Breaking down the latest salary cap numbers for the Oilers

Despite a flurry of activity in free agency, the Oilers still have a fair bit of work to do when it comes to their salary cap situation for the 2024-25 season.
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven / Elsa/GettyImages

There's been plenty going on for Edmonton Oilers fans since the heart-breaking end to the 2023-24 season, including the draft and development camp. However, with all due respect to those two events, it's free agency which has most captured the imagination.

In fact, imagination is accidentally an apt word to use, when it comes to how the Oilers have navigated their way through free agency so far. Particularly give the precarious position which surrounded their salary cap situation beforehand.

Consider that entering free agency, the Oilers had 10 unrestricted and two restricted free agents to consider, with a projected cap space of just over $10,033 million. However, despite this mission impossible scenario which even Tom Cruise would have declined, interim general manager Jeff Jackson and the rest of the front office have worked wonders.

Whether it be bringing in new faces or re-signing familiar ones, the Oilers have managed to agree a whole host of team-friendly deals. As a result, the roster is now looking even better than the one which just came so agonisingly close to winning Edmonton's first Stanley Cup since 1990.

Still work to do with the salary cap

However, this doesn't mean Jackson and company are out of the woods just yet, with still more that needs to be done, even after trading Ryan McLeod to the Buffalo Sabres. As per PuckPedia, consider that the Oilers are currently projected to have a cap space of -$354,167 for the 2024-25 season.

Further complicating the situation, is that the Oilers have 21 of 23 roster spots still open. This is because they have yet to agree terms with restricted free agents Philip Broberg and Dylan Holloway.

Both Broberg and Holloway have received qualifying offers, but as things stand neither have been re-signed. The issue is that when they are, this will put the Oilers even more over the cap for next season, with The Athletic's Allan Mitchell noting (subscription required) that this would put them to around -$3 million.

At least Jackson and the Oilers have options

Now there are still solutions available to help towards balancing the books, albeit saying and actually doing these things are two different matters entirely. Regardless, the main ones doing the rounds -- both of which we've written about previously -- involve Codi Ceci and Evander Kane.

The Ceci situation is 'simply' a case of finding a trade partner willing to take on the final $3.25 million and one year of his existing deal. Along these lines, Oil on Whyte's Almar Reyes recently shared three potential landing spots for the blue-liner.

As for Kane, a trade is also one scenario, with the Oilers reportedly recently asking him to waive his no-movement clause, albeit this was subsequently dismissed as mere speculation. Certainly, being able to move his $5.125 million cap hit for the next two seasons would help significantly, i.e resolve this entire situation.

However, there is also the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Kane's health. As well as the sports hernia he dealt with throughout this past season, Jackson recently mentioned potential hip issues.

If these injury issues are ongoing, they would undoubtedly impact the Oilers' chances of trading the polarising winger (even more so). However, it could also open the door to placing him on Long-Term Injured Reserve next season, which would certainly also help the team.

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Ultimately, while the salary cap position as it stands is an issue, it's nothing to be too concerned about. The Oilers will do whatever's needed to become cap-compliant, with Jackson already more than proving he knows what he's doing.

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