Sam Gagner’s season is over. He joins Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky on the sidelines in what has been a nightmare two weeks for the Oilers’ skilled men.
- March 3, 2011: Ales Hemsky is expected to be out for several weeks with a shoulder injury. It is believed to be a rotator cuff, but not a torn rotator. Expected injury time: 3 weeks.
- March 4, 2011: Taylor Hall will miss the rest of the season after a high ankle sprain injury.
- March 10, 2011: Sam Gagner gone for the season after tendon surgery.
Add that to the Dustin Penner trade, and the Oilers couldn’t do a better job in the race to last place if they tried. At this point, I’m reminded of that old Hee Haw song "Blue, Despair and Agony on Me" as the Oilers and their fans are miles and miles past hopeless for this season.
Spring is on the way, and a new day will dawn with another lottery pick. Hall, Gagner and Hemsky will declare themselves fit and will join Eberle and the others next fall in the annual trek towards the Stanley. This has been a good year for ‘Oilers future’ with Hall, Paarjavi, Eberle and Omark all impressing up front, and Petry, Dubnyk and others showing well as rookies too.
As the snow begins to melt and we find the lineups at the car wash match those at the Tim Horton’s, all of these injuries and losses will fade away. At least I hope so.
The Oilers may send a call for C Ryan O’Marra after tonight’s OKC Barons game, or maybe they give young Finn Teemu Hartikainen the thrill of a lifetime with his first NHL game. Colin McDonald, Brad Moran and old friend Zack Stortini are also available for recall and the team could just ride out the injuries (especially if Gilbert Brule can go).
This year is "nothing" compared to past seasons in terms of actual man games lost. The Oilers site tells us the current total is 174 for 10-11 (and counting). Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky have been the biggest losses for the Oildrop.
Last year, the club lost an enormous number of games (530) and the names included Ales Hemsky, Sheldon Souray, Mike Comrie, Lubomir Visnovsky, Ryan Stone, Nikolai Khabibulin and Ladislav Smid.
The Hockey Gods may want to smile on the Edmonton Oilers sometime soon.