Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff noted recently that the Edmonton Oilers have a few key pieces of business to take care of this offseason, none smaller than getting an extension done with defenseman Evan Bouchard. Noting that the blueliner lost arbitration rights based on how his contract slid and the number of games he’s played, there could be some back-and-forth trying to get this deal done as Bouchard tries to gain any leverage he can. But, it’s not only the player and his priorities that could pose a wrinkle for Edmonton.
Seravalli suggested an outside team could get involved in all of this. While he calls the potential of an offer sheet unlikely, it is possible, especially if another team would like to hop in and create obstacles for the Oilers, who are tight against the salary cap.
Seravalli suggested that even if a long shot, if another team can in and wanted to “put a wrinkle into the Oilers and how they do business, maybe that’s a player that you end up targeting. We see how critical and important he was to their blue line.” He adds that Bouchard’s camp might actually bring up the idea of an offer sheet as a way to avoid the player only having the option to sign a bridge deal, which is the kind of extension that appears most likely in Edmonton.
Offer sheets are rare, but they do happen. In the case of the Oilers, another team would be looking somewhere in the $4 million to $7 million range on a long-term deal. If just over $4 million, the Oilers would receive a first and a third-round pick if they chose not to match. If anything above $6,302,230 and below $8,402,975 per season, the Oilers would get one First-Round Pick, one Second-Round Pick, and one Third-Round Pick. Only in the second case would the Oilers potentially not consider matching, but even then they might depending on the number of years.
What if the Oilers Match?
Should the Oilers match, (which could be what a team actually wants out of all of this) dominos would fall that would require the team to offload other salaries. The Oilers don’t have room to add Bouchard at $6-$7 million per season, at least not without moving other money to keep him in the fold.
Speculation is that the Oilers want to bridge the defenseman and the team is a big believer in his game. Not going long-term does have potential consequences as a couple more seasons where he’s producing big points and he could easily be a $9 million defenseman per season.
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