Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom has missed the entire season due to a shoulder injury, one that he recently underwent surgery on. While the surgery went well, the blueliner told reporters, including Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, that there remains no timeline for when he’s able to play next season, if he’s able to return at all:
He said I might play again but there’s always going to be risks and we’ll see where I’m at after the rehab and it’s time to make a decision. We’re going to follow up, many, many times. I’m not giving up on the NHL. I’ve been playing with pain for many games for a long time but when you’re at home in your apartment or house and you can hardly sleep or put your clothes on, it gets mentally tough.
Klefbom had been an anchor on Edmonton’s back end coming into this season, averaging over 23 minutes a night over his six full-time NHL campaigns and carries a below-market cap hit at a $4.16MM AAV. However, given the uncertainty surrounding his ability to return at least at the start of next season, the 27-year-old could be left unprotected in this summer’s Seattle expansion draft, something that Klefbom himself acknowledged could make sense given his situation.
More from the North Division:
- Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot is open to playing at the World Championships, relays Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. Normally, such a statement wouldn’t carry much weight but with the pandemic, there are questions as to how many NHL players will be willing to make the trip to Latvia for the tournament which, as things stand, remains set to start on May 21st.
- As it appears that the Canucks will be looking for a new AHL affiliate, it doesn’t appear as if it will be in their own backyard. Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province notes that Vancouver hasn’t held any discussions yet with the operator of the Abbotsford Centre, the arena that used to house Calgary’s farm team when it was in British Columbia. Teams have made more of an effort to get their affiliates closer to their NHL squads in recent years so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them look for a city out West after being in Utica, New York since 2013.
- Jets center Adam Lowry won’t play tonight after taking a hit to the head from Toronto forward Alex Galchenyuk on Thursday night, notes Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe (Twitter link). Lowry hasn’t been diagnosed with a concussion and the team is holding him out as a precautionary measure. Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice listed the 28-year-old as day-to-day.