Please Horc, Don’t Hurt ‘Em
If you’re a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, then this season could mark the light at the end of a very long and very dark tunnel you’ve been traveling through for about a decade. That being said, the tunnel isn’t as long as the tunnel the Toronto Maple Leafs have been driving through but… well, they’re the Leafs and they’re destined to suck for all of eternity.
There have been bright spots here and there; none of them burning brighter than the 2006 run for Lord Stanley’s Mug. With the Oilers coming out of nowhere all the way to game seven of the Stanley Cup final which, ironically, would spell the beginning of the end for the ‘old guard’ Edmonton Oilers. The team continued their tailspin for the next four seasons with the fourth season (2009-2010) marking the team hitting absolute rock-bottom; they finished dead last in the league, a first for the Edmonton Oilers.
However, with every death there is an inevitable rebirth. And at the NHL Entry Draft, the Oilers would use their 1st overall pick to select Taylor Hall to be their phoenix rising from the ashes of their burned-out team.
Previous draft years had yielded picks Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner and the YouTube scoring wonder, Linus Omark. Going even further back, we can note players who have made it into the line-up on a consistent basis like Theo Peckham, Andrew Cogliano, Taylor Chorney (although not currently in the line up) and current backup goaltender, Devan Dubnyk.
Mixing a few wily veterans in with this much young talent, you get the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before the team can be considered to be a contender again.
I must admit that, in the past four seasons, I’ve been one of those fans who has been publicly chiding Kevin Lowe for offering up a multi-million dollar, multi-year deal to Shawn Horcoff after the 2006 Cup run. Prior to this season, number 10 had done little and offered up very little in the way of… well… anything of note since the spring of ’06.
This season, however, marks a pivotal time in Horcoff’s career. He would be named the 13th captain of the team and would centre two of the hottest young stars to enter the league, Jordan Eberle and the newly drafted Taylor Hall. With the roster being chock full of young players, the team needs a veteran player to step into a leadership role… a role that Tom Renney and the rest of the coaching staff feels belongs to Shawn Horcoff.
And not only has Horcoff been given the nod for the ‘C’, he’s also been centering two of the golden boys of the Oilers’ new era, Hall and Eberle. That’s no small responsibility; grooming these two young men into the future of the franchise. Let’s just hope that Horc is the guy that can do that… and with him out of the line-up due to knee injury, we hope that he can make his way back to continue working with not only these two rookies but leading the entire team. I’m not expecting great things to happen this year however, eventually, I think the Oilers can build themselves into a Stanley Cup contender… if they play their cards right.
And speaking of golden boys, let’s check out Linus Omark’s “cheeky” shootout goal from the other night against Tampa Bay… because I can never get tired of seeing this:
Posted on December 13, 2010, in Sports and tagged Edmonton Oilers, hockey, Jordan Eberle, Linus Omark, Magnus Paajarvi, NHL, NHL Draft, rebuilding, Shawn Horcoff, shootout, Taylor Hall. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.