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Is it time for Shawn Horcoff to “pass the torch” in Edmonton?

Aug 26, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

Top pick Nail Yakupov made a goodwill gesture by taking No. 64 rather than Shawn Horcoff‘s No. 10, but Oilers Nation believes that it’s a matter of time for Edmonton’s captain to pass the torch.

First, that would mean handing the “C” to one of the team’s young stars.

Shawn Horcoff is in a unique situation today. The captain watches over a team whose best young players are taking on more difficult roles, and the young cluster is pushing for more playing time and more responsibility. Sooner or later, Taylor Hall is going to be the captain of this hockey club, and if not Hall then Jordan Eberle or the Nuge.

Lowetide ventures that removing the “C” might not be the only classy alteration Horcoff could eventually make to his Oilers sweater.

And if he’s willing to go that far, perhaps Horcoff might do as another Oiler captain did and give up his number 10 to a new phenon–in this case Nail Yakupov. Horcoff’s time with the team is nowhere near the end—that contract will keep him here for the duration—but his role has and will continue to be reduced and the time is coming when he will not be on the ice in pivotal moments of the game.

  1. Vintage Hockey Barn - Aug 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Reblogged this on .

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    And pass it on to who? The team is young. Really young. Horcoff is needed to be the ‘dad among the kids.’ The leading scorer isn’t always meant to wear the ‘C.’

  3. DTF31 - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Eberle is probably better captain material than Hall is. Hall seems too volatile a personality at times.

  4. alexb64 - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    The Team Captain doesn’t have to be the best player on the team. Leadership, example & veteran experience are more what goes into being a captain than lighting the lamp. It’s nice when your best player is also the guy everyone in the locker room looks to for motivation or to learn, but I think teams doing it just for ego or marketing purposes devalues the “C” designation.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Well said! Being a great leader also means knowing when it’s your time to be the team leader, when Gretzky was traded to the Kings in 88 he refused to become the team captain in that first season because he didn’t feel he had earned the right to lead that group yet, just giving someone the C doesn’t make them the leader of the team.

    • ray2013 - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      I hear what you’re saying and I agree in principle, but I don’t see this as merely a marketing move. When the Oilers were chasing Justin Schultz near the start of free agency, they had Gretzky and Coffey call him to sell him on Oilers history. To sell him on the Oilers future, they had Taylor Hall represent the current and future Oilers, not Horcoff. Hall is already a team leader on this team, despite his young age.

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    How is it “the classy thing to do” to give up the number you have worn since 2000-01 to a player who 6 years old at the time? At this point Yakupov has earned nothing in the NHL, Horcoff has, the classy move was done by Yakupov when he chose to wear 64 rather than asking a tenured vet, and the captain of the team, to give up his long worn number.

    And as far as giving up the captaincy, you don’t get it just because you’re young and the future of the team, you get it because you’ve earned it. Let the young guys put in 3 or 4 years playing and truly learning what it takes to lead a group of men at the NHL level before you hand over the C to one of them.

  6. jacketsfan7 - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Here’s a question , is dion phaneuf the maple leafs leading scorer , no he has experience , leadership , and courage on the maple leafs just as horcoff has with the oilers , he should be captain

    • travishenryskid - Aug 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      Did you really just use the Leafs to provide an example for good leadership? Think about that for a second…

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Dion Phaneuf is a terrible leader, he was roughed up in the Calgary locker room on a couple of occasions and last year during an interview Glenn Healy (who’s between benches during games) described the way Phanuef is treated by the opposition and even some members of his own team during games is akin to bullying.

  7. charleslouis99 - Aug 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    I say it should go to either smid hall or gagner

  8. spochiefsfan - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    I don’t think this is it matter of handing it to superstar, but rather gradually passing it to the future of the organization.

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