Look For Edmonton To Still Make Moves - Just Not Right Away
Right now the Edmonton Oilers have a full roster that would be competitive on opening night. With the current moves, we can expect something like this:
Currently the Edmonton Oilers have roughly $730,000 in cap space. The only crucial piece the still needs to be signed is RFA Ethan Bear, who logged big minutes for Edmonton last season as a rookie. A bridge deal seems like the most likely option for Bear, likely coming in at just under 2 million a season.
GM Ken Holland appeared on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer a couple days ago and once again echoed what we expect, that Oscar Klefbom will likely not play at all this coming season for Edmonton. Terrible news aside, this does mean that Edmonton can put him on LTIR, effectively giving the team just over 4 million in cap relief.
So, once Bear is signed are the Oilers done? I don't expect them to be. Fans just may have to be patient.
Currently there are a number of free agents still available, awaiting contracts. Many of these names could fit in as a complimentary option in the top 6.
Players are starting to realize that they are going to have to take pay cuts as many competitive teams simply do not have the cap space to add another 4-5 million dollar player. Tyson Barrie reported walked away from an offer that would pay him 6 million dollars to come to Edmonton on a one year deal worth 3.75 million.
The reason? He wanted to bet on himself and felt he could up his value after a year of playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl with the best powerplay in the league. Perhaps if the offers are not where he wants them, Anthony Duclair could be enticed to do the same.
I still see Ken Holland wanting to move a couple of players to free up some cap space. With Jesse Puljujarvi signed, there are an abundance of NHLers on the right side. After the dust settles and teams are looking at other avenues to bolster their roster, someone like Alex Chiasson could be looked at more favorably.
If Holland moves Klef to LTIR and is able to move a player or two like Chiasson and Kris Russell, the Oilers could actually take advantage of some of the cap crunched teams.
Tampa Bay is in a world of trouble right now. They put a skilled player in Tyler Johnson on waivers just to try and get some breathing room but to no avail. Right now the Lightning have just under 3 million in cap space but still need to make room for Anthony Cirelli, who put up 44 points in 68 games last season, the big 6'3 230lb Erik Cernak on defense, and most notably, 22 year old Mikhail Sergachev.
Sergachev is looking elite and he is only 22 years old. He produces solid offensive numbers but is also highly aware in his own zone.
We have no idea if Oscar Klefbom will ever play another NHL game and the Oilers need to be focusing on winning now. It might be a hard pill to swallow for some but if you could trade Evan Bouchard and a 1st round pick next season for Mikhail Sergachev, I would do it in a heartbeat.
As the days go by, teams and free agents will become more desperate to get something done. Ken Holland's best and worst trait is his patience but at this time of year it is an asset. The Edmonton Oilers shouldn't be done making moves yet. It just might not be for another couple weeks.
Thanks for reading.