A small flurry of news items since we last spoke, one of them could have an enormous impact on the rest of the season. One thing about Peter Chiarelli’s Oilers? Stories appear to come out of the blue, arriving like clockwork after bad or multiple losses:
Oilers coach Todd McLellann said Oscar Klefbom is close enough to returning that he might be able to play on the upcoming homestand.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) February 10, 2016
The upcoming homestand is awhile: tomorrow Toronto, Jets on the weekend, Ducks, Wild and Avalanche next week, and the Phaneufs on February 23. That gets Klefbom into the final 20 games or so and means he would be in uniform for over 50 games this year. It will be interesting to see if he can get back in time to help climb out of the basement—the Oilers should be pushing through year end in order to avoid yet another ridiculous finish.
Klefbom’s addition gives Edmonton (by my estimate) four solid defenders: Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne, Brandon Davidson and Klefbom. Major boost if he can make it back in time for the Senators game (or earlier). It is a big damn deal.
Photo by Mark Williams
With Anders Nilsson struggling (26gp, 3.14 .901) at the NHL level, Edmonton switched out the Swede with AHL starter Laurent Brossoit. One of the more positive moves by Craig MacTavish as GM, Brossoit (26gp, 2.70 .921) is a potential solution for the future in net. I have no idea if he will be a starter at any time during his NHL career, but it does look like he will have one. He has played one NHL game (1gp, 2.00 .961) and damned near beat Todd McLellan and the San Jose Sharks last year.
Depending upon McDonagh status, evaluation of current 4 RH alignment and guys in AHL, NYR might–that's might–consider claiming Ehrhoff.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) February 10, 2016
Screw that noise, the Oilers should claim him. Seriously. Why not? Run Nurse—Ehrhoff until the deadline and even when Klefbom returns I say run that pairing and go Sekera—Fayne and Klefbom—Davidson in front of them. I know it means 50 contracts, I know the kids are getting blocked, but this is a useful player and there is zero reason to refrain here. If he won’t show up? Fine. Claim him anyway. He could help this team and that is all that matters. Seriously. Claim the man.