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Seravalli: The Edmonton Oilers won’t be Connor Brown’s only offer

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Photo credit:© Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
8 months ago
Connor Brown’s name has been tied to the Edmonton Oilers now since the last offseason. The rumour was that the Oilers looked to acquire Brown, however, they couldn’t move Warren Foegele to collect the asset they needed to get him.
Brown’s season with the Washington Capitals didn’t go as planned either. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury that allowed him to play only four games before hitting the long-term injured reserve list.
Now, Brown is a free agent and has made some interesting comments about his future on Mitts off with Luke Gazdic.
Luke Gazdic: Coming back home to Canada — will you look at that? And, you’re making me smile right now thinking about maybe a possible Oilers reunion, at some point in your career, have you thought about down the road like, “Man, it would be really cool to play with [Connor McDavid] again at some point.”
Connor Brown: “You’d be lying to say no. Of course, it would be awesome to play with him. More so, over anything, he’s going to win a Cup here eventually. As a player, that’s what I want to do. I want to win. You’re a player and you want to win a Stanley Cup in the NHL, and that’s a big priority going into where you’re going to land. But you think about every scenario.”
The reason for the rumours linking Brown to the Oilers is that he played junior hockey with Connor McDavid. For the two seasons that they played together with the Erie Otters, Brown scored 73 goals and 197 points in 131 games. Brown hasn’t been able to hit those numbers in the NHL yet. However, he has hit the 20-goal mark twice in seven years. Over his 448-game career, Brown has 90 goals and 216 points.
On Oilersnation Everyday with Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff joined the show and gave his take on Brown to Edmonton.
“Connor Brown is going to have a lot of intriguing options. It’s really going to come down to him and how he’s feeling knee and his confidence with it holding up. If he’s going to the Oilers my guess is that he will be giving up some term and dollars. I think the offers might be pretty juicy elsewhere. He’s a really intriguing player that can drive a line, play 20 minutes a night and is under 30 years of age. If you look at it through the right prism, he doesn’t really have a lot of wear and tear on his body after having the last season off”
If Brown is to join the Oilers in free agency, he likely is paid less than what Kailer Yamamoto is paid at $3.1 million. Additionally, there is likely no term on the contract so the Oilers have an out if things go wrong at the end of the season.
Since Brown only played four games last season he falls into a unique category, which Frank Seravalli explained on Oilersnation Everyday a few months ago.
“You can sign the player (over 35 years old) to a league minimum deal and add performance bonuses to that contract. That money (the performance bonuses) does not count against your cap that season. You have the option to only show $775k (league minimum) and then whatever bonuses are hit by that player they are applied to next year’s cap.”
Frank then went on to explain how teams can find a loophole in the CBA regarding players that have been injured long-term.
“What happens with (Connor) Brown and other injured players is something that is not talked about all that often, but applies here. There is a stipulation in the CBA that you do not have to be over 35 to do the same thing with a player who has had a long-term injury and is a free agent. If you have played 400 in the NHL and you missed more than 100 days with a long-term injury you can do the same thing as an over-35 contract.”
The contract situation is what makes Brown affordable for the Oilers. They can inject bonuses into his contract which won’t play into the cap until next season. It’s an intriguing case and one that Ken Holland certainly needs to explore.
The whole situation with Brown is a low-risk and high-reward situation. If the Oilers can land him then they’ve filled a huge hole on the right side of their forward group.

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