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Seravalli: Expect more depth moves than big moves for the Edmonton Oilers

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Photo credit:Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
1 year ago
Travis Konecny is the latest name linked to the Edmonton Oilers, but is there a chance the team actually acquires him?
This speculation comes after the Philadelphia Flyers moved on from Ivan Provorov last week, and essentially opened up shop to the rest of the league. Initially, Carter Hart was linked to Edmonton, but now a more realistic option has come to the front in Konecny.
He is a 26-year-old right winger that scored 31 goals last season, with only six on the powerplay. He plays with a ton of heart and could quickly become a fan favourite in Edmonton. His contract is team friendly at $5.5 million for the next three seasons too.
Who wouldn’t want Konecny?
In his recent interview with Daniel Nugent-Bowman from the Athletic, the speculation slightly stopped when Ken Holland threw cold water on it. Holland suggested that the Oilers won’t make any big moves this summer due to their cap situation.
“No chance we can bring in another high-expense player,” is exactly what he said.
Is Konecny’s $5.5 million for three more years a “high-expense player”, though?
Unfortunately, the difficulty around the deal isn’t necessarily the contract Konecny holds, but rather the Oilers’ lack of cap space. This summer, Holland needs to resign Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod, and Klim Kostin, who are all restricted free agents. Additionally, Nick Bjugstad and Mattias Janmark are unrestricted free agents. According to Cap Friendly, all that business needs to be handled with the $5,070 million they have available in cap space.
On Oilersnation Everyday with Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff had this to say about the Konecny rumours and if the Oilers will make a big move this summer.
“I don’t think it is realistic. I think the Oilers will keep their ears close to the ground, and if something jumps onto their plate that makes sense, then you might see them go down that path. For the most part, I believe their way is to improve on the margins. Maybe they can make a deal with someone around Cody Ceci, giving them some increased flexibility to make that big move. I think the goal should be to stack up on three and five per cent wins that can hopefully add up to something bigger. Find a way to improve the right side of the offence or increase the variability of your bottom six.”
The cap is what is holding the Oilers back. When Holland took over as the general manager of Edmonton, the cap was at $81.5 million and has only moved up $2 million to $83.5 million since then. Also, in his interview with Nugent-Bowman, he referenced the players who earned raises during his tenure and how difficult it has become to play within the cap.
Bargain buys look to be the way the Oilers are shopping this summer unless something unexpected happens.
If it’s Konecny or not, Holland needs to find a way this summer to make improvements on the right side of the forward group. Kailer Yamamoto’s time as an Oiler looks to be coming to an Edmonton, Derek Ryan can only play so many minutes, and Zach Hyman is your only top-six right winger, and he’s a left shot. Raphael Lavoie could make an impact, but it would be unfair and irresponsible to put that pressure on him so early on.
That said, if Konecny is a viable option for Edmonton, then the move must be made.

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