Been a while, [expletive removed for reasons]!
In honour of the latest bout of disappointment the Oilers chose to throw at us, I figured now would be a great time to review my targets from last offseason and quantify whether I'm more or less disappointing than my favourite team! First, we ought to set the bar: by how many criteria did the Oilers disappoint?
1.) "Compete for the playoffs"
While they were technically 'in the fight' until March, I think we can all agree that it was only a byproduct of pathetic division and the manner in which they collapsed makes this a disappointment.
2.) "Don't waste another McDavid season"
Another dominant career-best year for McDavid; another failed season for the Oilers. Easily a HUGE failure.
3.) "Stay healthy, Oscar"
Seems daft to keep hoping for this, but we did. And he once again suffered a significant injury and came back not quite as effective as he was pre-injury (though much of that can be explained by Larsson's implosion). Diiiiiiisapointment.
4.) "Some development would be nice"
A 17-game win streak and a 2nd round playoff appearance with our prospects playing big roles would've been enough, but they did more! Benson and Marody exploded onto the scene while Jones and Bear showed steady development and Lagesson impressed with his surprisingly well-rounded game. That's our first... appointment?
5.) "Fire Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli."
Thank (frank)! They should've both gone back in November, but Nichol(frank)er insisted on letting him do a BIT more damage before freeing us of that burden. I'll give 'em a half-point for this one.
FINAL GRADE: 1.5 / 5
Alright, so a clean 30%. There's almost certainly a hundred other ways they failed but, in pursuit of expediency, I'll forego listing them all. Should be easy to surpass that, right?
Now, I'll look at the trade and signing proposals I made through my last collection of offseason blogs. The trades and write-ups can be found on my profile in April and May 2018. Let's begin!
Yamamoto, our 2019 2nd and Russell for Nyquist and Helm
While it would maybe be a tough sell to retain Nyquist, I think he would've made a world of difference for this team even without any other additions. His 60 points and the continuation of his success in terms of shot generation, HD conversion ratios and even strength production would've been a VERY welcome addition to this season's team and could've been the difference between where we ended up and playoffs. I stand by this trade proposal even if I think Yamamoto has a career ahead of him.
Jones for Joseph
As much as I loved what I saw out of Jones' development this offseason, Joseph just finished a quality rookie season and likely would've likely produced more offense playing here. With Lagesson showing as well as he did and Samorukov taking big steps, Jones' loss is one the system could afford. While I'll give myself a pass for the trade this season, it's fair to say it's a deal we might've come to regret based on Jones' trajectory.
Kassian for Hunt
This one looked reasonable at the halfway point as Kassian was a 1.95mil paperweight at that point and Hunt was encroaching on point per game totals in the AHL after a brief NHL stint but, after Kassian found his groove, it's fair to call this a loss. Both are likely 4th liners in ideal situations, but Kassian is that now- and maybe more.
Chris Wagner for 800k
It would've costed another 450k to get him but he played good minutes and scored 12 goals for Boston this year on their road to the Cup Finals. I'll give myself the mark for identifying a somewhat valuable role player.
Klefbom and a 2019 3rd for Ellis
I'd still make this trade today but, since it's reasonable to say Nashville wouldn't have (even despite their cap issue), then I won't give myself a point.
Blake Comeau for 2.6mil
I was almost perfectly on the dot with the cap mark and he played some valuable minutes for the Stars, but it's also fair to say that his deal wouldn't look good if he had produced 17 points here, as well. As such, I'm giving myself nothing; half point for getting the contract that close and a half point off for how the contract would likely look now.
Lagesson and a 2020 4th for Gunnarsson
Regret. Instant regret. Even if I'm a big fan of Gunnarsson, Lagesson's AHL season was genuinely impressive enough to think we might have a long term, cheap, 3rd pairing option in our midst. Adding the 4th for what was St Louis' #7 Dman would've made this ugly.
FINAL GRADE: 3 Good / 2 Neutral / 2 Bad
That's a 42.9% grade! Still a failure, but at least better than the Peter Chiarelli Oilers- as pathetically low of a bar as that is.
I'm glad that I can rest easy knowing that in this single, biased and shallow method of evaluation that I'm better than Petus. (frank) that guy, am I right? When I next write, I plan on reviewing my draft blogs (Dobson > Bouchard) from last year and hopefully get to touching on the upcoming entry draft!