The Nashville Predators have signed unrestricted free agent forward, Marcel Goc, to a 1-year contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level. It’s actually a 2-way contract with a $105,000 at the AHL level. Of note, Goc ranked 5th in the NHL at the faceoff dot with wins on 58.2% of his draws.
Why does this matter? Well, it looks like the Oilers missed out on a relatively inexpensive 4rth liner who’s very proficient in faceoffs–an area of concern to the Oilers this season. Goc will turn 26 this Monday. Goc was a first round (20th) draft pick by the San Jose Sharks. Last season, he posted 2 goals, 9 assists for 11 points in 55 games played with the Sharks. In terms of numbers, Goc took 570 draws during this past regular season with the San Jose Sharks.
With our main strength relative to the Edmonton Oilers being our offensive/puck moving dmen, one would think we would want to accentuate this with strong faceoff men. At the very least, it would be nice to relieve Horcoff of some of his faceoff responsibilities. Why did San Jose find Goc to be expendable? Well, faceoffs were actually one of their strong points last season with both Thornton and Pavelski over 55% on the dot. As well, Marleau was 52.4% on faceoffs.
Given that O’Sullivan has stated a preference at playing wing and Cogliano’s very weak at faceoffs, it’s not hard to imagine that picking up both Malhotra (3C) and Gok at (4C) would have been some nice additions. However, this would have left both Brule and Pouliot without a position to play for this season.
Over at Oilers Nation, they had an excellent post titled, “Help on the Fourth Line” in which they discussed options including Marcel Goc prior to his recent signing with the Predators.