I should probably change the name of this post, as Horcoff has officially signed with the Anaheim Ducks for one year at $1.75 million. But since this ties in with Part 1 and Part 2, I’ll leave it as is.
Once the Oilers acquired winger Lauri Korpikoski for Boyd Gordon, I figured there’d be no chance of Horcoff returning. The Oilers left wing roster chart was filled before the free agency window opened with Hall, Pouliot, Hendricks, Pakarinen and now Korpikoski signed to play next season. Horcoff had success as a center for the Oilers, but in his past two seasons, he’s been primarily a winger in Dallas.
The Ducks, it appears, have signed him as a centerman. Their left wing roster already has Perry, Maroon, Sekac and now Hagelin who was acquired from New York. Down the middle is where they’ll likely use Horcoff as Nate Thompson is out until December. Ahead of him will be Getzlaf, Kesler and young Rickard Rakell, who the Ducks are probably looking to develop over the next year as he heads into restricted free agency.
It’s obvious Horcoff really wanted to join a cup contender for next season, which is fair considering his age. He’s likely to start as the third/fourth line center until December when Thompson comes back, and then be fighting for a roster spot.. It’s a good, low risk signing for the Ducks, who have added experience to their roster and have flexibility setting their lines.
It’s worth noting that the Ducks replaced Beleskey’s production on left wing with relatively cheaper options in Horcoff and Hagelin, who were both productive last season for Dallas and New York, respectively. (Oddly enough, Beleksey appeared in my list of comparables in my last post on Horcoff). Here’s how all three did at even-strength, when the score was close (Source: War on Ice).
|2014-2015, Even-strength, Score Close|
|Statistic||M. Beleskey (ANA)
|S. Horcoff (DAL)
|C. Hagelin (NYR)
|Player Shooting %||15.79||12.20||11.36|
|Zone Starts (Offensive)%||51.44||50.55||48.44|
|Scoring Chances For%||53.85||57.08||48.43|
Not bad potential replacements, considering the cost. Hagelin played mostly with JT Miller and Kevin Hayes in New York, and my guess is he’ll play with Kesler and Silfverberg, who were often Beleskey’s linemates (Source: Hockey Analysis). Haglelin had slightly more points this past season, but his possession stats and shot-share don’t show too well. Horcoff is definitely nearing the end of his career, but he’s a nice option for the Ducks who should be at the top of the division again this season.