The Dallas Stars have obviously made some pretty significant additions this summer, particularly on the trade market, where they’ve managed to add some impact talent. They’ve not only added some young pieces that give them serious star power, they’ve also bought low on a veteran that could make a big difference for them, in Shawn Horcoff.
The last few years haven’t gone particularly well for Horcoff, having been acquired this summer from the Edmonton Oilers. Horcoff has struggled to maintain health and consistency, particularly the former, which led to his role with the Oilers being decreased over the last three seasons.
Horcoff left the Oilers essentially as a third line center. He appeared in only 47 games in 2010-11 and played in 81 in ’11-’12, before managing to play in only 31 this past season. In those 31 games, he only managed a dozen points, seven of which came from putting the puck in the net.
Heading into his first season with the Stars, though, Horcoff will see a new opportunity to rebound. He’ll be able to slot in as a no. 2 center behind Tyler Seguin, and should have an opportunity to make an impact in as many ways as he did when he was a member of the Oilers, prior to the injuries taking their toll.
When healthy, Horcoff is a player capable of logging big minutes at full strength, as well as on both special teams. He can be used in all situations. Not only that, but he’s a fantastic guy to have around in a young locker room as well, as evident by the fact that he wore the ‘C’ in Edmonton.
Few players needed a fresh start in the way that Shawn Horcoff did. He gets that, both in a change of scenery, and a summer to get completely healthy. Coming into the first year with the Dallas Stars, he should be able to be a key piece of their offense, and could very well be in for a return to his 50-point form of a few seasons ago.