Any trade of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins must also include a very good center coming back. This is my opinion. Why? The Oilers top two centermen after a Nuge deal would be Connor McDavid (18) and Leon Draisaitl (20). No damn way you go to war without better cover for your most valuable assets. I don’t think this deal makes sense, despite the attractive defensemen being discussed. If you trade Nuge for Seth Jones, and he turns into something spectacular? Excellent! I don’t like it because Edmonton takes the risk. Shea Weber? That contract is an albatross, and Weber won’t be a big enough help at 35 to cover the money on his deal. Unless you can trade Nuge for Seth Jones and Steven Stamkos, I don’t see the sense on this deal.

Jones is a fabulous young player, but he is not proven at the highest levels. He is 6.04, 205 and at 21, there are miles of good arrows for Jones. His resume covers a lot of needs for Edmonton (he can play a lot, RH, big shot from the point, great possession numbers). Jones is not an integral part of the Nashville defense, but good lord man there is a tremendous amount of quality. Jones does not occupy the highest level on the depth chart, but it is a helluva depth chart.


From what I can suss out, Josi—Weber are the No. 1 pairing and get the hose on full (tough opposition and situations) and Ellis—Ekholm are the second pairing. Jackman—Jones get the good stuff, but as the Corsi Rel indicates the duo is making good time with the open spaces and new blacktop. Can Jones flourish higher up the batting order?

  • Nurse—Sekera
  • Klefbom—Jones
  • Davidson—Schultz

Thoughts? Mine are: Very young again, fabulous prospect, depends on the price. Trading for Seth Jones means more growing pains and does not offer the team a clear path to the postseason, 2017 spring. That’s my opinion.


  • Elliotte Friedman: Last week, he (Nashville GM David Poile) told The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan, “I have no interest in touching my defence, but if there was going to a trade here — I’m just being very bottom-line with you — whenever I talk to a team and I’m asking about forwards, they’re asking about one of our defencemen. You can fill in the blanks.” Source

The Predators are a great match for Edmonton based on strengths and weaknesses. I would say a Nuge for Josi trade is ideal for the Oilers, not so much for the Preds (and there is the damnable lefty-righty issue).



Lots of talk this week about the Nuge’s poor season, so let’s have a look under the hood. Based on his own established levels, we should assume RNH to post about .700/game in offense. We can quibble over his 5×5 totals this year, but it has been an up and down year for linemates. For instance, Nuge hasn’t posted a crooked number during 146:38 with Benoit Pouliot. That is crazy, will change and in my experience once you identify this kind of anomaly the world shifts and takes care of it.

I find it difficult to make a case for RNH losing ground as an offensive player this season. In fact, I think it is possible we will see a grand spike when he is returned to the Hall-Leon line (Nuge scored 3.03 per 60 at 5×5 with Draisaitl earlier in the season).

I know it is popular to beat up on the Nuge these days, now that Jeff Petry is gone people are casting about for someone to torture. I would suggest trying to cut down the Nuge is akin to pissing in the wind. He is bona fide.



Here we have a chance to view RNH in terms of deployment and results/60. Since arriving in the NHL, he has been a substantial part of the NHL team. Since turning 20, he plays one period per game—through (now) four coaches he is valued and has delivered consistent offense. He is also the best two-way center on the team and is used in difficult situations—even more now that Boyd Gordon is in the desert.

(All stats via BTN and War-on-Ice).


In the last 10 games, Nuge is 2-4-6, -6. The offense came at evens and his line is certainly the second best offensive line on the team. The -6 means he has been on the ice for a lot of things going the wrong way and I think that probably feeds the rumors.

Folks, it is literally insane to make decisions (or form opinions) on a 10-game sample. You know this. You will read in the comments section today that RNH is never going to get better, that comparisons to Datsyuk or Keon are folly. I would suggest to you that anyone—me, you, Santa—who makes sweeping statements is less interested in the truth and more interested in framing the issue. We have substantial evidence going back years on this player, he is quality and we should be patient even in the face of a period of difficulty.


You don’t bring in a veteran GM to create one hole to address another. You bring in a veteran GM to patiently address weakness while not exposing his most valuable assets to undue (and early) stress, and you make massive moves in the clear light of day, after evaluating all you can survey under your own roof. There may come a day when trading Nuge makes sense. It is not today.

If you are going to trade the Nuge, then trade his ass. Do not ask for my endorsement and do not be surprised when I hammer you for one full decade over it. And if the return is Seth Jones, please be patient with him. He is not yet the sum of his parts, but he is a fantastic young talent. Pray Steven Stamkos is the other shoe to drop come summer.


Even with all of the crap and corruption, Edmonton is one of the three most improved teams in the NHL this Christmastime. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is part of that success and could be a major contributor to a Stanley in Edmonton. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no good reason to trade him for a 21-year old defenseman beyond moving the holes on the team, and the down side (exposing McDavid to Kopitar and the rest of the WC) is extreme.

No to trading the Nuge at this time. If Stamkos is coming here in summer, we can talk. No to trading Nuge at this time. It is the right thing to do.



At 10 this morning, we will try to keep the Festivus Pole planted on the floor and our minds on the task at hand. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260.

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Trading Nuge, and robbing from one area to address the other.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. A season of progress for some of Canada’s NHL teams, but there are clouds and rain in other parts of the country.
  • Lt_Eric and I will have the top 10 sporting moments in Edmonton this year.Feats of strength galore!

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. 90 minutes!

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207 Responses to "TRADING THE NUGE"

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  1. Bank Shot says:

    I think there are very few defensemen out there that Chiarelli would trade Nugent-Hopkins for. And a centre has to be coming back in the deal with a defensemen.

    1) Weber’s cap hit for 10-years is an absolute franchise destroyer.The pain hits right as McDavid is peaking.
    2) 90-95 percent of 30-something players decline quickly.There is extreme survival bias which get Ference and their ilk contracts.30-something players who don’t decline quickly are the exception.

    1) Weber’s cap hit is fine. He doesn’t have a no trade clause so the Oilers can trade him at anytime. At the age of 37 his real salary drops to $3 million so he’d be easy to trade to teams with internal budgets that want to fill up cap space.

    Weber’s cap recapture penalty is only $2.5 million for the Oilers at 35 and ~$0.6 million at 36 so if he starts to fall off that age it is no problem to get rid of him.

    2) Perennial All Stars are always an exception. When you look at most of the older players that player past 35 and are effective it is superstar level players. Weber is one of those, so he has a better chance than most to remain effective into NHL old age.

  2. AsiaOil says:

    Bank Shot,

    Agree and I would also add that Weber’s got relatively few miles on his body since he hasn’t seen much in the way of playoff time in NASH and he just might want to win now that he’s already rich. It’s the only thing he hasn’t got – a Stanley Cup ring. I think he will be fine well into his mid-late 30s. We don’t need any more young guys. We need a veteran leader on defense and Weber’s age is right and his style would suit EDM fans pretty well I expect.

    To the trade no one crowd. Do you want to win or sit around watching kids develop by sundial? I’m personally sick of losing and watching teams laugh at the Oilers. Who do you think they are laughing at? I have my opinion. Boys trying to play a man’s game. I’d like to have a few more guys like Weber on the team to wipe the smirks of their faces permanently. Keep Hopkins or trade him – whatever – he’ll be the 3rd best center on the team within 2 years. I’d deal anyone to make the team bigger, tougher, faster and more skilled. I’d deal anyone to win – and I think the GM feels similarly.

  3. Really? says:


    Agree Fully. Just because we have some real strength at centre for the first time in years, it doesn’t mean we have to spend those assets right now.

    Just as we have been saying for the past several years, we need to be patient. Patience is probably more important now than it was at any time in the past five years. A mistake at this point in time could unravel this whole thing and that, my friends, would be an epic tragedy.

  4. SoCaloil says:

    Having three rookie center man is hardly depth, it’s actually the first time in ages this team had 3C period.

    We traded for Reinhart, another year and we have Sekera, Klef, Nurse, Davidson, Reinhart
    That means we need to sign one Veteran UFA
    I see Klef being a 2D so why trade up, be patient

    I said it before and I’ll say it again
    We trade Nuge I’m done!

  5. Evilas says:

    I have been thinking about the team’s future and Chiarelli’s preference for heaviness and I have a lot of scenarios rolling around my brain like an Eberle for Stamkos deal (it might be the fabled 3 for 3 type of deal – hoping Stamkos might take a pay cut to play with the O talent on this roster when he re-ups) or Nuge for Jones (this would be an off-season trade after a UFA signing) or Klefbom (durability concerns) for Hamonic. And of course how to get rid of Schultz, Korpikoski and Fayne. In addition to the thoughts above I have had thoughts about how we could fit in Backes, Lucic and Byfuglien under the salary cap (would they entertain thoughts of discounted deals to play with McDavid)….

    Anyhoo, in doing so I stumbled across this site:

    Happy Festivus!

  6. OilHub says:

    So I have read a lot of trading one of our core under 25 players to get a # 1 D for a while now and want to ask those in favor of trading Nuge this, who is currently one of the Top teams in the NHL that have only one of their D at 32 points while the rest of the D on the team range from 2-14 pts? John Klingberg is Dallas top D man, do you believe that Nurse or Klef will become at least Klingberg quality? My point is patience we have three maybe four good young D men in Klef, Nurse, Davidson and Reinhart. Keep our core and let these 3-4 guys grow and take the #1 D without sacrificing our Center depth.
    Merry Christmas!

  7. GCW_69 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: So taking your hand off your stick to tug another player is a penalty at low speeds (see: 100s of holding calls every season) but it’s absolutely fine when one of the guys is going 40 kph? Alrighty then.

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one. It was holding at minimum, and the more I see it the more I see boarding.

    As for that “minor” injury McDavid has missed more time than practically anybody else in the NHL currently on IR. Likely to be half the season when done.

    I agree, it was boarding. The point of some of these penalties is to protect players from injuries. Getting spun into the boards at 40 kms/hr qualifies as unnecessarily dangerous and should be a significant penalty to protect the player.

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