The Horcoff Bash…

Posted: August 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

It seems to be a fun pastime for many Oiler fans to lament the contract/cap hit/performance of Shawn Horcoff.

I love how those with thoughts of revisionist history, and the benefit of hindsight slag number 10 incessantly without any mention of the facts.

I am not the biggest Horcoff booster in the world, but I love how most peoople can harp on the contract with the benefit of 20/20.

Horcoff was damn near a point a game in 2005-06, In 2004-5 he was the 3rd in SEL scoring.(I remember hearing he was unreal that season in Sweden)

After a down year in 2006-07, he came back in 2007-08 and is damn near a PPG player, again.  Even further to that point, the players his PPG was greater than in this season include…Henrik Sedin, Marian Hossa, Jaromir Jagr, Olli Jokinen, Scott Gomez, Brad Richards, Paul Kariya, Patrick Elias…well, you get my point.

I am not going to get into the average salary of these players, but Jagr (8.36M), Jokinen (5.25M), Richards (7.8M), Elias (7.5M), Kariya (6.0M) all show that Horcoff was performing with the big boys.

Then, it appears that injury too over (http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=352285).  Recovery from February was slated to be 6 months.

Again, subject to personal thoughts and hindsight, one could suggest that the 6 year, $33 million dollar extension was a bad signing by Lowe.  But when you have a player that looks to be a  great leader, scoring near a point a game and playing like an elite player, you have to consider paying them like an elite player, since again, said player is going to be a UFA in one more season.

Shoulder surgery can affect a player in a lot of ways, and usually, it isn’t good.  The other player that really comes to mind is Vincent Lecavalier when he had shoulder surgery near the end of the 2007-08 season.  His drop was from 92 points to 67 points, and to this day hasn’t returned back to his elite status of 2006-08.

He may not ever return to form, but for the player, at the time of the contract, the numbers suggested he was worth low first liner, upper second liner money.   Could Lowe have lowballed him, and negotiated him lower.  Sure, and he might have said no and waited until the next offseason and went UFA.   Even still, he would have probably ended up with $4.5-5.5M in salary regardless of where he went.

It is a bad contract due to not only Horcoff’s injuries, team personnel, team turmoil, linemates and a plethora of other reasons.  Not because he wasn’t worth it at the time it was signed.

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