Ken Holland failed to acquire a top-six forward today, so the new GM has turned to Alex Chiasson. The Oilers have agreed on a two-year deal worth $2,150,000 per season with the veteran forward.
Chiasson scored a career-high 22 goals and 38 points in 2018-19, but rode an unsustainable shooting percentage. His 17.9% shooting percentage was over 5% more than his career average of 12.7%. The odds of Chiasson hitting 20 goals again in his career are slim to none.
In fact, 2018-19 was the only season in Chiasson’s career in which he hit the 15 goal mark. His previous high was 13 in 2013-14. He’s hit double-digit goals in four of his six NHL seasons.
Chiasson managed a poor 46.1% Corsi For at five-on-five, a disappointing mark on a team that was overall quite poor in this metric. Chiasson’s possession metrics were negative relative his teammates, as he finished with a Corsi Rel of -3.3%.
Chiasson rode a ridiculous shooting percentage early in the season, but once that began to regress to the mean things got ugly. Chiasson didn’t provide much worth in the second half of the season and managed just six goals in the 2019 calendar year. After Christmas, Chiasson was a non-factor offensively.
Chiasson is a leader and an NHL’er player, that cannot be lost here. He’s a bottom-six forward, however. This is a fourth line player on a good team, just like with Zack Kassian. The Oilers are paying those two men roughly $4,000,000 in 2019-20. For a team complaining about cap issues, these are the kind of mistakes that can and will kill you.
Holland is turning to Chiasson in hopes that he can repeat his 22-goal output in 2019-20. That’s a losing bet, one likely to hurt this Edmonton team. In a bottom-six role, Chiasson can be helpful. Edmonton is asking him to be more than that by the looks of it.
It’s been a very disappointing July 1st and start to the off-season for Edmonton. The Oilers roster is not better than it was in April, in fact I think you can make an argument that it is worse.
Chiasson is overpaid and will now be counted on to fill a middle-six role. This doesn’t help Edmonton’s scoring woes but takes up over $2,000,000 of their precious cap space.