by Lowetide

Ryan Rishaug is reporting the Edmonton Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are closing in on a massive eight-year, $41 million deal. The term is long and Nuge isn’t a speed demon, but he’s a smart player and has crazy edges so that part of his game shouldn’t be an issue for most of this contract.

The five on five offensive side of Nuge went for a walkabout last season and his pts-60 in the discipline fell from 2.23 (a career high) in 2019-20 to just 1.15 (close to a career low) this past season. His five on five goals per 60 fell from 0.98 to 0.57, and that’s a concern.

He remained the power-play witch Tyler Dellow named him years ago, and his on-ice rel numbers are rock solid. I like the deal. It’s too long for sure, but the cap hit ($5.1M) is a gift from the player in exchange for dollars tacked on at the end. Burnaby Ryan appears to have turned into Beaumont Ryan somewhere along the way. Holland likely need not worry about the final two or three years of the deal.

As a fan of player, I’m here for it. As an observer of Ken Holland’s team building, I think he’s lucky Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was on the other end of the negotiation. This is a minor fall, and a major lift.


I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!

Back in the winter of 2015, in what turned out to be the final months of Craig MacTavish’s time as an NHL general manager, television commentator John Shannon reported on a conversation he’d had with MacT. Shannon: “I talked to Craig MacTavish before the game, and about the five or six games behind the bench. I said you know size doesn’t matter anymore and he said oh no, one thing I learned is that size matters more than ever. Size and quickness.“

MacT drafted two big men (Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl) with his first-round picks, and I think that reflects his intelligent approach to the issue of size. It can be a good thing but it must be accompanied by skill, speed and the ability to make plays.

Size matters more than ever? Only if accompanied by a great deal of skill.

OILERS 1997-98

This team was coached by Ron Low, with help from Bob McCammon and Ted Green.

These are mostly bigger players, there were nicknames like The Tank (Kovalenko) and miles and miles of rugged play from truly talented skill men like Weight, Smyth and Guerin. McAmmond was a little undersized but rambunctious and a speed demon, Marchant also a roadrunner who grew into a fine two-way player.

The big curiosities on this list (for me) involve the number of minutes invested in Buchberger five on five, Lindgren too although he did play a pile on the PK. The other thing is the lack of offense from the group beyond Weight and McAmmond. This was a talented team, size and skill and speed.

Six in this group (Weight, Smyth, Guerin, Marchant, Grier, Buchberger) played in more than 1,000 NHL games, and McAmmond played in 996 games in the world’s best league.

The career pts-per-82 games totals on four of these men are strong: Weight (68), Guerin (56), Smyth (54), Kovalenko (50), McAmmond (37), Marchant (34), Murray (31), Grier (30), Mats Lindgren (27) and Buchberger (21). I know the Oilers have two men who have posted bigger numbers than Weight and Guerin, but are there four Oilers on the 2020-21 team who are averaging 50 points per 82 games for their NHL career?

OILERS 2020-21

There are four men (in blue) who are Marchant or smaller in size. I understand some will want to push back and say Archibald plays a gritty style or Yamamoto used his size as an advantage in turning over pucks, and in general I agree with you. Size shouldn’t be an issue if the player can post numbers (Yamamoto an example since January 2020).

It’s also true that there are just two men who push the river five on five, and the fact they push it out to sea is fantastic but more is needed from the rest of the group.

What I’m saying is this: I’m all-in on smaller players or bigger players or wagon wheels playing forward, but they have to score points. If you’re 5.10 and not scoring, that doesn’t make you better than a guy who is 6.04 and not scoring.

Now, what about the points-per-82 games over career? The 1997-98 team had four men, Weight (68), Guerin (56), Smyth (54), Kovalenko (50). What about this bunch?

McDavid (116) and Draisaitl (87) are lapping the field and it’s kind of overwhelming, like you need a minute to adjust. After that, we have Nugent-Hopkins (60), Yamamoto (41), Kahun (37), Chiasson (29), Shore (29), Puljujarvi (26), Archibald (24), Khaira (20).

So, either Yamamoto or Puljujarvi need to kick out the jams, or Holland needs to find the new Billy Guerin.


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Dean McAmmond would have hit 1,000 games except for a rule that kept him out the remainder of the 02-03 season. He was traded to Colorado from Calgary at the beginning of the season and then traded back at the trade deadline but was not allowed to play as he had been traded too close to the waiver draft and was ineligible to play for his original team during that season. That’s a tough way to lose out on 1,000 games


My question is: Who is Steve Chiasson, and why does TSN have him on the Oilers To-Do list?



One of the best scenes ever is the end of Paths of Glory gets me every time.

Funny Bissonness

I like it! He’s a perfect career Oiler and deserves to be here for the good times.

I also think it’s a good sign he managed to put up decent point totals in a down year. I think he will bounce back well.

Totally different style, but it makes me think of Yanni Gourde. Both bring a lot to the table, and have unique skill sets. Yanni had a down regular season last year. A cup and a finals later, everyone loves Yanni again.

Last edited 2 months ago by Funny Bissonness

Of note, Nugent-Bowman mentioned in his Nuge piece that Holland/Klef will speak next week. Fingers’ crossed.


Late to the party here, but I’m pretty surprised at the RNH contract. Wasn’t expecting that length or that AAV, but I guess that means both negotiated for something favourable to them.

My outer limit was 6×6 for RNH, so it’s hard not to view this as a small win, as others have rightly pointed out the last few years’ cap hit don’t matter as much, mostly because the cap should be significantly higher, and because the Oilers are in win in the next 6 years mode more than win in 6-8 years.

I hate NMCs, but I am kind of ok with this one – can’t remember ever thinking that for one the Oilers gave out. I’m all for Nuge being a lifetime Oiler, and I appreciate the loyalty from both sides.


and because the Oilers are in win in the next 6 years mode more than win in 6-8 years.


IMO Nuge signing for 8 years makes it more likely McDavid and Draisaitl return for 3rd contracts with the team. Nurse too, and his case is obviously more imminent.

Whoever’s responsible, the Oilers have truly built a team and a culture. Those guys want to play together and win together. And they believe they can.

80% (?) of folks here seem to think as soon as McDavid and Draisaitl’s 8 year contracts expire they’re gone. I don’t think so. They chose to sign 8 year contracts with the Oilers after all, as did Nuge.

Anyway, I’m also all for Nuge being a lifetime Oiler, that would be really great. I’m also all for McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse (and maybe some others) being lifetime Oilers. Who the hell knows, maybe Ken Holland can make it happen.. More than a few Red Wings in the last 25 years were lifetimers.

Last edited 2 months ago by jp

i totally agree with this aspect of the good news / upside of the contract.

I think the core wants to stay together and this contract bodes well for the other core members down the road

they will need to have a taste of success in the next 4 years.


80% seems awful high.

Especially absent any indication, official or otherwise.


Sorry for beating the dead officiating horse some more, but even Aussie Rules Football is having issues with officiating Down Under.


The applies pretty much to every major sport, but: Is the quality of the officials deteriorating, is there too much direction from on high (ie the league) about how games should be officiated, or is it the proliferation of instant replay/social media that is driving these issues? Or a combination of the three?

Gerta Rauss

I’ve commented on this before, and I do believe HD replays and social media have a large influence on how we perceive pro sports

We didn’t have HD replay and multiple camera angles 15 years ago – some of this is a case of “be careful what you wish for”

Golf had some embarrassing/controversial moments in the last 5 years with HD replay that would have never been detected prior to slo motion HD replay

Tennis skirted the entire issue of replays when Hawkeye was introduced- the software program calculates whether the ball is deemed in or out, and the players and fans accept the outcome and play continues. COVID removed the lines people entirely (for the most part)

And social media amplifies the events (for better or worse)

People have always gotten emotional over the result/officiating in their sport, but now they can tweet/retweet their indignation and the voice(s) are heard and added to the public record

The outrage has always been there, it’s just now the megaphone is louder
With regards to the NHL, I think it’s imperative they adopt an “eye in the sky”

I’m not suggesting getting rid of on ice officials, but rather supplementing the on ice officials with an official in the sky, with the authority to correct calls that get overlooked (or just plain wrong)

Start with the easy stuff…puck over glass, too many men on the ice, getting the right fucking player in the penalty box. Binary stuff…the call is right or wrong, and leave the subjective calls to the on ice officials

There was an icing call last night, and the replay clearly showed the puck glanced off the goalies pad before crossing the line

It wasn’t icing – every person on the planet could see that – but the NHL chalks that up to “bad luck” and plays on. And I’m certain phrases like “them’s the breaks” and “suck it up, buttercup” echo throughout the league’s offices

That’s simply unacceptable in my opinion

An “eye in the sky” official would have sounded the horn, announced the correct call, and in this case, they would have faced off at center ice

How fucking hard is that..?

Do you remember when Theo Peckham shot the puck through the photographers hole in the glass..? He got a 2 minute over the glass penalty


How fucking hard is it for the NHL to get that call right.?

Adam Larsson got a puck over glass penalty this past season, but he argued that he had crossed the blue line and was in the neutral zone area prior to shooting the puck

The refs gathered around their iPads to review the play – which I wasn’t even aware was an option

The TV replay clearly showed Larsson was in the neutral zone area, and it should not be a penalty. At this point, everyone on the planet, and everyone with a twitter account, knows what the correct outcome should be with absolute certainty. There is no debating it, the call is black and white

And the on ice officials STILL GOT THE CALL WRONG..!!

I’ll end my rant there

Last edited 2 months ago by Gerta Rauss

What if you wait on Larsson, and go hard for Dougie Hamilton? If you land Hamilton, maybe you let Larsson walk for the cap space? Doesn’t seem like Larsson’s imminent.

Gerta Rauss

I’d wait on Larsson as well, but Kenny appears to have other plans

I guess Hamilton could still be a target, but Hamilton AND Larsson is living large, not sure if Kenny has move(s) like that in his DNA

Last edited 2 months ago by Gerta Rauss

Dreger made it sound like it could be fairly imminent. Hamilton would be nice but, to me, its not all that realistic. The team would likely know as well give the permission teams have received to take to his people.


I’d love to get Dougie but I would guess he stays in the US.
like LA


Also signing Larsson doesn’t mean they don’t go after Hamilton
Bear would be the casualty


Maybe – that’s a an extra $2M in cap though (Larsson vs. Bear).

Lets not forget, both Nurse and Jesse will be getting raises after next season.


Bob Stauffer
Connor McDavid voted 1st Team All-Star Center for the 4th time.
Leon Draisaitl came in 4th in voting for C…6 2nd place votes
Darnell Nurse finished 8th in voting for All-Star D
Tyson Barrie finished 12th in voting for All-Star D
Mike Smith finished 7th in voting for All-Star G


Nurse finished 7th in the Norris Trophy voting and I think that’s about right..

2nd place – 3 votes
3rd place – 3 votes
4th place – 10 votes
5th place – 10 votes

What a season!


I would have preferred if Oilers changed the vibe up a bit. But it’s a fair contract for long term middle-six, powerplay guy.
Now I’m looking for Hallsy 8yrs/48. Wouldn’t that be something!


I can understand “vibe changing” but I don’t see a realistic way to change the vibe (by moving on from Nuge) and getting better by spending that $5M elsewhere.

Nuge has career history and its pretty clear he is a legit top 6 forward, not middle six plus PK guy, in addition to PP guy, no?


I’m looking at the full 8 years of the contract.. he’s not a first line winger… years 5-8 I don’t imagine he’ll be doing heavy lifting.


and you’re right… Realistically retaining talent is the way to build. But also realistically they need to add 5 on 5 scoring and some more edge/compete.


Leon didn’t make either all star team, fuck them points.

Randle McMurphy


There isn’t a forward in the entire group that I would trade Draisaitl for.

Randle McMurphy

Nathan MacKinnon didn’t make the cut either.


Dreger: I believe the Larsson negotiations are into the final stretch and will get done soon. 


Randle McMurphy

the news in this article for me would be the last few words…

“Once Larsson’s deal gets done, then Holland will dive deeper into the off-season, looking for help up front through free agency and obviously bolstering his goaltending as well.”

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

I am very skeptical that Koskinen is back.


He’s done he’s sitting at the airport waiting to find out where he’s headed.


I’d put it at 25/75 myself.

Gerta Rauss

If they sign Larsson prior to the expansion draft, we’ll get a pretty good indication as to what the Oilers plan is

They’ve committed themselves to 7-3-1 now, unless they plan on trading JP or Yamo

They’ll protect Nurse, Bear, Larsson, and the Kraken will have their choice of Lagesson or Jones (or other if they choose)

I guess they could trade Bear prior to the draft, but things will come into clear(er) view with a Larsson signing

Randle McMurphy

Adam Fox wins Norris

Kirill Kaprizov wins Calder


That was actually excellent, thanks for posting.

Randle McMurphy

Blue Jays have acquired RHP Adam Cimber, and OF Corey Dickerson and cash considerations from the Marlins in exchange for INF Joe Panik and RHP Andrew McInvale

Randle McMurphy

I love watching side arm pitchers. Cimber is one.


I like the approach of diversifying the pen!

Randle McMurphy

McDavid becomes just the seventh player all-time to claim the Ted Lindsay three times, joining Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Jaromir Jagr and Alex Ovechkin.


We missing 1?


Only overlooked Gretzky. But he won it 5 times not 3, so maybe that is why he was omitted ;-).


Oilers have won 4 of the last 5 Lindsay Awards.

1987 was the last time you could say that.

(also, no non-Oilers team could ever say that)

Randle McMurphy

I think the signs at the city’s entrances should read “It’s Unanimous! Edmonton’s got Hart!”

As per Frank Seravalli, Connor McDavid and Wayne Gretzky are the only two players to ever win the Hart unanimously.

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Harpers Hair

Woodguy (@Woodguy55) Tweeted:
Rookie of the Year Goalie was put on waivers this year by CAR, the day after CAR plucked Anton Forsberg off waivers from EDM.



Oilers are the only team that didn’t claim him, fucking Oilers.


I think I was the only person that made a stink about not picking him up


I was banging that drum too.

There was a hockeywriters article that I posted that named him as one of the top goalies not in the NHL at the time.

In addition to being a quality prospect at the beginning of the season, Ned is the right age to grow with the group. Plus, as a young goalie his RFA contract would come in at a nice price point for a few years. Even if that was just to keep the crease warm for any of the prospects (or other) that would have been a huge benefit. We even had the cap space a the time to run three goalies on the active roster.

It’s a damn shame, and was an unforced error considering the Smith injury and taxi squad debacle.


put on waivers and passed on by 30 teams out of 30.

Harpers Hair

How many of those teams actually needed a goalie on that day?

I’d wager the number is exceedingly small.


How many of the teams miscalculated the potential of the free goalie? I would wager almost all of them.


Smith got more Vezina votes.


Yeah Joe Sakic really blew that one.

John Chambers

I remember when LT wrote about the contract Nuge signed 8 summers ago:
”I’m so happy I’m going to have a glass of milk, and then I’m going to have another one!” Classic
It was a great day. Today is a great day.
Milk-toasts all around!


Nothing goes better with a milk toast, than your finest milk steak.
comment image

Scungilli Slushy

I think Nuge is a better C than winger. They really need to play, especially Leon, and Connor far less TOI at 5v5. They both suffer from what I’ve seen.

They get tired and start forcing plays, change slow and miss backchecks. They would be even more dangerous with fresh legs and more hunger when they are on the ice.

The next step IMO hinges on a more even TOI for at least with 3 lines. Of course that means more better players, Holland’s job with his fat wallet and assets.

Still they need a faceoff RC. Perhaps that player could play wing with Nuge at C, and provide cover for Holloway in the top 9, he’s close and will be pushing hard at camp.

It isn’t a demotion for Nuge. It is a key assignment that has been unfilled and snookering the Oilers.

His TOI won’t suffer much, he will play the mentor role like Weir and Comrade, commensurate with his deal as the ‘old man’, and his love of the team. He will also have more fun shredding in that role.

Also, too funny that Baby Nuge is now the Old Man. Or not, I’m the even Older Man then. Maybe he’ll sprout some playoff facial hair.

League top C depth, it’s a thing.

John Chambers

The “Centres-3” model might be the best plan for team success.
Now that Nuge has been taken care of financially he’ll probably be more amenable to a role that doesn’t try to maximize his point totals.
We already have JP and Yamo on the wing, with Holloway (and maybe Benson or Marody??). Holland needs to add a couple of top-6 wingers and he has the bucks to do it.

Scungilli Slushy

I would wager he scores more not less.


I would wager he scores more not less.

I’d wager he scores more at 5v5 regardless where he plays. Easy bet 😉


Nuge helped Leon win the Hart as his left wing when the coach had the sense and no other choice to keep them together.

They can find a 3C, without having to sacrifice MVP level performances imo.


We’ve been chasing a 3rd line centre for 15 years.


We’ve been chasing alot of things since about 93. When we had nothing but top 6 wings we had no centers, then we got a center and he was pounded into being a shut down center, gets moved to wing with Leon, rediscovers wizardry, gets stifled into a cover high for 97 role, then smashed back into a 3C shut down role. While the Oilers search for top 6 wingers. I mean it’s a hell of a loop.


What bothers me about Nuge is he can’t win a face off like fuk it’s been 10 years and you haven’t figured out how to cheat on a face off yet.


I would prefer that he was better on the draw but, in the grand scheme of things, its not high on the list of important attributes. Not to mention that, this past season, he had a better percentage than the likes of Elias P., Maklin, Kusnetzov, etc. and, of course, he is more of a winger now.


We lost game 3 because of a lost face off who gives a shit about neutral zone draws you need to win face offs when short handed in tight games or when the goalies pulled. Watch how cleanly he gets beat on important face offs.


I’m going to posit that there were many other plays throughout those games that contributed to the loss and subbing out Nuge for Glandenning in those games would not have made the Oilers a better team.


How about subbing Bouchard for Bear since face offs on the penalty kill doesn’t matter why should it matter who the D are on the kill.


What now?


You would think Messier, Oates or Mactavish would of had a 30 minute conversation on how to win important face offs. How to get the opponent thrown out are how to tie him up for a draw without getting a penalty etc it’s called tricks of the trade. It takes years to master this craft and Nuge is still stuck in year 2.


Are you referring to another game besides the 3rd one against Winnipeg, since Hopkins wasn’t on the ice for any of the 4 goals the Jets scored in the 3rd and OT?


I know Nuge didn’t lose that draw but if he was good at face offs he could of been out there for that one are important draws at certain times in the game and then changed limmediately. This happens all the time by teams with better than average face off men come playoff time.


So Haas, the Oilers best penalty killing forward on the season, and Leon Draisaitl (who received votes for the Selke and the Oilers best faceoff man) are on the ice for the PK, get scored on 30 seconds after the faceoff to make it 4-2, but the Oilers lost the game because of Nuge’s ability to win a faceoff.

The fact is that Haas/Archibald generally start pk’s followed by Nuge/Khaira, so Draisaitl was out there because Archibald was in the penalty box not because of Nuge. Leon is a decent penalty killer too, but they like to save his minutes for 5 on 5 and PP normally except for the odd key faceoff.

Tampa and Montreal are 9th and 11th in faceoff winning % and 10th and 14th in pk faceoff winning % and are in the Finals.

Scungilli Slushy

The magic was for what 25 games? Maybe it comes back, maybe they had a heater. It didn’t come back this season when they were reunited. Not in a big way.


It didn’t but i don’t think they were ever kept together for even two full games in a row, were they?


For their 4 shifts together randomly?


If Tipps come out and runs Nuge alongside Leon for 82 games next season I’ll create the Church of Tipps and devote my life to spreading his teachings.


All the goals for team delusion! But there’s a chance.


Mcdavid sweeps the first place votes!!
that is impressive


Where did you see the vote counts?


It’s on the Twitter.


No 1st place votes for MacKinnon? or Kane? or Matthews? or Panarin?

Good grief.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

2nd Hart

A giant walks among us

And he’s only 24

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

McDavid gets his 3rd Ted Lindsay award.

He’s only 24


I believe the Hart Trophy gets announced tonight.

We know the winner but it will be interesting to see who didn’t put McDavid at #1 and who was put ahead of him.


100 out of 100


I’m 75% Team Saad (realist and hopeful). 25% Team Hall (surrealist and delusional).


Go team delusion!

Randle McMurphy

Shhhh… Can you hear that?…..

That click click click, tap tap tap?

That’s the sound of LT in his basement, feverishly pounding out his RNH post for tomorrow.

Good thing it’s too %@#’ing hot to cut the grass or paint.


Randle McMurphy

Did Ryan Rishaug break this news today?

If so, he’s clearly plugged into the org somewhere along the food-chain.


Yup, Rishaug had a good day.


Bob has thrown all his essential oils in the trash!


It sounds like mature adults got in the room together, found common ground and made it work. Everyone compromised something. I look forward to this next few years. Draft Good Nuge, Keep Good Nuge.


If available, my first choice for 3C would be Nazem Kadri. Reasonable cap hit, can play up in the lineup.

He has hovered between 1.73 and 2.33 EV points/60 over the past five seasons and can play a shut down role. Goal share between 48 and 64%. Still skates well. Cap hit of 4.5 million is an absolute steal.

I suspect the cost would be high.


Nolan Patrick would be an excellent target for 3C.


20-21: 0.64
19-20: 1.63
18-19: 1.49

GF%, FF%, PDO:

20-21: 24, 49, 908
19-20: 48, 46, 1008
18-19: 54, 49, 1011

Patrick got PDO’d to death. His shooting percentage slumped to 4.8% (11.1 and 6.7% his last two seasons). Possession stats were not so different.

I’m not sure what the cost would be, but the Flyers need D. If it’s Bear/Samorukov/Broberg I say no dice. Could you build something around Jones?

Todd Macallan

Sounds like the Flyers are interested in Seth so they may be motivated to add Caleb as incentive.


Since CLB wants centers, I’d guess Patrick would be part of the Seth Jones deal, not a Caleb Jones one.

Todd Macallan

Good thought for sure. I’m more fixated on a Samorukov +1st + Kassian for Konecny deal haha

Scungilli Slushy

Migraines are worse than Klef’s shoulder. Completely debilitating. That’s a big risk unless it’s figured out. Which is not an easy thing to do.


I know we as fans have generally made a lifelong commitment but the window to win is really the next 4 to 5 years while Connor and Leon are still under contract. If 8 years is the cost to having Nuge under contract at a reasonable cap hit during that window than so be it. I’m glad there are those who are worried about the 2029 cap situation but I am not and I don’t really think Holland should be overly concerned either.

Last edited 2 months ago by Cwadams81
Gerta Rauss



I’m happy geat day for the Oilers, thank you Ken, Rick, and Ryan. Great job!


I agree, we have our modern day “Jean Ratelle” for another 8 years.The man loves the city and wants to play with the team. It is a great day.

Wonder Llama

Oooh, Jean Ratelle. Yeah, I like that comparison a lot.


What Nugent-Hopkins gave up in AAV, he caught a full NMC, and the signing bonuses in the last half of the deal make it slightly buyout proof.

i.e. Ken, I willing to stay in Edmonton on a relative bargain deal, but the deal is only for Edmonton, so you have to give the the NMC, and some buyout protection in the last four years.


If the contract was bought out prior to the last year that cap hits would be:


That is not buyout proof.


I said last 4…4 years. Do it for 4 years left. 3 years left. I said “some” buyout protection in the last FOUR years, not “absolute” buyout protection like Lucic got.

Last edited 2 months ago by godot10

You also said the words “sightly buyout proof”.

Years 5 and 6 should have no bearing – 6 or 8 years of dead cap hit should be a no-starter, even if there is a cliff.

Harpers Hair

So how would you proceed if his 5V5 scoring doesn’t recover or falters further by year 5 and the PP falls off as is very often the case?


If Nuge had signed the same contract with the Kraken, I bet you would be pumping up Nuge so hard instead of making a post like this.


8-year AAV $5.125
4-year buyout: cap hit for the first four of eight years
$2.167, $3.917,$3.667, $2.417
3-year buyout: cap hit for the first three of six years.
$3.82, $3.57,$2.32
2-year buyout: cap hit for the first two years of four years
$3.67, $2.42

The contract has SOME buyout protection for years 5 and 6 and 7. Limited gains buying out the contract in the latter half.

OP is being deliberately disingenuous and misleading.


Disingenuous and misleading about what? Buyout structure in the first 6 years means nothing to me as I wouldn’t even contemplate it – would have to be Lucic level ineffective to contemplate it with after year 6 as well.

Unless we have another pandemic or something similarly devastating financially, the cap in those later years should be materially higher, like approaching $100M.


Ya’ll are both wrong, the Stallion that is Nuge will be riding into the sunset after he signs for an additional 2 years at $1.75per and completes 2 decades performing wizardry.


THEN headed behind the bench as an assistant coach.

Harpers Hair

Cassie moving on.

Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) Tweeted:
ESPN’s gain will be a big loss for TSN 1050’s afternoon drive show, “Overdrive.”

@rayferrarotsn and @CassieCampbell earn big roles in ESPN’s hockey coverage. https://t.co/rg0fvKZmZA


Gerta Rauss

Reja will be crushed

Randle McMurphy

He’ll still have Jennifer Botterill and Kelly Hrudey

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

I like Jennifer quite a bit.

Reg Dunlop

Those home made dresses are so chautauqua but one might wonder if she is running out of curtains.


Believe it or not I actually like her if the Oilers and Flames are not involved in any way shape are form. Her Hubby is on thin ice in Calgary as assistant GM so she can never give a balanced opinion when the Flames are the Oilers are involved. She’s old school deep down she, Hrudey and Buttons hate the Oilers as much as I can’t stand the Flaming C’s.

Last edited 2 months ago by Reja

She’ll be wearing the pants in the family. Especially after her hubby get’s shit canned from the Flames after they get off to a slow start next year.

Victoria Oil

Happy to see RNH rewarded for his loyalty. I am a bit disappointed with the term, but this is tempered by the worst-case scenario, which is if we have to buy him out after years 5, 6 or 7, the cap hit would only be $1-1.2 million/yr. after year 8 (as per Cap Friendly).


Lesser term probably would have been more AAV to get it done. Say 5 times at least $6.5 million or 6 times $6 million if Nuge would even agree to either of those. I think getting him for $5.1 million AAV is a good balance where Nuge traded short term financial gain for long term security and getting to stay with the Oilers, and the Oilers get a very good chance of having a free agent on a very good annual value contract for the next several seasons, in exchange for the long term risk that his skills might erode substantially. And he is a free agent where the Oilers have a much better idea on what they are getting. I highly doubt the Oilers could get a free agent of Nugent’s caliber for less AAV except on 1 year show me deals.


I think it was fairly clear that the player game up AAV to get term and the team gave more term to get a lower AAV.

Then both Nuge and Holland said the same in no uncertain words.


I think it’s time for Ken to make some trades. Nolan Patrick, Warren Foegele, Conor Garland, Jake Debrusk, Matt Dumba, Andreas Johnsson, Eric Robinson. All names I’d be looking at. Go get ’em.


We need some edge up front we’re way to nice of a team. The opposition like’s playing the Oilers there’s no face washes there’s no protecting your goalie after a ice showers and the list goes on. What I’m trying to say is we need a couple of assholes.


Foegele and Robinson are two big guys that can skate and forecheck like demons. Definitely would make it hard to play against.


You can see Connor trying to be kind of a prick because he has no other option but that’s not his game. I would try Kassian again on his line sporadically and if he feels it’s beneath him to get engaged I would bury his ass in Bakersfield.


I feel like the instigator rule has made it such that Connor has to be a prick sometimes.

He needs to create a bit of his own space, and keep guys honest/guessing, otherwise the playbook is out and things get stale.

Having someone on the team who’s willing to take care of the clean up on aisle 12 when the time is right is also an important dynamic.


I’m a fan of Foegele.

He can skate, has soft hands, PKs, and can smother elite competition.

Would look fantastic in our top-6, or anchoring a third line.


Is Tyler Johnson a fair RNH comp? Team signed him long term as a “good” player. TAMPA managed to build a strong enough team that Johnson is now on the 4th line.

But thats the key. They built a good enough team so that Johnson is no longer a Top 6 F.

If RNH is 3rd line or 4th line in 2026, that means Edm prob has a Great team.

The real danger is if RNH is still supposed to be EDM’s 3rd or 4th best forward in 2026; then that’s an ORG failure – not an RNH issue

Harpers Hair

I think the real risk lies more in the middle IF Nuge doesn’t recover his 5X5 scoring.

But, at worst, he could be a slightly overpaid 3C ameliorated by a hopefully rising cap.


Are you not feeling well today?


His curse is on fire.


it’s real and it’s spectacular :)…


today lol ?


I like that this deal leaves very much open the possibility that Hopkins can be a career Oiler. And I fell confident that he can be a solid contributor to the team for the term of the contract. If his contributions exceed his annual value of $5.1 million for the first 5-6 years of the contract (and his overall performance in a down year was still at least that value (25 goal/55 point pace plus killed penalties)), then 2 or 3 years where he potentially is overpaid a little is well worth it. I don’t expect a player of Hopkins talents and style to fall off a cliff.


It’s not a straight salary across the board. There is a mid load and then decreasing over the final four years. The contract assures that it will be value for its entirety, especially so when you take in post flat cap inflation.


I agree that the actual annual salary more closely tracks what each season could be projected to be worth, but the NHL averages the cap hit, so he uses up $5.1 million of the cap for each of the 8 seasons. So for roster planning purposes that is the important number (other than if the contract ever gets bought out). The up and downs in the amounts are also affected by signing bonuses, escrow concerns and buyout implications all structured to maximize the cash Nugent actually can get over the 8 years under most scenarios.


Sure, its mid-loaded but that only goes to actual compensation received by the player, the cap hit, all that really matters to us fans, is $5.1MM for all 8 years.

I care about the player’s value vis-a-vis his cap hit, not vis-a-vis his take home pay.


I was completely fine with letting RNH walk and using the money somewhere else. but I was assuming a 6 mil + contract. with Nuge taking a 15% pay cut in the heart of his career is an amazing feat for Holland.

the last couple years of his contract the salary cap will likely be north of 90 mill so the 5 mill is fine.

Hopefully Nuge will retire as an Oiler with a couple Stanley Cup rings and gets his number raised in the rafters as the longest serving Oiler, 1st overall draft pick, and fan favorite.


Size matters more than ever? Only if accompanied by a great deal of skill.

Loved this line, btw. Size without skill is a total waste but skill without size places limitations on matchups and roster building imo.

Nothing wrong with small players but small teams are too easy to neutralize.

Optimism is like heroin

Well my hope for 3c is nolan patrick. Not a sure bet and injury worries. But as a buy low with a good chance of rebounding. Question is would kassian +/- get this done? Another few million saved if so.


Totally agree. Buy Low. Gives Patrick a fresh start without the high draft burden


Patrick is a bet worth making imo. You never win much always making the safe move.

Moonlight Overthrow

Patrick isn’t panning out as hoped, but I imagine Philly trying to recover some value in a trade of the former 2nd overall pick. I suspect other GM’s will convince themselves to pay more for his potential.

I’d like Patrick as a 3C option, but Kassian as a base doesn’t get it done IMO.


Kassian plus woud require a the plus being quite big because it would need to take the negative value of Kassian back to ground zero and then provide the value for the player being acquired.

Kassian with $1M retained would take away the negative value.

In my opinion.

Optimism is like heroin

Philly has a reputation for over evaluating large physical players. Also I would be more interested in adding a prospect rather than holding salary for 3 years.


Yes, I know that and I also understand that talk about the “Wilson-effect” – I still don’t think any team take on 3 X $3.2 unless they are sending bad cap back.

Randle McMurphy

Flyers are looking for a RHD.

Would the ask be Bear?

Optimism is like heroin

If the ask was bear, Imo if Barrie is willing to sign a 6mx3 deal then I do that. If not then I pass.

Moonlight Overthrow

Hard to say. I find Bear’s value tough to gauge. I’m also not familiar with Philly’s needs.

On one hand, Bear is a young RHD on a value contract. He’s played on the top pair with Nurse, but also had some struggles.

On the other hand, he doesn’t produce much offense, nor is he a defensive D-man. What is his ceiling?

Ultimately, I’m not sure other teams see the same value we see. That being said, it’s huge risk trading Bear for Patrick.


Favorite player. Not a fan of the term. Happy for the player and organization.

I’m worried Larsson gets too many years. Too many is 4 or more. 3 would be my max. 2 would be ideal.


2 years at 3.25 per is what I would offer. Could be talked into 3 years.


Great deal for both sides. Down year but quality and versatile player. Every UFA signing has risk and on this deal that is the tail but reality is if the oilers don’t win in the next 5 years one or both of the stars will likely want out and you are in tear down mode anyway.


I agree Nuge’s playing style suggests he won’t fall off a cliff as much as some of the bangers.

I’m more aligned with Bag of Pucks on this, I think he is replaceable, but it’s as good as an 8-year contract as you’re likely to see.

Only real worry for me – has it been 2 major shoulder surgeries? Worried about arthritis hitting him fairly soon.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Totally fine with the cap hit, term and NMC. This is the only kind of deal that made sense for team and player. RNH is also smart enough to know that carrying around a contract that he can’t perform up to is a heavy burden in a hockey town.

Next up is another top 6 LW, 2LD, 3C, sort out the goaltending and get to work in coaching the kids up into full-time NHLers (Benson, Sammy, Bouch, McLeod).


An outside perspective.

Hockey analytics team Evolving-Hockey @EvolvingHockey

We projected 6 years at $7 million given he stayed and signed before free agency. At 8 years we projected $8 million.


This is the first major contract the Oilers have signed in years (for a player over 25 years of age), that you wouldn’t have to package with a 1st round draft pick to move (hypothetically) the moment the ink is dry on the contract.

That’s progress, baby.

When was the last major contract the Oilers signed for a player over 25 that didn’t have extreme negative trade value the moment the ink dried?

(There’s the Barrie contract, but that was only for a year term)

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan

Hard to tag major on one year under 4 million.




I think you are right on this one. Prior to his injury against the Duck, he was playing at level that justified his signing.


Absolutely, Sekera was 100% full value for his contract until the knee injury.


Yup, injury was the only major issue IMO.


That’s fair. Sekera was market value at the time.

I’d imagine you could have traded Sekera right after signing him.

This Nuge contract has far more theoretical trade value, but that was a decent contract at the time.


Oh yeah, not suggesting it’s better than this one, just not an obvious fail the day it was signed.


More reason for skepticism with their model.


I find their model spits out some wild contract terms on some players – some that have no basis in reality.

I do acknowledge that they are fairly close on others (then, again, I presume that most of us on here can spitball contracts on most free agents that are in the realm).


That’s what I’ve been seeing.

Take this contract projection as a for instance.

From the original post:

Hockey analytics team Evolving-Hockey @EvolvingHockey

We projected 6 years at $7 million given he stayed and signed before free agency. At 8 years we projected $8 million.

Now, I’m a big supporter of RNH. Love me some Nuge.

But there’s no way in Hell he is worth $7MM per year for six years. I would have had some Bag of Pucks level consternation at an extension given efficient cap allocation elsewhere with those dollars.

For their model to project a higher AAV on a longer term deal is bananas. Skepticism is mandatory.


Computer modelling has its pros and cons for sure.

Scungilli Slushy

So they apparently have their model working backwards. More term = less cap.

Gerta Rauss

That’s a great signing for this org

It’s go time



That’s a good sign. Players signing for well under what they could get on the free market. Do it a few more times this summer Mr. Holland and perhaps the Oilers will make it past the first round.

Randle McMurphy

Well with news of the Nuge signing, things are really heating up in Edmonton…..