Oilers Unlikely to Let Leon Draisaitl Play Out His Contract

Vince Carbonneau
June 26, 2024  (9:10)

Leon Draisaitl in warm-ups
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Oilers Determined to Secure Leon Draisaitl Before Contract Ends

Following a Stanley Cup Finals loss and with NHL free agency approaching, the Edmonton Oilers find themselves in a challenging situation. Leon Draisaitl, a key player, has one season left on his team-friendly contract. If he doesn't sign an extension by the end of the 2024-25 season, he could become a free agent. The Oilers are determined not to let it come to that.
Chris Johnston of The Athletic reports that the Oilers have already decided they won't let Draisaitl enter the final year of his contract without securing an extension. This decision doesn't imply that Draisaitl is planning to leave or hold out; it simply shows the team's proactive approach to avoid potential risks.
According to Johnston, "Edmonton is not inclined to let the 28-year-old center simply play out the final year of his contract and walk directly into free agency next July," based on multiple league sources familiar with the Oilers' stance.
Concern About a «Double Whammy» for the Oilers
The Oilers are also mindful of Connor McDavid's contract situation, as he will be eligible to sign an extension next summer. They aim to keep both superstars to extend their championship window. Johnston highlights the concern about a potential «double whammy» if Draisaitl stays for the 2024-25 season without a new contract, and McDavid follows suit, leaving the team without both key players and without compensation.
If Draisaitl and McDavid were to leave, the Oilers would face a significant challenge. Losing both without getting something in return could drastically reshape the roster, though it might also set a new competitive direction for the team with different players.
How Long Will Edmonton Be Willing to Wait?
Edmonton is prepared to offer substantial contracts to retain both Draisaitl and McDavid. Previous reports suggest that neither player has a strong desire to leave. However, the timing of contract negotiations can be unpredictable. If Draisaitl prefers to take his time before signing an extension, it could prompt trade discussions to avoid losing him for nothing.
26 JUIN   |   21 ANSWERS
Oilers Unlikely to Let Leon Draisaitl Play Out His Contract

Should the Edmonton Oilers prioritize re-signing Leon Draisaitl before his contract ends?

Yes1781 %
No419 %
Latest 10 stories