With due respect to Conor McDavidAnd the Leon DrystelWell, whatever other high-profile Oiler you want to call it, arguably the biggest interest these days is in the 22-year-old’s position. Ryan McLeod.
McLeod is the only non-signed Oiler and needs a new contract from the cash-strapped team, ideally sooner rather than later. It must happen.
McLeod is in Edmonton and shares casual skates with his teammates. He is also scheduled to be among a group of players heading to Lloydminster to sign autographs as part of the Alumni Game. This does not appear to be an arduous negotiation.
The expectation, from what I’ve been told, is that the cap reached on McLeod’s second contract will approach or reflect the $975,000 for his brother Michael. MacLeod the Elder signed a two-year agreement with demons, also a second decade, last July. If you’re a betting guy, Ryan’s salary will probably be a degree or two lower. The new contract could be for two years, but a one-year agreement seems to be a more likely outcome.
So, what is a hemodialysis, you might be wondering?
Not only oiled They try to secure the best deal possible, but management isn’t trying to clear some space before McLeod puts pen to paper. Jesse PoliogarviAnd the Warren Vogel And the Tyson Barry Trade options have always been the most likely. However, the market for a multi-million dollar player isn’t quite as strong given that it’s September and most teams are at or near the limit and their rosters are largely set.
The inability to make a deal has slowed McLeod’s contract from expiring, but it shouldn’t stop him from signing before the season starts.
Regardless of McLeod’s situation, the Oilers are in trouble.
The two oilers can start the season with a 21-man roster
GM Ken Holland hinted at the possibility earlier in the season. I’m told there is a very strong chance this will happen once McLeod signs and if a deal can’t be made.
bookpedia And the Friendly Cap Currently offering different forecasts for the table. The former offers a choice of 22 players. The latter has 21 players. Oilers have exceeded the $82.5 million salary cap in both scenarios, and that’s without McLeod and if Mike Smith And the Oscar Cliffboom Go to LTIR – which is due to happen. Suffice it to say that something has to give here.
peers Jonathan Willis And the Alan Mitchell I looked at oilers’ cover status recently. I would encourage you to read their work if you haven’t already. There are ways that brokers can get under the salary cap without making a deal. That would probably mean not carrying a full list of 23 men.
The organization is comfortable with this outcome, even knowing it isn’t perfect. The problem is that all it takes is two players sick on the morning of the game for the Oilers to play shorthand. They are at a disadvantage because they are one of the few NHL Teams that don’t have their own AHL club are just a short drive away. It takes the better part of the day to get to Edmonton from Bakersfield, California.
Another wrench for this potential plan: having players who are exempt from the exemption Evan BouchardAnd the Philip Broberg And the Dylan Holloway On the menu to start the season is only a necessity. I wrote about this A year ago, but since the Oilers will be in the LTIR as the season begins, they should have heavily rewarded players on the opening roster to increase their LTIR total. Otherwise, the average annual bonuses from the player’s contract are added to the maximum salary when called from minors.
Holloway is the least likely of the three players to make the opening roster based on merit or depth chart. But that means up to $516,667 for the Oilers cap will be added to Holloway’s $925,000 salary from the NHL on call-up. That’s a lot of money for a team that has serious concerns about its ceiling.
How does Murray fit?
Despite all this, the Oilers signed blueliner Ryan Murray last Friday to provide some depth to their blue streak.
As nearly every Oilers fan knows, the match came a decade later than it could have been. The Oilers could, and probably should have picked Murray with the first pick in 2012. Instead, Neil Yakovov was the choice Murray came in second Columbus.
Injuries were the biggest obstacle to Murray’s career. He played 432 games over nine seasons in the league. A hand injury in March derailed his 2021-22 season and a scratch in the Colorado Stanley Cup.
So, while Murray is a strong veteran and has some untapped promises, he hasn’t secured anything with the Oilers. A source on the team dubbed him “Proberge Lockdown,” meaning that Broberg’s 2019 first-round pick will be a regular unless he plays outside the team.
The only thing working in Murray’s favor as an extra skater under a 21-man roster is this: He’s a top-quality NHL defensive player making him the bottom line of the league. Although the Oilers would hate to lose someone like the Defender Dmitriy Samorukov On the exemption wire, odds are that Murray is more likely to be claimed than a 23-year-old with one game of NHL experience.
Of course, the Oilers could go with 11 forwards and eight defenders, sticking to coach Jay Woodcroft’s 11-7 plan regularly and keeping both Murray and Samorokov on board. They have more than a month to make such a choice, but that’s the kind of tough decision they might have to make if money remains so scarce.
Still, Oilers might add another player
How the heck does this make sense?
Willis, my trusted colleague, Recently selected Why signing a contract that advances to the minimum (or slightly higher) league contract would be beneficial for both combinations. I’m told they’re considering doing just that – or at least giving someone a chance to win one.
A source in the team said that while no official professional contract has been issued, the three players the Oilers are discussing are Zach Aston Reese, Riley Nash and Jake Vertanen.
Aston Reese, 28, is known as an excellent defensive striker and can be a useful contributor to a bottom six even if he brings little in the way of attack.
Nash, 33, was chosen by the 21st Oilers in 2007. He could be a fourth-line right-winger, a position he is now expected to share Devin Shore Derek Ryan.
Known as an attack-minded winger, Virtanen, 26, has been named to Edmonton’s top six players – perhaps even the top nine. It is unclear how it fits into the depth chart. Virtanen was convicted of sexual assault in British Columbia High Court in July and is trying to restart his National Hockey League career after playing in the Premier League last season.
Possible kin wrinkle
Everything seems to be quiet on the grievance front between Evander Kane and his former team, Sharks. Don’t confuse that with an upcoming settlement. Both sides seemed to have dug in their heels with the sharks determined not to pay him a dime and Kane was eager to clear his name.
Sharks winning is the easiest score to understand. And life goes on.
Kane’s win means that things are a lot hazier.
The simplest result would be to make Kane complete. He can get back the money he lost from last season, plus the $500,000 difference in the total amount left in the Sharks contract ($21 million) and a four-year deal he signed with the Oilers in July ($20.5 million).
However, there is the unlikely scenario that brought him back to the sharks. This could actually benefit oilers.
The Sharks want nothing to do with him, and Kane’s San Jose contract has a three-team commercial roster. I’m told he just put together an oilers’ team and two teams they wouldn’t have any interest in getting (eg, Vegas And the Winnipeg) in his list.
The sharks would almost certainly have to trade it with the Oilers. Kane will get more money for his entire contract ($21 million instead of $20.5 million). Oilers could then try to pressure the Sharks to keep the salary until his cap for Oilers is less than $5.125 million as it is now.
Again, this is probably all moot. Just something to consider.
(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today)