The club has the resources to do it later in the draft → https://t.co/foa6ddcTUw
– DansLesCoulisses (@DLCoulisses) June 15, 2023
Barring a surprise (named David Reinbacher), the CH will address the first deficiency with its first draft pick, and should also select young goaltenders from the nursery later in the auction. It won’t solve everything, but it’ll be a good start on the first two points.
That said, in terms of right-handed defensemen, it doesn’t seem quite as obvious. Aside from Logan Mailloux and Justin Barron, the club is weak at this level, and short of drafting Reinbacher, it won’t solve this problem in the draft.
On the other hand, it could happen this summer. Let’s talk about Evan Bouchard, shall we?
Bouchard is a 23-year-old right-handed defenseman who has just completed his second full NHL season with the Oilers. During those seasons, he scored 43 and 40 points respectively, and shines thanks to his offensive potential and his “Booch Bombs”, the name of his powerful shots hit from the point.
He may not be Shea Weber, but he’s got the right stuff.
That said, Bouchard is currently a restricted independent player. Where it gets complicated is that the Oilers don’t have a lot of money (they only have $5 million under the cap and still have players to sign), so the word out there is that the club could have a hard time matching a hostile offer.
What I’m hearing about the Oilers 2.0: Evan Bouchard offer sheet? Klim Kostin to KHL?
– Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) June 15, 2023
In the most recent episode of DFO Rundown, Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor took a look at Bouchard’s case and talked a bit about the possibility of a hostile offer. And when he took the time to think about it, Seravalli noted that, in his opinion, the CH is a team that “would make sense” to table a hostile offer for the defenseman.
On the other hand, it’s important to note that he has specified that he doesn’t necessarily expect this to happen. On the other hand, if there’s a team that could do it, the Canadiens are one of them.
Frank Seravalli lists the #GoHabsGo as a team who could offer sheet Evan Bouchard.
He quickly ads he doesn’t think they’ll actually do it, just that they could (cap space/need) and have some experience in the offer sheet space.
– Andrew (@EhMarchand) June 16, 2023
After all, the CH have a lot more financial resources (they don’t have many players left to sign, they have about $10M free if they put Carey Price on the LTIR and some big earners could leave this summer) and they’re in desperate need of a quality right-handed defenseman. Plus, Bouchard could quarterback a currently anemic power play, which would be great for the CH.
It’s still an unlikely scenario (Bouchard is more likely to sign a one-year contract with the Oilers for around $3 million), but should Kent Hughes drop a line to his camp offering a large sum to get him out of Edmonton, he could tie Ken Holland’s hands in a big way.
But Bouchard would have to be interested in signing a hostile offer. That’s far from a certainty.
– Cole Caufield reunited with friends Jack Hughes and Trevor Zegras at the Montreal Grand Prix.
The gang’s back together at the #CanadianGP! 🏎️
– BarDown (@BarDown) June 17, 2023
– Marc-André Fleury knows retirement is coming. [Fanadiens]
– Nice read.
From Canadiens fan to Senators owner | JDM https://t.co/K8p2HxoKDy
– Marc de Foy (@FoyMarc) June 17, 2023
– Karl-Anthony Towns’ comments are the talk of the basketball world. My text (and long analysis) on the subject.