July 16, 2024

Edmonton Oilers Key player has ended a $63million contract  because of a disagreement he had with management about….

Is this guy the most underrated contributor to the Edmonton Oilers?

It was the spring of 2018, and the Edmonton Oilers were in a royal mess of their own making. Just one year after making a major surge over 100 points and to Game 7 of the Pacific Division Finals, it all came apart at the seams. That season the Oilers collapsed from 8th place overall to 25th, largely due to a major failure of the special teams. Foremost among them, a talented powerplay unit that somehow crashed to 31st and last in the NHL with a measly 31 powerplay goals, 7 fewer than any other NHL squad. They also ranked 31st in powerplay conversion percentage and PP goals per 60.

It’s not that they didn’t have offensive talent. In what was to become a familiar refrain, Leon Draisaitl led the team in powerplay goals, but with a paltry 6. League scoring champion Connor McDavid sniped 5, followed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with 4, though largely from the second unit. First unit regulars Milan Lucic and Mark Letestu each netted 3, while blueliners Oscar Klefbom and Ethan Bear each scored exactly once.

The club already had the high end forwards who continue to be the “3” in the club’s 1-3-1 PP alignment, but with nothing positive to show for it. My recollection is of the peerless McDavid already showing his still-unmatched ability to gain the zone, but being largely stapled to the half-wall once possession was established in the dominant strategy of the day. The right-shooting Letestu set up in the left circle for one-timers that rarely found the range that season, while Klefbom was learning the ropes on the point in the extended absence of Andrej Sekera. Lucic was the first choice for the net-front role, but completely lost the powerplay magic he had enjoyed the previous season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *