SUN Hockey Pool

Hordichuk handy for Oilers

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:35 AM ET

EDMONTON - Darcy Hordichuk was in mid-season agitating form.

The Edmonton Oilers forward was so deep in the Vancouver Canucks kitchen on Thursday, he could have cooked dinner.

It’s what the Oilers envisioned out of the enforcer when signing him as a free agent this summer and through the first two games of the exhibition season, Hordichuk is delivering.

“I’m just trying to go out there, do my job, finish checks and just show the organization I can do more than just fight and can be affective on the forecheck,” said Hordichuk. “They haven’t gone as far as saying that I have to fight, that’s just part of who I am.”

Hordichuk has fought three times in his first two games as an Oiler.

Against the Canucks, it took all of 52 seconds to drop the mitts against Todd Fedoruk, who is on a tryout with Vancouver.

The two went at it again in the third period.

“After I fought Fedoruk right off the bat, I thought he had an unfair advantage he tied me up before I even knew what happened,” Hordichuk said. “Then (later) he tried to get me at the end of my shift. Anyone that tries to call me out at the end of my shift is going to get a little payback, which is why I went after him in the third.”

In the second period, Hordichuk nearly drove Canucks winger Steven Pinizzotto through the boards into the penalty box.

Later in the frame, he belted Nolan Baumgartner in the corner, which drew the attention of Fedoruk and eventually drew an unsportsmanlike penalty out of the Canucks forward.

The Oilers have long been looking for an effective agitator. It’s a role they once thought Zack Stortini could fill, but he didn’t pan out.

This summer, the Oilers signed Hordichuk on a one-year, $825,000 contract.

Three years ago, the Oilers had made a pitch for the native of Kamsack, Sask., but he decided to sign with the Vancouver Canucks instead.

The 10-year NHL veteran was eventually traded to the Florida Panthers and became a free agent this summer.

“Growing up in Saskatchewan you dream of playing for an organization like the Oilers,” said Hordichuk. “There are a lot of similarities between this team and the team they had in the ‘80s when they were having all that success. It’s going to be a fun group to be a part of.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/SUNdvandiest


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