The Edmonton Oilers haven’t exactly had the greatest injury luck this season, but they might get a key contributor back soon. Sam Gagner’s getting “much closer” to a return from a broken jaw, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
It’s not clear what the 24-year-old’s precise target date for a comeback might be; McKenzie throws out possibilities ranging from Tuesday’s home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs to sometime later this week.
It’s a good time to ease Gagner back in the lineup. After tomorrow’s game, the Oilers don’t play again until they host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. It gets tougher the following week, as they face a four-game road trip through Nov. 10.
Beyond context, the Oilers are at the bottom of the West at 3-8-2 (eight points) so getting their second-line center back could be huge (even if they’d need to debate what to do with surprisingly productive Mark Arcobello).
Vancouver Canucks winger Zack Kassian received a five-game suspension (plus some preseason time) for high-sticking Gagner.