| AFTERNOON SKATE
| The Oilers took to the Rexall Place ice Wednesday at noon and skated for about an hour. Notable absentees were Steve Staios, Ryan Stone and Jean-Francois Jacques.
"[Staios] got wacked last night and today he went to be medically checked," Head Coach Pat Quinn told the media after practice. "Everything seems to be alright, other than he's sore."
With Staios questionable for Thursday's game vs. the Blue Jackets, Quinn was asked about the Oilers defensive contingent.
"We'll be down to five if Steve can't go, unless Lubomir (Visnovsky) is ready. Apparently he skated well this morning," Quinn said.
According to the coach, Stone suffered a knee injury last night and is taking a "'let's be cautious here' day." As for Jacques, it was a sore wrist that kept him off the ice.
"He's been struggling with a bad wrist, and yesterday they decided that rest would be important," Quinn explained. "That's not why we didn't dress him yesterday, because I didn't learn about it until I came to the rink last night, but apparently he's been having trouble with his wrist and so today was a day that they wanted to keep him right off."
Near the end of practice, Robert Nilsson crumbled to the ice but after a few moments, headed to the bench under his own power with one eye closed.
"Nilsson got poked in the eye," Quinn said. "It doesn't look to be anything of a problem, but somehow a stick went up under his visor in that little drill."
EBERLE TO EDMONTON?
With the World Junior Hockey Championships still fresh in everyone's mind, tournament star and Oilers prospect Jordan Eberle dominated the first half of Quinn's press conference. The coach confirmed that the club cannot call Eberle up to the Oilers until his season with the WHL's Regina Pats is complete.
|Jordan Eberle's final goal in the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships vs. Team USA made him Canada's all-time leading scorer in the annual tournament. |
When asked about the decision to send Eberle back to Junior at the beginning of the season rather than keep him with the Oilers, Quinn said that he "doesn't know what the right answer is."
"He had a pretty decent camp here, and so the decision really was do we keep him in this spot and put him at risk for some development trouble during a potentially troubled time. We were trying to think of it in his best interest, what would be best for him.
"I guess you'll never know that, but his development that has continued his spectacular goal scoring in clutch situations is tremendous as far as Canadians teams are concerned. And he's been a top scorer on his junior team, on a pretty good team," Quinn continued.
"I think that team has a chance, Memorial Cup wise, which would be great learning steps for that young man. He's shown certainly a terrific mind for playing the game, and while you might worry about size and that sort of thing, he hasn't shown a disinterest in going in the areas that you get results in.
"We hope we made the good decision with Jordan -- he's a terrific player and hopefully he'll be a big part of our future."
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com