Edmonton Oilers Offseason Checklist

The Stanley Cup has been won, and now it’s time for teams to prepare for the next season. The Edmonton Oilers have a lot to do.

They started the season poorly with a 3-9-1 record, which led them to change their coach from Jay Woodcroft to Kris Knoblauch. This change worked wonders as they finished second in the Pacific Division with 104 points. They almost won their first Stanley Cup since 1990 but lost in an exciting Game 7 after coming back from a 3-0 series deficit.

Now, they need to focus on the draft and free agency coming up soon.

Ken Holland’s Replacement

The Oilers need a new general manager because Ken Holland’s contract is ending. He might stay connected with the team, but not as GM. Assistant GMs Keith Gretzky, Brad Holland, and Bill Scott will handle things temporarily. They also haven’t looked outside for a new GM yet.

Brad Holland seems like he might step up as interim GM if no one else is chosen soon. Fans are probably wondering who will lead their team next.

Draisaitl’s Contract Talks

Leon Draisaitl has been amazing for the Oilers, but his contract ends in 2025. His current deal was great value at $8.5M per year, but now he’ll need a big raise due to rising salary caps and other players’ contracts going up each year.

Chris Johnston noted that Draisaitl could get around $13.25M per year like Auston Matthews of the Leafs. If he signs an extension similar to Matthews’ percentage of cap hit (15.87%), it would be about $13.97M annually under an $88M cap limit.

Evolving Hockey predicts an eight-year extension at $13.54M per year for Draisaitl, which would make him briefly the highest-paid player before McDavid’s contract renewal in 2026.

Fans may think this is too much money or wonder if it’s worth it for long-term success.

Scoring Depth Needs

Several forwards who played regularly during playoffs are becoming free agents this summer: Warren Foegele (20 goals), Adam Henrique (trade-deadline pickup), Connor Brown (penalty-killer), and Mattias Janmark (strong playoff performer).

If no UFAs are signed by opening night next season four AHL players—Xavier Bourgault, James Hamblin, Raphael Lavoie & Lane Pederson—could fill those spots; however that’s unlikely given how crucial depth scoring was last season behind stars like McDavid & Draisaitl plus Zach Hyman etc., especially Foegele whose career-high points were vital throughout both regular seasons & playoffs alike!

With only ~$10M projected cap space left covering nine open roster spots means tough decisions ahead involving moving out some salaries regardless who stays/returns…

Offloading Campbell

Getting rid of Jack Campbell’s $5M cap hit takes priority despite its placement here! His minor league stint cost still eats into nearly six percent overall budget ($3 point eighty-five million when buried). Despite good AHL performance (.918 SV% over thirty-three games) uncertainty promoting him back NHL level remains too risky championship-caliber/cap-strapped squad like Edmonton faces today!

Options include trading/buyouts; ten-team no-trade list manageable while buyout reduces impact down one-point-one saving two-point seventy-five freeing enough space sign pair serviceable depth scorers via free agency instead!

Campbell had poor showing early NHL season (.873 SV% across five appearances) leading waivers/Bakersfield assignment rest campaign thus requiring backup replacement Stuart Skinner role filled minimum contract close possible should move occur eventually…

What do you think? Should they keep or trade Campbell?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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