Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Klefbom Gets Good News on His Shoulder

Oscar Klefbom, like all his teammates, was disappointed in how their season unfolded, but he was very excited about his upcoming off-season training. He had surgery to clean up his shoulder, which has been bothering him for years.

“They went in and basically vacuum cleaned a lot of pieces of bone that was floating around in there,” explained Klefbom.

“When I woke up I got some good news. The surgery went well and I’m very happy. I have a good feeling going back home knowing my shoulder is better,” smiled Klefbom.

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The comment, “a lot of pieces of bone,” about 22 of them, had many Oilers fans upset online. I know Twitter isn’t the best place to gauge sanity, but remember bone chips are quite common in pro athletes. The pieces can be very small. Klefbom explained it was more of a pain threshold issue than anything.

“It is almost more mental than physical. If you know you aren’t 100% and you have some bumps and bruises, you want to protect yourself. Early in the season, I wasn’t sure how serious it was, and you start thinking if you get hit you might be out a long time. I wanted to help the guys, especially when we got off to a tough start, and I wanted to help us get back on the winning track. It happened, but now I’m happy I had surgery and everything is good,” continued Klefbom.

He has been dealing with this issue for a few years. It finally got to the point he needed to get it fixed. Rest and medication wouldn’t heal it, but after some rest or a cortisone shot, which he had earlier in the season, he felt better. And that is why he continued playing. He had played with discomfort for a while, and he learned how to play through it.

I think many fans would be surprised how often players are playing banged up, and often with bone chips or other ailments. Surgery is never the first option. Players and doctors will always look for other options first, because even with all the advancements in the medical field, there is always a risk the surgery could lead to other complications.

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Some players react poorly to the procedure, and I’ve seen a player have his career ended due to complications from surgery. It is rare, but playing with bumps, bruises or pain is part of being a pro athlete, and many play with shoulder problems. I know many non pro athletes who are living with shoulder problems right now, and many have been told by their physician that surgery won’t guarantee their shoulder is better.

The Oilers doctors and Klefbom made the right decision, it turns out. He played most of the season, didn’t do any extra damage, had a successful surgery and now he has six months to be healthy. Speaking with him today it was clear he was very excited to start next season healthy.

“It has been going on for many years. It feels very good to go home and know I don’t have to go through this again with injections or medications. I don’t want to have any excuses, but it is tough to play when you aren’t 100%. I obviously want to be on the ice and have a positive effect with the guys,” said Klefbom.

February 9, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom (77) shoots against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

He did admit that outside of the mental challenges of dealing with the injury, the pain did limit him physically as well.

“My shot was affected, and certain positions on the ice, but I don’t want to make excuses. I had a tough start to the year, and I’m looking forward to being healthy,” Klefbom explained.

Even without being 100% healthy Klefbom still played 22:50/game. He proved he can play through pain, and while he wasn’t as effective as he was last season, he earned a lot of respect for playing banged up. As he mentioned, the shoulder bothered him last season as well, but it progressively got worse this year and ultimately led to him having surgery.

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A healthy Oscar Klefbom should help the Oilers in many areas. He will be more effective 5×5 in his own zone. He will be more of a threat on the powerplay and he will be able to move and battle with players on the PK.

We saw how having injuries, or players not being close to 100%, can impact a team negatively.

You couldn’t wipe the smile off Klefbom’s face today when he discussed his shoulder and how much better he will feel. If you saw him walk into a room today you wouldn’t know he had surgery 18 days ago. He had no sling. He wasn’t favouring his shoulder. He will stay in Edmonton for another week or so for treatment, but then he will head to Sweden and he might make a trip to Copenhagen to watch some of his Oilers teammates play in the World Championship.

The other factor in his successful surgery is he will be ready to open the season in his home country next October.

“Obviously it is going to be a lot of fun. Just watching all the Swedes getting to play in Stockholm, it has been a dream of mine and now we get to do it. I will have a lot of a friends and family there and it will be a great memory,” said Klefbom about the Oilers regular season opener in Sweden.

This season was arguably the most disappointing in franchise history, but Klefbom’s health report is one positive that should carry over to the start of next year.

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They will need more positives this off-season, but Klefbom being healthy is great news for the Oilers and their fans.

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      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        Can’t help but think that both Klefbom and Huge are both doomed at the draft and that would figure just when Huge is on a value contract at $6 mil for the next 3 years and is on the verge of becoming a legit 30/30 guy on McDavid’s wing….*sigh*….#becauseOilers

        • OilerForLife

          I think Nuge and Klefbom safe. Nuge is the best winger that McDavid has played with to date. The surgery was successful and Klefbom is a value contract for many years. PC won’t touch either player.

  • Señor Frijoles

    I hope that if Chia isn’t let go, at the very least his potential moves need to be vetted by higher ups. Chia seems to get a charge out trading high profile talent players to prove he’s not afraid to do so.

    • OilerForLife

      He still has a job because he got the Oilers into the playoffs, and he could do it again with better injury luck and better luck in general. Enough said !

      • pkam

        How lame to use injury luck as the excuse for the Oilers failure. Our injury situation is much better than some of the playoff teams. If the team cannot make the playoff unless it is completely healthy like last season, we are in big trouble. A team with little to no depth to survive average injury situation is the fault of the GM.

        • OilerForLife

          Firstly, 3 years in isn’t the fault of the current GM. It’s lame to completely discount injuries; a boxer will pull out of a fight if the injury is bad enough. I should point out McDavid was sick for over a month, at a critical time. Klefbom, the closest thing we have to a big shot on the powerplay was not 100% all year. The injuries happened at key times to key players times. I’m sure you noticed that our #1 D man from the year before didn’t even play until half the year was over. It was a mirage.

          The injuries happened at key times to key players times.

          • Big Nuggets

            Yeah but he knew about the Sekera injury all offseason and his one remedy was to sign Russell to a bad contract. Also I don’t buy that ‘Chia got us into the playoffs’ He got McDavid through no skill of his own and this team was rife with high scoring wingers. Chia remade the defense, aside from Klef, Nurse and Davidson, so Chia deserves some credit there, but when you are trading Taylor Hall and have the Cap space to sign Sekera to 5.5 mil you had bettet be able to remake the defense. I gove Chia a fail. I don’t trust his vision for the team, and I don’t trust his ability to scout NHL players. I don’t know who was responsible for the Reinhardt trade but that move was so dumb it makes you question just how inept are the people running this show.

  • crabman

    I’m happy he should come back next year 100% healthy. I’m also happy the full story of his injury is coming out and that the player and team didn’t do anything wrong by saying him. I”m tired of all the people arguing the team mishandled him by letting him play all while not having any information to back up their opinion.

    • RJ

      Player deals with nagging injury that’s bad enough it’s affecting his play and his head.

      This is where team doctors are supposed to put the player first. This is where the team has to step up and say for the long-term benefit of your career, you need to deal with it.

      But you have a GM and a coaching staff that are on the hot seat for terrible decisions they’ve made and if you follow sports long enough you wouldn’t be surprised to hear the team put their own interests ahead of the player. I am not saying that’s what happened here but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it did.

      I’m more concerned about this player who seems to be made of glass.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    1000 Cut’s, times up Pete.
    “Don’t blame us for Chiarelli leaving us with this bag of crap.”
    Let’s fix this mess and get the Oiler’s back on track.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      The Edmonton Oiler’s had ample skill, but Peter Chiarelli traded it in to be the next edition of the 2011 Boston Bruins, a team that only won because Tim Thomas had the spring of a lifetime. He’s made the same mistakes again. Edmonton is dealing with the after effects of Chiarelli’s decisions. 2 wasted picks for Reinhart, traded away Eberle and Hall. Generous monetary donations to Lucic and Kassian. Gifted roster spots too.
      A big, heavy team with a big salary cap mess.

  • Dan 1919

    This offseason will say a lot about Chiarelli’s future in the NHL. Does he accept his mistakes and look to correct them; or is he too stubborn and decides to see them through instead… leading to a midseason blowup of the organization with no one ever likely to take a chance on Chiarelli again after he decimates two organizations in under 5 years.

  • ScottV

    Yeah its strange. They bring in PC who is a heavy team guy and talk about wanting to get bigger and play heavier to compete in the Pacific. I remember PC talking about getting away from one and done rushing, playing more o zone possession hockey and becoming a team that is defensively responsible.
    So he brings in Kassian and Lucic and you would think that his Coach would then set forth to use these kinda guys within a system that keys on things like cycling, puck protection, using the points, working the puck and shooting on net when we got a guy like Lucic net front.
    Instead – all of a sudden we got McL talking about a speed game, mass shooting on zone entries (which is a one and done rush unless you get a retrieval on the shot), focusing on how to get more offensive chemistry through the line blender and not much else.
    3 years later – I dont know where we are at. One and doners with a retrieval wrinkle thrown in. Questionable special teams. Still awful defensively. I mean at least you would think that McL coulda cleaned that up.
    They throw huge money at a guy like Lucic and then decide they are not gonna play his style? Who made that decision?
    The whole thing reeks of interference and lack of cohesion from owner to executive management to coaching, to the players.
    Only the Oilers…..

  • Elasmus

    My brother played through an entire season of Rugby with a torn meniscus, MCL, and ACL. The doctors didn’t even know how he was walking, let alone feeling no pain at all. Of course, sadly, he had to get a career ending surgery at 18.

  • nicolas10

    Well you knew the Lucic signing would come bite the Oilers at some point, but not so early, If he gets 50 pts while being punishing as he could be the 6 million are definately worth it. It’s not like he’s 35.

    But the Russel Signing is completely ludicrous. During the few games I watched (because I’m on the other side of the Atlantic), the way Russel played means I wouldn’t have him on my roster even at 1 million let alone 4 million. What use is a defender who can’t play positionally & with his stick and is laying down or on his knees all the time? With Russel on the ice (litterally most of the time) you play shorthanded half the time when you’re in the defensive zone. You don’t need to block shots if you keep them on the perimeter & let the goaltender see them.

    So IMO the Russel signing & the return on Hall are the reasons Chiarelly should be on the hotseat, but I don’t think he should right now given that bad luck with injuries he had to deal with this year. Indeed as someone said his #1 defenseman didn’t play until half the season and very diminished & his #2 defenseman was hampered by injuries all season. How would the Blackhawks of the glory days fare without Keith & with Seabrook playing injured all season? (Not that Sekera & Klefbom are like Keith & Seabrook, but you get the idea).