According to multiple reports, the Edmonton Oilers have traded captain Shawn Horcoff to the Dallas Stars. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet confirmed on Twitter that Edmonton will receive prospect defenseman Philip Larsen and a 7th round pick in the 2016 draft.
The move isn’t a surprising one given GM Craig MacTavish all but said Horcoff and Ales Hemsky likely wouldn’t return next season. But anytime your captain is traded it’s still a shock. Reaction on Twitter has varied with a lot of Oiler fans thanking Horcoff for his services, captaincy and professionalism.
Horcoff has been a lifelong Oiler since he was drafted by Edmonton in the 4th round in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He broke into the league during the 2000-01 season and then spent eleven more seasons with the Oilers.
He suited up in 796 career games as an Oiler, scoring 162 goals and adding 285 assists for 447 points. The 34-year old sits 9th all time for points as an Edmonton Oiler and that fact in itself is an impressive one.
It was a deal that to be made if MacTavish was going to aggressively pursue some free-agents, that opens tomorrow. Not so much that Horcoff didn’t bring value to the club, but it was his massive contract for essentially a third line center that was so difficult to stomach.
Carrying a cap hit of $5.5 million next season, the Oilers need that money to allocate elsewhere to help plug holes in their roster. Holes that Horcoff’s game didn’t fit into. A fresh start for both parties is in everyone’s best interest anyway given the lack of production and offensive struggles that Horcoff has ran into the past four seasons.
Horcoff’s deal was courtesy of Kevin Lowe‘s tenure as GM of the Oilers and now the fans have to say goodbye to one of the long time leaders of this group.
Best of luck Shawn and thanks for being our captain.
For more news and analysis on the Edmonton Oilers, follow us on Twitter @OilonWhyte.