After getting an extended look on the team’s top line next to Connor McDavid, Pontus Aberg was pulled from the lineup prior to Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers. In his place, Ty Rattie was given an opportunity with McDavid fresh after being recalled from the AHL.
According to Todd McLellan, the reason for Aberg’s demotion was serious.
A reporter asked how serious it is when a guy goes out like that and how angry the coaching staff is, to which McLellan replied…
"He came out for reasons beyond his play . . . it's serious. The coaching staff isn't pleased, the organization isn't pleased and I'm sure his teammates aren't pleased." Todd McLellan on Pontus Aberg, back in the line-up tonight. What's the story? https://t.co/8iuYz1eOA8— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) March 20, 2018
Woof. That’s pretty damning stuff for Aberg who’s only a few weeks into his career with the Oilers.
The 24-year-old was acquired in a swap with the Nashville Predators for Mark Letestu before the trade deadline. He’s played eight games with the Oilers and has two assists while averaging just under 15 minutes per game. He has 15 shots, but hasn’t been able to score a goal yet.
It was reported prior to the Panthers game that Aberg was out of the lineup because he missed a team practice. Based on McLellan’s tone, I would imagine something else was involved in him missing that practice. Let me tell you, as somebody who was just in Florida recently for Spring Training, it’s
hard to keep track of your drinks easy to get lost in the warm sun.
We don’t know what happened, but Hopefully Aberg turns it around and learns from the mistake.