What Is Next To Address For The Edmonton Oilers This Offseason?

Edmonton Oilers Forward Ryan McLeod, #71. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers Forward Ryan McLeod, #71. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

There is only a month till the start of the Edmonton Oilers pre-season. This means in about a month the Edmonton Oilers must have their team and roster finalized. The team the way it is right now could start the season, but I believe Ken Holland still has a couple issues to address.

Signing Ryan McLeod

Ryan McLeod had his breakout NHL season last year. He played in almost 71 games last season and put up 21 points. McLeod is the Edmonton Oilers’ Swiss Army Knife. He was used in every scenario from killing penalties, to the 2nd unit powerplay.

Getting him signed should be a priority for the Edmonton Oilers. Having a player that your team drafted that can play in all three of those scenarios is rare and can only help your team.

The issue in signing him the fact that the Edmonton Oilers are already over the salary cap so adding another NHL contract is only going to make that worse. That being said that leads me perfectly into the next thing to be addressed.

Edmonton Oilers Cap Crunch

Right now the Edmonton Oilers are currently $423,000 over the salary cap per PuckPedia. This number includes Klefbom and Smith on LTIR. The Oilers can’t start the season over the cap, so they need to do something to become cap compliant.

There are several way the Edmonton Oilers can do this. They could trade away a player like Warren Foegele or Tyson Barrie. This is the more likely route right now as it is the most sustainable way to solve the problem for the whole season.

Another way they could do it is they have less players on their NHL roster. This means they would only carry 12F/7D/2G. This in my opinion is only a short term solution. If a player gets ill this would mean your team would be short player. Unless an injured player goes on LTIR and their cap hit comes off you wouldn’t be able to recall a replacement.

For this reason I think that Ken Holland still has a trade to make. It may come closer to the start of the season as teams start to put their teams together and start noticing holes in there line-up. The Edmonton Oilers have strength in several positions so losing one player from one of those wouldn’t hurt the team.

THe problem is that the Oilers also have some areas they want to address such as a large shutdown defenseman. That is where Holland is going to have to find a way to bring in a player that can help, but also not bring in cap space.

Important Game Dates

The Edmonton Oilers open up their preseason on October 1st in Winnipeg against the Jets. I wouldn’t expect to see many big name players in that game as they usually don’t travel during the preseason. The first game to expect to see the starters is on the 3rd when the face the Canucks at home.

The next important day is October 12th. That is the first regular season game. The Oilers will need to have all their cap problems solved by then. I don’t know for sure what the lineup will look like, but like I said before I think Holland will make at least one trade. That trade will be used to make this team fit within the cap