Former Oiler Shawn Horcoff Inching Closer to Retirement | - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Former Oiler Shawn Horcoff Inching Closer to Retirement

I wouldn't necessarily call it a rumour, but more a fun idea, that former Oilers center Shawn Horcoff might be a possibility in Edmonton on an NHL PTO. One of the most wrongly hated players to ever wear the Copper and Blue, Horcoff was figuratively driven to the airport by fans when the news broke Edmonton had traded the overpaid veteran to the Dallas Stars in 2013. Yet today, a player who was the scapegoat of a lousy bit of hockey management, seems to have an audience not only fine with, but excited about a potential return.

Shawn Horcoff by Lisa Gansky

In a way, I can understand the enthusiasm for a return of the player who was the subject of the " shirts off for Horcoff" craze that swept through Oil Country during the 2006 Stanley Cup finals run. Horcoff was a huge piece during a time that will be fondly remembered in Edmonton. Until the Oilers make a playoff return, it will be the shining moment for the franchise in the past decade. It was also the best season of Horcoff's career. It wasn't his fault he was offered a contract renewal valued at well more than his actual NHL worth as a result.

However, those who've become excited about a potential return may be disappointed. Horcoff has shot down the rumours of a PTO with the Oilers, and for that matter, any NHL team, as he feels at this point in his career a PTO is not an avenue he has interest in pursuing. He's much closer to retirement than NHL employment. As a veteran, who's seen a steady decline in production, it shouldn't come as a total surprise.

PTO's are no guarantee. While there are players who make the most of them and earn contracts in the NHL, it doesn't often happen with a player of both Horcoff's age and ability. For the vast majority of PTO candidates, contracts are a long shot.

Horcoff has had a decent NHL career, but his game has slowed and he knows it. If he's not provided a guaranteed contract, I can understand why he might want to call it a career. A PTO likely won't result in NHL employment and relatively speaking, it could be best to go out on your own terms.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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