The ink has dried and the press conference is over. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will officially be an Edmonton Oiler for the next seven years following this season, making him the team’s third six million dollar man.
Reaction to the signing on Twitter was a mixed bag of excitement, relief and some fans who don’t like the deal. As we mentioned here at Oil on Whyte earlier in the week when a contract extension was first brought to light, Nugent-Hopkins has played in just over 100 games through two seasons (or one and a half technically). Despite his rookie numbers being impressive, some feel that RNH hasn’t earned the same type of deal that both Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle received prior to their entry level deal expiring.
Craig MacTavish and his posse have identified RNH as a key cog to the Oilers wheel that will ultimately roll to success. Locking RNH long-term is a bit risky based on the facts mentioned above. But there are risks of going the route of a bridge deal and then having him put up huge Nuge numbers where he’d garner Sidney Crosby type money in three years.
A bridge deal also brings the risk of exposing RNH to the free-agent market as a restricted type which could bring an offer sheet from an opposing club. A move that would force the Oilers hand to possibly overpay Nugent-Hopkins just to keep him.
One day later, the signing looks even better when laying out the what-ifs that could have reared it’s ugly head over the coming years. Three pieces of the designated ‘core’ are under long-term control, now putting the sole focus on winning and taking the re-build to the next level.
What’s your thoughts on the RNH contract extension? Do you like, love it or hate it? Take part in our daily poll and we’ll find out what Oilers Nation feels about the deal.