As the offseason approaches, several pending unrestricted free agents (UFAs) on the Edmonton Oilers are contemplating their next moves. Almost all of them sat down on Wednesday to answer questions from the media as the team cleared out their lockers and got ready to head their separate ways. Many of them will have big decisions to make, with some potentially already knowing where they want to be.

The common response among most players, especially the older ones, is balancing the desire to stay with a strong contender in Edmonton against the possibility of making a bit more money and moving elsewhere. On one hand, they could potentially miss out on a Stanley Cup win with the Oilers. On the other, not everyone will stay.

Adam Henrique Says It’s Not About the Money

Adam Henrique, who played a significant role for the Oilers this season after joining them at the NHL Trade Deadline, emphasized the importance of playing for a winning team. “The chance to win is a big factor in free agency,” Henrique stated. He acknowledged that signing with a contender like Edmonton might require taking a pay cut but believes the opportunity to compete for a Cup is worth it.

Adam Henrique, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Reflecting on his experience in a Canadian market, Henrique said, “To experience it firsthand was special, and it probably exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed my time in Anaheim and New Jersey, but to come here and see how much the team means to the fans is on another level. It was a lot of fun.” He also mentioned the need to discuss his future with his family to determine the best course of action.

Connor Brown’s Heart Is With the Oilers

Connor Brown made it clear that he wishes to remain an Oiler. “This is where I want to be. My heart is here with everything we’ve done and the fans. How they treated me when I finally scored was great, and it is a great place to be around so many motivated guys,” Brown said. His enthusiasm for staying in Edmonton suggests that the team will likely have no trouble re-signing him.

Brown is looking forward to a summer where he can train instead of rehab and is excited about the prospect of giving fans what he showed at the end of this season all of next.

Warren Foegele Isn’t Sure What to Expect

Warren Foegele, still processing the disappointment of a Game 7 loss, admitted that he hasn’t thought much about free agency yet. “That one’s going to hurt for a while,” Foegele said. He highlighted his consistent playoff appearances and noted that this will influence his decision. “This is four years in a row I’ve lost to the Cup champs. It stings. I’ve always been in the playoffs and that will factor in for me. It is my first time being a UFA so I’m not really sure what to expect,” he added.

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Foegele scored 20 goals for the first time this season and will get some looks from other teams. How much does he want to make and being younger, how important is it that he capitalize on his opportunity cash in? But, how much more will he make if he elects to go elsewhere?

Vincent Desharnais Isn’t Sure He’ll Get Many Calls

Vincent Desharnais expressed a strong desire to stay in Edmonton while keeping his options open. “I really liked my time here. I’ve always said it, this place is awesome.” He added, “The fans are the best fans, the family we’ve created here, the chemistry we have is awesome. But it’s a business and we’ll see what happens. Hopefully, we can make it work.”

He acknowledged the uncertainty of free agency, stating, “Hopefully, I’ll have (at least) one call. If not, I’ll take what I can get.” Desharnais also shared his mental approach to the season, focusing on maintaining realistic expectations for himself.

Mattias Janmark Says It’s All About Winning

Mattias Janmark emphasized his focus on staying where he’ll be useful and the team will be a contender. “At this stage of my career, it is all about winning,” Janmark said. He expressed confidence in the Oilers’ potential to compete again next season. “I think this team feels like that if we go out and do the same things we did this year that we’ll be right back there again.”

Janmark mentioned that leaving Edmonton would be difficult and indicated that he does not expect to receive many lucrative offers in free agency. “I don’t think I will be turning down a lot of money, I don’t think there will be a lot out there. This (Edmonton) will be one of three places to choose,” he explained.

The next few days will be interesting for the players and the Oilers. Head coach Kris Knoblauch said he wants to bring every single UFA back and as hard to imagine as that would be, the players who spoke at the media avail today would all be welcome with the Oilers in 2024-25.


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