Maybe moving on from Nugent-Hopkins is the best move for the Oilers

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Edmonton Oilers need to change some things up on their team to be successful.

One player they could potentially walk away from is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The two have been negotiating a new contract for a while, and things have taken a turn for the worse. The Edmonton Oilers and Ryan Nugent Hopkins have been together for a long time.

He was the team’s first overall pick during the 2011 NHL draft, and since then he has put up 478 points over 656 games with the team. He has been with the Oilers for ten years, and all he has to show for it is three trips to the postseason.

Nugent-Hopkins is not the generational talent that Connor McDavid is, and all he has been as of late is someone who can score on the power play, but not as reliable during five on five. This team doesn’t need to pay Nugent Hopkins north of six million again.

While he has put up some pretty reliable numbers, 35 points in 52 games this season, and 61 in 65 the year before, this team still can probably get two middle-six forwards for the same price it would cost to bring back Nugent-Hopkins.

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Honestly whether or not the two parties get a deal done probably comes down to where this team sees his value. Do they expect his points and his production to be influenced heavily on him playing with McDavid and Draisaitl? If yes then maybe he shouldn’t get more than six million again.

While Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been a great Oiler, he probably is an expendable piece, and his cap space can be used to add a few free agents off of the market rather than put all the money into one guy that scored just one goal during the playoffs this past season.

Edmonton is pretty weak at forward, and that is why I do not think this team brings him back. They already have their two big stars in Draisaitl and McDavid. Now instead of paying for a good number three guy, the team can focus on filling out their depth and adding some more guys that can score in any spot within the lineup.

The Oilers have some important free agents they need to re-sign, but I do not think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is on that list. We should learn more about the state of the free agents that could be available as the playoffs draw to a close later this month.