Shawn Horcoff is a smart player. When he gives an interview it's interesting to hear his perspective on the team. Horcoff recently did an interview on the Oilers website where he talked about the importance of having young players or depth in being able to win:
"I think that in today's world - and I think Detroit exemplifies it better than anyone - you need your young guys to step up and play well, and they need to contribute. I think there's probably fifteen to twenty teams in the league that have the veteran leadership to be able to win the Stanley Cup, but you have to be able to roll four lines. It's so hard to go four rounds and win. You can't just do it playing a select few guys. We have three or four guys under 21 who can be impact players now."
I would love to ask some follow-up questions about what he means here. Impact players under twenty-one? Certainly Gagner, but who else is he talking about. It's not a big point by any means but it seems that Horcoff is conflating some of the youth on the team with Gagner himself, unless he thinks (and maybe he does) that Cogliano, Brule and Schremp are going to be positive impact players now. Even then, they're 21. It just shows how good Gagner is. I would say that it isn't a stretch here to think that Horcoff is talking mostly about the Kid Line and that for him Kid Line = Sam Gagner.
Fifteen to twenty teams that have a chance at winning the Stanley Cup? This sounds like a cover for Edmonton more than anything. He's pulling a number out of seemingly nowhere to say that in his mind there is a chance that this year he could win the Stanley Cup. That, or maybe he just knows that there's a lot of luck in this game.
Horcoff obviously knows that there are some players who are better (and more important) than others, and he's been playing hockey at a high level for long a time. No literal rolling four lines. It's clearly a figure of speech to simplify the game for the listener, so how close is it to what he believes. I'm not sure, but I think I would take this more as a statement of "we need everyone pulling in the same direction." It's not really what he said, but what he said seems impossible for him to believe and I'd certainly like to think that he really is simplifying for people instead of lying to them. If it is a metaphor, it's one that's biased towards the impact of forwards on the game. It may be worth watching to see if his metaphors have a tendency to veer in that direction and that's he's expressing an opinion with them, namely, that forwards drive results.