcoff.

  35. DSF says:

    mumbai max:
    Best 3rd line center in the league. Who cares about the money. The Oil have cap space, and none of us are signing his cheques.. Sometimes, you would think Horcoff haters were having a decuction from their paycheque. It is lunch money for Katz, so focus on the fact that he is a perfect for the task of 3rd line center. (Belanger being perfect for 4th line center duties)As long as RNH or Sam do not get traded or injured, I would refer the Oil as ‘strong down the middle’. Those two will likely rack up 120 points between them, which would be amongthe best in the league.Meanwhile Horcoff covers their butts and doesn’t complain. The perfect complementary player.

    Two more years the landscape will change, but by then the buyout/trade options will look much different.

    Enjoy him for who he is. And did I mention to forget about the contract?

    The myth building continues.

    Horcoff isn’t even close to being the “best third line centre in the league”.

    Let’s take Chris Kelly of the Bruins as an example.

    82GP 20G 19A 39P +33

    No?

    How about Jordan Staal?

    62GP 25G 25A 50P +11

    OFZONE Start?

    Horcoff 43.9
    Kelly 47.2
    Staal 47.8

    Now, you can certainly argue Horcoff had a higher hill to climb but based on results he fell off the side of the mountain and was buried in the ensuing avalanche.

    Oh, BTW…

    Horcoff $5.5M
    Kelly $3M (new contract)
    Staal $4M

  36. Ducey says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    You keep saying Horc is a 4th line center. Great. Do you have any evidence of that?

    For example he seems to compare quite well to J. Stoll. He had more points than Stoll (34 to 21) and played on a much poorer team (weaker goaltending, weaker defence, many fewer tough minutes forwards).

  37. remlap says:

    DSF,

    I think I speak for most people here when I say that no, Horcoff is not the best 3rd line center in the league. Maybe not even top 5 or top 10. But he is by no means the worst either.

    I also don’t know if you can continue to compare him to Staal, as he is no longer a 3rd line center, and only got put in that position due to being behind arguably the 2 best centers in the entire NHL.

  38. franksterra says:

    It just doesn’t seem to be in the brass’ dna to flush older (the oldest) players. If anyone has a better theory than a certain timidty, risk aversion and better the devil you know attitude, i’d love to hear it.

    I accept that Horc is playing a very tough and important role, and I can’t imagine going into this year without him. But that is only partly to do with his level of play, and has a lot to do with the brass’ lack of initiative and of course, the contract. If we run with Sam at #2, and assume (as we must, because the alternatives suck) that we’ll make moves to improve the bottom six, then I would say Horc should be moved after this year to a team able to pay salary but needing help to stick around the cap floor.

  39. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    remlap,

    Are you bloody serious?? Seriously you could not have picked a worse team to compare with!

    Lets see they have Matt Duchene or Ryan O’Reilly for good measure they have Paul Stastny

    All 50 point players!! get back to me if you want me to list the rest of the western conference!

    I’ll save you the pain and tell you only Calgary and Anaheim are probable worse.

  40. jake70 says:

    Edmonton vs. MInnesota, Dec. 29 or 30th last year. Whistle goes after some action around the Minny net, scrum starts, no “punches” thrown, but both Eberle (pretty sure) and RNH were right in the middle of it getting “bullied” we shall say, ….Horcoff was to the back side of the net, looked down at the ice, skated away. He is what he is, does what he can with the ice time given but the captain skating away like that….maybe he was dead tired, injured whatever…….still unacceptable.

  41. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Ducey,

    Really? Did you not watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Stoll or Horcoff…. I’ll take Stoll.

    He’s +/- is better, he hits more, engages the opposition and has a far superior shot, just off the top of my head, I also think he’s better in the face off circle. Is by far a faster skater!
    He’s PK’s and would also be a better PP option for the Oilers, or do you not remember that slap shot of his?

    Really bad trade by Lowe, Really bad.

  42. remlap says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    I would actually like your list. You’ve given me one team. That’s fine. Actually, to save you the trouble of backing up your own arguement, I’ll go through the depth charts according to DailyFaceoff (not sure what the best way to look this up is).

    Nick Bonino (ANA), Blair Jones (CAL), Dave Bolland (CHI), Matt Duchene (COL), Ryan Johansen (CBJ), Vern Fiddler (DAL), Darren Helm (DET), Jarret Stoll (LA), Kyle Brodziak (MIN), Paul Gaustad (NSH), Boyd Gordon (PHO), Michal Handzus (SJ), Vlad Sobotka (STL), Manny Malholtra (VAN)

    So it looks like we’re clear of ANA, CAL, CBJ, and PHO.

    I would say we’re pretty much even with DAL, SJ, and STL. I’m not sure what advanced stats look like for this cluster, but by my eye, it seems to be down to personal preference between these 3 and Horc. I may be off-base though.

    By my count that puts Horcoff firmly in the middle of the Western Conference on the list of Best 3rd Line Centers.

  43. jonrmcleod says:

    I’m waiting for what Tracktor has to say.

  44. DSF says:

    remlap:
    DSF,

    I think I speak for most people here when I say that no, Horcoff is not the best 3rd line center in the league.Maybe not even top 5 or top 10. But he is by no means the worst either.

    I also don’t know if you can continue to compare him to Staal, as he is no longer a 3rd line center, and only got put in that position due to being behind arguably the 2 best centers in the entire NHL.

    Well, Horcoff was rewarded by Lowe in a fashion that suggests he is or was a player that was perceived to be better than Staal.

    That Staal has outperformed Horcoff while playing #3C in Pittsburgh is certainly no surprise to some of us.

    There were 250 centres who toiled in the NHL last season.

    The worst plus/minus among them was Marty Reasoner at -25.

    The second worst plus/minus?

    Shawn Horcoff at -23.

    Now, before the apologists jump in with cries for “contact” consider this.

    These are the OFFZone starts for some other notable defensive centres.

    Malhotra – 13.2!!!!
    Weise – 20.6
    Lapierre – 22.2
    Slater – 28.5
    Boyle – 28.8
    Pahlsson – 29.7
    Bolland – 32.5
    Gaustad 33.4
    Prust 33.7

    By comparison with these guys, Horcoff had a very easy ride with zone starts.

    IMO, the prototypical #3C is Dave Bolland so let’s take a look at how he did.

    76GP 19G 18A 37P
    Cap hit – $3.3M

  45. remlap says:

    DSF,

    That’s all well and good, I just thought this whole conversation was meant to look at the player sans contract. I agree with you, the contract is brutal. He’s way overpaid. But if his cap hit was 3m, I don’t think anyone would be throwing him under the bus. That’s the point. That he’s a more than serviceable 3rd line center if you don’t look at the contract.

  46. SinceTheWHADays says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    hunter1909,

    No, I am simply able to see what Horcoff does for this team.

    I’d call a guy who for six years of godawful Oilers teams (and no he is not the problem) has been put in some of the toughest playing situations in the entire league whilst struggling with injuries and still able to put up 3rd line offense a pretty freakin good hockey player, a pretty freakin good captain, and a pretty freakin good Oiler.

    If Shawn Horcoff was on my team, he would be my first ballot captain.Every.Single.Time.

    Shawn Horcoff fucking rocks.

    Get off the glue, crack us back. The reason we’ve had subpar teams over the years is because we have subpar players….and Horcoff leads the list. A shut down guy is only good if he actually shuts down the opposition. Clearly Horcoff fails in his role. Horcoff freak’n sucks!!!

  47. Mr DeBakey says:

    Really? Did you not watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Stoll or Horcoff…. I’ll take Stoll.

    One gets to play behind Kopitar & Richards.
    The other, not.

    Stoll’s OK, but he has maybe the easiest Center job in the NHL.

  48. Mr DeBakey says:

    Oh yeah, i forgot to add Bar_Qu nailed it with the second comment.

  49. DSF says:

    remlap:
    DSF,

    That’s all well and good, I just thought this whole conversation was meant to look at the player sans contract. I agree with you, the contract is brutal. He’s way overpaid. But if his cap hit was 3m, I don’t think anyone would be throwing him under the bus. That’s the point. That he’s a more than serviceable 3rd line center if you don’t look at the contract.

    In a cap world you can’t ignore the contract but, even if you do, he’s getting buried.

    While he plays the toughs, they absolutely murdered him last season.

    Among the 138 centres who played 60+ games in the NHL last season his ON +- /60 was 129th.

    Doesn’t get much worse than that.

  50. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    remlap,

    You would be wrong about CBJ as they now have Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, not sure which one will be 2nd or 3rd but it doesn’t matter as both are a better option then Horcoff

    Dallas has Eakin-Roy – Vincour and Fiddler… Fiddle whom you compared Horcoff to will be there forth line center this year!

    San Jose has Thorton – Couture- and Handzus this would put Horcoff 4th

    St. Louis has Backes-Berglund – Arnott –Sorry but Sobotka was the forth line center last year

    After this year then we can discuss the Blues vs Horcoff

    The rest you mentioned if you were a GM you take before Horcoff! Again, this leaves us with only Calgary and Anaheim, just like I said!

  51. rickithebear says:

    DSF: Horcoff 43.9
    Kelly 47.2
    Staal 47.8

    You cherry picker.
    Staal 3rd easiest of the top 30 toughest Comp/zone start roles. he finnished 10th of 30.
    Kelly 5th easiest of the top 70 toughest Camp/zone start roles. He finnished 2nd of 70
    Horcoff easiest of the top 10 toughest comp start he finnished 8 out of 10.
    He is not able to take on that other 7% any more.

    As i stated horcoff needs a better Zone start against the same comp with Hall (Best EVP production w/ Horc). hall showed he was ready for 1st comp @ 50% zone start.

    A Smyth-gagner-hemsky can take more of the load.

  52. hunter1909 says:

    jake70:
    Edmonton vs. MInnesota, Dec. 29 or 30th last year. Whistle goes after some action around the Minny net, scrum starts, no “punches” thrown, but both Eberle (pretty sure) andRNH were right in the middle of it getting “bullied” we shall say, ….Horcoff was to the back side of the net, looked down at the ice, skated away. He is what he is, does what he can with the ice time given but the captain skating away like that….maybe he was dead tired, injured whatever…….still unacceptable.

    Yes+yes+yes but…

    These type of actual and exponentionally(spelling? is this even a word?) relevant kind of things don’t translate easily into numbers, with the result being that the stats freaks around here cannot or will not recognise them easily; therefore enjoying this virtual joke of an NHL captain, who has “led” the team to the inglorious state it currently(Black Dog for example, wants playoffs before his son enters middle school) finds itself in.

    Come to think of it, ever since I returned to following hockey I always wanted this team to tank and collect awesome players. Go Horcoff!

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    DSF: Now, before the apologists jump in with cries for “contact” consider this.

    “contact” “context” “contract” or “x” (honest question)?

  54. DSF says:

    Some other interesting “context” from BTN.

    Among the 138 centres who played 60+ games last season, Horcoff’s ONSV% was 98th at .909.

    Bolland’s ONSV% was 128th at .898.

    Horcoff finished the season at -23 while Bolland’s +- was zero.

    Hmmmm….

  55. DSF says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: “contact” “context” “contract” or “x” (honest question)?

    Nasty Clown….

  56. remlap says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: remlap, You would be wrong about CBJ as they now have Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, not sure which one will be 2nd or 3rd but it doesn’t matter as both are a better option then HorcoffDallas has Eakin-Roy – Vincour and Fiddler… Fiddle whom you compared Horcoff to will be there forth line center this year!San Jose has Thorton – Couture- and Handzus this would put Horcoff 4th St. Louis has Backes-Berglund – Arnott –Sorry but Sobotka was the forth line center last yearAfter this year then we can discuss the Blues vs HorcoffThe rest you mentioned if you were a GM you take before Horcoff! Again, this leaves us with only Calgary and Anaheim, just like I said!

    You would rather have Anisimov playing the tough minute checking line role over Horcoff?

    You would rather have Cody Eakin or Thomas Vincour over Horcoff?

    Also, like I said, with those teams, it’s a matter of personal preference as to who you’d rather have playing the 3rd line role. Sure, someone might take Handzus. Someone might take Horcoff. If we’re going to play the “let’s put Horcoff on another teams roster and see where he plays” game, it could be argued that he would slot into the 3rd line ALONG with Handzus and/or Arnott.

  57. remlap says:

    DSF: Some other interesting “context” from BTN.Among the 138 centres who played 60+ games last season, Horcoff’s ONSV% was 98th at .909.Bolland’s ONSV% was 128th at .898.Horcoff finished the season at -23 while Bolland’s +- was zero.Hmmmm….

    Yes, we all know Dave Bolland is a better 3rd line center than Horcoff.

    In other news, steak is delicious!

  58. DSF says:

    rickithebear: You cherry picker.
    Staal 3rd easiest of the top 30toughest Comp/zone start roles. he finnished 10th of 30.
    Kelly5th easiest ofthe top 70 toughest Camp/zone start roles. He finnished 2nd of 70
    Horcoff easiest of the top 10 toughest comp start he finnished 8 out of 10.
    He is not able to take on that other7% any more.

    As i stated horcoff needs a better Zone start against the same comp with Hall (Best EVP production w/ Horc). hall showed he was ready for 1st comp @ 50% zone start.

    A Smyth-gagner-hemsky can take more of the load.

    Why exactly, should they?

    Do you expect Horcoff to bring more offense to the party than a line of Smyth-Gagner-Hemsky with easier zone starts?

    Of course not.

    Would Manny Malhotra score more if he didn’t start almost 90 percent of the time in the defensive zone if the Sedins lightened his load?

    Sure he would.

    Would it be a smart thing to do?

    No, it wouldn’t.

    If Horcoff can’t take on the toughs and win that matchup he has very little value to the team.

  59. JohnnyRocket says:

    So the general idea is to buy out Horcoff and use the money on a 1st line player/top 2 defenseman. Yes, because this management team has shown a real talent for signing free agents to reasonable contracts ( Heatley, Vanek, Nylander anyone?). And how many players could handle Horcoff’s assignment? Who would be his effective replacement?

  60. gcw_rocks says:

    remlap,

    In a salary cap world you cannot ever divorce a player from his cap hit. Not. Ever. Every dollar spent on one player is a dollar that cannot be spent on another. So, any player that plays below his contract value hurts his team.

  61. Ducey says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: Ducey, Really? Did you not watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Stoll or Horcoff…. I’ll take Stoll.He’s +/- is better, he hits more, engages the opposition and has a far superior shot, just off the top of my head, I also think he’s better in the face off circle. Is by far a faster skater!He’s PK’s and would also be a better PP option for the Oilers, or do you not remember that slap shot of his?Really bad trade by Lowe, Really bad.

    Thanks for confirming you are not able to cite any statistical evidence for your position.

    Why does it matter that one guy skates faster when the “slower” guy outscores him by 34 to 21?

    Among the 138 centres who played 60+ games in the NHL last season his ON +- /60 was 129th.
    Doesn’t get much worse than that.

    Your cherry picking doesn’t get much worse than that. +/-/60? For a measure of a defensive center on a weak team?

  62. rickithebear says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: You would be wrong about CBJ as they now have Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, not sure which one will be 2nd or 3rd but it doesn’t matter as both are a better option then Horcoff

    Jesus man.
    AA played LW and Dubinsky C hell CBJ stoll that trade.
    A A and Dubinsky are were there most productive with Prospal against 1st comp.
    That would be the 7th best 1st comp line in the Game.

    Allowing umberger and brassard to go from -11 with nash to +4 with Atkinson.

    Start from the bottom 90 and work up. Not the top 10.

  63. DSF says:

    Ducey: Thanks for confirming you are not able to cite any statistical evidence for your position.

    Why does it matter that one guy skates faster when the “slower” guy outscores him by 34 to 21?

    Among the 138 centres who played 60+ games in the NHL last season his ON +- /60 was 129th.
    Doesn’t get much worse than that.

    Your cherry picking doesn’t get much worse than that.+/-/60?For a measure of a defensive center on a weak team?

    Ducey: Thanks for confirming you are not able to cite any statistical evidence for your position.

    Why does it matter that one guy skates faster when the “slower” guy outscores him by 34 to 21?

    Among the 138 centres who played 60+ games in the NHL last season his ON +- /60 was 129th.
    Doesn’t get much worse than that.

    Your cherry picking doesn’t get much worse than that.+/-/60?For a measure of a defensive center on a weak team?

    Cherry picking? Hahaha.

    Results matter.

    A defensive centre who can’t defend is one of the primary reasons it IS a weak team.

  64. remlap says:

    gcw_rocks: remlap, In a salary cap world you cannot ever divorce a player from his cap hit. Not. Ever. Every dollar spent on one player is a dollar that cannot be spent on another. So, any player that plays below his contract value hurts his team.

    I completely understand that. I was just under the assumption that we were trying to figure out Horcoff the player, while forgetting about the massive mistake Lowe made years back.

    If we include salary into this, then I think everyone would be in agreement, and there would be nothinig to discuss here besides Neil Young and ScarJo.

  65. Ducey says:

    gcw_rocks: remlap, In a salary cap world you cannot ever divorce a player from his cap hit. Not. Ever. Every dollar spent on one player is a dollar that cannot be spent on another. So, any player that plays below his contract value hurts his team.

    Sorry, but this is bunk. Who did Horcoff’s contract prevent the Oilers from signing in the last three years?

  66. rickithebear says:

    DSF: Among the 138 centres who played 60+ games in the NHL last season his ON +- /60 was 129th.
    Doesn’t get much worse than that.

    so the center with the 6th hardest situation in the game got the 10th lowest results.
    i would have expected the 6th worst by your measure.
    he was better than expected!

  67. DSF says:

    rickithebear: so the center with the 6th hardest situation in the game got the 10th lowest results.i would have expected the 6th worst by your measure.
    he was better than expected!

    Who said he had the 6th worst situation? You did.

    He wasn’t even close to having the worst zone starts…not close at all.

    Ricki, your credibility on the Horcoff issue is zero ever since you proclaimed him the best centre in the NHL and a better value than Sidney Crosby.

  68. DSF says:

    Ducey: Sorry, but this is bunk.Who did Horcoff’s contract prevent the Oilers from signing in the last three years?

    Why didn’t the dog bark?

    Ridiculous argument.

    Cap space creates flexibility.

  69. rickithebear says:

    Ducey:

    in the real world goals win the game not shots.
    Anyone with half a brain knows players variance in SH% is a function of some inate action.
    Eberle will allways be a high % shooter cause he choose to release the puck in a very successful shot Zone.
    The young man understands pocession over shots from low % areas. Hence high sh%.
    Not all shots are the Same.

    from a getting the puck in the net. Goals are all the same.
    Which makes them a more accurate measure than shots.

  70. Bruce McCurdy says:

    DSF: Why didn’t the dog bark?

    Ridiculous argument.

    Cap space creates flexibility.

    This just in. Oilers have lots of cap space.

    Also, every team in the league has some bad contracts & some good ones. Oilers are no different. The choice is to “Redden” a guy, buy him out, or simply get the most you can out of him. Horcoff fits in that last category.

  71. Ducey says:

    DSF: Why didn’t the dog bark?Ridiculous argument.Cap space creates flexibility.

    Flexibility to do what? They were in a rebuild and they are not a team that attracts free agents or guys waiving no trades.

    If you can point to something the Oilers were prevented from doing in the last three years, and then point out how Hrocoff’s contract being $2 million too high prevented it, let me know. Otherwise his contract is irrelevant.

    And I don’t know why you didn’t bark. I would guess you were too busy picking cherries :)

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I don’t think the contract prevented anything but the fans from appreciating what Horcoff brings to the table.

    It looks like Krueger coming out the Smyth signing is going the transparency route re: expectations and roles of players.

    It would seem he has a much more focused plan for the vets and is communicating that directly to the players and the fans… I expect this kind of messaging and positioning will pay off in better, more focused, more consistent performances and more reasonable fan expectations.

    @DSF

    “Nasty Clown…”

    how so?

  73. DSF says:

    Bruce McCurdy: This just in. Oilers have lots of cap space.

    Also, every team in the league has some bad contracts & some good ones.Oilers are no different. Thechoice is to “Redden” a guy, buy him out, or simply get the most you can out of him. Horcoff fits in that last category.

    Really?

    Let’s imagine for a moment that Horcoff gets hit by a bus this afternoon.

    That frees up a roster spot and $5.5M in cap space.

    What do you think the Oilers would do?

    Nothing?

    The argument that the Oilers can afford to fritter away $5.5M on a mediocre third line centre is a very weak defense of Horcoff.

  74. Kris11 says:

    This conversation is going badly,

    I’d Raise Horcoff’s expected point totals from 34, (ober 82 games) not lower them to 27. He played in the toughest situations last year and got 34 points with low onice SH% and he only shot at 10.6%, which is lower than his career average of 12.3%. That points to increased production if he is used in easier situations and his puck-luck reverts to the mean.

    I suspect he’ll get a fair amount of time on the second PP unit. He can take draws and is better in front of the net than some of the kids. Plus, injuries will hit, requiring players other than the super kids to play the PP and Horcoff can do that.

    PP1: Hall-RNH-Eberle,XXX,Schultz PP2: Smyth/Horcoff-Gagner/Horcoff-Hemsky/Yakupov,Whitney,Petry

  75. DSF says:

    Ducey: Flexibility to do what?They were in a rebuild and they are not a team that attracts free agents or guys waiving no trades.

    If you can point to something the Oilers were prevented from doing in the last three years, and then point out how Hrocoff’s contract being $2 million too high prevented it, let me know.Otherwise his contract is irrelevant.

    And I don’t know why you didn’t bark.I would guess you were too busy picking cherries

    Dangle $5.5M in front of some free agents and I think you might pique a little interest.

    But, of course, you can;t do that when you’ve already dangled it.

    Chris Kelly was making $2M a season before signing a new contract with Boston for $3M.

    I’m guessing $5.5M might have gotten his attention.

    But that’s just me.

  76. DSF says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I don’t think the contract prevented anything but the fans from appreciating what Horcoff brings to the table.

    It looks like Krueger coming out the Smyth signing is going the transparency route re: expectations and roles of players.

    It would seem he has a much more focused plan for the vets and is communicating that directly to the players and the fans… I expect this kind of messaging and positioning will pay off in better, more focused, more consistent performances and more reasonable fan expectations.

    @DSF

    “Nasty Clown…”

    how so?

    Auto correct sometimes isn’t.

  77. fuzzy muppet says:

    DSF,

    So your argument against overpaying Horcoff is to go out and overpay other players that won’t earn their contract value???

    You’re daft

    Lets not forget horcoff came of a 70 point season and and All-star appearance when he signed that contract.

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    DSF: The argument that the Oilers can afford to fritter away $5.5M on a mediocre third line centre is a very weak defense of Horcoff.

    The counterfactuals are tricky… but during these last lean Horcoff years of running into the ground… it seems there was ample cap room to acquire FAs (assuming the strategy was more Calgary and less Edmonton and that people wanted to play in Edmonton) with a number of moves…

    “Auto correct sometimes isn’t.”

    typos are expected… It’s just when there are multiple possible answers, it’s reasonable to ask which one was intended, no?

  79. Maverick says:

    Food for thought. Horcoff 33 years old $5.5 cap hit next 3 years, or would you rather have Doan, a 36 year old at $5.5M cap hit for the next 3 years??

    Something to ponder.

    (Doan hasn’t signed, just using the example)

  80. rickithebear says:

    DSF: Who said he had the 6th worst situation? You did.He wasn’t even close to having the worst zone starts…not close at all.Ricki, your credibility on the Horcoff issue is zero ever since you proclaimed him the best centre in the NHL and a better value than Sidney Crosby.

    Arbitrarily saying shit I did not say?

    I said On HF clowns after 08-09 season, Horcoff delivered 53P for 3.6m 14.7points per million.
    Crosby delivered 103P for 8.7M 11.8points per million. in a cap world horcoff delivered better. per million.

    I thought grade 5 math not that hard.
    Class: Sidney got 103p for 8.7m. Shawn got 53p for 3.6m. Who had more production per million.

    Boom a whole collection of HF clowns up in arms cause i said Horcoff was better than crosby. What Horcoff is the #1 C in the game?
    You are crazy!

    Now I was new to the HF Boards and did not know they were worse than a collection 13 year old girls trying to pick who the pack was going to be mad at this week. Thats why at 13-14 I skipped them. Golfed a round of golf in the mornings and “had Tea”, “Picked Berries”, “trimmed hedges”, “moved boxes” in the afternoon with there moms. The smell of Dubonnet still makes me smile.

    Did not realize that yes most on there are dumber than Grade 5 kids at math.
    DSF it turns out so are you!

    As Red says to Eric so often in that 70′s show.
    Hey Dumbass!

  81. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    When the Oilers have to choose between a golden child and him then contract becomes an issue. Lowe screwed up, but Horcoff still brings a lot of value to this team.

    Of course he has an albatross of a negative +/-… he happens to play the most minutes in front of the worst D/G combinations in the league while being given the worst scenario with which to do it.

    He has horrible counting numbers from his situations as well. Wouldn’t the oilosphere implode if the offensive situations weren’t given to RNH and Gagner?

    Just how good would Kelly or Malholtra look on the Oilers. Seriously. If you subtract Horcoff, who does it take in his role to make the oil a playoff team?

    The problem on the team is not with him despite all the obsessions over him and his contract.

  82. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Hadn’t seen your post DSF.

    If Kelley was in Horcoff’s situation last year what would you expect his numbers to be? Same team, same ZS, same QoC and QoT. What’s the difference you are expecting there?

  83. mumbai max says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    well, you only named 11 (some debatable), so 12th best down the middlle i would refer to as strong.
    not formidable perhaps!

  84. Cactus says:

    For those ranting about the lack of a Horcoff buyout, consider:

    http://capgeek.com/buyout_calculator.php?player_id=11&buyout_y=2012&buyout_m=07&buyout_d=27

    In a buyout, the Oilers would save the most money this year – a season in which the cap is not a constraint. The next two years (2013-14 and 2014-15) would see his cap hit be almonst $3M and $4M respectively. If a good third line centre costs $3M, that would mean that between the buyout and the replacement, the oilers would be paying $6M and $7M to that position – insanity.

    Oh, and just for a kicker, the buyout would add 3 more years to Horcoff’s cap hit beyond his contract length, all at $1.44M. A buyout is not remotely a solution. If there’s an amnesty, that would be worth considering for the cap flexibilty, but only if a replacement could be signed (or Horcoff brought back).

  85. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bruce

    We just seem to have more than our share of the NHL’s bad contracts, and not so many good contracts. Horcoff would have to be one of the ten worst contracts in the NHL (not as bad as Gomez, clearly) and Khabby is in the top 30-40. Then we have the Souray fiasco. Ro/Bear Nilsson, JDD, Zorg

    And the ‘good contracts”? Petry., Smyth and?????????

    I like Horcoff. always have.I think he is a real solid hockey player and, heresy, is/was capable of playing on the great Oiler teams. Absent the kids, not a lot of guys on our roster you can say that about. He was still given a very stupid contract

  86. Southern Oil says:

    Maverick:
    Food for thought. Horcoff 33 years old $5.5 cap hit next 3 years, or would you rather have Doan, a 36 year old at $5.5M cap hit for the next 3 years??

    Something to ponder.

    (Doan hasn’t signed, just using the example)

    Just read a report on tsn that suggested Doan is asking for a 4 year, $30M contract to leave the Coyotes. Count me out if that’s what he wants.

  87. Cactus says:

    Also, to the Horcoff haters among us, context is important. VERY important. Consider a couple of the guys that have been thrown around has better, cheaper Horcoff alternatives:*

    Jarrett Stoll: 47.2% Off Zone Start, 998 PDO, 10th toughest comp for forwards (10th in Rel Corsi QoC)
    Chris Kelly: 47.2% Off Zone Start, 1056 PDO, 7th toughest comp for forwards
    Shawn Horcoff: 43.9% Off Zone Start, 978 PDO, toughest comp for forwards

    Both Stoll and Kelly had save % in the .940s – Horcoff was down at .909. Let’s stop using that ridiculous +/- argument and tell it like it is: Horcoff got buried and still managed to do okay.

    *Note: Jordan Staal is NOT a comparable. He belongs in conversations with guys like Mike Richards. Saying he’s a 3rd line centre is like saying Evgeni Malkin’s a 2nd line guy. Ridiculous.

  88. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    remlap,

    Yes I would take Artem Anisimov over Horcoff, faster, bigger, as many points and is younger! whats not to like about him?

    rickithebear,

    He play’s both postions and played center throught the playoffs!

  89. Cactus says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    remlap,

    Yes I would take Artem Anisimov over Horcoff, faster, bigger, as many points and is younger! whats not to like about him?

    rickithebear,

    He play’s both postions and played center throught the playoffs!

    Sure Anisimov got as many points, but he did it against easier competition (middling Quality of Competition) a much easier Zone Start (52.7%) and with a PDO of 1016. That’s not in the same league as Horcoff.

    Context is important and if you don’t think so, you might be in the wrong place. Street corner preaching might be more appropriate.

  90. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    mumbai max,

    But he’s not on another team he’s on the Oilers! Forever! It is also why the Oilers don’t have a better option then Horcoff, because yes eventually his salary comes into play, and is one of the reasons the Oilers are a 30 30 29th place team!

    Go through the teams individually yourself, I have, and honestly ask yourself if that player is worse -even or better then Horcoff.

    I found two teams maybe three that I wouldn’t want over Horcoff on the Oilers!!

    Your original statement the one I responded to, what was that again? Best third line center in the league and your questioning my results?

    Brother.

  91. remlap says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: remlap, Yes I would take Artem Anisimov over Horcoff, faster, bigger, as many points and is younger! whats not to like about him?rickithebear, He play’s both postions and played center throught the playoffs!

    As Cactus just said, easier competition, easier zone start. Anisimov is guy who fits into a top 6 role, not a checking line role. That’s like doing what DSF did. Comparing Horcoff to Jordan Staal.

    This discussion is getting ridiculous.

  92. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Cactus,

    Anisimov has been in the league for 3 years, your argument is about as good as saying RNH wont score or be any better because he had far easier zone starts and did it against easier comp!

    Anismov is going to get better! Is going to improve and has a far higher upside then Horcoff!

    Wake up damit! but I guess you cant pull that stat out of yer ass

  93. remlap says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: Cactus, Anisimov has been in the league for 3 years, your argument is about as good as saying RNH wont score or be any better because he had far easier zone starts and did it against easier comp!Anismov is going to get better! Is going to improve and has a far higher upside then Horcoff! Wake up damit! but I guess you cant pull that stat out of yer ass

    To defend Cactus here. We weren’t originally talking about potential. We were talking about right now. Or, last season. Or whatever you want to call it. Of course you’d rather have a younger player than an older one. If you’re doing that, then there’s a handful of 4th line and minor league guys I’d rather have than Horcoff as well.

    You are ridiculous.

  94. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    remlap,

    OK, Fine no Anisimov, then let’s go to Dubinsky then, still want Horcoff over Dubinsky?

  95. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    remlap,

    No ridiculous is saying Horcoff is a valuable third line player when the statics show he clearly is not! That’s the definition of ridiculous!

  96. remlap says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: remlap, No ridiculous is saying Horcoff is a valuable third line player when the statics show he clearly is not! That’s the definition of ridiculous!

    At any other salary, he IS a valuable 3rd line player.

    On almost any other team, he IS a valuable 3rd line player.

    That’s my point.

  97. "Steve Smith" says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    remlap,

    No ridiculous is saying Horcoff is a valuable third line player when the statics show he clearly is not! That’s the definition of ridiculous!

    I was skeptical of this claim, but I just checked my dictionary and Wes is bang-on.

    (Apparently what the dynamics show is irrelevant.)

  98. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    remlap,

    Also the article stats Horcoffs RE 2012 -13 so potential is an applicable argument! I don’t care about his salary; statistically speaking he is not an effective third line player!

    I’m done with you.

  99. Mr DeBakey says:

    I’m done with you.

    Thank-you!
    Thank-you!
    Thank-you!
    Thank-you!

  100. "Steve Smith" says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    I’m concerned that he might have meant “you” in the singular.

  101. hockeyguy10 says:

    The Corsi Quality of Comment on this thread is not very good.

    I am blame the dirty Russian,from what I am reading everything is his fault.

    Not surprising that #10 had bad results this year.Who wouldn’t get shitty results,playing on a shitty team and having to do all the shit work.

    As for his contract I take a very simple view of that also. What Horcoff gets paid is between him and the guy who signs the check. The only salary/income I worry about is mine.

  102. Cactus says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    remlap,

    Also the article stats Horcoffs RE 2012 -13 so potential is an applicable argument! I don’t care about his salary; statistically speaking he is not an effective third line player!

    I’m done with you.

    Statistically speaking? So far all you’ve provided are “saw him good” silly rants. If you want to make a statistical argument, please do. I have. And if the best you can do is to throw out a plus/minus number with no allowance for zone start, QoC, etc. just don’t bother.

  103. PaperDesigner says:

    You know what’s fun? Taking the time year after year blame Shawn Horcoff for not being a Getzlaf or a Crosby, being a useful, but not key player, and playing on a bad team.

    Yes, it’s his fault that this team thought Khabibulin would be a NHL starter into his late thirties. Yes, it’s his fault that they identified players like O’Sullivan and NIlsson could be regular top six NHL players. Yes, it is his fault that they have continually paraded a paper thin defence. And certainly his fault they signed Cam Barker. Smaller minded fans might point simplistically to management, who, in their stupidity, might preposterously assert that a single middle-six centre does not single-handedly define the fortunes of a team. But no! We understand that somehow, by virtue of his existence, he causes the team to be, through metaphysical psychic waves or some such, to consistently put bad players in key positions and to leave thin areas of the line-up unaddressed altogether.

    It’s actually really simple. A good GM would sign a player like Horcoff to a shorter term contract at lower dollars… which he would have gotten by not signing Horcoff to an extension in the season they did, but waiting until the following season to begin negotiations. And a good GM would have found at least one higher quality centre to take away some of the tough minutes, so that Horcoff can play against more secondary competition. And a good GM would have found someone other than Khabibulin, found better players, and not had the team in the absolute basement every year.

    Shawn Horcoff is a case study in a decent player put into the worst possible light by virtue of being put in a no-win situation on a contract that makes him an instant target to a fan-base looking for a scapegoat.

    Would I buy out Shawn Horcoff if there was an amnesty buyout? Yeah, but I’d also offer him a two year deal at two million per to be my third line centre, too.

  104. Mr DeBakey says:

    Cougar Life asks
    What do young, attractive men really want?

    Its been a long time since I can claim to qualify under more than one of those qualifications,
    But I’m going to guess it rhymes with slow lob.

  105. Ducey says:

    “Steve Smith”: Mr DeBakey, I’m concerned that he might have meant “you” in the singular.

    I’m concerned about the fact that although we might have killed off Wes Mantooth -11, that there were at various times, Wes Mantooths 1 to 10. He might come back as Wes Mantooth -12, and like most sequels, be even worse.

  106. Ducey says:

    Cougar Life asks
    What do young, attractive men really want?

    I would have thought the answer would have been: “young, attractive women”. But what do I know…

  107. wheatnoil says:

    PaperDesigner,

    I heard Pronger got Horcoff pregnant and that’s why Pronger’s wife demanded a trade.

  108. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Mr DeBakey,
    Ducey,

    The ad actually makes no sense… the tag line is “Remember your High-School Cheerleaders? They’re all grown up”

    The implication being that the girls you went to high school with are still hot (if not hotter) and are now magically available… regardless of whether that is the case… it hardly fits the “cougar” idea, which is that of older women seeking younger men: not older men seeking some unrequited HS cheerleader fantasy.

  109. Derek says:

    ON seems to be leaking.

  110. Bruce McCurdy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Bruce

    We just seem to have more than our share of the NHL’s bad contracts, and not so many good contracts. Horcoff would have to be one of the ten worst contracts in the NHL (not as bad as Gomez, clearly) and Khabby is in the top 30-40. Then we have the Souray fiasco. Ro/Bear Nilsson, JDD, Zorg

    And the ‘good contracts”? Petry., Smythand?????????

    I like Horcoff. always have.I think he is a real solid hockey player and, heresy, is/was capable of playing on the great Oiler teams. Absent the kids, not a lot of guys on our roster you can say that about. He was still given a very stupid contract

    At no point have I suggested the Horcoff contract is a good one. It’s. not. I have written that some folks are incapable of looking past the contract to consider the hockey player, as is manifestly true in this comments section.

    There are a few pretty good contracts on the Oil, including the ones you mentioned, Smid, Eberle, & I’d argue Jones delivered good value as well. On the bad side, obviously Khabibulin & Horcoff, arguably Whitney given what’s happened to him. Souray’s buyout still is on the books, but if you need to bring in Stortini as an example of a bad pact you’re reaching. 3 years at $700k under which he played 161 games is hardly egregious.

    My own definition of a bad contract is big money, long term., with restrictions like 35+ or NMC. I think the last/only one of these signed by Tambellini was the Bulin boat anchor back in ’09.

  111. Woodguy says:

    WHORECOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also,

    If being the leader for a bad team makes you a bad player then Marcel Dionne was a bad hockey player.

  112. wheatnoil says:

    On another note, the anti-Horcoff camp seems eager to point out that Horcoff is not only a terrible captain, but a terrible 3rd line centre, better suited to be a 4th line centre, and at the most extreme, the single reason why the Oilers are at the bottom of the league for the last 3 years.

    Look, I don’t think Horcoff is the greatest player the Oilers have ever had BUT…

    The fact is that THREE different NHL coaches saw enough value in Horcoff to give him more Time On Ice than any other forward on the team. As much as Oiler fans are quick to the “Fire Coach X” bandwagon, the fact is that MacT, Quinn, and Renney are bonafide NHL coaches. MacT and Quinn have both been to the Stanley Cup finals and Renney brought the Rangers to the post-season three straight years, and just got hired to the Red Wings. As much as all three made decisions that I would question, I find it difficult to believe all three would make the SAME terrible decision. The fact that three NHL coaches felt Horcoff had enough value to give him the most time on ice would imply that Horcoff, for the last 6 years, was the best option the Oilers had available in most situations in the coach’s eye. That may be faint praise on a 30th place team, but it’s more an indictment of the other players than it is of Horcoff himself.

    I’m not trying to say that Horcoff is the Oilers’ best player. What I’m trying to say is that clearly Horcoff has value. To say otherwise, would be to imply that three straight NHL coaches made the same horrible error in judgment, and that just doesn’t add up. The problem is that with so many people saying Horcoff is the worst player in the history of the Universe, the discussion turns into: Horcoff sucks! vs. Horcoff rocks! Horcoff is the reason this team is 30th! vs. Horcoff is the only reason this team hasn’t been banned from the NHL forever!

    In order to actually have interesting and productive discussion around Horcoff, we all need to accept that Horcoff actually has value. Then we can discuss his weaknesses without coming across as anti-Horcites and discuss his strengths without coming across as Horcoff Apologists.

  113. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    Everyone who believes the mantras about players “wanting it more” etc. etc. needs to watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv2jqFd2-qI

  114. Mr DeBakey says:

    “Remember your High-School Cheerleaders? They’re all grown up”

    That’s a different one, the ads change all the time.

    I recently met one of my high school’s cheerleaders -
    A plumpish grey-haired lady with smoker’s cough.
    She showed me pictures of her grandkids.

  115. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy,

    I saw that a few weeks ago… Cuban’s stock went way up in my books after that… he always seemed like an irritating glory-hog to me… but it’s pretty clear that he isn’t just some passionate doofus and that he thinks the game

    what’s amazing is how social media and blogs can share that video as a critical catalyst… I only hope it leads to people like Bayliss being laughed off the set

    Mr DeBakey,

    haven’t seen the others yet… I’ll keep an eye out… at any rate, it’s an interesting ad-buy to say the least.

  116. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Woodguy,

    I saw that a few weeks ago… Cuban’s stock went way up in my books after that… he always seemed like an irritating glory-hog to me… but it’s pretty clear that he isn’t just some passionate doofus and that he thinks the game

    what’s amazing is how social media and blogs can share that video as a critical catalyst… I only hope it leads to people like Bayliss being laughed off the set

    Mr DeBakey,

    haven’t seen the others yet… I’ll keep an eye out… at any rate, it’s an interesting ad-buy to say the least.

    I watch that and am reminded about Marc Spector giving Jon Willis the gears for “not watching the game” then the next week writing a column about how Cody Hodgson is eating Manny Maholtra’s lunch and making him redundant.

    Hodgson’s OZS 52.3%
    Maholtra OZS 13.2%

    What games was Spector watching?

    I guess maybe he though Hodgson wanted it more.

  117. Traktor says:

    This thread says more about Oiler fans than it does about Shawn Horcoff.

    Also, imagine if the maker of sledgehammer graphs made a mistake…

    Oiler fan 1: “I think we’ve been driving in the wrong direction for an hour now.”

    Oiler fan 2: “I know we are in the wrong city but the map says we are going the right way.”

    Also, I have decided to retire from the internet so if a year from now someone is wondering if I died I’m probably still alive.

  118. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Woodguy:
    Also,

    Everyone who believes the mantras about players “wanting it more” etc. etc. needs to watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv2jqFd2-qI

    Awesome.

    This should be its own webpage. Is msmspewswhat.com available?

  119. Woodguy says:

    Traktor:
    This thread says more about Oiler fans than it does about Shawn Horcoff.

    Also, imagine if the maker of sledgehammer graphs made a mistake…

    Oiler fan 1:“I think we’ve been driving in the wrong direction for an hour now.”

    Oiler fan 2: “I know we are in the wrong city but the map says we are going the right way.”

    I think the sledge graphs overstate and understate some possession metrics as its RelCor (i.e. Bollond gets punished because Toews,Kane, and Stalburg destroy their comp)

    That being said, you are free to disprove its value.

    If you are going to throw some tomatoes at it, back it up with thought and reason.

    Wes Mantooth seems to be a “its so because I say so” type and ignored the need for evidence to back up his claims.

    I think you’re too smart for that.

    Show some evidence..

  120. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy,

    Spector is the same guy that thought he could run Hemsky out of town on the basis of his vast “body language” interpretation skills.

    On a broader level… the “want it more” isn’t just lazy reporting/analysis it is salemanship. clearly sports coverage works hard (from the graphics dept. to the time slots, to the cliffhanger commercial breaks to the personalities covering events) to create hero/villain narratives…

    this is the “storytelling” aspect… it isn’t just easier to tell a grand sweeping narrative that an audience is already familiar with… it is better marketing/television (so I imagine execs. tell themselves)

    the trick is not only to disabuse us of false and misleading narratives (who wanted it more) but to find a way to tell the stories of competing strategies, variance, luck, etc. in a compelling manner.

    it is easier to sell “x team won because x team wanted to win” (which is as meaningful a statement as “x team won because god wanted them to win”), then, “x team won because they exploited their strengths and their opponents weaknesses and had luck on their side”

  121. hags9k says:

    I hope Horcoff has a good year and I hope this team enjoys some real success while he is still here. He deserves it. He’s been a loyal warrior. I am confused and disappointed how many fans don’t have love for a beauty like long Oiler like Horcoff. I wish people would lighten up on him about the contract and his less than soft hands. Not everybody is cut out to be scorers. Surely they can see and appreciate the qualitites that have made him captain of the team. GOILERS.

  122. Spydyr says:

    Has Horcoff been a good solider…yes
    Is it his fault he was over paid….no
    has he been asked to do to much….yes

    The team can win if he is a 4th line center.You don’t pay 4th line centers 5.5 million

    6 years out of the playoffs 30-30 -29.

    It is not all his fault but he played a part in it and is the captain.

    5.5 million buys a pretty good re-placement for what should be a 4th line center on a cup challenging team.

  123. Ribs says:

    It’s true. Horcov has been a good solider but the statics don’t lie. You can tell by his Sludgebubble that he is small and insignifcant and is basically playing on his own team.

    But…He does make a delicious home made mayonnaise for his BBQ’s that will make your heart bleed salty tears of joy.

  124. Ribs says:

    Also…..Fart.

  125. jb says:

    Pretty levelheaded Horcoff thread minus about 3 people recycling the same BS.

    Can anyone honestly think Edmonton’s a better team with Kelly in place of Horcoff…geez. Bostons a far better team with Horcoff.

    How would Staal be perceived had he broken into the league in Edmonton over the last few years? What if Horcoff played behind Crosby and Malkin all these years?

    Seriously, just think about it. Then look at the numbers again. You can’t use numbers like DSF does… completely meaningless.

  126. Dipstick says:

    The necessary relief from Horcoff’s contract will reasonably coincide with the team’s need for additional cap space as they prepare for a deep run in the playoffs. Its really not worth getting our shorts in a knot over. In my opinion, he has been a good soldier and has done everything possible to help the team. I will not criticize his efforts.

  127. Lucinius says:

    For all these people going on about how worthless/bad/etc Horcoff is, I just go back to Colin Fraser. These are the same sort of people (in some cases, the same people exactly) who decried that he was a worthless 4 C, that he was not a quality player, or even an NHLer. That you couldn’t win with people like them.

    And what happened in LA? Better team, better support.. and he won a Stanley.

    Like most here I appreciate all the work others do to get numbers for the rest of us. To do the math to see what’s what.

    And numbers don’t lie. They also don’t tell the truth exactly, either. You can take a number and make it show just about anything with enough BS attached to it. Numbers also only show what was the case in a certain time, in a certain situation under certain conditions (not all of which we know).

    Personally, I consider Horcoff to be a good 3 C with times where he can be a very good 3 C, who generally doesn’t show as well as he could due to the team he’s on and the situations he’s in.

    I don’t have reams of data to support this. I’m not a math person and would sooner watch the Flames than sift through all the numbers. I just haven’t seen anyone put forward any kind of argument that makes me want to change my opinion.

  128. Semenko and Troy says:

    I don’t understand the vitriol aimed at Horcoff.

    You can argue he would be a less than stellar option in the top six given his talent level compared to the Fab Four but he is a more than capable third line center on this team given the level of on ice responsibility he is assigned.

    I wonder how many venomous Horcoff deniers paradoxically defend Gagner’s performance to the death, a player who has perhaps shown the same degree of mediocrity as a second line center over the previous four losing seasons they ascribe to Horcoff.

  129. OilClog says:

    Horcoff is a good hockey player

    Horcoff isn’t much of a leader

    Horcoff is slightly over paid

    Horcoff usually gets beat by Burrows

    Horcoff is a quality 3rd line center, that should be on the pk more then the pp.

    Horcoff is the most unluckiest man in the NHL

    I’ve never really been much of a fan.. Ever.. But he’s been here now forever and taking a shit kicking. Keep him and maybe get his name on the cup in a couple years. As the 4th line C getting 5-7mins a night.

  130. maudite says:

    Solid leader who has ate the shit sandwiche put in front of him. Carries the puck uphill most nights, sometimes in games with a shoulder so busted he can’t take faceoffs. Has put on a good face and sucked up all the hate levelled at him as the team struggled. I don’t get how much venom is levelled at this guy. He’s a cosumate pro.

    I hate the fact that the careers of guys like Horcoff and Hemsky have been extremely impacted by systemic injuries. Maybe some of you don’t remember but when this team was pushing for playoffs (to cover Lowes ass) these guys came back too early, only to reinjure themselves. This management team royally screwed these guys trying to cover their ass (see Hemsky, Stoll, Horcoff, Staois, etc the amount of guys to come back after and injury only to be seriously injured and out for extended period of time was absolutely criminal post 06).

    I hate watching the disengenious arguements as well. Context is a hell of a thing. Look at the time that contract was signed. Look at other centers that were locked down. Gomez, Drury etc. Horcoff was payed under those guys. Lining him up against contracts signed 4 years later with a different understanding of the CBA and such is really obtuse.

    Lowe screwed this up sure. But it is low on the list of his sins. Signing this extension for a guy with a busted shoulder at the time, when he still had a year left on his deal (if I’m not mistaken) is brutal. But we’re talking about full panic mode Kevin Lowe that made a myraid of piss pour decisions.

    Sean Horcoff has not fathered 80 bastard children, slept with other players wives and I’m sure he’s fine in the room….Sean Horcoff is unfortunately overpaid but is still a useful player. The 2 million above where he now should be is minor on issues facing the oilers. Low hanging fruit for simple folk to bitch at. For once I wish the team would use it’s propaganda to ease some of the hate directed his way, but they won’t.

  131. Schitzo says:

    So remember that time Mike Peca almost got ran out of town for being a grossly overpaid third line centre? And then he was given a defined role on a deep team and became invaluable? And then people stopped talking about the salary, because we had enough players on ELCs that we could absorb it without causing too much trouble?

    That was pretty cool.

  132. DSF says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach:
    Hadn’t seen your post DSF.

    If Kelley was in Horcoff’s situation last year what would you expect his numbers to be?Same team, same ZS, same QoC and QoT.What’s the difference you are expecting there?

    That’s like asking what we call my Auntie Edna if she sprouted testicles but since you asked…

    Horcoff played tougher competition than Kelly since Boston was going Power vs. Power with the Bergeron, Seguin, Marchand line. (if you want to see what an actual outscoring centre looks like, look no further than Bergeron (cap hit $5M).

    Worth noting, though, is Kelly got virtually no PP time (16 minutes all season) while Horcoff had 232 minutes.

    Kelly spent 146 minutes killing penalties while Horcoff spent 215 minutes on the PK.

    Kelly, as you might expect, recorded 1 point on the PP while Horcoff had 13 points.

    Considering the Oilers had one of the best powerplays in the league, you would expect Horcoff would have decent production 5V4.

    Nope.

    Among centres who played 60+ games he was 65th at 3.20 P/60 5V4. (that’s really, really bad).

    So, inexplicably, the Oilers kept feeding him PP time and that was reflected in his year end box cars.

    Also, of note for those who believe Corsi has meaning, Horcoff’s Corsi Rel Q of C ON THE PP was -6.151.

    Yikes.

    So, if we look at even strength play, we keep hearing that poor old Shawn has to skate uphill both ways to school in a blizzard and that he lives in a manhole on the freeway.

    Horcoff’s ESTOI/G was 14:03 while Kelly was at 12:45.

    So, in other words, Horcoff took 2 extra shifts per game at evens than Kelly did.

    So, what happened when they were on the ice?

    GFON/60:

    Kelly – 3.38
    Horcoff – 1.85

    GAON/60

    Kelly – 1.66
    Horcoff – 2.89

    Now, I understand that Horcoff played tougher competition but the bottom line is he got absolutely killed while Kelly was miles above water.

    Now, let’s take a closer look at the zone start myth, starting with faceoffs.

    Horcoff won 195 defensive zone face-offs and lost 200.

    Kelly won 190 defensive zone face-offs and lost 146.

    So, while Horcoff took an additional 59 defensive zone draws…he lost them all!

    My goodness.

    Who would you send out to take a D zone draw?

    You have to realize, as well, that an additional 59 defensive zone draws over the course of an 82 game schedule amount to .719 extra draws per game…in other words 2 every 3 games played.

    Statistically insignificant in my books.

    I really don’t think there is a chance in hell Kelly would have done any worse than Horcoff in an identical situation and my instincts tell me he likely would have done significantly better…at almost half the price.

  133. Rebilled says:

    Comrade Horcov Rocket Skates was awesome in his All-star year.

    However, management gave him a huge All-star contract AFTER he got injured.

    It could have went either way.

  134. DSF says:

    Rebilled:
    Comrade Horcov Rocket Skates was awesome in his All-star year.

    However, management gave him a huge All-star contract AFTER he got injured.

    It could have went either way.

    Komrade Horcov had an 18.3 shooting percentage in his “All-Star” year.

    His career shooting percentage (including that out of body experience) is 12.3.

    Since signing his contract, he has managed:

    9.6

    10.6

    11.5

    10.6

    Who could have possibly seen that coming?

  135. VOR says:

    DSF,

    So let’s look at the apple to apple comparison.

    1. Let’s assume zone start matters. We don’t need to know how or how much.
    2. Let’s assume rel corsi, corsi, and plus minus comp and team all have some validity as stats. Again we don’t need to know what.
    3. Let’s assume, in other words that the sledgehammer chart is measuring something real.
    4. Let’s assume adjusted plus minus and plus minus relative to team matters.

    Now ask: how many centers have scored more points than Horcoff, while facing as good or better competition, with equal or worse teammates, and performed equally well in corsi on, relative corsi, and adjusted and relative plus minus.

    I’ll give you the answer. Two get close. Jordan Staal and Brandon Dubinsky. I think both Staal and Dubinsky are struggling under the weight of those minutes. Your current favorite straw man Kelly isn’t even in the discussion.

    I’d agree that the Oilers aren’t using Horcoff well and the tough minutes are wearing him out.

    I’d use him on my fourth line and to kill penalties. On the other hand I’d give him MPS and Yakupov as line mates and force opposing teams to roll their 3rd line forwards and first pairing D out. Heck I’d drop Hall on the line sometimes as well.

    At this point you either need to make a cogent argument for the sledgehammer graph being wrong somehow or admit that Horcoff pushes in the top ten hardest minutes of any center in the NHL and except that the stats show he isn’t getting killed while playing with lower quality line mates. I get that because you are fixated on making your argument you want to limit the discussion to last year and to plus minus only and remove all context.

  136. Schitzo says:

    In an alternate universe, it would be interesting to see how the last few years would have turned out for Horcoff if the Oilers kept Stoll & Reasoner, or equivalent, and fed them to the wolves instead of Horcoff. His two best years points-wise came when somebody else was tasked with the toughest minutes. If Horc and Hemsky got the massive zone start push and Horc had a couple of 55-60 point seasons (not saying he would, but speculating) while guys like Brodziak, Cogs, Potulny, Gagner, Comrie part II, and Fraser got thrown to the wolves, how different would the narrative be?

    I don’t know if Horc is a true shutdown centre, but he’s been the best option available for years and has accepted the role without bitching about it. The amount of flak he takes for playing the role he’s assigned is remarkable, and unless you think he’s dogging it out there I don’t see the sense in blaming the guy. It’s like getting on Smid or Whitney’s ass for not being a true #1 D – if they’re playing above their heads, how is it their fault if they’re getting lit up while doing it?

    One additional thought – put yourself in Horc’s skates for a moment. The last few years, you’ve been considered an offensive go-to player, and other centres take on the tough stuff. Then you’re told that someone has to take the worst minutes so that the rookies don’t get blown out of the water, and you’re the guy. And your scoring falls down a mineshaft and you’re fishing the puck out of your own net way too regularly. How many players would grumble and make noise about not being used properly? Horc keeps on going out there and taking one for the team.

    If he’s not the right player for the job, blame the guy who puts the roster together.

  137. stevezie says:

    Schitzo:

    I don’t know if Horc is a true shutdown centre, but he’s been the best option available for years

    Yep.

  138. Schitzo says:

    stevezie: Yep.

    And to repeat myself, I just don’t understand the venom for the guy. He’s doing the job assigned, because we have no better option. For a lunchpail town like Edmonton you’d think the guy would be a local legend, not a pariah.

  139. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bruce

    Until this past year Smid would be an ok contract. No question it’s a good contract for this coming year. If we run true to form we pay him as a scoring top pairing D man next summer and he is not. Jones is appropriately paid for what he does. not a value or bad contract. I thought Eberle was on his ELC?? if so, that is not a value contract.

    No one, little alone you, has called Horcoff’s contract a Value contract.

    We manage money poorly. Or internally believe we have to pay a premium to keep players happy. That type of thinking cannot persist moving forward because we will need very penny moving forward

  140. Bruce McCurdy says:

    TheOtherJohn: Bruce

    An entry level contract at a fraction of the rookie maximum makes Eberle’s contract extreme value compared to Hall, RNH, Yakupov or Schultz. Credit the GM or not as you prefer, I’m just looking at the contract and it’s good value. As I said earlier, every team has some of those, and every team has some bad ones.

    re: Jones, have you seen some of the contracts being given out to 15-goal forwards of late? He’s exceeded that output two years in a row, and delivered value for money both times. Bear in mind that $1.5 MM doesn’t buy what it used to, being barely 2% of the current salary cap.

    Smid may get paid as a top four if not top-pairing d-man but likely not as a scoring one. Who knows what in 2013 dollars, but in current terms likely somewhere in the $4 MM range at a (crude!) guess. He’s paid his dues and will deserve market value.

  141. TheOtherJohn says:

    Sorry Bruce to get credit for a value contract you have to negotiate something, hell anything. When Yak scores 30 don’t want you teasing me, Oilers got real good term on his contract. Do not like Jones but he certainly knows how to miss goalie when shooting. What would be a value contract is if Smid was signed for another 2 years. He has earned his next contract! I’d sign him mid year for 3-4 years term

    Excited to see kids grow but get another D man already. Yeah, realize it will cost us

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