The Oilers need to do the right thing and set Connor McDavid free

The Oilers are in town tonight to take on the Leafs, so we’re going to get a front-row seat to the world’s saddest show — the spectacular talent of Connor McDavid being wasted by an incompetent organization.

Edmonton won the draft lottery in 2015 and everyone rolled their eyes. The franchise who selected first overall in back-to-back-to-back years and couldn’t do anything with it inexplicably fell face-first into the greatest gift of this generation. They got to select Connor McDavid first overall, a player so ridiculously good that even they couldn’t manage to screw it up.

Well, so much for that. The Oilers sit 13th in the Western Conference, eight points out of a playoff spot. The team is on pace to miss the playoffs for the third time in McDavid’s four years in the league.

McDavid has been everything you could expect and more. Through 267 games in his NHL career, McDavid has potted 119 goals while racking up 341 assists. He’s won the Art Ross Trophy twice already and he’s on pace to shatter his career-high of 108 points this season. Unfortunately, McDavid’s magnificent play isn’t enough to compensate for the disaster a bunch of washed up 80s Oilers have created in Edmonton.

Over the past few years, the Oilers have pissed away enough talent to make a roster good enough to make the playoffs. They’ve given away an MVP-winner in Taylor Hall, a consistent 20-goal scorer in Jordan Eberle, top-four defencemen in Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz, and draft picks they could have used on guys like Mat Barzal or Kyle Connor. Rather than, you know, giving McDavid good players to play with, the Oilers have tied him to slugs like Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian.

It’s honestly a sad sight to see. McDavid is so goddamn good but he’s being completely wasted in Edmonton. By the time Sidney Crosby turned 21, he had already won his first Stanley Cup. At the age of 21, McDavid is being forced into a rebuild led, for some reason, by Wayne Gretzky’s younger brother.

I’m not even sure what to suggest. McDavid inexplicably inked an eight-year deal that’ll allow the Oilers to mishandle the best years of his career. He’s a proud guy and he doesn’t want to give up, but the Oilers should recognize that a bird can’t fly in a cage, and they should set him free.

It’s bad for the league to have such a fantastic player get bogged down by an organization that’s so completely lost. Fans want to see McDavid in the playoffs, facing off against the best players in teams in the league, not him dragging the rotting corpse of a team through the mud.

Come on, Oilers. Do the right thing.

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