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Upper Body Injury To Joel Persson Could Pave Way For Ethan Bear

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If Persson is out for any length of time, look for Ethan Bear to close the gap

2018 NHL Global Series Challenge - Team Practices & Media Availability
Bear. Ethan Bear.
Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

If you listened to Bob Stauffer during last night’s 4-2 loss to the Coyotes, you would have learned that last night’s roster was what to expect on opening night. Well, maybe if you added Markus Granlund to the mix, you’d have the full experience.

Unfortunately for the OIlers, they lost the services of rearguard Joel Persson in the second period to what was called an upper body injury. It’s evolved into a shoulder injury, which could need more than a couple of days of recovery time for Persson. The Oilers finished the game with five defencemen, and...let’s just say that some more rust needs to be shaken off this week.

After the game, the Oilers shipped defenceman Evan Bouchard and goaltender Shane Starrett to Bakersfield. This looks like a push for Ethan Bear if the recovery time for Persson is lengthy.

With Ethan Bear in the lineup, the pairs ought to look something like this:

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse - Matthew Benning

Kris Russell - Ethan Bear

I wasn’t impressed with Nurse or Larsson last night, and I can’t imagine that the coaching staff loved Larsson’s mental gaffe on Arizona’s second goal of the night. The NHL doesn’t link to goal videos in the preseason, and that’s good news if you didn’t see Adam Larsson make a no-look pass from behind his own goalie to Arizona’s Michael Bunting. Bunting was maybe three feet in front of a baffled Mike Smith early in the second period.

Ethan Bear will be the sixth defenceman should Persson’s injury last into the regular season. If Persson does go on IR, William Lagesson or Brandon Manning are the two likely candidates for 7D, while Logan Day remains in the mix.