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.
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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.

NURSE’S CAREER SO FAR

SeasonGPGAP+/-PIMPPGPPPSHGSHPGWGOTGSS%
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