Both teams were close to overtime terms early in the season, Friedman said. He’s not sure when or how things start to break down, but Friedman adds that any impending deal that was once on the table is no longer here. “I believe that was always the plan that Nugent-Hopkins was going to stay and they wanted to keep it,” Friedman said, “And now I don’t know… it’s been maimed. “
While the Oilers could certainly use the extra cap flexibility an RNH departure would give them, they would be hard pressed to make up for its production, even with multiple additions. Career 0.73-per-game goalscorer, Nugent-Hopkins has scored over 60 seasons with points in two of the past three years and in 82 games this year he would have passed 50 points for the sixth time in ten years. careers. That kind of production, especially for a team that sees Nugent-Hopkins as a center rather than a winger, could be invaluable this offseason. Among impending UFA forwards, RNH has placed sixth this season in points per game and many of those players around him – Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog, Washington’s Alex Ovechkine, that of Toronto Zach Hyman, and that of Boston David Krejci and Taylor Room – are expected by most to sign again with their current teams. Nugent-Hopkins could realistically enter the open market as the most coveted futures product available. If the Oilers allow RNH to test the market, the chances that they can afford to re-sign him are dramatically diminished.
Discussions will certainly continue between the two parties. Friedman notes that there have been attempts to reconstruct a mutually acceptable offer, but that obviously hasn’t happened yet. Edmonton’s premature exit from the playoffs may have changed the player’s or team’s mindset, but assuming there is still interest in an overtime, negotiations will likely take place at the last one. minute. However, usually when a deal is in place and breaks at this point, it doesn’t bode well for an ongoing relationship. Will the 2021 free agent market become the summer of RNH?