Edmonton Oilers and Ryan McLeod reportedly avoid arbitration after agreeing to two-year contract

Photo credit:© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
8 months ago
Some late-breaking news on Tuesday night as the Edmonton Oilers and forward Ryan McLeod have settled on a contract ahead of a Friday arbitration date.
McLeod, 23, is coming off a one-year contract that saw him make just under $800,000 and signed right ahead of training camp last season. He didn’t have arbitration rights last season and was a clear victim of the Oilers’ cap crunch.
But heading into this offseason, McLeod had those rights and appeared ready to use them as his camp and the Oilers were unable to reach common ground on a contract. That is, until Tuesday night.
On Tuesday night, the two sides agreed on a two-year contract paying McLeod a $2.1-million AAV.
News of the contract was first reported by TSN’s Ryan Rishaug.
The deal provides some stability for both sides after a breakout season for McLeod. He appeared in 57 games for the Oilers this past season scoring 11 goals and 23 points with his scoring rates climbing to career highs.
But it wasn’t just on the offensive side where McLeod began to chip in as he was a trusted and valuable defensive center for the club throughout the year and into the playoffs. According to hockeyviz.com, McLeod provided even-strength offence at a one percent rate above league average, and defence at a five percent rate above league average.
With McLeod’s deal now signed, the Oilers can turn their focus towards getting a new deal for defenceman Evan Bouchard — the last outstanding piece of business for the Oilers this offseason.
Similar to that of McLeod, a bridge contract is the most viable path for Bouchard and the Oilers. Earlier Tuesday, Oilers Now’s Bob Stauffer reported that he felt the Oilers and Bouchard’s camp were close, saying the two sides were “within $100k” being his guess.
According to PuckPedia, the Oilers now have $4.28-million in cap space.

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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