I was watching a masterpiece unfold in the 2022 World Cup Final. One of the greatest players in any sport, Lionel Messi, rose up and grabbed his moment in the best soccer in World Cup history and all I could think about was Connor McDavid. When will his time come? Messi had to wait until he was 35 to win the World Cup with Argentina and Oilers fans are hoping McDavid, 25, can win the Stanley Cup while still in his mid 20’s. But McDavid is going to need some help from his teammates, Oilers coaches, management, and possibly owner Daryl Katz to do so.
Messi Experienced Years of Heartbreak before Winning It All in 2022
The 2022 World Cup was Messi’s fifth, and possibly his last. The best result he had achieved before winning it all this December was back in 2014 when Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in the World Cup Final held in Brazil. Before that, Argentina lost twice in the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2010 and lost in the round of 16 in 2018. Heartbreak after heartbreak, until now. This script probably sounds familiar to fans of the Oilers and McDavid.
The Oilers made it to the second round in 2017 then lost in seven games to the Anaheim Ducks. In 2020, they lost the qualifying round to the Chicago Blackhawks, and in 2021 they lost to the Winnipeg Jets in the first round. Last season they broke through and won two series against the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames, but eventually bowed out to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in the third round of the 2022 Playoffs. That begs the question, will 2023 be McDavid’s year?
McDavid Currently Playing the Best Hockey of His Career
So far in the 2022-23 season, McDavid has been putting up personal bests in goals and points. He already has more than 60 points before the Christmas break this season. He and his good friend Leon Draisaitl are once again leading the NHL points race but unfortunately for Oilers fans, their individual performances are not translating to wins and a higher position in the NHL’s Pacific Division standings.
Related: Oilers Need to Do a Better Job of Supporting McDavid
Latest News & Highlights
That’s not entirely McDavid’s fault. The Oilers’ supporting cast has to improve, as every time they look like they’re two steps ahead, they take one step back. Their defense also needs to tighten up, and that could mean that Oilers general manager Ken Holland needs to make a trade to bring in some help.
McDavid’s Time Will Come
After so many years of heartbreak, you have to believe that McDavid is due to win the big one eventually. Will it be in 2022-23? Possibly. But much has to go right for the Oilers in the second half of this season. If not this year, you have to wonder how much longer he will stay patient.
He’s in the prime of his career, and the Oilers need to do everything in their power to make it possible for him to win. The days leading up to the trade deadline on March 3, 2023, could be very interesting for the Oilers. If Holland can pull off some miracles, even a good solid NHL trade, they will have a shot. You have to know that after hitting a new gear in last season’s playoffs, McDavid will be ready to elevate his game to an even higher level than ever before should the Oilers make the postseason.
Hoping for Great Things for Great Players
As a casual soccer fan, it’s great to see one of the best players of all time like Messi finally be rewarded with soccer’s ultimate prize. But for every Messi, there’s also a Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks like will never win a World Cup for Portugal. In football, for every Tom Brady, there’s a Dan Marino. In basketball, for every Michael Jordan, there’s a Patrick Ewing. And in hockey, for every Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, there’s a Marcel Dionne or Jarome Iginla – both Hall of Fame players who never got to drink out of Lord Stanley’s Mug.
I don’t get the sense this is going to happen with McDavid. He’s going to win a Stanley Cup championship. But if it’s going to happen with the Oilers, then the brass need to do everything possible to build a stronger team around their captain. There are many who feel Holland hasn’t done enough. In his defense, he has brought in Zach Hyman and Evander Kane. However, it might be time he tries to land another big fish, especially on defense. That might require giving up draft picks, prospects, and even fan favorites such as Jesse Puljujärvi in some sort of trade package, but it could be all worth it. Especially if Oilers fans get to see McDavid hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head at the end of the season. If Messi can do it, then the greatest player currently in hockey can hopefully do it too. Right Oilers fans?