Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Horcoff signs extension

Lowetide is going to have to change his tagline.

It's a six-year deal, with the financial terms at this point undisclosed. I'd expect it would be in the $5- to $6-million range. He is signed through 2014-15.

Horcoff turns 30 in September and is one of the more underrated players in the Western Conference. He's likely a future captain of the Oilers, as well.

He is also heavily involved with the NHLPA.

UPDATE Here's Kevin Lowe: "Shawn has proven himself as one of the premier players in the National Hockey League and has been and will continue to be an integral part of our organization moving forward. By being proactive with this deal, we avoid being in a situation where Shawn could become an unrestricted free agent after next season and the unknown free agency can bring to the organization. Having him under contract long-term is something that has been on our radar for a long time and we are extremely pleased to finalize this deal."

And Horcoff: "This is a great day for myself and my family. Edmonton is a great city and one that has embraced us in every way possible. I've spent my entire career with the Oilers and I'm thrilled about the direction we are heading in, led by our new owner Daryl Katz and General Manager Kevin Lowe. I'd like to thank the Edmonton Oilers and our great fans for making this possible."

UPDATE The Team 1260's Bob Stauffer says it is a $33-million deal, or a $5.5-million cap hit. Sounds about right.

Lowetide's having a beer, the universal sign for all being well in Oilerdom.

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At 6:52 p.m., July 16, 2008, Blogger Melancholy Cacophony said...

I am so very very pleased about this.
Great summer so far for the Oil.

At 10:10 p.m., July 16, 2008, Blogger Swabbubba said...

Now this is good news for the Oil. After the Mullet mess it shows the org wants to keep key players. Good for Horc

At 10:58 p.m., July 16, 2008, Blogger Unknown said...

You should warn us when you link to a picture of someone in a Michigan State jersey.

At 1:55 p.m., July 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why am I the only one questioning the wisdom of signing a guy who scores 15-20 goals per year to a $5.5 million contract? That's more than Marc Savard, Daymond Langkow and Jeff Carter make--and the last two signed this summer. Is there something that I'm missing?

At 2:14 p.m., July 17, 2008, Blogger The Rage said...

Yeah, anonymous, you're missing the fact that Horcoff routinely plays against the other team's top lione and outscores them.

At 2:56 p.m., July 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horcoff's +1, -22(!), and +0 over the last three years strongly suggest that that's not the case.

At 3:00 p.m., July 17, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

In general, plus-minus has very little to do with defensive ability.

What a flawed statistic, in so many ways.

At 4:48 p.m., July 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't say anything about Horcoff's defensive ability, I simply noted that this:

"Horcoff routinely plays against the other team's top lione (sic) and outscores them."

is inarguably false.

Plus minus is a pretty good indicator of the correctness or incorrectness of the above statement.

What I see in Horcoff is a 30-year-old defensive forward who struggles to score twenty goals and will now be paid a hair less than Mike Richards (who is faster, 7 years younger, more physical, more productive in a more challenging division, and who seems to force more turnovers).

At 5:01 p.m., July 17, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

At 5-on-5 last year, Horcoff was on the ice for 40 goals for and 34 against.

He "struggled" to score 20 goals last season because he missed nearly 30 games. He's much closer to unrestricted free agency than Richards, and it's not altogether unexpected he'd receive higher payment because of that.

They're similar players in some respects: Both play the power play and penalty kill, and both are top line centres who can produce at a point a game pace.

Richards's contract is lower than it perhaps should be because he took that insane term. It doesn't work as a good comparable for Horcoff.

At 6:31 p.m., July 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He "struggled" to score 20 goals last season because he missed nearly 30 games.

Okay, but Horcoff's 30, and he's scored 20 goals exactly twice. In his other "full" seasons he's usually been somewhere in the vicinity of 15.

Richards first crossed the twenty-goal mark at age 23. It's not a terrible bet to expect a 23 year-old to perform at the same level for some time, perhaps even improve.

It is not, however, likely that a player will suddenly find another, permanent gear at age thirty and go on to be a 34-goal, "point per game player" for the next six years, particularly when his 18% shooting percentage during his "breakout" season is aberrant and (probably) unsustainable.

Maybe there's a precendent for players who have a heckofa time being "point per game" guys until age thirty and go on to produce at that level for the next six years, but if there is, I don't know of it. Maybe Horcoff will set that precedent. More likely, it's all downhill from here.

The number on Richards' contract may look bad when he's in his thirties, but at least Philadelphia will have had him for the same price in his twenties when he, theoretically, should be at his best. Horcoff wasn't nearly that kind of player through most of his twenties, which is another thing that, for me, raises a red flag suggesting that Kevin Lowe may have given difference-maker money at a guy who can't be one (though, from what I've seen, certainly not for lack of effort).

But hey, maybe I'm wrong. That's why they play the games.

At 6:51 p.m., July 17, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

The Oilers don't give a hoot what Horcoff was as a 25-year-old. The fact is, he's one of the best conditioned players in the league and really came of age in Sweden during the lockout.

Before that, he was a third liner. Any of his production in that situation is rather irrelevant, wouldn't you say?

He's a late bloomer. That doesn't mean he's not now a first-line centre.

At 7:57 p.m., July 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$5.75 mil per for a 23 year-old player history suggests has his best years ahead of him.

$5.5 mil per for a 30 year-old player whose age suggests he's peaked and whose shooting percentage in his peak year is unsustainable.

The second contract looks unwise compared to the first, that's all I'm saying.

At 8:01 p.m., July 17, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

League economics don't necessarily work that way; yes, younger players are getting paid more than ever before, but there's still a system that rewards experience.

Horcoff shouldn't be on the decline at 29 — he's peaking right now. And $5.5-million is about what you have to pay a 30-goal, 75-point captain-type player these days.

He's certainly a better bargain than someone like, say, Brian Rolston.

At 6:35 p.m., July 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's certainly a better bargain than someone like, say, Brian Rolston.

I'm still going to stand my ground on thinking Horcoff's contract will prove unwise, but the notion that Horcoff should produce on a level closer to his salary at age 35 than Rolston will at age 40 is something I have no problem buying into.


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