Edmonton Oilers: Looking at expiring contracts – UFA edition

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Alex Chiasson #39, Edmonton Oilers
Alex Chiasson #39, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

RW Alex Chiasson, expiring contract $2.1 million

Chiasson can thank a career year producing offence three seasons ago for this contract, because it’s not coming again. He proved that 2018-19 season in which he scored 22 goals was a total fluke.

Chiasson had his moments this year but wasn’t someone who really stood out in a huge way. He did re-invigorate his career somewhat, but was it enough to get another contract? I’m not convinced of that.

The bright spot for him is he carved out a role for himself as the net front presence on the PP. However, even this was tarnished a bit as Jesse Puljujarvi looks like he can perform that job as well or better than Chiasson did this year.

Chiasson finished the season 9-7-16 in 45 games this year. In a full 82 game season that would be 16 goals and 29 points.

So, good boxcars for a bottom six guy who can sub in in the top six for small stretches or injury replacements. But, hold on a minute. Five of those nine goals and seven of those 16 points were on the PP. That’s 56% and 43.75%. That means at evens he only produced 4-5-9.

We already have the much more expensive James Neal on the roster as a bottom six PP specialist guy. Does that make Chiasson redundant? Yeah, it might. It was a bit of a tell that in game four of the playoffs, Chiasson was scratched to make room for faster players. In the three games he did play, though, he did have a goal so that’s something.

Playing on the top PP unit as he does, Chiasson is fifth on the team in PP ice time/game at 2:59. That’s out of 12:29 overall per game. He spent no time on the PK at all. He’s not much of a physical player, blocking next to no shots and finishing 12th on the team in hits.

Also alarming is the fact that Chiasson was playing in the bottom six for most of the season and finished at -10, which is way down from the -3 he had the year before, and even worse than the -1 the year before that, which was down from the +1 in his career year. Three straight seasons of decreasing +/- playing soft competition? He might have just received his walking papers out of town. The Edmonton Oilers need more depth scoring, and in this day and age good defensive play creates scoring chances. Costing the Oilers scoring chances is counterproductive to that. I expect better from a nine season NHL veteran of 564 NHL games. Maybe age has caught up with him now. Certainly appears that way on paper.

Chances he’s re-signed – 20%. IMO the only way Chiasson comes back is if James Neal is bought out. Chiasson is 30 years old now, going to be 31 at the start of next season, and chances are good Holland can find a younger player who’s better defensively than Chiasson who can put up the same or more offence on a cheaper contract. With more even strength scoring to boot. I can’t see much of a chance he comes back next season.

Predicted contract – 1 year, $1.3 million