Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers placed Alex Stalock on waivers so that the goaltender could be assigned to the Bakersfield Condors and get to work on resuming his pro-hockey career after missing the first half of the season as a result of a heart condition. Let the comeback begin.
🔁 #Oilers roster moves 🔁
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 15, 2022
Claimed off waivers in March of 2021, Stalock has yet to suit up for a game with the Oilers after he was diagnosed with a heart condition that popped up as a result of COVID-19. Back in March of 2021, Stalock spoke with Michael Russo from The Athletic about his experience with COVID and how he felt totally fine until doctors ordered some tests on his heart that nearly changed his future forever:
On Nov. 19, Stalock was tested for the coronavirus in order to get cleared to officially enter the Wild’s TRIA Rink practice facility in order to get ready for the upcoming hockey season. The next day, at 3 o’clock, he was driving to his friend’s cabin with his wife and three children when the Wild team doctor called to tell him he tested positive for the virus. Stalock’s wife, Felicia, immediately put a mask on herself and their children, and the family turned around to return to the Twin Cities.
Still, Stalock didn’t believe he had the virus. He had no symptoms and maintains he still never had a single symptom from having the virus.
In fact, after returning to the Twin Cities, Stalock said he had multiple negative tests and never once had another positive test.
He thought it had to be a false positive and asked to get clearance to the Wild’s practice facility.
But following NHL protocol, doctors told him he first needed to go through a cardiac screening even though he was symptom-free.
Stalock took an EKG and echocardiogram figuring it was just a formality and, bluntly, a waste of time. But doctors immediately noticed an abnormality and ordered an MRI to get a better look at his heart.
Out of respect for Stalock’s privacy, the Minnesota Wild listed him as having an upper-body injury while further tests were being completed until it was eventually revealed that the injury in question was a heart condition known as myocarditis. According to the Myocarditis Foundation, “myocarditis is a disease that causes inflammation of the heart muscle. This inflammation enlarges and weakens the heart, creates scar tissue, and forces it to work harder to circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body.”
Back in September, Ken Holland spoke to the media ahead of the season and revealed that Stalock was expected to miss the entire year as a result of his diagnosis, but that all changed this week when news broke that the goaltender was working on a comeback. Now that’s he’s cleared waivers, Stalock’s path to pro-hockey is a little bit clearer as the 34-year-old goaltender will be able to get back on the ice to try and work his way back to the NHL, and to be honest, I could not be happier for him.
In the NHL, Stalock sports a 61-49-18 record, a .909 save%, and a 2.61 GAA. In the AHL, he’s gone 104-71-19 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.52 GAA.
STALOCK’S CAREER SO FAR