Our friends over at Daily Faceoff are putting together their annual team-by-team Fantasy Hockey Season Preview posts. Today, we have the Oilers.
Peter Chiarelli’s time finally ran out after another wasting another season of Connor McDavid’s prime in 2018-19. Long-time Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland now sits atop the Edmonton Oilers’ brass as he tries to fill the obvious holes on the roster left by Chiarelli. Holland gets the chance to build around a truly generational talent with some relatively low expectations after the Oilers sputtered through a 79-point campaign in 2018-19.
Holland was relatively quiet in his first off-season in Edmonton, but he did execute a savvy trade to land a valuable depth piece in James Neal. Edmonton’s key additions from the off-season include:
- James Neal (Trade): Acquired for Milan Lucic and a 2020 third-round pick.
- Mike Smith (UFA): Signed a one-year, $2M contract.
- Markus Granlund (UFA): Signed a one-year, $1.3M contract.
- Joakim Nygard: Signed a one-year, entry-level contract.
- Josh Archibald (UFA): Signed a one-year, $1M contract.
- Riley Sheahan (UFA): Signed a one-year, $900K contract.
- Tomas Jurco (UFA): Signed a one-year, $750K contract.
Holland did an admirable job of shoring up the Oilers’ depth up front, but their top-nine still lacks quality play-drivers at 5v5 outside of McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and the blue-line remains an issue. You never want to count out McDavid, but the Oilers still don’t look like a playoff team.