Edmonton Oilers Officially Strike Deal With Restricted Free Agent

The numbers are in, and it's as good a deal as the Edmonton Oilers could have hoped for, given their tight cap situation. The team has avoided a Friday arbitration hearing with RFA Ryan McLeod, striking a deal on a two-year contract worth a total of $4.2M.

The $2.1M AAV comes in a tad lighter than what had been expected, and it's a huge piece of business for the Oilers who now know what they're dealing with, cap-wise, as they continue to work towards an extension for key defenseman Evan Bouchard. 

As for McLeod, the bottom-six forward who was a former second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, he recorded 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists in 57 regular-season games last season, and added five assists in 12 playoff games.

His negotiations were undoubtedly impacted to some extent by the recent arbitration settlement of similarly-valued bottom-six forward Philipp Kurashev of the Chicago Blackhawks. His ruling came in at $2.25M AAV for two years. 

Bouchard, who had a big breakout late season last year and into the playoffs, will now have more clarity on where he stands. The power play QB and the Oilers yesterday were said to be "within 100K" in their negotiations, and that was before the McLeod contract was settled. We should now expect a Bouchard deal in short order. 

Photo: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports