NHL Rumors: Edmonton Oilers – McDavid, Draisaitl, Russell, Free Agency

NHL Rumors: Edmonton Oilers – McDavid, Draisaitl, Russell, Free Agency

Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Kris Russell
On the Edmonton Oilers …

Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun: Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said he doesn’t plan on making another blockbuster trade like he did last offseason with the Taylor HallAdam Larsson trade. He plans on letting his defense corps develop instead of adding to it.

Chiarelli needs to sign Connor McDavid to an extension after July 1st, and Leon Draisaitl (RFA) to get a better idea of what he has to work with going forward.

“We have some significant signings we have to do and in a certain order. We can’t sign Connor until July 1. But I have to think it’s going to be Connor then Leon.

“Cap-wise, we’re OK next year. It’s the following year when Mr. McDavid’s contract would kick in so I have to be cognizant of that.”

Derek Van Diest of NHL.com:  GM Peter Chiarelli on their free agent process.

“The order of events, we can’t officially sign Connor until July 1, but it’s going to be Connor and then Leon,” Chiarelli said Tuesday. “And then we have a cluster of other guys that I’d like to have back, but I have to get through those.”

Draisaitl’s contract would start next season, with McDavid’s extension kicking the following year.

“Cap-wise, we’re OK next year, we could basically stay the same, it’s the following year when Mr. McDavid’s contract will kick in, so I have to be cognizant of that,” Chiarelli said. “But we’ve got a lot of different rosters we’ve looked at in the sense, at numbers, numbers for specific guys, term. But the cap is expected to stay flat or raise a little bit, so we’re working off $73, $74, $75 and we’ll see where it’s at. We’ll certainly have the resources to put another contending team in place.”

Pending RFAs Draisaitl, Zack Kassian, Jujhar Khaira, Iiro Pakarinen and Anton Lander and Griffin Reinhart.

Pending UFAs David Desharnais, Matt Hendricks, Tyler Pitlick, Kris Russell, Eric Gryba and Andrew Ference

Chris Wescott of NHL.com: GM Chiarelli said they have mid-season meetings on the expansion process and recently at their pro meetings.

“There are a number of teams that can afford to lose players – not afford – but there are players they lose them and go, ‘you know what, we can replace them.’ The guys that we might lose, there’s a little more meaning for me based on the success we had and they were part of that success.”

Chiarelli told pending UFA defenseman Kris Russell that he’ll have to wait until they made decisions on Draisaitl and McDavid.

“That’s what I’ve told Kris,” said Chiarelli. “I want to have Kris back. I thought he was really good for our team. I thought the way he approaches the game, the way he battles, his poise, his skating, I thought was a really good complement for our group.”