They have a max problem finding themselves in a cap space of only $7.13 million and more than enough waiting for the RFA and UFA to deal with.
And on Friday night, Athletic Pierre Lebrun has dropped some notes about the Oilers’ desire to re-sign Brett Colack and Evander Kane, and how the club is discussing the possibility of trading Jesse Poliujarvi.
Oilers GM Ken Holland met Brett Kulak agent Gerry Johansson last week, which suggests he wants to try to re-sign the suspended UFA. The next step is to make an offer that should come soon. Can they make it work under the hood?
Holland also crossed over to Evander Kane’s camp that the Oilers team are interested in trying to re-sign the suspended UFA winger. Agent Dan Milstein is scheduled to meet with Kane next week to craft a game plan. I think Kane is interested in hearing from The Oilers but there may also be a lot more appeal to hear from the open market.
Meanwhile, there is potential to trade Jesse Poliojarvi depending on other moves with the Oilers. It’s not guaranteed that they pass it on but it’s among the possibilities being discussed, recently suggested by my TSN colleague Ryan Richog. The use of Puljujarvi has been reduced under new coach Jay Woodcroft. The 24-year-old is an RFA with arbitration rights to salary this summer.
News of the desire to re-sign the Brett Colak agreement is reassuring. This is the first time we’ve heard about Oilers’ standing with the UFA after getting it for William Lagesson, the 2022 second round pick and the 2024 seventh round pick. The Kulak was a great pickup for the Oilers and provided some much-needed stability on the rear end .
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of news for Evander Kane here and I think it’s safe to say Kane will want to test the open market.
Finally, the most encouraging thing about Jesse Bolgoarvi’s remark may be “not guaranteed that they moved it.” He was the Oilers’ strongest defensive attacker this past season with opponents scoring just 1.81 goals per hour with him on the ice. Of the 171 strikers who played equally well, this was the fourth best average.
It’s also worth noting that LeBrun also reported that the Oilers are one of the teams calling out Montreal Canadiens striker Josh Anderson. He noted that Kent Hughes, Habs’ general manager, is telling the teams they don’t intend to move it and want it as part of their rebuilding.
Despite this, LeBron added a serious package “led by a high potential client as well as other assets” that might be enough to turn him away. “But all things being equal, the Hab doesn’t really want to move it.”
So uh… let’s hope Habs stay strong in not wanting to take him. I think there’s a world where Josh Anderson as a big physical winger could fit in with a good shot on Conor McDavid’s wing, I’m not sure it’s that world. Perhaps this is happening elsewhere in the metaverse.
However, Anderson has five years left on a deal that pays him AAV of $5.5 million. Since signing the seven-year agreement on October 8, 2020, Anderson has scored 36 goals and 56 points in 121 games. At 28 years old, he will be 32 when his deal expires.
He has dealt with injuries in the past and before he was traded into custody, he played only 26 of 70 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019-20 season that was cut short due to COVD. He only scored one goal and four points that season.
It’s probably something the Oilers will look at a few years down the road when the lid opens, but for now, I think the team should focus on spending the $5.5 million elsewhere.
Zach Ling is the news director and columnist for the Nation Network. He can be followed on Twitter at Tweet embedor via email at [email protected]