During his media availability after today’s Duncan Keith trade, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland mentioned that the chances of Oscar Klefbom playing hockey during the 2021-22 season are ’very slim.’ The news comes after Klefbom missed the entire 2020-21 season with a shoulder injury, meaning that Klefbom could very well miss two full seasons of NHL hockey.
It’s been a rough road in recent years for the Swedish defenseman. After electing to have surgery during the 2020-21 campaign to repair an injured shoulder that hadn’t healed properly, Klefbom’s last NHL game was August 7th, 2020 against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was a huge blow to the Oilers, as Klefbom had averaged over 25 minutes a night in 2019-20 and was blossoming into his prime.
It’s even more unfortunate news for Klefbom, who’s been a long but rewarding project over the course of his career. He’s been fairly productive offensively with 156 points in 378 career games, but he’s also been one of the most reliable Oilers defenders in his own end. Knowing this news may have fairly well pushed the Oilers into the Keith acquisition, knowing that they needed a body that could reliably serve on their second pairing with Klefbom out.
The future now looks rocky at best for Klefbom’s career as a whole. Missing two full seasons without game action in any league is extremely hard to recover from, especially without knowing whether Klefbom’s shoulder will ever actually reach 100%. At this point, Edmonton and Klefbom both can only hope for the best.
No, I did not have inside knowledge on this one. I hope this isn’t the end of a career for Oscar, though.
Just opening the door to have him on LTIR all year to bury his cap hit. He will start skating with the team with 4-6 weeks left in the regular season and be re-activated in time for the playoffs.
@cjmask – Just like “Kooch?” The difference would be the amount of rust on Oscar and the uphill battle it would be for him to find afterburners to get in game shape and up to game speed in time to be useful. Tampa’s #86 surprised many in how effective he was, with no real game action during his rehab. Oscar will have missed substantially more time, and doesn’t even have the same relative skill set. I’d love to see him pull it off, though…
Boom oilers are learning from the modern greats Tampa!
Huh. Wonder if he’d be eligible to go on the injury-exempt list now.
dave frost nhlpa
Tampa trading for his salary on LTIR….why not.
@Dave – How about EDM stuffing his salary on LTIR, then re-arranging deck chairs to maybe make room for Vladdy from STL (?)… It would be tough, but, who knows?
Maybe they should trade a prospect and a pick for a more expensive replacement that’s been declining for years.
That would be the stupidest thi….*facepalm*
@wreckage – Damn! That’s a great ide… “OW!” Hey, @backhandinbaptist, George Parros still thinks that’s a suspendable offense! :)
There’s the other shoe to drop on the Keith trade.