Posted 9:31 PM ET | Comments 1
It was only a couple short weeks ago I wrote a blog detailing how Edmonton could still make a playoff push. Unfortunetly the team decided to take a personal vendetta against me and decided to discredit me by scoring only 3 goals in their last 5 games.
Stick a fork in it people, the Oilers season is officially done.
There is going to be lots of talk about how things went so wrong. The fact is some of us saw this coming a mile away last summer and Chia did nothing to address these issues. Hindsight is 20/20
I'm not a big fan of writing armchair GM blogs but I would rather not write about the PK woes or porous defense for the umpteenth time so I'm going with this instead.
Here is a list of trades the Oilers should have made, knowing what we know now.
Acquire Jonathan Marchessault from the Florida Panthers for a third round pick
Oiler fans may think they own the market on GM's who let good players walk for nothing but Dale Tallon of the Panthers might be able to give him a run for his money. Seriously how much is Tallon sweating looking at the standings and seeing Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault producing as they are for the Golden Knights.
Marchessault sits first on the team with 40 points and Smith sits third with 35. Marchessault in particular has been a huge reason for the success of the Golden Knights proving his 30 goal season was not a one time fluke.
Remember this is all hindsight. The Panthers left Marchessault unprotected and then acquired a 4th round pick to get Smith off their hands. Panthers get a higher pick and still leave Smith for Vegas to select.
Aquire Carl Soderberg from the Colorado Avalanche for Drake Caggiula, a 6th, and the rights to Anton Lander. Colorado retains 1.5 million.
The one thing Chiarelli has been effective doing aside from trading top players for scraps is acquiring middle of the road players for cheap. Kassian and Maroon were two such examples. After last season Colorado was in full panic mode. The team had a historically bad season and they also were unable through the off-season to make a deal for Duchene.
Soderberg was one such player who was a big disappointment for the 2016-2017 Avalanche. His 14 points in 80 games was not nearly good enough for a player paid 4.75 million. Last season Caggiula had a reasonably successful season with 18 points in 60 games playing limited minutes while also showing strong flashes in the playoffs.
This season Caggiula has struggled to stay in the line up most nights while Soderberg has indeed bounced back and is producing at a .5ppg pace playing on a third line.
Trade Patrick Maroon for Colin Miller
Technically this makes more sense when Collin Miller was with Boston but considering the relationship between Chiarelli and Sweeney I'm not sure that happens. Either way this would be a scenario where selling high would be a good option.
Maroon had a career year on a career high shooting percentage. The Oilers have signed McDavid and Draisaitl long term and will need to make some cap decisions based on that. Maroon is going to command at least 4 million a season. Selling high on him to acquire a young skilled defender would be a reasonable trade.
Sign Andrei Markov to a one year deal worth one million
Markov was very vocal about wanting to return to the NHL, and more partiular to Canadiens. Reportedly they were not willing to negotiate at all and Markov left. While not a perfect option he would be a good stop gap who could eat up ice time in Sekera's absence.
Then there is the "Don't Do This" Moves
Don't Trade Eberle
If Strome is the best deal on the table you don't trade the player. Simple as that.
Don't Buy-Out Benoit Pouliot
This one is definitely one of those hind sight moves. I wasn't against moving on from Pouliot at the time however I wasn't wild about the decision to buy him out. This year the team could certainly use him on the PK. On top of that he is also another reason why a single season with below average shooting should not define the player. This season Pouliot has regained his scoring touch with 8 goals in a bottom 6 role.
Don't resign Kris Russell
If the team needs to make difficult cap choices maybe don't sign a 5/6 defenseman 4x4 contract.
So let's take all of that and make a roster (including Sekera's return)
Marchessault - McDavid - Draisaitl
Lucic - Nuge - Eberle
Pouliot - Soderberg - Puljujarvi
Khaira - Letestu - Kassian
The potential for three scoring lines. Players who can move the puck effectively and actually skate. Miller could be the right shot PP defenseman the Oilers have coveted. This is also a team that is completely cap compliant.
The fact remains that none of these deals did (or could) happen and the Oilers are going to trudge through the remaining 41 games.
Thanks for reading.