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Seravalli: Edmonton Oilers and Ryan McLeod aren’t close on contract talks

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
8 months ago
It’s been a quiet summer for the Edmonton Oilers, but amongst all the silence there has been a bit of chatter starting to surface around the contracts of defenceman Evan Bouchard and forward Ryan McLeod.
McLeod, who has an arbitration date set for August 4th, is the biggest player in question. It’s definitely not a fun process for either side, but it shines on a common middle ground for both the team and player.
Although the Oilers still have time to sign McLeod to a contract before the hearing, on the most recent episode of the DFO Rundown, Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor talked about the arbitration cases going on around the league right now.
In terms of McLeod, Seravalli believes the Oilers may not be all that close to coming to terms with the forward ahead of his date.
Seravalli: The team that’s hurting the most from this is the Edmonton Oilers trying to get Ryan Mcleod done, because I think they were trying to wedge him in just south of two million bucks or just south of two million bucks, and now that number is sadly like 2.5.
At some point, that number is going to become, I don’t wanna say unpalatable, but its gonna be really hard for them to swallow because its really going to squeeze Evan Bouchard.
Gregor: I had heard that McLeod negotiations were pretty close.
Seravalli: I don’t think that’s accurate.
McLeod, 23, appeared in 57 games this past year scoring 11 goals and 11 assists. Similarly, Chicago Blackhawks forward Philipp Kurashev scored nine goals and 16 assists this past year and was recently awarded a two-year contract with a $2.25m AAV after going through the arbitrations process which makes McLeod’s case attractive to his camp to proceed with the hearing.
Last year, McLeod was in the same shoes where Bouchard now sits. The Oilers were so tight on cap space that McLeod signed for only $784,000 just ahead of training camp. This year he’s in the driver’s seat with arbitration rights and could very well squeeze the Oilers. That would leave less room for a guy like Bouchard to get a good payout.
For the Oilers every dollar matters, and they have to do what is best for this team moving into an important year. Last year both Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto settled just before their arbitration dates, both wound up overpaid and ended up being traded. That isn’t the direction the Oilers will want to take in this case with McLeod.

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