Oilers’ Darnell Nurse falls in Daily Faceoff’s latest Trade Targets list

Photo credit:© Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
Darnell Nurse once again found himself on Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s offseason trade targets list, but this time, his ranking fell from his previous appearance.
After appearing 19th on the rankings in the last iteration, Nurse now sits 24th out of 25 players Seravalli listed as potentially in play for a trade this summer.
While his placement on the list may be a surprise to some, the fact he remains on here will not be a shock to many given his continued struggles in the 2024 playoffs. Going into tonight’s Game 3, he sits dead last in the postseason with a +/- of -15 while only producing three assists in 20 playoff games. Kris Knoblauch has had a tough time finding a partner that can get the most out of Nurse because he has mostly been a net-negative regardless of who he has been on the ice with up to this point.
Not only has his usage and effectiveness decreased, but he has been lapped on the depth chart by Evan Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm. Combine that with the strides made by Philip Broberg since returning to the lineup and it is fair to wonder where things stand for Nurse in Edmonton long-term.
Of course, his contract will not be easy to move due to a cap hit of $9.25 million, a no-movement clause for the next three years, and him being owed $24 million in signing bonuses that make a buyout virtually impossible. The only avenue the Oilers could feasibly achieve that allows them to free themselves of the contract is to execute “a problem for a problem” trade, similar to what they and the Flames did in 2019 by swapping James Neal and Milan Lucic.
There aren’t many clearcut options emerging at this time, but perhaps swapping with the Blues, who had a few defencemen appear on Seravalli’s list, could suffice. Alternatively, a one-for-one trade for Seth Jones could have the potential to help both teams out despite adding $250K to the Oilers’ cap space.
Regardless of how they attempt to go about it, the Oilers will need to find a solution to the Nurse conundrum because the status quo with him dragging the team down will not suffice both in the short and long term. Although the team is still fighting for the Stanley Cup, they will need to work quickly on solving the equation of how to get Nurse back on track or get him dealt.

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