During Thursday’s TSN Insider Trading segment, Darren Dreger suggests that sources have confirmed that the Edmonton Oilers are set to being contract negotiations with both defenseman Adam Larsson and forward Tyson Barrie starting next week.
Dreger said, “As early as next week it is expected that Oilers GM Ken Holland will engage in preliminary contract negotiations.” He added, “This of course, amidst the ongoing contract negotiations with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but as I say, the priority is on the playoffs for the Edmonton Oilers.” While it will be good Holland to assess where things are at, Dreger said that the Oilers would be content if the negotiations drifted into the offseason with one, two or all three of the players.
In other words, the Oilers are going to start gauging interest from all three players on how keen they are to re-sign in Edmonton. If nothing gets done right away, that’s fine. If it does, Holland will have a better understanding of what he can or should do in the offseason.
Now, Dreger didn’t elaborate on exactly when the deals would be signed if something was worked out between the team and their respective agents. Considering the Oilers would benefit from not actually signing the players until the NHL Expansion Draft has passed, that strategy may come into play as talks proceed.
What Could These Deals Look Like?
Where the negotiations go is going to be interesting. The Oilers will try to get Nugent-Hopkins extended for as close to his current salary as possible ($6 million per season), while Barrie will look at a bump on the team-friendly $3.75 million he signed for on a one-year deal with the team this past offseason. Larsson is making just over $4 million and he’s certainly played his way into an extension, but it’s hard to know if he’ll be worth the same, a bit less or a bit more in a flat cap NHL marketplace.
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