Oilers’ Klefbom’s NHL career might be over

Tough decision ahead for the defenseman…


This was tough news to swallow for Edmonton Oilers’ Oscar Klefbom and it will be for fans as well. When asked if doctors confirmed that he would definitely be able to play again after his shoulder surgery, the defenseman offered some heart-breaking news. 

“That’s the thing… It’s tough to say,” began Klefbom, per Sportsnet. “He says I might be able to play again, but there’s always going to be a risk. We’re going to see where I am at when the rehab time is coming to an end, and it’s time to make a decision. We’re going to follow up ­— many, many times.
“He’s optimistic, but he cannot really guarantee anything.”

Easily put: Klefbom might play again, but he might never play again…

We all know how Klefbom is still in the prime of a lucrative NHL career. This past summer, he signed a hefty seven-year,  $29,169,000 contract with the Oilers. 

While he would love to play, he now faces a waiting game instead… 

“I still want to play hockey, and have a life after,” he said Friday, in his typically welcoming, well-spoken way. “When it comes to quality of life, that’s priority No. 1. I want to come back playing, and I’ve been playing with pain — most of us have — for many games. Maybe a long time.
“When I affects your private life — how you sleep, you can’t really put your clothes on or lift anything — it’s different,” he said. “You can play with a lot of pain on the ice. It’s mental. If you really want to help the guys, you can play through a lot. When you get home to your apartment and you can’t really sleep, or get the rest you need, put your clothes on, it gets really mentally tough.”

Losing Klefbom would be a huge blow for the Oilers as he averaged 25:25 of ice time last season and quarterbacked the best NHL power play in 40 years. If he can return, it would certainly affect Tyson Barrie’s decision to explore the free market this summer. 

This is a tough decision for Klefbom, the future father, who will need to evaluate what’s more important. After all, some will say he got to play 378 NHL games. He’s made over $20 million, with another $8 million left on his contract.

“Most hockey players, when you’re out there and you’re in the zone, it is hard to put a value or be smart in the big picture. When you get a surgery like this, you really start wondering if it’s worth it. It’s a matter of risk. How my life might look in 20 years.”
“When you start thinking about it, life is more than hockey. But, I’m here because I love hockey, and playing in the best league in the world was a dream of mine when I was growing up. I want to stay here as long as possible.
“But,” he allowed, “hockey is a small thing in life, if you see it overall.”

A tough decision to make for Klefbom. No doubt…