After months of silence, it appears the Edmonton Oilers have reopened contract talks with pending free-agent forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
"After almost 5 months of quiet, Ken Holland and RNH agent Rick Valette had a lengthy conversation today about an extension," said TSN's Ryan Rishaug on Twitter Tuesday. "Nothing imminent but they plan on keeping an open dialogue. I don’t sense any rush from either side at this point despite the trade deadline looming.
"[It] seems highly unlikely Oilers would move RNH while in a playoff spot so there is time to continue working on a solution," wrote Rishaug. "Both sides have stated their intention/desire to find a deal that works.
"We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks."
Nugent-Hopkins is in the final year of a 7-year, $42 million contract he signed with the Oilers prior to the 2014 season. He carries a cap hit of $6 million on the current contract. The 27-year-old has recorded 10 goals and 13 assists in 31 games this season. He is fourth on the team in points behind Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Tyson Barrie.
Drafted No. 1 overall by the Oilers in 2011, Nugent-Hopkins has spent his entire career in Edmonton, accumulating 179 goals and 466 points in 635 games.
According to CapFriendly, the Oilers have $23.89 million in projected cap space for next season with 11 players under contract.