Following the news that three-time Stanley Cup winner Duncan Keith was retiring, the Edmonton Oilers did not just wave goodbye to one of their veteran defencemen. They also shed his large salary, with $5.5 million coming off the books. This has given the Oilers front office the opportunity to pursue trades and re-sign key players with extra cap space. The Edmonton Oilers roster has some flexibility now.
Edmonton Oilers Roster Reshuffle Looming
In TSN’s Insider Trading blog, Pierre LeBrun discussed how the Oilers will be extremely grateful to the future Hall of Famer for hanging up his skates. Notably, LeBrun states that the Alberta club’s attempts to re-sign Evander Kane have had a huge boost.
In his Snapshots column for the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch revealed that the Oilers may be in the running for Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray.
What It Means
Last season, Kane arrived in Oil country under a cloud, but the Oilers’ gamble paid off. The Vancouver native put up an impressive 39 points in 43 games. He also played a pivotal role in Edmonton reaching the Western Conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Not wanting to lose that scoring, Edmonton have been trying to bring Kane back for another season in orange and blue. Previously, it seemed unlikely Edmonton would have been able to get a deal done as Kane is understood to be looking for something similar to the seven-year, $7 million AAV contract terminated by the San Jose Sharks. However, with the extra space and perhaps compromise, a few more years could be possible.
Matt Murray Trade?
After a trade with the Buffalo Sabres was rejected by Murray, the Sens are still looking for a trade partner. If the Senators would be willing to retain on Murray’s large salary, Edmonton likely has the picks to acquire him. With that said, should the Oilers actually do this? Of course, the team desperately needs a new face in goal and players with back-to-back Stanley Cup rings are rarely available. However, Murray’s form has unraveled to the point where the Senators demoted him to the AHL in November 2021. Edmonton needs a clutch goalie who can help take them to the top. Unfortunately, the Ontario native is no longer that player.
Report: Duncan Keith to announce retirement https://t.co/SUQJXEzvfx pic.twitter.com/idS9mk5hOI
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) July 8, 2022