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Oilers No Longer Worried About Offer Sheet For Evan Bouchard

The Edmonton Oilers still have to navigate a sticky situation with Evan Bouchard, but at least the threat of an offer sheet is gone.

The Edmonton Oilers seem to have averted a potential threat of an offer sheet targeting defenseman Evan Bouchard. Sports journalist Robert Tychowski suggests that the danger has likely passed, as if any offer sheet was coming, it would have materialized by now. This development provides some relief for the team in the current season, but it also postpones Bouchard’s contract situation, akin to what happened with Darnell Nurse.

The Oilers know exactly what it feels like to be stuck paying a defenseman market value when market value is at its highest. Nurse offers a number of intangibles and he’s a useful top-two defenseman in the NHL, but paying his $9.5 million salary every year is not ideal when it comes to the Oilers’ salary cap issues. The last thing Edmonton wants is to have two defensemen on their roster who are making more than ideal money from a team perspective.

Evan Bouchard Edmonton Oilers offer sheet
Evan Bouchard Edmonton Oilers offer sheet

The club will have to negotiate a bridge deal with Bouchard this summer and if he offers a “home team discount”, it will probably be the last time he does so. He’ll gain more leverage in future negotiations and the Oilers can bet he’ll be pricy. There is genuine concern in Edmonton that Bouchard’s role in running the NHL’s most potent power play for two seasons could significantly elevate his value over the next couple of years and the team is right to feel that way.

After the 2023 trade deadline, Evan Bouchard’s deployment on the top power-play unit proved to be a game-changer, showcasing his impact on both power-play and even-strength situations. With Tyson Barrie’s departure, Bouchard seized the opportunity, and the numbers speak volumes— the Oilers maintained their effectiveness without missing a beat.

Bouchard’s growth is evident. As he matures, there’s tremendous potential for the Edmonton power play to elevate to even greater heights.

While offensive contributions are vital, maintaining limiting goals against is the area of real concern for the player. If he figures that out over the next two seasons, look out. There’s no discount to be had there. And, as he continues to showcase his skills and potential, his market value is likely to rise, making contract negotiations even more challenging for the Oilers.

The Oilers are closely monitoring the situation, aware of the importance of securing Bouchard’s services without inflating his contract value significantly. As the negotiations unfold, both the team and the player will need to strike a balance between rewarding Bouchard for his contributions and keeping financial flexibility for future contracts. The good news seems to be that no offer sheet is coming, limiting outside interference and making this a deal that needs to be worked out between the team and the player.

Next: Seller’s Remorse: 3 Oilers Who Could Be Traded w/ Instant Regret

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