The Edmonton Oilers have arguably the 2 greatest hockey gamers on the planet in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Collectively, the 2 of them have mixed for the final two Hart Trophies and three of the final 5. But regardless of unimaginable efforts from the dynamic duo, the Oilers have by no means lived as much as their expectations. Followers have began to lose hope. Opposing groups have began to look previous Edmonton on their schedules, and if the group continues to exit the playoffs early, it’ll solely be a matter of time earlier than McDavid and Draisaitl begin questioning their futures with Edmonton.
The 2021 offseason needed to be unbelievable. It needed to encourage hope. So, the Oilers traded for a soon-to-be 38-year-old defenseman Duncan Keith and took on the whole lot of the $3.6 million left on his contract. Huh? W-what? Why? This doesn’t make any sense regardless of the way you take a look at it. If the Oilers try to rebuild, why commerce for a defender who’s regressed every of the final three seasons?
Keith could be a very good locker room presence, however my phrase, is that actually price having a legal responsibility in each facet of the phrase gown for each sport whereas making virtually $2 million a yr?
Don’t forget that several strong defenders were going to be UFA’s as well this offseason. Here’s a list of every UFA defender in the upcoming offseason who’s younger and recorded more points than Keith last season:
Ryan Suter, Dougie Hamilton, Alex Goligoski, Alec Martinez, Brandon Montour, Tyson Barrie, Mike Reilly, and Cody Ceci.
There are several others as well who are probably more efficient than Keith has been, despite Keith having more points. It’s not like the Oilers don’t have the cap to go after some of these defensemen. Undoubtedly, the team will look to resign Barrie, but even if Barrie were to demand $6 million per year — making him one of the 30 highest-paid defenders within the league — the Oilers would nonetheless have over $5 million in cap, greater than sufficient to signal one or two more practical blue liners or forwards to pair with McDavid and Draisaitl.
The defender who Edmonton gave up within the deal for Keith is a median defender. Caleb Jones is just not a game-changer, however he performs stable D and has room to develop. In spite of everything, the man is barely 23 years previous. So long as McDavid and Draisaitl are sporting Edmonton jerseys, there’s no cause for the Oilers to be in a rebuild mode. The commerce for Keith is a slap within the face to Oilers followers all over the place. It doesn’t assist the group, it reduces the cash accessible to go after free brokers, and it doesn’t give the Oilers somebody who can really put factors on the board to take some weight off the large two’s shoulders.
There was as soon as a time when a commerce for Keith would make any fan excited. The previous Blackhawk gained three Stanley Cups, an Olympic gold medal, and two Norris trophies throughout his tenure in Chicago, however that point has come and gone. This can be a nice deal for Keith (who will get to be closer to his son now), an amazing deal for Chicago, and an terrible deal for Edmonton. May Keith present some depth on the Edmonton bench in a restricted function? Perhaps, however that is a gigantic “if” with how Keith has performed the previous few years.