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Oilers reportedly looking to re-sign ‘three or four’ of their pending unrestricted free agents

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Photo credit:Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
23 days ago
The summer has officially begun for the Edmonton Oilers, and their front office is now faced with a multitude of decisions, each one carrying a hint of uncertainty and intrigue. 
Hope Will Never Die in Oil Country, but the group that took the Florida Panthers to a hard-fought Game 7 in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final may be different from the group that takes to the ice in October.
Warren Foegele, Vincent Desharnais, Corey Perry, Sam Gagner, Adam Henrique, Connor Brown, Sam Carrick, Calvin Pickard, Troy Stecher, and Mattias Janmark are all eligible to become unrestricted free agents next Monday. And according to The Athletic’s Chris Johnston, citing team sources, the organization is looking to retain three to four players, depending on salary expectations.
It’s a big decision to decide who to agree on new deals with in just five short days, especially when some of those players have showcased the best season of their careers.
Currently, the Oilers have around $78 million committed against the salary cap ahead of the 2024-25 season that includes seven forwards, five defencemen, and two goaltenders, all locked in under contract from the NHL roster.
However, something that may give the club some breathing room is that it’s almost inevitable that the Oilers buyout Jack Campbell’s remaining three years on his $25 million five-year deal, which could save them $3.9 million next season against the cap. 
Unfortunately, that doesn’t tackle the other part of their offseason pursuits, like re-signing superstar forward and Connor McDavid’s partner in crime, Leon Draisaitl, before his $68 million eight-year contract expires at the end of the 2024-25 season.
Back in January, in an interview with Sportsnet, Draisaitl said he desired to “finish the job” by winning Lord Stanley with the Oilers, but there are plenty of factors that go into signing a deal. Right now, those decisions are hard to come after the desolating end to the season. Given his value to not only the Oilers but the NHL as a whole, Draisaitl will surely come with a high price that would justify a salary around the $13.25 Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews makes per year, Johnston speculated.
As the sting of the playoffs begins to wear over the next few days, it will be interesting to see how the Oilers front office decides to handle their extensive list of UFA’s. 
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