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INBOX: Four questions for the offseason

by Bob Stauffer / Edmonton Oilers
Oilers radio colour analyst Bob Stauffer answers fans submitted by fans about the team.
  1. 1. Where do you feel Darnell Nurse is at in his development. Do you think he is ready to play in the NHL next year, or is he destined for the AHL?

— Phil from Squamish

Of all the prospect defencemen in the organization Darnell Nurse has the best chance to be a top-two NHL D in my opinion. He has off-the-charts athleticism, is tough and also possesses leadership abilities.

But, there is no guarantee he starts the season in the NHL, especially with the Oilers adding Andrej Sekera through free agency.

Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli repeatedly stated that his expectation is that Griffin Reinhart will be in the NHL this season -- so as it stands as of today the Oilers have eight defencemen not named Nurse (Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Justin Schultz, Mark Fayne, Reinhart, Eric Gryba, Andrew Ference and Nikita Nikitin) already in the mix at the NHL level.
Nurse is also on an ELC (entry-level contract) which means he can “percolate” in Bakersfield, buying Chiarelli some time to shape his “D” long-term.

The Oilers did take Schultz to club-elected arbitration, which upon a contract settlement for Schultz could give the Oilers a buy-out window to potentially move-out a D.

  • Hello Bob, what do you think of the pick-up of Cam Talbot?? Do you think we have another King on the way?? (Lundqvist)

    — Stacey from Southwind Capital
    There is only one King! However Talbot has a real opportunity here in Edmonton to stake his claim as a number-one NHL goaltender, and I fully expect him to be given every chance to make that happen. One thing of note to keep in mind; Talbot was the only goaltender in the NHL over the last two seasons to get 50+ starts and not get pulled! The recent acquisition and signing of Anders Nilsson has created a very competitive situation in between the pipes with incumbent Ben Scrivens. Should be a very interesting training camp.
  • Bob, what do you think about Chris Stewart, had a tough year last year but he's the gritty forward they've been looking for and capable of jumping up lines of need be. Also not afraid of dropping the mitts...cost may be high though

    — Big O in Leduc

    I think I like Chris Stewart more than some NHL managers out there! He plays a sleepy game at times but he is big, can score and is really tough for a legit top 6 forward. It is hard for players like Stewart to play that game 82 nights a year during the regular season. I actually think there is a bit of a bias against players like this. Given the amount of forwards the Oilers already have that I see projected to play here, I don’t see a spot for Stewart at this time.

  • Do you think Oilers should be looking at vet left winger, former asst captain with flames and loved playing in Edmonton- he is a free agent!- Curtis Glencross would be a great fit I think???

    — Brian from Provost

    Had the Oilers not acquired Lauri Korpikoski for Boyd Gordon I think Glencross may have made more sense as a third-liner in Edmonton. Don’t see a fit unless a contract moves out up front.
  • Bob Stauffer is Colour Analyst on the Oilers Radio Network and Hosts “Oilers Now” each day Noon to 2:00 PM Monday thru Friday on 630 CHED and you can follow him on Twitter at @Bob_Stauffer
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