In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Oscar Klefbom underwent succssful shoulder surgery. What’s next for the defenseman? Meanwhile, Ken Holland is busy working the phones as TSN’s Frank Seravalli notes the Oilers are looking to fill a specific hole before the trade deadline. The Oilers have a bright spot on an otherwise lousy penalty kill and finally, there’s talk out of Buffalo that Taylor Hall is willing to waive his no-move clause to facilitate a trade. Is there any chance the Oilers could be in on that conversation?
Klefbom Has Surgery
Multiple sources close to the Oilers are sharing that Klefbom’s shoulder surgery, performed by orthopaedic specialist Dr. Anthony Miniaci Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic, was successful. The defenseman will begin an extensive rehab process with the goal of being ready by October and Oilers training camp. If things go well, he could be back for the 2021-22 season.
Fellow Swede and Oilers’ defenseman Adam Larsson says he’s been in touch with Klefbom pretty much every day and notes his friend and teammate seems to be in good spirits. This is great news for both Klefbom and the Oilers but it will be very interesting to see how his progress and rehab affects the team’s decision during the NHL Expansion Draft.
If there’s any doubt he won’t come back 100%, the Oilers could elect not to protect him and take a gamble that Seattle won’t want to draft an injury prone player.
Oilers Looking for Right-Shot Faceoff Specialist
We reported in our daily news and rumors post that Seravalli noted during the TSN Insider Trading segment that Holland has his sights set on a third-line, faceoff specialist that can kill penalties. The player he might be going after is Luke Glendening, but Seravalli didn’t rule out talk surrounding Vancouver’s Brandon Sutter and Calgary’s Derek Ryan.
Glendening makes a lot more sense. His faceoff stats are great (64.9%) and his contract this season is $1.8 million (the assumption is that Detroit will retain some of that) is reasonable. He’s a free agent next season so there’s no commitment and he turns 32 in April, so if he fits with the Oilers, Holland could look at signing him again for a reasonable price.
For three straight years Glendening has had poor on-ice PK goals/shots against totals. That could be more an issue with the fact he was in Detroit than anything else.
Oilers Struggling on Penalty Kill, With One Exception
Speaking of the penalty kill, the Oilers have taken a huge dip in their numbers this season. Sitting at 23rd in the NHL standings with a 76% success rate, that’s likely why Holland will want to address it. This is especially true if average penalties per game across the league are going to go up (just a hunch) as a result of the Tim Peel official scandal.
The good news for the Oilers is that they are just over 4% off of being a top-10 team so the difference is manageable. Not having a player like Riley Sheahan has hurt the team’s kill this season and Edmonton was second in the NHL last season on the PK with a 84.4% success rate.
Unfortunately, Kyle Turris is second on the team for power play goals against per 60 minutes and he was supposed to be the player who helped keep the penalty kill from taking a dip this season. While he’s missed some time and only played in 21 games this season, the Oilers have essentially stopped using him when down a man.
Fortunately, Gaetann Haas has been incredibly useful in that regard. He’s played 40:51 seconds shorthanded this season in only 19 games and has a 2.94 power play goals against per 60 minutes. That’s the best on the team for forwards who have played more than 4 minutes down a man.
Perhaps ironically, the Oilers might want to look at bringing Sheahan back. He’s a pending UFA, his penalty kill and faceoff numbers are good and he’s a fraction of the cost of all other options.
Oilers Get Much Needed Rest?
It will be interesting to see how the Oilers come out of this week-long pause. Now in Toronto and getting ready for their game against the Maple Leafs on Saturday, Kailer Yamamoto could be back with the team and ready to play, while Leon Draisaitl was banged up and likely got some important recuperation time.
The Oilers didn’t fare well against the Maple Leafs last time these two teams matched up and one has to assume Edmonton will be highly motivated. As for what the team focused on during the break, head coach Dave Tippett said, “You’re trying to touch on all the parts of your game & make sure players are staying sharp.”
Hall Willing to Waive No-Move Clause
When asked if he would waive his no-move clause if the Buffalo Sabres asked Hall to permit a trade, the forward said, “Yeah, for sure”. Of course, that stirred up talk about the Oilers potentially being a team that could be interested, adding him before the deadline and putting him on their second line.
As much as it would be a fun story to see Hall return to Edmonton, go on a playoff run and then sign a team-friendly deal in the offseason to right what many Oilers fans still consider a wrong, don’t expect this to happen. Even if the Sabres retain half of Hall’s salary, the Oilers don’t have the room to add him without sending a bigger contract the other way.
Holland has maintained the dollar in, dollar out mantra anytime he’s asked about making deals this season. That’s a lot of dollars out for Edmonton unless the Sabres can somehow be convinced to take James Neal, which isn’t realistic.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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