Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Oilers are in good shape with NMC's and NTC's


By the end of this season the Oilers will have two contracts with movement restrictions. Ryan Smyth's contract will be up as he looks to be headed toward free agency that will leave Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Whitney as the two Oilers with a NTC or NMC.

With all indications that Smyth will be an Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1 it will be interesting to see if he will waive it to be traded to a destination of choice prior to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Smyth did come back to Edmonton to come home and for the quality of life. But, if he isn't coming back, and personally after his performance last season I don't see the fit, will he retire or look to go elsewhere? Would he end his career in in say Detroit, or Boston, or Calgary? Would a team offer an asset of value to get the negotiating rights?

Shawn Horcoff has a NMC that expires after the 2012/13 contract year. The season following he has a NTC (for 2013/14). The last year of his contract, 2014/15, he doesn't have either. I will be surprised if Horcoff finished his contract in Edmonton. In fact I wouldn't be shocked in the least to see if the Oilers try and waive him after next season. With the young guns pushing making Horcoff's hold on the Captaincy weaker as time goes on both he and the Oilers could look for a change. After the 2012/13 season Horcoff's contract is a 5.5 million cap hit, but his salary drops to 4 million and finally 3 million. A team looking to cross over the cap floor would find Horcoff's contract attractive.

Ryan Whitney is in the final season of his contract in 2012/13. He has a NTC, with the Oilers looking to upgrade the top 4 to find a legitimate top pairing he could be lost in the shuffle or used in a trade to bring in a top pairing defenseman.

The Oilers have done a good job not offering many NTC's and NMC's. However, in the coming years the Oilers will make these offers as a part of future contracts to Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Hugent-Hopkins at the least. The cornerstones of this franchise will likely get the security of a NMC or NTC or both.

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A forum poster since 2000, Jay is the Moderator of the Edmonton Oilers forum the Motley Crude. A proud member of the Oilers Army. He also contributes to his blog Oilers Republic and to theOilogosphere. You can follow him on twitter (http://twitter.com/OR_TMC). Also, an Oilers blogger at Sportsnet Fan Fuel.

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