A somewhat surprising announcement this morning that the Oilers have placed noted bench warmer/enforcer Darcy Hordichuk on waivers. From the Oilers Twitter account:
RT @bob_stauffer Hordichuk goes to waivers. My guess is VandeVelde gets re-called tomorrow— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 11, 2013
The announcement shouldn't be surprising because well, simply put, Hordichuk is very bad at hockey and the Oilers are better off is spot in the roster filled with a hockey player. And yet up until this morning the Oilers had essentially handcuffed themselves with a 22 man roster because they had chosen to employ Hordichuk (keeping Theo Peckham around hurts as much if not more) for his toughness which, by extension protects the Oilers skilled payers. Or so the logic of the enforcers goes.
But that logic is flawed. A player like Hordichuk can only help protect those players if he can play alongside them and Hordichuk can't. Wanting toughness in your lineup is fine but those players have to also be able to play of they're doing more harm than good. This season Hordichuk dressed four times and played a total of 8:08. Again, that's his season total not a per game number. His season high came against Colorado when he played almost three and a half minutes. That's just not a good use of a roster spot.
Not everyone sees it that way though.
Hordichuk on waivers; Oilers just a little easier to play— Rob Tychkowski (@SUN_TYCHKOWSKI) February 11, 2013
Didn't think it was possible for the Oilers to get softer.— Rob Tychkowski (@SUN_TYCHKOWSKI) February 11, 2013
Even with mountains of evidence to the contrary some people are still stuck in the 1970s.
Today's news doesn't mean that we've seen the last of Hordichuk. I highly doubt he gets claimed which means he'll be sent to Oklahoma City and will be just a phone call away should the Oilers need some toughness in their lineup. But for now at least his intimidating stares are no longer something I'm concerned with seeing on a regular basis.