What a difference a weekend can make.
As quickly as McDavid was able to ignite farfetched playoff hopes, costly mistakes and overall poor play seemingly took them away. Two dominant wins followed by two uninspired losses have left many a fan puzzled about what this team truly is at his point of the process. Although only year 1 of the new regime, Chiarelli has likely now seen enough of many of these guys to start making big personnel decisions.
The players listed below have simply not lived up to expectations this year, and should either be sent out of the organization, down to Bakersfield, or at the very least shifted down the lineup and fed less ice time.
This season was supposed to see Schultz develop more intensity and defensive acumen. Instead his offensive game has all but completely dried up, while still looking completely lost in the defensive zone. Offer to retain half of his salary, and try to get back a prospect or 3-4th round draft pick. Maybe he will be able to find his game in another organization, but it would be unwise for the Oilers to give yet another opportunity to a player that simply is not getting it done. Ship him out.
Perhaps Lander is destined for the tweener hall of fame with the likes of Mark Arcobello, as a player too good for the AHL but who just can`t kick it in the big league. In what has probably been the biggest disappointment this season, last seasons apparent breakout under Todd Nelson is beginning to look more and more like an anomaly. Given his penchant for drawing penalties and considering his terrible run of puck luck this season he may still play a role on this team yet, but given his recent healthy scratches, exposing him to waivers is no longer out of the question. Send him to the AHL to hopefully gain some confidence, and maybe just maybe he could turn out to be the third line centre he was envisioned to be.
Mark Letestu is a NHL hockey player, A 17+ minute a night NHL player? eh not so much. Letestu provides very little offense, especially 5vs5, and is certainly not doing Yakupov any favours. He’s a strong faceoff guy, and a good enough penalty killer, but fits as more of 4th liner with some special teams upside. In case your not convinced here is more excellent work for Mr. Agnihotri.
The Rest of Them
A couple more Oilers could certainly find themselves on this list (such as the struggling Anders Nillson.) However these players represent a fortunate few who consistently receive ice time and under perform. At a certain point it is time to hold these players accountable and either shape them up or ship them out.