The Edmonton Oilers are officially out of the playoff hunt, making this season one of the most disappointing in recent history.
The Edmonton Oilers have had some pretty awful seasons. For the better part of the last decade, they’ve been the butt of everyone’s jokes. However, after making it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year, everyone thought the Oilers were finally on the right track. It turns out they weren’t, as this season has arguably been their most disappointing in team history.Now, as far as point percentage, sadly their .473 point percentage (as of March 22) is one of their better ones in recent years. But if you consider the great expectations the Oilers had going into this season, it’s hard to say this season has been anything short of a massive disappointment.
Let’s take a look at the top three reasons why Edmonton went from Stanley Cup contenders to inevitable draft lottery winners.
Honorable Mention: Injuries
Injuries to Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera left the Oilers shorthanded on their blueline. The fact that Edmonton knew the former was injured, saw him play poorly, and still let him play magnified this.
3. Peter Chiarelli’s No Good, Very Bad Trades
Last offseason, I ranked every general manager. People thought Peter Chiarelli, at 17, was ranked too low. Perhaps now people will think he was ranked too high. Yes, Chiarelli won a Stanley Cup. But let’s face it, that was a lockout ago.
It’s hard to argue Chiarelli has been anything but bad for the Oilers. He had Connor McDavid fall into his lap. The Oilers made the playoffs once during his entry-level contract, which is embarrassing.
Two trades, in particular, stand out when judging this year’s team. The first? Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. This wasn’t a god awful trade. At least Larsson is a pretty decent defenseman. But consider how much the Oilers struggled to score this year. Hall would have helped immensely.
The worst trade, though, happened in the summer of 2017 – Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome. This move made no sense back then and it might make even less sense now. Strome has 33 points in 73 games (as of March 22) while Eberle has 25 goals and 51 points for the Islanders.
Factoring in Chiarelli’s lack of moves to account for Sekera’s injury and the baffling four-year deal for Kris Russell and his moves definitely hurt the team.