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.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.