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Photo Credit: © Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Quick Hit Oilers vs. Panthers: Stop the Insanity

The Oilers aren’t making the playoffs. Oilersnation is, sadly, too familiar with being out of the playoff race before Valentine’s Day, but let’s make one thing clear:

Trading Leon Draisaitl makes no sense.

1. On Saturday night The HNIC panel discussed Connor McDavid being the only untouchable on the Oilers. Of course he is, but Kelly Hrudey and Nick Kypreos mentioned the Oilers should listen to offers on Draisaitl. They mentioned a team offering a goalie, a defender and two picks. Well, when was the last time we saw a trade like that occur? We haven’t. If he is dealt it will be for three or four pieces, but none of them will be as good straight up as Draisaitl. I see zero reason to trade Draisaitl.

2. I really respect Elliotte Friedman. You can tell he works extremely hard and he is well connected. He was the one who said he wouldn’t move Draisaitl. I agree. As he explained:

“The reason I wouldn’t do (trade) Draisaitl is he had a great year last year. He had a great playoff against a team a lot of players hide against, that’s Anaheim. The beginning of the year he got a concussion and it ruined his season. He’s not the same player. The biggest problem in the NHL right now is that too many people are impatient. We saw a dominant player last year, we saw a guy whose season got ruined this year, I would take a chance (on him). If you trade Draisaitl, that’s a hard trade to win. I would give that guy at least another year to prove this season was a fluke in the wrong direction.”

I agree with not trading him, but I disagree with Elliotte’s belief this has been a ruined season for Draisaitl. I keep hearing it from many places, but I disagree. Sure, he hasn’t been as dominant at times like he was last season, but he hasn’t been bad, and if this is a ruined year, what is a good year?

3. Draisaitl has 40 EV points this year. He is tied for eighth in the NHL with John Tavares and Anze Kopitar, and they have played seven and five more games respectively. The only players in the top-33 in EV scoring who are 22 years of age and under are Draisaitl, McDavid (47 pts), Nathan MacKinnon (42 pts) Matt Barzal (41), Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews (38) and Brayden Point (35). Draisaitl is seven points behind the league-leader in EV points and many believe he has had a bad season. I just don’t understand. The only reason he isn’t higher in scoring is because the powerplay has been dreadful. He only has six PP points. If you want to say he has struggled somewhat on the PP, I’d agree with that, but I disagree with the premise he has had an off year. Sure, he could have been a bit more consistent, but despite all of that he is still top-ten in EV scoring.

4. He’s even 26th in points-per-game, despite barely registering any of the “easier” powerplay points. In fact he has a higher points-per-game this year than last. Any talk of trading Draisaitl should be shut down immediately. The Oilers will lose the trade. Virtually every team who trades an elite point-producer loses the trade: Phil Kessel, Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Joe Thornton are recent examples. Can you name the last team who traded away a young, elite offensive player and won the trade? I know Boston deatl Kessel and got two first rounders, but they needed the Leafs to be brutal for two full years to get a #2 and #9 pick. Extremely rare, and the Oilers sure as hell don’t need to wait for two more years to improve.

5. This year we have had 14 games where a player scored five points, the most since 13 in 2010/2011. Mitch Marner was the most recent on Saturday night joining McDavid, Alex Killhorn, Ryan Pulock, Patrick Kane, Patrice Bergeron, Tomas Vanek, Gabriel Landeskog, Artemi Panarin, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Hartman and Mathew Barzal, who has done it three times in his rookie season.

6. Since 2010/2011, including playoffs, we have had 72 situations where a player scored five points. Evgeni Malkin has done it five times with Barzal, while Vanek and Brad Marchand have done it three times. Pittsburgh fans have seen 12 five-point games from seven different players: Malkin, Sidney Crosby (2), Phil Kessel, James Neal, Nick Bonino, Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz. The Islanders and Oilers are next with six 5+ point games.

7. Only three players have scored five points in a playoff game over the past eight years. Claude Giroux had six versus the Penguins in 2012, Derrick Brassard had five for the Rangers in 2015 versus Tampa Bay and Draisaitl had five last spring against Anaheim. Giroux’s six points were the second-most (regular season or playoffs) in the past eight years, matched by Dallas’ Jamie Benn on November 14th, 2013 in Calgary, while Sam Gagner is the only player to score eight points. He was with Edmonton when he lit up Chicago on February 2nd, 2012.

8. Barzal is only the fourth player since 2000 to have three 5-point games in a season. Alex Ovechkin had three in 2007/2008, Crosby had three in 2009/2010 and Malkin had four in 2011/2012.

9. I was asked yesterday if a team has ever had the Art Ross Trophy winner, but missed the playoffs and had a top-five pick. In 2013 shortened season, Marty St.Louis won the scoring race, but the Lightning had the third worst record. They picked Jonathon Drouin third overall. In 1988, Mario Lemieux led the league with 168 points, but the Penguins missed the playoffs and had the fourth overall pick. They weren’t that bad though. They actually had the 12th most points in the NHL, but finished sixth in the Patrick Division. In 1988, the top four teams in each division made the playoffs, and the Penguins had more points than nine other teams, but didn’t get in.

In Crosby and Ovechkin’s rookie seasons, Ovechkin finished third in scoring with 106 points, while Crosby was sixth with 102. The Penguins picked second and the Capitals picked fourth. So yes, Connor McDavid could win the scoring race and the Oilers could have a top-five pick. I’m sure some in Oilersnation just threw up in their mouth reading that. My apologies.

10. Crosby scored his 400th and 401st NHL goals last night. He is the only the fifth active player with 400+ goals joining Alex Ovechkin (591), Patrick Marleau (526), Rick Nash (433) and Marian Gaborik (403). Crosby is now 95th all-time in goals and will race Nash and possibly Ilya Kovalchuk (417) who wants to return next year, to become the 46th player in NHL history to score 500. If you had to bet today, would you take Nash, Kovalchuk or Crosby?

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Source:  Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 02/12/2018 – 9:00am MST

  • TruthHurts98

    DOD #2 has started. Time to realize this. PC, MacT, KLowe, TM and company are all doing their best! …to get us another high draft spot. #becauseOilers

  • FlamesFan27

    It would be really dumb to trade Draisaitl when he is having a “down” (still very good) year. You are supposed to sell high, not low. His contract is a little rich, but $1 or $1.5 over what he should be doesn’t kill the cap situation. That Lucic contract on the other hand…

  • gordo

    i agree, especially if chiarelli is still in charge. trading leon draisaitl would be a bad move. at the moment the oilers only have 3 legitimate top 6 forwards (rnh)

  • Kaplan

    I don’t know. I think Drai’s contract is pretty scary, and while he’s had an off season due to injury, I think our more pressing needs are goaltending and defence. If he can get us a top starting goaltender and a first and third line d-man, and maybe even a pick on top of all that, pull the trigger yesterday.

  • Hemmercules

    Didn’t watch the last 3 games, DOD round 2 seems be the route this team is taking.

    I dont think Chia would trade Drai one year after signing him to that deal. This is Chia we are talking about so I guess its possible but I dont see it. If the package is sublime (goalie, player, and a high pick) you almost have to take it and that would allow them to keep RNH as well.

    I’m still wondering if Pete will even be GM next year? I think they give him the summer and into next season to right the ship. By November, they will either be competitive again or rebuild 3.0 will be underway and the carousel of player/Gm’s/coaches will continue into another decade of our lives.

  • 24% body fat

    as i said in a previous article CBC is getting stupider by the day because they are associated with sportsnet.

    Take the money and run bettman. If TSN got that contract the NHL viewership would be growing at a much stronger number.

    McDavid isnt doing that well on the powerplay either. is he having a down year.

    These two would be #1 and top 5 in scoring if their pp was clicking the way Kucherov and company were.

  • EzraElliott

    I hate to be the guy to bring up what is likely just childish speculation on behalf of Oilers’ fans, but the only way a Draisaitl trade is even remotely possible is if the rumours from earlier in the year are true (and his presence on the team has become toxic as a result). Even then, a strong, skilled, two-way centre like Draisaitl is probably the most valuable asset in the NHL right now, so we almost inevitably lose that trade (especially with Chia in charge).

    • EzraElliott

      Also, Friedman is a glass of ice water in the hell that is the HNIC panel. Kypreos has yet to say something that wasn’t either completely obvious or totally idiotic in his entire broadcasting career. He should be the poster-child for concussion protocols—”This is what brain damage looks like.”—and leave the sports coverage to educated journalists like Friedman.

    • FlamesFan27

      Even if the rumours are true, that should not be big enough to break up a team – stuff like that happens in real life all of the time. It’s not like he slept with another player’s wife.

  • GK1980

    Heard someone mention trading drai to fast track this franchise into glory. Does ANYONE really think Chia has the smarts to trade Drai and improve the team? Chia needs to just take his hands off of the wheel and let someone else drive.

  • btrain

    A large factor in many of Chia’s terrible summer decisions was to avoid an offer sheet on Drai. So he sold off Eberle to save money, bought out Pouliot to clear some more space, and probably put up at least an extra mill/year in his offer to Drai. All this to avoid his paranoid delusion that another GM might throw in an offer sheet.
    Well lets say 8 mill was the line in the sand that the Oil were willing to pay him, and an offer sheet did come in that exceeded that. In that case they would have received 2 firsts, a second, and a third in compensation. That is a favorable return that would not even be close to realized if Drai was traded today. For me, this again reflects negatively on Chia, as he handed out a blank check instead of playing hardball in what was essentially a win win situation. You get Drai for 7mill or less win!!!……you lose Drai for 2 first rounders, a second, and a third, and have an extra 7mill+ in your pocket….Win!!!

    I love Drai, I think trading him is a horrible plan and anyone who wants to make decisions, on what can barely be considered a down year, just look at Eberle right now. He has followed up his “down year” with what is looking like another 60point season. Yet we are talking about trading a guy who is just shy of a point per game pace currently? A guy who would be massively underachieving if he only scored 60pts? I can’t believe this is a conversation for a team that has already shipped out so much offense as it is.

    • Hemmercules

      I dont buy that they were worried about an offer sheet. They probably would have welcomed it. As you said, it would have lowered the cost to sign him if he chose to sign the offer sheet or they would have receive major picks in return. Chia is just an over payer. Every player he signed pretty much got a million more than they were worth. Lucic, Russel, Drai. Every trade he made was an overpay too, sending high value assets for lesser ones to fill holes and save cap space to not use on anything.

      The more I talk about Chia the more I wonder why he still works in the NHL……

      • LAKID

        Agreed, Chia paid the price of an offer sheet when he could have waited for one. Drai was getting paid but it might not have had to be 8.5$. The Lucic trade should be the one that Chia is fired for unless he can find away out of it. Hate to say it but Lowe was a better GM with his hands tied for payroll…… OOps I said the L word.

          • LAKID

            Lowe got the team to the seventh game of a Stanley Cup. He also did it with Pronger,Peca and under achiever’s. Lowe’s mistake was to sign Pissani and Horcoff to big tickets and then let Pronger walk for almost nothing. The Pronger trade did recoup players though.

          • Kneedroptalbot

            He brought in Chris Pronger, Dwayne Roloson, Mikael Peca, and Jaroslav Spacek. Which took the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final.
            The overpriced signings after that run (Horcoff, Pisani) were not good.

  • Oil9744

    Yesterday Robin put up an article about how if Gretzky got traded, anyone can be traded, I think that logic of thinking is flat out wrong, and the fan base who have been harping on Draisaital all year that he isn’t producing and not worth the money and to trade him is crap, I didn’t want to have to break down the reasons of why we shouldn’t even talk about trading Drai, but you got it covered there Gregor, I think Edmonton fans need to really start tapping the breaks on bashing on players, Hall, Ebs, Shultz recently all commented on how bad fans and media is here, and anyone who can’t see how big Draisaital is to this team needs to wake up.

    • yahsper

      Absolutely. I showed my wife some “fan” comments and she couldn’t believe the tone of the posts. Understandably people are upset with the season , but to constantly crap all over our only pro sports franchise seems a little over the top. Fan base is super passionate and we continue to pay for sub-par performances. That’s on us. If fans really want change we would stop showing up. Stop buying sports packages. Walk away and things would change in a hurry. But we won’t. We can’t. #becauseoilers . I love the club and will continue to cheer with the occasional head shake. Its entertainment for me and most often its very entertaining. Yes sometimes I feel like throwing a beer at the TV but I remind myself its just a game and I go do other things that make me happy. Lots of “fans” have nothing else in their lives so they hate. #Goilers Let the trashing begin.

  • Big Nuggets

    please don’t trade Drai. He is going to be a horse for this team. He and McDavid are still young. In 2 more seasons if the Oilers fortunes havent changed then maybe look for a trade

  • polarcap

    Don’t wait til next summer. The rationale for change is not this, years record but the organization as a whole. The oilers are in the bottom 5, Bakersfield in near the bottom. The special teams are amess. Not one of the Oils project are in the top 50. At the world juniors the oil had only had 3 players, none noteworthy.

  • percy

    Not going to make the playoffs this year. Go after a goalie that can challenge Talbot for nu 1 spot . This team will make the playoffs next year if we are strong between the pipes. Going into the playoffs acquire a D man to quarterback our young core. One simple step at a time. But make it in the right direction. We don’t need to start making a bunch of blind trades. This organization scares me. The more they keep adding to the old boys club the more I realize their completely lost or stupid or maybe both.

  • Spoils

    we need some trades where WE get the best player in the trade.

    I want to see ideas for trading a combination of picks and prospects and players such that WE get the best player coming back.

    kassian and caleb jones and a 3rd round pick for a legitimate top 6 shoot first winger prospect likely to play next year. traded to a team looking to make a run this year and wanting to add some playoff intensity in Kassian.

    • LAKID

      I like Kassian and he is on a good contract and he is not being utilized properly. Kassian has upside and if they trade Maroon who is the deterent? Lucic lol. Lucic is done.

  • Spoils

    katz just bought the most expensive house ever sold in LA. >120M Malibu mansion. I’ve heard he is all about movies these days.. total rumor, i know nothing. but it strikes me he is a bit star crazy. ie. maybe all the old hockey hero’s from the 80s aren’t being hired for the best reasons…

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Of all the trades/signings/draft picks/misfires/whatever Chiarelli has done, the fact that Barzal isn’t an Oiler will haunt me for a long time.

  • Serious Gord

    Okay the three losses in California have now ended the playoff hopes.

    So when do the firings/resignations begin? Time is a wasting – those who are going to be gone (surely there will be departures won’t there?) need to be replaced – and now is the time to start looking.

    • MrBung

      They will write this off as bad luck and an “off” season. We will need to suffer through another wasted season and a McDavid year before they finally start firing the trainers and assistants.

  • Oiler Al

    This all starts with HowddyDoody [Nicholson].He built the management and coaching teams that run this ship aground and bankrupt the Cap.!He never ran an NHL team. Basically opened the gates for all star teams.
    His picks for the Oilers are what we see…. Tire Fire! He is not about to admit his mistakes and firings have to start at the top.To save face the least he can do is within 12 hrs of the final game, announce that all 3 assistant coaches have been terminated.

  • Flint

    It’s very unlikely you trade Draisaitl, but you can’t plug your ears if there are offers either. The scary reality facing the Oilers is if you do nothing you could be just as bad next year. So, you gotta do something. AND you have to either trade or not re-sign some talent (maybe Maroon, maybe Nurse, maybe RNH, …yikes.) It starts looking a lot like last year when you traded Eberle. It starts looking a lot like Chicago, but without the three cups in 10 years.

    I dunno. You gotta do something, because you’ve got 8million less reasons next year to bump up a team that is inexplicably, illogically bad.

    I’ve seen some weird sh*t with the Oilers, but this year makes no damn sense, so you can’t just stay the same and hope for next year.

    • QuitForRealThisTime

      I would defend doing very little, especially breaking up the young (core) team in the league. Why can’t you expect them to be better? Maybe the change they should make from other years is to try and not make any changes. The cap complicates this true and I see Maroon and Probably Letestu being the odd men out. But me I am staying with the core (McD, Drai, Nuge, Pullu, Cag, Khaira, Kbom, Nurse, Larsson and Benning). Let em grow, they are all under 25, they are just kids. I would argue that unlike the teams of the DOD where there was a few good young players, a few ok older players and a hand full of AHL players. I like this core and they have all shown at one point in time or another they can all play well in the NHL.

  • Deported to Ottawa

    I would not trade Draisaitl. He’s got some size, is offensively gifted, can play C or W effectively, doesn’t disappear when it gets physical and he’s young.

    In short, he’s exactly the player every team in the league wants, so to even consider it, the payback would have to be excessive.

  • rossy2623

    Don’t understand why the fans are so impatient. All we need is to solve our special team problem for next season. We have injury problems along with flu distractions twice – not saying anything about Blindsided referring and odd schedule. Coming back to drai – at least 20 games he had run his own line. He has created so many high scoring chances for Lucic and Maroon. His faceoff win has gone higher. Still, he is .96 ppg. Check his playoff records not only NHL but the junior league. Just see how Jets did last year, they build on their failure with prospects coming up. Be smart.