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Oscar Klefbom Not Ready to Return, Maybe Saturday

Oscar Klefbom remains close to a return for the Edmonton Oilers but he won’t be in the lineup Thursday as the Oilers take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Oscar Klefbom Edmonton Oilers
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Oscar Klefbom remains close to a return for the Edmonton Oilers but he won’t be in the lineup Thursday as the Oilers take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Whether it’s because he’s not quite ready or the team is playing things cautiously, the Oilers are going to give him another game and three days to rest.

The idea is that he’ll be ready to return Saturday versus the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rogers Place and in front of the Oilers home crowd.

Klefbom has not played since February 16th in Carolina and at the time, his injury wasn’t obvious.But, after icing over 30 minutes he was shutdown by the club while he was dealing with a nagging shoulder injury. Then the Oilers got hit with a series of injuries. In fact, at one time, had you iced a roster of just players that were missing from the Oilers games, you’d have had a pretty good starting five. But, the Oilers stayed afloat and started getting players back. Klefbom will be the last of the big names (no disrespect to Joakim Nygard).

Klefbom averages 25:36 per game and in his absence Darnell Nurse has been getting an increased load. It will be nice to allow him to, once again, take a slight step back. Klefbom currently sits at 33 points (5-28-33) and may be one of the most underrated top-two d-men in the NHL.

The good news, is that he was used heavily on the power play and penalty kill but Edmonton remains tops in the NHL in both categories. When he comes back, the Oilers can ease him in at those spots and lessen his workload knowing they have players who can handle those duties.

If Klefbom can get back into the lineup Saturday, the Oilers are getting healthy at just the right time.

Related: Jason Spezza Plans to Return Next Season… Is It With the Maple Leafs?

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