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Could Klim Kostin be moving on from the Edmonton Oilers in the coming days?

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
8 months ago
It might end up being a short and sweet stint for Klim Kostin for the Edmonton Oilers.
The team had acquired the pending RFA from the St. Louis Blues days before the start of last season trading away Dmirti Samorukov for him in a one-for-one deal. Kostin was a solid addition to the team, no doubt, but it’s appearing that he could be moving on to another club.
According to The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman, “it’s looking more likely that Klim Kostin won’t be an Oiler next season.”
He reported in a column Tuesday night that weeks ago, the Oilers were prepared to issue a qualifying offer to Kostin in order to retain his rights. It would allow them to continue negotiations ahead of a potential arbitration hearing.

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But Nugent-Bowman said the two sides might be far apart in their contract negotiations leaving the Oilers willing to walk away.
There is concern that the Oilers qualifying Kostin after a sizable KHL offer could serve as a comp for Edmonton’s other pending free agents. That has the potential to be problematic considering Kostin isn’t a top player but rather a fourth-line winger.
Kostin is a shoo-in for a decent raise on his league-minimum contract from last season. The variance for that raise appears to be vast. It sounds like the Oilers are comfortable in the $1.1 million to $1.5 million range, whereas Kostin’s camp is shooting for at least $1.75 million on the low end but ideally over $2 million.
The Oilers want Kostin to play for them next year. Given their cap challenges, however, it sounds like Holland is exploring the trade market for Kostin before Friday’s deadline in the event a compromise — one in the Oilers’ price range — can’t be found.
The pitch to Kostin — and to all the Oilers’ pending free agents, really — is to take less this summer and have a chance to cash in a year when the cap could rise by $5 million.
Kostin scored 11 goals and 21 points in 57 games for the Oilers last year in the regular season adding another three goals and five points in 12 playoff games. His first playoff goal was the game-winner in game two against the LA Kings, and he helped seal their fate with a two-goal performance in game six of that same series.
While he provided energy in the bottom six, chipped in offence and wasn’t shy to drop the mitts, this isn’t a player that the Oilers need to overpay even in the short term.
According to Evolving Hockey, his predicted contract projection has him signing a two-year deal paying him $1.485-million. Over a one-year term, however, that number drops down to just $1.065-million — right in line with what the Oilers are reportedly comfortable paying.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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