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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Dreger: “I’d be surprised if (Nurse) gets more than $3 million”

Yesterday morning, Darren Dreger appeared on The Nielson Show over at TSN 1260 to talk all things Oilers, including Darnell Nurse’s contract delays. According to the insider, he’d be surprised if a contract isn’t finalized before the season starts but did mention that the Oilers have a number in mind that they’re not really looking to go past. Let’s break it down together. 

As we all know, and have written about countless times on this site including my own article from yesterday, the Darnell Nurse contract situation has dragged on for longer than I think any of us would have expected. Personally, I thought this was going to get taken care of no later than August kinda like Leon Draisaitl’s contract from last year, but, obviously, that didn’t happen.

Now that training camp is right around the corner, ol’ Darryl still hasn’t signed and some folks are starting to wonder what’s going on. So when I saw that Dreger was jumping on Dusty’s show, I was curious what he’d have to say about it. Like most MSM that have already weighed in on the subject, Dreger doesn’t see this thing dragging on much longer, but where it gets interesting is when he starts talking about dollars (we’ll get to that in a minute).

“Yeah, I’d be really surprised if they don’t get a bridge deal in order here.”

Yeah, that’s what I think too and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out it’s really the only option. The Oilers don’t really have the cap space to go long term so a bridge deal seems inevitable unless Pistol Pete can somehow pull a sneaky one on Darnell’s agent.

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“Obviously, there’s been an ongoing back and forth between the Edmonton Oilers and Darnell Nurse’s people. As you guys have openly speculated, two years seems like the right fit in the moment.”

I think a two-year deal would be fair for both the player and the organization. The team would get some insurance that Nurse will continue to progress as they hope before shelling out the big smoke, and Darnell gets the next two years to show that he’s worth a Brinks truck backing into his driveway. Remember when the Habs bridged Subban a few years back? You’ve gotta think that’s the kind of scenario that Nurse has pinned above his bed at night, especially if the contract lands on the low end of what he was hoping for. No, Nurse isn’t close to Subban, but you know what I mean.

“I’d be surprised if he gets more than $3 million.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa stop the clock. Only $3 million? Damn, son. That’s a few hundred thousand shekels less than what I’m expecting to happen and would be pretty pumped if Chiarelli can get him locked in at that price. Personally, and obviously I’m guessing, I think that Nurse is going to come in somewhere around $3.25-$3.5ish million so limboing under those totals would be a win in my books.

“I know that there’s been, again, some hint that maybe it’s slightly more than $3 million. I think the Oilers, frankly, are pretty firm on $3 million.”

Well, I’m happy to see that the team is trying to play hardball a little bit but I’ve also got questions… Sooooo, you’re telling me that the Oilers are staying firm with Nurse at $3 million but had no problem giving Mikko Koskinen $2.5 million with only four NHL games under his belt? So they’re grinding a guy they drafted but dishing gold doubloons out to a guy that’s a complete unknown? That’s confusing to me and I don’t get it, but that’s a story for another day, I guess. Anyway…

“And this is an opportunity for Darnell Nurse too. The bridge deal often works in the favour of the player.”

I agree! Like I said before, having a bridge deal gives Nurse plenty of runway to keep improving his game and absolutely cash in on his next deal. He probably won’t win the Norris like Subban did in his bridge deal, but he can definitely set himself up for a massive payout so long as he plays well over the next 24 months. The dude seems to believe in himself, and I’m not about to question his ceiling.

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“I think the Oilers are absolutely committed to the notion that Darnell Nurse is miles away from his full potential.”

Yeah, I get that too. Nurse has all the tools to become a dominant defender and he made some big strides in that direction last season, but having the tools doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll always get the most out of them. I own a skill saw but that doesn’t mean I should be trusted to build a bench that’s worthy of your ass’ attention. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but at this point, simply possessing the tool doesn’t make me proficient with it and there’s an equal chance that I’ll cut my own arm off. Know what I mean?

“So whatever his next deal is after this bridge deal is going to be a good one. It’s going to be a big one because they believe in him.”

So long as he keeps progressing, you mean. But don’t worry, Dregs, you and I are on the same page here. I think Darryl is going to use these next two years, if that’s what this upcoming deal ends up being in the end, to keep improving and hopefully, that means he gets paid and we get a top-pairing defenceman. So when does this thing get done?

“I think it’s just – I wouldn’t call it a formality because you know how these negotiations go – but as I said, I’d be surprised if they don’t get something done relatively soon.”

I agree with you, Dreger, I just want this thing to get done sooner than later. Let’s get it done, ya know? I’m tired of waiting. I’d rather not have a major questionmark like this hanging around much longer, especially when you look at the current depth chart.

“There’s a dance, and you go through that. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bridge deal or a longer term. Darnell Nurse and his agent feel like he probably deserves more than the Oilers are willing to pay, but it doesn’t help him to not play hockey.”

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THE WRAP…

I don’t know about you guys, but I’d be pretty excited if the Oilers can get Nurse locked it at $3 million for the next two years. That would be a decent deal for an organization that desperately needs one with a player it drafted. On the flip side, if I’m Darnell Nurse I’d be pretty happy about getting a two-year bridge deal here. The dude clearly believes in himself and the organization seemingly feels the same way, so why not roll the dice on a cheaper contract now and keep that in your pocket for when you start negotiating the extension in two years. In 24 months, Darnell will not only need a new deal but he’d also have arbitration rights and two years worth of progression (hopefully) that he can throw back across the table when the two sides start talking cash.

Even though we’re getting closer to training camp and a contract has yet to be signed, the reality is that Darryl is in already back in town and that tells me that we could be only minutes away from an announcement. Frankly, I kept checking Twitter as I was writing this just to make sure I hadn’t thrown down 1400 words for absolutely no reason. The real question is what will the final number be. We’ve been guessing on this one for a long time now, and I’m anxious to see how close we all were to getting it right. Even more so, I just want this thing to get wrapped up so that there are no contract distractions for Nurse this close to the season starting. In the long run, this bridge deal for Darnell Nurse won’t end up meaning much relative to the new deal he’ll sign two years from now, it will only a stepping stone on his way to owning gold toilet, so let’s get this thing done soon and start focusing on the season, alright? I’d rather see the team and Darryl answering questions about the upcoming 82 games and not what’s holding up his contract.

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  • McChiaricolson

    “Sooooo, you’re telling me that the Oilers are staying firm with Nurse at $3 million but had no problem giving Mikko Koskinen $2.5 million with only four NHL games under his belt? So they’re grinding a guy they drafted but dishing gold doubloons out to a guy that’s a complete unknown? That’s confusing to me and I don’t get it, but that’s a story for another day, I guess.”
    Exactly. Really concerning *if true.

      • ed from edmonton

        I agree that $2.5M for Koskinnen seems rich, but one guy has no other option than to sign something with the Oil the other guy had options. Not really comparing apples with apples.

        • Stupid is the only word that comes to mind. Great for the player , but not for the team, where the focus should be. When they flop again this year I really hope they clean house properly,Including you know who, you know who, and MR 6 rings. Still a laughing stock, out of it by Xmas. Not what I want, but it is what we have come to expect. Nothing will change as long as they hang on to these failed managers.

          • Spydyr

            I hate to say it but the way things are looking with no established top six right wingers, no replacement for Sekera, Nurse not signed, Talbot’s goaltending from last season and no proven backup goalie along with the tough schedule in October.It is not outside the realm of things to have another season done by Halloween. The silver lining…..they would have to clean house,right?

    • Jaxon

      Yup. This summer Koskinen got a huge overpay. Caggiula got an overpay. He’s not very good, so they could have let him walk if he didn’t want to sign for less. Benning got a slight overpay, but I’m okay with that one. He was a trooper last season and has a decent future here and is still improving. He’ll still be a great 3rd pair guy at that price. Strome was okay, I guess. I still think Russell was an overpay last summer (in cost, term, and clauses). Gifting Gryba 300k for no reason was a real head-scratcher. Signing Nurse to a 2-year bridge would be so easy if Chiarelli showed some restraint with his smaller deals. So now they have to play hardball with a hard-working team player who played more tough minutes than anyone on the team last year and who may be a big part of their future. Very confusing. So dysfunctional.

        • Point is he should not be here in the first place. Without Daddy pulling the strings , he would not be. I have nothing against the kid, but we seem to forgot that he did not want to be drafted by this team, then when it doesn’t work out, he ends up practically begging for a job & gets one. You will never convince myself and many others that K Lowe had nothing to do with it.

          • OriginalPouzar

            You point was to due with the cap so now you are moving the goal posts but that’s fine, I’ll go with it.

            I’m sorry but what you’ve written above is not accurate – Keegan Lowe absolutely earned his current contract. He was the best d-man for the Condors last year and was, from accounts, a great mentor for the younger players. He is likely to play the exact same role this year and its an important role.

            If it wasn’t for his last name, noone would bat an eye.

      • Redbird62

        You are also wrong about the one way money. He gets the league minimum at the NHL level and $150,000 to $225,000 in the AHL, which is not out of line with AHL veterans.

        • btrain

          Hope we aren’t excusing Chia from responsibility. Lets be honest, as the man in charge any advice he chooses to listen to, is on him. Considering the types of trades and over pays this guy does, there is no mistaking his body of work from any GM in recent memory. If anything the cluelessness comes from within.

          • Certainly not excusing him, I would give him the benefit of the doubt on the Rienhart fiasco as he had just arrived. Very surprised he would take the job, when the old boys are still in place, but you can bet your bottom dollar on where that sterling bit of advice came from.

  • Hemmercules

    If there wasn’t cap issues I think he would have already been signed weeks ago at around 4 mil a season. When Chia has money to spend he usually isn’t too frugal about it. I think it still gets done at the final hour, the team cant afford to be down another dman for even one game.

          • Redbird62

            Except that $18 million (plus any cap growth) also has to be used to re-sign or replace Reider, Puljujarvi, Khaira, Jerabek, Gravel, Aberg, Rattie, Talbot and Koskinen. So the cap is still a constraint next year.

        • toprightcorner

          You are completely wrong. Russel can be traded next year. so can Sekera, though he won’t be tradeable. That is how they can sign Nurse long term next year. Also, the way long term contracts are increasing significantly each year for top 4 dman, waiting 3 years means you have to add another $300k-$500k per year on a long term deal. The sooner the Oilers can sign Nurse long term, the better. If Nurse takes another step and maybe puts up a few more points, they could likely get him long term for under $5 mill.

          For long term cap flexibility, a 1 year bridge for Nurse is the better move

  • ed from edmonton

    If Nurse does get signed for say $3M this would leave the Oil with from $3 to $4M of unused cap space this year (depending when and if Sekera plays). I’m hoping the Oil are looking around for an expiring, even if overpaid, contract that aother team might want to dump. Ideally a Dman or winger.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Not quite that simple. They have 3.9m cap space currently, with 13F, 7D and 2G signed. Drop Gravel down when Nurse signs, but need another forward. If Nurse signed for $3m and you replaced Gravel with an equivalent priced forward (would Upshall sign for $700k?) and you have $900k before Sekera goes on LTIR. Placing Sekera on LTIR only buys cap space for the amount over the cap. If Sekera comes back any time during the season, you have to be compliant on the day he is cleared by doctors to play.

      Nurse wanting Montour money should not even be an issue. Paying guys like Caggiula $1.5m after two 20 points seasons is.

      • ed from edmonton

        Wrong, if Sekera plays this year cap is only impacted by the amount he is paid when he plays, not for what his salary is for the whole year. When a player goes onto It for 10 games, or two weeks, the salary for the period when on IR does not count against cap. In this case the Oil, in theory, can use any salary that is paid to Sekera while on IR on another player.

  • Redbird62

    So is the idea that the Oilers ceiling is $3 million because they want to have a little cap wiggle room left, or is that what they believe Nurse is worth on a bridge deal versus the comparables? If it is the former, that would certainly be looked at as unfair by the Nurse camp since they did not create the cap space problem, so why should Nurse take less than he is worth and the Oilers could still fit in if his number is $3.5 million. I do think the Montour deal does set an upper limit, and that a number like $3.1 to $3.25 million would be a fair compromise. That $100,000 to $250,000 would mean a lot more to Nurse regarding his view on how the Oilers value him than it would to the Oilers at least in a situation where they are not planning some big move after Sekera goes on LTIR on the opening day of the season. If he does sign for $ 3 million before camp great, but I have to believe having Nurse miss camp if it is over a few hundred thousand dollars would be more detrimental to the Oilers for this season than to Nurse.

    • ed from edmonton

      Whether the Oil need “cap wiggle room” is dependant of Sekera’s long term prognosis. Sekera’s injury has resulted in plenty of cap space this year, but what about next? He will be 33 coming off back to back major leg injuries, whether he can play at an NHL level again is a real question. And really unless Sekera can return to hos pre-injury form staying on LTIR would be the best outcome for the Oil.

    • Losing a good player over a few hundred grand. Are we about to see another Ryan Smith fiasco? Bearing in mind the guy who screwed that up is still employed (allegedly not involved in hockey ops). I will believe it when he is terminated permanently . Also seem to remember the same “Loyal” player jumping ship to make a few hundred grand more when he went to the Rangers.I know I am a one string banjo, but I cant possibly be the only one sick of seeing their mugs at press conferences, draft tables, Oilers Raw (Proper name (Propoganda). At the end of the day it is about entertainment, and it is if you are fan of any other team.

    • ed from edmonton

      No a team can be “notionally” over the cap prior to the season they only need to be in compliance before the season starts. Remember os few years ago when the Isles pick up Boychuk from the Bruins and Leddy from the Hawks just before the season started. That year both the Bruins and Hawks were notionally over the cap and only had to dump salary before the season started.

  • Craig1981

    You are worth slightly more than the next highest guy will pay. In Koskinen’s case you were competing with every other interested NHL team and several other KHL teams. $2.5 was the cost to get him and that was his value. Nurse on the other end has no 3+ Million contact offers (to my knowledge) so that makes him worth only that much.

    • Craig1981

      Bobby Holik said it best on an interview years later. When asked about being overpaid by signing a 5 year, 9 million a year contract in 2003 having never broke 65 points he took offence. Basically his replay was, “that is what teams were offering so that is what I was worth” ….I must say I do agree.

    • Kevwan

      OK so use Strome as an example. He signed for 2 years @ 3.1 per. Can anyone say with a straight face that he’ll be more valuable than Nurse this season? Even before Sekera’s injury Nurse was likely pencilled in for top 3 D icetime. Strome is a 3rd liner.

      I’ve been far more lenient with Chia than most on here. Sure he made some bad deals but at least he made some moves. But if Nurse doesn’t sign by the start of camp then Chia should be gone. Signing Nurse should have been at the top of his summer to-do list not some leftover tidbit to clean up after camp starts

  • Dirtbag Daddy

    So Nurse is Chia’s escape goat. I’ll pay Nurse less than he deserves because we can’t go over the salary cap? If I was another organization I would offer Nurse $5 million per season on a long term contract and see if he would sign it, see if the Oilers match and if not give up the draft picks. In my thoughts he must be more valuable than $3 million per year.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      In my view many teams would love to have Nurse sign long term for 7yr x 5.75M. What they don’t like….is giving up
      2, 1st round draft picks as compensation. Yikes.

  • Simba99

    Nurse is as good as gone Chiarelli is just stupid enough to make it happen for some overplayed 30 year old last year of his contract he’s going to get desperate and do some thing he usually does. And *uck the team up just befor he heads out of town

  • Dapper Dan 3099

    Nurse will sign very soon, and by the time its time to negotiate his next deal, it wont be Chia his agent will be negotiating with. Everyone needs to relax, stop reading too much into things people say, and at least try and get excited about the season starting soon.

      • Redbird62

        Nurse and his agent had all summer to work out a deal too. You don’t know they are not asking for too much. As well, this is not a problem if it gets done before camp starts. Lots of deals get done at the 11th hour. Last year alone first time RFA’s Pasternak (Sept 14th), Severson (11th), Horvat (8th) and Bennett (6th) all signed shortly before camp.

      • Agreed. Hard to get excited when all they are selling is hope yet again. Individual choice to believe their propaganda, but I am not buying what they are selling. All this nonsense goes on even with the best player in the world on the roster. I cant see Connor wasting his career in 80s ville. Also the RED Wine Summits, are they drinking Gretzky’s brand? I’ve been told that is actually pretty good. Might as well keep things in house. I will puke if FAILED prospect Keegan Lowe is on the roster, but nothing surprises me anymore. How do you recognize Yak as a failed prospect, but cant see the same thing with K Lowes son? Oh right, his Dad works for them, but is not involved in hockey ops. Sure, and OJ didn’t kill his wife, and the sky isn’t blue .The nepotism never ends.

        • Hemmercules

          Its easy to hate on Keegan because of who his dad is but its my understanding that he’s a pretty decent AHL defensemen. He knows he’s likely an AHL lifer and might get a few NHL games on a callup if someone gets injured. He even said himself he wants to be a mentor to the young guys and help them transition into the big leagues should they make it there.

          I’m with you though that they are selling hope for the NHL team like they always do. Im excited for the season but my expectations are low. I honestly believe there will be improvement from within, will it be enough to make the playoffs? I have my doubts. Everyone thinks they will suck again so they probably have a bit of a chip on their shoulders. Nuge will get lots of points playing with the best player in the world. Talbot cant possibly be as bad as he stated last year. Its fine line they are riding though thats for sure. A couple injuries can sink them pretty quick but lets hope for the best on that front.

      • Dapper Dan 3099

        Redbird pretty much sums it up. I also agree with Trainwreck that this organization is always selling their “the future looks bright” crap, yet continuously tolerate incompetence….but some people are freaking out and acting like the sky is falling because Nurse hasn’t signed….yet…. if Chia signs someone too soon and for too much, people whine, if it takes time in hopes that we don’t actually overpay someone (hopefully), people still whine…all im saying is that he WILL get signed so relax, sheesh

  • gordo

    i don’t think chiarelli should be playing hardball with nurse over 10%. he’s overpaid kassian, caggiulla, and benning. with a potential 1st pair guy he needs to go to 3.3 imo. when does this crap show management carousel end? tired of the katz regime

  • Towers-of-dub

    I think the main reason that the contract hasn’t been signed is because there’s a bit of a reluctance on Nurse’s part to accept his role for how the season went yesterday. It’s hard to justify getting a raise when your play had a direct impact on the team’s regression.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      @Towers-of-dub
      I can’t tell if you are trolling or clueless.
      Nurse improved his points total, played way more, and improved his +/- by +15 last season. By all accounts he was one of the very few players who improved last year. His contribution was positive, not negative.

  • rivid

    I never understood why people got so worked up with what Dreger has to say. This guy really has no clue to what goes on in any of the western teams. The only team he might have some insight on is the leafs and even thats a stretch. He is by far one of the most overrated “hockey experts” out there.

  • Isthisreal

    This is commical!

    I think you mean to say “ I’d be surprised if (Nurse) gets LESS than $3 million’

    Anyways, of all the dum moves Chia did why would this be any at all surprising.

    Speculation:
    There is one contract that has Nurse signed to a long-term deal, if Chia can make a trade to clear cap space, and a bridge contract. Chia is just waiting for the last possible moment to see what comes to pass. It has nothing to do with any other player or what they got and what in what order they where signed in.

  • dsanchez1973

    I’d just like to point out how rich it was that last year, with immense amounts of cap space, Chiarelli panickedly traded Eberle “to fend off potential offer sheets for Draisaitl” (who would have likely commanded an offer sheet requiring 4 first round picks as compensation, which no team ever offers). Meanwhile, this year, he splashed money around on Cagguila, Koskinen, Strome, Benning, Reider, and is now sitting completely exposed against a 5M/yr offer sheet (which requires only a 1st and 3rd rd pick as compensation) for a top 10 drafted 23 year old defenseman, and he isn’t bothered in the least. I have no idea what the Oilers could possibly do if someone offer sheeted Nurse at 5.5M x 6yrs, and any team would likely be glad to pay the compensation.

  • Hockeytalkguy

    I’m going to get trashed for this but here goes. Nurse has no bargaining rights, management is pissed with Nurse for the riff he caused in the dressing room Draisaitl. So now management is playing hardball. If some of you believe that nothing happened between Nurse & Draisaitl you should click your heels 3 times and go back to Kansas.

  • Vanoil

    Right, Nurse’s agent is going to say play me as a 1 or 2 D but pay me like a 5 or 6 D — Compare player usage between Russel and Nurse. This is a league where you pay for what you get now — comparables are not historic but current ones and adjusted annually based on % of Cap as the Cap Grows what a player was worth previously gets adjusted up accordingly. Dreger just lost all credibility. Nurse is not just setting compensation for the next two years, he is also benchmarking his increase after that, and there is no way the Cap is going down. So Nurse will get paid at least 4% (more likely 4.2 – 4.5%) of the Cap for this year adjusted up for next year — no way that’s less than $3M. If Chiarelli thinks his value to the team is worth less he risks going into the season without one of his top 4D — given the frailty of his tenure as GM he isn’t dumb enough to risk that … is he???

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I wonder if Nurse wants 2yrs and OC wants 3. There’s more cap space in 3 years once Russell and Sekera are off the books, if they don’t get traded before then.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Said this earlier, Chia should have done Nurse’s contract befor he did Strome, Cagguila, Benning and Koskinen, a lot of over payments in the aforementioned four, money that could have been used to get Nurse done, not saying Chia had to open the vault but Chia backed himself in the corner overpaying the four and now he doesnt have much to work with to sign Nurse, and Nurse needs to get done with Sekera out. No one was kicking down th eOilers door for Koskinen , Strome, Cagguila or Benning, yet all of them are overpaid IMHO. I dont think there is a player out of the four that couldnt have been replaced by Chia.

    Chia should not be allowed to negotiate term and dollars on contracts anymore, sit in yes, sign pen and paper no…unless it is invisible ink or the free fries map that come with the kids Happy Meals

  • Ben918

    Ridiculous. We pay Russel 4 mil and his best talent is standing in front of shots. I would bet good money that Nurse will be the Oilers best defender this season but he will be the 5th highest in pay. Chiarelli is quick to give crazy cash to guys like Sekeras and Lucic but when it comes to an RFA that we actually need to play 20-25 min a game, we are “firm on 3 mil.” Give the guy a bridge deal heavy on the bonuses. Unless Klefbom is healthy all year and Larsson has a career year, we are not even putting an NHL caliber blue line on the ice as it is. Talbot needs the help and the Oilers did nothing this offseason to fix that. Give Nurse what we have left, even if he has to earn it in bonuses and lets start this nail biter of a season.

    • ricardo2000

      Just cause the team overpaid for Sekera and Lucic and Russel doesn’t mean the team should make the same mistake with Nurse. If we went back to the comments surrounding these deals I bet people made the same claims of necessity for each of these players. So now the team is stuck with over -priced contracts and no-movement clauses for tobogganing players (imagine someone sliding rapidly downhill with a happy grin on his face). IF he thinks he is worth more than he should EARN IT during the bridge deal by making significant contributions to a playoff run. Sitting at home won’t do that for him, the team, or his reputation.

      Nurse isn’t any better than Morrissey in Winnipeg by statistical measures, but he plays on a team with much more potential. The D-men are adequate with many young players coming up from Bakersfield. Winning here will pay him significantly down the road, as a player and ex-player. Winning here is a significantly higher probability than many other teams. Nurse could find himself playing for Arizona or Columbus or the Devils, like Hall, wondering if his career will ever take him near the Cup. He could be Jarome Iginla who tried with 4 teams and couldn’t make it work. Check Tarana’s Leafs who haven’t had a serious chance in 50 years until Tavares moved into a locker room full of young talent proven over the past two seasons. Even Toronto’s odds are far from slam dunk territory.

      Hockey is a team sport. For Nurse to excel he needs to be on the team from the faceoff or he will not develop his full potential. To sacrifice his potential for a few hundred thousand is pitiful.

      So offer Nurse $3.2 million and walk away. Nurse takes it or he sits for the season with no trade made unless it comes with massive talent attached. Let’s see what that does to his game and value.

    • ricardo2000

      Just cause the team overpaid for Sekera and Lucic and Russel doesn’t mean the team should make the same mistake with Nurse. If we went back to the comments surrounding these deals I bet people made the same claims of necessity for each of these players. So now the team is stuck with over -priced contracts and no-movement clauses for tobogganing players (imagine someone sliding rapidly downhill with a happy grin on his face).

      Nurse isn’t any better than Morrissey in Winnipeg by statistical measures, but he plays on a team with much more potential. The D-men are adequate with many young players coming up from Bakersfield. Winning here will pay him significantly down the road, as a player and ex-player. Winning here is a significantly higher probability than many other teams. Nurse could find himself playing for Arizona or Columbus or the Devils, like Hall, wondering if his career will ever take him near the Cup. He could be Jarome Iginla who tried with 4 teams and couldn’t make it work. Check Tarana’s Leafs who haven’t had a serious chance in 50 years until Tavares moved into a locker room full of young talent proven over the past two seasons. Even Toronto’s odds are far from slam dunk territory.

      Hockey is a team sport. For Nurse to excel he needs to be on the team from the faceoff or he will not develop his full potential. To sacrifice his potential for a few hundred thousand is pitiful.

      So offer Nurse $3.2 million and walk away. Nurse takes it or he sits for the season with no trade made unless it comes with massive talent attached. Let’s see what that does to his game and value.

  • Slats 101

    Dreger is clueless about the Oilers and the Edmonton market, he only knows about the Leafs and Southern Ontario. He talks like he knows, but he just repeats what our insiders say without any real insight.

  • ricardo2000

    Who cares what his potential might be sometime down the road? Players come to the draft with all sorts of potential but sometimes it doesn’t show up even in the ECHL, or takes years and the attention of a crucial coach (Dubnyk), and sometimes the player just never reaches the heights but becomes a decent player. Sometimes it takes a trade to wake them up. Sometimes it takes a long sit on the bus. Sometimes they have to sit at home and realize they aren’t all that and a bag of chips.
    So make a public offer of $3.2 million like Morrissey is getting and then walk away. Either Nurse accepts or he sits.