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Mike Smith Placed On Long Term Injured Reserve

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The Oilers will need another goalie, and they’re going to need one fast.

Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

It took exactly two (2) games before the goaltending situation has become an issue for the Edmonton Oilers.

THE FACTS

Mike Smith has bee placed on LTIR with an undefined injury. He’ll be out of action for at least ten games (which is nearly 20% of this season) or 24 days. What does it mean? This is a pretty big hole in net. In other words: the Oilers need a goaltender, and they need one yesterday. Smith was expected to start Thursday in Edmonton’s second game of the season versus Vancouver, it was announced later that Koskinen would start in his place.

THE WONDER

The Oilers are in a bind right now. Stuart Skinner is the de facto second string goaltender, Dylan Wells is third. The club has recalled Olivier Rodrigue from Austria, but he will need to quarantine for two weeks before he is available.

THE OUTRAGE

OH COME ON. While I think we all had some reservations about Mike Smith heading into 2021, I figured they’d be more performance based instead of injury. Add to this the fact that Anton Forsberg got snapped up via waivers before the season began, now you’ve got some serious issues in net. After Mikko Koskinen, it’s not a step down. It’s a six foot drop.

NOW WHAT

There is a slight flicker of light at the end of the tunnel: Oilers do not have a back-to-back matchup until January 30th (TOR) and January 31st (OTT), but that’s a consecutive ten game stretch for Mikko Koskinen until then. Normally I’d say find someone else’s third string goalie and see what they’re up to, but the Oilers are limited to six other cities who might provide immediate help due to the quarantine rule.

Aaron Dell (Toronto) and Louie Domingue (Calgary) are two names that could make sense for the Oilers if Ken Holland can strike a deal. Even if Holland can’t get a deal done for either of these two goaltenders, there’s got to be a plan in case Mike Smith is out longer than 24 days.