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Oilers-Stars is a “Last Dance” For Many Mainstays

Whether it’s the roster structure or some veterans, this is the last chance for a Cup title

May 23 2024

The Oilers and Stars are two of the final four teams remaining and one will play in the Stanley Cup Final. SOURCE: SPORTSNET (TWITTER/X)

The Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers begin the Western Conference Final on Thursday night and there’s an underlying question about these teams. Is this the “last dance” for the Oilers and Stars?

To be specific, the Oilers and Stars are great teams who will contend for the Stanley Cup next season and for the foreseeable future. However, these teams as they are constructed won’t be the same after this playoff run.

Stars Veterans With Their Best Shot at Winning it All

The Stars seem to have the perfect mix of veterans and young talent. Some of those veterans are itching to finally hoist the Stanley Cup. They include.

      Tyler Seguin - A 32-year-old who won the Stanley Cup in 2011 as a rookie but has never won it since.

      Matt Duchene - He’s 33 and has bounced around the league for years. In his first season with the Stars, he’s had a remarkable season and is only eight wins away from winning it all.

      Jamie Benn - The face of the franchise for years, Benn is now a veteran presence on a loaded Stars team. He’s never won the Cup.

      Ryan Suter - Still playing at a high level at 39 and has yet to hoist the Cup.

      Joe Pavelski - Arguably one of the best players to never win the Cup. He’s 39 yet one of the best playmakers on the Stars. This might be his best and last chance to win it all. 

The point with the Stars is that despite having a remarkable roster that will contend, they have a lot of players on their last legs. Retirement is around the corner for many of the above-mentioned. This season might be it for them.

Will The Oilers Blow it Up?

The Oilers are in a different boat. They have a great roster in place with a remarkable core leading the way. Connor McDavid is the best player in the NHL while Leon Draisaitl without question is a top 10 player. 

Connor McDavid (97) shaking hands after Game 7 with Vancouver Canucks forward JT Miller (9), a game McDavid helped the Oilers win to advance to the Western Conference Final. SOURCE: EDMONTON OILERS (TWITTER/X)

To round out the core, the Oilers have Zach Hyman making his mark as the team’s top scorer. On defense, Evan Bouchard has stepped up as a great two-way skater while Darnell Nurse and Mattias Ekholm round out the unit.

This is a roster built to win the Cup. The elephant in the room is the 2025 offseason which is when Draisaitl becomes a free agent and Bouchard will need an extension. The Oilers are already pressed against the salary cap and the clock is ticking with this group.

Eventually, the Oilers must decide if they can win with this group. Specifically, can they build a contender when two players (McDavid and Draisaitl) are taking up a significant amount of cap space? If not, then they might have to trade away some key players, even an elite talent like Draisaitl.

The Urgency Will Make For a Great Series

The bottom line is that this series has a lot of players looking to make one final push to win the Cup and these teams know it. This series will be played with that unique sense of urgency and it will result in players putting in every once left in them to win these games.

Ultimately, it should make for a fun and memorable series. The puck drops tonight for Game 1 at 8:30 Eastern / 5:30 Pacific.

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