Thursday, August 11, 2005

Horcoff Arbitration Comparables

I don't think Horcoff actually plans on going to arbitration; I believe he and his agent think the threat of arbitration will help them get a slightly more generous deal than if they didn't opt for arbitration.

From an Oilers perspective, I don't want horcoff to go to arbitration because I want him signed longer term. He'll go UFA in 2 years, and were I the GM I'd like him locked up for 4 years. I would be doing so imagining his offensive production to take a bit of a jump this year, but I would also figure that even if it doesn't Horcoff is valuable with MacTavish as a coach.

Comparables:

The first one that jumps out to me is Mike Fisher, who just signed a 3 year 4.5 mil deal. He is on the high side of what I think Horcoff could get, partially because OTT got him locked up for 3 years, one of which would have been his first eligible UFA season. Fisher is an interesting case to look at should the Oilers go the longer term contract route.

Other comparables, probably more applicable to a one or two year arbitration award:

Mark Bell - also from the 1998 draft class, Bell has within the last couple of days signed for one year, at 1.06 mil.

Henrik Sedin - from the 1999 draft class, he is 2 years younger than Horcoff, but also has slightly better career numbers. It will be interesting to see how Horcoff's age is accounted for by the arbitrator (if it gets that far), but he's been in the NHL for 4 seasons as has Sedin. Sedin just signed for 1.25 mil.

Patrik Stefan - he has an extra year played on Horcoff, but is two years younger as well. His counting nubers are very similar to Horcoff's, and Stefan is scheduled to make 1.064 mil this season.

Justin Williams - 1.225 mil per year, he has consistently outpointed Horcoff, and has played the same 4 NHL seasons as Horcoff. 2 years younger as well.

Kyle Calder - 1.331 mil. He has definitely scored more points over the last 3 NHL seasons than has Horcoff, I'm not sure they are great comparables other than their numbers were somewhat similar last year. Ordinarily arbitration seems to value the counting numbers somewhat higher than perhaps they should, so I would think this Calder contract would set a cap to what Horcoff could receive in arbitration.

In looking at all of these players it will be interesting to see how the arbitrator factors in Horcoff ony having the one 40 point season. I would think that would help the Oilers, had he done it twice in a row he'd be worth more I think.

On a one year arbitration award I would expect Horcoff to get something like 1.1 mil, Bell is a pretty close comparable it looks like, and his contract is signed in the new CBA era, that might weigh more heavily in the arbitraotr's mind. But I think EDM will probaly try to get him to a deal similar to Fisher's, perhaps cheaper. Horcoff may well be willing to take that path; he could be leaving some money on the table, but it woud also be a rich enough contract to set himself up for life - that is pretty nice security to me, who knows he it factors to him but you never know when that career ending injury might occur.

So, I'd expect something like the following:

One year deal - 1.1 mil
two year deal - 1.1 mil, 1.3 mil

3 year deal - 1.2 - 1.4 - 1.5
4 year deal - 1.2 - 1.5 - 1.5 - 1.5

2 comments:

Vic Ferrari said...

Interesting stuff speeds.

Have you looked at Erik Cole? At a quick look he appears to have garnered fairly similar results. Same draft year, same age, similar pick position. Also a college player, and Horcoff broke into the NHL just hakf a season after Cole.

Cole was out injured for a while and Horcoff (presumably) played hurt for a while near the start of 03/04.

Looks like Cole got more icetime early in his career, but Horcoff got better results with his. Overall they have very similar totals for even strength minutes played and PK minutes played. Cole got far more PP minutes, but his pedestrian PP scoring rate of 3.5 points per hour is a bit worse than Horcoff's 3.6.

At even strength:
Horcoff: 1.84 points per hour
Cole: 1.59 points per hour.

The only categories that Cole leads in is PP minutes played and even strength minutes per game. Horcoff was brought along a bit more slowly by the Oilers.

In terms of intangibles, Cole has the reputation for being more of a physical presence and a good hitter, and is a bit bigger player. Horcoff has dynamic speed, and has shown the ability to get results against quality opposition. Both seem to be the type of player that help their linemates outscore at a better rate than they would otherwise at 5 on 5 hockey.

Cole signed a contract for $1.14M the other day, which is the arbitrary 24% less than the $1.5M deal he reached with Carolina shortly before his arbitration hearing in 2004. (I think I've got that right)

I doubt this changes your estimates at all. Would you think he merit a bit more or a bit less from an arbitrator?

speeds said...

I think Cole was a pretty good comparable as well, the only reason I didn't considered him was that he was not signed at the time I put together that entry.