Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Darnell Nurse Returns to Toronto Amid Contract Holdup

According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the Darnell Nurse negotiations continue to be at a standstill with no end in sight. In fact, Shannon is reporting that Nurse actually returned to Toronto last night, indicating that the divide between player and organization hasn’t gotten any smaller.

The fact that Darnell Nurse hasn’t signed with training camp only days away is a major problem for the Oilers. Not only are they playing with fire by having one of their top-4 defencemen, they also lost Andrej Sekera to an Achilles injury earlier in the summer which would leave two of their best d-men off the roster, creating a massive hole in a defensive depth chart that has been described as spotty at the best of times. With Nurse returning to Toronto, the organization is only days away from kicking off the start of their year with arguably the worst defensive group they’ve had in years. I don’t think I need to tell you that this is not ideal.

Now, I should mention that Toronto is only a four-hour flight away and having him go back to T.O. isn’t the end of the world, but I don’t think anyone would suggest that having Nurse go back home to wait this thing out is a good thing. From what I’ve heard, the organization and Nurse are about $500K apart (I know Spector said this morning that the gap is a little bit smaller than that) and, if that’s truly the case, it makes me wonder about some of the overpays that have been handed out over the summer. Regardless of what the total actually is, having Nurse leave his teammates as they’re getting set for a new season is bad news. Honestly, I never expected things to drag on this long.


2017-18 82 6 20 26 15 67 0 0 0 0 2 1 194 3.1
NHL Career 197 14 33 47 0 160 0 1 0 1 2 1 401 3.5

  • Dapper Dan 3099

    i could be wrong, but didn’t chia add about 300k of cap just to throw gryba a solid so he can sign elsewhere, but now we’re having issues with the contract for roughly the same amount….wtf…..

  • Just facts

    Might be a good idea to know exactly what the differences are before deciding who to place the blame on. If its a $500k difference between an Oiler offer of 2.8M and a Nurse ask of $3.3M then maybe the blame falls on the GM. But if the difference is between a 3.5m offer and a 4M ask then it would fall on the player. The other issue could be term, the team may want 2 years but the player 1 so he can have arbitration rights next year. It’s interesting that those who blame Chia for “over paying” on other contracts seem to want him to ignore the market on this one. I suspect that many are the same who have criticized younger players getting longer terms in the past but now seem to think a bridge is a bad idea. I believe Nurses agent has a reputation for being difficult to deal with so maybe a trip home for a discussion with his parents, and some space to realize what he is missing by not being in camp, will be enough to get him to direct his agent to get it done and get playing.

    • Fat Steve

      Doesn’t matter. Nurse should have been signed first and THAN you can figure out how to fill out the roster. On a nightly basis who is more valuable to the team, a back up goalie or a big minutes d-man. That is basic general management skills. PC is a idiot, Harvard should be embarrassed.

      • camdog

        Nurse wanted 4.5 to 5 millions season and a long term deal. There is absolutely no way the Nurse camp was ready to sign in July. No GM would have been able to get a Nurse done by August with what the ask was. It’s only the last 2 weeks that I’ve seen realistic numbers on the table. Nurse and his agent did this too themselves.

  • ubermiguel

    Sadly this tight to the cap $500k could be the difference between between signing a bottom-6 player and not signing them. *looks at NHL Numbers* Gord this team is badly managed. Sure wish we had that Pouliot buy-out space now.

  • bcoil

    Why does everyone always jump on the GM ??? Maybe it has something to do with a) ego on Nurses behalf and b) he has a hot shot agent who thinks he is the second coming of the agent Walsh and that cowboy has ruined more then a few careers because of his ego …. Maybe we should wonder about Nurses commitment to the team remember that Mcdvid took a discount …..

    • Johnnymaced

      Because Chiarelli has honestly mismanaged this team from the get go. No Taylor Hall no Eberle and still we are at a point that we have no cap and still only the bottom half of a defence core.

  • Consultant

    How much did we pay for the back-up goalie that as far as I’ve read should be a decent back-up but is not a great puck handler? 2.5 million?!?!… wow, that’s a lot more than you would think it would cost to rescue a goalie of his pedigree from the KHL. Wonder if that will come back to bite old Petsey.

    • That is the cost of filling a need with a UFA. No other investment went into that player. Oilers drafted and paid Nurse handsomely to develop. The CBA is structured for the Oilers to benefit from that investment. In a few years Nurse will be able to go to any team he pleases where he will command whatever price is available on the open market.

  • Johnnymaced

    Because Chiarelli has honestly mismanaged this team from the get go. No Taylor Hall no Eberle and still we are at a point that we have no cap and still only the bottom half of a defence core.

  • Gofucoffee

    This “The Senators will receive Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, Josh Norris, Rudolfs Balcers, 2020 first-round pick, a 2019 second-round pick and two conditional picks in return.”
    I thought the Oilers are in the WIN now mode and we couldn’t do a better package? I’m done with Chiapet and this so called plan. One of the best defenseman in the league AVAILABLE and not even close to being in on it.

  • Abagofpucks

    It almost seems like there’s gonna be a big trade coming down, I wonder what it could be.
    Nurse/Kass/Caguilla a couple throw ins and maybe a draft pick or 2 foe what ………. hmm.

    • Leichs

      With Karl gone, who else is there to trade for that would be worth giving up Nurse? If Nurse is gone I expect at least a top 4 dman coming back and those are pretty slim pickings. Not sure why anyone would want to move a solidified top 4 dman for potentially a top 4 dman with some poopty players thrown in.

        • Retort2

          Really, how can you expect a solidified top four defense man out of a trade for Nurse? He’s soooo not proven as being top four on a competitive team. And obviously isn’t that interested in putting the team first if he’s willing to sit in Toronto while the rest of his team is busting their asses to try and turn this thing around. If he believes he’s that good why is he worried about a couple hundred thousand on this contract? TRADE HIM NOW!!!!!!!