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Down To One (Contract)

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Darnell Nurse’s new deal is the last big one to sign this offseason.

Vegas Golden Knights v Edmonton Oilers
Other than a 13th forward, Darnell Nurse is the last deal the OIlers need to sign.
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Now that Ryan Strome has been locked up for two years at 3.1MM, the Oilers have just one big deal to go. They’ve got to sign (or promote) a 13th forward as well, but Darnell Nurse is the club’s last big restricted free agent.

With Strome now back in the fold for the next two years, let’s take a quick peek at the dollars and cents

UPPER LIMIT: 79,500,000

OILERS CURRENTLY: 74,521,166 (per Cap Friendly)

REMAINING CAP SPACE: 4,978,834

This isn’t an enviable position for the Oilers to be in. It’s the culmination of every deal that Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has made over the last two years. Deals like Tobias Rieder and Kyle Brodziak? Those are good bets. Deals for Mikko Koskinen at 2.5MM a year and Drake Caggiula at 1.5MM? Buying out Benoit Pouliot’s deal at 1.3MM a year for four years? Eric Gryba’s 300K buyout for two years? The overpyaments have added up.

Unless some cap space magically frees itself up, these are the numbers we’re looking at. The Oilers need to sign Darnell Nurse and another reserve forward for less than or equal to the remaining cap space.

If the Oilers get Nurse and a 13th forward on the remaining cap number, I think there’s a significant chance that the lack of available cap space will take Nurse out of the long contract for now. Getting a 13th forward isn’t much of an issue, one will likely come in at the 700-900K range. Getting Nurse to sign for a couple years in the 3s? Might work out. Going long term at 4MM? I’m not sure that’s an option.

Edmonton’s got to lock up Darnell Nurse. Can they convince him to sign a bridge deal with the available cap space they have left?