Holland expects bridge deals for two restricted free agents

Published June 29, 2023 at 11:43 PM
General Manager Ken Holland has made news today with his shocking salary dump trading with the Detroit Red Wings earlier this afternoon. In a stunning turn of events, Holland moved fan favourite Klim Kostin with Kailer Yamamoto to the Red Wings for future consideration.

It's safe to say this was a stunner for most fans, as many felt both players had value yet traded for absolutely nothing.

It seems to be a growing trend within the NHL in the last few weeks, setting a precedent across the league. Holland is becoming more aggressive with his stance on restricted free agents or unrestricted free agents.

According to Daniel Nugent Bowman, who writes for The Athletic, Holland expects Evan Bouchard and Ryan McLeod to sign bridge contracts this summer.

It remains whether these two players will agree to such terms, as Bouchard is coming off an excellent season and playoffs, while McLeod was crucial to the Oilers' playoff push. Holland is driving a hard bargain with his players as he continues to navigate through his version of cap hell.

In 82 games, Bouchard scored eight goals with 32 assists, totalling 40 points and a +6 rating. He also had 13 power-play points. During the playoffs, he played twelve games, scoring four goals with 13 assists for 17 points and recording 15 power-play points.

It's hard to believe he would accept a bridge contract with those numbers, and one would expect him to ask for more.
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