The Edmonton Oilers may have just hit a bit of a bump in the road.
According to comments made by Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on Monday the Oilers were without forward Riley Sheahan as they took the ice for their practice. That is a bad sign for the Oilers as Sheahan was last seen on Saturday when he participated in a scrimmage with his fellow Oilers but was forced to leave early for undisclosed reasons. As per the National Hockey League's new policy regarding player injuries or illness during Phase 4 of their Return to Play, the Oilers are unable to disclose the reason behind Sheahan's continued absence.
I'm going to speculate here and suggest that, given the fact Sheahan entered the NHL's tightly sealed bubble with the Oilers, his absence has not been caused by an illness but is more likely due to an injury of some kind suffered during that aforementioned scrimmage. The fact that Sheahan was absent on Monday does not bold well for the Oilers though because we are now just one day away from the only exhibition match that the Oilers will play in preparation for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Every team in participating in the 24 team tournament will be using their exhibition game in a near-impossible attempt to get up to game speed in just a single game, and teams who will have players absent for that one and only exhibition will obviously be at a disadvantage.
Now to be clear there has been official indication from the Oilers regarding whether or not Sheahan will be available on Tuesday when the Oilers face bitter rivals the Calgary Flames in that exhibition game, but obviously his absence today suggests it is less than likely. We will of course as always be keeping you up to date on the latest happenings around the league and with the Oilers, so stay tuned for more details as we draw closer to tomorrow's game and towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs which will kick off this weekend.
In 66 games for the Oilers this season Sheahan had 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 total points.