NEWS REPORT: It would be wise for the Oilers to re-sign a megastar…

With numerous key players due to become free agents following the 2023–24 season, the Edmonton Oilers will have some difficult decisions to make this offseason.

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Defenseman Vincent Desharnais, who has made a significant impact with the Oilers over the last few seasons, is one of those players.

Even though he is merely a depth defender, he has stabilised the defensive zone and is gradually developing into a reliable stay-at-home back.

Despite being relatively new to the NHL, his age will make him an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the current campaign.

It would be wiser for the Oilers to re-sign Desharnais even though they might consider some other choices in the offseason.

Because of his size—he weighs 216 pounds and is 6-foot-6—and willingness to play hard, Desharnais became well-liked by Oilers supporters very fast.

After a strong performance in the NCAA with Providence College, he was selected by the Oilers in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, 183rd overall.

He battled his way through the ECHL and the American Hockey League (AHL) until he received a call-up last season.

He had accumulated 39 points (five goals and 34 assists) in 122 games with the Bakersfield Condors before to making the move to the NHL, all the while developing a reputation as a defensive defender with little scoring upside.

As of the writing of this article, Desharnais had played 105 games in the NHL and had tallied 105 points (one goal and 15 assists).

Although Desharnais’ contract extension has not yet been announced, the Oilers should concentrate on having him return for the upcoming year.

Re-signing a player like Desharnais, who won’t break the bank and has stabilised play in the defensive zone, would be the wise thing to focus on after the postseason, even though the team is focused on trying to win their first Stanley Cup since 1990.

What’s Next for the Oilers & Desharnais’ Next Contract?

The value of Desharnais’s current contract is $762,500, and his next contract will likely see a wage increase.

In all likelihood, the Oilers could sign him to a two-year, $1 million to $1.35 million per season prove-it sort of contract.

But many teams will be trying to bolster their defensive depth in the winter, and if he tests free agency and reaches the open market, he might receive an even larger salary increase.

Desharnais might be paid more by teams like the Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, and Washington Capitals in an effort to bolster their blue line depth.

Desharnais has occasionally played alongside both Brett Kulak and Darnell Nurse, and he has performed well with both of them, stabilising the Oilers’ defence pairings.

Although it’s reasonable that some supporters may be dissatisfied with his consistency, his cheap cost as a bottom-four defender will make it worthwhile rather than overpaying for someone else.

It will be crucial to retain Desharnais around because Cody Ceci is probably headed to the bench this offseason as well.

With only nine games remaining in the regular season, the Oilers will be looking to gain some ground before the postseason.

In order to defeat a division opponent, Desharnais will be counted on to continue providing defensive steadiness and an enhanced physical style.

The Oilers will most likely play the Los Angeles Kings or the Vegas Golden Knights in Round 1.

He and the Oilers should be able to advance past the opening round, go on a strong run, and win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1990.

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