When you’re a professional sports team that has someone who is considered to be one of the best players in said spot, the franchise generally does everything they can to build around him in hopes of creating a championship caliber team.
The Edmonton Oilers did it with Wayne Gretzky. The Pittsburgh Penguins did it with Sidney Crosby. The Washington Capitals did it with Alex Ovechkin. The Chicago Blackhawks did it with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
You folks get the idea. When you get these kinds of players, you do everything you can to surround them with players who are going to help him and your team win a championship.
In the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Oilers selected Connor McDavid as the first overall pick. Prior to being drafted, McDavid was billed as someone who would be one of the game’s greatest players.
McDavid, 22, certainly has lived up to that billing. As of this writing McDavid has 368 career points in 281 games on 126 goals and 242 assists and just look at what else he has accomplished in this league:
– Won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2017
– Won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer in both 2017 (100 points) and 2018 (108 points)
– Won the Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most valuable player as voted by his peers in both 2017 and 2018
– Was named captain of the Oilers prior to the start of the 2016-17 season
– Is a three-time NHL All Star (2017, 2018, and 2019)
– Was a first team NHL All Star in 2017 and 2018
Like every year he has been in the league, McDavid is having yet another great season this year. He has 112 points on 39 goals and 73 assists.
McDavid has now hit the 100-point mark in three of the four years he has been in the league. There are not many players who can say that and what’s really scary is that he has yet to hit his prime.
These accomplishments are extraordinary. In terms of the game’s current best player, either McDavid or Crosby might hold that title.
Believe it or not, the Oilers have another player that has been remarkable for this hockey club. In fact, this particular player, like McDavid, this particular player has been one of the best in the league this season.
Leon Draisaitl, drafted by the Oilers with the third overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, has been an absolute gem for this franchise. Draisaitl, 23, currently has 306 points in 345 career games on 121 goals 185 assists.
Like McDavid, Draisaitl is having an unbelievable season this year. As of this writing he has 99 points on 46 goals and 53 assists. Yes, he’s still 13 points behind McDavid for the team lead in points, but nevertheless, he’s been outstanding for this hockey club this season.
While these guys have been absolutely fantastic for the Oilers, the rest of the organization has not. The club has made the playoffs just once (2016-17 season) since the dynamic duo have been with the franchise like in years past, they have absolutely nothing to show for it.
The Oilers already have two of the game’s best players in McDavid and Draisaitl. One would think that they would do everything they can to supply and surround them with other solid players in hopes that they would all click and be a consistent Cup contender.
The team has not done anything remotely close to that. Former Oilers’ general manager Peter Chiarelli drove this team into the ground and despite having several opportunities to make this team a legit threat in both the Western Conference and the entire league, he just sat on his hands and did nothing.
By doing this, the franchise has essentially placed all of its eggs in both McDavid’s and Draisaitl’s respective baskets. Yes, these are two of the league’s best players, but that does not mean that they do not need help.
The Oilers are absolutely wasting these guys. When you have two players that can do it all, you should be a playoff contender every season and unfortunately for the Oilers and their fans, that has not happened.
Whoever the team’s next general manager is, he better find a way to make the team around McDavid and Draisaitl a lot better or this franchise will be known as the organization that accomplished nothing when they had two elite talents on their team.