Nugent-Hopkins, shown being welcomed into Club Rich Person. (Eberle is keeping Schultz out...for now)

Nugent-Hopkins, shown being welcomed into Club Rich Person. (Eberle is keeping Schultz out…for now)

20-year-old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is probably somewhat financially stable now

RNH was one of the Oilers three #1 overall picks (due to the team’s success at being terrible over the past handful of years), and he hasn’t disappointed. He hasn’t been entirely healthy, but when he was, he put up numbers in his teen years that few players in the history of the game have been able to rack up. What that does, is get you paid, son.

His extension is for seven years at six million per ($42 million total), which is the exact cap hit that the Oil’s other top dogs, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, are currently under contract for. Good kids, great players, a lot of years.

I like this deal.

I think he’s a uniquely talented player, and by avoiding the whole “bridge deal” thing, you don’t risk your player doing what PK Subban did (having a season that makes him worth eight mill per year instead of six), you don’t have to go through contract negotiations and deal with any of that contentiousness again, and it’s just…done. You have cost certainty, and if he ends up being a legit point producer as I think he can, he’s a bargain (look how quickly the $5.5 mill Tavares cap hit became laughable – the Nuge ain’t far off that number).

With the cap going up, I think the Oil can still pay Yakupov and Schultz when it’s time, and they shed the Hemsky cap hit of five mill soon (he’s a great player, but I bet they could turn him into a couple decent support players by moving him this year), so all-in-all, I think they’re still sitting pretty.

And as for his health, well, that’s a risk you have to take, but it’s not even that huge a risk. If he’s good, you’re good, and if his shoulders are mangled you put him on LTIR and save the cap hit. You’re really only screwed if he’s constantly semi-hurt. It’s possible, but predicting future injuries is a bit of a dicey game.

By the way, plenty of stories out there today will share with you one neat part of this deal for the Nugent-Hopki (that’s plural): his family had to keep him out of hockey second year Pee Wee because it was too expensive. Not that “can’t afford hockey” is some level of poverty, but I’m still guessing yesterday was a big day for that clan.

***

Outdoor game stuff is happening again

The league had a press conference from Soldier Field in Chicago about their outdoor game against Pittsburgh this year (one which I literally hadn’t thought of/remembered because of my acute OGOS, Outdoor Game Over-Saturation), which was huge news, or whatever.

I can’t believe how quickly I’ve come to not care. I mean, there’s some announcement today about an outdoor game being in Washington next year (believed to be the Winter Classic) but…kay.

Not to take away from the fun that is outdoor hockey or anything, it’s a neat experience to be at one (1) of those, but yeah…okay, tell me when it is, I’ll put it on TV.

One interesting note that did come from the Soldier Field stuff: did you know Sidney Crosby has never played Jonathan Toews in an NHL hockey game? Like, ever? That’s never happened so much as once? That kinda blew my mind.

***

Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein got into a hockey fight

I dunno, those are supposed to be smart guys, right? That’s the joke (because fighters are generally not, it’s like an opposite thing). Hahaha.

ANYWAY, so the NHL implemented a new rule this year that says you can’t take your helmet off to fight. If you do, it’s an additional two minute penalty. This is annoying for fighters (who usually do take off their lids), because fighting someone with a helmet increases your chances of breaking your knuckles like, ten-fold, especially if you’re fighting someone who wears a visor. (So yes, guys would rather fall on their exposed brain-shells then break their knuckles. Just move past that part.)

Of course, if the helmets come off naturally during the course of a fight, that’s allowed. I’ve played in leagues where you can’t take off your own helmet to fight, and players basically engage, throw a few, then wrestle each other’s lids off, then resume.

But no no. Tesla and Einstein (Brett Gallant and Kris Barch) figured they’d do it like gentleman, and kindly remove one another’s buckets before scrapping (stick-tap to Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy for this):

Genius, genius, genius.

***

Martin Brodeur got lit in his first preseason appearance

He gave up four goals on 13 shots to the Isles over two periods. I feel like I’ve written about the Devils goaltender situation a lot lately, so let’s move on to someone who got really, truly lit.

***

Malcolm Subban got scored on eight times last night

He was playing the Detroit Red Wings, which is never easy. I mean, Pavel Datsyuk is bound to run up four points on a few rookie goaltenders in preseason here and there, it only makes sense.

Redeeming for Subban, is he stopped all 12 shots the Canadiens threw at him the night before, so let’s call it a grand total of eight goals against on 34 shots.

Oh, yeah, that’s still not very good.

Ah well. The kid’s got time.

***

Crosby’s on the board

He put home this one-timer on what we’ll call a faaaiiirrrly open cage:

Comments (17)

  1. I wondered how long it would take before fighters agreed to take off each other’s helmets…guess it didn’t take long at all. Classic.

    • Love the problem solving skills on display. It’s a shame foolish new rules are having to be creatively circumvented by the people they are supposedly protecting. They should change the unwritten rule where obligatory rule changes occur each year, and leave the best game on the planet the F alone.

      • “and leave the best game on the planet the F alone.”

        YES. A thousand times yes. They need to stop changing things. Each rule change is even more stupid than the last! I mean, these are the geniuses that gave us: No helmet removal, no tucked jersey, 3 vs 3 overtimes(!?), the Brodeur trapezoid, etc. Why can’t we just leave the game alone? It’s the best game in the world for god’s sakes.

      • When did taking helmets off before a fight become a thing? I can’t recall ever seeing that while growing up watching hockey in the 1990s.

    • I actually saw fighters remove each others helmets last year during a WHL game. The WHL has had the “can’t remove your helmet to fight” rule for the last one or two seasons. Each fighter politely removed the opponents helmet and set it on the ice. Then re-circled each other and engaged. Was very odd looking and just cemented how much I disliked choreographed fights.

    • I feel like those fighters deserve their name on the Stanley Cup of Awesome. Wonder if the revised rule will be named after them, ala the Sean Avery rule, or the Luongo clause?

      The Gallant/Barch rule. Actually, sounds like a federal health plan, so maybe not a great name.

  2. Ah jeez, not the “NJ has a goalie controversy” thing again. Look, the Devils were very, very turnover happy, and the Islanders with their speed are just the team to punish sloppy play. Lets wait until the regular season at least until we start piling on Marty.

    It’s like the Yankees replacing Rivera. Retirement or replacement is not happening as long as Marty is willing to play.

    • Marty will play as long as he wants to and he’ll get starts no matter how badly he plays. People have been talking about how he’s getting old for like 5 years now. It wasn’t that long ago he surprised everyone and helped carry the Devils to the Cup finals. There’s something left in the tank, it’s just not as consistent as it used to be…and beyond that, it’s his first game this year, so a little rust is to be expected.

  3. Not sure Hall is exactly a ‘good kid’

    Take this with a grain of salt but I remember seeing a thread on /r/hockey where a ton of his old high school classmates were giving him loads of hate. Painted him as an entitled, mysogonistic, d-bag.

    I love him as a player so it was a bit of a bummer to hear

  4. Should’ve went with Tesla vs. Edison. They might have actually gotten into a hockey fight at some point over alternating vs. direct current.

  5. On the subject of fighting, what ever happened with getting rid of the penalty for instigating a fight while wearing a visor? I could have sworn that the rule was going to scrapped in a tradeoff for grandfathering in visors, but the penalty is still listed on the NHL’s website. I am remembering things that never happened?

  6. The NHL is in a real bind. They obviously are doing everything they can to minimize the number of fights in the game, but they know just how ingrained in the culture it is. So instead of picking a side, they’ve implemented all of these ridiculous penalties to discourage fighting that don’t do anything but piss everybody off. They haven’t removed fighting from the game, and if anything, they’ve made it even more of a spectacle.

  7. NHL treats fighting like US govt treats smoking. Don’t make it illegal, just pass more laws (taxes) to ‘protect’ and discourage the people who decide for themselves to do it. Meanwhile NHL/govt benefits from it when if they really wanted either gone, they could just ban it.

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