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Evan Bouchard May Soon be Leaving the Oilers


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Elliot Ben Jacob
July 26, 2023  (7:09 PM)
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Talent and Depth in the Oilers' Roster

The Edmonton Oilers boast a wealth of competent players, including notable ones like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. However, the team's lineup also features an array of vastly underrated players who add depth to their game. Among them are Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Darnell Nurse, Zach Hyman, and Evan Bouchard.
Bouchard, a 23-year-old defenseman, stands out as perhaps the most undervalued player on the Oilers' roster. His capabilities extend to both offensive and defensive roles within the team.
In 184 games with the Oilers, he has chalked up an impressive 89 points. While his time on the powerplay alongside McDavid and Draisaitl provides some advantage, Bouchard undoubtedly contributes significantly on his own merit.
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His contract situation remains uncertain for the upcoming season. As a Restricted Free Agent (RFA), Bouchard is possibly seeking a significant pay hike.

The Imperative of Retaining Bouchard

The Oilers risk losing Bouchard unless they take swift action. Their situation is somewhat mitigated by the salary cap constraints affecting all teams, but the Oilers should still prioritize securing Bouchard's contract.
A tempting offer sheet from another team could throw the Oilers into a tricky predicament. Currently, with $5.6M in cap space, the Oilers have to spread their resources among Bouchard, McLeod, and potentially a backup goalie.
An analyst from The Athletic speculates that it would require $5.9M to retain both Bouchard and McLeod in the short term. However, this would not be feasible for the Oilers aa it would put them well over the salary cap limit.
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Hence, the team's General Manager, Ken Holland, faces the challenge of balancing these numbers. Ideally, one player would accept a lower salary. If this does not pan out, a trade might become inevitable.
As Read on HockeyOTB - Report: Oilers may be on the verge of losing Evan Bouchard
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Evan Bouchard May Soon be Leaving the Oilers

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