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Staples: Oilers Likely Won’t Get McDavid OR Eichel

Well, I promised myself I wouldn't say anything more about yesterday's Puck Daddy piece praying to the hockey gods that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel end up avoiding having to play for Buffalo or Edmonton.

I cringed at the anti-mainstream media blogging crowd grudgingly typing out 1000-word essays on why "The Sabres don't deserve McDavid because they had Gilbert Perreault" is a take hot enough to melt every towering snow drift in Buffalo.

Yet, here I am linking to a piece -- from an Edmonton Journal writer no less -- ripping it apart.

David Staples did criticize the article, but I'm actually calling it to your attention today for a totally different reason.  Analytics nerds have already told you this, but it's worth mentioning anyway.

The Oilers are a better team than the Sabres and will almost certainly finish higher than Buffalo in the standings.

First off, Staples believes Edmonton will get roughly a point per game the rest of the way.  That would put them at 68 points, which would not only be a virtual lock to keep them ahead of Buffalo but also possibly both the Coyotes and Hurricanes.  Arizona and Carolina are on pace to finish with 66 points.  The Sabres would have to play .500 hockey to reach that number.

Staples went so far as to suggest that the Oilers might even be in playoff contention if they were in the Eastern Conference.

For my money, the Coyotes are a scary prospect to challenge for 30th.  You have to get a sense that the fire sale from that team will be in full swing fairly soon.  If 30th place for Buffalo is what you want, keep a concerned eye on that crappola franchise floundering team in the desert.


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Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink
  Tags: mceichel, oilers+eichel, oilers+mcdavid, sabres+eichel, sabres+mcdavid



The last place team isn’t a lock on first-pick. I’m aghast that you don’t know this. Inexcusable.


Posted by Dobralov74 on 01/22/15 at 01:33 PM ET

@DaveDavisHockey's avatar

Where did you get the idea that I didn’t know that?

Posted by @DaveDavisHockey from Buffalo, NY on 01/22/15 at 01:37 PM ET


The piece seems to put too much emphasis on the rankings of the five bottom-feeders of the league when there are only incremental differences between 29th place downward.

The odds of one of the worst three teams getting first pick is 45%—worse than a coin-flip. Sure, the WORST team has a 1 in 5 chance of winning the McDavid sweepstakes, which is substantially better than anyone else, but kudos to the NHL for finally taking steps against the “Tank it until you make it” system.

2016 is even better.

Posted by Dobralov74 on 01/22/15 at 01:48 PM ET


And for what it’s worth, I’d love for McDavid and Eichel to avoid the dumpster-fires of Edmonton, Arizona, and Buffalo entirely, but that seems fairly unlikely. God forbid they end up on a team that could ease them into it instead of labeling them as the “savior of the franchise” on Day 1.

Posted by Dobralov74 on 01/22/15 at 02:01 PM ET

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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

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Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]