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.
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.
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):
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.
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: