Whether or not the choice to name Shawn Horcoff—and not Ryan Smyth—captain after Jason Smith left the Oilers was the best decision is beside the fact.
Shawn Horcoff has been an admirable captain on a team that has struggled to establish its identity over the past decade or so.
Horcoff may not have flashy numbers or score 60 points a season (though fans have come to expect this thanks in large part to his extremely large contract), but it is the less glamorous things that he does that truly set him apart and are the aspects the club misses most when he is out of the lineup.
Horcoff can not only win draws, but thanks to his speed and willingness to play a physical game, he is an extremely valuable penalty killer.
On a young team such as the Oilers, a veteran voice such as Horcoff's goes a long way to establish the culture of the locker room and help to instill the work ethic needed to be a successful player at the NHL level.
With Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall being named alternate captains this season, it is imperative that Horcoff is in the lineup and mentoring these two fledgling superstars.