Edmonton Oilers May Be Forced to Part Ways With a Defensemen This Off-Season

Published April 23, 2023 at 9:04

The Edmonton Oilers are gearing up for the post-season battle against the Los Angeles Kings and have added Mattias Ekholm to their roster. This move will provide the team with the additional support they need to give their all in the upcoming games. However, this decision has created a conundrum for Ken Holland, as Evan Bouchard, a promising young defenseman, will be an RFA at the end of the season and will be due a qualifying offer.

Bouchard's impressive performance on the blue line and powerplay, particularly alongside Ekholm, has earned him a lot of attention, and he is due for a significant pay increase. According to DailyFaceoff's Frank Seravalli, the Oilers may opt for a bridge deal given their salary cap restraints, offering a possible AAV of $3.5-$4.5 million.

Although a trade could be on the cards if negotiations don't go well, it seems unlikely given the Oilers' recent winning culture. Bouchard will probably continue playing alongside Ekholm, and it wouldn't make sense for him to leave the team. It's also unlikely that an offer sheet will be made, as those have become rarer nowadays, except for teams like the Carolina Hurricanes or Montreal Canadiens.

Ultimately, the Oilers need to weigh their options carefully, as Bouchard's contribution to the team cannot be ignored. He has been a valuable asset on the blue line and powerplay, and if the Oilers want to maintain their recent success, they will need to ensure that they make a fair offer to retain his services.

April 23   |   64 answers
Edmonton Oilers May Be Forced to Part Ways With a Defensemen This Off-Season

Who would you rather see get traded over Bouchard?

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