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Defenceman reportedly going to sign seven-year deal with the Oilers

Published April 29, 2024 at 11:04

In the midst of the high-stakes playoff atmosphere, the Edmonton Oilers are reportedly close to locking down defenseman Vincent Desharnais with a significant contract extension, potentially spanning 6 to 7 years. The news, originally brought to light by Bob Stauffer, highlights Desharnais's pivotal role on the team through his physical play and leadership, traits that become particularly invaluable during the postseason.

Since being selected in the seventh round of the 2016 Draft, Desharnais has steadily climbed from the minor leagues to become a key component of the Oilers' defensive lineup. His journey reflects a narrative of persistence and growth, culminating in a playoff performance that has not only captivated fans but also demonstrated his readiness for a more permanent role in the NHL.

The ongoing discussions around his contract reveal the complexities of NHL negotiations. At 27, Desharnais finds himself at a critical juncture, seeking to secure guaranteed NHL money.

While free agency could offer him around $3M for three years, staying with the Oilers might mean a longer contract at a reduced annual salary—a financial balancing act that Edmonton appears willing to navigate. Such a deal, likely around $1.5M annually for 6 to 7 years, represents not just an investment in a player, but in the team's strategic future.

Desharnais's impact was particularly evident in the Oilers' recent playoff games against the Kings, where his defensive prowess and teamwork were on full display. Highlighting his importance, Coach Knoblauch trusted him to play crucial minutes in a tense 6-on-5 situation against the Kings, further proving his reliability under pressure.

While committing to a relatively inexperienced 27-year-old defenseman for such a long term carries its risks, Desharnais's evolution from a late draft pick to a playoff standout reflects a trajectory that might just justify such a gamble. His status as a fan favorite and his embodiment of the Oilers' team spirit suggest that, if the terms align, his next few years could be as rewarding for the team as they are for him.
April 29   |   554 answers
Defenceman reportedly going to sign seven-year deal with the Oilers

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