According to Mark Spector, Darnell Nurse and the Edmonton Oilers remain $200-300k apart on a two-year bridge, and the young defenseman probably won’t be in Edmonton for the start of main camp:
No talks on the schedule between Darnell Nurse camp and Oilers today. On a two-year bridge deal, gap remains at an estimated $200-300 K per season. Almost 100% certain camp opens without Nurse in attendance.— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) September 13, 2018
This, of course, is a mess of the Oilers own creation. Death by a thousand cuts, and even more disheartening given we are merely one summer removed from seeing Jordan Eberle dealt for cap space. Cap space, of course, failed to meet expectations, the Oilers had an horrific season, and this year cap space is nowhere to be found. This is the song that never ends.
I mean, perhaps we’re being too critical of the current regime. Perhaps they could have avoided the prospect of starting their season now down two of their top six defenders. Perhaps, were they not paying Eric Gryba $300k to play somewhere else. Or Benoit Pouliot $1.33M to do the same. Maybe if Drake Caggiula, who has only shown that he’s not capable of contributing at the NHL level in his career-to-date, wasn’t making $1.5M. If only they didn’t sink $3.5M into their backup goaltender. Or gave $6M to a guy who hasn’t been worth that at 5v5 for a couple of years. Or paid Kris Russell 100% too much. Or at least top dollar for guys like Zach Kassian, or *gasp*, maybe even Leon Draisaitl. The list, as we all know, goes on. So really, we’re probably not being critical enough. I suppose that’s what happens when the team frustrates you so deeply, you can’t even be assed to write about the stupid shit they do anymore.
I mean, 18 (!!) points out of a playoff spot in arguably the weakest division in hockey, while their former first overall superstar (who they failed to rebuild around correctly the first time) LW is winning the Hart Trophy because his team made the playoffs, and Connor McDavid’s - the current Ted Lindsay winner two times on the spin - didn’t. And the guys responsible still get to make decisions! It’s crazy. Clearly, Daryl Katz tolerates shittiness better than that one actress he paid off (allegedly). Like Bob MacKenzie said the other day, it’s a crime against hockey humanity. It’s as bad as it could have been, to be honest. We’re in the darkest timeline.
And maybe the worst part about this whole thing? It’s entirely likely that Darnell Nurse comes in overpaid now, too. He’s still a middling defender in his own right at the moment, but he can point down the line (or across the ice) at Kris Russell and say, “Demonstrate to me how I’m not worth as much money as he is.” Maybe that’s a bit cynical. Or, maybe it isn’t. Maybe Nurse and his camp look at the current depth chart on defense and know the Oilers are desperate for him to sign. He can also point to the empty stall where Andrej Sekera would normally sit, too. You can’t blame him. He’s got every right.
In the meantime, we as fans can speculate, or not, as to when Nurse might sign, for how long, and for how much. We can just hope for not the worst while preparing for worse than you could even imagine. Just in case.
Of course, Chiarelli could just flip Nurse+ to Ottawa for Erik Karlsson this afternoon and I’ll give him my own car. It has, problems, but it’s the gesture that’s important.
EDIT: Well, Erik Karlsson is a Shark now in an exchange for various odds and a few ends. I’ll keep my car, thank you.