By Michael Russo
Lots of news down at Rexall Place this morning, so to clean up the blog, here are the updates:
1. Cal Clutterbuck will be out “weeks” with a high ankle sprain. GM Chuck Fletcher said it’s not the severe kind, but it’s a significant injury. Usually it takes six to eight weeks to return, and all players I’ve ever talked to that has this injury says they felt it the rest of the season while playing.
2. Pierre-Marc Bouchard indeed officially has a concussion. He will be shut down for awhile to rest. I think we’ve seen the last of Bouchard for several weeks.
3. GM Chuck Fletcher, as I reported from Anaheim, acknowledged again he’s been working the phones. But he’s not going to mortgage the future for a quick fix. He said any trades he makes will be for the purpose of getting better long-term, not to just get bodies in here to get by all the injuries. So like I said the other day, no trading draft picks just for a body. He’s not against trading picks or players, but it has to be more than a quick fix. He said it’ll be very difficult to make a trade right now, so a lot of this is just intel work for later in the year to see where there are fits. With the Wild at about $56.2 million of the $56.8 million cap and several other teams near the cap as well, it’s hard to get teams, including the Wild, to take on 95 percent of a players’ salary (5 percent of the season gone, estimated) That’s the Cliff’s Notes version. Much more on this subject in tomorrow’s newspaper.
4. Havlat out with a groin day-to-day.
5. John Scott is scratched. Derek Boogaard will make his season debut on a line with Edmonton native Nathan Smith and defenseman Jaime Sifers, who will play wing.
6. Kyle Brodziak, a longtime former Oilers, had tons of cameras around him this morning.
7. Ales Hemsky out for Edmonton with a fever. Shawn Horcoff hopes to play, but he’s laboring with a foot injury. Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray out.
8. Pat Quinn said Tom Gilbert will play next to Mike Comrie and Horcoff in place of Hemsky. I assume he meant Robert Nilsson and that was a senior moment. I don’t see the Oilers pulling a Brent Burns and taking a gifted Minnesotan, I mean defenseman, and putting him at wing.
9. Oh, Josh Harding starting and Niklas Backstrom expected to start in Vancouver. Backstrom struggles in Edmonton, yanked in four straight starts before his win in the last visit to Edmonton last season.
10. Ill be on with Jim Souhan on KSTP at 6:20 pm tonight. CDT.