Frank Seravalli had a lengthy discussion on the Daily Faceoff Rundown podcast about the future of the Edmonton Oilers. In the discussion Seravalli said he doesn’t expect huge changes on the ice, but he does believe that there will be changes to the management structure as they attempt to be “protective and proactive with Steve Staios.” Seravalli went on to say that the former Oilers defenseman is regarded in Oilers circles as being their general manager of the future and the club may want to shift their hierarchy to give Staios a bigger voice before another team scoops him up.
What that could look like remains to be seen, but Seravalli went on to say that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers promoted current general manager Ken Holland to President of Hockey Ops which would allow Staios to shift over to Holland’s old job and preserve the teams already thin management group. Whatever management group is in place will have much work to be done this summer. The Oilers window for contention is beginning to close as superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl inch closer to unrestricted free agency. Draisaitl has just two years left on his current deal and McDavid has three. If the Oilers don’t get over the hump soon, they could find it difficult to retain the franchise cornerstones.
In other Oilers notes:
- Seravalli also spoke about the next contract for Evan Bouchard saying that he fully expects the Oilers to try and get the defenseman on a bridge contract due to their current salary cap predicament. The 23-year-old is coming off a good season in which he put up eight goals and 40 points in 81 regular season games, however in the playoffs the Oakville native exploded for 17 points in 12 games, including 15 points while quarterbacking the Oilers white hot powerplay. Seravalli wondered if a bridge contract would even be possible given how important Bouchard has been to the team since the mid-season Tyson Barrie trade. The advantage for the Oilers will be that Bouchard has no rights to arbitration at this time.
- Seravalli and Jason Gregor spoke about the Oilers need to upgrade the right wing spot this summer. This was echoed by Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic who believes that top six winger Kailer Yamamoto’s poor play in the playoffs might have turned him into a trade candidate. Yamamoto is due $3.1MM next season and struggled in the playoffs putting up just a single goal and four points in 12 games despite getting a lot of top six minutes. The Spokane native wasn’t much better in the regular season putting up 25 points in 58 games, a steep drop from his career high of 41 points in 81 games in 2021-22.