The Edmonton Oilers find themselves in 30th place overall in the NHL with 12 games remaining, and that likely won’t change. They have 55 points, four less than the 29th place Ottawa Senators. It appears as if the first overall pick might belong to the Oilers once again (provided they win the draft lottery), thanks to a plethora of injuries to key players. The team recently returned home from a pretty disastrous East Coast road trip, going 0-4 and being outscored 16-3 with losses to the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Oilers still have the chance to play spolier to a few teams battling for a coveted playoff spot, as they are set to face the Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames in the upcoming weeks. But even that might be a tall task, as a season filled with struggles and injury just keeps taking more hits, as another key player is out for the season.
The Oilers will be without Taylor Hall (high ankle sprain), Sam Gagner (hand injury) and Ryan Whitney (ankle surgery) for the remainder of the season, and you can now add Ales Hemsky to the list. The skilled forward will require surgery on his injured shoulder that has been ailing him for the past couple years, thus ending his season. Hemsky figures with this season pretty much over, it’s time to take care of the problem:
“I tried to rehab it last year and this year and it really didn’t do too much. But I missed last season and I didn’t want to say too much. I wanted to play,” said Hemsky. “They have to go in and fix it if I want to play pain-free and play a full season.” -Vancouver Sun
Gilbert Brule is currently out as well with a concussion, and captain Shawn Horcoff is going to be out about 1o days with a fracture in his foot. Coach Tom Renney had these brief comments regarding his teams recent misfortunes:
“Obviously, we’ve had some tough luck here the last little while, but I don’t want to dwell on it. That’s the way it is.” – Vancouver Sun
Although hopes weren’t too high for the team this season, it has been disappointing none-the-less. But one thing is for sure; another high draft pick cannot be a bad thing for a rebuilding team that has a lot of promising talent. This year there isn’t a clear cut number one prospect, but rather a few players who are touted to be effective NHL players. Check out the top 10 prospects that might be wearing an Oilers jersey come the summer.