We’re now nearly a week into free agency and we’ve seen everything from offer sheets to trades and everything in between.
The free agent market, however, has seemingly begun to slow down.
But the signing of F Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $9-million deal by the Buffalo Sabres yesterday got me thinking; are the Oilers done?
Edmonton only has around $3.3-million in cap space right now including the buried cap hit of Brandon Manning.
There’s still the RFA market which has plenty of big names players. Mikko Rantanen, Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk, Brayden Point, etc., etc…
But when you look at the much more sparse UFA market, there are a few names that jump out — mainly forwards Ryan Dzingel and Michael Ferland.
According to EvolvingWild’s free agent predictions, both players have a projected cap hit on their next contract of roughly $4.15-million, both over four-year deals.
That means the Oilers are around $800,000 short on either player.
I think both would be good targets for the Oilers, for what it’s worth.
Dzingel is coming off a career year splitting time with the Senators and Blue Jackets. He notched 26 goals and 30 assists in 78 games — 44 of which points came in 57 games with Ottawa.
An offensive jack of all trades, his points have increased steadily in the last three seasons including back-to-back 20-goal seasons.
His underlying numbers are shaking, but the Oilers could use a player like him in the top-six to help provide more offensive punch.
Ferland is a player who’s a little more attractive to me. He’s posted back-to-back 40 point seasons with the Hurricanes and Flames, and has shown he can play up and down lineups.
He’s put up good points on the powerplay and has positive underlying numbers. Not only that, but he plays a fast and physical game that many in Edmonton still crave.
The problem Edmonton runs into, however, is their salary cap restrictions.
It’s easy to be critical of signings like Markus Granlund for one-year, $1.3-million, or Chiasson’s two-year, $2.1-million extension, or Tomas Jurco’s one-year, $750,000 deal.
I like what the Oilers are going for in being able to bring in more competition for the bottom-six. But I can’t help but think how the Oilers could afford a better player for not an unreasonable amount of money.
Now with that being said, I wonder if Edmonton could convince a Dzingel, or a Ferland, to take slightly less money on a slightly lesser deal. Maybe they’d be willing to sign for around $3-million on a one-year, or two-year deal.
None the less, I wonder if Edmonton could find a way to be able to maneuver their cap to add some higher end assets.
On Twitter: @zjlaing