by Lowetide

This coming season is the last chance Texaco for Edmonton’s 2016 draft. Nothing came easy for the crew drafted five years ago, with top-five overall selection Jesse Puljujarvi the only established NHL player in 2020-21. Even that came late.

This fall, Tyler Benson is waiver eligible, Markus Niemelainen will be viewed differently after a strong showing in the AHL last season, and Filip Berglund will finally be at an Oilers training camp.

Is there a second NHL player from the 2016 draft? Is it Filip Berglund?


I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!


  1. What role will he play in Bakersfield? Berglund has played in the SHL for several years, averaging almost 20 minutes a night last year. He’s coming to the AHL, a slightly less impressive league. I expect he’ll play on one of the top two pairings at even strength, and on both special teams. That was his role in Sweden.
  2. Uh, I don’t think so. If he played “almost 20 minutes a night in Sweden” that’s third pair, man. SHL teams often dress seven defensemen in games, Berglund’s total last season (19:37) ranked him No. 3 among Linköping’s defenders. His even-strength total, 16:19, was also third on the team.
  3. Who will be the other RH defenseman in the mix for big minutes? The Condors have a significant RH defenseman on an AHL deal (Vincent Desharnais) and he plays a major role. After that, Bakersfield has two youngsters (Mike Kesselring, Phil Kemp) who are just starting their pro careers.
  4. What does he do well? Berglund has a wide range of skills. He is mobile, a fine passer, he’s 6.03, 206. He has a large wingspan, can defend, gets pucks through from the blue line. On his draft day, speed was mentioned as a concern but he’s a more mobile defender now and should be a capable player in North America.
  5. What will get him to the NHL? He has multiple skills, best described as a two-way type and unlikely to spent much time on the power play should he arrive in Edmonton.
  6. How much will he scored in the AHL? Using NHLE and only last season as a guide, reasonable expectations for him in Bakersfield in 2021-22 would be 68 games, 5-16-21.
  7. So about what Theodor Lennstrom did last season? They aren’t similar players but the offense by Lennstrom in Bakersfield (2-5-7 in 19 games) is in the same ballpark of what we might expect from Berglund in 2021-22.
  8. Who is his main competition in Bakersfield? Kesselring is the closest in style, but Berglund is older and more established. I don’t see them as being in competition.
  9. What will keep him from the NHL? There’s a lot we don’t know about Berglund. I rated him just outside the second round in his draft year, based on some solid numbers. Swedish Poster chimed in and his scouting report was encouraging. And honestly, we’ve kind of been in a holding pattern since. His skating improved, his playing time and offense spiked, but he never did come over and now he’s 24. I think he’ll need to impress right away to get an NHL shot. It may not come right away, but a strong start in Bakersfield would set the stage for greater things.
  10. Where is he on the depth chart? The NHL right side is Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard. Kris Russell can play over there. Dmitri Samorukov and Philip Broberg can play RH side. I think Berglund would safely be described as the No. 5 RH defenseman on the NHL depth chart and one of the top two RH defenders in Bakersfield. We’ll know more about him by Christmas, but there’s a lot of unknown for a guy who is already 24.
  11. Do you think he’ll make it? I honestly don’t know. He has talent, and plays a position NHL teams are always casting about to fill. We’ll find out where he is this winter, and go from there. Will he play in the NHL? He’s long in the tooth to ask the question, but he hasn’t given himself a chance before now, either. Terrible answer.
  12. It’s a tradition. Here are the estimated time on ice totals for Condors blue via Eric Rodgers: Max Gildon 20:17; Theodor Lennstrom 19:19; Markus Niemelainen 18:52; Kevin Gravel 18:17; Vincent Desharnais 17:45; Ryan Stanton 17:02; Janis Jaks 14:34; Yanni Kaldis 13:10; Mike Kesselring 12:36; Phil Kemp 11:09.


A wild morning on the way, as we kickstart the weekend on TSN1260 at 10. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will check in at 10:20 to talk Olympics, CFL and more. At 11, Dom Luszczyszyn from The Athletic will join us to talk about Edmonton’s offseason and why his model likes it so much. What a day for Canada, and Christine Sinclair. Music! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you once I calm down!!


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I don’t like the huge, lengthy contracts for large sums of money, but I think Nurse earned his pay-day. He is talented and durable, and he is an excellent team player. I also think there is still a higher level he can reach.

Holland has to learn the necessity of not over-paying supplemental players who are replaceable–players such as Kassian.


It is also more urgent than ever before to draft well and develop well, so that one has a constant stream of younger players emerging from within the system.


Seems counterintuitive to applaud this move as the Keith deal and the Kassian contracts appear to speak to Holland’s lack of negotiating savvy. However, looking from a different angle the Nurse deal is necessary to hopefully help keep the big boys together for more contracts.

What remains to be seen if Connor and Drai will be willing to stay on, on hometown discounts. I really hope, after drinking from the chalice, that 99’s words are ringing in Connor’s ears lamenting about the number of cups he could have won had he stayed in E-town.


Congrats to Nurse. He bet on himself and got paid big time. The price was dear for sure, but no one can actually be surprised considering the huge contracts paid to dmen in the last couple weeks. I’ve been very critical of Holland this summer, but he really didn’t have any choice. You either sign him or trade him. And trading him simply isn’t an option – it would rip the heart out of the team. I know it’s hard to measure intangibles, but this kid delivers on and off the ice. He’s a shining example for the young kids coming up and he sets the tone with his work ethic. He oozes leadership and will be a critical part of the team for the next eight years. 


I have never met Nurse but my nephew spent a lot of time in Edmonton and his expanded friend network included Nurse. He has nothing but great things to say about Darnell, that he is a gentle person with a good soul. Always smiling and a very happy person. We should consider ourselves lucky he wants to potentially end his career as an Oiler.


Hot take (watching the Nurse availability):
Nurse thinks the Oilers back end is much improved.
(obviously also the forward group, but there’s nothing hot about that take)

Interesting to hear from the inside that the changes on D are viewed as a positive. Nurse (unprompted) mentioned how much experience was added on the back end (he was asked very generally about the Oilers off season moves).

No idea if Nurse is right, but it’s nice to get an important player’s opinion on this stuff.

Last edited 2 months ago by jp
Bank Shot

This contract looks like an overpay for sure. The Draisaitl contract looked like an overpay at first blush as well. Hopefully this deal turns out the same.


Two thoughts on the Nurse contract.

1. Its a lot. Top dollar for sure.

2. Nurse is a beast and will do whatever the hell it takes to be a super beast and well worth it by next off season.


The man played 62:07 in an elimination game while his wife was in labour.

The above should be a Stan Weir-ism, I think.

It’s clear Nurse will do whatever it takes, and give everything he’s got to give, to the Oilers.


Not really surprised by the Nurse contract and I’m happy they locked him up long term. But man, they are going to struggle to keep everyone under the cap next year.
To me, this just magnifies Hollands biggest mistake this summer, signing Barrie and trading Bear.
I think Barrie and Foegele are quality players, but I don’t see either one as huge difference maker. And I don’t think either one is a necessity on this years team. But they are a 7.25 cap commitment for the next 3 years. Bear will play for 2 million this year and I’m pretty sure you can find a 3rd line winger for less than 5.25 million.
I’m pretty sure Nurse will be a good bet over the next 3 years. Will Foegele and Barrie cover their contracts AND the loss of Bear? I hope so, or Holland has really painted himself into a corner.


Barrie was better than Bear last year and it wasn’t close. Have you watched Foegele play he might be better then you think.


I haven’t seen enough of Foegele to have a strong opinion either way.
I have seen enough of Barrie and Bear. I would choose Bear. And for most of the year, the coaching staff did too.
When the coaches don’t use a dman to penalty kill, or protect a lead late in a game, that’s a tell. When that dman is on your 1st pairing, that’s a problem.
Maybe Bouchard can zoom to the top of the depth chart this year. I sure hope so.


Barrie was a great signing, possibly his best of the off-season. If we need cap space next year, he is easily tradeable, and for an asset likely as good or better than Bear. Foegle will be a fan favourite in about 20 games and will help the team immensely.


I see a lot of commenters saying that, while an overpay, Nurse is getting paid for past contributions. Nice retrospective narrative, which I hope is untrue, as this would be indicia of bad management. If Nurse walked next year and signed as a UFA somewhere else, the other teams in the league wouldn’t give a fig for his past contributions to another team, or how he may have outplayed past contracts. They would, if acting rationally, consider the market comparables for this player and make offers accordingly. If the Oilers were to act any differently (and I don’t think they did), they would be acting irrationally. Nurse got paid on his last bridge deals based on what the Oilers thought he was worth at those times; same as today. There is a reasonable argument as to whether or not they were correct in their assessment (and I suppose we’ll know in a few years), but let’s stop with the narrative that he’s getting rewarded for past contributions. Such contributions will not win a playoff series in 2022 and I suspect that Holland et al know this.

Last edited 2 months ago by Bismarck

Athletic has us 9th on the league and only behind Vegas in division. Like a lot of us have been saying
next team is 16th the Krakens and rest below 20th

Harpers Hair

So win a playoff round.


You don’t even have enough integrity to stay with one team, plus 2 out of 3 teams you cheer for didn’t even make the playoffs last year haha.

Harpers Hair

Integrity has nothing to do with being an observer of how successful hockey teams are built.

Not sure what 3 teams you’re referring to, and frankly don’t care, but for several years I’ve been saying the Avalanche would become a powerhouse and they are.

Next up will be the Kings in a season or two.

Book it.


You have said every team but the Oilers will be a powerhouse over the years. And you only really started pumping Colorado’s tires 3/4 of the way through last season.

Harpers Hair

Oh no!

My bookie is going to want his $6K back.

Pro tip….never bet on the Buffalo Sabres.

John Chambers

Dom actually has the Oilers ranked 6th!
Guess where they rank the Nucks? Hint: it’s in the 20’s.


Well at least we screwed the Maple Leafs. No way Reilly is gonna ask for less than 9 per

Harpers Hair

Dubas won’t let it get to that point.


10 it is!


Haha that made me really lol for some reason.


Sure he will. His job depends on it

Scungilli Slushy

Dubas has shown sheer genius in his NHL career, as he was hired to do.

Go Leafs!!


For sure. He will use that second rounder he got from the Oilers to sign Hyman to pick the next Reilly. Oppps…………..


I’ve never been a big believer in Nurse – always thought he was a good player but frustrated with what I perceive as a lack of hockey sense and making big mistakes. I knew he’d get paid at some point and I’ve always thought Klefbom was better and the keeper.

Man things can change in a year. Nurse plays like a #1D, Klefbom is probably never coming back, and defensemen his age and younger are cashing in.

I’m a little nervous that he can maintain last year’s level going forward – in particular defensive awareness and breakout passes – but he had all the leverage. An overpay by a million or so is less risky than him walking and the young guys not developing.

I was hoping it’d be less but was expecting about this amount. So overall, with the context, I’m ok with it, and happy this signals that the core can stay together.

Jethro Tull

Anyone wonder what Detroit would look like if Kenny was still there?

Harpers Hair

The Renaissance Center area and some of the suburbs are nice but the rest is a shit hole.


Holland was put out to gravy pasture by Stevie Y until 25 million with the 2 best centres in the league decided to Ring-a-Ding-Ding!

Scungilli Slushy

Probably a lot like the Oilers in actions.

He liquidated the assets when it was possible, stock piled a boat load of picks, and Yzerman walked into a situation where he could remake the team.

It reamins to be seen if he can take them to the top.

Harpers Hair

Ken Campbell (@Ken_Campbell27) Tweeted:
OK, full details of the Nurse deal:
Yr 1: $12M
Yr 2: $10.4M
Yr 3: $12M
Yr 4: $10M
Yr. 5: $8M ($6M signing bonus)
Yrs. 6, 7 & 8: $7.2 million ($6M signing bonus)
Full no-move for first six years. No move in 7 & 8, but must submit a 10-team no trade list.

Harpers Hair

Buy out proof.

Crazy Pedestrian

You mean like every other big long-term signing in the last couple years?


It’s how all the players are negotiating on their long term UFA contracts now.
Job security. It’s a thing.

Harpers Hair

Is it?

Neither Makar or Heiskanen have any trade protection in their new contracts.


Miro has full NMC protection in the last half of his contract. The UFA years that could have a clause do have one and it’s full NMC.

You spend so much time doing what you do, yet continuously make these errors.

It’s getting kinda sad really.

Maybe it’s time to move on to something else?


You are being too kind by calling them “errors”. They are lies, plain and simple.



Heiskenen has a full NMC in the last 4 years – the only years trade protection can be attached to.

Good Grief.


You’re a frigging idiot. Heiskanen has a full NMC clause kicking in in his 5th season, the first year under the CBA he is allowed to have one and it runs to the end of his contract. Full NMC means no trades allowed either. Makar only signed a 6 year deal so any clauses would have been for 1 season only since he has an October birthday (another calendar problem for you). And he then has the option to become a full free agent.

John Chambers

No shit. It’s for the heart of his productive career, not an over-30 contract. Chances of a buyout would be less than 5%.

Harpers Hair

Pretzel logic.

Thats exactly why you don’t give those contracts to aging veterans.

The list of casualties is long and ugly.


Ah yes Darnell Nurse the aging Veteran.

Harpers Hair

He will soon be 27 and in the contemporary NHL that is an aging veteran.


He will soon be 27 and in the contemporary NHL that is an aging veteran.

Good grief.

What does that make Ekman-Larsson and Myers then? And JT Miller for that matter?

Bank Shot

Why bother to engage that idiot at all? Nothing he says is in good faith.

Let the dog lie in his shit.


Well put!


My god – this poster, for the second straight day, makes states absolutely false fact – lies really – and, for the 2nd straight night, won’t even acknowledge being wrong – about the entire point of a post.

My goodness.

If he wasn’t actually a bad person that takes pleasure reducing enjoyment for others, I’d feel empathy.


The correct descriptor for HH would be narcissistic!

Randle McMurphy

I believe, the majority in here, my self included, were happy that Nurse was bridged because we were uncertain as to what his ceiling was.

Nurse was getting paid for what he had already done, which is refreshing.

Its been mentioned below by Redbird62, OP and Bling that Nurse has outperformed his two bridge contracts. Let’ review the dollars.

2018-19 $3.2
2019-20 $3.2

He probably performed at $1.5 above that pay grade. =$3m savings

2020-21 $5.6m performed at $7.6m = $2m savings

2021-22 $5.6m will probably perform at $8.6m = $3m savings

2022-29 $9.25m So an annual overpay of $1m = potential $8m overpay

3m+2m+3m-8m = Net Zero No Gains No Losses

Taking the no risk/low risk approach cost us nothing.

Bought 8 years of Restricted Free Agency and in the sweet spot for Dmen, age 26 to 34.

The Oilers played this correctly at every step imo.

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Plenty here were choked when ChiaPete decided to vastly overpay Koskinen before Nurse. Petey had the perfect opportunity to lock up Nurse at $5.5×8.

That was a major mistake visible in real time, much like the Reinhart trade. Another misstep that cost the franchise years, and cap efficiency that has broad impacts.

Randle McMurphy

Well then I disagree with plenty 🙂


If you want a value contract to have to do it when the player is coming out of his entry level deal. Yes there is risk just as their is risk if you use the bridge method. The difference is you will have to pay a premium when the player is coming up to UFA and or walk away. A 5.5 or 6.0 for the next four years with Nurse would look real nice now with the flat cap and would have precluded the overpay on Koskinen.


Just revisionist thinking though. At the time, Nurse was looking like a 3/4 d man, maybe a 2, with some upside to improve.

This last season was a revelation for Nurse. I didn’t expect it, I don’t think anyone did.

Contract is a risk, hopefully he can cover it. It’s great to see players stay, but as I see it the Oilers are at around $12M in cap space next year with only 15 players signed. Granted – the whole core is signed, top 8 (?) forwards, top 5 D, a goalie.

I’m just not sure if they can improve the team much. Holland is taking a mega risk he’s got the right mix here, because good luck changing it going forward.


They may not be able to improve much externally but there should be some massive internal improvement with insertion and progression of the likes of Bouchard, Samurokov, McLeod, Holloway and Broberg (in the shortish term). Replacing guys like Russell, Ryan, etc.

Puljujarvi and Yamamoto are also still early 20s and improving.

Of course, prospect arriving and/or popping does provide trade currency (prospects themselves or the veterans they are replacing).


Not revisionist thinking for everybody. #IToldYouSo


Is it revisionist if people were posting the same, in real time, when Darnell was bridged twice?


Petey bridged Nurse 6 months before signing Koskinen. Petey was gone before Nurse could be extended again and I doubt the Koskinen contract impacted that, since the Oilers were still only paying $6.5 million for goalies, so if Holland wasn’t stuck with Koskinen, he would have paying another goalie that money when extending Nurse in 2020.


Mikko was extended handsomely on January 21, 2019.

Darnell was bridged first by Petey on September 17, 2018 and then by Holland on February 10, 2020.

When Pete bridged Nurse the comparable was the Matheson and Morrisey contract on a max term deal. When Holland had to bridge Darnell because he was handcuffed with previous contracts, the comp was about $7.25-7.5M for max term.

Jethro Tull

Subban won a Norris in his bridge years THEN got paid. So no, Nurse isn’t being paid for what he’s done.

Randle McMurphy

I said he got paid for what he had done…..on his two bridge deals.

Jethro Tull

So two Norris’? 😉


Nurse finished 7th in Norris voting, and is getting paid 11.35% of the cap. Subban won the Norris and got 13.04% of the cap. In today’s salaries, Subban would have gotten $10.7 million. Add in that Subban was still and RFA and had a little less negotiating leverage and I don’t think you can use Subban’s case to get a slam dunk argument that Nurse is overpaid.

Harpers Hair

No…you have to look at players like Heiskanen and Makar.

Which of the three are likely to deliver the most value in the next 8 seasons?


Once again they aren’t comparable because of UFA years you’re buying. You know that and are just being a contrarian a——!

Jethro Tull

Nurse has had a very good year. I don’t know the Norris voting system, but he was behind the winner in points by a magnitude of ten, the first on the list not to receive any first votes.

This is very much a gamble that he will show the same improvement this year than he did last year, which would surely mean a lot more Norris votes.

But at the moment he’s a very all round defenseman getting paid elite money in a years time. If he shows ANY regression……man.


If Nurse had won the Norris, his asking price would have been $11 million, and that isn’t even keeping up with cap inflation.

The $9 million for Subban is ancient history. He is in the last year of that contract.

Jethro Tull

That’s the thing. He hasn’t won. He didn’t get close. As I said, he’s very good. He may cover the bet. But we’re looking at trends and Subban got elite before he got paid.


Nurse gives the Oilers the luxury of a Top tier D to build the defence around. I was hoping for a cap number starting with an eight but I think this is completely doable assuming that the young D backfill the positions currently held by Keith, Barrie and Cecci. The latter two should be easily trade-able and Keith only has two years remaining.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Is Nurse really as good as two Nikitins?




Or 12.3 Brogan Raffertys?

Jethro Tull

You’d have to add a fifth rounder.


Seeing some issues with Nurse being his performance with and without McDavid. Firstly, I’ll say his performance without McDavid isn’t the greatest issue for me personally for two reasons: 1) his TOI with McDavid will very likely continue to be consistent throughout the duration of the contract [assuming both stay relatively healthy], and 2) the quality of w/o McDavid players, especially forwards, on this team has been poor for a very long time, with the obvious exceptions. But I thought I would compare Nurses’ WOWYs with other FA D WOWY’s who signed significant contracts this month.

						ES Stats w/ Best F		ES Stats w/o Best F		Dif
Player			Team	Salary	Term	TOI	CF%	FF%	GF%	TOI	CF%	FF%	GF%	CF%	FF%	GF%
Nurse, D.*		EDM	9.250M	8	666:30	51.15	54.46	58.33	490:52	44.65	43.96	50.00	-6.50	-9.81	-8.33
Werenski, Z.**		CBJ	9.583M	6	211:43	52.24	51.47	52.63	450:46	49.52	50.48	47.06	-2.72	-0.99	-5.57
Hamilton, D.***		CAR	9.000M	7	305:43	58.31	57.74	72.22	633:13	54.92	55.28	58.33	-3.39	-2.46	-13.89
Makar, C.****		COL	9.000M	6	384:19	65.04	62.85	63.64	345:51	57.30	56.35	74.07	-7.74	-6.50	+10.43
Jones, S.**		CBJ	9.500M	8	356:51	48.46	47.90	46.43	748:15	48.11	47.92	47.06	-0.35	+0.02	+0.63
Heiskanen, M.*****	DAL	8.450M	8	297:39	58.61	57.48	72.22	757:42	50.15	50.40	36.17	-8.46	-7.08	-36.05

*McDavid, **Bjorkstrand, ***Aho, ****Rantanen, *****Pavelski

Do that with that information what you wish, assuming it’s useful.

Holland was negotiating against a sudden and major shift in the market due ultimately to the Heiskanen signing, which, IMO, is what lead to the Jones signing and began the domino effect down to Nurse. He was also negotiating against the hands down best defenceman on the team, with nobody on the roster or market who could easily replace what he brings to the team for any better value. I’m happy that Nurse will be an Oiler for a long time, I still say he’s one of the most underrated and underappreciated defencemen in the NHL.


I’m a fan of the Nurse signing.

My concern with him, defensively, for a few years was awareness on the back door play. He completely ironed that out last year. It’s been a common occurrence with him — you say to yourself, if only he could…and the next year it is seemingly addressed.

Can Nurse get even better? I think so. His coverage improves year after year. There is some room for improvement on the PK. The slap shot can improve. The outlet passing could get better, but Nurse is such an elite skater that he creates opportunity with that speed of his. One thing I really liked about his game last year was his improvement in finding soft areas of the ice in the offensive zone.

The price is dear but he’s been underpaid for the last three seasons and will be again next season. The other upside to this is the Oilers can’t afford to trade young D away any more 🙂


Moves like this also encourage me that mcdavid and/or drais next contract will be in Edmonton



“Nurse is a big strong player who can skate. He can eat a ton of minutes and help in all game states.”


“Edmonton can rely on Nurse to play big minutes in all game states, and defend well.”

Can you tell I’ve been reading your blog for a few years? 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan

Berglund had a mess of a year last season. His team struggled out of the gate, completely unstructured as a team with loads of new players and a coach who never seemed to connect with the team, with him playing top pairing minutes initially and looking si so though part of it was certainly team realated. Then he got injured fairly early on and I heard he got covid as well. Was gone for quite a long time. By the time he returned the coach(Bert Robertsson) had been sacked, the team added a couple of players to the mix and had started to play better. It took a while for him to get into things but for the last stretch he started to look better.
So he ended on a high note but overall it was probably his worst season of the last three, there are as mentioned explanations for that but it’s still a bit frustrating because watching him you’re sort of just waiting for him to take that step to the next level where he’s a dominant SHL player who gets international call ups.

As LT writes he has a fairly complete skillset, when he came out of junior his calling card was offense but Skellefteå put a lot of effort into him developing his defensive game and it’s now an absolute strength of his while his offense he flashes at times but it has sort of taken the back seat.
So yes a pretty complete skillset, positioning, strength, like most swedish D he could certainly be more physical but it’s not like he backs away from stuff in his first or second pro year he even had a fight which is extremely rare in the SHL, he handles the puck well, good to great passer, real nice shot and it’s not like he’s lacking standout skill either, when on his game his passing is among the best in the SHL imo and his shot is very sharp especially from mid-distance.
His skating has improved, when he keeps his feet moving he gets around fairly well, lateral mobility is probably the best part of his skating which bodes well for his defense translating, the thing that will likely make or break him as an NHLer will be his explosiveness and getting those feet going from a standstill. The smaller ice is much more start and stop. And that’s the weakest part of his skating. If your overall mobility is fine, as is the case with Berglund, you can compensate with smartness and keeping those feet going as much as possible. He’s also a bit slow turning backwards to forwards those games when he’s not keeping his feet active so that will be a real key for him.

I do think he can do it, he scores high in hockey sense and I certainly think he can adapt to a different style and setting.

The other key is mental. As I’ve mentioned he’s a bit frustrating since you’re waiting for him to take that next step.
His best stretch as an SHLer was from the last part of the 18/19 season, playoffs in particular where he was exceptional, and the start of the 19/20 season where he kept up that stellar play from the playoffs the season before(for example at around the halfway point of the season he was a plus player on the PK which is a pretty crazy stat) and when his play carried over two seasons you thought, well here we go, this is when he breaks out big time. But then he just faded.
He was still easily playing as a good top 4 D, which he did during his mess 20/21 season as well, but instead of being this force on the ice he’s been just fine most of the time but with these mental glitches within games where he just misplays the puck. And sprinkled in he has the occasional game where he’s this two way force who is passing at an elite level, can score a hattrick as a D with three quality finishes, all while being a high end rickiboxer. And that’s the guy you want to see. And probably the guy he has to be if he wants to stick in the NHL.

Can’t really call him inconsistent either, at least not on a game to game basis and in the sense that he has stretches of dreadful games mixed with great ones, he’s usually slightly above average, within games he can have these mental glitches as I mentioned, but his game rarely tanks completely over time, he’s a solid pro, it’s just that a lot of the time he’s just meh or plays too simplistic for the type of skillset he has.

As an example very few following the SHL would agree with my statement above that he’s one of the better passers in the league because a lot of nights he just makes the safe play, even just banks it off the boards, instead of driving up the pace with pinpoint passes to guys in stride which I know he’s capable of. I do hope part of it is the saftey first coaching of the SHL because it is, again, frustrating to see a guy not fully using his ability.
Here’s to hoping Manson et al can bring out that part of his game on a nightly basis, challenging him to do it, because while I think he could make the bigs as a purely defensive D with an ok first pass, I think he could exceed expectations by a lot if he could just dip into that part of his game consistently.

Ok, now I’ve probably exhausted everyones interest in a 24 year old longshot to make any kind of difference in the NHL.

Last edited 2 months ago by SwedishPoster

I would read all of your exhaustive takes on Oiler longshots.


SP, I really appreciate your posts. Thank you and keep them coming!

Randle McMurphy

I’ve heard of slow readers, but that’s ridiculous.

Jethro Tull

Great write up that highlights a few things. One of them being this kind mentality that permeates throughout hockey about player improvement. Usually, it’s a player that is strong in one area and noticeably weaker in another, and it’s usually our friend, the offensive defenseman.

I’m paraphrasing here and I can’t remember who said it, but someone was asking about what Sidney Crosby did during training. The player said, “you know, face-offs, dekes, shots from close in.” The reporter replied that he was already the best in the world at some of these, to which the player replied, “that’s because he practices them”.

It’s been brought up here before about drafting a player as one thing then forcing them into being another, either due to team need or bias from coaches.

I don’t know how teams develop their overseas prospects. Do the Oilers talk to the clubs and give them development plans, or is it just individual plans for the players only?


“a high end rickiboxer”. Love it.

I’ll parrot the others and say that I really enjoy your insights/posts as well. They are some of my favourite comments to read/re-read. Thank you!


I’m sure I speak for many when say, 100% nope, you have not exhausted interest but the opposite – thanks for much for the detail (again).

You are an amazing resource to Oilers fans that want this type of detail on this level of prospect – there are many of us.

I’m sure few other teams have this in their fan communities.



Randle McMurphy

Damn You Swedish Poster! “Just when I thought I was out on Berglund, you pull me back in!”
My advice to you, “Leave the gun; Take the cannoli”

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Looking at core groups (‘yrs’ includes 2021-22):

McDavid ……………. 12,500,000 ….. 5 yrs
Draisaitl ………………. 8,500,000 ….. 4 yrs
Nurse …………………. 9,250,000 …… 9 yrs
Hyman ………………… 5,500,000 ….. 7 yrs
Nugent-Hopkins ……. 5,125,000 ….. 8 yrs

$ 40,875,000

Matthews …. 11,640,000 ….. 3 yrs
Tavares ……. 11,000,000 ….. 4 yrs
Marner …….. 10,903,000 ….. 4 yrs
Nylander ……. 6,962,000 ….. 3 yrs
Reilly ………… 5,000,000 ….. 1 yrs     

$ 45,505,000

Clear win for the Oilers imo.

Tavares is done at the end of 4 yrs so you know Dubas has a calendar in his office where the Tavares and Marner money magically turns into Draisaitl and McDavid but the Oilers will already have the core in place for Draisaitl and McDavid to re-sign so early edge to the Oilers (unless… PJ’s?).

You know Matthews is going to want $12.5m+ for his next contract.

Interesting thing, if you look at play-off performances, of all the Leaf’s it is Reilly who has the best play-off performance-compared-to-regular season performance results (with Marner’s being the worst, by far). Will they even be able to afford to give him a raise? In the new D-man market his offers will start at $7m+ and could go as high as $8m.

Here is the funny part though, outside of Marner, Reilly is the guy a fair number of pundits were saying needed to be upgraded.

For the record, I think Toronto needs to go hard at Eichel. Marner, plus assets for Eichel. It’s a risk but it actually cleans up Toronto’s Cap issues a bit as Eichel makes less and has a longer contract. Toronto also has the assets for it (1st round picks, any of Amirov, Abramov, Robertson).

Marner, 2022 1st, Amirov (or Abramov, etc), 2024 3rd

Should be lots. Buffalo could then flip Marner and retain salary to get another big haul.

Not sure why we aren’t seeing more buzz re: TO as a destination for Marner.


Isn’t Eichel needing surgery, and adamant about getting a surgery that hasn’t been done on a hockey player before? It’s a big risk for $900K in cap space.


Less about the $900k than it is getting a player that is:

– better than Marner (imo),
– has an extra year on his contract, and
– gives you a star centre after Tavares leaves/retires/takes a pay-cut to stay

Is it a risk – yes – but so is hoping Marner finally starts to click in the pay-offs. If anything the 1st rounder should be protected in some way (plays 20 games, etc.).

I just don’t like the way Toronto is built and I would change it up. Is there a chance Marner ‘gets’ it? Sure. Is there a chance Sandin takes a huge leap forward this year? Sure. I don’t see it though.


Mathews is going home in 3 yrs.


Will be interesting to see the structure of the Nurse contract. I am guessing its not “team friendly” with trade protection throughout (hopefully limited in the last few years). I’m sure it will be mid-loaded, which is fine, but here is hoping there is more salary than signing bonuses in the last few years.


Without getting into the debate as to whether $9.25 MM is an overpay or not for Nurse, I can certainly understand why for this contract he and his camp would not have been discussing any discount off market value. Based on his play for the last 3 seasons, the Oiler have already received a pretty decent discount. He negotiated two year deals to bet on himself and he has outperformed his salary in 3 seasons so far, and I believe he still has some upside potential in his game. Every single season so far, he has been noticeably better than the one before. I was hoping they’d get him in the $8.5 range, but that hope went out the window with all the other signings. I really don’t think Kenny could attempt to string it out till the trade deadline to see how he played at the start of the year. I can see Nurse saying, if you don’t believe in me now, after 2 bridge deals that I have outperformed, why would another 4-5 months of play matter.

It is moot now whether he should have signed up for a lower long term rate at the prior negotiations (Chiarelli didn’t have the cap space – his own doing and Holland also didn’t – again mostly Chiarelli’s doing, but some issues created himself). The Oilers had to get this done now because letting him walk next season likely would have been a travesty.


As has been noted, Nurse has outperformed his contract every single year as a pro.

He outperformed his ELC all three years.

He outperformed both years of his $3.1M bridge.

He outperformed $5.6 this past season.

Barring injury, he will assuredly outperform $5.6M again this coming season.


Chiarelli didn’t have the cap space – his own doing

It was an unforced error on his part. Had he signed Koskinen to a comparable contract like Sakic did with Francouz, there would have been ample room. Or, you know, extended Nurse before Koskinen.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Hilarious how much better our problems are now than they were only a few years ago.

Jethro Tull

Not better. Just different.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Way better.

Ice Sage

Agree 100%. These are nice problems to have – great (and consequently expensive) players wanting to be Oilers.


I’ll buy that take.

Last edited 2 months ago by MushedPeas
Crazy Pedestrian

Wonder how the oilers are going to be able to afford Bouchard in 3 years when he’s lit up the league for a couple years as the up-and-coming #1D when we are already paying a #2D as an elite #1D. (And hey Broberg might end up being just as good or better than them as well). Don’t think we can afford 2x $9M D-men and still keep both McD and Drai while icing a competent bottom six and decent goalies. Something’s gotta give.

At least he won’t have a NMC (according to Cap-friendly). Might have to trade him in a few years unless the cap jumps $10M in the next 3 years.

Last edited 2 months ago by Crazy Pedestrian

If all these players “pop” as you are projecting, that is a wealth of riches for the lineup and for trade currency – the ability to trade the youngsters who have popped of a Nurse/Barrie type that a value for their contracts.

Material Elvis

A bridge deal for Bouchard at that time would be most likely; you don’t have to move him.


Ha. “I can’t pay all my defensemen nine million dollars.”

Younger Oil

This will make Nurse the 5th highest paid defenceman in the league.

Very concerned about being able to keep Puljujarvi and Draisaitl going forward.


I’m not so worried. Keith will come off the cap (or there will be relief if he retires after next season). Guys like Kassian, Foegle, Barrie, Ceci can be moved.

Victoria Oil

Very happy to see Christine Sinclair with a gold medal around her neck today. She has been the heart & soul of that team for two decades.

Randle McMurphy

Price aside, we are getting prime Nurse for 8 seasons, starting this year at age 26 and ending in the 8th year at age 34. That part is close to ideal.

Randle McMurphy

Any displeasure about the price for Nurse seems about the same level as was exhibited here on the day of the Draisaitl signing/raise. (and by some of the same posters?)

Harpers Hair

Draisaitl was 22 when he signed that contract.


He’s a forward how old was Pronger when he peaked or Ray Bourque etc

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Also, at the time, the Drai contract was above market.

Randle McMurphy

Some here believed that Draisaitl contract was a value contract the day it was signed. (not many, but a few)


Someone read Redbird’s post last night and figured out how to use a calendar.

Oh wait, Draisaitl was 21 when he signed the contract.

You were so close..


It seems like a pretty big overpay but lets see how it plays out

Randle McMurphy

Ten years older than you are now. 🙂

Randle McMurphy

Man.Those Cap Friendly guys don’t take a day off. Nurse’s new years are in there already.


If Berglund shows well he’ll be cashed for a second at trade deadline.


What about, if Berglund shows well, he plays for the Oilers and on a value contract? If he shows well, why would we trade him for a prospect that is likely a 50% bet to play in the NHL and, if he does, likely not for 3-5 years?


Seconded. ^




Who would he replace “permanently”? Sure, maybe injury recall but you expect him to play for the Oilers farm team until an opportunity arises? Maybe if Barrie signed for 1 year again Berglund could take 3rd pairing the following year. He would make a great 3rd pairing D-man.


If the OIlers are in the hunt, which they really should be, any trades at the deadline, would be prospects/picks out to being in immediate help, buyers not sellers. So if they are trading Berglund at the deadline for prospects something has gone horribly wrong. If Berglund shows well enough to be part of a package to get an upgrade in net (if necessary (probably), that would not be a bad thing.


Berglund is 24. His NHL time is now or next year. There is no room for him right now (or next year). So if not traded at deadline will need a new contract and waiver eligible. Team can do him a solid by finding a team that needs right shot D. Get something back in a package or not.


But, if he is “showing well” then there is room for him. There are only 3RD ahead of him and injuries happen.


Um, #BecauseOilers?

Randle McMurphy

Darnell Nurse is our version of Colton Parayko. Only a better skater and 2 years younger.

Randle McMurphy

This is opposite Petry

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Look at the 3 year wowy data for Paryko with and without Ryan O’Reilly whom I am assuming is their #1 centre.

St. Louis has mostly had a better team than us during the past 3 years in the standings (except last year), but…


Look at the 3 year wowy data for Paryko with and without Ryan O’Reilly

This says Parayko made O’Reilly worse (O’Reilly’s G/60 differential went from +1.22 to +0.71, so -0.5G/60 when with Parayko), but the team was better with Parayko when O’Reilly was off (+0.16G/60 vs -0.20G/60, so +0.36 with Parayko vs without).

Nurse bumped the McDavid minutes by +0.39G/60 and the without McDavid minutes by +0.28. I think that compares very favorably with -0.50 and +0.36 for Parayko.

It’ll be interesting to see how Parayko’s next contract looks (he’ll about 2 years older than Nurse too).

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Not sure the team moves closer to the cup in the next 4 years with this deal but I think it secures a longer window. If Oilers are cup competitive when the Leon/McDavid contracts are up, much better chance they sign again. If Holland can be smart with Keith, etc contracts coming off in the next few years, he can give the roster a second wind to bolster the bottom before a 97/29 resign. If they haven’t won by then he needs the argument leaving doesn’t make their chances better. It’s delicate but there’s a story here. Can 93, 97, 29, Nurse (+Bouchard?) all play out their careers together?

Randle McMurphy

Count it down

10, 9, 8 , 7

Randle McMurphy

6,5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Boom! Oilers make it official


Darnell Nurse, signed 8x$9.25M by EDM, is an offensive D who scored a lot of goals this season but who has consistently surrendered quality scoring chances when on the ice. Don’t think he’s nearly as bad as the overall projection suggests, but this is a BIG number. #LetsGoOilers


The McFlation index

3 years of WOW data 18-19 to 20-21

97 and 25

1830 min. CF = 50.6%; FF = 49.5%; 3.97 GF/60; 3.41 Ga/60; 53.8 GF%

97 without 25

1526min. CF = 50.9%; FF = 51.3%; 3.2 GF/60; 3.0 Ga/60; 51.6 GF%

25 without 97

2254 min. CF = 46.7%; FF = 44.4%; 2.1 GF/60; 2.6 Ga/60; 44.5 GF%

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan
Jethro Tull

So, we have Spector et al saying McDavid is a needs to work on his defense. We have our first paring D men (Nurse and Barrie) who get caved with out him.

They better be buying Connor lots of nice presents.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I do not know what to think of McD era wowys.

Nurse’s numbers look pretty bad without McD. But, the Oiler’s forward group (especially the bottom-six) has been historically bad over that period of time. While Nurse undoubtedly gets zoomed by McD, I have a hard time judging him harshly for his time without McD.


Larsson was fed a steady diet of “No 97 for you” and “here’s our bottomless six.”

Larsson took the brunt of those minutes

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Over that same time span Nurse played 1191min w/o McD, Drai, or RNH.
CF = 47.61% FF = 47.57% 2.52 ga/60 GF = 39.02%

So I think his GF% definitely gets torpedoed by the bottomless six.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

To be clear, Nurse’s w/o McD GF% gets pulled down by the bottomless six.

Elgin R

Nic Lidstrom would get caved by the bottom-6 that Nurse has had to play with during his whole career as an Oiler. Watch his WOWY without 97 go way up this year for a number of reasons.

  1. Much improved forward group
  2. Better 2LD for cover
  3. Lesser comp in the Pacific vs the North last year

Nurse has gotten better every year and is a tremendous athlete. Who plays 60 minutes in a NHL playoff game? $9.5m per is a lot of coin but the Oilers had their chances to sign him long term and didn’t.


Those numbers, to me, speak to the (lack of) quality players outside the top two (sometimes one) forward line.

When Connor and Darnell play together, they’re hard matched against the best players the opposition has to offer. When Connor is double shifting on a bottom six line, he’s feasting on the opposition’s soft underbelly.



The McFlation index

3 years of WOW data 18-19 to 20-21


Larsson was fed a steady diet of “No 97 for you” and “here’s our bottomless six.”

Larsson took the brunt of those minutes

McDavid—–Nurse 53.8%GF +0.58G/60
McDavid-w/oNurse 51.6%GF +0.19G/60
Nurse-w/oMcDavid 44.5%GF -0.50G/60
w/oNurse-McDavid 41.2%GF -0.78G/60

McDavid—–Larsson 43.0%GF -0.79G/60
McDavid-w/oLarsson 55.7%GF +0.83G/60
Larsson-w/oMcDavid 40.4%GF -0.77G/60
w/oLarsson-McDavid 43.5%GF -0.54G/60

Surely you agree the JFresh ratings are worthless? Or extremely close to worthless?

Nurse obviously got a McDavid push, everyone does. But McDavid has been better with Nurse on the ice with him (Draisaitl too, with McDavid off). When McDavid’s isn’t on the ice the team is better with Nurse than without too. Larsson can say none of those things.

Nurse is clearly a positive influence on the team, whatever minutes he’s playing.


Where does Nurse rate on the D that were signed to these extensions this summer? I’d put him middle of the pack. Makar and Hamilton are better but I’d rather Nurse than Jones or Werenski at this price.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Based on Holland’s offseason, I figure he is planning on retiring in four years.

Harpers Hair

I think he’s planning on Keith retiring next year.

Otherwise the cap situation in 22-23 is going to be ugly.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Nah. Just buyout Kassian and Ceci. There is always capspace hidden under an existing contract!

Turning Tikkanese

Not so fast! Current cap assumiong 3.9 million to resign Yamo Benson and Marody leaves us at 341,326 cap room – allowing for prior bonus overage and LTIR of Klefbom.

Next season we bring up one of our young goalies to back up Smith (most expensive is Konovalov at 842,500 pending a new deal for Skinner). #7 D is currently Russell (UFA next year) who is paid 1250000, so pencil in similar cost for replacement. If Puljujarvi comes in at 3 million, and McLeod at 1 million, we are similar to this year with a cap room of 633333 before bonus overages.

After that it gets better quickly. Boom.

Now, should Keith retire (or be encouraged to retire with posy hockey employment) our situation next year is MUCH better due to Cap recapture credits. Currently we are OK.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Seriously, the Oiler’s are going to need to revive Houdini to navigate these contracts.


It’s tight but if the cap is $82.5 next year like Seravalli indicated and Yamo signs a 2-year bridge this summer around $2 million, JP signs a bridge next summer at $3.5 million (assuming progression but not going supernova) and McLeod comes in slightly above his current salary you’ll have $2 million plus Klef LTIR left to sign a goalie and 3-4 skaters (mostly ELC or cheap vet). Not quite enough but a Kassian or Ceci trade would do it.


Or a Keith retirement (doubtful) would give us another $9 million to work with.


This is exactly right. Someone likely needs to go to add a goalie, but it’s not catastrophic.

Randle McMurphy

After winning three consecutive Stanley Cups, who wouldn’t consider retiring?

Scungilli Slushy

A long long time ago on this blog it was said it isn’t your top players that kill the cap. Nurse is one of the top D in the league.

Only Hedman has the range of tools Nurse has of players in prime that I can think of. There are few large fierce D with great boots, with the ability to defend, score especially 5v5 and play all game states.

I would have thought 8.5 was a good number at 8 years for Nurse, team friendly, term for cap like Nuggie.

The extra 750 000 has to come from somewhere. But it should be from not overpaying the bottom of the roster. Top players get payed.

Also a willingness to move cap when the opportunity arises. Ceci and Barrie are going to be outplayed by prospects soon enough. Keith will retire or continue at a low cap hit as 7 D or something.

But he has to be willing to move the cap out for ELCs in.


The worry with Nurse are his outlet passes and he has been prone to defensive miscues.

For $9.25m, you might want a guy who’s fairly elite at making outlet passes.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan
Eh Team

Holland is really playing 3D chess here. Now he knows this will force Benning to sign Hughes to an 8×12.5m deal.

Scungilli Slushy

For sure, but he continues to push to improve. Actively.

Not all players do that, and he barring injury will easily play at top level until the contract is done.

I have commented many times that the ideal way to sign core players is for the contract to end past their prime contract or playing age.

So they can be dealt with a year left and get the payment their rep will bring to replenish, or they have been paid and sign team friendly deals.

Connor and Leon’s age at their re-up ‘could’ be horrawful. Team wrecking.

Jethro Tull

I take you you have missed the revolving door of detritus that has been the bottom six for the last few years?

I agree you shouldn’t overpay the bottom of the roster, but maybe you should get a fair contract for a decent player?


The fancy stats suggest that Nurse is an offensive D (with McDavid, at least) but are there fancies that show he’s a great defensive D? I’m not convinced.

His career high shooting percentage is under 4% and he shot 10% last year, again playing with McDavid.

This just screams “Seabrook contract” to me, but I guess if you have a window, you mortgage the future to keep your chances for the next few years.


Nurse as been improving every year I don’t think he peaks out until he’s 30. With Barrie as a partner he’s gained a new found instinct for the net Nurse=Big Bird. For you youngsters that’s Larry Robinson.

Scungilli Slushy


Foegele is that. Coleman whom I think is really good is not.

John Chambers

The thing about the salary cap is that it causes a good team to lose good players.

For the Oilers their good players are McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Nuge, Hyman, and Barrie. All these guys are signed and are going nowhere.

So yeah they’ll have to swap out some bottom-of-the-roster players, but once Keith and Koskinen are off the books they’ll be able to pay Bouchard and get a goalie. If Puljujarvi blows the doors off and pops 30, Holland will have to trade him for a prospect and replace him with Lavoie or Bourgault.

It’ll be fine. Better to (slightly) overpay a core player in his prime than to lose him.


I agree completely. Now the bellyaching will begin. Go look at how many teams there are where the top three players make 30M.


Agree, but still want to bellyache?

Always in favour of signing the core, even if sins of the past force a trade later. Where it’s annoying is that this is a hand we dealt ourselves.

John Chambers

I won’t bitch about the Nurse contract.

As an Oilers fan I’m acclimatized to seeing core players leave the team during their prime years. Nuge and Nurse as Oilers4Ever is a nice change in the weather.

I also believe we in the midst of a major inflationary period, and that the salary cap will be at $100M in a 5 or 6 years.


It can’t rise much until the players have paid back what they owe.

Harpers Hair

Not for another 6 seasons according to latest projections and McDavid and Draisaitl will need new contracts before then.


Economic projections aren’t worth the time it takes to read them.

You know that.

Harpers Hair

They should be fairly accurate in a closed system like the cap constrained NHL which does not function according to market principles like the real estate market.

Its possible the league develops additional revenue sources but until then, the escrow payments are locked in.


Agreed on the inflation coming.

I just bought a condo in White Rock B.C. Overpaid in my opinion. It isn’t worth close to what I paid by any reasonable measure.

I didn’t have to buy it. I could have moved to Edmunston, New Brunswick for about a quarter of the price but then I would have to live in Edmunston – probably alone since I doubt my wife would agree to move there.

The market is what the market is. If somebody doesn’t have to sell they can just wait until somebody is willing to pay what they want.

You want Nurse to play for the Oilers this is what Nurse demanded to be paid to do that.

Holland didn’t overpay. He paid what Nurse demanded knowing that Nurse didn’t have to sell.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Remind me not to let you negotiate any future business/real estate transactions for me!


Pretty sure I know how to negotiate.

The issue with UFA’s or those walking to UFA is that there is no reason for the player to negotiate with one team. If he says he wants to hear what the other 31 teams have to offer unless you give him what he wants there is exactly zero that the GM can do.

The teams own the ELC contracts, there is negotiation for RFA years and the players own the UFA contracts.

It really isn’t any more complicated than that.

Holland didn’t negotiate this contract . He got to accept it or reject it.


The problem is I’m not convinced the NHL is a growth sport. They don’t get the huge TV deals like, for example, the English Premier League to an international audience. Attendance and concession revenue will be relatively flat accounting for inflation and I don’t buy the TV deals will ever be high enough for us to see a huge growth in the cap.


“You DID have a choice. You could’ve said no!”


Yeah, I’m sure everybody here would be very understanding if Nurse walked to UFA and then signed in L.A.


If thats where the Nurse contract ends up where the hell did the negotiations begin?? Thats a very clear overpay.


They probably began with Nurse’s agent saying that Darnell was fine playing this year without and extension and that they could negotiate next summer when he is a UFA if that is what the team preferred.


This is what they should be doing.

Jethro Tull

Kenny grinding out another value contract.

“What, you expect me to just negotiate? 7th place in Voting Norris Winners don’t grow on trees.”


I’m a big Nurse fan, but $9.2M is insane for what he brings to the table. He’s worth a maximum of $7.5M in my opinion, especially when players like Makar and Hamilton signed for around $9M. Nurse isn’t in the same tier as those two guys.

Eh Team

True enough, but that’s what happens when you have a team where you have one top 4 D.


Darnell held all the chips and him and his agent knew that. Holland over the “proverbially” barrel!


The Oilers waited too long. They had two times to sign him long term, after the ELC, and before last season. The young phenoms Makar and Heiskanen, along with Hamilton UFA and Jones a tear from UFA reset the the defensemen pay scale.

As soon as one identifies a core player, it is better to sign them long term sooner than later.

Eh Team

If you’re overpaying, better to overpay core players than supporting players. Oilers now do both. Good thing they have value contracts like Bear and Jones to offset the hit.

Oh, wait…..


Samorukov, Broberg and Bouchard.

All younger with higher upside.

Eh Team

Soon enough (maybe right away) Samorukov will be 3LD and Bouchard will be in the top 4.

Bouchard is probably the top RD right now in terms of expected performance.


You seem to have a far better memory for events than I do.

Why do I keep recalling the Chiasson overpay contract after the Sekera buyout forced Holland to bridge Nurse? The dates seem a little off?


Good lord that’s way too much money. We have 3 players making $30million


Lots of teams have three players making 30M, get over it.


Elliotte Friedman
Hearing also we are getting closer on the much-anticipated Darnell Nurse extension in EDM. Expected to come in around 8x$9.25M

John Chambers

It’s a big ticket, but won’t seem as constraining when the cap is > $90M halfway through. I think Nuuuuuge, Hyman, and Darnell being signed encourages Drai and McDavid to re-sign.

Bad Seed

When those two are ready to re-sign, there won’t be room for them at the rate Kenny’s going….

Harpers Hair

The latest projections (Severalli) have the cap rising by $1 million a season for 4 seasons starting in 22/23 and perhaps 1 more season if escrow is not paid off.


Kenny grinding away again😉 haha


Elliotte Friedman


Hearing also we are getting closer on the much-anticipated Darnell Nurse extension in EDM. Expected to come in around 8x$9.25M


I believe someone may have mentioned the bridge contract was going to cost us later.

John Chambers

The Josh Morrissey comp at $6.25 was the time to go long on Nurse.


godot is the bloody mary of Nurse contract talks


There were many voices as I recall saying exactly that!

Ice Sage

Some recency bias here with Darnell – even 2 years ago it wasn’t a sure thing that he’d take that next step to elite – he was unvarnished and inconsistent. It’s costly but a home-grown #1 stud D is part of a cup-winning formula. Letsgoooooo


Pay the man Mcdavid and Leon will stay if Nuge Nurse Hyman Hollaway Bouchad and the rest of the supporting cast go deep in the playoffs every year. There’s no way this talented and relentless on the forecheck gang isn’t top 3 in scoring every year.


I’ve always considered Berglund to be slightly better than Lagesson. He never came over though, so the comp gets tricky in more recent years.

We’ll see. I don’t have any doubt that he’ll be an elite AHL defender, although it may take him a month or two to get comfortable there. A decent injury replacement, as long as those injuries don’t happen too soon.


Dmitri Samorukov and Philip Broberg can play RH side. 

Yes, I think this is true but with a caveat/addition – they can play the right side in European leagues which, in my opinion, is a long ways from doing so in the NHL (faster players and smaller ice – just so much less time to move pucks).

I would say, that right now, Berglund is 4RD on the depth chart. Russell probably gets looks over there before Berglund at this point but if the Swede had a good start to his AHL career, he could get an injury call-up.

Kemp is a distant bell for NHL games – his skating makes Benson look like Bure.

Kesselring is a real prospect but raw and will need years.

Deharnais isn’t an NHL player – he had a great AHL year last year but I’m not sure an NHL contract is in his future.

Last edited 2 months ago by OriginalPouzar

Samorukov played right D on the Russian team that did quite well in the world juniors on the smaller ice surface. Not saying it would be ideal but is an option worth looking at!

Silver Streak

He also played the right side in the OHL where he was an all Star….left or right this guy has had my eye for many years and will fill a much needed heavy hitting all round D man.


Shea Theodore, who shoots left, mostly plays the right side with Vegas. He more than holds his own and has done so since breaking in. Sergachev, Vlasic and Schmidt are also left shots who play a lot of right D. There are many others. The split of left shot vs right shot D is around 60/40, (used to be even higher), so it is inevitable that some teams will have to field a left shot D on the right side. Maybe most play better on their “natural” side, but I’d take 90% of Theodore (if he even plays less well on his offside) on right D, over having a weaker right D in the line up at the expense of a better left D. If Samorukov or Broberg are comfortable on the right side, they could be injury cover on that side for the team maybe in the second half of the season.


I don’t equate doing many things in junior to the NHL.

There a countless left shot d-men that play the left side in Europe – few translate to the NHL. I’m not saying Sammy can’t do it but I’m just not going to agree with “Sammy can play the right side” based on doing so in non NHL leagues. Kris Russell “can play the right side as well” – there is a visibile drop-off in his efficiency but I think he can do it.

Caleb Jones played a bunch of right side in the AHL – do we think he can do it in the NHL.

Yes, Shea Theodore can play his off-side very efficiently – there are a handful of examples in the NHL but its really not that many.

Time will tell if Sammy can do it but I’m not going to pencil him (or Broberg) in as a legit right side option at zero NHL games based off of the OHL or the KHL.


Pelech gets $5.75 per for 8 years.

Last edited 2 months ago by defmn

Beauty of a contract



 Reply to €√¥£€^$

 August 6, 2021 8:08 am

RNH, Leon and McDavid left some money on the table Darnell needs to too, otherwise no 8 years, 6 max maybe 4.

Leon certainly didn’t leave any money on the table. He’s outperformed the contract but he signed for the very very very top end of the reasonable range at the time. It was a fine signing at that rate due to the 8 year but he certainly didn’t “take less” at the time of signing.

I don’t think Nuge really took less either. He could have got an additional $1M on AAV potentially but over less term, etc. Nuge’s contract was right within the reason range.

Yes, McCavid could have got more money, so I guess, technically, he left some on the table but, when he signed, he became the highest cap hit in the league by like $2.5M per year. Asking/demanding for more would have been somewhat unreasonable given the cap structure of the league – yes, he could have got it, because, well, he is who he is but he signed for the highest cap hit in the league (by alot) – the man got (and is getting) paid.


Agree to all three being non-discounted, w your caveat that McD can’t be paid what he’s worth in the current cap system.

Closest case is Nuge but that’s debatable.


to clarify: all three contracts are value (unless Nuge falters); they simply weren’t crazy discounts given the contexts in which they were signed.

Yeah: Landeskog et al change the context for Nuge after the fact.

Yeah: The record states CMD could’ve had more, but McD had to have known anything more was a monkey’s paw deal for his career aspirations. No question he wants more than individual hardware.

As far as Drai, we’ve been around that a hundred times. Chia was outbidding himself.


Would you take the position that Landeskog at 8 x $7 million is over-paid? If that is a fair deal for Landeskog, Nuge at 8 x $5.125 million is a significant underpay. I went through this before in a previous post, but a fair and thorough comparison of Nuge and Landeskog’s career only puts Landeskog slightly ahead, mostly based on Nuge’s most current season, but the gap is no where close to the almost 40% spread in their pay. Nuge was entirely focused on coming back to the Oilers so never really even attempted to test the market. On the free agent market, he would have netted north of $6 million on a 7 year deal.

On the McDavid deal, at the post signing press conference, Chiarelli basically said McDavid took a discount. The Oilers were ready to sign him for $13.25 million per season and McDavid backed it down to the $12.5 million. Chiarelli even commented Connor could have asked for the max at $15 million and he would have paid it. By way of comparison, Crosby’s (his only worthy comparable) first contract after ELC was at 17.3% of the cap at signing for a 5 year contract, while McDavid’s was 16.7% of the cap, for 8 years, which bought 3 more years of his UFA years compared to Crosby’s contract which the Oilers would be expected to pay more for not less. Crosby took a big discount on his 3rd deal.

Last edited 2 months ago by Redbird62

Yes, I believe Landeskog is overpaid.

I think he’s worth a bit more than Nuge but, as you point out, the gap is not large and Landeskog get paid a bit on name value.

I have never believed that the McDavid asked for the contract to be lower – I think the org dropped the $13.25M number at the time to make the $12.5M look more palatable (as it was indeed higher than many thought/hoped the deal would come in at).

I might be wrong but I just don’t believe that Chiarelli said here is 8 X $13.25M and McDavid said, nah, make it 8 X $12.5M


So you won’t take Bob Mackenzie’s word for it either? This is his tweet the day it was announced:

Bob McKenzie

Jul 5, 2017

Original deal was expected to be $13.25M but hearing McDavid wasn’t comfortable with the number and may have insisted on lowering it…

Also you didn’t address the Crosby comps. If McDavid had gotten the same % of the current cap hit at signing, McDavid’s deal would have been $12,975,000. And how much extra do you have to pay to get the 3 added years of UFA from an 8 vs 5 year contract after an ELC.

The Oilers got a discount.


Nope, I don’t.

I’ve said my reasons. I know I’m in the minority. THat’s fine.

I’ve also agreed that they got a discount on what the player could have demanded. Of course, demanding $14M (or more) to get paid $4M (or more) higher than anyone else wouldn’t have been reasonable.


Nuge had basically identical boxcars to Landeskog over the past 2 seasons.

RNH: 117, 38-58-96 (0.82 P/GP)
GL: 108, 41-55-96 (0.89)

He absolutely took a discount.


I don’t believe Nuge took a discount, I believe Landeskog got paid over the market comparables.


Who do you think are the market comparables to Landeskog and Nuge?


The Nuge contract looks like a discount now, but he was basically the first free agent to sign. If he waited a couple weeks, I’m sure the AAV would have went up. The contracts signed this summer have all been higher than I anticipated. Maybe the agents knew better. Maybe not.


Details, we are getting value for all three contracts. Nurse is a great and key player for the team but it’s important his contract not be an overpay. 8 x 9 feels like there is little to no room for upside, all the risk is on the team’s side.


I think Berglund could be a serviceable 3RD right now (as an injury fill-in) – I could totally be wrong but I believe, from reports, he plays fairly steady game and is a big body that does many things well.


We managed to get 13 reasonable injury fill in games for Joel Persson.

My recollection was that Persson was stapled to Klefbom and kept in the offensive zone, but the team had a decent record during those 13 games.

Berglund seems like a reasonable bet for injury replacement at 3rd provided it’s not too long.


Cody Ceci isn’t much to beat out. Barrie can’t defend. And Russell is a year older.

Don’t think it will take Samorukov, Broberg, and Berglund all that long to bust down the doors.


🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇 🥇

sorry. had to.


As I was watching the ladies play this morning, it felt a lot like game 7 from 2006. Except we won. What a great story!


Three times in that set someone had the whole game/tournament on their boot! 🎲 🎲 🎲

Randle McMurphy

I read the first 6 words of your post and just started daydreaming