According to a report from TSN1260’s Jason Gregor, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom has played his final game of the 2017-18 season and will fly home for shoulder surgery today.
The surgery is expected to take place on Thursday and, as Gregor reports, doctors won’t know the extent of the damage until the procedure begins.
While this isn’t particularly surprising news, after all it’s been speculated for weeks if not months that Klefbom has been playing with an injured shoulder, the decision to shut down Klefbom at this point in the season is curious if nothing else. I mean… if he’s injured and the Oilers are out of the race, why not shut him down earlier? Allow him to properly rest and recover for the 2018-19 season?
For what it’s worth, the 24 year old defenceman has just five goals and 21 points in 66 games this season following a 12 goal and 38 point breakout in 2016-17. It’s clear that something’s wrong… again the only question is, “why did things have to get to this point?”
Report: Oilers forced to include additional pick for mid-season trade
According to multiple reports, the Montreal Canadiens will receive a now 4th round selection in the upcoming 2018 NHL Entry Draft from the Edmonton Oilers as part of the conditions surrounding the teams’ January trade concerning goaltender Al Montoya.
The Candiens were slated to receive only a 5th round pick, but because Montoya started his 7th game for the Oilers this season tonight, the pick is upgrade from the 5th round to the 4th.
Check it out:
The trade was deemed questionable by many Oilers fans at the time it went down and today’s news probably won’t offer much comfort. Prior to tonight’s game Montoya has a 3.15 goals against average and a .894 save percentage. Yikes. He has allowed 4+ goals in all three of his starts and he’s still on the team’s books for next season at $1.06 million.
While it may be hard to remember, the Oilers were technically still in playoff contention back in November and an injury to starter Cam Talbot necessitated the trade for Montoya. It was clear, at the time, that backup Laurent Brossoit wasn’t ready for the NHL, so he was demoted to the AHL while Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli acquired Montoya from the Habs. The problem is… Montoya hasn’t been any better than Brossoit and the Oilers have fallen even further out of the playoff picture since acquiring Montoya.
It was a desperate move by a desperate man in charge of a desperate team. So far the experiment has backfired. Sound familiar? Chiarelli has also struck out on experiments with Jussi Jokinen, Nathan Walker and Ty Rattie this season. The truth is though that not much has gone right in Edmonton this season… today’s news just further compounds this.
At this point, Oilers fans would just be happy to scrub the entire 2017-18 season and turn the page to next season. The problem is that the Oilers are still hamstrung by bad contracts next season, including Milan Lucic’s $6 million annual salary, Andrej Sekera’s $5.5 million annual salary… oh and Connor McDavid’s MASSIVE eight year, $100,000,000 contract kicks in, as well. Yikes.