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Oilers place Nikolai Khabibulin on IR; Call up Martin Gerber

After a great start to the season, things have gone sour in Edmonton. The Oilers announced that they placed starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on the injured reserve because he is suffering from a groin injury. They need two goalies, though, so they called up veteran goalie Martin Gerber from the minors.

It’s unclear how long Khabibulin will be on the mend, but groin injuries can often take a long time to heal.

Perhaps the Oilers won’t miss the star-crossed Russian that much, though. He’s had his fair share of high moments, but lately he’s been awful. In the last four games, Khabibulin allowed 22 goals and was pulled from two of those contests. His overall record (4-10-1), 87.9 save percentage and 4.07 GAA fall well short of what one would expect from a highly paid goalie.

Edmonton now must rely on Gerber and Devan Dubnyk in net. You really never know in a league in which goalies seem to sprout up out of nowhere, but my guess is that the Oilers will find themselves with yet another lottery pick once this season is over.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.