Not a popular choice but Edmonton Oilers G.M. Ken Holland should keep his powder dry: 9 Things

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7. Mike Smith’s final, total confirmed bonus from the Edmonton Oilers for 2019-20 is $743,415. 2-thirds of that was due to him playing >35 games >30 minutes. But he also earned a portion of his 40-game threshold due to the season being prorated. So…does Mike Smith now get re-signed? I think it depends….

6. If Ken Holland can find an upgrade to Mikko Koskinen and find a landing spot for the big goalie’s $4.5m contract, then maybe Smith stays. I would be surprised if Holland does a complete re-do in goal. But at minimum, as I’ve written in this space before, Holland will sign a veteran goalie on a 1-way deal for the NHL and Bakersfield.

5. At some point, the Oilers are going to pay both Ethan Bear and Kailer Yamamoto. I think the suggestion by some that Bear could be dealt is groundless. With that much production and Bear’s sheer progression at that price-point? You keep that player. But I don’t expect either guy will see a substantial raise until 2021. Holland needs to work the system for as much cap space as he can, short-term.

4. There are more than a few people suggesting that James Neal may get bought out in order to help Ken Holland around the flat cap. But you would need a guarantee of 20 goals from somewhere else. That’s never easy or cheap. Plus, if you wait a season, the buy-out reward for the team on Neal is much better. I’d tend to hang with him. Besides, while several players were indeed no-shows in the post-season, Neal was not one of them.

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