NHL Notebook: No pre-season games for Edmonton Oilers’ Sam Gagner, games limited for Connor Brown
By Zach Laing2 months ago
Some late-night news ahead of Edmonton Oilers training camp opening this week, as Postmedia’s Jim Matheson offered some insight into the status of two players recovering from injury.
First and foremost, Matheson reported Tuesday night Sam Gagner won’t appear in any pre-season games for the Oilers this year, and might get some action with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. Gagner, who inked a professional tryout with the Oilers weeks ago, had double hip surgery this offseason but isn’t expected to have any limitations on his career moving forward.
Gagner is a top candidate to replace Devin Shore as the Oilers’ 13th forward and hype man, and he’s a guy who fits the bill perfectly. The 34-year-old appeared in 48 games last season with the Winnipeg Jets scoring eight goals and 14 points.
Gagner isn’t the only player who will face some limitations in camp, and Matheson reported Connor Brown isn’t expected to play in back-to-back pre-season games.
Brown, 29, is in a similar situation as Gagner coming off major surgery, but for him, it was due to an ACL tear suffered early last season. While the truth of the matter is these types of surgeries are getting more and more efficient as time goes on, Brown’s health and longevity are of utmost importance now, and in the long run.
The Oilers have a plethora of pre-season games this year, and there is going to be more than enough competition. It all kicks off Sunday afternoon when the Oilers take on the Winnipeg Jets kicking off a home-and-home split. Winnipeg visits Edmonton Sunday, then Edmonton heads east Monday.
Then Edmonton hosts the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday before Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th sees the Oilers hit the road to play the Calgary Flames, and Canucks, respectively. The pre-season concludes with an Oct. 2nd game on the road against the Seattle Kraken, and home games on the 4th and 6th against Calgary and Seattle, respectively.
There’s going to be more than enough time for Brown to get reps in live action throughout the pre-season. It’s a safe assumption the Oilers might split up their roster for the first back-to-back game in something that would allow them to see the most players in a short amount of time.
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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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