The Colorado Avalanche are back atop ice hockey's mountain after dethroning the two-time defending champions. Behind a goal and an assist from Nathan MacKinnon,…
The scripture reads that the great one, taking the form of Connor McDavid, has returned to Edmonton.
He is set to send the Oilers on their rightful path down Main Street, parading the Stanley Cup and thus beginning a new dynasty for the ages.
The second coming of the great one. Wayne Gretzky, that is.
Gretzky is the city’s one true legend of the game, who led his Oilers teams to four Stanley Cups in 1984, ’85, ’87 and ’88.
There is, however, just one problem.
While Connor McDavid may well be the second coming of the great one, the Edmonton Oilers are still just not a very good hockey team.
McDavid – drafted number one overall the season before – joined Edmonton in the 2015-16 season after nine consecutive non-playoff seasons for the franchise.
This rookie season ended in pain after he lost an edge and hit the boards shoulder first, fracturing his collar bone.
This meant that the decade of darkness, as the fans had dubbed it, continued into a tenth season without a post-season appearance.
While light appeared at the end of the tunnel in the 2016-17 season when the Oilers made a run into the second round, they lost Game 7 to the Anaheim Ducks and darkness once again descended on the city.
The Oilers haven’t been back to the post-season since.
As the NHL starts up again after the Christmas break, McDavid has 21 goals and 62 points on the season so far. He’s followed closely by line-mate Leon Draisaitl, who has a goal more at 22 and 61 points all up.
That Oilers first line featuring McDavid, Dreiseitl and Zack Kassian is lights out, but in familiar fashion, just can’t get it done for a team that continues to struggle. The team has won just two of 12 in December.
Oilers fans sing about the team’s top-heavy roster and years of front-office decisions that have led the franchise astray, and questions continue to be asked.
At what point does Connor McDavid join in on the chorus and tell Oilers management that he wants out?
Many in Edmonton forget, or just like to ignore, that it was in fact Gretzky himself that requested to be traded to the Los Angeles Kings back in 1988. Married to movie star Janet Jones, moving from the freezing cold Canadian north to the bright lights of Hollywood was always a foregone conclusion.
McDavid, however, has continued to make it clear to the faithful that despite the Oilers’ struggles to get to the post-season, he has no interest in being traded. He’s committed to the project, the team and the city.
But I now present you with this.
What if Connor McDavid is in fact not the second coming of Gretzky that the prophecy suggests?
Has the fan-base in fact misinterpreted McDavid as the great one, when he’s actually just another mortal superstar?
With the Oilers now slipping to third in the Pacific, they’re just one more bad month away from joining another draft lottery.
Take a look at Alexis Lafreniere’s goals for Canada in the World Juniors tournament underway now.
Could he in fact be…