The NHL Free Agency Live Blog
By baggedmilk7 months ago
Happy Canada Day and start of free agency, dearest Internet friends. As always. I’m back with a fresh live blog to kick off the NHL’s annual fishing derby and break down the decisions that NHL general managers get to make with their owner’s money. It’s a timeless tradition around these parts, and I’ll be here all day with the news you need to know regardless of how busy the Oilers actually end up being.
Coming into free agency, the Oilers are very much strapped for cash with only $7.17 million available under the salary cap with a handful of key pieces still to sign. We know that Evan Bouchard and Ryan McLeod’s new contracts are likely to take up the bulk of what’s left, and that has me wondering how realistic it is that Ken Holland will be able to do much more than nibble around the edges. This summer kinda reminds me of a few years ago when the bulk of our free agency signings were names like Gaetan Haas and Joakim Nygard, scratch tickets from overseas that came over to play on cheap deals in the hopes that something would stick. While I don’t necessarily expect Uncle Ken to go fishing for bargains overseas like that again, I do wonder how much he’ll be able to get done with so little room to play. Personally, I don’t expect a whole lot to happen today around these parts, but I’ve also been wrong countless times before so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
If the Oilers are going to build upon a season that saw them finish the year as one of the league’s best clubs, Ken Holland will need to show that he’s able to wheel and deal with some creativity, and it will be very interesting to see how he approaches the need for depth at RW and a potential upgrade on defence. 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, Old Dutch needs to find upgrades despite the limited cap space to push this team over the hump. Can he do it? We’ve seen other teams clearing cap space in varying ways over the last couple of weeks, and I wonder if we’ll get any of that action around here. 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 in on the conversation, talk a little puck, and see how busy our beloved Oilers are on the first day of the 2022 fishing derby. Deal? Deal. Happy shopping to the NHL teams and a happy silly season to the rest of us!
With just over $7 million available, the Oilers will have limited options in free agency and it will be fascinating to see how Ken Holland works to improve the team without being able to spend like some of his counterparts. Below you’ll find a couple of names that have been linked to the Oilers by varying media members as potential fits for the Oilers, and we’ll have to wait and see how many, if any, get crossed off the list.
Connor Brown (2022-23: 4GP – 0G, 0A) – I’m going to on record and say that I assume the Connor Brown contract is already done and will be one of the first ones of the day to get announced. This just feels like another chapter in the same story that we’ve seen the last couple of years where the Oilers are going to sign a guy, everybody knows it’s coming, but that it can’t get announced until we officially get going in free agency.
Daniel Sprong (2022-23: 66GP – 21G, 25A) – Daniel Sprong had an amazing season for the Seattle Kraken while making only $750K. But with a 21-goal season under his belt, you’d have to think the guy is looking for a major raise and I think that will probably prevent the Oilers from being in the running. Stranger things have happened, but I doubt this one goes anywhere.
The ‘Maybe There’s a Chance’ Collection
Kailer Yamamoto (2022-23: 43GP – 22G, 17A – 39 points) – I don’t want to be a tinfoil hat guy here today but is there a possibility that Detroit buying Yamo out yesterday leaves the door open for him to re-sign with the Oilers are a discounted rate? I checked it out and there are no rules against him re-signing in Edmonton because the Red Wings were the ones to buy him out, and I couldn’t think of a funnier little bit of cap circumvention than if that happened. I don’t think Yamo will be back, but man would I laugh if this happened.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
In this section, I’ll be dropping in rumours that I find on Twitter to try and spice things up a little bit. 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.
- 9:00 AM MT – Rise and shine, Nation citizens! We’re back with another live blog to kick off 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 until the buzzer goes to get started, but the rumours are swirling already and I figured there was no better time to start the live blog than right here and now. Grab your coffee, it’s fishing day.
- 9:20 AM MT – Cam Talbot to L.A. won’t change anything.
- 9:45 AM MT – How do we feel about Matt Nieto?
- 9:54 AM MT – Darren Dreger is reporting the panel that Connor Brown is coming to Edmonton at $1.3 million.
- 9:58 AM MT – Joel Edmundson going to Washington per Frank Seravalli.
- 10:01 AM MT – Darren Dreger was wrong, Matt Nieto is going to Pittsburgh. C’mon, man.
- 10:07 AM MT – Kevin Weekes has Connor Brown to the Edmonton Oilers too.
- 10:10 AM MT – Frank Seravalli is reporting that the Oilers are signing Lane Pederson who split last season between Vancouver and CBJ.
- 10:13 AM MT – JVR to Boston for $1 million. A steal.
- 10:18 AM MT – Frank Seravalli is reporting that Drake Caggiula is coming back to the Oilers. I’d have to imagine this is a two-way deal.
- 10:52 AM MT – Connor Brown is, in fact, coming to Edmonton. All insiders reporting it now.
- 10:56 AM MT – Breakdown on the Brown contract is a $775K AAV with $3.25 million in performance bonuses.
- 11:03 AM MT – Are the Oilers done now that Brown is locked in? They might be, right?
- 11:12 AM MT – Milan Lucic to Boston for $1 million.
- 11:33 AM MT – Carson Soucy to Vancouver for $3.25 million.
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