Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: You're Welcome!

Nuge looks up and sees Copper & Blue assuring his future! - USA TODAY Sports

Not to overstate things, but I am entirely responsible for the Oilers' extending Ryan Nugent-Hopkins long-term.

You doubtless heard about the Ryan Nugent-Hopkins contract extension yesterday. It's a proud day for all of us here at Copper & Blue, especially me, as we can claim no small credit for this great moment in Oilers history.

Back in March 2011, after the Dustin Penner trade, I invented the theory of "get good players, keep good players". If I were to summarize my sober, rational, and artfully argued blog post with a single quote, it would be "to have a good hockey team, you need good hockey players." It seemed like a bit of a radical idea then, but it's what came about today. Er, yesterday. Whatever, I'm losing track.

Then-Oilers GM Steve Tambellini didn't know a blue line from a blue moon but now we have Craig MacTavish and he clearly is an avid Copper & Blue reader. Or maybe it's the GVT guy. Either way, we are wired deep into the Oilers brain trust. The fact that MacTavish has adopted my entirely original "good hockey players" mantra, despite the fact that people called me an inbred syphilitic madman for even suggesting it at the time, proves that the Oilers are something something Nielsen numbers.

You may say the idea of trying to lock up your talented young players is so self-evident that even a penguin with a brain injury would figure it out, given a pencil and half an hour on CapGeek; that it's such a fundamentally obvious "insight" it's absurd for anybody to claim credit for it. But to that I reply "you already clicked on this article, didn't you?" (makes cash register noises)

(Other writers will try to tell you that they invented the idea of keeping Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. But they themselves admit they didn't suggest it until April of this year. No, I'm afraid it's one more in the win column for this ol' warhorse.)

Here's a link to the essential posts I've written about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins over the years.

(what, Derek? I've never written a single post about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? That can't be right; the entire credo of Oilers reportage is endless drooling over teenagers of a sort that would get the police on us in any other context. Dammit, we've got to get hits somehow.) Um, in 2012 I mentioned Nuge in passing in an article about first overall picks, and because SB Nation broke all its old articles so they could make their sites look worse the photo is currently the top of Ryan's head!

Anyway, read a bunch of my old crap and I'm putting "got the Oilers to sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins long-term" on my business cards. I'm sure you'll agree that this article was a worthwhile use of your afternoon. Isn't it nice when we can all sit together like this and agree on how great I am?

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