The Edmonton Oilers have been hit with some bad news to start the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season, but for those of you out there who were hoping for some positives in all this negativity we've got you covered.
Of course the big loss for the Oilers this week was the announcement that veteran defenseman Adam Larsson would miss a whopping 6 to 8 weeks after suffering a fracture in his leg. The absence from Larsson will of course open the door for some of the Oilers promising young talent on the blue line to get more ice time and more looks at the NHL level, but there is no question that losing one of the organization's top 4 defensemen to start the season was a big blow for both the Oilers and the organization's newly appointed head coach Dave Tippett.
Unfortunately for Tippet the bad news continued on Saturday when the head coach revealed that he would be short another 2 players due to illness. From our report earlier today:
It was TSN Oilers insider Ryan Rishaug who first broke the news on Saturday morning when he revealed that both Oilers forward Alex Chiasson and Oilers forward Josh Archibald would not be ready to go for Saturday night's matchup against the Los Angeles Kings. According to Rishaug both of the forwards are out due to illness, an illness that Rishaug is describing as the "flu." The Oilers have now confirmed that news via head coach Dave Tippett.
"It's not ideal but we'll deal with it and the two guys that are going in there are anxious to play, so that's good," said Tippett.
The Oilers also revealed the identity of the 2 players that would be stepping in for Chiasson and Archibald tonight while confirming the news of their absence. According to the official announcement it will 26 year old Danish forward Patrick Russell who will step in for his first game of the regular season and he will be joined by fellow 26 year old forward Tomas Jurco who will also be stepping in for his first game of the regular season. No disrespect to Russell here but considering the fact that he has only just 6 games of NHL experience under his belt it is easy to see why Tippett would describe the situation this evening as less than ideal.
There was some good news on Saturday however with the Oilers revealing that defenseman Joel Persson would be returning to the line up after being activated off of injured reserve. Of course that also meant that the Oilers would have to make room on their roster to fit Persson in, and the Oilers confirmed that 23 year old defenseman William Lagesson would be headed down to the American Hockey League to join the Bakersfield Condors.
I don't suspect the Oilers will be making anymore changes ahead of tonight's game in Los Angeles, but only time will tell.