The very strange Jesse Puljujarvi saga continues. According to Jason Gregor, Jesse Puljujarvi’s camp is seeking a “second opinion” on his supposed injury that the Oilers described as “long term.”
First of all, per Ryan Rishaug, Ken Hitchcock said that Puljujarvi’s lower body injury was a “long-term” thing. He wouldn’t go into any further detail. Jim Matheson expanded on the news, reporting that Puljujarvi might need surgery. If he does have surgery, it would almost certainly end his 2018-19 season.
Hitchcock refereed to Puljujarvi injury as long term but didn’t have any more details today.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) February 22, 2019
Shortly after, Gregor reported that Puljujarvi’s camp is seeking a second opinion from another doctor on the injury.
Puljujarvi and his agent want a 2nd opinion on his injury. He will go see Doctor in USA next Tuesday and then they will make decision. #Oilers
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) February 22, 2019
This whole thing is strange. The injury sort of came out of nowhere, as Puljujarvi was randomly placed on the Injured Reserve last weekend. This happened shortly after Puljujarvi’s agent came out and suggested a divorce between his client and the Oilers might be the best path forward.
NHL players have the right per the NHLPA to seek a second opinion on an injury to determine whether or not they’re healthy enough to play. From Puljujarvi’s perspective, as I speculated last weekend, his camp may want him playing the remainder of the season to maximize the bonuses on the final year of his entry-level contract. Of course, that’s just my speculation.
Another unfortunate wrinkle with this whole situation is that Puljujarvi must remain on the Injured Reserve until after he receives his second opinion. That means he’ll be on the IR past the deadline to send players to the AHL, so he won’t be able to join the Bakersfield Condors for their playoff run. Could Puljujarvi’s camp be using this in order to resist being sent down to the AHL?
It isn’t uncommon players seek second opinions on injuries. The ones we see in the news are situations like Joffrey Lupul, who the Leafs have stashed on the Long-Term Injured Reserve for years, but these happen frequently. Still, given all that’s gone on the past few weeks, this points to a lack of trust between the Oilers and Puljujarvi’s camp and furthers the idea that a divorce between both sides seems inevitable.
JESSE PULJUJARVI’S SEASON SO FAR
Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 2/22/2019 – 12:21 pm MT