Report: Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to ink 8-year deal; does this open the door for a Taylor Hall return?

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wanted to remain with the Edmonton Oilers and that’s what is expected to happen. A formal announcement is pending that he and the Oilers have agreed to an eight-year, $41 million contract extension, TSN reported Tuesday.

Per the report, the deal includes a no-movement clause.

“My goal is always to stay an Oiler, and right now at this point, (free agency) is not really in my mind,” Nugent-Hopkins said last month, per the Edmonton Journal. “Right now, I have a lot more in my head than that, so it’s tough to kind of think about that and get my thoughts wrapped around that. I think I’ve said it from Day 1, I love being an Oiler and it’s something that I’ve taken a lot of pride in the last 10 years.”

Nugent-Hopkins, 28, recorded 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 52 games this season while competing in the final campaign of a seven-year, $42 million contract.

He has collected 478 points (185 goals, 293 assists) in 656 career games since being selected by the Oilers with the top overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft.

Does this open the door for a Taylor Hall return?

taylor hall oilers
Taylor Hall back in Edmonton (Getty Images)

The most amazing thing about this situation is RNH will be making less term per year than he did on his last contract. Normally, that is reserved for free agents coming towards the end of their careers, not those in their prime.

So the contract now opens up something that Doug MacLean said Prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. The former GM turned analyst heard a rumor that the Oilers wanted to bring back RNH and Hall.

“I also heard yesterday they’re in on the guy from Buffalo that everybody wants [Hall]. I’m thinking, how could Taylor Hall go there on a deal?” MacLean said. “The guy told me they’re looking at a deal that would have [Hall and RNH] both done for less than $12 million for both of them, and it would work next year. It was a reasonable source that said it.”

It looks like the Oilers are now halfway to their goal. And if Hall is to be taken at his word, his next deal should be something similar.

“I’m not looking to absolutely maximize my value at this point in my career,” Hall said on breakup day. “I’ve been fortunate enough to make some good money in this league, and at this point, it’s more of a fit for me than maybe money, or long-term thing. You want to find a home for the next few years here.”

Odds are he is returning to Boston, but a homecoming back to Edmonton seems to be in the cards too.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article