Negotiations between Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Edmonton Oilers ‘mutilated’ and now on hold, NHL insider says –

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Negotiations between Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Edmonton Oilers ‘mutilated’ and now on hold, NHL insider says – fr


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This in from Elliotte Friedman, one of the most credible and reliable sources of NHL news, his take on Calgary Sportsnet 960 radio as negotiations between the Edmonton Oilers and 10 year veteran Ryan Nugent -Hopkins did not go well and are now going on the air.

“I have to tell you, this one was tough,” Friedman said of the negotiation. “They were very close before the start of the season and she collapsed at the last second. I don’t know what’s going to happen there. Everything that was on the table then I’m not convinced is on the table now. We’ll have to see. It is a negotiation that went awry. They tried again several times. I really don’t know how to cripple that one. I really don’t.

“Something happened here. I believe that was still the plan that Nugent-Hopkins was going to stay and they wanted to keep it. I think anyone who knows this situation will tell you that they thought it was going to happen and it mutilated itself. And now I don’t know. For me, I don’t think it’s the worst thing if someone walks, as long as you’re doing something right with the cap room.

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The NHL’s salary cap may not increase for five years, said Friedman, a view that is fairly widely shared. “At the end of the day, they were trying to compete at a certain level this year. I think they see value inside Nugent-Hopkins within the organization. I think they were trying to sign it. But if it works, I think just like saying, “We’re going to take the $ 6 million cap and do something with it,” I don’t think that’s the end of the world. Now you have to do something with it.

It’s not a terrible strategy to use a player for a season and then let him walk and use the money somewhere else, Friedman reiterated. “I think (RNH) has an attachment to them. But, like I said, we have a negotiation here that went awry… They tried to put it back and settle it, they had a lot of problems.

Friedman also said there was a possibility the Oilers could buy goaltender Mikko Koskinen, who has one year left on a deal that earns him $ 4.5 million. “I have to think it’s Koskinen, he could be the guy, and maybe Neal, but the problem with Neal is he’s been in your hat for four years. I am not so convinced of one. I think it’s more likely Koskinen.

On defense, Darnell Nurse will sign a big contract in a year, if not sooner, Evan Bouchard will play and Adam Larsson will be re-signed, Friedman said. “I heard Larsson’s number was exactly where it is now.”

Edmonton’s goal is to find out which of its young players can play, Friedman said, naming Bouchard and Ryan McLeod.

“In general, what I think they’re going to do is they’re going to try to rely more on their young players and find out who they can. rely on the long term. For me, this is probably the right thing to do.

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My opinion

1. Even with some notable difficulties, RNH was Oil’s top two-way winger this year. I hope Edmonton can find something with the 10 year old Oiler. How about giving RNH all the money it wants and maybe even a little more, but keeping the term short, preferably one or two years, three years at most? If it turns out to be an overpayment – if even RNH’s strength, even though the rating level is alarming, continues to drop – then there is pain for the Oilers but not brutal pain. long-term. If RNH is doing well and performing at a high standard, he will already be well paid and easily get a new contract. Does this make sense for both sides?

2. Friedman’s radio spot in Calgary is a huge speculation boat about the Oilers from a very credible source. As I hear and as I go through his lengthy exploration of this topic, it’s not the best news if you’re a big Ryan. Nugent-Hopkins fans and are determined to get him back to the Oilers. Looks like there is some doubt, as if it’s going to take some real movement from one or both sides if this is to happen.

3. What happened with RNH? My best guess is that when it comes to this mayhem, it’s totally understandable. Three or four confounding factors played out at the same time: 1) The prospect of the NHL’s salary cap staying the same for the five-year term of Connor McDavid’s remaining contract in Edmonton makes the Oilers think about throwing a lot money on other players, especially with so many top young players bubbling up in the organization, including wingers / centers like Ryan McLeod and Dylan Holloway; 2) Nugent-Hopkins has been tried in two key places – as McDavid’s left winger and as a second row cross – and he’s a bit short; 3) RNH had a terrible year to score points tied; and 4) other teams may well see more value in him as a first or second line center and be willing to pay more in the long run to have him, making his market value a thing in Edmonton but potentially another thing in another NHL city. It’s also true that many long-term contracts for players in their 30s have gone awry. This is the prime time when teams generally pay too much and give way too much.

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4. Evenly over the past two seasons, the NHL’s score of 1.81 for 60 places the 169th out of 451 NHL regular forwards (who have played at least 400 minutes). It’s on the same level as players like Kevin Hayes, Max Domi, Pius Sutter, Jonathan Drouin, Matt Calvert, Gabe Vilardi, Alex Iafallo and Alexander Radulov. They are all decent forwards, second or third row, but not top forwards in the NHL. And none of them have played with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as much as RNH this year.

5. The bad news is that this year, a smaller sample, to be sure, RNH ranked 343 out of 432 NHL regular forwards, at just 1.18 points per 60. That’s in the same league as players like Frans Nielsen, Victor Olofsson, Adam Gaudette, Cedric Paquette, Charlie Coyle, Adrian Kempe, Jakob Silfverberg and Tanner Pearson, who just signed a three-year contract at $ 3.25 million per person. For the Oilers, his point production rate was 12 of 15 for regular forwards, lower than liners Alex Chiasson, Devin Shore and Josh Archibald. This is an alarming rating rate for RNH, even if some of them were bad luck. He has had 15 strength points in 52 games this year. With a little more luck around the net, and depending on how many Class A chances he’s made a major contribution, he would have had around 23 or 24, which would give him 43 or 44 points in 52 games this year. , not just 35. At the same time, he had the advantage of playing a lot with McDavid, but still had that even-matched low point total.

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6. On the power play, RNH has had much more success over the past two seasons. He is a key member of a leading unit, with 5.71 points per 60, ranking 37th out of 166 regular power play forwards in the NHL. McDavid at 9.93 for 60 ranks first overall. RNH is in the same range as JT Miller, Jake Guentzel, Auston Matthews, James Neal, Martin Necas and Johnny Gaudreau on the power play. He’s a big power-play contributor, but if the Oilers are in the mood for some hard ball play, they might just be wondering how Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto and Evan Bouchard could do with those minutes (with Nurse as Bouchard is on the left half-wall).

7. I consider Nuge a good to very good defensive end and penalty killer, but a poor defensive center. On the Oilers, he’s doing his best job by far as a two-wing player.

8. RNH had their best success playing on the DYNamite line with Yamamoto and Draisaitl in the latter half of the 2019-20 season. This line was the top line in the NHL last year, but Oilers coach Dave Tippett did not use the line in the 2020 playoffs and only went in the 2020 season- 2021 after McDavid and RNH didn’t show much chemistry. By that point, the magic was out of the DYNamite line, but it’s not too much to hope that the trio will combine again to play some good hockey. They will have that chance if the Oilers can find a solid left winger to play with McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi on the top line. Hopefully both things happen and the Oilers line up with two great lines to start the 2021-22 season.

To the cult of hockey

McCURDY: Some thoughts on what’s to come with the Oilers

STAPLES: Oilers shouldn’t bring Koskinen back, NHL insiders say

McCURDY: Holland wants to bring back Mike Smith

STAPLES: Toronto sports journalists predict Connor McDavid’s doom in Edmonton

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