The Edmonton Oilers had an epic collapse against the Winnipeg Jets in game 3 of the first round of the North Division. The Jets now have a 3-0 command of the series and the Oilers chances of advancing have dropped to damn near 0.
Most hockey fans are well aware of the incompetent history of the Edmonton Oilers over the last 15 years. With drafting first overall four times in the last 10 years, the Oilers have absolutely nothing to show for it. They have built nothing with their incredible draft capital. Not a farm system, a core to build around, nor have they given up draft picks for organizational growth. They have done NOTHING! Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are two of the leagues best players. Two top tier players that every GM would drool over to build around and the Edmonton Oilers have failed them every single season.
You are probably wondering why is the incompetence of one organization a NHL problem and not just the problem of the players who are stuck playing there? I will tell you. The NHL is suffering from having their star players not in the Conference or Stanley Cup Finals! Everyone in the hockey community is frustrated on how the NHL can’t market or doesn’t market their players. Here is a perfect example of why McDavid isn’t one of the most well known athletes in the world. He doesn’t win. Crosby and Ovechkin are arguably the two most popular players in the league. Ask any non-hockey fan and they can probably tell you who they are. Why? Because they win Stanley Cups. Their teams advance in the playoffs. So when the new and casual fans are posted at the bar watching playoff hockey, guess who they aren’t watching? Connor McDavid. It’s a crime.
It sucks watching one of the greatest players to ever lace them up waste his career in Edmonton. His individual stats are obviously amazing, but he deserves more. The fans deserve more. The NHL suffers, plain and simple. And I know I might be pointing out the obvious, but if the Edmonton Oilers don’t come back from their 3-0 deficit, McDavid will have never won a series in the NHL playoffs. ****edit: The oilers beat the Sharks in the 2017 playoffs. My memory sucks and I’ll blame it on Covid. Thanks to @bfawd1 on Twitter for calling my ass out!!*** That should not happen to a player of his stature. He will literally be considered one of the best players of all time.
So what’s the solution? I’m not here to solve problems. I’m here to bitch about them. But Oilers and Sabres fans better not bitch when players like McDavid and Eichel leave to go greener pastures. Blame ownership, management, and coaching. Connor McDavid has surpassed any expectation of a player of his caliber. He’s done his time and if he wants out, then we all have to embrace it . Maybe players leaving these organizations will help shine a spot light on one of the biggest problems facing the NHL and the ability of this league to grow!