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:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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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#3 Young Oil
September 19 2013, 03:20PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I am amazed at how everyone on the TSN comment box is slamming this signing.

It's not very surprising, the TSN comment sections have some of the least intelligent people I have ever seen! Oiler fans who have seen Nuge in every game over the past 2 years know that this is a great contract.

I'd rather have RNH, Hall and Eberle for $18M rather than Perry and Getzlaf for $17M.

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#4 hallsyoilerforever5
September 19 2013, 03:13PM
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@DSF

You're talking about a window of a winning a cup to end soon? I think you forgot to add in your canucks.

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#5 brian_d
September 19 2013, 02:19PM
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Here's to hoping the salary cap continues to go up.

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#6 EricOG
September 19 2013, 06:28PM
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@ good old DSF

Two points:

1. Want to know what else those contracts are??? VEERY TRADEABLE!!

2. Dude, JW really owned you in this thread!!

You be his beatch!!

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#7 Clyde Frog
September 20 2013, 08:01AM
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@DSF

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?

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#8 The Towel Boy
September 19 2013, 02:28PM
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Quality dollars. Quality term. Quality player. Quality. Lots of it.

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#9 Dino
September 19 2013, 02:33PM
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Wow, awesome!

Hopefully he gets to celebrate by wearing his favorite Batman pj's and an extra helping of milk and cookies before bed! Heck, while you're at it, you might as well let the little guy stay up to watch Big Brother.

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#10 Chris.
September 19 2013, 06:35PM
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@DSF

You bore me.

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#11 terranq
September 19 2013, 04:11PM
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When I lost my first baby tooth, I got a quarter. Nuge loses his and gets $6 million.

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#13 pkam
September 19 2013, 03:20PM
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DSF wrote:

This contract and the Schultz/Yakupov deals to follow pretty much signifies the Oilers window to win a cup will be very soon and very short.

If Schultz gets, say, $5M and Yakupov gets $6M (both very likely IMO), Petry gets $3.5M and Dubnyk gets $4M, the Oilers will need to have many players on ELC's just to get under the cap in 2015/16.

If those numbers above are close to accurate, the Oilers will have about $55M committed to the cap with only 12 players under contract.

If James Mirtle's salary cap projections for 2015/16 are accurate, the cap will be around $66M.

That means the Oilers will only have $11M to sign another 11 players.

That dog won't hunt.

If I am correct, the cap is for 23 players, not 25. So if the Oilers commits 55M for 12 players, we only need to sign 11 (not 13) more players, with the remaining 11M.

Now let's look at the Penguins, consider a cup contender with the best GM. Here is the players they lock up for 2014-15 Crosby 8.7M Malkin 9.5M Neal 5.0M Dupuis 3.75M Kunitz 3.725M Martin 5.0M Letang 7.25M Scuderi 3.375M Fleury 5.0M Total 51.3M

How much is the cap James Mirtle projects for 2014-15, 64.3M? The pens have commit 51.3M on 9 players, so how are they going to sign 14 players with 13M if the Oilers can't sign 11 players with 11M?

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#14 French Toast Mafia
September 19 2013, 04:46PM
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@DSF

You would take Koivu over RNH on your club?

Would you want 29 year old Parise at 7.5 per over 21 year old Hall at 6 million per?

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#15 hallsyoilerforever5
September 19 2013, 02:39PM
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I bet the canucks fans are mad over this. Oh look, Nuge is from B.C! He will bolt to Vancouver because he's born there! Hahahaha, great to see Nuge with the oilers for years to come.

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#16 Eddie Shore
September 19 2013, 05:15PM
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DSF is taking it raw today. I like it.

Edit. I'm thrilled with the signing. Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.

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#17 Racki
September 19 2013, 09:34PM
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Carrying on with my rant about teams top 3 forwards...

PIT: Crosby, Malkin, Neal ($22.4M)

MIN: Parise, Koivu, Heatley ($21.79M)

CAR: Staalx2 , Semin ($21.25m)

WAS: Ovechkin, Backstrom, Laich ($20.7m)

ANA: Perry, Getzlaf, Koivu ($20.375m)

SJS: Thornton, Marleau, Burns (converted..) ($19.66M)

NYR: Nash, Richards, Callahan ($18.74M)

CHI: Kane, Toews, Sharp ($18.5M)

DET: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Alfie ($18.2M)

TBL: Stamkos, St. Louis, Filppula ($18.125M)

EDM: Hall, Nuge, Eberle ($18M)

LAK: Kopitar, Richards, Carter ($17.82m)

CBJ: Gaborik, Horton, Umberger ($17.4M)

BOS: Lucic, Iginla, Krejci ( $17.25M)

VAN: Sedin, Sedin, Kesler ($17.2M)

DAL: Seguin, Horcoff, Benn ($16.5M)

OTT: Spezza, Ryan, Michalek ($16.43M)

NJD: Zajac, Elias, Clowe ($16.1M)

TOR: Kessel, Lupul, Clarkson ($15.9M)

BUF: Vanek, Leino, Hodgson ($15.89M)

COL: Stastny, O'Reilly, Parenteau ($15.6M)

WIN: Wheeler, Kane, Little ($15.5M)

PHX: Ribeiro, Doan, Vermette ($14.55M)

MTL: Plekanec, Gionta, Pacioretty ($14.5M)

CGY: Camalleri, Hudler, Jones ($14M)

PHI: Hartnell, Lecavalier, Voracek ($13.5M)

NSH: Legwand, Hornqvist, Fisher ($12.95M)

STL: Backes, Oshie, Stewart ($12.825M)

FLA: Fleischmann, Versteeg, Barkov ($12.48M)

NYI: Tavares, Bailey, Moulson ($11.93M)

League average is $15.8M. Oilers have the 11th most expensive forward trio. Is that terrible? Heck no, considering that the value on players constantly goes up, even though the cap went down, and the Oilers signed all 3 within the past year, approximately.

Also, the Oilers are just outside the top 3rd of the league for forwards.. closer more to the middle. So I consider that just fine, myself, for a team whose top 3 forwards are 23 at the oldest.

I think the Oilers are right in line with what these guys should be making. A lot of the teams on this list that have "bargain forwards" really actually just have CRAP forwards, or guys who are still on ELCs that will get paid, or they have money tied up elsewhere (such as Philly, who have most of their money in D).

I don't really think $18M for Hall, Eberle and Nuge is out of line at all.

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#18 Kodiak
September 19 2013, 04:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Thing is, the Wild are paying 3 elite players with an established record of success that kind of money.

And even with Heatley's boat anchor contract on the books are only the 23rd highest spending team in the league with $3.75M in cap space this season.

The Oilers are already the 10th highest payroll team in the league BEFORE the Hopkins, Schultz, Yakupov and Petry deals.

Suter is the only elite Wild. Parise and Koivu are not in Hall's class and I wouldn't call him elite yet. There isn't a team out there that wouldn't trade Parise and Koivu for two of Hall, Nuge and Eberle, never mind the $3+million in cap saving every year. Koivu will be 35 and making $7.5m and they will be paying Parise $7.53m into his 40's when Hall and Eberle are in their prime making $6m.

And don't forget that Brodin and Granlund are RFA the same time Yak is and will be getting big raises so include that in your skewed comparisons.

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#19 book¡e
September 19 2013, 10:12PM
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DSF wrote:

Would they?

There is a pretty strong argument that Kadri is at least as good as Hopkins.

Kadri at 22 appears to have reached a similar level to Hopkins at 19.

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#20 Batfink
September 19 2013, 02:15PM
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Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!

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#21 Manfly
September 19 2013, 03:32PM
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DSF wrote:

Were they under discussion?

Try and stay on point Sparky.

the Canucks can be mentioned here if any poster desires to do so. is there a law against it? and you know he's right, that's why it bugs you so much...

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#22 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 03:44PM
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@DSF

"Also worth noting that Hopkins is NOT Crosby. Hall is NOT Malkin and Eberle is NOT James Neal."

What's the cap hit difference for those players in 15/16?

5.2M

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#23 pkam
September 19 2013, 02:49PM
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Hayek wrote:

Ok deal, but after last season, would have been nice to get him at a discount, maybe something in the $5.5M per season range.

Probably not the greatest negotiation on MacT's part, but once Eberle was signed to an overpayment of $6M/season, RNH probably wouldn't settle for less.

Not a good idea in my opinion. You're basically saying he is not as good as Hall and Eberle. That 500K/year saving is not worth to piss off your 1st line center for the next 7 years.

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#24 Walter Sobchak
September 19 2013, 03:56PM
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@DSF

Not to jump on you, but did you not make the almost exact argument for the Minnesota Wild?

IIRC you argued a lot that the cap will go up at more than the rate you mentioned above.

I may be wrong, but I’m not sure that I am? However, I am too lazy to go looking up a rather pointless disagreement.

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#25 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 03:31PM
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The cap is a very real impediment on GM actions. But like a sonnet or a haiku, imposed structure can breed creativity.

EDM isn't in any trouble with the cap going forward. Having really good high paid players is what every team wants. Yes, it means you have to be careful with the pursestrings wherever you can, but it is hardly a death sentence.

Today's signing means two things: this team is committed to winning with this core it paid so dearly to acquire and the GM is going to have to be creative down the road to fill out the roster.

Welcome to the big boy pants part of the world. It's good to be here. This is a great day.

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#26 Mikey
September 19 2013, 04:06PM
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@DSF

You mentioned CHI earlier. And here are some of their numbers

Kane 6.3 Hall 6 Toews 6.3 Nuge 6 Sharp 5.9 Ebs 6 Hossa 5.27 Yak 6 Bickell 4 Gags 4.8

Seabrook 5.8 Schultz 5? Keith 5.5 Petry 4.5? Hjalmarsson 4.1 Smid 3.5 Oduya 3.3 Ferrance 3.25 leddy 2.7 Gordon 3 Rosival 2.2 Perron 3.8

Crawford 6 Dubnyk 4.5?

Total 57.37 Total 56.35

Thats for next season. I really dont see an issue with the cap for the oilers. Youre right tho, it will be tricky.

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#27 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 19 2013, 02:41PM
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By my math, RNH will be just shy of his 21st birthday by the time this new contract expires. By then he should just be entering the prime of his career.

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#28 bazmagoo
September 19 2013, 02:19PM
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I'm a huge fan of Nuge and really think he's got the potential to be the best player of them all. Great!

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#29 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 02:27PM
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Best news of the day.

Locking the core in is magic for this team.

Years of bliss ahead.

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#30 Ducey
September 19 2013, 03:35PM
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@DSF

First, its tough to believe the cap will only go up $2 million in 2 years.

Second, if it doesn't go up then you can always trade someone.

If the cap does go up a significant amount (it certainly will over the next 7 years) then its a steal of a deal.

Capgeek says that they are at $36 million for 8 players (Hall, Perron, Nuge, Ebs, Smid Ference, Gordon, Gagner).

Add Yak at $6, Schultz, Petry and DD at $4M each, thats another $18 M and a total of $54 M for 12. $13M for 13 guys is certainly possible when you have your top 12 locked up.

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#31 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 04:05PM
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DSF wrote:

But the Oilers are not the Penguins, not even close, and the Penguins can't seem to win a cup having their team so top heavy in salaries.

What's the point here?

You seem to think it is important that we compare these three players with a view to their performance, while eliding the significant cap difference...

Now, you've forgotten that the Pens have won a cup and that they were considered a contender last year until Fleury imploded.

They will be considered such again this year.

What is the point you are trying to make?

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#32 hall2010
September 19 2013, 08:15PM
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WOW! JW just schooled DSF...where's the rebuttal DSF...crickets chirping

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#33 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 10:35PM
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@DSF

so you are committed to the idea that last season was representative of the production of these two players.

Good for you. keen insight abounds.

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#34 D
September 19 2013, 02:17PM
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A long term core. A very good way to build a business.

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#35 oilerjed
September 19 2013, 02:23PM
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Has this kind of contract negotiating been done before? Similar dollars and term? That team koolaid that is being passed out must be the sh!t. If Yak signs for 6 mil long term as well, we could have this core here until almost 2020! And having them spaced out by a few years gives room for manuevering later on.

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#36 Darrell
September 19 2013, 04:05PM
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DSF wrote:

This contract and the Schultz/Yakupov deals to follow pretty much signifies the Oilers window to win a cup will be very soon and very short.

If Schultz gets, say, $5M and Yakupov gets $6M (both very likely IMO), Petry gets $3.5M and Dubnyk gets $4M, the Oilers will need to have many players on ELC's just to get under the cap in 2015/16.

If those numbers above are close to accurate, the Oilers will have about $55M committed to the cap with only 12 players under contract.

If James Mirtle's salary cap projections for 2015/16 are accurate, the cap will be around $66M.

That means the Oilers will only have $11M to sign another 11 players.

That dog won't hunt.

Oilers will be stacked long term and can trade anyone at anytime to ease cap issues. Imagine Sedins at 8 each plus Loseongo and its the same story but you will think its great cause you hate the Oilers! Sedins cant win in the playoffs as they are pussies and your #1 goalie was in playoff mode last night. I hope it feels good getting us fired up as that's all your good for around here as the Canucks and WILD FA signings are a JOKE compared to the team being built here ....

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#37 jake
September 19 2013, 04:11PM
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DSF: "But remember he had to move Jordan Staal to make things work."

Is that why, in June 2012, they offered him a 10year almost 60M contract that Staal rejected?

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#38 AltF4
September 19 2013, 09:41PM
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drdoogie wrote:

Okay, let's just stop with the constant comparisons to Chicago, Pittsburgh and every other good team that bottomed out. Did Vancouver, New Jersey and Boston bottom out for 5 straight years to eventually get them into the big dance over the past few years? Who cares how many young studs you have unless you actually see progression? Even if they manage to make the playoffs this year, the next year they may miss them again. So what?? Are people going to jump off the High Level bridge then?? Take a chill pill and enjoy the games and let the chips fall where they may. If the nerd that wrote this blog wants to profess to being the king wordsmith of northern alberta by disecting anyone that challenges his opinion, then I would suggest the words 'get a life' may apply here. Go Oil!!

It's "dissecting", you obnoxious muttonhead. Consider yourself privileged to post your foul smelling comments on his turf.

His "opinion" is arguments supported by factually based research, which so happens to crush the soul out of comments from people like yourself, DSF, etc.

Can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

DOUBLE IDIOM!

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#39 Racki
September 19 2013, 07:07PM
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The Oilers have 3 amazing players locked up for $18M per year (for the 3). This is on par with Getzlaf / Perry ($16.775M), Malkin/Crosby ($17.4M), Ovechkin/Backstrom ($16.2M). Nash and Richards combine for $14.5M, and I don't think they're any better than the kids here in Edm.

As you astute folks can tell, these are duos of players.. not trios.. duos of elite players that aren't far off from our trio of future elite players. Yes, some of those names are in the generational category, but my point is that these teams still manage to build a team around players with those giant cap hits.

The Oilers trio's cap hit is almost the same as Sharp, Kane and Toews. I'd say the trio aren't there yet by comparison, but I think they will be one day.. so that makes me comfy considering these guys had their deals made before (2010 for Kane/Toews, 2012 for Sharp). Inflation tells me that the Oiler trio should cost more...

Look at the Canucks.. they have RYAN KESLER at $5M, and LUONGO at $5.333M eating up cap space with modest production.

The Bruins have 6 guys under contract who earn an average together of just over 6M each (Chara, Rask, Lucic, Iginla, Krejci, Bergeron).

Capgeek is down right now, but I think there are several duos out there that are in the ballpark of $14M... and several MORE trios of players that add up to $18M.

So am I worried that we have 3 guys locked up for $18M cap hit total? Hell no, because that's on par with probably most competitive teams out there, however we have 3 elite players locked up at a young age for multiple years (which isn't something a lot of those other teams can say).

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#40 dougtheslug
September 19 2013, 09:00PM
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DSF wrote:

Were they under discussion?

Try and stay on point Sparky.

This from the king-troll of the thread hijack

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#41 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 10:22PM
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book¡e wrote:

Kadri at 22 appears to have reached a similar level to Hopkins at 19.

You think that 22 year old shooting percentage over 48 games is going to last?

No, I don't either.

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#42 AltF4
September 19 2013, 10:22PM
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DSF wrote:

Would they?

There is a pretty strong argument that Kadri is at least as good as Hopkins.

Right, the Oilers should consider the Toronto Maple Leafs glowing record of management of young, skilled players as a basis for their decisions.

You may as well start a business modeled after Enron.

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#43 Ducey
September 19 2013, 04:22PM
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@DSF

I read the Mirtle article. It was written in January right after the lockout. I imagine things have changed in the last 9 months.

Here is the key: The thing too is that’s only based on 5 per cent revenue growth annually. The NHL grew at a rate of about 7.2 per cent in the last agreement, which if it continued, would mean that in Year 8, this league would top $5-billion in revenues.

He did not say revenue would grow at 5%. He assumed it. That seems low given the league has grown at 7.2 %

Therefore, for you put it forward as fact is, well, a little misleading.

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#44 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 10:21PM
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DSF wrote:

Thing is...every team ahead of the Oilers on your list is also substantially better than the Oilers.

The closest is likely Minnesota who would have bought out Heatley if he wasn't injured.

The problem is the Oilers (barring trade) are locked into those contracts for many, many years while teams like Dallas, Colorado and Detroit have short term flexibility while the Olers will have none.

As stated earlier, the Oilers will be fine if they are adept enough to build a Stanley Cup winner in the next 7 years but, given how they will be in very tough to hire quality secondary players, that won't be easy.

Wow!

Carolina is "substantially better" than the Oilers! and Tampa too!

Bettman must be tinkering with the standings again.

"the Oilers will be fine if they are adept enough to build a Stanley Cup winner in the next 7 years"

This is probably my favorite failed troll attempt ever. It should be bronzed.

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#45 bassguy
September 19 2013, 10:25PM
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wow..I have read DSF comments before with interest, knowing that he is a fan of hockey, albeit a critic of most anything oilers, which points to probably being a homer of some sort(Vancouver?)but I have never read anything that floored me more than tonight. Comparing Kadri with RNH as being equal? there is no way, if you have watched the Nuge at all, that they are in the same stratosphere(when the nuge is healthy(but maybe not even then?)he is such a sublime passer, skater, quaterback etc..I think I heard today, as a rookie, he is 5th alltime in points/per games played!..book it

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#46 OilClog
September 20 2013, 12:29AM
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Hahahahahahaha Kadri is as good as Hopkins?!? Hahahahahahaha Kadri.. He's decent, but sadly DSF he's no Hopkins, its ridiculous to even suggest such a notion. 30 out of 30 GM's take The Nuge.

Comparing Hopkins Season last year that was crippled with an injury to a season against a player that was not is well.. How about their respective AHL numbers before the lockout? Why don't we compare their world jr stats, it's recent in Hopkins case and it works.. What happened, Hopkins was the best player at the tournament, can Kadri boost a statement in his résumé? No.

Lets never speak on this again

Good Grief

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#47 freelancer
September 19 2013, 02:21PM
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The pessimist in me wishes we could've seen how he plays post surgery. But the rest of me is stoked to have him locked up. NUUUUUUUUGE

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#48 jake
September 19 2013, 02:51PM
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Out of Yak, Eberle, Hall and RNH, if one goes Scott Gomez on you, well 3 out of 4 aint bad.

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#49 Manfly
September 19 2013, 03:34PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I am amazed at how everyone on the TSN comment box is slamming this signing.

one poster mentioned that if it were the other poster's team that signed one of their star players to this type of contract, they'd be jumping up and down....they're just jealous.

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#50 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 19 2013, 04:07PM
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DSF wrote:

It is somewhat of an issue for the Wild but they (once Heatley is gone) will only have 3 players making more than $5M.

If Schultz and Yakupov get what I expect they will, the Oilers will have 5 players north of $5M with Gagner almost there at $4.8M.

"more than 5M" is an interesting world of possibility for the Wild.

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