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Connor Brown Returning to Lineup for the Edmonton Oilers

Connor Brown is set to make his return to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday as the team takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Recently signed forward Connor Brown is set to rejoin the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup for Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ready to go after practice on Friday, Brown has been slotted onto the top line alongside Connor McDavid for his comeback.

This presents a significant opportunity for Brown to rediscover his scoring touch and fulfill the Oilers’ expectations when they signed him – envisioning him as a regular goal scorer and a compatible fit alongside McDavid. So far, the season hasn’t gone his way. But, as the Oilers have started building some momentum, the hope is that Brown picks up his production as well, adding to the goal scoring punch the Oilers have, but hasn’t necessarily broken out this year.

Before his injury hiatus, Brown, despite playing well, struggled to contribute offensively, registering zero goals or assists in the first nine games of the season.

Brown Gets a Big Pay Day When He Hits the Ice

While his signing was initially deemed a wise move, the structure of his contract, featuring a league-minimum $775k salary and $3.225 million in performance bonuses, raised concerns as he approached the critical 10-game mark. Brown’s return activates a bonus that will impact next year’s salary cap as an overage from the current season. There will be pressure on him to start producing.

Connor Brown Edmonton Oilers return
Connor Brown Edmonton Oilers return

If he doesn’t there’s not much the Oilers can do. A demotion (outside of less ice time) isn’t likely. Giving him some rope under the new coach (one he had in Erie) is the likely outcome. Still, the team must navigate a fine line, making sure Brown gets to speed, but also doesn’t hinder the team’s chances of working themselves back into a playoff spot.

All the while, fans will be focused on how McDavid reacts to Brown’s success, or lack thereof. The narrative is already that the Oilers are too focused on keeping McDavid happy with on and off-ice decisions. More of that when it comes to Brown could be problematic.

Next: Are the Oilers Chasing McDavid Away By Hiring “His People”?

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