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One Oilers player listed as top available free agent per insider

Published May 4, 2024 at 3:29 PM

As the Edmonton Oilers celebrate a triumphant season, the spotlight intensifies on Vincent Desharnais, whose future with the team teeters on the brink of uncertainty.

The 27-year-old defenseman, revered for his right-handed shots and stalwart defense, finds himself at a pivotal crossroads, poised to leverage his rising stock for a lucrative free agent contract.

Desharnais, who ascended from the fringes of the minor leagues to the Oilers' linchpin, is rumored to be eyeing a substantial raise, with salary projections fluttering between $1.4 million and nearly $3 million.

This speculation stems from assessments by Daily Faceoff and The Athletic, indicating a potentially hefty payday for the hardworking blueliner.

"Only one Oiler ranks on the list: right-shot defenceman Vincent Desharnais, who ranks 50th. The projection has him making $1.4 million over the next two seasons, which is fair territory for the shutdown blueliner. The Oilers had reportedly been talking about an extension ahead of the playoffs, but the talks were paused in the final week of the regular season,"

reports OilersNation, highlighting the ongoing discussions that could secure Desharnais's future with the team.

Desharnais's journey from a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft to a beloved figure in Edmonton encapsulates his sheer determination and on-ice prowess. His significant role in the Oilers' recent playoff victory over Los Angeles underscores his value, especially his ability to utilize his size and strength defensively—qualities that shine brightest during postseason play.

The Oilers, keen on maintaining their competitive edge, have hinted at a long-term commitment to Desharnais. According to insider Bob Stauffer, the team is contemplating a six to seven-year contract that would ensure Desharnais remains an Oiler, albeit at a potentially lower annual salary than what free agency might offer.

Despite the allure of higher offers from other teams, Desharnais's bond with the Oilers and the Edmonton community may tip the scales in favor of his continued allegiance to the team. The Oilers and Desharnais appear mutually eager to extend their partnership, underscoring a shared goal of sustaining their successful collaboration.

As the negotiations unfold, Desharnais's decision will not only reflect his career aspirations but also his appreciation for a city that has embraced him as a quintessential Oiler. The outcome will surely resonate through the fanbase and the team dynamics as Edmonton gears up for another exhilarating NHL season.

Further insights on Desharnais's impact and contract discussions can be found here.
May 4   |   398 answers
One Oilers player listed as top available free agent per insider

Do you believe the Oilers should sign Desharnais?

Only if it's a good value contract24160.6 %
Yes, sign him whatever the cost12431.2 %
No, try to upgrade on him235.8 %
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