Which UFAs Should the Edmonton Oilers Retain?

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Who Are the Pending Unrestricted Free Agents?

The upcoming offseason will be crucial for the Edmonton Oilers, as they will have a new General Manager soon, with Ken Holland confirming that he is no longer staying GM. The team will have limited cap space to work with and will need to decide which pending Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) to retain soon. The list of UFAs includes Connor Brown, Mattias Janmark, Warren Foegele, Corey Perry, Adam Henrique, Sam Gagner, Troy Stecher, Vincent Desharnais, Sam Carrick, Adam Erne, Greg Mckegg, Cam Dineen, and backup goalie Calvin Pickard. Management will have to make tough decisions on which players to keep ahead of July 1st. Below is a list of the UFAs, RFAs, and future 2024 Draft Picks:

Bring the Janitor & Brownie Back!

The duo that led the Oilers’ penalty kill (PK) unit in the playoffs and scored key shorthanded goals needs to return next season. Connor Brown struggled during the regular season but became a significant contributor during the Oilers’ playoff run, showcasing the team’s depth. In Wednesday’s Exit Interviews, he expressed his desire to stay with the team and emphasized the positive environment within the organization, stating that “his heart is in Edmonton.” As an Oilers fan, I hope management brings him back, as he can now focus on training during the offseason.

It is also important to retain Mattias Janmark due to his solid defensive play and exceptional penalty killing performance in the playoffs. Janmark expressed his interest in staying with the Oilers during the Exit Interviews on Wednesday, emphasizing his focusing of winning a Cup in Edmonton. It would be a mistake to let go of Brown and Janmark this summer, but only time will tell.

Is Foegele Too Expensive?

Warren Foegele’s strong season will make him an expensive player to retain, given the team’s cap space. If there is enough room, the Oilers should keep him. However, his departure could also be manageable for the team, as they have many other depth Forwards, such as Holloway, and possibly future free agents. I would love to see Foegele in the orange and blue come Fall, but if he’s not, this team can move on without him.

50/50 For Henrique

Adam Henrique provided great depth during the second half of the regular season and playoffs after coming over during the mid-season trade deadline. He saw time on the top and bottom lines, and I would love to have him back as an Oiler. It depends how much cap space is left and if he is willing to go lower regarding salary to stay on a contending team, but they should retain him if his asking price is reasonable, which makes this a 50/50 toss up for me. There’s a possibility he could head back to the New Jersey Devils if he does not stay with Edmonton, which would make majority of Devils’ fans ecstatic. He is expected to see plenty of interest across the league come July 1st if the Oilers do not retain him.

Let “the Worm” Go

The curse of Corey Perry is real, as he is 1/5 in the Stanley Cup Finals, losing his last 4 in a row. At the beginning of his career in 2007, he won with the Anaheim Ducks, which makes his case not as bad as it could be, because being 0 for 5 in the finals would be unreal. Although he did score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final series with the Oilers, he really did not contribute much to the team. He is older and now slower, so I am fine with the team letting him go to free agency. If he agrees to take a league minimum contract, then he can stay, but other than they should let “the worm” go.

Should they Resign Vinny?

When it comes to Vincent Desharnais, his potential departure wouldn’t have a major impact on the team, although it would be preferable to retain him to keep him for depth purposes. During the deep 2024 playoff run, he didn’t see much playing time in the later rounds, as Phillip Broberg outperformed him and took over. Phillip Broberg, who is a restricted free agent, should be a priority re-signing for the Oilers this summer in my opinion, which might leave little cap space for Vincent. His future as an Oiler might be uncertain, depending on the offers he receives from other teams come Monday, July 1s

Keep Picks

In the 2024 playoff run, Calvin Pickard proved to be an unsung hero during Round 2 against the Vancouver Canucks. As a solid backup goalie behind Stuart Skinner all season, Pickard stepped up and delivered an impressive performance in 2 games, going 1-1 while Skinner took a much-needed break. This proved to be a pivotal moment as the team advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. Looking ahead, I believe Skinner will likely remain the starter, but Pickard could still play a valuable role, providing 25-30 games during a regular season to give Skinner some rest before the hopeful 2025 playoff run. Moreover, retaining Pickard wouldn’t be costly, and it could allow the Oilers to focus on making impactful moves in the free-agency market with some cap space.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Matthew Buhrmann

Writer at Inside the Rink l Covering Cincinnati Cyclones l Student @uofcincy l @Mbuhrmann61 on socials

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