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Monday Mailbag – Does a one-year deal make sense for Evan Bouchard?

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
9 months ago
Happy Monday, Nation Citizens, and welcome to another fresh edition of the Mailbag to help get your week started and break down all things Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re looking at the value of draft picks, Skinner’s Calder bid, Evan Bouchard’s bridge deal, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
Apr 23, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard (2) moves the puck ahead of Los Angeles Kings right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
1) @NBS1979 asks – Do you think it is more likely that Bouchard signs a 1-year deal or a 3-year bridge deal this summer?
Jason Gregor:
It will be a one or two-year deal. Three years is too long for him at a lower AAV.
Robin Brownlee:
One year. If you go two, you run into Draisaitl’s UFA year in 2025-26 and if you go three to 2026-27 it’s McDavid.
Cam Lewis:
The one-year deal seems inevitable. The salary cap is supposed to see a larger jump next summer so it’ll be a better time to look at a contract with term.
Liam Horrobin:
Sounds like a one-year deal is in the works for Bouchard, but we’ll wait and see. Of course, it would be nice to lock him up for a while but it will give the Oilers more room this season to strengthen the roster.
Baggedmilk:
Friedman mentioned a one-year contract a few days ago as a means of kicking a long-term deal down the road until the cap starts going up.
May 12, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates after scoring a goal against Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) during the second period of game five of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
2) Ed M. asks – The Knights won the Cup with authority. On their roster, they had a total of two players they acquired via the amateur draft. Does this tell us something about the value, or lack thereof, of draft picks?
Jason Gregor:
They have only been in the league six years. Most of their draft picks wouldn’t be helping anyways, but they did use high draft picked players to acquire Mark Stone and Jack Eichel. I think long-term it matters, but Vegas has been competitive from day one and like most competitive teams they don’t have many draft picks from the previous five drafts helping them win Cups. They have one or two, and even Vegas had Hague.
Tampa won in 2020 and the only picks from 2014-2020 to help them were Point and Cirelli. In 2021, the only picks from 2015-21 were Cirelli and Colton. Vegas only been six years in the league it isn’t a major surprise they didn’t have that many picks, especially since they were competitive in year one and didn’t really open up room for young players.
Robin Brownlee:
No. It tells us the expansion draft provided a quality pool of NHL proven players, not kids 3-5 years away from making an impact.
Cam Lewis:
The Golden Knights got themselves a very favourable situation when they came into the league, so they were set up for success very quickly. They sold off a lot of draft picks and prospects to reshape their roster and push for the Stanley Cup and it worked.
Liam Horrobin:
What the Golden Knights did was intriguing for sure. They have had an aggressive approach since they entered the league. I do think we have seen value drop a little in draft picks since the 2021 trade deadline. The Oilers have gone in that direction a little bit too considering they only have three picks for this draft.
Baggedmilk:
Vegas was born on third base and made moves relentlessly to try and improve their roster. I hate them, we all do, but in the short term, their kamikaze style of player movement ended up working out.
Apr 17, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Los Angeles Kings right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33) takes a shot on Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner (74) during the first period in game one of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
3) @DedSquid asks – Is there a case to be made for Skinner to win the Calder or is it just Matty Beniers’ year?
Jason Gregor:
I’d argue Owen Power has just as good of chance as both of them, maybe better. It will be a fascinating vote. I’d have Beniers behind both of them.
Robin Brownlee:
There’s a case. He won’t win. Beniers is the guy.
Cam Lewis:
The young star player leading a new team to their first-ever playoff appearance makes Matty Beniers a slam-dunk for the Calder. Skinner being a finalist means his excellent season was recognized around the league, which is a win.
Liam Horrobin:
100%! If it wasn’t for Stuart Skinner the Oilers would have struggled massively in the regular season. Plenty of voters mentioned giving their votes for Skinner too so might be something to check out on Betway.
Baggedmilk:
Without Stuart Skinner the Oilers wouldn’t have made the playoffs. That deserves some love, but I don’t know that he’s going to convince enough voters that rarely watch the Oilers play.
4) @AngryTicks asks – With Heritage Classic tickets now starting to be available (for a small fortune), what festivities are on your wish list for the event?
Jason Gregor:
Outside of the game, nothing really interests me. The alumni game isn’t my thing, although interviewing the players is often good.
Robin Brownlee:
A milder day than the last time around is all I ask.
Cam Lewis:
Maybe some hot tubs would be a good idea.
Liam Horrobin:
If the Oilers lose, everyone gets their money back. That would be excellent. For real though, having the alumni around is always fantastic so meet and greets with them. It would also be great to have the Sportsnet panel live outside of Commonwealth or on the concourse somewhere.
Baggedmilk:
I bought two. I may never financially recover from it. As for festivities? Make it a reasonable weather day and I’ll be happy.
Apr 23, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (36) defends the goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period in game four of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
5) @GhostPineGolf asks – Pick one buyout candidate… Who is it?
Jason Gregor:
For the Oilers. There is only one plausible option and that is Yamamoto. League-wide, I’ll go with Matt Murray. It would save TOR $4m in cap space this coming season and then they’d have $2m in dead cap space next year when the cap goes up. I can see why they’d consider it.
Robin Brownlee:
Kailer Yamamoto.
Cam Lewis:
Kailer Yamamoto. They’d save $2,666,666 for 2023-24 with a cost of just $533,334 for 2024-25. It isn’t ideal to always have dead money but it would be preferable to having to attach a draft pick to dump a contract.
Liam Horrobin:
On the Oilers? I suppose Kailer Yamamoto because of how cheap it is. However, the Oilers need to avoid a buyout at all costs.
Baggedmilk:
I know people probably want to read us all say Campbell or something, but I don’t think there will be any buyout candidates at all.

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