On Tuesday afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers announced a new eight-year contract with veteran forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The deal locks up arguably the team’s most important pending free agent, and sets the tone for what is undoubtedly a very important summer.
Nugent-Hopkins, however, is not the only big piece of internal business that GM Ken Holland must attend to prior to free agency opening on July 28th. The club is also highly motivated to re-sign shutdown defenseman Adam Larsson.
The Oilers and Larsson had positive conversations in the lead up to the trade deadline in April, but agreed to shelve talks while the club battled for the playoffs. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that the Oilers and Larsson’s camp would reignite talks soon. Those sparks have started a fire, and a deal could be completed in a matter of days.
TSN’s Darren Dreger had this to say on Tuesday night’s edition of ‘Insider Trading’.
“Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a priority. Adam Larsson is also a priority for General Manager Ken Holland of the Oilers,” Dreger said on TSN. “I believe that that negotiation is into the final stretch, it’s close, it’ll get done soon and once those two players are locked and loaded, then Ken Holland will dive deeper into the off-season, looking to add help up front, via free agency, and obviously bolstering his goaltending as well.”
Larsson struggled to start the 2020-21 season, but settled in nicely and became a key piece for the Oilers. Anchoring the club’s second pairing, Larsson proved to be a terrific shutdown option even with a revolving door of left side partners.
The expectation is that Larsson, acquired via trade from the New Jersey Devils five years ago yesterday, will sign a contract with a three or four year term. The dollar amount is expected to come in somewhere between $3,500,000 and $4,000,000 annually.