Today is a day of jubilation, in Edmonton, Alberta. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the man Edmonton lovingly refers to as ‘Nuge’ is officially sticking around for the next eight years. The Oilers and Nuge have come together on an 8 year, 41 million dollar contract extension, with a $5.125 million cap hit. The deal should keep Nuge in Edmonton for his entire career.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was drafted by the Oilers’ 1st overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He’s played 10 seasons for the Edmonton Oilers, his best year coming in the 2018-19 season, where he tallied 28 goals and 41 assists for 69 points. But for fans, even more, important than his points has been his commitment to the Edmonton Oilers. Nuge has seen the Oilers through their darkest times, never complaining, never looking to pass blame. He took it all in stride and is now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The Oilers’ playoff success hasn’t yet come, but their regular-season success has started to come the past few seasons.
Recent rumors made it sound like a deal might not be reached, but fans can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Nuge is sticking around. Both sides got what they wanted in the deal, Nuge got the security of a long-term deal and the Oilers got the lower cap hit that they wanted. Nuge’s previous contract paid him $6 Million annually.
Nuge has primarily served as a center for the Oilers, but for the past few seasons has served on left-wing, playing with either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. His future will likely see him serve full time on the wing if the Oilers can find another left-winger to play in their top six. This should be the case for at least the next three to four seasons, with Nuge likely transitioning down to the 3rd line for the back half of this contract.
At the end of the day, this contract should prove to be great savings for the Oilers for the first half, in the back half, they will be looking for the salary cap to rise to make the contract affordable in the long run. Most important of all, the Oilers have a quality player and person, who loves the city of Edmonton, under a long term contract. As a fan, that’s all you can ask for.
Of special note today, Connor McDavid has won the Ted Lindsay and Hart Trophy awards, yet again. Congratulations Connor!!
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