Sam Gagner

Oilers’ Gagner undergoing jaw surgery tomorrow


On Tuesday, Edmonton announced that center Sam Gagner would be undergoing surgery for a broken jaw, suffered on Saturday after a high stick from Vancouver’s Zack Kassian.

“I think they’re going to put  a plate in,” Oilers GM Craig MacTavish told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector. “Maybe a couple of plates.”

Gagner, 24, will be out indefinitely while recovering from the injury. Timetables are often vague when it comes to broken jaws — returning to action can sometimes be contingent upon pain management — but the Edmonton Journal speculates Gagner could be facing a 6-8 week recovery period.

If so, it would leave Edmonton without its top two centers for a large chunk of the season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is already shelved with a shoulder injury and isn’t expected to be back until November.

Gagner is in the first year of a three-year, $14.4 million extension with the Oilers after finishing second on the team in points last season, with 38.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.