Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has long stated his desire to be an Oiler for life. Today, it looks like he'll get his wish.
On Tuesday morning, the Edmonton Oilers announced that they have come to terms on a massive eight-year contract extension with forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins worth an average annual value of $5 million later today.
The deal, which was first reported by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, reportedly includes a full no-move clause, as well, thereby ensuring Nugent-Hopkins' will remain in Edmonton for the rest of his playing days, if he wants to.
Despite this contract reportedly being the product of a long and arduous negotiation, both sides seem quite happy with the result.
Nugent-Hopkins is a pivotal piece of the Oilers' top-six, a former first-overall pick of the franchise from back in 2021 who has averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game in each of the past three seasons while also generating offence at a 20-goal and 60-point clip, respectively. Long viewed as a centre, Nugent-Hopkins is fresh off a 2021 campaign which saw him make the full transition over to the wing, with the 28-year-old racking up 16 goals and 19 assists for 35 points in a pandemic-shortened 52 games as a result.
Nugent-Hopkins also benefited from some high-quality support in 2021, spending the second-most even-strength minutes of any Oiler forward alongside Connor McDavid. What this extension seemingly accomplishes, now, is locking in one of the franchise face's most common sidekicks for the bulk of the next decade.
Accounting for Nugent-Hopkins' new $5 million price tag, general manager Ken Holland now sits atop $16,345,841 in cap space ahead of an offseason in which 12 players on the Oilers' NHL roster are set to become either restricted or unrestricted free agents. Among those 12 players are a number of key contributors such as Tyson Barrie, Mike Smith, Kailer Yamamoto, and Adam Larsson, with the likes of Darnell Nurse and Jesse Puljujarvi in need of their own new contracts next summer, as well.
How Holland will manage to uncover the funds to fit all of those players under the new flat-cap ceiling remains to be seen. In fact, the question as to whether the Oilers should even run back the same pieces that were just swept by the Winnipeg Jets in their first-round at all is worth asking, too.
Regardless, Nuge is not leaving Edmonton any time soon. And with that, Oilers fans can rest easy. For now.