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Edmonton Calls On Teemu Hartikainen

Photo by <a href="" target="new">Candace Riley</a>, &copy; 2011, all rights reserved.
Photo by Candace Riley, © 2011, all rights reserved.

Ryan Jones is limping on a swollen ankle and Edmonton is struggling to score goals. The Oilers could call on Magnus Paajarvi, the guy scoring a point-per-game in Oklahoma City since his demotion, but the power play is streaky and the team lacks a consistent physical presence in either zone outside of Ryan Smyth. So the team went with the guy best suited to dish out punishment in front and dig out pucks along the boards.

News today comes that the Oilers have called on Teemu Hartikainen to fill the gap. Per Gene Principe:

For you early risers first move of the New Year for Edmonton. Lennart Petrell has been sent down and Teemu Hartikainen called up.

Hartikainen will meet the team in Chicago for tonight's game.

Hartikainen has played just four games since returning from his separated shoulder, but everything seems to be going well. He's got two assists in those four games, and is playing with his typically physical style, bumping on the walls, throwing his body around in both zones and taking punishment in front of the net.

Neal Livingston spoke with Hartikainen about the shoulder:

"He said there's absolutely no pain in the shoulder, mobility is good and that he's able to hit with that shoulder. Truth is, the last three games he's taken a beating with no problems. Tonight he got hammered on the boards and drug to the ice. He popped right back up after both hits."

This isn't going to be a long-term stay in the NHL unless the Oilers suffer another injury up front, but for Hartikainen, it's another opportunity to show he can handle the speed of the game and that he's willing to do whatever is asked of him for a chance to play in the NHL.