As if Alberta’s Health System isn’t under enough stress already!
First Ales Hemsky, then Taylor Hall and now Sam Gagner – all sustain season-ending injuries.
Forget about an inquiry into the province’s health-care system, which Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach announced yesterday. Look no further than the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers for reasons behind Alberta’s growing medical wait lists.
The latest to be added to the team’s M.A.S.H Unit is centre Sam Gagner, who will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 campaign, after undergoing surgery to repair a tendon in his hand Thursday afternoon. NOTE: Curious how Gagner moved to the front of the line in 24 hours past a very patient hockey scribe (that would be me!) and likely hundreds of others currently caught in health-care pergatory, waiting for hand or wrist surgery. Hmmm!
Nonetheless, Gagner was cut by the skate of teammate Ryan Jones, during the Oilers’ 5-0 humiliating loss to the Washington Capitals Wednesday evening.
It’s been an especially difficult week for the league’s cellar dwellars, after rookie phenom Taylor Hall was resigned to spending the rest of his first NHL season in a boot cast, the result of a high left ankle sprain sustained during his first pro career fight with Columbus feisty pest, Derek Dorsett.
Gagner, 21, was seemingly rising to the occasion in the absence of Hemsky (concussion, long list of various other injuries), and Hall, scoring 15 goals and 37 assists this season.
For the last three seasons, Edmonton has boasted one of the league”s higher Man Games Lost Due to Injury ratios, a dubious stat related, in part, to a team whose roster is both short on size, and guts.
In the meantime Oiler fans, chins up….sticks down.
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.