KLEFBOM, SUBBAN, AND THE MYSTERIOUS ANKLE | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours


The Edmonton Oilers are taking a serious gamble. Even after the trade for Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom is being touted as this team's only legit number one defenseman and while hopeful, the Oilers aren't sure if he'll be able to start the season.

In the 2015/2016 campaign, the Oilers were 13-15-2 when he was in the lineup, and 18-28-6 when he was not. He had 12 points in 30 games, averaged more than 2 blocked shots per game, played over 21 minutes per game and 1:52 per game on the powerplay. For the Oilers to move up in the standings, Klefbom clearly needs to be healthy and right now, he's a question mark. The latest news is that he'll be sent for a fitted skate to help solve what turned out to be two separate infections in his leg/ankle after going down initially with a hand injury.

With Edmonton mathematically out of the playoffs and out of caution, the Oilers essentially shut him down to end last season, suggesting that if Edmonton had made the playoffs, Klefbom would likely have been skating; yet after two surgeries, no one seems to know exactly where Klefbom stands.  The ankle still has issues, the skate rubs against it causing discomfort and he's still not 100%.  This fitted skate is being heavily relied upon as the solution that could allow him to return to un-interfered regular action.

I don't proclaim to know everything that's going on behind closed doors and I'm not a medical expert who sees Oscar Klefbom every day, but to me, from the outside looking in, this is not good news. In fact, it's a scary indication that everyone is downplaying the severity of the issues and the Oilers may have to get used to Klefbom in and out of the line-up more than once this coming season.

The team, the player, and management seem to be optimistic, but it sounds a lot like misdirection. What if this skate doesn't solve the problem? While not in the same realm of issues that ended former defenceman Ryan Whitney's career and made him a shadow of the former player he once was, what if Klefbom has persistent issues with that ankle?

Will Klefbom ever return to the player he was looking to become? Will he take a step forward or a step back? Will he miss a lot of action next season and Edmonton once again be forced to place an unproven number two defenceman in a number one role?

And here's some food for thought; a potential conversation kick-starter --  if Klefbom isn't going to be the same and the Oilers were concerned, would you have made the P.K. Subban trade that was rumored knowing what you know? Montreal wanted Leon Draisaitl, Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse, the 4th overall and something else.

It was a large ask, but I suggest that one of the biggest worries for the Oilers in that proposed trade was giving up on either Nurse or Klefbom before seeing what they had in either of these two players. If the concern was Klefbom not being ready or potentially not returning to his former self, would you reconsider the trade? If I'm management and the risk exists that I'll not see the return of what Oscar Klefbom could have been, P.K. Subban and his massive cap hit look a lot more attractive.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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