Edmonton Oilers: Pay Darnell Nurse whatever it takes, fast

Darnell Nurse #25, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Darnell Nurse #25, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports /

The Edmonton Oilers have a free agent next off-season that they need to take care of really soon. Darnell Nurse needs to get a contract sooner rather than later.

The Edmonton Oilers have their fair share of free agents they need to take care of this off-season, but they also have to make sure they extend one important piece of the team whose contract is done at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Once free agency begins, the Oilers can offer Darnell Nurse a contract extension. After a season where the team’s defenceman put up 36 points in 56 games and had a postseason where he was relied upon heavily, the Oilers are going to want to lock in this player for the long term.

Nurse is currently making 5.6 million, so it is expected that he will probably want a little bit of a raise. Anywhere from seven to eight million I think is a realistic ask from the 26-year-old.

The Oilers cannot let this situation turn into a Seth Jones issue. Jones is also going to be a free agent at the end of next season and he informed Columbus that he wants to see what free agency is like. If Edmonton is smart they will lock in Nurse as soon as possible to make sure that doesn’t happen to them.

Edmonton will have a lot of cap space after this coming season, more so than they have right now which is already a crazy amount. It is in their best interest to get this contract out of the way this summer so that they can plan for it ahead of time with specifics in mind.

Nurse could go out this coming season and have a regressed season, but he also could go out and elevate his play to the point where he can demand even more money. I think it is best for the team to get the extension out of the way as soon as possible.

Edmonton’s blue line will look a little bit different next season depending on what moves they make this off-season. Adam Larsson and Tyson Barrie both are without contracts and will be asking for pay raises, although Barrie probably won’t be back with the team depending on how much he is looking for.

This is a strange off-season for the team. While they did have a great regular season, the collapse against Winnipeg puts the team up in the air as they try and figure out what went wrong and what changes need to be made. Maybe bringing back a similar group and letting them work things out will be the best approach for Ken Holland and the Oilers.