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Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins Announce 8-Yr Contract Extension

The Edmonton Oilers are getting set to announce an 8-year extension with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a $41 million deal.

As per TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, the Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were set to announce a new 8-year $41 million deal today. Rishaug wrote: “There most likely would have been a higher dollar figure on the open market, but remaining an Oilers was an absolute priority for RNH who can now complete 18 years with the club by the end of this deal.” The Oilers made the announcement official later that afternoon.

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There has been talk for some time that the Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins were trying to finalize the terms of a new deal. Term was the sticking point as the Oilers needed to make sure the AAV was lower than the $6 million per season deal he had completed this season. GM Ken Holland has a long list of items on his summer to-do list and among them was making sure he had improved the top-six at left wing. Nugent-Hopkins’ deal was key because it meant either having the room to add another player, or needing to add two players if he didn’t sign.

In the end, the player took a haircut per season and, in turn, the Oilers gave him security with more years than they probably would have liked. Still, for those that consider this an overpay, it’s important to note that in the final years (he’ll only be 36 when the contract ends) the salary cap will have gone back up and can be absorbed.

The deal will include a full NMC, which shows that it was important Nugent-Hopkins have the security of sticking with the team.

This will mean Edmonton has to protect him in the NHL Expansion Draft and could explain one of the reasons the team was leaning towards the 7-3-1 protection route that was rumored over the past few days.

The response to the news so far has been mostly positive from Oilers fans. The ones who have taken aim at the deal suggest Nugent-Hopkins is more easily replaceable than people thought. Their argument is that most of his value comes from powerplay offense. and that he only ranks 168th in even strength points per 60 over the last three seasons (min 1000 minutes).

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