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The 2024 Free Agency Live Blog

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baggedmilk
18 days ago
Happy Canada Day and the start of free agency, my beloved Internet friends! Once again, I’m here with a fresh live blog to keep an eye on the NHL’s yearly shopping spree and dissect how NHL GMs spend their owner’s cash. It’s a classic Canada Day ritual around here, and I’ll be around all day to bring you the latest updates, no matter how active the Oilers end up being.
If the Oilers are going to build upon a season that saw them finish the year only one win away from the Stanley Cup, Jeff Jackson will need to get creative with the limited dollars he has available to spend. Given the holes on the roster and free agents that need to be re-signed, I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that the pressure is on to make sure the Oilers continue their progression and avoid taking the same step back after a couple of years as legitimate contenders.
At this stage of the McDavid and Draisaitl era — with two massive extensions coming down the pipe — Jackson needs to keep the Cup window open despite having little money available to upgrade the roster. We’ve seen other teams clearing cap space creatively over the last couple of weeks, and I wonder whether the Oilers will be able to get anything done along that same vein. Either way, I’ll be here all day to report on what does or does not get done on the first day of free agency and why we should be thrilled or angry about whatever comes next.
Feel free to join the conversation, talk about what the rest of the league is doing, and break down how our beloved Oilers have done the first day of the 2024 free agent fishing derby. Happy silly season, everybody!

THE SUSPECTS

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
With just over $12.9 million in cap space available, the Oilers don’t have much money to spend in free agency, and it will be fascinating to see how Jeff Jackson works to improve the team without being able to throw money around like some of the competition. In this section, I’ve put together a couple of names linked to the Oilers by varying media members as potential fits or targets, but we’ll have to wait and see if any of these guys get crossed off the list.

The Potentials

Mattias Janmark (2023-24: 71GP – 4G, 8A) – Listen, I love Mattias Janmark and hope the Oilers bring him back on a cheap deal that keeps him around for a minute. That said, if it’s much more than another $1 million AAV per season, he may have to walk.
Vincent Desharnais (2023-24: 78GP – 1G, 10A) – It was a big year for Vincent Desharnais, as he locked himself onto the Oilers’ third pairing for most of the season and playoffs. Of course, having a year like that will be significant for Vinny because it now allows him to chase bigger money in free agency a little bit. I’d like to see Vinny come back because I appreciate how he can shut things down, but there’s only so much money to go around, and this could be his only chance to secure the bag.

The ‘Maybe There’s a Chance’ Collection

Adam Henrique (2023-24: 82GP – 24G, 27A) – I’d love for Adam Henrique to come back — he’s the exact kind of versatile player we need more of on the roster — but I highly doubt it happens. Sure, it’s possible that he’d be willing to take a team-friendly discount, given that he’s already made $55 million in his career, but I’d be stunned if the Oilers could bring him back.
Warren Foegele (2023-24: 82GP – 20G, 21A) – When speaking to the media after Game 7, Warren Foegele talked about how sad he’d be to leave Edmonton given how strong the team is and how much his teammates feel like brothers. It was nice to hear from a guy who just put up the best season of his NHL career, but like Henrique, I’d be stunned to see Foegele back in blue and orange next year. Given the season he just had, there will be a list of teams willing to pay him more than the Oilers can offer, and I would not hold it against him if he opts to cash in.
Viktor Arvidsson (2023-24: 18GP – 6G, 9A) – Frank Seravalli mentioned that the Oilers were keeping tabs on Arvidsson on one of his Oilersnation Everyday appearances during the playoffs, and I can’t help but think it would be a really nice addition at the right cost provided that he can stay healthy. Staying healthy, however, has been tricky for Arvidsson, as the former King has only played 161 games in the last three seasons. ✅✅✅✅
Jake DeBrusk (2023-24: 80GP – 19G, 21A) – Is it even an off-season if Jake DeBrusk’s name isn’t tied to the Oilers? This past week, Elliotte Friedman mentioned the Oilers as a possible destination for DeBrusk, and as much as I believe he’d look really nice along Leon Draisaitl’s wing, I also think he’ll command more dollars than the Oilers have to offer. Stranger things have certainly happened, but this one feels like a stretch to me. We shall see.

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

THE RUMOURS…

Here is where I’ll drop in the rumours I find on Twitter to try and spice things up. If I see a media member talking about a player in connection to the Oilers, I’ll toss their tweet in here to give us something else to argue about in the comments section.

WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR

Connor Brown (2023-24: 71GP – 4G, 8A) – In his year-end presser, Connor Brown talked about how his heart is in Edmonton, and it made me think that he’d be coming back for another year (or two) on a cheap contract. Given that he only scored four goals and 12 points through 71 games, those hopes were mostly correct as he renewed on a one-year deal worth $1 million.
Sam Carrick signed a three-year deal with the New York Rangers. Gord speed, sir. Thanks for the memories and the syrup your family sent to Nation HQ.
Warren Foegele goes to the Los Angeles Kings for three years at $3.5 million per.

THE UPDATES…

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  • 9:00 AM MT – Rise and shine, everybody! We’re back with another live blog to keep tabs on day one of the NHL’s annual shopping day and break down everything that happens here in Edmonton and around the league as a whole. We’ve still got about an hour to wait until contracts will officially start flowing in, but the rumours are already swirling around Twitter, and there’s no better time to start the live blog than right here and now. Happy Canada Day Day, everybody.
  • 9:30 AM MT – I got in my car to drive to Nation HQ and it seemed like everything happened. James Hamblin signed a new deal and so did Noah Philp.
  • 9:37 AM MT – Wow, Steven Stamkos to Nashville on a 4x$8 million deal is wild. It’s going to be so weird to see him another jersey.
  • 9:41 AM MT – Chris Johnston is speculating that the Oilers could be a fit for Ondrej Kase. He says that it’s down to Edmonton and Pittsburgh.
  • 9:45 AM MT – The Oilers re-signed defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer to a one-year, two-way contract worth $775,000 at the NHL level. Noah Philp also gets re-signed.
  • 9:49 AM MT – Late on the ball here, but it looks like Warren Foegele is going to Los Angeles? I guess our man wants to lose to Edmonton in the first round. I joke because I hurt.
  • 9:58 AM MT — Spector just said on Sportsnet that the Oilers tried moving Ceci and Kane at the draft, but couldn’t get a deal done for either.
  • 10:13 AM MT – Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Oilers are signing Viktor Arvidsson. No idea on the terms yet.
  • 10:18 AM MT – Arvidsson gets a 2 x $4 million deal.
  • 10:30 AM MT – Jake DeBrusk goes to Vancouver on a seven year deal worth $5.5 million per season. Spicy.
  • 10:44 AM MT – Former friend, Cam Talbot, went to Detroit on a two-year deal at $2.5 million per.
  • 10:54 AM MT – David Pagnotta is reporting that Warren Foegele to L.A. is official. Friedman is saying it’s a three-year deal in the mid-$3 million range.
  • 11:11 AM MT – Any guesses on who Bob Stauffer could be hinting at as a #6 d-man that played with Connor McDavid and Kris Knoblauch? Josh Brown? Trade with Tampa Bay for Darren Raddysh?
  • 11:27 AM MT – Chandler Stephenson signs in Seattle for seven years x $6.25 million. Mama.
  • 11:43 AM MT – The Oilers have signed defenceman Josh Brown to a three-year deal worth $1 million per season.
  • 12:21 PM MT – Kinda feel for Josh Brown. Guy hasn’t even played a minute of Oilers hockey and is already getting buried on all platforms. We shall see what else happens.
  • 12:29 PM MT – Jack Campbell signs in Detroit for one year at $750K to backup Cam Talbot.
  • 1:07 PM MT – The Oilers have signed goaltender Collin Delia to a one-year deal worth $775K if he plays in the NHL.
  • 1:24 PM MT – The Oilers have re-signed Corey Perry to a one-year contract worth $1.4 million.

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