Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers sign Darnell Nurse to a two-year, $3.2 million AAV

It was the news we’ve been waiting for all summer long, but word has finally broken that the Oilers have signed Darnell Nurse to a two-year, $3.2 million contract.

Since being drafted 7th overall at the 2013 NHL Draft, Darnell Nurse has been a guy that’s been on top of everyone’s mind when it comes to the Oilers’ defence and rightfully so. He’s big, strong, talented, and has the ability to skate the puck out of trouble with ease, so it makes a world of sense to get excited about a prospect like that even though his development has been a little bit slower than some might have originally hoped. Even so, Nurse played the most minutes of any Oilers defender last season (1824) and averaged second most in TOI/game (22:15) and that’s no small feat for a guy that’s only 23 years old.

To the delight of the Nation, Nurse took a significant step forward in 2017-18, setting a career high in scoring with six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 82 games. That total tied him with Colton Parayko for 24th most among NHL defenceman (atta be Darryl!). Not only that, Nurse’s 26 points led all Oilers defenders in even strength points while also sporting the best goal differential at even strength (69-56). Looking ahead at the upcoming season, Nurse’s role will likely continue to expand, especially with Andrej Sekera out of the lineup indefinitely, and this new deal gives the Oilers some insurance and time to hope that the player continues to develop as planned. To this point in his career, the 6’4″ defenceman has posted 47 points (14G, 33A) and 160 PIMs in 197 NHL games. Needless to say, Nurse is already and will continue to be a major piece of the Oilers defence and getting him locked up before the season started was absolutely essential.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Needless to say, getting this deal done took a lot longer than any of us probably expected and some of you jokers were starting to freak out a little bit, but Nurse’s name is finally on a fresh contract and all of the major summer to-dos are basically wrapped up as we wait for the season to start. Is it October yet?


Despite the extended wait, I’m happy to see that ol’ Darryl’s contract was finally done and signed. Not that I was expecting anything less than getting this done before the season started, but it was interesting to see that his name didn’t appear on a dotted line before September. Personally, I had thought that Nurse and Strome would get signed in quick succession so it was definitely surprising that Nurse didn’t get done until now. That said, at the end of the day, it’s not like it matters that it took time to get done so long as the contract was signed before the season started, and now that Nurse’s name is written on the dotted line all that’s left to do is wait out these last few weeks.

Now that Nurse is locked in at $3.2 million for the next two years, the Oilers roster is essentially complete aside from waiting to see what happens with a few of the guys that came in on PTOs. With Josh Morrissey signing a two-year deal yesterday, it seemed like only a matter of time before Nurse would follow suit, though, I am somewhat surprised that he got more. Regardless, Nurse’s deal is done and we no longer have to worry about what the hell is holding things up, and can instead focus on the regular season. Yes, took a little bit longer than we expected or hoped, but the deal is done and there is still plenty of pre-season left to be played and that’s what’s important here.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What do you guys think?


Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2013-14 Oklahoma City Barons AHL 4 0 1 1 0 -1 3 0 1 1 7
2014-15 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 36 10 23 33 58 18 14 3 5 8 26
2014-15 Oklahoma City Barons AHL 4 0 4 4 4
2014-15 Edmonton Oilers NHL 2 0 0 0 0 -2
2015-16 Bakersfield Condors AHL 9 0 2 2 7 2
2015-16 Edmonton Oilers NHL 69 3 7 10 60 -13
2016-17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 44 5 6 11 33 0 13 0 2 2 6
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 82 6 20 26 67 15
NHL Totals 197 14 33 47 160 13 0 2 2 6

Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 9/17/2018 – 11:25 am MST

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    I can hear it now

    “Overpay, it’s an overpay, overpay, overpay, overpay” blah blah blah.

    I love this deal and I’m happy Nurse is back with the team. If you ask any Oilers fan to name the core, Nurse is usually listed behind McDavid and Draisitl, so I’m happy he’s back. Plus it’s a team friendly deal too. What’s not to love?

    • OilerForLife

      The Oilers have been staying on track, and the signing is a good deal for both sides. Other team are now headed to cap trouble in the next couple of years. We are now ready for the season, and every thing has fallen in place.

  • Redbird62

    Right about where Darnell should be based on his performance and the comps for a bridge deal. I think this deal was fair on both sides. And it is done so that Darnell gets most of training camp, so both he and the team will have every opportunity to be in sync and ready to go by the time season starts. I also think the short amount of time he held out won’t cause any hard feelings with his teammates or the coaches either.
    I wonder what will hear today in response to this news from the sky was falling crowd. Will they even acknowledge that Chiarelli got this one done at an appropriate amount within a reasonable time?

      • Towers-of-dub

        yeah, but they all signed, or will sign for about the anticipated number anyway. Somewhere from 3.0 – 3.2 was the number all along. I don’t know. Seems like it’s just something that dragged on for no reason other than to keep the media entertained.

  • Hemmercules

    Great news. Fair deal for both sides and gives Daryl a chance to prove that he deserves more on his next long term deal. Looks like that Morrisey signing may have got the ball rolling on this.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    I’m glad he’s signed and coming back in the fold … but …

    Let me get this straight. The grand plan for Operation No-Contract-No-Nurse was to bolt home to Toronto at the start of training camp, stockpile food water and ammunition in preparation to hold out for the entire training camp, the entire season … or the day Josh Morrissey signed … whatever comes first?

    That’s it? That’s the “holdout?” Leave town, wait for one comparable player to sign on a Saturday, adjust the ask on the Sunday, and then sign and head home? Who is hell is Nurse’s agent? Some high school kid?

    Again … don’t get me wrong. I’m glad he’s back on the team and that this impasse has been nipped in the bud. Nurse is a valuable and important piece of the puzzle going forward and I think he’s going to turn into an excellent defenceman. And the contract numbers are fair and reasonable.

    But wow. Holdouts don’t get more milquetoast than skip-town-and-wait-until-Morrissey’s-numbers-come in. Whoever Nurse’s agent is, I wish he could have been Paul Coffey’s agent back in the day.

    • sweetweb

      Agreed. His agent should be fired. I’m pretty certain Nurse will go with a better agent on his next contract which should be huge if Nurse continues to progress like we all hope.

    • Redbird62

      All players not signed don’t participate in camp including Morrissey and Theodore. Whether he spends his time while holding out in Edmonton or Toronto or anywhere else is irrelevant. Only the press and the fans made a big deal that he left town. And they had no way of knowing how long Morrissey was going to take either. Regardless of what Nurse was asking for, if the Oilers were previously offering only $3 million as rumoured, then him holding out netted him $200,000 per season. Again a fair deal for both sides.

    • Derian Hatcher

      I like what you are saying…but not everyone thinks like that AND some agents only see their calculation (%) of their cut. Not saying Nurses agent is like this…but just saying.

  • toprightcorner

    Not many will say this, but hats off to Chia, he played this perfectly. When it was rumored that they were $300k apart, most fans just said meet in the middle and give him his $3.5. Basically, most fan GMs would have overpaid.

    $3.2 is exactly where Nurse fits based on the comparables. Chia gave Nurse exactly what the marked said he was worth and got it for 2 years.

    Nursed agent tried to force Chia’s hand with the Sekera injury and a camp no-show, but Chia held firm and Nurse will basically get a full training camp.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    So the general consensus seems to be that everybody likes this deal, and honestly thank the good lord himself! I can go back to liking you all again!


    • crabman

      I have been expecting $3M-$3.5M since last season. I was going by Trouba’s 2nd deal a couple years ago. Righties get paid a bit more but it was acouple years ago and the cap has risen. Anything in that range and I was going to be happy. I don’t know how anyone could look at this deal and be upset or even claim an overpay.

  • What-a-Mike

    Well, well…. a fair contract does come out of this for both sides. Its actually a perfect type fair bridge with both Sekera and Russell being on now modified team limit trade contracts as of this coming summer. The most important part of this new contract allows Nurse to still start Camp early enough to learn the new Coach Staff systems in time. I am happy with this as it now allows the team to correctly establish the defence pairings more properly. Now lets get going. I think a minor level trade is likely coming for one of Kassian and Cagguila being involved (3rd/4th round type picks and or prospect) to lower the now updated cap space hit, especially if both Chiasson and Upshall show they can make the team. Im hoping Kassian stays myself (no offense to Cags) but he offers quite a bit more to the team than Cagguila offers.

  • Spydyr

    Following the Suban model. Sign bridge deal, win the Norris. One can dream. I’m just happy they got him signed before he missed to much of camp. Nurse is a core player IMO.

  • Kevwan

    In the end I’m glad Darnell looked at the 3 million number and didn’t get too worried about what came after the decimal.

    If Chia extends him another 4 years at 6 mil per it’s the same net as the Hanifan contract.

  • Dark Knight Returns

    3.2 sounds right, now…. in what kind of shape are we in a couple of years cap wise? If he plays better than anybody on the blue line (I think he can be our best D) can we afford him?

    Feels like we are always wishing players do well but if they do… we will have to pay them!

  • OilCan2

    I would like to personally thank Darnell & his agent for the theatrics. Oiler news was at an all time low and we already talked about every new addition and PTO ad nauseum. Now we can get back to betting on how many points OVER 100 Connor gets.

  • CMG30

    Great news, and I’m OK with the price. Ol’ Darryl is not where I hoped he would be yet in his career but he’s got all the tools and I think he’s going to get there. In any event he certainly hasn’t busted.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Nurse was going to sign,, so he wasn’t going anywhere, but this should have been done a lot sooner, Chia dropped the ball by not getting it done earlier, but it is done with Sekera out, the Oilers need Nurse to no0t be behind the ball and having him out of camp wasnt the best for either Nurse or the Oilers.. Lets hope Nurse continues trending up much like last year

  • MrOiler

    Soy Nation breathes a sigh of relief. All that weeping and gnashing of teeth and Darnell signs for pretty much what everyone expected. All that wasted emotion for this?

    Good to see Darnell in camp.