Oilers’ Horcoff has warm memories of cold

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 PM ET

Fun and cold.

Mostly fun, but still pretty cold.

That’s how Shawn Horcoff remembers the Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium.

With the Montreal Canadiens heading to Calgary this weekend for the NHL’s latest outdoor game, the last Oiler remaining from the 2003 outdoor classic is one of the few players who can offer any insight on the subject.

“It was a great weekend,” said Horcoff. “That whole week leading up to it there was so much media coverage, we had the greats from our team and the greats from Montreal, Hall of Famers who were here.

“Just being a hockey fan in general, never mind a player, it was just a really exciting time being surrounded by all those people.”

Cold, though.

“Then we played the game and it was freezing,” he said. “I remember it was like 110 degrees on the bench because they pumped the heat up, and then you went out there and it was freezing. But it was fun.

“Would I want to play in a lot of them? No. But doing the first one was a good time.”

The Habs have made a complete overhaul in the last eight years, so it’s all new to them. The only advice Horcoff can offer is simple.

“Just have fun and enjoy it.”

Pearn praise: It’s no coincidence that all the teams that Perry Pearn is involved with — from the NAIT Ooks to the Montreal Canadiens — is good.

“He’s an outstanding man, loyal to his organization,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “And he has terrific experience in this league, I don’t know if he’s missed the playoffs yet in 10 years or so.

“That gives you an idea what type of coach he is. He really does have a way of teaching the game from a fundamental perspective, which is pretty unique in this day and age. He has a really good way of getting his point across and making sure it sinks it. That’s the quality of a good coach.”

He’s no PK: PK Subban’s had a few stops and starts in his development. At times he’s looked like a star of the future and at times he’s looked down from the press box. Other than benching him for one game, Renney hasn’t even thought to using the press box hammer with his own thoroughbred Taylor Hall.

“That’s as close as I’ve come in terms of a scratch,” said Renney. “This kid brings it every night. He’s got a hockey sense that suggests that he is in an elite group of people. I can’t for a minute, outside of that one little benching, recall a game where I felt like I might have to put him in the press box the next day. Not one time.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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