The Oilers and the Cap: How bad is it? By Micah Kowalchuk

So, there’s been plenty of talk about the Oilers cap situation. Here’s how it shakes out for 2018-2019 and McDavid.

At the moment, for next year, the Oilers have the following under contract:

Maroon-McDavid-(xx)
Lucic-RNH-Eberle
Pouliot-(xx)-(xx)
Caggiula-Letestu-Slepyshev

(Khaira, Pakarinen, Pitlick, Kassian, Draisaitl are RFAs)
(Hendricks and Desharnais are UFAs)

Klefbom-Larsson
Sekera-Benning
Nurse-Fayne
(Russell, Gryba are UFAs)

Talbot/LB in net

Now, at this point, the Oilers have $23.386mil in cap space. There will be likely around $1mil in bonus overages, so make that $22.386mil.

On the back end, word is that Russell won’t be back due to contract costs. Fayne will also likely be dumped with retained salary of up to 50%, leaving $1.8mil on the books.

That puts us at $20.57mil in cap space.

Draisaitl, we can assume, will likely fetch a $6mil deal. That puts the club at $14.57mil.

Kassian, with his 21 points to date, will cost (on the high side) $2mil. So we’re now at $12.57mil. From there, let’s assume Vegas ends up taking Khaira (as likely as any), and we quality Pitlick and Pakarinen to $800k each.

That leaves the Oilers at $11mil in cap space, and the following roster:

Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
Lucic-RNH-Eberle
Pouliot-(xx)-Kassian
Caggiula-Letestu-Slepyshev

Klefbom-Larsson
Sekera-(xx)
Nurse-Benning

I would say Desharnais might get a 2 year, $3mil per deal if PC can’t find a better 3C option. So let’s plug him in here.

That puts the Oilers at $8mil. Another $2.5mil will go in bonuses to McDavid. That’s $5.5mil left now.

Depth defenseman, let’s assume $1mil spent on that, we’re at $4.5mil now.

So that leaves $4.5mil, the 2RHD spot open, all forward spots filled, and Pouliot, RNH and Eberle remain on the roster.

At this point, based on his performance so far, let’s say RNH is the one dealt. As a hypothetical, let’s say RNH and the 1st round pick went to Carolina for Faulk (this is the type of deal the Oilers could do), so the Oilers gain $1.2mil in this transaction.

$5.7mil now, and then we subtract around $2mil for Puljujarvi to slide into the lineup, make it $3.7mil in cap space.

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Oilers are now:

 

Maroon-McDavid-Puljujarvi

Lucic-Draisaitl-Eberle
Pouliot-Desharnais-Kassian
Caggiula-Letestu-Slepyshev

Klefbom-Larsson
Sekera-Faulk
Nurse-Benning

$3.7mil here. Now, the next season, Letestu and Maroon are UFAs, LB/Benning/Nurse/Caggs/Slepy/McDavid are RFAs.

Let’s say they keep Maroon at $3mil, and Letestu walks off. We’re now at $4mil cap space. McDavid will need around another $6mil for his contract. Pouliot gets bought out, add another $2.66mil in cap space.

That gives us $6.66mil in cap space, McDavid gets his $10mil, we have $600k left.

Maroon-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Lucic-Draisaitl-Eberle
xxx-Desharnais-Kassian
xxx-xxx-Pitlick

Klef-Lars
Sek-Faulk
xxx-xxx

Let’s say Benson may be ready for 3LW by then, so 925k deal for him. Cags gets around $1.5mil, Slepy around $1.5mil. Nurse and Benning both get around $2.5mil.

That puts the Oilers at -$4.63mil with a roster of:

Maroon-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Lucic-Draisaitl-Eberle
Benson-Desharnais-Kassian
Slepyshev-Caggiula-Pitlick

Klefbom-Larsson
Sekera-Faulk
Nurse-Benning

Talbot/Ellis in net.

Oilers are now around -$5.7mil.

Ok, so it’s clear, we have some cap issues here. I would suggest Sekera and Eberle are the next two dealt, that’s $11.5mil cleared. That leaves the Oilers at $5.8mil in cap space and..

Maroon-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Lucic-Draisaitl-(xxx)
Benson-Desharnais-Kassian
Slepyshev-Caggiula-Pitlick
(Pakarinen)

Klefbom-Larsson
Nurse-Faulk
(xxx)-Benning
(Oesterle)

Talbot/Ellis

Now, I’m also going to say it’s possible the Oilers decide to deal Benning at this point for some value, and they now import the Jones-Bear line for the 3rd pairing from the AHL.

That leaves the Oilers at $6.45mil in cap space. In their deals for Sekera, Benning and Eberle, the Oilers collect a series of cheap prospects, picks, and a RW worth approximately $4mil. For the sake of argument, let’s say it’s a RW similar to Silfverberg. That leaves the Oilers with $2.7mil in cap room at the end of this all.

Your 2018-2019 Oilers now resemble this:

Maroon-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Lucic-Draisaitl-Silfverberg
Benson-Desharnais-Kassian
Slepyshev-Caggiula-Pitlick
(Pakarinen)

Klefbom-Larsson
Nurse-Faulk
Jones-Bear
(Oesterle)

Talbot/Ellis in net.

For 2019-2020, the only major contract to deal with will be Talbot and Puljujarvi. However, we’ve also assumed a neutral salary cap to this point. Legitimately, it will probably have gone up approximately $4mil by this point, so put the Oilers at $6.7mil in cap space at this point. Puljujarvi will take another $2mil on his deal, Talbot another $3mil.

The Oilers finish 2019-2020 with $1.7mil in cap space.

So, there’s how it likely shakes out going forward folks, the team will look something resembling that, with the picks/prospects brought in from dealing Benning/Sekera/Eberle going towards replacing players as needed.

That’s not to say the costs might not be lower (or higher), or Vegas may take a guy like Pouliot, or what have you, but there’s a realistic scenario.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!