I’ll admit that I was afraid to look at what this was going to cost.
Fortunately, it didn’t cost too much.
1.8MM in 2018-19
2 MM in 2019-20 equals a 1.9 MM cap hit over the two seasons. There’s a fair bet that Matt Benning can play his way into a two million dollar deal. At age 24, Benning has two pro years under his belt. His 73 games were third on the team among defencemen, his 21 points tied for the lead in team scoring on the blue line. Benning played the fifth most minutes among defencemen in Edmonton.
The contract is fair; the term is decent and so are the dollars. If Benning plays the fifth most minutes on the club at a 1.9MM hit, that’s fairly workable. If the Oilers don’t go out and do something stupid like trade Klefbom for Justin Faulk, there’s a good chance that Benning will get a shot on the power play in 2018-19. If that works out, then the deal goes from ‘decent’ to ‘very good’ in a heartbeat.
If the cap goes up five million dollars, the Oilers will have roughly eleven million dollars to re-sign Darnell Nurse, Ryan Strome (or a comparable 3C) and to figure out what they’ll do with Michael Cammalleri (or a replacement). Annnnnnnnd that’s before they factor in free agency, which may be a quiet time in Edmonton unless one of those NMCs get loose.