This, That, and the Other Thing

Photo credit:Instagram: taliahleigh
Robin Brownlee
9 months ago
Having spent a lot of time in and around Victoria and without much Edmonton Oilers news bubbling up right now beyond Ryan McLeod’s arbitration date being set for Aug. 4, it was fun to look at some of the photos from Tyson Barrie’s wedding in the Garden City on the weekend.
While it was easy enough to pick out former teammates of Barrie like Darnell Nurse and Connor McDavid, I must be getting dense in my old age because I couldn’t figure out who the shirtless guy in the aviator shades wandering through the crowd was without a peek at the caption. It was Mike Smith, of course.
To hear Zach Hyman tell it, Barrie’s one of the most connected guys in the NHL and when you look at a guest list that included players like McDavid, Nurse, Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon and Mitch Marner along with actor Ryan Reynolds, he knows of what he speaks. Anyway, it looks like a good time was had by all.
Old Memorial Arena on Blanshard Street was the home of the Victoria Cougars until 1994 when the team relocated to Prince George, used to boast the best hotdogs in the WHL. It also hosted some killer concerts – The Doors, Ike and Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Moody Blues, Van Halen and Dire Straits to name just six.
Barrie’s dad, Len, a sixth-round draft pick by the Oilers in 1988, played there with the Cougars. So did Oilers HHoF stopper Grant Fuhr, Jeff and Russ Courtnall and former Oilers’ scout Archie Henderson. The old barn was demolished in 2003. 


Oct 27, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Ryan McLeod (71) skates with the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
I’m not sure what McLeod is worth contract-wise in today’s NHL market, but the 23-year-old pivot is in line for a sizeable raise on the team-friendly $798,000 he played for last season.
With 11-12-23 in 57 games this season, McLeod isn’t a big producer of points and he likely never will be, but he’s got some solid underlying stats, he is a terrific skater and he can work the PK. I’m guessing that McLeod and the Oilers will manage to work out an agreement before Aug. 4, but what’s the number?
A lot of people have a new deal at anywhere from an AAV of $1.5 million to $2 million.


McLeod filing for arbitration means GM Ken Holland won’t have to worry about dealing with potential offer sheets on him, as rare as they actually are, but whatever McLeod gets is going to impact any bridge deal for Evan Bouchard.
Bouchard, 23, had 8-32-40 this season and he was prolific in the playoffs with 4-13-17 in 12 games. Bouchard would be a prime candidate for a max-term deal, but Holland doesn’t have enough cap space to make that work. 
Bouchard had an AAV of $1,596,667 this season. You’d think the number on a two-year bridge deal would come in right around $3.5 million, but there’s the McLeod factor.

WHILE I’M AT IT . . . 

  • Nothing to do with the Oilers, but I came across this monstrosity, a cruise ship with 19 floors and the capacity to hold 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew members, on Twitter this morning. It’s five times heavier than the Titanic.I went to school at Shawnigan Lake and I have relatives up and down the Island, so I’ve spent a lot of time riding the B.C. Ferries and will again for the first time in 15 years next month for a trip to Victoria, but this thing? No thanks. Pass.

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