Zack Stortini’s clutch and grab with Dallas Stars’ tough man, Krys Barch, last week, may have precipitated the writing on the wall for the Edmonton Oilers’ light weight.
Stortini lived up to his growing reputation around the league as “Huggy Bear”, turtleing and drawing the ire of Barch…and possibly the Oilers’ front office. Hence, it’s no surprise then, that the love-in with Huggy Bear that began with former Oilers’ coach Craig MacTavish, may finally be over.
Edmonton placed Stortini on waivers this afternoon, on the verge of the return to the starting lineup of Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky.
If another NHL club doesn’t claim the fourth liner by Wednesday afternoon, he will be assigned to the club’s AHL franchise in Oklahoma City. With that city currently under a state of alert, as the city bears the brunt of a winter blizzard, Stortini’s arrival, if he clears, would likely be postponed.
Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini elected to send Stortini packing instead of the other options, including Linus Omark and Liam Reddeox, the latter of whom would also have to go the waver route, and thus the team would risk losing their gritty special teams’ specialist.
Stortini and the Oilers other tough guy, Steve MacIntyre, have seen spot duty throughout the season. Unlike Stortini, however, MacIntyre is a feared enforcer around the league, and won’t hesitate to square off with an opponent when and if the time is right.
Edmonton begins its post-All Star schedule when it hosts the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday night down at The Drug Store.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.