The Edmonton Oilers played in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in the spring of 2006. Since then, the Oilers have qualified for the postseason just once and in NHL circles, have gained a reputation as an unqualified disaster.
Amazingly, or perhaps sadly, the Oilers are an epic failure despite the fact that the best young player in the NHL, two-time scoring champion Connor McDavid, is the star of their show. McDavid has recorded three successive 100-point seasons and may be the fastest player on skates in the entire NHL. McDavid is equally adept at beating defenders and goalies one on one, or at setting up one of his teammates for a tally.
Once you get past Leon Draisaitl, a 40-goal scorer in 2018-19, the drop off in talent level on the Edmonton roster is dramatic. Just one other player – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – broke the 50-point barrier and only two others – Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson – scored as many as 20 goals.
A series of bad decisions when the Oilers were on the bottom of the NHL has helped sink them back to the depths of the league. They spent the first overall pick of the 2012 NHL entry draft on forward Nail Yakupov, who’s already out of the NHL. General manager Peter Chiarelli, who’s since been fired, traded forward Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for stay-at-home defenseman Adam Larsson. Hall, the first player chosen in the 2010 draft, won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP with the Devils in 2017-18.
The Oilers got a new coach and a new GM in 2018-19, so betting on a quick turnaround for this franchise might be a real gamble. Quite frankly, with all the high draft picks the Oilers accumulated over the past decade, this should be a much better hockey club. They are a bad bet at home and a bad bet on the road. And despite listing the most dangerous player in the NHL on their roster, Edmonton is a bad bet on the over.
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