Sometimes, an anxious situation that takes a long time to be settled is worth the wait... However, in the case of the Edmonton Oilers, it might be the final nail in the coffin.
The Oilers don’t have the cap room to sign free agent defenseman Darnell Nurse to a long-term, big money deal, however, it seems clear that he is an important part of the roster moving forward. While general manager Peter Chiareilli is still looking at the financial puzzle to make Nurse the best offer possible, NHL insider Bob McKenzie revealed terrible news for the fan base on Monday.
According to Chris Nichols, McKenzie revealed on Monday that "Nurse's contract negotiations are not going well at all."
Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal recently explained that one reason behind the potential holdup in the Oilers re-signing Nurse is Chiarelli isn’t done shaping the roster. Here is how Leavins explains it: the Oilers still lack “right-shot D-man ready-and-able to run a power play,” hinting at the fact that Chiarelli’s best shot of addressing that need is near the end of training camp. Given the Oilers’ limited cap space, using most of it to re-sign Nurse could hinder the quest to bring in another blueliner.
McKenzie's colleague Darren Dreger was on the air of TSN 1260 earlier today and also commented the difficult negotiations between the Oilers and the young blue liner, as posted on social media by Nichols.
"It's the hope, it's the belief, that there should be a deal before camp starts, but expectation isn't always a reality."
"I still believe it's going to be a two-year bridge, and probably around $3 million flat per, or just over $3 million if the Edmonton Oilers budge a little bit."
As of now, the Oilers only have $3.9 million in cap room with 22 signed players and a possible contract offer to either of their tryout players Scottie Upshall or Jason Garrison could be added to the total. While a short term bridge contract could be an option for Edmonton, Nurse never seems thrilled about the idea of a shorter deal.
We will have to see if the kid is willing to make a sacrifice and play for the Oilers with captain Connor McDavid, who is more than ready for a bounce back season.