McLellan focused on getting Oilers off to strong start
Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse is the team's lone remaining restricted free agent, but general manager Peter Chiarelli is not worried about the situation spilling into the regular season.
"He is a player we want to get signed and we will sign," Chiarelli told 630 CHED's Oilers Now on Tuesday.
Nurse appeared in all 82 games with the Oilers last season, posting six goals and 26 points, both career-highs. He finished second on the team in average ice time behind Oscar Klefbom, logging 22:15 per game.
The Oilers, who have $4.98 million in cap space left for this season, re-signed Leon Draisaitl last summer on Aug. 16.
"There are just different leverage points and it's no accident that there is a long list of restricted free agents (in the NHL)," Chiarelli said. "It happens every year and Darnell is in that group."
The 23-year-old Nurse, who is coming off his entry-level contract, is one of 21 restricted free agents left to be signed across the league. Chiarelli said Tuesday that contract negotiations are usually quiet in July before picking up again in August.
"We keep a consistent dialogue but there's a little bit of a lull," Chiarelli explained. "Generally, they're important players if you look at the list and the teams keep working away at it. It's not really in the limelight and you don't hear about it because it's a bit of a slower process."
The Oilers open their preseason schedule on Sept. 17 and begin their regular season on Oct. 6 against the New Jersey Devils.