IT’S ABOUT TIME
There are just a few more days until training camp officially opens on the 2018-19 Edmonton Oilers season. About this time each year, I get excited for the upcoming season. There’s been a tumultuous offseason, but every year is a clean slate. Every team is tied for first place on opening night. This is gonna be the year. Right?
There’s no other way to say it, so I’m just going to blurt it out there: The Oilers have got to sign Darnell Nurse. The charade has gone on long enough. There’s only a few days remaining before training camp opens, and Peter Chiarelli hasn’t yet gotten the deal done. Bells and whistles won’t start going off until the club meets for medicals late this week, but the club is cutting it awfully close.
IMO the Noah Hanifan contract has very little implications on Darnell Nurse's negotiations.— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) August 31, 2018
Nurse almost certainly will get a 2 year bridge north of a 3.0 AAV.
If he crushes it and puts up say 12-33-45 in one of the next 2 seasons...the next long term deal will be 5.5M+ AAV
A LITTLE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Oilers have had some bad luck with Andrej Sekera and his torn Achilles tendon, and they’ve handcuffed themselves with some strange contracts (like the Koskinen deal at 2.5MM, or the Caggiula deal at 1.5MM, or three more years of Kris Russell 4MM + NMC, or the Lucic deal at 6 million until the end of time.
The dollars and cents of the matter are simple; the Oilers have 3.9MM in cap space until Sekera’s LTIR kicks in at the beginning of regular season. And right now, there’s no deal for Darnell Nurse. And according to Bob Stauffer, the holdout could continue into training camp, which is less than ideal.
HOW BAD CAN IT BE?
Darnell Nurse is this team’s second left-defenceman. I’m not suggesting he’s going to be out of the lineup when the regular season starts in October, because that would mean one of Russell or Jakub Jerabek getting the bump to 2LD. It also opens the window wide for Evan Bouchard to find a full-time roster spot on the team in 2018-19, none of any of this is desirable.
With just days to go until training camp opens, the Oilers are now under the wire to get a deal done. Already down one piece in Andrej Sekera, the Oilers simply can’t afford to have another one of their big pieces on defence miss any time at camp.
They’re stretched thin now. Keeping Darnell Nurse out of training camp is simply not a viable option. Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers have got to get it done this week.