After a stunning first-round sweep at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets, the bad could soon get worse for the Edmonton Oilers. Appearing on Sportsnet 960 in Calgary on Friday, insider Elliotte Friedman dropped a bomb: “That’s a negotiation that went sideways. … It fell apart.” He’s of course referring to the Oilers’ negotiations with impending free agent Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, easily the third-best forward on a top-heavy Edmonton roster. After a decade of consistent production by Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers could now potentially watch the 2011 first overall pick walk out the door.
According to Friedman, the two sides were close to terms of an extension early in the season. He is unsure when or how things started to break down, but Friedman adds that whatever imminent deal was once on the table is no longer there. ” I believe it was always the plan that Nugent-Hopkins was going to stay and they wanted to keep him,” Friedman stated, “And now I don’t know. … it got mangled.”