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Oilers and Ethan Bear Looking at Bridge Deal

Are the Edmonton Oilers forced to live with a bridge deal for defenseman Ethan Bear? They’d like a long-term deal now, but that may not be in the cards.

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Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal recently took a look at the salary cap situation in Edmonton and the need of the Oilers to get a new deal done with defenseman Ethan Bear. An up-and-coming blueliner who proved he’s a top-four going forward, the Oilers would like to get a deal done much like the one that was done years ago with Oscar Klefbom. That doesn’t seem likely.

Unless the Oilers offload some salary this offseason, Matheson points out that the Oilers don’t have the money to sign Bear to a long-term deal right now. He writes:

They may want to get him signed to a team-friendly six-year deal at Oscar Klefbom money ($4.1 million) because they see Bear as a top 4 defenceman, but the Oilers don’t have $4 million to play with next season.

source – ‘Not much room for Oilers general manager Ken Holland to sign players’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Journal – 05/10/2020

That leaves a bridge deal.

The good news for the Oilers is that, unlike a number of other bridge deals being signed by NHL players that will take them to their unrestricted free agency years, Bear lacks the kind of leverage to command a deal that will pay him a whole lot. His one year of excellent play isn’t enough to fetch him a sizable short-term contract.

Matheson figures Bear will fetch somewhere between $2 and $3 million. From there, the Oilers can decide what to do with a player like Matt Benning and whether or not moving his contract will help a bit in the Oilers attempts to fill holes in other places with a limited budget.

Related: Evaluating Kyle Dubas’ Four Key Tasks as the Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. FLETCH

    May 15, 2020 at 11:09 am

    OILERS SHOULD TRADE MATT BENNING TO LEAFS FOR KAPANNEN

  2. FLETCH

    May 15, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Oilers can’t afford Matt Benning Leafs should offer up draft picks for right hand d man

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