Dreger: Oilers believe in Nurse’s potential

Training camp is just around the corner, and Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse is still without a contract.

Thursday morning brought Darren Dreger’s first radio hit of the season for Edmonton’s TSN 1260, and the hockey Insider was asked about the possibility of the situation being resolved before camp opens.

“Yeah, I’d be real surprised if they don’t get a bridge deal in order here,” indicated Dreger. “Obviously there’s been a back and forth between the Edmonton Oilers and Darnell Nurse’s people. As you guys have openly speculated, two years seems like the right fit in the moment. I’d be surprised if he gets more than $3 million. I know that there’s been, again, some hint that maybe it’s slightly more than $3 million. I think the Oilers, frankly, are pretty firm on $3 million.

“And this is opportunity for Darnell Nurse too. The bridge deal often works in the favor of the player. I think the Oilers are absolutely committed to the notion that Darnell Nurse is miles away from his full potential. So whatever his next deal is after this bridge deal is going to be a good one. It’s going to be a big one because they believe in him.

“I think it’s just - I wouldn’t call it a formality because you know how these negotiations go - but as I said, I’d be surprised if they don’t get something done relatively soon.”

Nurse's entry-level contract expired over the summer, making him a restricted free agent.

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