IS MATT HENDRICKS DONE AFTER THIS YEAR IN EDMONTON? | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

IS MATT HENDRICKS DONE AFTER THIS YEAR IN EDMONTON?

Matt Hendricks has one year remaining on a contract that will take him to the end of the 2016-17 season. After that, he'll be looking to either re-sign with the Edmonton Oilers or land a new gig in the NHL. At the age of 36, Hendricks may be in for a rough career change.


Rough isn't new for Hendricks. A soldier on the ice, he's made a career out of doing the dirty work as a player in the NHL. He's a veteran center/winger who night in and night out arguably puts in more effort than any other Oiler. He's also the type of player every coach wishes they had more of. He's just no longer a terribly talented hockey player — at least not by the standards that current NHL GM's use to qualify players of importance and contract renewals.

He is getting older and his underlying numbers aren't good. He went this entire past season as a negative Corsi player, barely cracked the fourth line and offered little to no scoring or point production. Edmonton has prospects in the system who are bubbling from under and looking to take his job. It's only a matter of time before they will.

Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira and Tyler Benson all will be players on the cusp of regular NHL duty between now and when Hendricks' contract expires. All currently play the same position Hendricks currently holds. They're all faster, more skilled and younger than Hendricks, who while a fantastic team leader, is on a team whose leadership options among it's roster are getting better by the month. Hendricks' toughness and ability to motivate his team simply by setting an example on the ice is what's going to keep him an Oiler until at least the trade deadline.

Even still, his physical play, his leadership abilities and his experience are not enough to keep him an Oiler after this season. Simply put, he's a perfect example of the type of player currently spending the summer looking for a PTO with an NHL franchise. He's not skilled enough to get taken in the expansion draft, he's going to see a significant pay decrease and because his analytic numbers are poor, he might not be given a chance by GM's in the game who love reclamation projects or proving they can find a useful asset when all other teams have given up hope.

I know this sounds like I'm beating up on Matt Hendricks. I don't want it to because I'm a fan of his and what he brings to any NHL club. He's been one of my favorite Oilers over the last two years. That said, the ship is sailing on this player and I just don't see his next contract being with the Edmonton Oilers.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.





Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.



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2 Responses to "IS MATT HENDRICKS DONE AFTER THIS YEAR IN EDMONTON?"

  1. If every Oiler gave as much as Mattie, every night, they would be perennial cup contenders. Too bad you can't teach "heart".

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  2. I agree. If the team had the heart Hendricks did or you could put their skill in his body, the Oilers would be unstoppable.

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