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Edmonton Oilers

In Praise of Shawn Horcoff

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal has a good article extolling the virtues of Oilers centre Shawn Horcoff and argues that #10 doesn’t get enough credit from the rest of the league.

Shawn Horcoff is under-rated no more in in his own hometown. The majority of Oilers fans have come to see the self-made player as an outstanding first liner, an all star, good enough to compete for a spot as a fourth line energy player on Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

There is no aspect of the game that Horcoff hasn’t mastered: shooting, passing, skating, checking, faceoffs, defensive zone coverage. And the numbers prove it, according to Oilers fans at least.

But others aren’t so sure.

A typical outsider comment about Horcoff can be found in the Hockey News Fantasy Pool Guide which warns poolsters not to over-rate this player. “We have to be careful with Horcoff. He’s a second line-line center getting first-line playing time.”

I think Staples has a point. Horcoff plays a strong game at both ends of the rink and has really started to assert himself offensively. If you aren’t convinced, take Horcoff out of the equation and then wonder where the Oilers would be.