Word tonight that Sam Gagner had an MRI on his ankle and is a question mark for tomorrow night’s game against Buffalo.

He’s apparently had the problem since the beginning of the season. It’s probably just me but the Oilers always seem to have problems diagnosing these things in a timely fashion and I’m reminded of a career lost (Doug Lynch) due to a slow response to a (wrist) injury.

Do the Edmonton Oilers have a good medical staff? Are they more or less prone to these injuries than other clubs?

I don’t know. But 43 games is a long time to play on a wheel that isn’t mending.

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30 Responses to "Sam-Wow"

  1. Cloned says:

    Well, you look at teams like Calgary and San Jose who are apparently known for their excellent conditioning personnel and medical staff.

    They do seem very lucky when it comes to injuries.

    And we seem very unlucky.

    Just sayin’.

  2. Jacob says:

    Well, we’ve certainly not had it as bad as some other teams this year, and nowhere near as bad as we have been the last two years. It’s still pretty annoying that we’re risking a talent like that, though.

    Of course, that could have a little to do with why his game was “off.”

  3. Shawn says:

    A lot of it is up to the player to report problems too. Guys have to stop being so stubborn about playing and start taking care of themselves if they feel weird.

  4. hunter1909 says:

    Stupid Oilers.

    Why don’t they pioneer a state of the art hockey sports medicine facility, instead of being tools?

  5. Coach pb9617 says:

    Good luck Shawn. It’s an entire culture borne of pain and toughness. Look at Coburn’s commercial.

    With the money that these people are being paid, you’d think teams would treat them like assets rather than fodder, but it’s not the case.

  6. Ribs says:

    Gagner’s mentioned this problem a few times now throughout the season. I’m not sure what sitting out a game or two here will do for it.

    I say he plays and opts for some sort of surgery after the season is over.

  7. Baroque says:

    A lot of it is up to the player to report problems too. Guys have to stop being so stubborn about playing and start taking care of themselves if they feel weird.

    That reminds me of one of the pitchers for the Minnesota Twins a couple years ago – I think it was Francisco Liriano. He was plagued by a sore elbow, and after resting a while claimed he was okay, even though he wasn’t. He was very careful in the bullpen so the pitching coach wouldn’t know he was still sore, went into the game – and *pop* went his arm.

    He was in the office of the manager being lectured by the manager, the pitching coach, and the gm/president of baseball operations/whatever they called the big poobah. All three men told him in no uncertain terms that by playing when he was still hurt, and not telling them that he was still hurt, was not being a good teammate, but *lying* to them and it was dishonest and unfair to the team. I saw him speaking afterwards, and he was extremely chastened.

  8. doritogrande says:

    I’ll second Coach’s theory of “man up” healing.

    I played throughout my last summer ultimate season with two sprained ankles and strained shoulders for the better part of two months. If you’re still making positive contributions to the team, you’re going to want to play through it. Furthermore, if you’re a leader on said team (me) or you have to impress the vets (Sam’s still 19), you’re going to keep going until you can’t go any more. Says a lot about what kind of team player he is that he’s carried on thus far.

    Attaboy Sam.

  9. CrazyCoach says:

    It is tough for any player to come forward and say he’s not feeling 100%, especially when expectations on him are pretty high.

    I know when my kids come back from an injury they have to have a doctor’s note that says they are:
    100% pain free
    100% range of movement
    100% strength

    While it is often difficult to accurately measure all the above three factors, other than comparing them to the opposite limb (if you can), I trust the doc to make sure all are cleared.

    Add to that, the psychological readiness, which is often the hardest part of injuries to assess and monitor, and you can see I’m pretty cautious when it comes to returning kids to action. However, that is for minor hockey kiddie winkles, not grown men. Lawsuits can be a tough thing to overcome when a kids growth is stunted or damaged by negligent coaching practices.

    I do want kids to understand though that injuries need to be treated seriously.

    Why do so many NHL’ers have a hard time understanding that?

    Good Luck Sam on your recovery, and don’t forget to do your visualization exercises.

  10. Traktor says:

    The fact that Edmonton let Nilsson play when everyone could see that he was absolutely rocked is all you need to know about the medical staff in Edmonton.

    To think that the organization didn’t learn a thing after the Hemsky/Pouliot concussions is pretty sad.

  11. doritogrande says:


    What are you talking about in regards to Hemsky’s situation.

    Dude came back and thought he was Gretzky. How is this a bad thing?

  12. Bank Shot says:

    Well, you look at teams like Calgary and San Jose who are apparently known for their excellent conditioning personnel and medical staff.

    Really? Where’d you hear this?

    I haven’t heard boo about any team’s medical staff.

  13. Traktor says:


    Hemsky came back after being rocked and ended up missing 10 games.

    Pouliot was sent into next week but he took the rest of the night off and he was back after a couple days.

    Obviously all concussions aren’t the same, and are about as predictable as women, but studies show that continuing to play only worsens the situation.

    The fact that they sent Nilsson back out when it was clear he was dazed is indefensible.

  14. Sean says:

    You have the president of the team who played in the 88 Stanley Cup playoffs and the captain who fights a guy with a broken hand. Character is a big part of this team.

    If he is actually hurt, good on Gagner and I’m glad cause that would explain his game this year. He is a tough kid. His fight vs Kesler says enough.

    Last year we bitch about Pitkanen missing games for being a pussy this year our medical staff is botching it again. I think there is definately a grey area in diagnosis that comes down to grit – Hemsky’s wrist injury last year is another example. It comes down to the player.

  15. Traktor says:

    Poltuny with 2 goals and 3 assists in the AHL All-Star game tonight.

  16. Traktor says:

    He actually finished the night with 2 goals, 4 assists, +4.

  17. doritogrande says:

    RE: AHL all-star game:

    You have to have some kind of an awful game to go -7. Poor Mark Santoreli. Tonight, you were the weakest link.

    Great showing from Potulny. Strange thing is, that kind of performance didn’t even merit the MVP. Some other bugger went 1-6-7 for +7.

  18. Kyle says:

    Ken Lowe?

  19. Scott says:

    I guess this means I wasn’t the only one who noticed an abundance of sham wow commercials tonight?

  20. Coach pb9617 says:

    That guy and his bells palsy freaks me out.

  21. Coach pb9617 says:

    Like an apparition dancing on the moonlit ripples of a calm lake, Jean-Francois Jacques came back today and ran as the left wing on the 4th line, according to TSN.

  22. doritogrande says:

    Like an apparition dancing on the moonlit ripples of a calm lake, Jean-Francois Jacques came back today and ran as the left wing on the 4th line, according to TSN.

    I’d take that with a grain of salt. Robert Milsson was playing 2-line LW.

  23. kassam says:

    Is it possible that the training staff has known about the ankle all season long? They just didn’t disclose it to protect Gagner and word got out that he had an MRI this weekend so that they HAD to address it.

    Last year after all the teams found out Hemsky had a sore wrist. After he returned players were slashing his wrist to test that it was ok.

  24. Lord Bob says:

    The nice thing about Jean-Francois Jacques is that he was always slow, strong, and stupid, but after his constant injuries he is now presumably an actual zombie.

  25. bookie says:

    Yeah, for those of you focusing on ‘man-up’ type healing, there is something to be said for that when it involves injuries that are not prolonged by playing on them.

    At the same time, it is part of a mentality that relates back to lots of ‘be a man’ things, some of which are outdated in the modern era (sort of like playing goal without a mask).

    A better plan would be to RATIONALLY approach the situation and assess what would be better for the team. Ask “What leads to the best outcome”. At millions per player, machismo is not the best injury management strategy.

  26. Steven says:

    Gagne blocked a shot in the Columbus game. I would guess that the MRI is a result of that and not some injury that went undiagnosed.

  27. Dennis says:

    We’ve seen this kind of stuff from the Oil for years and we have recent events to call upon.

    You just hope that it’s the kind of injury that isn’t made worse by playing through it. The other question is what there would be to gain from taking out an ailing 89 and replacing him.

    Do we have someone who could do what he’s done and at that price?

  28. kamus says:

    The NHL as a whole seems pretty outdated compared to other leagues.

    One of the European football teams I follow is AC Milan. About 8 years ago the spent a lot of money setting up MilanLab. Here’s a link

    Its quite intresting how far they take it.
    “Mental area: the study and monitoring of the psychological state of the athlete taking advantage of the Mind Room, a glassed-in facility that helps players relax and relieve stress. The mental training lasts 20 minutes and takes place after every training session. The programme enables up to eight players at a time to make use of comfortable ergonomic seats to view relaxing images while psychologists monitor their mental state via miniature electrodes fitted to the players’ head which send out a signal from the scalp to a computer. Head psychologist of the Mind Room is Doctor Bruno Demichelis, the Milan psychologist who uses the facility to improve the recovery rate of the players between matches and to provide scope for them to overcome negative stress.”

  29. geowal says:

    @ LT:
    This is unrelated to Gagner, but is it just me or did you not cover Strudwick in your reasonable expectations series? I looked through and you refer to him but never covered how he covered his metrics.
    Great series by the way.

  30. Ichiro says:

    Mike Grier’s toy shoulder comes to mind as another guy pretty much forced to play through it.

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