Sunday, August 16, 2009

O'Sullivan Will Surpass Horcoff On The Depth Chart This Season

I see a ton of people penciling Patrick O'Sullivan down as the teams 3rd line center if the Oilers intend on moving him to center. I say that they've got another thing coming. Shawn Horcoff is better suited for that role as O'Sullivan is a more highly skilled offensive player. It will be Horcoff that will become the teams "3rd line center".

His large salary really means nothing in the grand scheme of things, he was a favorite of the former coach, and now there is a new coach in town with a different philosophy. Gagner most certainly isn't ready for checking line duty, so Horcoff will drop to the 3rd line spot and go head to head with the other teams best forwards whenever possible while the O'Sullivan line will face the oppositions checking lines or weaker lines whenever possible.

O'Sullivan is a much better defensive player than he's been given credit for by many Oilers fans, and once he settles in, he could end up trailing only Hemsky in terms of team scoring at the end of the year. O'Sullivan is a younger and much more skilled version of Horcoff. It is my opinion that he will be the new blogger savior in Oiltown, however I won't be following the stat parade once they start churning it out. I already know that this kid will be gangbusters for us and Horc will be superb in his new role even if it means that he'll be taking a kick in the junk initially.

Suddenly Horcoff has competition, and it isn't a couple of years away like Gagner would have been anymore. It's here, and Horc had better be up to the task, because he no longer is the automatic top line center on the Oilers.


Paper Designer said...


You can talk all you want about "talent", but the fact of the matter is that Horcoff was the last coach's favorite because he was effective. He could play in all situations, and is good for 50-75 points a season. He also, unlike a number of other forwards that have been tried, plays well with Hemsky. Patrick O'Sullivan may emerge as a solid top six forward on this team, and I expect he will, but there's no chance he plays more minutes than Horcoff.

Bryanbryoil said...

He plays well with Hemsky because he's been given years to do so. Look at Kotalik, it took him some time to get used to Hemmer, then he did well. I am a Horcoff backer, but outside of his '05-06 playoffs and his injury shortened '07-08 campaign, he has not played like a 1st line center.

Moving him into a purely match-up based role while letting Hemsky, O'Sullivan, and Gagner try to carry the offensive mail, IMO would be the best for the team regardless of salaries.

BradS said...

Quinn has stated in multiple interviews that he doesn't like line matching and does it very little. As much as I would like to see our top line improve in skill I think Horcoff is better suited to the task to help cover Hemskys ass defensively.

Bryanbryoil said...

If he's not into line matching all the more reason to swap O'Sullivan for Horcoff. Horcoff would do better in a defensive role and it would suit his skills better and O'Sullivan would do better in an offensive role. IMO we're stronger with O'Sullivan as 1st line C and Horc at 3rd than the other way around.