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Oil Patch

Oilers’ Defencemen and Injuries

Minor Updates and Musings
The Edmonton Oilers may not be as short on defenceman opening night as was previously believed. According to the Oilers website, “Both Ryan Whitney and Ladislav Smid are progressing and could potentially shock Oil Country by playing vs. the Penguins, but Taylor Chorney is certainly ready to go.”  If Whitney feels ready to play, the team trainer clears him, and the coaching staff puts Whitney into the lineup, it will not be a problem because Whitney has been on the team’s injured reserve listing since his injury last December.  As such, the defenceman has been on the IR for much longer than the required week. For Smid to play he cannot have been placed on the IR on Wednesday but the Oilers’ website has not been updated to indicate which players have been placed on IR. So, it will be a surprise to Oil Country if Smid plays and if he doesn’t.

While addressing the media Thursday, coach Tom Renney admitted “Guys might be a little healthier and a little more capable of jumping in and playing and that’s always good.” It is, but there is always the concern that a player may return to the game too soon, that an injury may be re-aggravated. Thankfully, Renney addressed that issue too, admitting that that is something he wants to be careful to avoid; he doesn’t want anything to become a chronic injury.

Injuries becoming chronic, that’s something else that seems interesting about Oilers injuries.  How so many players can suffer similar injuries and how it seems several players suddenly become injury prone is a mystery. If you ask many Oilers fans whether or not they feel that Ales Hemsky is injury prone, odds are you will receive a positive response. One reasoning for Hemsky’s injuries is the way that he plays and the fact that so many players in the league target him. Hemsky has a willingness to always go into the dirty areas and former division rival Robyn Regehr was very aware of that fact. There is still the concern that Hemsky is more likely to suffer shoulder issues because he played injured for too long, and because he had to; the team didn’t have other options and Hemsky wanted to help his team as much as possible. Either way, the Oilers have lost many man hours to shoulder injuries especially since 2007 and starting with Sheldon Souray.

The other common injury for Oilers has been ankle injuries, and this is certainly not anything new. October 30, 2007 in a game against the Detroit Red Wings, Matt Greene caught his foot in a rut on the ice and broke his ankle. If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can watch it once again on Youtube. This story has been repeated since Greene’s injury, but with different players. How is it that it is only Oilers breaking their ankles due to ruts in the ice? It is not players from visiting NHL teams, the Edmonton Oil Kings, or any WHL team they host at Rexall place. It’s the same ice surface, but only Oilers breaking their ankles. This is a mystery that I would love to see solved; preferably before anyone else breaks an ankle on the ice.

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney, | Oil Patch | Permalink


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About Oil Patch

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.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

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