I'm worried too, Ryan.
The Edmonton Oilers have signed Darcy Hordichuk to a one-year contract that will pay him $850,000 for the 2012-13 season. That represents a raise of 3% on what Hordichuk received last season. We'll call it a cost of living increase (that's probably what his agent did). Now, I don't think I need to convince anyone that Hordichuk isn't a very good player, and I don't think I need to convince anyone that Hordichuk isn't a very good fighter either. Just terrible. But does it matter? I think it does. After the jump, I'll share some reasons why.
1. The opportunity to sign another player. The Edmonton Oilers are allowed just fifty contracts each season. With Hordichuk, they now sit at forty-six. It's not the end of the world, but I'd much rather use this spot to bring in a player who might help the team win games either immediately or over the long term.
2. One spot on the twenty-three man roster. The Oilers already have seven defensemen committed to one-way contracts (unless Theo Peckham is an idiot and rejects his qualifying offer) plus Justin Schultz. I had thought that they might run with eight defenders and thirteen forwards, a set-up that I really. Alas, having Hordichuk on the roster makes that untenable.
2. $325,000 in both budget and cap space. I grant that this isn't quite as devastating as paying Brandon Prust $2.5M per season for four years, but it's still a needless waste of resources. Zack Stortini is better at both fighting and hockey, would have been available for the minimum, and is demonstrably good in the community. Steve MacIntyre is a poor hockey player but an excellent fighter and if the main purpose of this player type is beating people up, then he's a winner. I don't think this kind of player is useful, but even if you do, Hordichuk is a very poor choice.
To sum up: Boooooooo!