The Oilers will be without their No. 1 defenceman for longer than we had originally hoped. Klefbom, who left Tuesday’s win in Colorado after blocking a shot, will have surgery on his finger, meaning he’ll miss six to eight weeks of action.
Surgery for Oilers' Oscar Klefbom on his injured finger…out 6 to 8 weeks.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 15, 2018
We knew right after the game that Klefbom was going to be out for weeks rather than days, but this was pretty much the worst-case scenario.
With Klefbom out of the lineup, the Oilers have had Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson doing major heavy-lifting on the blueline. Kevin Gravel and Matt Benning have also seen an increase in minutes and Jason Garrison has been inserted back into the lineup. Rookie Caleb Jones was also recalled to give the team another option on the blueline.
Of course, things will get a little easier for Edmonton’s blueline once Kris Russell, who went on the Injured Reserve at the same time as Klefbom, returns to action, but it’s going to be very difficult to navigate multiple months without Klefbom on the top pair.
I wrote earlier today about how the trade market is shaping up for rentals this year. Given the fact Klefbom would be out until February, the Oilers may look into pulling the trigger on a deal that helps shore up their blueline. Obviously, you aren’t going to replace Klefbom via trade right now, but adding some quality depth would be very beneficial as the Oilers work through life without their top defender.