Oilers Close To Making Major Decision On Connor Brown

The Edmonton Oilers have gotten off to a start that they thought could only happen in their nightmares as they are 1-5-1 after coming into the season as Stanley Cup contenders. Although it's still early, things aren't exactly looking up. From this, there is a big decision to be made involving one of their forwards, Connor Brown.

Brown was signed in the offseason at just $775,000 for one year, but in his contract was a $3.25 million bonus if he reached 10 games. While this seemed alright for the Oilers to get a player of his caliber at league-minimum if they were going to go all the way, now it seems like they are going to pay that bonus and have it impact them next season for nothing.

The Oilers can't afford to have a cap hit like that on the books next season as they are already pushing the salary cap every year, especially this season. Brown was demoted from the top line very early into the season and has zero points through seven games. Although it's fair to give him time to get back up to game speed after missing all but four games at the start of last season, it's a lot of cap space to be banking on it.

The big decision the Oilers have to make is if they waive him within the next week and not have to pay the $3.25 million to negatively impact their cap. Right now there is no bottom-six production and no competition from the players since the Oilers only have 11 forwards on the roster with Connor McDavid sidelined. If they can move someone and get more of the players that had good training camps but got cut, things will look better. With Brown contributing nothing offensively, there's players like Raphael Lavoie, Jacob Pederson, James Hamblin, Sam Gagner, and Xavier Bourgault who could all be given a chance. I think it's something the Oilers seriously consider, but the decision will have to be made soon.

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