Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Shawn Horcoff

Nov. 08, 2011; Montreal, QC, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Travis Moen (32) is checked into the boards by Edmonton Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff (10) during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE

 

AGE

33

HEIGHT

6’ 1”

WEIGHT

208 lbs.

POSITION

Center

DRAFTED

99th   Overall in 1998

 

Before I get started with this article, I’d like to say a happy birthday to my older brother Derek, who is as interested in hockey as I am. Even though he isn’t an Oilers fan like me, he still deserves a great birthday. You only turn 23 once, right? Shawn Horcoff is a Center for the Edmonton Oilers and has faced a big challenge since becoming the captain. How does he lead a team who is at the bottom of the league year in and year out to a Stanley Cup playoff spot? Can he lead them to live up to the expectations of the Gretzky-era Oilers? Maybe he can, and maybe he can’t. Only time will tell. This is Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Shawn Horcoff.

Shawn started playing for Michigan State University. He started during the 1996-97 season and played through the 1999-00 season, even though he was drafted 99th overall in the 1998 Entry Draft. Before starting his professional hockey career, Horcoff studied finance and mathematics to earn his degree. After leaving MSU, Shawn failed to make the Oilers coming out of training camp, so he was assigned to the AHL affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs. In Hamilton, he excelled faster than anyone thought possible. He led the Bulldogs in scoring and was sixth overall in AHL scorers. He was named Rookie of the Month for November, 2000. On December 4th, 2000, the Oilers recalled Horcoff to play with them. On December 13th, he scored his first NHL goal against the Dallas Stars. He played in his 100th career NHL game in the 2001-02 season, and played almost the whole season with the Oilers. He appeared in two games in Hamilton for conditioning.

During the NHL lockout, he sought out a team where he could improve his offensive play. He joined Mora IK of the Elitserien. After playing rather well there, he returned to the NHL the next season with an offensive breakthrough. He posted career highs in goals, assists, and points. He tied Wayne Gretzky’s record of most points in a single period, assisting 4 goals in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings on November 18th, 2005.

March 10, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Shawn Horcoff (10) and Colorado Avalanche right wing David Jones (54) battle for the puck during the first period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Horcoff was on the Stanley Cup Final team in the 2006 playoffs. Even though they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in 7 games, he had registered 7 goals and 12 assists the entire post-season.  He resigned a 3 year deal with the Oilers in July of 2006. After a terrible 2006-07 season, he went to the Easton factory in Tijuana, Mexico to get a custom stick. He underwent harsh conditioning that off-season. On October 6th, 2010, Shawn Horcoff was named the 13th captain of the Edmonton Oilers.

Editor’s Corner:

One of the biggest hockey fans I’ve ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with, Jeff Chapman, is the editor of Oil on Whyte. He gave me this short statement on Shawn Horcoff.

“Shawn Horcoff gets a lot of flack for his contract, but it’s not as if he’s a sack of bricks on the ice.  Horcoff excels at the faceoff dot (which is a good thing, because he’s taking a lot of them in the Edmonton zone), and he’s got the highest Corsi rating of all eligible Oiler centres.  These numbers aren’t as sexy as forty goals and eighty points, but it goes to show that Horcoff makes this team better when he’s on the ice.  He’s a worthy player, and a worthy Captain.”

Closing Argument:

I am an Oilers fan no doubt, and I feel that Shawn Horcoff still has 7 good years in him. I really think he can lead the Oilers out of the pit and raise them to the top. I think he could bring the best out of everybody, especially with a fresh young team, and make them work for the prize. The Stanley Cup is waiting for the Edmonton Oilers; Shawn just has to be able to answer the calling.

Feel free to contact either myself on Twitter @NardoneDylan or the website @TooManyMenOTS. Hope you enjoyed. Until next time, au revoir.

Topics: Edmonton Oilers, FanSided, NHL, Shawn Horcoff

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