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If Edmonton was to give Kevin Shattenkirk an offer sheet, St. Louis would be hard-pressed to match.
The field is pretty thin regarding unrestricted free-agent defensemen heading into the summer this season, so if the Oilers are looking to make a big move and add a top-tier defender, their only routes would be through a trade or offer sheet.
With the cap going down next season, teams will have some tough decisions to make this summer regarding some marquee names that are currently restricted free agents.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues are both restricted free agents and are both in line for a big raise from their $1.3 million and $3.16 million contracts, respectively.
Pietrangelo has established himself as one of the top defenders in the game, so despite a large offer sheet, the Blues would be likely to match. Shattenkirk, however, poses an interesting dilemma.
If the Oilers were to offer a substantial contract to Shattenkirk, St. Louis would have be hard-pressed to match given that Pietrangelo is likely to get a raise as well. The Blues could collect the draft picks from Edmonton and continue building toward what looks like a very bright future.