Edmonton Oilers name Shawn Horcoff their new captain

horcoffnewcaptain.jpgThere are a few NHL teams who are still without a captain, but the Edmonton Oilers named their franchise’s 13th captain today. The team decided to name veteran center Shawn Horcoff their captain, according to the team.

The Edmonton Oilers have named Shawn Horcoff as their new captain, making him the 13th player to wear the “C” since the team joined the NHL in 1979.

The 32-year-old centre is entering his 10th NHL season, all with the Oilers. Drafted in the 4th round (99th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, the 6’1″, 208 pound native of Trail, British Columbia has scored 374 points (133G, 241A) with 417 penalty minutes in 637 career games.

Beyond 37-year-old goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, Horcoff is practically a dinosaur at 32 compared to the young influx of talent coming into this team. He might not be a truly elite player, but he seems pretty useful in all aspects of the game and would be a great fit as a second or third pivot (unfortunately, he’s often playing the role of a No. 1).

Want to know who the other Oilers captains were? Edmonton provided a nice little list.

Horcoff joins Ron Chipperfield (1979-80), Blair MacDonald (1980-81), Lee Fogolin (1980-81 to 1982-1983), Wayne Gretzky (1983-84 to 1987-88), Mark Messier (1988-89 to 1990-91), Kevin Lowe (1991-92), Craig MacTavish (1992-93 to 1993-94), Shayne Corson (1994-95), Kelly Buchberger (1995-96 to 1998-99), Doug Weight (1999-00 to 2000-01), Jason Smith (2001-02 to 2006-07) and Ethan Moreau (2007-08 to 2009-10) in the succession of Oiler captains.

There might be more captaincy-related news as the day goes on, so we’ll pass along word if any other teams hand over the “C.” Could it be the Vancouver Canucks or San Jose Sharks? We’ll let you know.

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    Sabres bring back defenseman Fedun on two-year deal

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    Taylor Fedun, the Sabres depth defenseman that was set to become a UFA on Saturday, has agreed to a two-year, two-way extension, Buffalo announced on Monday.

    Fedun, 29, appeared in 27 games for the Sabres last year, splitting time between the NHL and the club’s AHL affiliate in Rochester. He was a very productive player for the Amerks, scoring 23 points in 29 games.

    Moving forward, most expect Fedun to continue in the same role he served this year — a guy that can provide veteran stability at the minor league level, and fill spot duty at the NHL level when injuries strike.

    Ottawa extends Pyatt — two years, $2.2 million

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    Tom Pyatt, the veteran forward who enjoyed some success reuniting with Guy Boucher in Ottawa last season, has re-signed with the Sens on a two-year, $2.2 million deal, per TSN.

    Pyatt was a steady contributor for the Sens, scoring nine goals and 23 points while appearing in all 82 contests. He averaged over 15 minutes per night and was a vital part of the club’s penalty kill, leading all forwards in blocked shots.

    He also appeared in 14 playoff games, scoring twice.

    Prior to playing in Ottawa, Pyatt had skated under Boucher in Tampa Bay. They spent parts of two years together with the Lightning, before heading off to Switzerland — Pyatt with Geneve Servette, Boucher with Bern SC.

    Pyatt was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday, but clearly liked the fit in Ottawa. He’ll get a pay bump — up from the $800,000 he made last year — a bit more long-term security, and possibly a bigger role with the Sens moving forward.

    Ottawa has already stated it will cut ties with veteran tough guy Chris Neil, and decisions are still looming on UFA forwards Viktor Stalberg, Chris Kelly and Tommy Wingels.

     

     

    Kassian gets three-year, $5.85 million commitment from Oilers

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    Zack Kassian, after some terrific performances for the Oilers in the playoffs, has signed a three-year contract extension in Edmonton.

    The deal is worth $5.85 million, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. That’s a cap hit just below $2 million.

    Kassian, 26, seems to have salvaged his NHL career after missteps in Vancouver and Montreal. The big winger had seven goals and 17 games in 79 games for the Oilers during the regular season. But it was in the postseason where he really made an impact — especially in the first round against San Jose.

    Twice Kassian scored game-winning goals against the Sharks. He was also a physical force:

    Granted, Kassian was less noticeable in the second round, but the fact he received a three-year commitment from the Oilers speaks to the organization’s belief that he’s truly turned his life around.

    Related: Kassian opens up about struggles with alcoholism

    Stars give Lindell two-year extension

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    More news out of Dallas, where the Stars have signed defenseman Esa Lindell to a two-year, $4.4-million contract extension.

    From the release:

    Lindell, 23, posted 18 points (6-12=18) in 73 games played for Dallas during the 2016-17 regular season, his first full season in the NHL. He finished second on the team by averaging 21:52 of time on ice per game and his +8 plus/minus rating finished third. Additionally, he finished second on the team with 119 blocked shots and tied for fifth with 93 hits.

    The Stars still have a couple of restricted free agents on the back end. Both Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak are arbitration-eligible. Lindell was not.

    Earlier today, it was reported that the Stars were buying out goalie Antti Niemi.

    Dallas also signed forward Mark McNeill to a one-year, two-way contract extension. The 24-year-old was acquired from Chicago in the Johnny Oduya trade on Feb. 28.