NURSE! STAT!

The Edmonton Oilers dropped their training camp roster last night, 62 lines on a page and not one of them reads Darnell Nurse. Peter Chiarelli’s history as a negotiator is likely at least partly responsible for his current situation and the Oilers are in a spot of bother because of it. A sticky wicket, as the English say.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic made some big additions last week, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman joining the Edmonton staff. Daniel, Jonathan Willis, Minnia Feng, Pat McLean and me will deliver prose all winter long and there will be tons via the national desk from Tyler Dellow, Corey Pronman and Dom Luszczysyn. Special offer is here, less than $4 a month! Also, don’t forget to join us later this month (September 24, The Rec Room south side) for a get together and general merriment. I’m thrilled to be part of this group, hope you join us.

  • New Eric Duhatschek: Connor McDavid knows what ails the Oilers and how to improve it.
  • New Lowetide: RE 18-19: Leon Draisaitl and the pursuit of a second outscoring line in ’18-19
  • New Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers improve in ’18-19, they’ll do it on the back of special teams
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Ethan Bear is providing inspiration for Indigenous youth through his hockey camp.
  • New Jonathan Willis: The arrival of Alex Chiasson gives the Oilers a crowd up front
  • The Athletic Cross Canada Tour Will hit Edmonton!
  • Lowetide: RE 18-19 Can the McDavid line lead the 2018-19 Oilers to the playoffs?
  • Lowetide: For Oilers young forwards, it’s what you create versus what you leave.
  • Lowetide: Ryan Mantha’s injury and uncertain recovery.
  • Lowetide: Oilers rookie camp roster offers options and balance.
  • Corey Pronman: The most intriguing prospect to watch at camp for every NHL team.
  • Jonathan Willis: Three different KHL stars, three different paths to NHL success.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Bringing something different to the Oilers beat.
  • Dom Luszczyszyn: 2018-19 season preview Edmonton Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Who will win the McDavid-line lottery?
  • Lowetide: The 2018-19 Oilers and what may come.
  • Lowetide: The 2015 draft and what was lost
  • Lowetide: Projecting the 2018-19 Oilers opening night roster
  • Lowetide: Where will Tobias Rieder land on the Oilers depth chart?

ROOKIE CAMP 2018

  • Best Player: Caleb Jones. He played well last year at the same camp, but the step forward this time was something else again. You guarantee nothing out of training camp, he could fade and be optioned out long before cut-down day. It’s important to note his apparent step forward as we begin the early chapters of this season.
  • Best Player entering pro hockey this season: Tyler Benson. He first rookie camp was a memorable one, Benson’s cherry passes being cashed (and not cashed) all over the offensive zone. He impacts all of the plays he is involved in.
  • Best 2018 draft pick: Evan Bouchard. I love his passing and vision. He has calm feet, a wonderful asset (although he’ll need to be aware of back pressure). His defending, while a lot about positioning as opposed to pursuit, is effective. It’s also important to note that comparing Bouchard to Jones (drafted three years earlier) or Benson (two years) is wildly unfair to the younger man. Bouchard is easily the best prospect of the three.
  • Fastest train: Ryan McLeod. He got better as camp went along. If he learns how to doggedly forecheck, McLeod will become a favourite of this blog.
  • Best AHL contract: Evan Polei. I really like his game.
  • Biggest disappointment. Kirill Maksimov. I’m still a believer but you would have liked to have seen more from the impressive scorer.
  • Others who had good camps: Kailer Yamamoto didn’t have a lot of finish but he played well and showed his usual determination on the forecheck. Ethan Bear didn’t get as much time in the feature offensive role, but played well at evens and on the PK.
  • Biggest organizational worry: None really, the goaltending wasn’t strong but these are early days and the coverage was an issue in the two losses.

TRAINING CAMP ROSTER 2018

Darnell Nurse (unsigned) and Ryan Mantha (injury) are not attending camp, along with a long list of college and Euro players who aren’t available to Edmonton this season. There are 62 names.

THE CERTAIN OILERS

  • Darnell Nurse’s absence from this list is a big damned deal. I cannot imagine the Oilers organization starting the season without him but this is happening and that means all kinds of things may come into play. I’m hopeful Oilers fans continue to support Nurse.
  • Peter Chiarelli talked about waiver pickups a few weeks ago, the Nurse situation likely increases the chance of at least one player being plucked from the names heading to the minors.
  • The forward group looks mostly set, although many have suggested the PTO additions of Scottie Upshall and Alex Chiasson may mean deals that could involve Jujhar Khaira or Zack Kassian. There appears to be a lot in play.

UNCERTAIN OILERS

  • All kinds of names are in play now, this is going to be a fairly wide open camp. Nurse’s name not on the list means there’s an increased chance of eight defensemen in my opinion.
  • The names on this list are a strong training camp and preseason away from making the big team. If any of these players spike in the next two weeks, they’ll be flying to Cologne.

THE DISTANT BELLS

  • Lots of names on this list we didn’t expect, Edmonton invited the NHL team, the AHL team and many who will play with the ECHL team.
  • Notable additions include John McFarland, who was once a highly regarded prospect.
  • Does the absence of Nurse project names like Caleb Jones and William Lagesson into the NHL conversation? Seems a stretch but the next two weeks will tell us everything.

PROJECTED OILERS ROSTER OPENING NIGHT 2018-19

  • Goalies: Cam Talbot, Mikko Koskinen
  • Left Defense: Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Kris Russell, Jakub Jerabek
  • Right Defense: Adam Larsson, Matt Benning, Evan Bouchard
  • Center: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Strome, Kyle Brodziak
  • Left Wing: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, Jujhar Khaira, Drake Caggiula, Scottie Upshall
  • Right Wing: Ty Rattie, Tobias Rieder, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Pontus Aberg
  • IR: Andrej Sekera

I’m listing Nurse on the opening night roster because the alternative might signal the long train to nowhere for management and coaching. Surely their own sense of survival compels them to action. Is signing Nurse the only option? More in a minute.

PROJECTED CONDORS ROSTER OPENING NIGHT 2018-19

  • Goalies: Al Montoya, Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells
  • Left Defense: Kevin Gravel, Keegan Lowe, Caleb Jones, Ryan Stanton
  • Right Defense: Ethan Bear, Logan Day, William Lagesson, Jared Wilson 
  • Center: Cooper Marody, Josh Currie, Brad Malone, Colin Larkin
  • Left Wing: Tyler Benson, Joe Gambardella, Nolan Vesey, Dave Gust, Braden Christoffer, Evan Polei
  • Right Wing: Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Vesel, Mitch Callahan, Patrick Russell

WHAT’S NEXT FOR NURSE?

I think all options are likely to be in play eventually, including a trade. I’m surprised it has reached this point but there can be a quick resolution and all will be forgotten. My hope is that the fans (most of them) side with Nurse on this and that could happen (management is wildly unpopular). I do think Peter Chiarelli’s survival instincts could kick in and a quick trade is possible. For me, this is the first indication that Nurse may not be perceived as part of the McDavid cluster. Speculative on my part but there are ways to get this contract done and the Oilers are digging in. You never know about relationships. My bet is this gets done by Monday but the fact it hasn’t been completed is a tell.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a full boat and lots to talk about. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. We moved him up a day, in time to chat about Humboldt, the Nurse contract and NHL training camps getting underway.
  • Sam Carchidi, Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News. We’ll talk about the Flyers and the season to come.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Frank was part of the Humboldt story from the beginning, we’ll chat about last night and a prairie community trying to heal.
  • Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider. Simon drops by to give us his opinion about the young Oilers hopefuls and who is poised to break out.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

 

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236 Responses to "NURSE! STAT!"

« Older Comments
  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: Speaking of Chiasson, with respect to Upshall, McLellan did say something to day him skating with the team if he passed his physical.I would have thought Upshall is the front runner for a contract (if one is going to be signed) but I wonder if health is an issue.

    I knew something was up.

    Upshall failed his medical today with a knee issue – I guess its not major but he won’t be able to participate for a few weeks so most likely will not be an Oiler.

  2. leadfarmer says:

    I think we can find a better player than Chiasson in the waiver pile at the start of the season. I hope we pass

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Absolutely they should not be be signing Alex C. until near the end of camp and the last cuts are being made across the league.

    Oilers will be 9th in waiver wire order during the off-season (and the early part of the season).

  4. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer:
    I think we can find a better player than Chiasson in the waiver pile at the start of the season.I hope we pass

    How is Kassian better than Chiasson for 3x the cap hit?

    I already know that Kassian has better micro stats.

  5. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar: Given the multitude of pictures and videos he’s posted in the last week alone joking around with Drai, I think you are incorrect.

    Thought somebody posted 25 & 29 were roomies now,
    The ‘incident’ is officially water under the bridge contract

  6. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JimmyV1965: Kassian

    My take is to play on the top half of the roster, consistency is the key.

    Kassian was drafted in the first round because of his range of tools, and the hope he could put it all together, in an era where that tool kit was highly valued.

    It still is, but teams realize now that getting it done matters more.

    Zach hasn’t shown IMO that he can be a consistent top 6 player. That may change, but his lack of execution of details as a role player, which he is in the NHL on whatever line, is holding him back.

    He has a new chance and 3 new eyes on him. If it doesn’t happen this year the answer lies with what he can do at this level.

  7. leadfarmer says:

    Ryan: How is Kassian better than Chiasson for 3x the cap hit?

    I already know that Kassian has better micro stats.

    Cause you already have him signed.
    It’s not like your options are sign Kassian for 2 mil a year or sign Chiasson for league minimum. Your only option is to sign Chiasson or not

  8. hags9k says:

    Nurse long term should have been a priority in the early offseason. Man, this team.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s 2018-19 Death March™ is Back!!

    Here’s how you enter:

    Predict the final points total of the Oilers 2018-19 season.

    Tie break: how many goals does Yakupov score in the KHL?

    That’s it!

    Contest open until puck drop in Europe.

  10. ArmchairGM says:

    Probably already been posted, but ALL the picks in the EK trade are conditional:

    2019 conditional 2nd round pick*
    2020 conditional 1st round pick**
    2021 conditional 2nd round pick***
    conditional 1st round pick****

    Conditions:
    *2019 2nd round pick is the higher of the two picks the Sharks currently own: Panthers and their own.
    **Ottawa receives Sharks 2019 1st round pick if Sharks do not make the playoffs. If Sharks make the playoffs, Ottawa receives Sharks 2020 1st.
    ***Sens receive Sharks 2021 2nd round pick if Karlsson is re-signed. The selection upgrades to a 2021 1st if Sharks reach the Stanley Cup final in 2019.
    ****Sens receive a 1st RD pick from the Sharks (no later than 2022) if Karlsson is on an Eastern Conference roster (reserve list) during the 2018-19 season.

  11. ArmchairGM says:

    flea: I agree with you too, my original post wasn’t clear. They would have enough to bridge Nurse and sign a PTO player IF Nurse signs for $3.2/$3.25. Then they can hit day 1 and get full cap relief to bring in a guy like Faulk potentially. But if Nurse wants $3.5, it doesn’t work. They could sign Nurse but not have any flexibility to offer a PTO a contract of $800k without going over the cap.

    This. Exactly.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    Maybe Taylor Hall decides his destiny is in Edmonton next to Connor McDavid and signs a cap friendly deal with the Oilers, when he signs his next NHL contract. Together they go on to form the next modern Chicago/Pittsburgh style dynasty.

    The meds kicked in a few minutes ago.

  13. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer: Cause you already have him signed.
    It’s not like your options are sign Kassian for 2 mil a year or sign Chiasson for league minimum.Your only option is to sign Chiasson or not

    You could trade Kassian and sign Chiasson. Somebody will take Kassian no doubt as the league continues to value what he brings, especially after Wison’s triumphant season.

    hags9k:
    Nurse long term should have been a priority in the early offseason.Man, this team.

    I’m not sure Nurse and his aggressive agent wanted to do that at what this blog would see as reasonable.

    The agent’s side of deal making is ‘material’. They have skin in the game, and if they are by nature penny pinchers and bean counters, as opposed to seeing the big picture and the player’s goals as clearly as their own, there are issues everywhere.

    Maybe it was PC, maybe not. But we shouldn’t roast him for overpaying and also standing his ground. Wonder Boy Yzerman was brutal with his difficults, and we applauded him. Now he’s walking on his team for personal or further ambitions. People are people, there are few altruists and martyrs.

    Perhaps the Oilers after signing Connor and Leon, locking up the centre core, and an anchor typically reliable defenseman, are making a change with the supporting cast, which is critical.

  14. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer: Cause you already have him signed.
    It’s not like your options are sign Kassian for 2 mil a year or sign Chiasson for league minimum.Your only option is to sign Chiasson or not

    Well. You potentialy could trade Kassian. He has draft pedigree, a great playoff game, and a certain truculence on his resume.

    Some have speculated Kassian plus a pick for Faulk trade that would necessitate a replacement. Or you could trade him for a pick to use the cap space to upgrade elsewhere on the roster.

  15. Scungilli Slushy says:

    hunter1909:
    Maybe Taylor Hall decides his destiny is in Edmonton next to Connor McDavid and signs a cap friendly deal with the Oilers, when he signs his next NHL contract. Together they go on to form the next modern Chicago/Pittsburgh style dynasty.

    The meds kicked in a few minutes ago.

    Which kept you from seeing that Hall is 27 this year. His window unless he signs for cheap will have past for Connor’s era. Too bad.

    They need to grow their own or look for the next undervalued winger that is young enough for winning a long term deal IMO.

  16. Pescador says:

    hunter1909:
    Maybe Taylor Hall decides his destiny is in Edmonton next to Connor McDavid and signs a cap friendly deal with the Oilers, when he signs his next NHL contract. Together they go on to form the next modern Chicago/Pittsburgh style dynasty.

    The edibles kicked in a few minutes ago.

    honesty is the best policy

  17. northerndancer says:

    Pescador,

    Hunter, put me down for a Nuge and a Hall for a total of 102 points this season. 16 for the Yak. He will be injured all season. Toxic bee sting. And put me down for whatever you are having tonight.

  18. jp says:

    ArmchairGM:
    flea: I agree with you too, my original post wasn’t clear. They would have enough to bridge Nurse and sign a PTO player IF Nurse signs for $3.2/$3.25. Then they can hit day 1 and get full cap relief to bring in a guy like Faulk potentially. But if Nurse wants $3.5, it doesn’t work. They could sign Nurse but not have any flexibility to offer a PTO a contract of $800k without going over the cap.

    This. Exactly.

    I don’t think this is correct.

    The Oilers have 22 roster players right now according to CapFriendly, and $3.978M in space (https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/oilers).

    Signing Nurse to anything under $3.978M gives them a full 23 man roster (this is including Sekera).

    Salary aside, in order to add any PTO player they would need to send someone else down (and that player’s salary would leave with them).

    So if Chiasson outplays Aberg, the Oilers have to waive Aberg, and then have his 650k to give to Chiasson, plus any difference between Nurse’s bridge and the available $3.978M.

    Even if Nurse signed for $3.7M the Oilers should still have at least 800k to give a PTO if they wanted to (this varies based on who exactly makes the team – I’m basing this on the CapFriendly roster, which fits LTs certain Oilers pretty well).

    After all that, the Oilers should be able to be cap compliant for day 1, LTIR Sekera, and could use his salary at that point if they choose.

  19. Munny says:

    jp,

    The only way I see Chiasson getting signed is if they trade Mama Kass.

    I don’t think they will want to take a chance on losing Aberg to a waiver claim.

  20. Munny says:

    northerndancer,


    Pescador

    Hunter, put me down for a Nuge and a Hall for a total of 102 points this season

    Lol… Fisher is the new Hunter.

  21. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Scungilli Slushy: You could trade Kassian and sign Chiasson. Somebody will take Kassian no doubt as the league continues to value what he brings, especially after Wison’s triumphant season.

    The league values what he brings but I’m not so sure about the Oilers. Remind me again what line Wilson plays on for the Caps. Who were his line mates?

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    hags9k:
    Nurse long term should have been a priority in the early offseason.Man, this team.

    I’m sure it was – doesn’t mean its an easy deal to get done.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: This. Exactly.

    No, he that wasn’t exactly true.

    As I’ve posted a few times in this thread, signing one of the PTOs to a contract would not materially increase the cap hit of the team and, in fact, may actually decrease it.

    Remember, if Chiasson is signed, that means an existing player slated for the roster (one of the 22 that are currently slated on the roster making up our $75.5M) will be re-assigned and their cap hit gone (assuming they are under $1M and, if they are over $1M, their cap hit will be reduced by just over $1M).

  24. jp says:

    Munny:
    jp,

    The only way I see Chiasson getting signed is if they trade Mama Kass.

    I don’t think they will want to take a chance on losing Aberg to a waiver claim.

    Yeah sure, I don’t disagree with that.

    I’m not pulling for them to sign Chiasson and send Aberg away. I was just using those 2 players as examples to show a new Nurse deal has very little effect on the Oilers ability to sign one of the PTOs.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    jp,

    The only way I see Chiasson getting signed is if they trade Mama Kass.

    I don’t think they will want to take a chance on losing Aberg to a waiver claim.

    Aberg was just being used by JP as an example of a player that may be re-assigned if a PTO player is signed to a contract. The point he is making and that I’ve been trying to make (for days) is that signing one of the guys on PTOs doesn’t just add their cap hit – it is in substitution for a player that would be re-assigned. For the cap hit that any of these guys would be signed at, its essentially a non-factor and could even serve to increase our cap space.

  26. Munny says:

    jp,

    Oh I know. I just wanted to use your post as a springboard for my thoughts on personnel on camp, and annotate on my earlier comment about Nurse. Thank you.

  27. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: Aberg was just being used by JP as an example of a player that may be re-assigned if a PTO player is signed to a contract.

    It’s quite strange to post what the original poster was saying after the OP has already personally replied to me clarifying what he was saying.

  28. JimmyV1965 says:

    What disappoints me most about Chia is his inability to fill obvious holes in the roster. All the complaints about the Nurse contract is nothing more than white noise IMO.

    Entering the season without addressing the hole at 2RD is an egregious mistake IMO. He didn’t need to go out and make a massive deal either. He could have traded for someone like McKeown or Petrovic. Both would be small deals the team could easily afford. Players like this may not solve the problem, but it would add much needed depth.

    Training camp has now started and here we sit hoping Matt Benning can fill the hole at 2RD. I hope he can, but I would feel much more comfortable if we had some legit depth behind him.

    It’s frustrating to see teams in our division make all kinds of changes to address their perceived needs. Yet we can’t even add a legit RHD who could simply add depth to the roster.

    I hope Chia still has something up his sleeve, but I’m not holding my breath.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny,

    I read and comment in order.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    JimmyV1965: It’s frustrating to see teams in our division make all kinds of changes to address their perceived needs. Yet we can’t even add a legit RHD who could simply add depth to the roster.

    Oilers have been weak on defence for a decade.

  31. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: No, he that wasn’t exactly true.

    As I’ve posted a few times in this thread, signing one of the PTOs to a contract would not materially increase the cap hit of the team and, in fact, may actually decrease it.

    Remember, if Chiasson is signed, that means an existing player slated for the roster (one of the 22 that are currently slated on the roster making up our $75.5M) will be re-assigned and their cap hit gone (assuming they are under $1M and, if they are over $1M, their cap hit will be reduced by just over $1M).

    Incorrect. Injured players (Sekera) don’t count against the 23-man limit even if they aren’t on LTIR, so the Oiler’s don’t need to send anyone out. Non-LTIR injured players DO count against cap though, so ideally the 23-man + Sekera comes in under $79.5 at the beginning of the season, then they LTIR Sekera, giving them $5.5M additional cap space with which to work with.

  32. ArmchairGM says:

    jp: I don’t think this is correct.

    The Oilers have 22 roster players right now according to CapFriendly, and $3.978M in space (https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/oilers).

    Signing Nurse to anything under $3.978M gives them a full 23 man roster (this is including Sekera).

    Salary aside, in order to add any PTO player they would need to send someone else down (and that player’s salary would leave with them).

    So if Chiasson outplays Aberg, the Oilers have to waive Aberg, and then have his 650k to give to Chiasson, plus any difference between Nurse’s bridge and the available $3.978M.

    Even if Nurse signed for $3.7M the Oilers should still have at least 800k to give a PTO if they wanted to (this varies based on who exactly makes the team – I’m basing this on the CapFriendly roster, which fits LTs certain Oilers pretty well).

    After all that, the Oilers should be able to be cap compliant for day 1, LTIR Sekera, and could use his salary at that point if they choose.

    Injured players don’t count against the 23-man roster limit. How many times last season did Edmonton call up players from Bakersfield when someone went down for a few games?

    So Edmonton has 21 players + Nurse + PTO / waiver pickup. But ideally they’d get everyone under the cap before the season starts (LTIR is more flexoble if used in season rather than pre-season), meaning they need to include Sekera’s $5.5M cap hit in their pre-season calculations.

  33. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: RE Segment No. 3: Ryan Strome and the Oilers long journey to competent third and fourth lines

    https://theathletic.com/521102/2018/09/14/lowetide-ryan-strome-and-the-oilers-long-journey-to-competent-third-and-fourth-lines/

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Injured players do count on the 23 man roster unless they are on IR and then they are off the roster until activated.

    Of course, Sekera won’t count on the 23 man roster (his cap hit will remain though) once put on LTIR.

    If you look at capfriendly, while it says there are 7D and 22 roster players, its actually 8D and 23. There are 8D listed there on the roster even though it says there are 7. I think its a glitch.

    So, when Sekera goes on LTIR, there will be 22 but Nurse will get added taking it to 23 and a PTO would be in replacement of one of the existing 23.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    Shit, sorry, you are right, that 8D listed includes Nurse, brain-fart moment.

    When Reggie goes on LTIR they will have 21 and then Nurse will make it 22 so if they add a contract via a PTO player signing it will take it to 23.

    Unless they run with a 22 man roster for a while.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    I guess they would likely want to sign Nurse and be right up against the cap (less than $1M of space) and then LTIR Reggie and then sign the PTO player.

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