Trade chatter was quite loud last month when it came to Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the forward was not close to coming to an agreement with team general manager Ken Holland on a contract extension. While RNH would love to stay in Edmonton, GM Holland will need to be careful with his wallet. RNH isn’t the only asset in the final year of his contract… Defenseman Adam Larsson is in the final year of a six-year, $25 million contract and can also become a UFA this July. It is believed that no talks are currently planned. The Oilers have just under $25 million in salary cap space next season with Kailer Yamamoto as their only major pending restricted free agent in need of a new contract.
This could be what’s holding up talks between Nugent-Hopkins and the Oilers, who had kicked off negotiations at the beginning of the month.
According to Frank Seravalli, the Oilers have hit a wall with RNH. This is how he explained it on last night’s edition of Insider Trading on TSN:
“No meaningful progress but that certainly [is] not for a lack of trying. I’m told that the Oilers tabled a recent offer to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his camp but it was one that wasn’t flattering; I believe in the five-year term, certainly not one that Nugent-Hopkins was rushing to find a table to sign. At this point, these two sides are going to continue talking, that’s what they’ve agreed to. They’re going to continue the dialogue and see if they can work something out and I have zero sense at this point that the Oilers have any interest in moving Nugent-Hopkins before the trade deadline even without a deal done. They’d like to keep him and try and find a way to win as well as keep him locked up long term. We’ll see if they can do that.”
The Oilers will apparently have to do better. While no one expects Holland to place RNH on the trade block ahead of April 12, we don’t know if obstacles will continue to pill up and he might have no choose closer to the opening of free agency…
Let’s keep an eye on this.