by Lisa McRitchie on 11/08/11 at 03:15 AM ET
Ales Hemsky, Darcy Hordichuk and Cam Barker all look set to return to the line-up soon and so changes to the Oilers line-up must be made. Cam Barker and Ales Hemsky both took and as far as I can tell, passed Coach Tom Renney’s skate test. This test is something that all players hoping to return to the line-up must do, and the results must make Renney happy. Renney says he can tell if his players are not pushing themselves, or are pushing too hard.
Ales Hemsky was said to have been the healthiest he had ever been going into this season. Sadly, Hemsky played only one game and less than a period before returning to the injured listing with a sore shoulder. So, Hemsky has missed the Oilers winning streak and if he is truly healthy enough to play, may help the Oilers set off on their next winning streak.
Cam Barker also had a shoulder injury, but he wouldn’t tell anyone which shoulder. Barker has only missed three games, but has not been the only Oilers defenceman to go down. As such, both Jeff Petry and Colten Teubert have been called up from the Oklahoma City Barons.
Teubert has now played 2 NHL games, approximately 12 and a half minutes each and has his first NHL point. Jeff Petry has now played 5 games this season, is averaging approximately 22 minutes per game and also has only one point so far on the season.
It is very reasonable to assume or guess that once Barker is ready to play, that Teubert will be sent back the Barons. Other options of course exist; one of them is to sit Theo Peckham in the pressbox for a game or two and the other is to ease Cam Barker back in, perhaps have Barker sit out another game or two to allow the Petry and Teubert some more NHL minutes. The trouble with the latter situation of course, is leaving the Barons short. This is the Oklahoma City Barons’ second season of existence and the team is looking to do better than last season’s playoff run.
When looking at the front end and Hemsky’s return there are a few names that quickly jump out. Anton Lander is on a two way contract and although he is a centre, and Hemsky plays right wing, Sam Gagner has been playing the wing and could return to centre if Lander were to be sent to the Barons. Lennart Petrell is an older player at 27 looking to make an NHL team. This offseason, Petrell signed a one year entry level contract and so in terms of contract, could also easily be sent to the farm team.
There is of course the option of sitting Magnus Paajarvi who has been struggling in terms of point production with only one point through thirteen games, and a plus/minus of 0, but I’m not sure that this is how Renney will lean.
Despite Petrell’s impressive start to the season, especially since the Finn seemingly came out of nowhere, I would not be surprised if both Petrell and Teubert are sent to join the Barons, but not until this weekend at the earliest. The Barons, strangely play a 10:30am game against the Toronto Marlies but this weekend play back to back home games against the Charlotte Checkers.
It sounds as though the decisions on Hemsky and Barker will be made tomorrow after the morning skate, but Renney also likes to keep people guessing so it could be a secret until game time. Hemsky and Barker are not shoe ins for Tuesday night’s game in Montreal, but given Hemsky’s importance to the team, I would expect Renney to put Hemsky back in the game as soon as he’s ready.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
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