The most common topic of discourse with the Edmonton Oilers right now is the Leon Draisaitl situation. The Edmonton forward is a restricted free agent and Edmonton fans are wondering what his contract will look like in the weeks or months ahead. Recently, Edmonton signed contracts on the budget side of things with Dillon Simpson, Joey Laleggia, Yohann Auvitu, and Jussi Jokinen. The low-priced contracts are likely to keep GM Peter Chiarelli's options open to sign Draisaitl at what could be a big price.

Draisaitl situation a red herring

However, the Draisaitl situation might be a big distraction. One problem with the Edmonton Oilers is their situation in goal.

Tim Campbell kind of hit at that in a recent article about Edmonton on NHL.com.

Under the heading "What (Edmonton) still need" he wrote "The Oilers...will look to get more playing time for backup goalie Laurent Brossoit so Cam Talbot doesn't have to make 73 starts again" (undated).

That's a funny way of saying that Talbot needs some relief, but who says that Brossoit is good enough to cut into Talbot's playing time substantially? What Campbell should have wrote is that the Oilers need Brossoit to perform as a backup or they need someone who will.

The goal-tending position is often where NHL teams have all of their proverbial eggs in one basket. A clear case in point is how Montreal's last two seasons have gone.

With Carey Price in net, the Canadiens were dunks to win the division. When he was injured, the Habs were dunks to miss the playoffs.

Brossoit - nice stats, but limited time

Edmonton's Brossoit is a 24 year old from Vancouver Island. He has appeared in 14 NHL games with a record of 4-6-1. His career save percentage in the NHL is .910, good enough to keep him out of minors (probably) if he can keep it up long term.

But with only 14 appearances in his career, he's still a fringe NHLer heading into the 2017/18 season.

At present the Oilers do appear to have two playable goaltenders. But Brossoit's NHL stats are based on such limited playing time that he could look totally different with a couple bad games.

All the talk right now with the Oilers is the situation with Leon Draisaitl.

But Talbot played in 73 games last season to lead the NHL. On top of that he was involved in two playoff series, both of which were lengthy. If he's expected to just go-go-go all season again then don't be surprised if he reaches a breaking point.

If Talbot has to take his appearances down to 60 games or so, pretty normal for a starter, then who picks up the balance? If your answer is Brossoit then that could be putting a lot of pressure on Edmonton's forwards to fill up the scoresheet a lot.

If Brossoit starts 22 games next season and posts a winning record then Edmonton will be looking great for a Pacific Division title. However, if his short-term stats don't hold up when he is used more regularly, then that could be trouble for Edmonton.

Like a lot of teams, the Oilers are one whose fortunes could change based on what happens with their starting goalie. Edmonton fans could be more worried about that than Draisaitl.

After all, if some scenario transpires where Edmonton don't get him all it does is open up room for Chiarelli to start doing transactions. It doesn't mean Edmonton will have a bad team by any stretch. But if things go wrong in goal, that's a huge problem.

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