They’re on crutches, in casts, or simply bed-ridden – they are, your 2011 edition of the Edmonton Oilers!
So desperate for players are the Edmonton Oilers, bench boss Tom Renney has already called up five players from the Oklahoma City Barons, the club’s AHL farm team, the latest being Finnish forward Teemu Hartikainen, who will play in his first NHL game Thursday, when the Oilers welcome the Phoenix Coyotes to Rexall Place.
So, if you’re a minor leaguer with some upside, who continues to hold onto the dream of catching a break and cracking “The Bigs”, you might want to fire off your video CV to Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini pronto!
The situation in Edmonton is indeed dire, to say the least, and is also threatening to compromise the Barons’ play-off hopes. Tambellini is short three players for his team’s Thursday evening tilt, yet none, other than Hartikainen have arrived today. Why? The team’s first-year AHL franchise is in the hunt for a play-off position, and the team was scheduled to play an important game tonight vs. the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Yes, they’re a varitable M.A.S.H. Unit – the fifth consecutive season that the club will finish with more than 200 man games lost due to injury – an alarming trend that has the Oilers in last place for the second consecutive season. Sidelined with a shoulder injury, Edmonton’s poster child for the IR, Alex Hemsky yesterday, admitted he’s been playing with the same shoulder injury that forced him to miss much of the 2009-10 campaign. Surgery will undoubtedly be Hemsky’s fate in the coming weeks, just the latest injury to sideline the talented Czech winger.
Captain Shaun Horcoff sustained a hair-line fracture to his foot, after taking a shot off his skate, during the team’s recent loss in Washington.
Renney’s theme heard throughout the season, “It’s an opportunity for another young player…” has run its course…as has another injury-plagued season.
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.