According to a few sources, the Edmonton Oilers have begun examining the possibility of extending forwards Josh Archibald, Joakim Nygard and Riley Sheahan. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman took a closer look at those potential deals in his latest 31 thoughts column.
One of the first things Friedman noted, was that for the Oilers, these shouldn’t be hugely complicated nor lucrative deals.
As Mark Spector reported last week, Edmonton is trying to close an extension with Zack Kassian. There’s common ground, but nothing is done until it is done. The Oilers will also investigate the possibility of extending Josh Archibald, Joakim Nygard and Riley Sheahan. These aren’t huge deals, but they’ve played roles in stabilizing their bottom six, which was caved-in last season. There are a few teams who like Archibald. I didn’t realize his father, Jim, played with Dave Tippett at NCAA North Dakota and was involved in a HUGE brawl with Wisconsin in January 1982.
Smart Move by Oilers
While all three forwards got off to somewhat of a slow start, they’ve come on strong in the last ten games, specifically Archibald and Sheahan who have been tremendously productive in Edmonton’s recent 6-1-1 run. All signed to one-year deals so the Oilers could create a sense of internal competition for jobs and keep prospects in the AHL longer, the Oilers would be wise to lock these guys up on additional one or two-year terms.
The key for the Oilers will be the cost and length of any deal, Archibald likely to get the longest of the trio since, as Friedman notes, there are other teams that might have interest.
The cost on deals will likely range between the $1-2-million mark.
One thing also worth noting is how Archibald and Sheahan have contributed to the Oilers special teams jump this season. While the penalty kill hasn’t been great on home ice, it’s tops in the NHL while on the road, clicking at an 88.5% success rate. Those two have been key to that improvement.
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