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Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Is Oscar Klefbom OK?

The week has been a long one for Oilers fans. The All-Star break gave us all a little breather apart from having Connor and Leon participating in the skills contest and following 3-on-3 tournament. But we’ve gotten to a point now where the fans are ready for this wildcard chase to resume and for Oscar Klefbom to come back and help us make it happen. Then, late last night, some news came out that meant that maybe fans will have to wait longer for that return, or will they?

This footage was grabbed by Mark Spector after Klefbom “took a stick on his injured left hand” and went over to speak to a trainer and have him take a look at it. For the Oilers and their fans, this clip is bad news and something they certainly didn’t need right now. This footage inspired Spector to wonder whether or not “Oilers’ Klefbom suffers an apparent setback in return from broken finger”.

If true, this would be devastating news to the Oilers. The return of Klefbom means that more guys are properly slotted and that they will be able to take the load off of guys like Nurse, Larsson, and Russell who have all played an extended role in his absence. It will also free them up to move around/out some of the D men they were forced to play more (Kevin Gravel, Matt Benning) or bring in from Chicago (Brandon Manning) and Florida (Alex Petrovic).

The reason I wrote “if true” because just before the clock struck midnight on the month of January the Oilers tweeted shortly after about a potential return for Oscar Klefbom as early as this Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers:

Admittedly, in my opinion, it was a strange time of day for the Oilers to be tweeting out a story that contradicts a story that came out shortly before. With that in mind, I was curious to see what would happen at this morning’s practice: Would he be there? Wouldn’t he?

While Gazzola’s tweet doesn’t necessarily clear things up, in fact it spawns more questions than anything, but the good news is that any setback he may have suffered wasn’t enough to keep him out of today’s practice. What that means for tomorrow’s game is anyone’s guess, but the good news is that he’s out there. All I know for sure is that Oilers need Klefbom back for a playoff push and they need him back sooner rather than later. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the update is after practice is over.

***UPDATE***

KLEFBOM’S SEASON SO FAR

Season GP G A P +/- PIM PPG PPP SHG SHP GWG OTG S S%
2018-19 31 3 12 15 1 8 1 6 0 0 2 1 93 3.2
NHL Career 286 27 82 109 -35 42 5 33 1 2 7 2 657 4.1


  • OIL

    Teams are already going to be keying on that injured hand, so why don’t we just advertise that its an issue to make sure everyone focus’s on it….

    It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Sekera, as I would take him over Benning, Manning, Petrovic and Gravel. Conditioning stint will be telling.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      If Klef’s hand is still in that bad of shape no way should he even attempt to play, guaranteed in a game he is going to get his hand whacked by an opponent in play, its so common these days it isnt even funny and if someone really lays the chop down, I think Klef will be right back on LTIR.

      I say leave him off the ice, I would like to see him back but not if he is still in that rough of shape that an unintentional hit to the hand bothers him never mind what a good whack during a game might do to aggravate his hand healing

  • Shane

    Rush him back from injury! I mean we have a 17% chance of making the playoffs. Chasing that pipe dream is worth reinjuring our best and most fragile defenceman right? It worked so well for Souray, Visnovsky, Whitney, Sekera…

  • Shane

    Nicholson said: they’re done rushing prospects, they’re done rushing back injured players, and the old boys club doesn’t make hockey decisions. Yet Puljaarvi is still on the team wallowing on the 4th line, Klefbom is slated to return even though he can’t finish a practice, and MacTavish is scouting the pro teams for “character, and pace”.
    This team hasn’t even tried to change and is gonna suck for another 10 years at this rate.

  • camdog

    We have to remember it was not just a broken finger, it was more like a shattered finger. We won’t really no “which” (healthy/injured) Oscar Klefbom we are getting back until we see him in game play. If it’s like last seasons shoulder injury, he might not be able to help improve the teams fortunes immediately.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      “Medically cleared” means he is “ready”… Geez.
      Split all the hairs you want. If he’s medically cleared and can stand the pain he’ll play. If his performance is crap, that’s when it becomes a coaching decision, not before.

  • Hemmercules

    Yikes. Bad news for sure. Klef coming back is pretty much the only thing keeping the playoff hopes alive at this point. I really hope they dont him play him too soon, suffer a setback and shut him down for the season as they have done in the past. Better off letting him sit out another week or two. Still 2 months of hockey left. Rather have a healthy player for 1 month than a hobbled player for 2 months.

    • BringitbacklikeSlats

      The Mythology of the “great” Oscar Klefbom Legend continues perpetuated by his Corsi Loving mob.

      Guys a middling defender on a good team and nothing more.

      1.) Does he score a lot? No
      2.) Does he record a lot of assists? No
      3.) Does he defend well and not get beaten on the outside? No
      4.) Is he a physical presence and deterrent to attacking forwards in the blue paint of our crease? No
      5.) Does he have a great shot? Well it’s hard… when it hits the net which is 20% ofthe time. When, on 80% of the time when he misses it creates an odd man rush going the other way. One in which he’s invariably caught.

      So please quit attaching our negate playoff hopes to this #3-5th Defenceman on a cup contending team

        • BringitbacklikeSlats

          That wasn’t directed at you Hemmer… just a general take on the overestimate of the player IMO.
          Fair point on the record though I go to games and in my estimation the teams overall play has been sub par from blue line, to goal, to forward since Christmas. So to say the difference has been 77 is an overreach. In reality when 3of4 top5 are out (Russel/Sekera) of any squad the results could be horrific.

          • Hemmercules

            Thats fair. The injuries to the Defence are likely a major factor in what sunk them this year. Hard to recover from 3 of your best guys missing significant time. That and letting Chia make so many desperation moves, you simply cant let a GM make job saving moves. If his job needs saving you should just fire him and move on.

          • Beer_League_Ringer

            I’ll chime in with my half-nickel of “wisdom”. Klef is the best we have. Period… I’m not sure that is overvaluing him from an Oilers perspective. He might not be a true #1, but he is our clear #1.

  • TKB2677

    Of course Klefbom isn’t OK. Nothing with this guy is EVER routine.

    For as good as he is, if you look at the roster to start the year and had to bet on which player would get hurt, its him. When he gets hurt, its never a couple day thing like a bruise, it’s a major one that requires some procedure that takes months. Klefbom got hurt Dec 11 and got surgery a couple days later max. So he’s already been out for 7 weeks. When every doc on the planet says it takes most people 6 weeks to recover, for the odd guy it’s 8 weeks. Klefbom will be the guy who takes 8 weeks to recover and even that might not be enough to be 100%.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      I know… They’re # goalie gets hurt, or sucks and magically Rittich plays like Kiprusoff? Don’t get me wrong, the Flames deserve to be where they are, but few would have predicted Rittich playing that well.

  • slats-west

    I’m curious about the starting goalie ? You just signed him Mikko to $4.5 and your coming off a bye week? Like can we please stop the MISMANAGEMENT OF THIS EFFIN LINE UP – please for once !

  • BringitbacklikeSlats

    By what standard…Defensively or offensively do you feel he’s the clear choice?
    Different players have different strengths. Especially D.
    He said not especially gifted at putting the puck in the net nor does he do a bang up job keeping it out of ours. When Sekera was healthy before Getzlaf took his pound of flesh he was easily ourbest all around blueliner. I’d argue Nurse has a better nose for the net, though Klefbom transitions it out better and has a better pass. Defensively he has a ways to go. He could start with finishing a check once in a while.