Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Seven more years

Jonathan Willis
September 19 2013 02:11PM

 

The Edmonton Oilers announced on Thursday that they had signed centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a seven-year contract extension.

The cap hit - $6 million per season - matches those of Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. By signing those two players to $6 million/year contracts, the Oilers established a benchmark for both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and, presumably, Nail Yakupov one year from now.

Some will doubtless question the dollars involved here - particularly with Nugent-Hopkins coming off a difficult half-season - but the fact is that the 2011 first overall pick has scored at a level in the NHL that can make the Oilers feel very comfortable with his long-term upside:

Like Tyler Dellow, I tend to think that a bridge contract was never a likely outcome here. Not only that, but a bridge contract is a way to defer when a player is paid and minimize risk. In the case of the Oilers, it makes no sense to pay less now so they can pay more later, and in the case of Nugent-Hopkins the risk is minimal - this wasn't a late pick surprising, this is a guy with a track record of performance that made him first in his draft class and got him into the NHL at 18, and then saw him produce in the world's toughest league at an age when many future stars are still back in junior.

This is a good player to bet on. The money is a little steeper right now than it would be in a perfect world, but this has the potential to be a bargain contract relative to performance very soon. Given that Nugent-Hopkins has a year left on his entry-level contract, this new pact might turn out to be fair value from day one. By the end of this deal, the terms should be excellent value for the team.

Nail Yakupov's contract is now a fait accompli, meaning the Oilers will have four forwards at the cost of $24 million. Some will lump Justin Schultz in with that group; he may or may not get the same deal but he hasn't earned it today - with one year left on his entry-level contract, 2013-14 is shaping up to be a very big year for Schultz. 

Recently around the Nation Network

First, a quick reminder: StreakCred is free for the pre-season - sign up to win not only real money but also something far more valuable: NationGear. 

Earlier this week, the Winnipeg Jets locked up general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff for two more years. At Jets Nation, Travis Hrubeniuk explains why that's a little odd:

I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that the timing of this is a little weird. No, not that it was announced in the middle of training camp just over two weeks from opening night, but because of the state of the team. Kevin Cheveldayoff has been in control of the Winnipeg Jets for just over two years now. Admittedly, they have been two very peculiar years, but he has had two years nonetheless, and little has truly changed in this team's overall standing. Yet, despite there still being three seasons remaining on his contract, TNSE has decided that his moves to this point have been sufficient enough to warrant an extension?

Click the link above to read more, or feel free to check out some of my recent stuff below:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 michael
September 20 2013, 08:15AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Mirtle is giving a conservative estimate, with growth at 5% per year, while noting growth during the past CBA averaged 7.2%.

Either way, it's not a problem, but we should acknowledge he is already projecting a conservative estimate and it is probably more likely to be rosy than bleak going forward.

Very conservative in my opinion. Its like the Alberta Government saying its only going to cost 5 billion to rebuild after this seasons floods in Southern Alberta. Or that the price of Oil will be 70 a barrel in their budjet when its 106. Even the bitumen bubble still increases the revenue by 15-20 % in revenue to the province.

Pundits will usually err on the side of caution when talking about something that is not known. I don't disagree with that thinking. But when were talking about HHR and suchlike the projections are so far flung and diverse that you could not get 2 people to agree as to what the cap will be in 1 year never ming 3 years from now. Who knows how the world economy will play out.

MacT is smart. He has an MBA. For those who don't know that is a Masters in Buisness Administration. I suppose he might know a thing or three about economics and suchlike. I think I'll put my faith in MacT rather James Mirtles pie in the sky predictions. MacT might have a better sense/knowledge of where the cap is going considering he is an NHL GM.

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#152 Gaz
September 20 2013, 08:29AM
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There's a reason the authors choose to engage ol' DSF on a limited basis, and it isn't because he's overwhelming them intellectually.

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#153 Rod from Viking
September 20 2013, 08:31AM
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@Clyde Frog

Hilarious and probably accurate.

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#154 geoilersgist
September 20 2013, 08:53AM
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@Clyde Frog

What a great way to start a Friday hahaha. Classic.

On a side note, I would like some of what DSF is having if he thinks Kadri is anywhere near the level of The Nuge

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#155 StHenriOilBomb
September 20 2013, 08:56AM
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michael wrote:

The only people who think Kadri is better than RNH are DSF and anyone with eyes that can see.

The trolls and naysayers will always look to bring the Oilers down. I for one see the cornerstones for a competitive franchise for years to come.

Skill and Character equal Stability and Success.

Book it DSF.

... I'm so confused.

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#156 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
September 20 2013, 09:00AM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

After a long night DSF stares at the ceiling in bleary eyed contentment.

He had done it! He had fended off every attack or thought these silly Oiler fans dared to have, many without even reading them!

He was getting that good, DSF now only needed to read 15% of a post to get the gist and provide the magnificent counter punch he is famous (on the internet) for!

With practice he firmly believes he will be able to respond with even less of his time wasted reading the actual thoughts of his fans... Then he will have the ultimate ability to crush the hopes of a entire fanbase who are silly enough to enjoy their team.

Microwaving his celebratory twinky, he pushes each and every Mike Gillis bobble head doll of his 164 doll collection, until all of them are bobbing up and down in unison...

Smiling knowingly while pops the steaming hot twinky into his mouth, he starts to plot his next move in proving how RNH's 50+ point rookie season was nothing more than an abberation; feeling the acceptance and support of his 164 Gillis's is all he needs to give him the strength to carry on the fight...

Well that and more hot pockets... How can Mother expect him to perform at his peak if he is constantly out of hot pockets!? He has no time for food that can't be cooked in under 2 minutes! Grabbing his broom he starts banging the ceiling to wake Mother so she can hurry to the store!

He has no time to waste himself! The Gillis's are right! By now there will be at least 4 more fans who have allowed hope to enter their hearts!

With a sigh he brushes the crumbs from his shirt and leaps towards his keyboard, he must do as the Gillis's will it! For who else can understand their complex genius if not he?

The thought of DSF sitting there in front of 164 nodding Gillis bobble heads...

My freaking sides

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#157 tileguy
September 20 2013, 09:06AM
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Perhaps the last word on the subject (doubtful)

Not one person here has thanked Tambo for setting the template for these great signings.

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#158 hemi
September 20 2013, 09:07AM
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@Cyle Frog: That my good Sir was stupendous! By far, the most entertaining and well thought out "shut-up" I have read yet regarding DSF.

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#159 They're $hittie
September 20 2013, 09:36AM
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tileguy wrote:

Perhaps the last word on the subject (doubtful)

Not one person here has thanked Tambo for setting the template for these great signings.

That is becuase the Template would have been good if only Hall got 6 and Eberle didnt. If Eberle was at 5.3 than Gagner would have been cheaper, and there would have been a possibility of getting Nuge for slightly less. Now if Yak gets a 50 point season he will also get 6M. I dont have a problem with the number ones getting 6M. The problem was Eberle got overpaid based on one year which set a precedent for the next guys saying here is 6M no matter how you play. IF we could have saved 700K on Eberle, 350K more on Gagner, 300K on Nuge; and possibly see where to save on Yak (pending his performance) that could be an extra 1.5 - 2M dollars.

Nuge is good and will cover the bet. the problem is the message is set that you dont need to perform to get paid. We are paying based on pedigree.

Oh and Kadri? Gimme a f#(@ing break.

EDIT: the 6M internal cap could have been set with just Hall. Didnt need he and Eberle both to set it. Particularly with Nuge ready the next year for it.

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#160 Rama Lama
September 20 2013, 09:36AM
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The best player to come out the WHL in 20 years...........I would have signed him to a longer contract but 7 will do fine.

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#161 tileguy
September 20 2013, 09:40AM
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Overpaid Wild Did you know that some magazines have Eberle scoring more points than Hall this year?

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#162 ubermiguel
September 20 2013, 09:53AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

The best player to come out the WHL in 20 years...........I would have signed him to a longer contract but 7 will do fine.

8 years is the max you can re-sign your own player, so 7 isn't bad.

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#163 Lochenzo
September 20 2013, 10:25AM
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You only use bridge contracts for guys that you are unsure about, in terms of their numbers regressing to the mean or maturity issues. PK Subban, obviously all of the talent in the world, it didn't surprise me to see him win the Norris. But all of that could have easily unhinged for him. Lack of discipline in his game and off the ice could have made him a lesser player.

Dion Phaneuf should have been signed to a bridge contract. He just wasn't ready for it. Money got to his head. Dramatic exit from Calgary where he supposedly got into a fist fight with Iginla. Underperformed his contract for a few years and then finally pulled it together the last year or two.

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#164 pkam
September 20 2013, 10:32AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

You only use bridge contracts for guys that you are unsure about, in terms of their numbers regressing to the mean or maturity issues. PK Subban, obviously all of the talent in the world, it didn't surprise me to see him win the Norris. But all of that could have easily unhinged for him. Lack of discipline in his game and off the ice could have made him a lesser player.

Dion Phaneuf should have been signed to a bridge contract. He just wasn't ready for it. Money got to his head. Dramatic exit from Calgary where he supposedly got into a fist fight with Iginla. Underperformed his contract for a few years and then finally pulled it together the last year or two.

Another reason is you don't have enough salary cap so you have to delay the signing by a year or 2 until the cap goes up or some contracts expire.

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#165 Ari Gold
September 20 2013, 10:44AM
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Even if Yak signs for $6mil, Schultz Jr & Dub'er for $5mil, that's 34 committed to the core: Ebs/Hall/Nuge/Yak/Schultz/Dub'er. That's no diffferent than Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, Vancouver....

I have the impression that those getting worked up over the dollar amount are short-sighted. This kid will be worth it, all roads point to hardware for this kid.

Hall bounced back after the identical procedure and was in the top 10. I don't know if Nuge is that talented, but if he's anywhere close, $6mil per is worth it.

I'd even say that now Hall at $6mil/yr is a stunning discount. We'll be saying this about Nuge soon.

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#166 pkam
September 20 2013, 10:49AM
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@They're $hittie

Evander Kane is signed for 5.25M and Skinner is signed for 5.725M.

So you are telling me Eberle is only as good as Evander Kane and no as good as Skinner?

If you really want to argue that Eberle should not get what Hall gets, the difference is very small, not 700K. And I can argue that Eberle should be better Skinner and deserve that 6M but we can a deal from Hall.

And don't forget, Hall gets 3.75M in his ELC, but Eberle only gets 1.16M yet he has been the better player in the 1st 2 years of their ELC, so we just compensate it in this contract.

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#167 pkam
September 20 2013, 10:55AM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Even if Yak signs for $6mil, Schultz Jr & Dub'er for $5mil, that's 34 committed to the core: Ebs/Hall/Nuge/Yak/Schultz/Dub'er. That's no diffferent than Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, Vancouver....

I have the impression that those getting worked up over the dollar amount are short-sighted. This kid will be worth it, all roads point to hardware for this kid.

Hall bounced back after the identical procedure and was in the top 10. I don't know if Nuge is that talented, but if he's anywhere close, $6mil per is worth it.

I'd even say that now Hall at $6mil/yr is a stunning discount. We'll be saying this about Nuge soon.

I am not sure if J. Schultz will get 6M, but definitely more than 5M. Can't imagine his agent will agree to less than the 5.14M that Bogosian gets.

And I believe Dubnyk will be looking at something around 5.3M which Howard gets.

My bet, around 11M for the 2.

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#168 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 20 2013, 11:08AM
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I think if there's any argument to be made that the Oilers are in cap trouble, it's in the bottom 6 rather than the top 6.

Getting the top 3 players signed for a cap hit of 18mil I think is probably the easiest part of this whole situation. The challenge may be to find value in the bottom 6 like Shero and Bowman have. Their Stanley Cup winning teams didn't follow a "superstar top-6/AHL bottom-6" format.

Pittsburgh and Chicago owe at least a little of their success to the fact that they had guys like Staal and Ladd playing on their respective third lines on value contracts.

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#169 Will
September 20 2013, 11:13AM
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I love being an arm chair GM, and I love hearing everyone else's strategies as well. But one thing I never understand amongst our group is the argument that a player is overpaid. In my opinion, the only time a player is overpaid is when it impedes the GM from acquiring the necessary talent to build a cup winning team. That is the only bad contract.

For example, Luongo was a bad contract because it impeded Gillis' ability to trade him for any sort of return, thus causing Schnidergate. Kovalchuck was another bad contract because it meant for half a season the devils could only dress 16 players to stay under the cap.

On the flip side, Dipietro and Horcoff are not bad contracts. They are stupid contracts, but they never impeded the team's ability to acquire talent, other things did that. Plus Mac T was able to trade Horcoff. I kind of wish the NHL would go back to the old way and not release player salaries.

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#170 They're $hittie
September 20 2013, 11:31AM
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pkam wrote:

Evander Kane is signed for 5.25M and Skinner is signed for 5.725M.

So you are telling me Eberle is only as good as Evander Kane and no as good as Skinner?

If you really want to argue that Eberle should not get what Hall gets, the difference is very small, not 700K. And I can argue that Eberle should be better Skinner and deserve that 6M but we can a deal from Hall.

And don't forget, Hall gets 3.75M in his ELC, but Eberle only gets 1.16M yet he has been the better player in the 1st 2 years of their ELC, so we just compensate it in this contract.

Does not mean I like Skinners contract. And If you dont think there is a 700k difference between Hall and Eberle you are not watching the game. Yes Evander Kane is debate-ably as good as Eberle. Keep in mind Kane is the best player on his line. Eberle is the third.

Yes pay them fairly, but if you want a dynasty or even a cup we need to get deals on contracts. Why would anyone be happy about paying more for a player than we need to. Just because you like them? Stupid reason.

Oilers had leverage in every deal hear with the young core except Gagner, yet they did not use it. Halls deal will be great, Nuge should cover the bet, but I dont think Eberle will, especially as he starts splitting ice time with Yakupov.

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#171 Oiler Al
September 20 2013, 11:36AM
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DSF wrote:

Try and look farther than the end of your nose.

Detroit will have almost $19M in free cap space going into the 2014/15 season with all their core players locked up.

DSF, are you including Detroits players old age pension in the Cap calculation?

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#172 Will
September 20 2013, 01:34PM
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I'm sure this has been mentioned on here somewhere before but if, as everyone predicts, the salary cap not only goes up, but actually sky rockets in the coming years (say above 74 mill in 4 years), then these contracts are simply genius. The type of team they will be able to build with their major stars locked in long term at relatively low amounts compared to the cap, will be insane. I think we're seeing the third way to build a dynasty, and that is playing the cap stock.

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#173 Leafsblow
September 20 2013, 03:21PM
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@Racki

May be wrong Raki but pretty sure phi needs Giroux and his 10 mill salary included.

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#174 Spoils
September 20 2013, 03:49PM
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pkam wrote:

Why should we rip off our players instead of sign them to fair market value?

Did Crosby and Malkin take a pay cut? Did Kane and Toews take a pay cut? Did Kopitar and Doughty take a pay cut?

If the Canucks get so many pay cut from their players, why the teams I list above all won the cup in the last 5 years and all the Canucks get is swept in the 1st round?

I like your thoughts, - winners don't paint themselves into a box where they have to go hat in hand... but maybe that is because those winners haven't been such legendary losers that they have a bag of good low first rounders (ebs, gags) 3 first overalls in a row, an unprecedented young free agent signing (schultzy), a World Junior first team all-star (kelf) and a #7 pick that looks like "a young larry robinson"... IF they all pan out it would be a tragedy to have the salary cap eff it up.

and hey if the guys win some cups the money they would give up in a some sort of pay cut scheme will come back and then some.

oh, and the world will see great hockey... and they will have stanley cupS.

I wouldn't know, but I like to think an extra million to a millionaire is not as important as creating something truly beautiful.

damn the kool-aid is good these days.

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