by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Edmonton Oilers have been one of the most disappointing teams in the Western Conference over the past two years, seemingly wasting the talents of arguably the best player in the NHL since his second season.
The Oilers are hoping to turn things around during the 2019-20 regular season though and get back to the playoffs, but oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com still have their doubts in putting them well back at +4000 (wager $100 to win $4000) on the Stanley Cup odds.
Connor McDavid led Edmonton to the second round of the postseason in his first full season and second overall following the 2016-17 campaign en route to winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. The Oilers were second in the Pacific Division behind the Anaheim Ducks that year with 103 points, but they have not managed to top 79 in the last two years. This despite McDavid averaging 112 points during that stretch.
There is no doubt that McDavid has needed more help, and Edmonton saw centre Leon Draisaitl break out with a career-high 105 points (50 goals and 55 assists) last season. The former third overall pick in 2014 finally lived up to his potential after totalling 54 goals in the previous two years combined. However, the only other forward on the team to score more than 38 points last season was centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (69 on 28 goals and 41 assists).
That said, defence continues to be a bigger issue for the Oilers, who surrendered 274 goals in 2018-19, the second-highest total in the West, as they struggled to pay out on the NHL odds.
Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot was one of the worst in the league, going 11-17-3 with a 3.40 goals-against average. Talbot was one of the keys to the team’s success heading into its last playoff appearance when he went 42-22-8 with a 2.39 GAA in 2016-17, but his recent performance led to a late-season trade to the Philadelphia Flyers and an eventual landing spot with the Calgary Flames this offseason as a free agent.
Replacing Talbot is 37-year-old veteran goalie Mike Smith, who had his moments with the Flames a year ago yet also continued to battle injuries. Smith was inked to a one-year, incentive-laden deal worth $2 million, so he can obviously earn more money with performance bonuses.
In addition, the Oilers re-signed veteran winger Alex Chiasson to a two-year contract worth $4.3 million after scoring a career-high 22 goals. If Chiasson can keep producing like that and Smith comes through, this could be a playoff team.