It’s been rumored that the Edmonton Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins may not have a contract extension in place yet because each side is on a different page when it comes to his value in the current NHL marketplace. The talk has been that both sides want to work out a deal, but that the Oilers have changed their view of what’s the forward is worth in the pandemic landscape and after a decline in production. Meanwhile, Nugent-Hopkins might be stuck on getting a raise.
According to one Edmonton-based scribe, the only way Nugent-Hopkins gets a raise on his next deal, is if he’s willing to take less than five years on a new contract. Even then, it’s iffy.
GM Ken Holland’s has a long laundry list of items to get completed this summer. Nugent-Hopkins is just one of the items on that list. As such, Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal writes that he’s hearing trusted sources say Holland has allotted a certain amount of money to a Nugent-Hopkins extension, and not a penny more. He writes:
“It has been suggested to me by several wise, in-the-know people that Holland probably has a brown envelope with about $30m sitting in it. That amount of cash could buy a shorter-term contract with the player at a higher AAV. Or, as I suggested in this space last week, Nugent-Hopkins could look at a longer-term security but with a lower annual cap hit.”
Essentially, the contact combinations work out to be either $6 million per season times five seasons, $5 million per season times six years or $4.25 million per season times seven years. It’s not likely the Oilers would do $7.5 million by four years, so the total dips below that $30 million marker if Nuge is only looking for something short term. Our guess is that the Oilers won’t go beyond his current annual average salary unless he’s around four years and $6.25 – $6.5 million. In that situation, Nugent-Hopkins is leaving $4 million -$5 million on the table.
Nugent-Hopkins Should Take This
Could he get more on the open market? Probably. Would it be much more? Probably not. So, unless he’s actively looking to leave the team, Nugent-Hopkins won’t be in a situation where he’s going to get a whole lot more from a team like Columbus or Seattle, at least not in the short term.
The Blue Jackets are looking for centers — which is why their name is so heavily connected to Jack Eichel — and they could offer $6.5 million by five years. At the end of the day, does Nuge want to leave a team he likes, one he has been through the down times with, and a comfortable situation for a total of $2.5 million? He might, but it’s not like he’s getting pooched over here.
If true, this is a fair offer by the Oilers. It’s not what Nugent-Hopkins was hoping for, but it’s more than a lot of fans think the Oilers should spend.
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