EDMONTON OILERS CAP SITUATION HAS THEM SCARED TO MOVE FORWARD | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours


The Edmonton Oilers appear to be all but done for the summer. We were all hoping there'd be another defenseman coming into the fold, but signs are starting to point in another direction as Bob Stauffer attempted to settle the masses on his Oilers Now radio show Friday. When Bob Stauffer hints at something, he's usually relaying a message from management, so fans shouldn't be surprised if no other trades or signings happen before training camp.



That doesn't mean Edmonton isn't aware of their defensive issues. Stauffer also mentioned the Oilers may be looking at PTO (Player Tryouts) as a solution, naming players like James Wisniewski and Dan Boyle as options Edmonton may consider. The question is why? If the Edmonton Oilers truly recognize they need help on the right side of their blueline, why wait when players are available now and for likely not a lot of money if you can provide a one season guaranteed contract?

It's no for sure that someone like Dan Boyle would even contemplate Edmonton as an option. Near the end of his career, most veteran players want an opportunity to win. Is Edmonton a place he'd want to be? Conversely, James Wisniewski might consider Edmonton, but on a PTO, he'll likely have a number of teams handing out an invitation. Would Edmonton make the cut?

Salary Cap Concerns

So why risk not getting anyone? The answer is the salary cap. Edmonton knows they need another defenseman, but they aren't prepared to move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Leon Draisaitl to obtain one (unless it's a perfect fit) and when they look at their roster now, they have huge pay raises ahead of them.

Connor McDavid is set to receive a record-breaking contract from the Edmonton Oilers. If Leon Draisaitl continues to progress, he's a potential $5.5 - $6 million dollar player. Edmonton also has big hopes for Darnell Nurse and Edmonton just drafted Jesse Puljujarvi and will have to shell out a bit to keep this young roster together. With Eberle, Nuge, Larsson, Klefbom, and now Lucic all making good money, can they really afford another $5-$6 million-dollar blueliner? The answer is no.

The Solution

A PTO brings a player in and if offered a contract, an opportunity to prove their worth on the short-term. It virtually guarantees that if Edmonton can bring in a player on a PTO, that player has little options in the NHL and as a result, less leverage to negotiate a higher salary. Edmonton is banking on being able to find at least one diamond in the rough. I'd target Wisniewski, but my guess is that player will be Christian Ehrhoff.

Ehrhoff has seen his stock plummet over the last few seasons. He's a shell of what he was since signing a huge contract in Buffalo, but he's able to quarterback and powerplay and if he wants to stay in the NHL, he'll be a bargain.

Ehrhoff can play your six/seven defense position and put in offensive zone cherry spots to capitalize on his offensive abilities. I have no way to prove it, but a hunch tells me Ehrfoff could be a player, that in the right role, could have a rebound season.

After all, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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