Oilers' Defenseman Unlikely To Take Pay Cut & Should Become Free Agent

The Edmonton Oilers have some work to do this offseason after whatever the result is in the Stanley Cup Final. Defense has been the most inconsistent area and there is absolutely going to be changes.

In the playoffs, Vincent Desharnais has been taken out of the lineup after being a regular throughout the season. Philip Broberg, who will have a full time role in the lineup moving forward, has taken his place. Desharnais is a free agent this summer and while it may have initially been an okay idea to re-sign him, he would likely serve as the 6th/7th defenseman and needs to take a pay cut.

For a depth NHL player like he is, it is a lot to ask to take a pay cut when the pay is already close to league minimum and he can find more money elsewhere with a larger role. Frank Seravalli reported that Desharnais likely won't take a team-friendly deal to remain in Edmonton and could hit the open market.

I believe that Desharnais is a third pairing d-man and he is a strong penalty killer and physical, but even with the cap going up, the Oilers will be close to the ceiling and are still going to be a Stanley Cup contender for the foreseeable future. There are more important pieces than Desharnais that have to be signed, so don't expect a contract to be signed ahead of free agency. If anything, he will see what's out there and may sign back with the Oilers afterwards.

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