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Brett Kulak: the Oilers may be forced to trade him this summer

During his time in Montreal, we’ve come to know Brett Kulak as a very honest defenseman. Without being a top-notch player, he’s a very good support defenseman and doesn’t make his club look bad when he’s on the ice.

However, in March 2022, the CH decided to trade Kulak because the club wasn’t going to make the playoffs and the defenseman was going to become an independent player. In the end, the Tricolore got a second-round pick who ended up near the end of the round.

And when you consider that this pick became Lane Hutson, let’s just say that the pill goes down (quite a bit) better.

That said, even if Kulak does well in Edmonton, the fact remains that, as Daniel Nugent-Bowman notes, the Oilers may well be forced to trade him this summer.

The reason is quite simple: right now, the Oilers need money. They’re down to $5 million under the salary cap, and they still have players to sign to make their roster look good.

One of these, for example, is Evan Bouchard, who is currently a restricted free agent. And given the Oilers’ current tight financial situation, he’s a prime target for a hostile offer.

Kailer Yamamoto ($3.1M) seems destined to leave, but if the Oilers want to have some wiggle room to maneuver, the club could cut the fat on the blue line, where there are already several quality options. Darnell Nurse, Mattias Ekholm and Evan Bouchard (if he doesn’t sign a hostile offer) are there to stay, but behind them, it’s less certain.

Nugent-Bowman says that the Oilers are very fond of Cody Ceci and that the chances of him leaving are slim. And with other defensemen in town costing a pittance, Kulak and his $2.75 million annual salary (for the next three seasons) could be the odd man out.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the former Tricolore defenseman will be packing his bags again this summer. That said, his name is clearly one to keep an eye on for a team looking to solidify its blue line, especially as the autonomous player market isn’t very rich in this area this summer.

That’s why Kulak and Joel Edmundson, who have reasonable salaries and can help an aspiring club, could be traded.

In short, this will be a file to follow, but don’t rule out the possibility of Kulak being traded sometime this summer.

And no, I don’t see him coming back to Montreal (even though the club wanted to sign him last summer).


– What do you think?

– There’s bound to be some movement among goalkeepers this summer.

– To watch.

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