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How Much Flexibility Would an $82 Million Dollar Cap Give The Oilers In 2018-19?

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NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly’s remark about cap growth may give Oiler fans some hope. Could it do anything for Edmonton’s bottom line?

2018 NHL All-Star - Commissioner Gary Bettman Media Availability
Cough up the fin.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The cap number is a very important number for the Edmonton Oilers in 2018-19. Between now and training camp, the Oilers have some roster decisions to make. While the actual cap number remains a mystery between now and sometime next month, NHL Deputy Chairman Bill Daly shed a little light on what that number could be prior to the beginning of Game One of the Cup Finals.

WHAT DO THE OILERS NEED, ANYWAY?

We’ve crunched the numbers before. Here’s a refresher...

  • Darnell Nurse’s new deal
  • Ryan Strome’s new deal
  • Matthew Benning’s new deal
  • Someone to play top six on the left wing. They might put Lucic there to start the season, but if he goes pointless in the first five or six games, that’s gotta change fast. I’ve also got Nugent-Hopkins on McDavid’s line to start. Your mileage may vary.
  • Sign (or replace) Drake Caggiula
  • Sign (or replace) Michael Cammalleri (UFA)
  • Sign a 7D (the club could opt to use Eric Gryba in Edmonton more this year)
  • Replacement for Anton Slepyshev
  • Replacement for Iiro Pakarinen

There’s a lot of things to fix on this roster. The right wings on this club could be almost anything, but I feel comfortable penciling Zack Kassian in on 4RW. You’ve got a Puljujarvi / Rattie / Aberg set (or something) going on there right now. Feel free to purchase a couple sets of curtains to spruce that window up a bit.

So where does that put the Oilers? Unless they shed a contract, they don’t have a tonne of dollars to splash around this year.

There’s absolutely no room for error in this summer’s negotiations.

“BETWEEN 78 AND 82 MILLION”

There’s a fair bit of swing between 78 million and 82 million. If Bill Daly is on the money with his comments today and the cap number is set at 80 million, it would give the Oilers about fifteen million dollars to lock down the two bigger contracts (Strome and Nurse), the Benning deal, a couple of wingers on the cheap (Thomas Vanek, how YOU doin’) and a couple of 7th defencemen for the club.

YEAH AND

Let’s say the Oilers are able to lock everyone down for next season. Okay, great. There’s a nagging problem in that this club was also the 78 point club that dropped 25 points turning playoff penthouse to outhouse. If I’m the Oilers, I’m trying to look for an upgrade or two. Could be an obvious issue playing on a shoestring budget.

An $82 million dollar cap is the best case scenario for the Oilers this offseason, though it doesn’t change the fact that money’s tight. No matter how high the cap goes, the Oilers will have to be watching every dime this offseason as they try to improve from last year’s debacle. A small overpay on just one deal could result in an impact player like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins getting moved for doughnuts.