Ales Hemsky suffered a leg injury in practice, according to both 630 CHED’s Dan Tencer and the Oilers website. Head coach Tom Renney didn’t know what the injury was, but offered the comforting opinion that he didn’t think it was anything major.
There are a lot of other minor stories I wanted to touch on, so consider this post a bit of a catch-all:
Khabibulin skating again. This is another note passed along by Tencer: Nikolai Khabibulin was skating with the team this morning. I don’t know how close he is to game action, but it seems safe to say that his trip to the injured list this November isn’t going to envelope his entire season. I both hope and expect to see improved play from him down the line, as while as a more even distribution of games between him and Devan Dubnyk.
Belle demoted. It’s not terribly surprising to see Shawn Belle get sent down, but even so I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed. I don’t think Belle’s the be-all and end-all but I did think he outperformed some of his competition during his brief stint in Edmonton, and I would have liked to see him get a few more games. It’s been suggested that the Oilers don’t want to see Belle in the press-box, but we’re past the point in his career where teams are worrying about his long-term development. Still, this isn’t a big deal either way.
O’Marra injured. Guy Flaming passes along the news that Oklahoma’s Ryan O’Marra will be out one to three weeks after sustaining a shoulder injury in a win on Sunday. O’Marra was on the radar as a potential call-up, and had been having a breakthrough season of sorts, which will now be interrupted. I’ll be interested to see if O’Marra’s absence is a help or hindrance to Liam Reddox and Linus Omark, the two players he had been centering.
Deslauriers improving rapidly. Remember Jeff Deslauriers? After a couple of ugly games to start his AHL season, he has played very well over Oklahoma’s last three games, allowing just four goals and posting a 0.955 SV% over that span. It’s way too soon to form any conclusions, but if he can continue to excel in the minors he’ll get another NHL chance. I completely agreed with the Oilers’ decision to keep Devan Dubnyk over Deslauriers, but I’ve always felt a lot of sympathy for Deslauriers, who had an incredibly rough development path. Additionally, it’s a nice change to see an Oilers’ farm team that is getting quality goaltending.