Edmonton Oilers draft Darnell Nurse seventh overall

Jonathan Willis
June 30 2013 01:46PM

The Edmonton Oilers have chosen to hold on to their seventh overall draft pick, and have selected Darnell Nurse.

Here's Red Line Report on Nurse:

Has huge upside. Big and strong with great upper body strength despite still being a beanpole. Wait until he adds a few pounds to that hulking 6'5" frame. He's just miserable to play against now: throws opponents around with authority and plays a mean, nasty game. Throws big hits both along the boards and in open ice. Has a very long stride and reach with good lateral movement. Plays a positionally steady game in own end. Strong penalty killer who uses his body/stick to eliminate shooting and passing lanes. Cleans men out in front of net. Clears rebounds and ties up his check preventing second chances. Can be a dominant force and top pairing shutdown defender. Offensive game emerged in 2nd half. Started moving up into the rush decisively, showing good timing and instincts. Makes a good first pass and skates with his head up, looking to make plays. Also shows recovery speed.

Red Line had him eighth overall on their list, but projects him as a top-pairing defenceman at the NHL level.

Jason Gregor had a great interview with Nurse earlier this month.

Also of interest: Darnell Nurse faced among the toughest competition of any defenceman in major junior in this year's draft.

Analysis

This is something of a surprise, as the expectation was that Edmonton would select Valeri Nichushkin, the 6'4" winger who was projected by some as a top-five pick. Instead, they choose a player who is a good fit for long-term need - a big, strong shutdown defenceman with puck-moving ability. While Nurse is a strong fit for need, it would be a major shock if he played in Edmonton this season; like most defencemen picked at this stage of the draft additional seasoning in junior is almost certainly the prudent course of action. 

This is a big add for the Oilers organization. It's just going to take a few years to pay off.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 DrunkGuyTy
June 30 2013, 05:56PM
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Rod... Thinker... et al.

You guys are embarassing - go cheer for another team.

This is ONE FRICKIN' DAY ... talk about putting all your emotional stability in one basket.

Sometimes the real world doesn't align with your wet dreams.

Sheesh!!!

The Oilers are better today than they were yesterday and we didn't give up any assets.

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#2 book¡e
June 30 2013, 02:17PM
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Why are there so many stupid comments here today?

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#3 Krusher
June 30 2013, 01:54PM
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Exactly what Oil need long term. They got it right today all considered

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#4 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 30 2013, 03:12PM
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I'm happy with the pick.....

Even happier to see that some of the guys, whose hockey opinions I have little respect for on this site, don't like the pick.......

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#5 Sayers
June 30 2013, 03:14PM
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madjam wrote:

Can't always account for Oilers questionable moves , but Risto will certainly turn out better , just you watch and see . Have to question why they did not go with skill as apparently they said ? If they thought he was most skilled left then one should question them all and entire scouting group . Apparantly Gillis wanted our first , second and prospect for Schneider , yet they took a later first only basically for Schneider . Figure that out . Still should have got something off Buffalo for leaving Risto available .Off the board pick as far as i'm concerned . MacT.appears to be another weak dealer so far .

Nurse is rated higher than Risto on just about every list out there, but I am now worried because you obviously are a far better judge of talent... Have you even seen either play? I say nooooooooo. Stick to your ridiculous trade proposals at least they make me laugh.

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#6 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 30 2013, 03:18PM
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YES.!!! Feaster goes off the board again with the #22 pick!

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#7 Quicksilver ballet
June 30 2013, 02:28PM
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Darnell Nurse is Seth Jones with a mean streak.

BOOK IT!

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#8 Boourns99
June 30 2013, 04:12PM
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HEY CRITICS OF THE PICK:

1) Look into it: Darnell Nurse played the toughest competition of ANY defender in the draft! So the vitriol about him being a joke is WAY off.

2) He plays with an edge - how many guys on our team can you say that about?

3) Defence wins championships and we are LOADED with D talent coming up. Could be we're seeing the beginnings of the best defensive core in hockey.

4) A former 5th overall for a 3rd line banger is an overpay. I'm glad we didn't make that trade (either of them for that matter)

5) Corey Schneider for the 7th (Nurse) a Second and a prospect is an INSANE overpay. That was the ask. I wouldn't pay that in a million years for Schneider (and I like him...)

6) 2nd's are still in play - more to come. And for the MacT haters already - for the love of god, the guy has been the GM for like 5 minutes! RELAX. And Rob, go watch something else. And post somewhere else. We won't miss you.

7) CHILL. Lots of time left, lots of things left to come.

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#9 Quicksilver ballet
June 30 2013, 06:37PM
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Thought it was a good day for the Oilers. Nurse is going to be a stud on our blueline hopefully next season (2014-2015). We didn't get rolled by Holmgren or Gillis (Coburn or Schneider).

Now MacTavish can deal the 2014 draft selections along with roster players/prospects to "Help" teams with their cap concerns/cutting costs.

I'd narrow the scope considerably and key in on 8 to 10 players. Hartnell, Couturier, Rinaldo, Ott, Seguin, Bieksa, Myers, D.Brown, Khudobin, Ranger, and put out a 5 yr, 25 mill offer to Clarkson. If they can land a few of these guys it would help a great deal. Myers, Brown, Seguin and Beiksa would take some work, but if these teams had some fiscal foresight, they wouldn't have to consider a move such as these. Craig can swoop in and present them with some cost cutting financial options/provide them with some wiggle room.

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#10 onlyoil
June 30 2013, 09:34PM
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rob wrote:

no,the oilers organization is a joke,I have been a fan since 80 but will no longer support,watch or stomache the stupidity put forth by lowe,tambellini and now Mact!what a joke,bold moves my a##,back to the same old no playoffs,need time to grow ect,I cannot believe I fell for the idea they might do something to make us better!!go screw yourself mact

Ok, se ya

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#11 OilClog
June 30 2013, 01:47PM
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Why do we need 20 people on stage?!? Embarrassing.

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#12 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 02:11PM
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rob wrote:

another let down,no bold moves to help team (nurse will be good a couple of years)but no trades or anything!clutterbuck gone,schinder gone,what a joke from mact,wont be cheering the oilers or the joke of managment they make us choke down every year,LET DOWN LET DOWN LET DOWN!after making us stomaching tambellini for so long we get a jack@## like mact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MacT would have been stupid to trade #7 pick, 2nd rounder and prospect which is what Canuks for Schnieder to trade within division with only 2 years left on contract. Goltending is like 5th or 6th on priority list. Niettereiter former 5th overall pickis big price for 3rd line banger. Islanders mishandled him and he will be a very good player. with 29 other GM's desperate to make trades, 2 guys traded and you are giving up on MacT already. Be realistic, you can't get everyone you are interested in. Glad you won't be cheering for the Oil as you say, they don't need fans like you anyway!

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#13 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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Anybody notice Kevin Lowe was no where to be seen?

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#14 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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Anybody notice Kevin Lowe was no where to be seen?

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#15 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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Anybody notice Kevin Lowe was no where to be seen?

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#16 rob
June 30 2013, 02:14PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

no,the oilers organization is a joke,I have been a fan since 80 but will no longer support,watch or stomache the stupidity put forth by lowe,tambellini and now Mact!what a joke,bold moves my a##,back to the same old no playoffs,need time to grow ect,I cannot believe I fell for the idea they might do something to make us better!!go screw yourself mact

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#17 Smokey
June 30 2013, 02:22PM
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Newj wrote:

Nurse is a good skating, tough dman. His game is something the Oil will benefit from in years to come.

MacT hasnt landed Clutterbuck, or either of the Van goalies. Lets hope he does more in the UFA or RFA market.

Anyone who complains we did not land Clutterbuck, just be happy. Look.what it took, and upcomong forner 5th overall pick. What on earth is Garth Snow on. Keeping the bad line of NY GM's going. Well that if u forget Neil Smith's internship. Wanger gotta stop pulling strings.

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#18 StHenriOilBomb
June 30 2013, 02:23PM
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Thinker wrote:

Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

hey "Thinker",

care to back up your assessment with some thoughts and reason?

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#19 Smokey
June 30 2013, 02:35PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Disappointed.

Schneider for Nurse is a trade i would do a million times over.

We could have than traded Dubnyk for a player like Coburn.

On top of that Valeri would have provided us the size upfront we lack.

Gagner Yakupov ______ - good luck filling in the top six spot with a power forward.

This convo about adding size upfront is getting old.

Your a minority that would do Nurse for Schneider. You and Mcguire agree, that should tell you something.

Like has been said, Nurse was a top pairing defencemen at the Ivan Hlinka, and will be a probably be a top pairing defensemen. When you think what MacT saw in Klefbom, I think he saw similar puck retreival, and puck movement skill in Nurse. He is also mean. Ristolainen may of had better offensive upside, but Nurse has better defensive abilities. Too me its a saw off.

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#20 Like it matters
June 30 2013, 02:45PM
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You guys are all morons. We don't need Schneider. He's not that much of an upgrade that he's worth those picks and a prospect. Darnell is exactly what we need. Go eat some more mushrooms

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#21 Lloyd MacKenzie
June 30 2013, 03:19PM
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Although I am somewhat disappointed we couldn't land one of the center icemen available, I approve of taking Nurse with our pick. I believe he will become a very solid NHL defenseman in time. I believe MacTavish should be applauded for not allowing the other General Managers to take advantage of the Oil in a totally lopsided deal. It's important to shown some patience in waiting on those deals that will improve the team versus making ill conceived deals just for the sake of change. The best deals for the Oilers right now may be those that they walked away from. The only deal made so far was a stupid one on the part of the Canucks in my opinion.

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#22 Smokey
June 30 2013, 03:20PM
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Feaster, brilliant, pulls a Jankowski. Calgary just had its Doan moment.

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#23 madjam
June 30 2013, 03:40PM
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Now that's more like it Feaster - go off the board again . Did he order Perrier or Portier ? Feaster never ceases to amaze and bewilder .

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#24 PChan121
June 30 2013, 04:01PM
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@Smokey

true that, if macT when with the BOLD trade and did 7th 2nd roudner and a top prospect for schnieder, i would have when ape sh!t, that would be worst than pulling a feaster LOL. glad devils got him out of the division too hahah.

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#25 Darrell
June 30 2013, 04:41PM
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rob wrote:

that was a horrible day to be an oilers fan,Mact let us down,only worse days were 06 final,pronger wanting out of town and smith scoring on our own net against calgary.the day started with optimism and ending relizing no matter who it is(lowe,tambo,mact)the oilers will continue to be a basement team,oh well when hall ebs and co want to go we cant blame them!

Shut yer yap already or headed ....

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#26 Bonvie
June 30 2013, 05:32PM
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Thinker wrote:

Could someone on the nurse bandwagon please give me a good defense of the pick. Saying he is the next pronger is baseless. Every single player is overrated at the draft, if every player hit their comparisons, the nhl would be a hell of a league. I want to have a legitimate conversation. Where does nurse fit in the rebuild?

Exactly and which players hit their potential its the players like Nurse with loads of character and work ethic. This is why the interviews or so important he has a Dad and an uncle that have shown him first hand what it takes to reach the next level,

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#27 Naky
June 30 2013, 06:05PM
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But OKC is not loaded with prospects coming? There are a lot of AHL/ECHL veterans on that team and we're already losing a number of our older prospects to free agency due to not qualifying them or what-not like Vande Velde, Tyvrainen, etc. in combination with other prospects not quite panning out as expected like Hamilton, Abney, and Pitlick to an extent. The rebuild is far from over in terms of stocking our minor league teams with the right balance of quality talent and only further highlights how bad our drafting and asset management was in the years before we decided to rebuild.

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#28 TayLordBalls
June 30 2013, 06:11PM
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MacT and scouts did an excellent job on the draft.

Past 3 in, its a lottery and we got lots of tickets.

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#29 nuge2nail
June 30 2013, 07:25PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

^ THIS

Oiler Domination To Follow

Yeah we are going to get one of Myers, Brown, Seguin, Bieksa, Ott or Couturier with 2014 draft picks and prospects.

How foolish of me, now I see the plan, sweet bring on the playoffs.

So far Whitney out, Belov in.

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#30 NewAgeSys
June 30 2013, 07:33PM
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The kid says he wants to meet everyone but he cant wait to play with Nail because he looks like a character.

Is everyone paying attention here, our team is actually developing a goddam PERSONALITY.

We have Characters who want to play with other characters, YESSSSSSSSSS!

Finally someone who isnt feeling pressured to BE the next saviour, someone who is excited to rub shoulders with personalitys instead of just elite skillsets and already recognises the dynamic difference, excellent.

Compete young man , earn your way, be straightforward and motivated, remember there are no setbacks in pro sports only re-defined challenges.

Good luck Darnell, I believe you are in a very admirable position here. You have earned the chance to compete for an NHL job now. Make that happen by being here and now every single day, remembering that you are now facing what is the biggest challenge of your life so far, making an NHL team.

The Honeymoon is over now, its time to start making solid realistic plans.

Welcome to Edmonton kiddo. Enjoy your week off, and then bust a move man. Remember its not just a job it is an Adventure!

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#31 Big J
July 01 2013, 02:38AM
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onlyoil wrote:

Ok, se ya

@ Rob...I love your incisive analysis. Thanks for the inane tirade, the poor spelling and punctuation, the impressive ability to employ "what a joke" twice in the same post, and your enthusiastic child-like belief that things can change immediately by simply wishing it to be so. Lastly, thanks for deliberately sprinkling your post with the above mentioned errors so the rest of us don't feel so dumb.

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#32 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 01:48PM
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Wow, where are these bold moves MacT was talking about?

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#33 Thinker
June 30 2013, 01:50PM
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Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

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#34 The Real Scuba Steve
June 30 2013, 01:51PM
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Kazt is shorter that Garry Battman LOL

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#35 Yakman
June 30 2013, 01:52PM
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Would have preferred nichushkin.

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#36 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 01:53PM
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I like the pick but the Oilers better have him spend 1 or 2 years in junior to further develop and not risk rushing him.

Fans will need to be patient but defenseman need time, look at Hedman, Larsen, Gudbranson, Murray nad Reinhart - none made an impact the following year or even the year after.

Rushing him would be the biggest mistake

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#37 Rob...
June 30 2013, 01:56PM
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@Thinker

I'm more worried that the Oilers will Matt Green him. Darnell is going to rack of the penalty minutes early on because the dumb zebras won't accept a 'hockey play' from a young player. Oilers should have rode the storm and kept Green, and I hope they learnt their lesson.

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#38 OilClog
June 30 2013, 01:56PM
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Nurse is a great pick up.

Only going to get bigger, meaner, and more beast like.

Oilers need this, especially going up against the teams in our division now. Someone that is going to scare forwards coming forward. Beautiful

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#39 Senhor
June 30 2013, 01:57PM
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Will Nurse play next year? Oilers need help NOW! And no other kids around to clutter up the stage?

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#40 Louche zoo
June 30 2013, 01:59PM
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Anybody surprised that MacT went with character? U shouldn't be. Lots to like about Nichushkin, but there are questions about his character.

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#41 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 01:59PM
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Thinker wrote:

Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

Ristolainen is awesome but among many scouts, he is the most likely to not reach his potential. Nukushkin is a beast but the Oil would have to have him on the roster or he stays with the KHL and potentially never comes back, no way MacT will risk his first ever draft pick as GM to not come to the NHL. Wouldn't surprise me if Nukuskin falls to 10th.

Edmonton needs to spread out a few guys, cant have a high end player come off entry level deal 4 or 5 years in a row or they will run out of cap space by the time they are competitive.

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#42 madjam
June 30 2013, 01:59PM
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Thinker wrote:

Dumbest thing we could have done. Ristolainen will be ten times the player. Not to mention nichushkin. Edmonton meet Dylan McIlrath 2.0

Disappointment ,we should have got something from Buffalo for leaving Risto available . No wonder we are still in the basement . MacT. as bad as Tams for dealing , but at least Tams was quiet about it .

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#43 OilClog
June 30 2013, 02:00PM
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@Rob...

I don't think that's possible.. he's already a superior player to Matt Green.

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#44 rob
June 30 2013, 02:01PM
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another let down,no bold moves to help team (nurse will be good a couple of years)but no trades or anything!clutterbuck gone,schinder gone,what a joke from mact,wont be cheering the oilers or the joke of managment they make us choke down every year,LET DOWN LET DOWN LET DOWN!after making us stomaching tambellini for so long we get a jack@## like mact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#45 fig pucker
June 30 2013, 02:02PM
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what a disappointment, but not because of nurse. he'll be a pretty good player, 5 or 6 years from now. we have enough up and comming talent, we need players that are in their prime now. this rebuild is going to make the 100 years war seem like a flash in the pan. epic failure mac t.

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#46 toprightcorner
June 30 2013, 02:04PM
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Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

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#47 frank dovelli
June 30 2013, 02:06PM
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Awful pick, project d-man who won't play a lick in the league. Good to see the MacT era is going to be trash.

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#48 Newj
June 30 2013, 02:06PM
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Nurse is a good skating, tough dman. His game is something the Oil will benefit from in years to come.

MacT hasnt landed Clutterbuck, or either of the Van goalies. Lets hope he does more in the UFA or RFA market.

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#49 rob
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

no,the oilers organization is a joke,I have been a fan since 80 but will no longer support,watch or stomache the stupidity put forth by lowe,tambellini and now Mact!what a joke,bold moves my a##,back to the same old no playoffs,need time to grow ect,I cannot believe I fell for the idea they might do something to make us better!!go screw yourself mact

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#50 rob
June 30 2013, 02:13PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

Schnieder for Bo Horvat, Gillis is a MORON, How does that help Van with the window for a cup quickly closing. Can't help but laugh at that joke of an organization internally!!

no,the oilers organization is a joke,I have been a fan since 80 but will no longer support,watch or stomache the stupidity put forth by lowe,tambellini and now Mact!what a joke,bold moves my a##,back to the same old no playoffs,need time to grow ect,I cannot believe I fell for the idea they might do something to make us better!!go screw yourself mact

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