Sunday Scaries: Oscar Klefbom, Matthew Tkachuk and the offseason

Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Kylie Salai
10 months ago
So, our first Sunday scaries with no Oilers hockey to talk about…
Talk about depressing.
There are a few things on top of my mind surrounding the Edmonton Oilers.
Number one, unfortunately, is Matt Tkachuk. He is already in talks for the conn smyth trophy, and rightfully so. However, all I think about when I see him is that the Oilers, with the fourth overall pick in 2016, decided that the right pick was Jesse Puljujarvi. It absolutely was not. I try not to be a Puljujarvi hater, but he underperformed, threw a hissy fit about playing in the NHL, left, came back, got hot, signed a big contract, and fell off. Matthew Tkachuk went two picks later to the Calgary Flames. He has been better than Jesse Puljujarvi in every aspect of his game since he started playing in the NHL. I hate him because he was a menace to the Oilers on the flames, but now I hate myself a little because the longer he’s away from Calgary, the more I wish we had him on our team.
Anyways, Calgary I hate you, and here is a not-so-friendly reminder of what caused the downfall of your entire terrible franchise.
Number two, and this has been on my mind for a very long time, Oscar Klefbom. You might be thinking, ‘Kylie this is so random. What does Oscar Klefbom have to do with anything?’. Because while we all knew he would never play hockey again, it doesn’t make the acceptance any easier.
This season marked Oscar Klefbom’s final year as an Edmonton Oiler.
I just can’t help to think about how our defence could have looked if the Oilers had dealt with Klefboms shoulder correctly in the first place. If he was able to make a full recovery, he easily could’ve been one of the top 20 defensemen in the league and helped guide Bouchard and Broberg as well.
I could talk about what could’ve been with Oscar Klefbom all day, but I won’t…
I’m depressed because Oscar Klefboms final NHL contract is up, and we haven’t even been able to see him play since the bubble playoffs in 2020.
Speaking of contracts ending, Ken Holland has some serious work to do this off-season.
According to CapFriendly, the Oilers have $5.97 million dollars of cap space and lots of players without contracts.
There are a few Oilers that are now unrestricted free agents and my thoughts are as follows:
Nick Bjugstad- if we can sign him to a similar contract to his last, or less (900,000 AAV) for a year or two I would be happy with that. If he wants significantly more than that, I’m not sure I would like to see him stay, just because of who we would need to pass up on to keep him. This is a player that I would like to see in an Oilers jersey next year, but he just isn’t at the top of the list for me.
Mattias Janmark- A player that I simply do not care about… If we let him walk, I will not be upset, but if we sign him, I don’t think you’ll see anyone throwing a party. That being said, if he does resign, I would expect him to be taking a pay cut because 1.25 million dollars is hefty for a player that either barely plays or underperforms. This playoffs he simply couldn’t stay healthy which is a red flag to me. He has a few hot streaks, and I use that term quite lightly, this season, but I just don’t know if he performed well enough to make himself a priority for Ken Holland.
Derek Ryan- now this is a player I would love to see on the Oilers next year, and if that means another 1.2 million dollar contract, that’s fine by me. (I say as if Ken Holland plans to run his signings by me). He was a contributor to the Oilers’ success in the playoffs and didn’t have any downside.
Devin Shore- if you follow me on Twitter you already know my stance on this…
Devin Shore is a player with little to no reason to be on this team. He might be a hype man, but so is Klim Kostin so really I’m not sure we need him at all. And I would personally throw a party if the Oilers start the 2023-24 season and Devin Shore is not in our organization.
Our final three UFA’s are on LTIR, so I will save my breath, 2/3 will no longer be Oilers and will likely officially retire (Oscar Klefbom and Mike Smith) and if anybody can tell me what is going on with Ryan Murray I would love to hear about it.
In my opinion, our RFA’s are generally where we need to focus our spending.
Klim Kostin and Ryan McLeod are players Ken Holland NEEDS to lock down this off-season. Mcleod took a pay cut last summer, however, both players are eligible for arbitration this year, so that could change. Both of these players have proved they want to play in Edmonton, so Ken Holland has to get it done this summer.
Our final RFA is Evan Bouchard,  ineligible for arbitration, but this is Ken Holland’s chance to get him on a long-term (hopefully) bargain contract to lock him down for many years to come.
Finally, there were some people bickering about how the Oilers were never Cup favourites, and according to MoneyPuck, they actually were for a very long time!
This is the beginning of the playoffs:
And going into the second round:
Anyways! If you don’t want to be confidently wrong in my comments and be taken seriously, Share your thoughts, I’d love to chat respectfully!!
Leave a comment or reach out on Twitter!!
See you next Sunday!!

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