For some members of the Edmonton Oilers, the off season is about training and preparing for next season in Oil Country. But for some, while the training programs must continue, there is the added speculation and concern that they could be one of the two amnesty buyouts that the Oilers could use to create some salary cap room.
We’ve heard Craig MacTavish talk about the future of both Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky and if you read between the lines, neither player is likely to be back with the club next year. Of course both players have value and could be an attractive trade option for another NHL club, especially Hemsky.
Obtaining something in return for either player would be the preferred route to take for Mac-T, but sometimes plans don’t always go the way we want them to and a buyout may be in order.
There are others that could be facing the notion of being bought out by the Oilers, to then be a free-agent and at the mercy of the other 29 NHL clubs. If someone desires that player’s services and puts in a bid to take on some of the remaining owed salary, that former Oiler could be changing addresses sooner than he thinks.
But who could those other players be? Ryan Smyth has had his name as a potential buyout candidate along with Horcoff and Hemsky. What about center Eric Belanger who can’t seem to stay healthy enough to be worth his cost effective salary of $1.75 million.
Those are the most obvious choices that come to mind so for the time being, let’s pretend you are the GM of the Oilers. If you had only one compliance buyout to use this summer, who would you use it on?
For more news and analysis on the Edmonton Oilers, follow us on Twitter @OilonWhyte.