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Top Stories of 2023 – No. 14: Ryan McLeod takes less money to help the Oilers?

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Photo credit:The Edmonton Oilers extended their winning streak to four games with a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Below are the highlights from the game. 
baggedmilk
2 months ago
Checking in at #14 on the countdown of the biggest stories of the year here at Oilersnation are the quotes from Ryan McLeod when he talked about taking less money on his current $2.1 million AAV contract.
Ryan McLeod is a player that a lot of us have liked and followed since the day he was drafted 40th overall back in 2018. A responsible two-way player with wheels to burn, McLeod is the exact type of player who can win this season over when he’s playing at his best, and this past summer was an interesting time as he was navigating another contract negotiation. Back on August 1st, Ryan McLeod signed a two-year contract that carries a $2.1 million AAV, and when he spoke to the media after the deal was done, he somewhat implied that he had to take less to make it happen.
“You know coming back to this group, there’s not a lot of money, but I think on most of the teams that are hopefully looking to make a deep push in the playoffs there’s not a lot of money on a lot of those teams. I think you kinda gotta sacrifice a bit for the group, and if you can sacrifice a bit and we win a Cup. I think it all plays out. (I’m) just looking to have a huge year for this team, I think winning gets everyone paid and makes everyone happier so just looking to do that”
I’m not going to lie to you, this quote is objectively hilarious with nearly five months of hindsight. With five goals and six assists through 31 games, I wonder what the reaction would be to his season so far had he been making more than the $2.1 million he’s at now. I don’t blame any player for getting the most money they possibly could, but I know I personally called for 18+ goals from McLeod in 2023-24 and that seems like a stretch right now.
“I think… as guys signed new deals, the value of (yourself) changes and you know going in we thought there was a pretty fair value and I think it worked best for me and the team. I think both parties are happy, so I think it works better not having to go through arbitration.”
Given that the Oilers are currently five points outside of the playoffs by the time Santa comes to town, it’s hard not to notice the lack of production from too many people in the bottom half of the lineup. And with every dollar spent needing to provide value, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect more from a player like Ryan McLeod. The guy has all the skill you need to chip in a little more offence than he currently provides, and I hope the new year provides some better fortune for a guy that could use a little luck.
“I think we gotta work on as a group is being more consistent and bringing it every night, I think when our team is playing on our best you know no one really could hang with us so that’s a good sign but I think the consistency needs to be there and then going into next season I think we’re a really motivated group, I think no one’s really too happy after last season or winning one round, I think we have a lot to prove, and we’re a hungry group coming in”
Consistency and bringing it every night. Wouldn’t that be nice right about now?

RYAN MCLEOD’S SEASON SO FAR

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIM+/-PGPGAPtsPIM
2023-24Edmonton OilersNHL31561141
NHL Totals169253156343236910

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