- The Edmonton Oilers re-shaped their roster on trade deadline day acquiring several pieces for the stretch drive
- Will the additions vault the Oilers into true contention for the Stanley Cup?
- Here is a breakdown of the contenders for the Stanley Cup as well as my pick for the team offering the best value right now
Nobody can accuse Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland of being inactive on trade deadline day.
The Oilers boss acquired Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings, as well as Tyler Ennis from the Ottawa Senators. Their Stanley Cup odds are now listed at +2400.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+550|
|St. Louis Blues||+1000|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1200|
Odds taken Feb. 24th.
How excited am I about these moves? Not very. These moves amount to quality over quantity in my eyes. Here’s the case why the Oilers aren’t much more likely to win the Stanley Cup now than they were before the deadline, as well as my pick to win the trophy at seasons end.
Will Athanasiou & Green Help or Hurt Oilers?
The running joke is the worst plus-minus in the NHL earns the “Green Jacket” – like the winner of a golf tournament being whoever is farthest under par. Well, Athanasiou and Green are right in the thick of things for the honor. Athanasiou is a league-worst -45 despite only having played 46 games this season and Green is third-worst at -32.
Many would point to Green’s puck-moving offensive ability but even that seems to have vanished – with the 34-year-old tallying only 11 points so far this season. Though both are players Holland is familiar with from his time in Detroit. Athanasiou is also just a year removed from a 30-goal year in 2018-19.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 24, 2020
Tyler Ennis has had the best season of the three additions, racking up 14 goals, 19 assists and 33 points with the Ottawa Senators. Though he is a -5 in plus-minus himself. The problem is he had a much bigger role on that team than he will in Edmonton. With less ice time and less opportunity with the Oilers, those numbers are sure to dip down the stretch drive.
🔁 TRADE 🔁
The #Oilers have acquired forwards Andreas Athanasiou & Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Sam Gagner & two second-round draft picks (2020 & 2021). In addition, Edmonton will retain 10% of Gagner's salary.#LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/tMzZCPg3Sy
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 24, 2020
Lightning Added Key Pieces to Great Roster
Tampa Bay got most of their work done before the final day, but adding forward Blake Coleman and defenseman Zach Bogosian to an already stacked roster has them in prime position. They sit second in the league with a 40-17-5 record thanks to three players averaging a point-per-game or more in Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point.
We have acquired Blake Coleman from New Jersey in exchange for Nolan Foote and Vancouver’s conditional first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.https://t.co/YbcxcRgDiw
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 17, 2020
Coleman has 21 goals this season and cost a 1st round pick but will be a nice depth addition on the offensive side. He slotted in nicely on the left side of the second line. Bogosian is more of a depth piece on defense, but could absolutely provide value on the third pairing during a long playoff drive. The team also added forward Barclay Goodrow from the San Jose Sharks right before the deadline. The cost was another 1st rounder, but gives the team more options down the middle of the ice.
Fade the Oilers & Bet the Lightning
Betting on Connor McDavid with +2400 odds may seem like a value play the truth is no team is coming out of the weak Pacific Division and making noise in these playoffs. The Lightning and Boston Bruins have been the best teams all regular season and I expect they will continue to be in the post-season. Whichever team wins their inevitable second-round matchup should go on to win the cup – and for my money, I’m siding with the hungry and now freshly stocked Lightning.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning (+550)
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