After months of worrying, creating offer sheet scenarios, and general waiting, the Edmonton Oilers have finally agreed to terms with Leon Draisaitl on a new eight-year deal worth $68 million dollars.
While everyone knew that the big centreman needed a contract this summer, I don’t think that any of us would have guessed that things would drag on for this long. The fact that it took until August 16th to get a contract done leads me to believe that both sides were miles apart when this negotiation started and that both sides probably had to make some major concessions about what they each thought was fair.
That said, I was always of the opinion that this deal would get done without really worrying too much about an offer sheet coming in or that things wouldn’t get done. I think that offer sheet talk is fun for bloggers and MSM when there is literally nothing going on in the summer, but that’s pretty much where it ends. Aside from a few random acts of inter-GM warfare, you don’t really see offer sheets get handed out all that often and that fact (ignorant bliss?) kept me from worrying about it too much.
At the end of the day, my biggest concern had more to do with WHEN Draisaitl would get locked up so that he didn’t miss any time at training camp. Had he sat out for any length of time it could have seriously put him behind the eight ball, and he would have had to play catch up for months to try and get back to playing at a level he should be at to begin with. Johnny Gaudreau signed on October 10th last year and it put him behind as a result, and that was a stutter step that the Oilers did not need.
The fact that we didn’t even get close to that point should be considered a win for Leon Draisaitl, the Edmonton Oilers, and fans of the team. Getting this guy locked in was inevitable but getting it done before the season started was crucial to making sure that the season starts off on the right foot. Now that the deal is signed, sealed, and delivered we can all relax and get ready for another season of being one of the most hated teams in the league. From where I blog, that’s a beautiful thing.