After much speculation and chatter late into the evening Thursday night the Dallas Stars have announced officially that they have indeed acquired Edmonton captain Shawn Horcoff from the Oilers in exchange for defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh round pick in 2016.
Interestingly enough the Edmonton release, at the time of this writing (9:33am CDT) says "General Manager Craig MacTavish has announced that the Oilers have acquired defenceman Philip Larsen and a 2016 seventh-round draft choice from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Shawn Horcoff and Curtis Hamilton."
So we'll follow up on that and find out if Hamilton is in the deal or not.
As for now, the Stars' rebuilding down the middle appears to be near completion, if not totally. The though right now is that Rich Peverley slots in at the #2 center position and that Horcoff would presumably the the third-checking role, but the question is where does that leave Vernon Fiddler and Cody Eakin?
Perhaps the situation will clear in the coming hours if more movement is on the horizon? We'll see.
As for the cost - Philip Larsen struggled all season to maintain a grasp on a third pairing spot, and never bloomed into the offensive blue-liner Stars fans had hoped. His most memorable turn last year was going down in a violent collision, and his size issues were always going to be a concern. Perhaps a change of scenery can get the best from him. We wish him luck.
With so many defensemen on the roster already and Kevin Connauton on the way, presumably, the Stars give up next to nothing here if we're being practical, if not a little blunt.
Here's the release from the Dallas side...
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has acquired center Shawn Horcoff from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Horcoff, 34, posted 12 points (7G-5A=12P) in 31 games for Edmonton during 2012-13 regular season. His +8 plus/minus rating was tied for first on the team and he averaged 2:29 shorthanded time on ice per game for the ninth-ranked Edmonton penalty kill unit.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Horcoff has spent his entire career in Edmonton posting 447 points (162G-285A=447P) in 796 career regular season games. Named the 13th team captain in Oilers history on Oct. 6, 2010, he departs Edmonton having registered the ninth-most goals and points and 11th most assists in franchise history. In 2007-08, he was named to the NHL All-Star Game played in Atlanta.
Horcoff has appeared in 35 career postseason games registering 23 points (10G-13A=23P). He participated in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, falling to Carolina in seven games, finishing second on the team with 19 points (7G-12A=19P) in 24 games during that postseason.
"Shawn is a proven leader in this League and helps solidify our group at center," stated Nill. "He's a hard-working, two-way player that can contribute in all situations and our young players will be able to learn from his work ethic and example."
Horcoff has represented Team Canada at three World Championships (2003, 2004, 2009), having won gold in both 2003 and 2004.
The six-foot-one, 208-pound native of Trail, British Columbia was originally selected by Edmonton in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 1998 NHL Draft.
Larsen, 23, registered 19 points (5G-14A=19P) in 95 regular season games over the course of four seasons with Dallas. The six-foot, 190-pound native of Esbjerg, Denmark was originally selected by Dallas in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.