The Edmonton Oilers have freed themselves from Zack Kassian's cap hit.
The Oilers got in on the draft floor festivities on Thursday night, sending Kassian, the 29th overall pick in 2022, a third-round pick in 2024, and a second-round pick in 2025 to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for the 32nd overall pick in 2022.
That's quite the haul to receive for absorbing $3.2 million over the next two years.
The Coyotes made the Oilers pay to offload the back half of the extension they never should have given Kassian, grabbing a boatload of future early-to-mid-round picks that they will still likely need given their lengthy rebuild, all while moving up a few spots in the first round.
Kassian's deal is among the worst in the league and would have likely been bought out by the Oilers this summer were it not for this trade. So, in theory, the Oilers actually did quite well to ensure that his money was cleared completely off of their books, as a buyout would have left a financial penalty on the team's cap until 2025-26. To forfeit the number of picks they did, however, is a tough pill to swallow, especially when the Maple Leafs managed to shed even more money over the same period in a similar deal just minutes before.
The Oilers need all the cap space they can get, though, and now officially have an extra $3.2 million to work with as they head into a crucial offseason.
Buckle up. The action is far from over.