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Oilers' Track Record on Health: Bad for Business?

I went to see a therapist, who prescribed temporary medication, and I really don’t believe in taking drugs for a problem like that. I thought it should have been dealt with in a different way. But the Oilers wanted me back on the ice as soon as possible. It’s a business and I understand that, and I’m not trying to throw the Oilers under the bus; they reacted as any team would and should.

- G. Brule, The Province


This passage in the recent Province article on Gilbert Brule revived some old uncomfortable thoughts (well, maybe not so old given the issue of the Nuge's shoulder) regarding the Oilers and how they manage their assets. Is it me, or does this all sound a bit familiar regarding how it appears injuries are treated in Edmonton?

Now, I watched this year's finals, read the conversations and viewpoints on Bergeron and I know that there are a variety of opinions on what it means to play injured. There is honour in guys getting back out there and playing through the pain. It's actually built into a lot of the hockey mantra growing up. And yeah, it's a hard game. Guys are going to get beat up. I'll even admit that taking the context of this article and applying it to this train of thought might be a reach. But in the day of concussions, there seems to be a growing consensus that proper healing time is paramount and that no player should be putting themselves into play until their health, physical or mental, is solid.

Souray commented on this when he got out of Edmonton and two of our franchise players, Hall and RNH -I'm sure there are other players - have appeared to be playing at some point when maybe they shouldn't have. And these guys are the future of the club!

Is the pressure to succeed in Edmonton so great that the coaches and trainers are either willingly or under duress putting these guys back out onto the ice when they shouldn't be? Or are the players themselves making that decision based on the culture surrounding the club? Regardless, if that is the case, or even the perceived case, doesn't that add to reasons why guys wouldn't want to play in and for Edmonton? And, notwithstanding the frightening concept of the injuries that can come out of it, isn't it simply bad business on the part of the Oilers' management?

I'm extremely curious as to what the CnB fans and writers think.

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