First time I saw Horcoff, he made a beautiful play in pre-season, tying up an opposition forward flying through the slot as the puck whipped past. Horcoff held his mark through the slot and out of the sequence, one sortie well defended. That was fall 2000.
Since that day, Shawn Horcoff has skated in over 800 games for the Oilers (regular and post-season) and mentored miles and miles of wingers. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle spent their first season with him, Nail Yakupov will likely get plenty of time with the captain in these last 24 games and Drouin or Mantha could end up playing with Horcoff next year.
I don’t think he’ll be captain next year, in fact I wrote about it being possible a summer ago.
Horcoff gives the team a badly needed option at center, and puts Smyth back at his natural position. I don’t think the Oilers win today, but they should be a lot more competitive. I hope Horc can grip his stick, the Mike York memories remain.
Oilers moved Brandon Davidson up from Stockton to OKC for today’s game, this kid is such an incredible story.
Kevin Lowe was in OKC last night, looking at the talent on the farm. He would have seen Toni Rajala and Taylor Fedun good among prospects, but I think they are probably looking at Brett Clark who has been outstanding since coming to OKC.
Speaking of Lowe, we’re coming up on 10th anniversary of the “Perry and a 1st” for Comrie deal that got shived because the Oilers wanted $2.5M from Comrie. Should we have some kind of event to mark the anniversary? Perhaps we meet at the Gretzky statue and play “Taps”? We have time, let’s mull it over.
Oilers found the range at their exact mid-point of the season, which is impressive. The key is to leave it alone–someone hurt? STOP, DROP AND ROLL!–and the Oilers are experts. A well timed pickup of a veteran center and a useful defenseman might be worth a win or two, but it was not to be, and the Oilers felt they needed to replace Darcy Hordichuk’s spot on the roster more than Horcoff’s or Whitney’s.
The Lowetide at High Noon Show is archived now at Team 1260. The podcast page is here, and the show is the last one downloaded (so #1). We talked Oiler struggles, the bottom 6 and how to fix it–at the deadline and in summer–the draft, McCurdy’s zone exits, Woodguy’s impressive defense of Paajarvi and OKC Barons with Neal Livingston from Tend the Farm. Have a listen if you have time.
I’d like to see the following lines and pairings today:
In speaking to both Bruce McCurdy and Darcy McLeod on the show yesterday, I was surprised to find out both feel men like Eric Belanger and Ryan Jones will have trade value. My question to both surrounded how to fix the bottom 6, and both men felt the trade deadline was key.
So, a question: What is reasonable trade deadline value for the following players:
- Eric Belanger
- Ryan Jones
- Lennart Petrell
- Ryan Smyth
- Mike Brown
- Lennart Petrell
- Ben Eager
- Ryan Whitney
- Nick Schultz
- Mark Fistric
- Ladislav Smid
- Nikolai Khabibulin
Vollman’s latest chart, courtesy Rob and Jonathan Willis:
This reflects what we talked about yesterday: Petrell, Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk are getting beaten about the face and hands every sortie. The blue notes are the good ones in this bubble-filled graph, with the Chance trio, Magnus Paajarvi, the unrelated Schultz brothers and Teddy Peckman (very small ss) getting the blue sky checkmark.
My only concern among the younger group is the amount of playing time Schultz the younger is getting (they don’t have a number when the kid is lost, and he’s a little lost right now) and the type of minutes the Nuge is getting (tough, tough minutes every shift–he’s still a teenager, folks!).
Anyway, there’s progress and the management team looks pretty bad by this graph–all the kids who were drafted going back to Petry and Peckham are surviving. The problem is the men our GM brought in.