If this edition of the Edmonton Oilers manages to finish in the bottom five of the NHL, they’ll have done something few teams have done in the salary cap era.
This morning, Tyler Dellow looked at teams spending more than 90% of the cap who have managed to contend for a lottery pick. The Oilers currently sit at 98.6% of the cap; only one team in the salary cap era (the 2006-07 Chicago Blackhawks) has managed to spend that much and earn a spot in the draft lottery, so if the Oilers can pull it off (and despite recent victories, that’s plausible) it will represent an achievement of sorts.
In any case, Dellow looked at the nine teams to manage such woeful incompetence despite a relatively high payroll, and again with the exception of the 2006-07 Blackhawks (Khabibulin) all were plagued by lousy goaltending. He also looked at the general managers of those teams; with the exception of Dean Lombardi, were fired or retired shortly thereafter. Dale Tallon managed to hang on for two years before getting fired for other incompetence, while Larry Pleau managed to extend his job by bringing in a replacement.
I strongly recommend reading Dellow’s piece to get an idea of the true level of mismanagement involved in such a feat. I’m of two minds on this one; I want to see the Oilers add a franchise talent via the draft lottery this summer, but I also feel that the current management group should be completely cleared out if the Oilers find themselves in that situation – Kevin Lowe’s already on the fast track to the sunset, but such a poor performance would certainly warrant a full burn it to the ground and start from scratch approach in the front office.