The Edmonton Oilers have recalled American Hockey League goaltender Yann Danis after Nikolai Khabibulin suffered a groin injury in last night’s contest against the Vancouver Canucks.
According to the Oilers official Twitter feed, Khabibulin, who left last night’s game after the first period, suffered a groin injury and will be out of the lineup seven to 10 days.
The timing of the injury is interesting, and may have some impact on the Oilers at the February 27 NHL Trade Deadline. While Steve Tambellini has publically suggested that he has no plans to move Khabibulin, various NHL Insiders felt that the veteran goaltender could have real value at the deadline.
The good news is that Khabibulin’s injury doesn’t seem serious, but given his track record since the lockout any injury has to be something of a concern and one imagines that this one nicks his value a little bit.
Also according to the Oilers’ Twitter feed, Yann Danis is on the way up to the big club. The last time the Oilers found themselves in this situation, it was Martin Gerber coming up from the farm. Like Gerber, Danis is a veteran goalie with NHL experience (most recently in New Jersey in 2009-10, where he posted a 0.923 SV% in 12 games) and if Tom Renney holds true to his previous work we’re likely to see Danis get at least one start during his time with the team. The Oilers play five games over the next 10 days.
Danis is having a very strong year in Oklahoma City, and his 0.926 SV% is a big part of the reason the Barons are performing so well. This call-up, despite coming as a result of injury, is a nice reward for good work and Danis’ history suggests that there will be no drop-off for the Oilers with him between the pipes. It’s even possible that Danis – as Gerber did last season – will outperform the Khabibulin/Dubnyk duo during his time with the team.