MAJOR | An Oilers defenseman is listed as the ideal candidate for an offer-sheet

Cooper Godin
June 18, 2023  (6:13 PM)

Coming off back-to-back 40+ point seasons, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is set to become a restricted free agent. It's unclear at this time if Bouchard wants to sign a shorter-term deal or a long-term contract.

If Bouchard is not locked up to a contract by July 1st, which is only 13 days away, there could be interest from outside teams, and the possibility of an offer sheet is reportedly not off the table.
In his most recent article for The Athletic, Daniel Nugent-Brown mentioned that he's been told if a team signs Bouchard to a substantial offer sheet, the Oilers may not be able to match it, letting the 23-year-old join the other franchise.
"I'm told it's very unlikely the Oilers will be able to match any substantial offer sheet Bouchard chooses to sign. They'd get a various array of draft picks depending on the salary thresholds, but those picks do little to help the Oilers now. And now is what matters since they're in their Stanley Cup window. Also, it's not like watching another team nab Bouchard gives them extra cap room.

There's still time to get this sorted out. It could all be moot after July 1 if no offer sheet is signed anyway.

But this is a concern until Bouchard officially puts pen to paper with the Oilers." Nugent-Brown said.

It's been two years since we last saw an offer sheet in the National Hockey League when the Carolina Hurricanes signed Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a one-year contract worth $6.1 million, which then-Habs GM Marc Bergevin refused to match.
Bouchard, a native of Oakville, Ontario, appeared in 163 164 games across the last two regular seasons, recording 43 and 40 points, respectively. Bouchard's game has grown quickly, and he's become a very good top-four defenceman in the NHL, but with his young age, he has the ability to become a top-pairing blueliner should his development continue to progress in a positive direction.
Source: The Athletic
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MAJOR | An Oilers defenseman is listed as the ideal candidate for an offer-sheet

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