The Oilers had a short playing schedule this week, with a Sunday afternoon loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins. During the game, Shawn Horcoff and Jean-Francois Jacques were lost due to foot/ankle injuries although it was not known how badly injured any of the players were. Gilbert Brule was also lost, but to a concussion. Fantastic! So, the Oilers made the decision to bring up Derek's favourite prospect Teemu Hartikainen and Giroux was assigned to the Barons. The other call-ups would have to wait for results from medical testing and because the Oklahoma City Barons had games both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. On Wednesday night, following the game, Chris VandeVelde, Ryan O`Marra, and Alexandre Giroux. Giroux and O'Marra had been called up to play with the Oilers before, especially Giroux who had been up and down and back again in a very short amount of tme. This would mean that VV would get to play his first NHL game along with Hartikainen on Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Oilers went on to lose that game 3-1, but it was exciting to see a couple of rookies play their first games again, and hope to see their first NHL goals or points.
News also came out that Ales Hemsky has a torn labrum. The winger will require surgery and 4-6 months to recover. this does not bode well for off season training. Shawn Horcoff has a hairline fracture in his ankle and is expected to be out 7-10 days, JF Jacques suffered a deep bruise from blocking a shot. Brule indeed has a concussion, return is undetermined at this point. Theo Peckham has returned to the ice, so there was a least one quasi positive piece of news on the week.
In other news, the Edmonton Oilers made their annual hospital visit. This visit included injured players such as Ryan Whitney, Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky. Of course if I wanted to list all of the injured Oilers I would need more space and it would take me quite some time.
Otherwise, it has been a fairly quite week on the Oilers front, all injury news this week.
The Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Lethbridge Hurricaines 8-1 in Rexall Place on Tuesday night, and lost 4 - 3 to the Red Deer Rebels Friday night. Thank you Edmonton for supporting this playoff bound team. This final regular season game in Edmonton saw the highest attendance of the season at nearly 13,000. That is excellent. The final Oil King game of the regular season is this Saturday March 19th in Red Deer. The Oil Kings have made the playoffs and tickets are now available.
The big NHL news this week of course comes from the GM's meeting in Florida. It has now been decided that following hits to the head, players will be taken off of the ice and brought to a quiet room where they will be checked out by a doctor before being allowed back onto the ice. There were of course cries of "this wasn't happening before!?" In the past, players were checked out by the team trainers and on the bench. The really interesting thing to watch will be the fallout from visiting teams. From what I have heard Chicago and Toronto may be the only teams that travel with their doctors. When the home team doctor pronounces that a star player of the visiting team cannot play, you know that there will be trouble.
Stortini: "It's difficult in your career if you have to take a step backwards" - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
O'Marra: "It felt like the organization and myself had given up on my career" - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE: EDITION XI - Oilers Nation Gregor
TAYLOR HALL: IT SUCKS - Oilers Nation Brownlee
THE NUGE - Oilers Nartion Lowetide
Tending the Farm: The Failure of Committee Scoring - Copper & Blue Livingston