Surprise announcement from the Edmonton Oilers: Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens have just missed an opportunity, according to many

Elias Edmonson
August 23, 2023  (12:15)

In the last few minutes, the Edmonton Oilers made an announcement that surprised many.

It concerns their young defenseman, Evan Bouchard, who turned many heads for Connor McDavid's team during the most recent NHL playoffs.
Bouchard, 23 years old, the 10th overall pick (1st round) in 2018 by the Oilers, racked up an incredible 17 points in 12 games during the 2023 playoffs. He also added 83 points over the past two seasons.
We are talking about a right-handed defenseman who is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, and is very mobile.
In short, he has a very high value, and he would be the exact kind of player ideal for Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens.

A missed opportunity?

Returning to the Oilers' surprising announcement today, they just signed a new contract with Bouchard.
A contract with an annual value of 7 million dollars? 6 million dollars? 5 million dollars?
None of the above, even though many believed so.
We're talking about a contract for 2 seasons with an annual value of 3.9 million dollars, which is much less than anticipated.
The reason is simple. It's outright the maximum the Oilers could offer Bouchard. So you understand he was a prime candidate for an offer sheet. (they had less than 4.2 million dollars available under the cap)
The Oilers would never have been able to match a strong offer sheet.
Bouchard was really an excellent opportunity for an offer sheet, if there ever was one. - Mike Amato

Because the Oilers are so tight against the cap that they will have to start the season with only 21 players in their lineup and with less than 390,000 dollars available in their salary cap.
The Oilers are limited to 21 players.

Perhaps even more importantly, minimal cap space for the trade deadline.

Holland suspected this would be the case, but he would've liked to have a little more wiggle room than this. - Mark Spector

It's unbelievable when you think about it.
They'll only have 21 players on the roster and will barely have 0.39 million dollars on their cap, following Bouchard's 3.9 million per season contract.
Imagine if Kent Hughes had offered 6 or 6.5 million per season to Bouchard? (for one season)
It could have really worked, but one can assume he didn't want to break the GM's code.
Do you believe Hughes and Gorton should have dared?
23 AOUT   |   307 ANSWERS
Surprise announcement from the Edmonton Oilers: Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens have just missed an opportunity, according to many

Would you have liked to see the CH make an offer sheet to Bouchard?

Yes10032.6 %
No20767.4 %
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