One trade wasn't enough for Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill on the Fourth of July so he made it two.
Reports came down on Thursday night that the Stars had acquired Shawn Horcoff from the Oilers but it wasn't made official until Friday morning. In total, the Oilers sent Horcoff and Curtis Hamilton to Dallas in exchange for defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round pick in 2014.
For those keeping score at home, Nill's Stars entered Thursday with a collection of centers consisting of Vernon Fiddler, Cody Eakins, Ryan Garbutt and a converted winger in Jamie Benn. Now, in a matter of a couple of hours, he added Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and the veteran Horcoff. That's quite a transformation for one day's work.
"Shawn is a proven leader in this league and helps solidify our group at center," Nill said. "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 doesn't come without a cost (in addition to the actual trade return). The main reason why the Oilers were looking to move him is because he's signed for two more seasons with a $5.5 million salary cap hit. There was some talk about the possibility of the Oilers buying him out but they were able to get some value for him instead ... and not have to pay his contract.
Now the Oilers have that much more room to spend on Friday when free agency officially opens. They should be one of the teams to watch.
Horcoff, 34, has seen his best days in the NHL already. His entire career has been spent with the Oilers and while he was never a monster point producer, he did have four straight season with at least 50 points. He had a career-high 73 in 2005-06. He hasn't had more than 40 points, though, since 2008-09. Last season he played 31 games and had 12 points on seven goals and five assists.
He brings a little more than just his playing ability, however. Horcoff was the captain in Edmonton, so he brings those veteran and leadership intangibles that teams covet. In the faceoff circle he is almost an even .500 percent in his career.
Larsen, 23, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Stars back in 2008. He played in 32 games last season, his first action in the NHL, with two goals and three assists.