Fans of the Edmonton Oilers just can’t catch a break.
With Connor McDavid providing new hope to a team that has finished out of the playoff picture for nearly a decade, it was only time before the Oilers would be dealt another blow that continues the trend of dragging their fan base through the mud, even if it’s for a short period of time.
Jordan Eberle is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a shoulder injury which he suffered in Tuesday’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes. The 25-year-old forward played just 3:16 before retreating back to the dressing room. He would not return.
#Oilers say Jordan Eberle will miss four-to-six weeks w/ a shoulder injury.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) September 30, 2015
While the hit he took was rather routine, it seems the way Eberle took it and the way he went awkwardly into the boards may have been what caused the injury.
The deal is a monumental blow before the actual season has even started, losing the skilled forward for the month of October and perhaps a little longer. Eberle has missed just three games in the last three seasons, and has produced two consecutive 60-point seasons. He also managed 37 points in 48 games during the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season.
While his point production and effective play in the offensive zone is hard to replace, the door is now open for Nail Yakupov to take charge and show what he is worth. Yakupov, 21, put up a career-high 33 points in 81 games last season, but expectations were larger than what he was able to show. Anton Slepyshev could also be given a couple of weeks to make a case for himself with the team. Drafted 88th overall in 2013, the Penza-native has spent the last three seasons in the KHL, as a member of the Ufa Salavat Yulayev team.
While it’s fun to joke about a certain curse surrounding the Oilers team, it’s no laughing matter to start losing bodies before the season is even underway.