Shawn Horcoff: Edmonton Oilers Cough Up to Re-Sign Forward

Eric RenkemaCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2008

I know it has been a while since my Edmonton Oilers signed Shawn Horcoff to his six-year, $33 million contract, but I like to think about signings/trades before I comment.

Well, I have thought about it—and my thoughts are the same when I first heard about the signing.  Basically, I like the length of the contract.  Horcoff has been an Oiler for 480 games, and I have no problem with him playing here another 480.  He is a heart-and-soul player who gives his all. 

My problem is that the contract averages out to $5.5 Million per year.  In my books, that is first-line center money.  Shawn Horcoff, while I like him the player, is not a first-line center—and the statistics prove it. 

Horcoff has 285 career points in 480 career games.  That is only 0.59 points per game. 

Horcoff has never has been a true first-line center, but he has been placed in that role on this team by default.  Now he will be forced to play like a number-one center, because of the expectations placed on him based on the money he is  now earning. 

Can he handle that pressure and live up to these expectations?  Only time will tell, but I believe in six years the Oilers will regret giving out this big money contract to Horcoff—especially if it hinders them from getting a true first-line center.