Ramblings: Oilers Looking Ahead to Next Season, Pastrnak Trade Rumors (June 10)

Ian Gooding

2022-06-11

The general opinion of people that I talk hockey with (not necessarily from a fantasy perspective) seems to be that the Oilers need to move on from Mike Smith. Although Smith can look like a world beater at times, it's those gaffs resulting from his tendency to take risks that stand out. During the first two rounds, Smith posted a decent 2.70 GAA and a very strong .927 SV%. However, the Avalanche exposed him to a 5.57 GAA and .872 SV% in their four-game sweep.

I'm not sure what the Oilers will decide to do with their goaltending situation this offseason. Although Mikko Koskinen is set to become a UFA (and is rumored to be signing in Europe), Smith is under contract for one more season. Smith is reportedly contemplating retirement, but barring a significant change or signing, the Oilers might have to make do with a Smith/Stuart Skinner pairing next season.

If Smith ends up staying on, I might revisit his situation during Bubble Keeper Week. Although I very nearly dropped him during the season, Smith was instrumental in me earning a fantasy championship during the final week of the season while Frederik Andersen was sidelined and Ville Husso was facing tough matchups. Smith has proven he can be a superb option in certain situations, and his numbers might even be okay when spread out over an entire season. But he's anything but a "set it and forget it" option, and he is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Speaking of players that you might have rolled the dice on this season… There's a very good chance that many fantasy championship teams, both regular season and playoffs, included Evander Kane.

Aside from maybe Johnny Gaudreau, I think the most interesting free agent out there is Kane. The projections for his next contract seem to be wildly varying. But if the above report is true, then the free agency period is really and truly silly season. If Kane didn't have all his off-ice issues, do you think teams should be lining up to offer him a seven- or eight-year contra