The Edmonton 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, it is believed that the Oilers GM might be waiting on a potential trade before he gets the young defender signed to a contract extension.
Nurse has made it clear that he will not attend training camp next week if a deal isn't in place.
“This is an organization I want to be a part of, obviously,” said Nurse. “Hopefully, I’m out there first day."
According to Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, 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.
" Well, I have been saying (and writing) for some time now that I don’t believe that Peter Chiarelli is done shaping this roster yet. The one piece that up until this point has alluded him is a right-shot D-man ready-and-able to run a power play. And perhaps his best and last shot to fill that hole is right at the end of training camp."
This is surely an interesting theory coming from Leavins. There are also a lot of questions surrounding the state of Andrej Sekera, who could end up on the long-term injury list and allow the Oilers to benefit from some extra doe. 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.
Now the Oilers fans don't only have to watch out for a potential contract extension, but also be ready for an imminent trade...