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Social Media Reacts to Evan Bouchard Deal

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Photo credit:© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Woz
By Woz
6 months ago
From the moment Elliotte Friedman reported that the Edmonton Oilers would be signing Evan Bouchard to a two-year deal that carried a $ 3.9 million AAV the reaction on social media was all over the map. Most of it has been positive as many Oilers fans were excited that the deal is done, but that doesn’t mean everyone was happy.

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Starting off, I asked on Twitter, what deals the Oilers could have avoided so they could sign Evan Bouchard long-term. Some fans believe Bouchard should’ve been extended years ago to a lengthier contract.
Joseph felt as though the Campbell signing was one that’s held back the Oilers from giving Bouchard more term, and that management should’ve known his deal would’ve been in the same time frame as Connor McDavid’s and Leon Draisaitl.
Yes, in hindsight, it’s easy to say the Oilers should’ve avoided Jack Campbell and found someone cheaper, but the Oilers needed a suitable replacement for Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. But at the same time, who would Ken Holland have been able to sign here in Edmonton that would have been cheaper and definitely better?
There’s also the possibility that Bouchard and his camp didn’t want to extend longer than two years. Bouchard could view a shorter-term deal as an opportunity to cash in on his next contract, and with the way things are shaping up, he’d probably be right too.
I Love Tyler’s point right here. We don’t really know what Bouchard wanted aside that he likely wanted to play with the Edmonton Oilers. He’s 23 years old, just came off an impressive playoff, and now with Tyson Barrie gone, he has the opportunity to play a full season on the Oilers’ top powerplay.
Personally, I think fans are in for a treat with Bouchard and shouldn’t worry about his next deal until the time comes.

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One comment that Nation Citizens agreed with was from Jordanendrody who mentioned.
“Don’t let this go the same route Nurse’s contract situation went, we don’t need two bridge deals then an overpay”
Ultimately this is what has upset fans about Bouchard’s deal. They don’t want another scenario where a young defenseman ends up getting a fat contract and eats up cap space. Possibly hindering the chance that both Draisaitl and McDavid stay with the Oilers.
Dkar33 mentions “Under $4mill is actually quite a steal” with another user responding that he bets Bouchard can score 70 points.
User xtx22.2 adds:
“Two years is perfect. He has potential but would have been too early to hand him a long-term deal and be stuck with for eight years”
One issue he finds with Bouchard is his defending ability. Stating, yes he can score but the defensive side of his game is lacking and there are plenty of Oilers fans who share similar feelings about Evan Bouchard. Yet, no one is saying that Evan Bouchard is a perfect player, but one thing he does very well is put up points and he’s going to do a lot of that over the coming years.

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Rob Beeston
“Still unsure how this deal fits under the cap. As of this morning, the cap sits at 3.5M? This means someone currently under contract is gone or will not be with the team after camp, and this doesn’t include any of the PTO players. Nemo? Janmark? Hoping either Holloway or Lavoie go back down. Foegele? Of. Campbell for a cheaper backup? (Big gamble if that’s the case). Need another 400-500K and if that’s all they have, then they’re up against the cap again all season long.”
In Cam Lewis’ article from yesterday, he wrote about how Bouchard coming in on a $3.9 million cap hit means that the Oilers will only have the space to carry one extra skater, barring another transaction. The roster would have 12 forwards, seven defenders, and two goaltenders with a cap hit of $83,117,500, leaving just $382,500 under the cap.
“If this guy brings what he brought in last season’s playoffs we could be looking at a Norris Trophy candidate. A full year with Ekholm will do wonders. Nurse will be better and Broberg could break out. The defense is shaping up. Ceci, Kulak, Neimelainen, and Desharnais will fill in 3rd pairing rolls”
Finally a little bit of positivity and optimism. I can understand why fans might feel that this is a Darnell Nurse 2.0 situation, but it’s always important to look at the upside of this deal. Norris Trophy could be possible as it’s become more of an award to which defenseman can score the most points. Just need to hope that a full year of Ekholm will keep molding Bouchard into a more well-rounded defenseman that can execute at a high level no matter where he is on the ice.
“Worst possible move the Oilers could of done. Obviously they didn’t learn after the Nurse Bridge deals. Be prepared to give Bouchard $8 million plus after his bridge deal. Two full years on the best PP in history. He’ll be getting paid.”
Then you have the other side of the fanbase which feels this a terrible move from the Oilers. That they didn’t learn anything from bridging Darnell Nurse. There’s lots of confidence that Bouchard will get paid big time in 2025 but the worry is he won’t be an Oiler when he signs a big ticket.

Wrap up

One thing is for certain, there won’t be much complaining if the Edmonton Oilers win a Stanley Cup in the next two seasons with Evan Bouchard on this current deal. Offensive defensemen like Bouchard don’t grow on trees, and even though his defending is far from perfect, there’s plenty of room to grow in that area. But for now, it’s time to watch him rack up the points playing on the league’s best power-play.

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