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Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse warms up before a game.
Photo credit: The Hockey Spotlight

Elliotte Friedman calls Darnell Nurse a bottom-pairing defenseman

Published April 14, 2024 at 11:15 PM
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Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet dropped a hot take, calling Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse a bottom-pairing defenseman right on national TV.


Last August, Ken Holland locked in Nurse with a massive eight-year deal worth $74 million and $9.5 million per season.

Drafted back in 2013 at seventh overall, he's been feeling the heat, especially after a slight slump in the 2023-24 season. Nurse hit the ice in 2014 and has 192 points over 477 games, boasting a +38 rating in his first eight seasons.


Yet he's tallied just 29 points in 2023-24, accompanied by a plus-3 rating—quite a drop from his 43 points and plus-26 rating the previous season.

Oilers fans are noticing, and they're not holding back on Twitter either.




Sure, Nurse is a solid player, yet with that hefty contract hanging over his head and expectations sky-high, the pressure's on for him to deliver as the playoffs approach. And with that no-movement clause, the Oilers are locked in with him for the long haul, whether they like it or not.
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April 14   |   737 answers
Elliotte Friedman calls Darnell Nurse a bottom-pairing defenseman

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