The Edmonton Oilers were obviously dealing with several key injuries by the time they were eliminated by the Colorado Avalanche, including limiting issues for Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl. When speaking with the media today in his end-of-year press conference, general manager Ken Holland announced that none of the injured players are expected to need surgery at this point.
That’s huge news for a team that obviously has its sights set on contending for the Stanley Cup again next season. As we’ve seen around the league, playoff injuries can cause absences at the beginning of the following season that drastically hurt a team’s chances–or at least their seeding. Draisaitl, who Holland confirmed was dealing with a high ankle sprain, still had 32 points in 16 playoff games. Nurse was dealing with a torn hip flexor for all three rounds.
- Holland also admitted that the Oilers didn’t have a true number one goalie this season but explained just how few of those actually exist. He explained that he still needs to talk to Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen but the team is hoping that Stuart Skinner can take a step into a regular NHL role next season, even if that obviously isn’t going to be at that number one level. Koskinen is an unrestricted free agent and not expected to be back with the Oilers, while Smith still has one year left on his contract at a $2.2MM cap hit.
- One of the more interesting moments in the press conference was when the manager was pressed about Jesse Puljujarvi, who found himself in the bottom six more often than not at the end of the year and is a restricted free agent this summer. When asked if Puljujarvi was part of the solution for the Oilers moving forward, Holland simply said “that’s what I have to sort out.” The 24-year-old forward is due a $1.41MM qualifying offer and is eligible for arbitration.
Holland’s number one priority has got to be overhauling the goaltending, Even though the Oilers made the Conference finals they really had no chance of winning, Edmonton also must trade Draisaitl to be serious contenders, They obviously could get a kings ransom for him .
Having a $6million dollar goalie (and whoever you would have lost to have such a luxury) would not have stopped the Aves from beating the Oil.
Everyone who says otherwise doesn’t realize how good this Avalanche team is
They must trade their second best player to be serious contenders? Solid strategy. Seems like there are reasons that your GM career never really got any traction.
Draisaitl is easily the best, most complete player. McDavid is more elite offensively, but Drai brings a more complete game. Not to mention Drai brings it at $4M less than McDavid.
Teams would give up more for McDavid as he is more marketable than Drai and the face of hockey right now. But that would still be cutting off your nose to spite your face. Drai and McDavid @ $21M isn’t the problem.
Contracts like Kassian, Smith, Keith, Barrie, and to a lesser extent Nurse starting next year are the problems. Nurse will be making about 1-1.5M too much, Keith about 4M too much, Barrie about 1M too much, and Kassian about 1M too much, then add in the 4+M they are paying Lucic, Sekeras, and Neal to not play there is the issues. The $11M being paid to that collective more than they should be is a HUGE issue and going to hinder them.
Some team is going to get a phenomenal buy low option in Puljujarvi this offseason. He is in need of a larger role elsewhere.
I am a huge PoolParty fan JD, but he hasn’t succeeded to a larger extent when given opportunities in the top 6. He has so much potential but has trouble reaching it for some reason. He shouldn’t make more than 3m per at this point but to buy out UFA years he will command closer to 4 per and it is still questionable whether he has that much value or will reach it yet. Great forechecker, finds the right spots in the O-zone but just can’t finish for some reason. Will cheer him on if they decide to move on regardless, but not sure he can get to the level expected of someone drafted in his spot.
hey Gavin. is it possible for you to write something without using the word obviously over and over? I mean…if everything is that obvious….then just what is it that you are actually reporting?
He isn’t reporting. He is rewriting stories in other publications and trying not to copy them word for word. He is not a reporter, he is a clerk typist who has never had an original thought in his life. But he serves a purpose in monitoring news services and rewriting stories. Keep up the good copying Gavin.
Like…how miserable does your own life have to be to think, “I’m gonna **** down the throat of people who provide me with free content that I have nothing better to do than consume.”
Yeah, right? I don’t always agree with Gavin, Brian and crew, but I enjoy their insights, and I don’t have to dive past a lot of paywalls to get it.
If some of you clowns out there don’t care for the writing on this site, who’s forcing you to patronize it?
“…the team is hoping that Stuart Skinner…”
For once, maybe their plan should be more than hope.
Get a real goalie for McDavid and Draisital while they are still in their prime. Maybe you still lose. Only one team can win.
But, they 100% are going to lose and waste their star’s careers with bad or old goalies if they don’t do more than hope.
As long as Ken Holland is there, Edmonton is doomed.
Agreed 10 fold Karlander. But who is a better available option at this point? I wanted Hunter when they choose Holland. And anyone after 1 year of Chiarelli.
Not to mention as long as Bobby Nix and HockeyCanada continues to run the Oilers, they will continue to ruin them too.
Holland wants to talk to Koskinen even tho he has a deal lined up to play in Europe? Doesn’t make sense to me.
Hell, I’m thinking more along the lines of “Holland wants to talk to Koskinen even though the Oilers couldn’t afford to pay him more than league minimum, and he’ll go to Europe first.”