Simmons: Pricey gamble by the Oilers

The Oilers are banking on what they hope Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle will...

The Oilers are banking on what they hope Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle will do, not what they've already done. (Amber Bracken, QMI Agency)

Steve Simmons, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:02 PM ET

John Tavares, who has emerged as one of hockey’s elite players, will earn less money this year than either Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle and, a year from now, less than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

That is a rare compliment for the New York Islanders and how their rather odd general manager, Garth Snow, conducts his business.

Tavares will be paid $5.5 million this season, just a touch more than Phil Kessel, and for the next four years a lot less than Kessel, Hall, Eberle and the pencil-thin Nugent-Hopkins, who signed that head-shaking seven-year, $42-million deal this week.

The Oilers now have three players, 23 years and under, each of them with their financial futures insured. None of them have to be concerned about their next contracts in any way. The team had better hope they have the right three here.

Personally, I like the common sense approach of the Islanders deal and the bridge deals signed in Montreal by P.K. Subban last year and in Toronto by Nazem Kadri thi


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