The initial reports about the extent of Ethan Moreau’s eye injury aren’t good, and the severity was obvious when the Edmonton Oilers captain stayed down on the ice after being hit by the stick of Antti Miettinen in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Anybody who followed Moreau’s career in Edmonton silks has seen him get up off the ice spitting blood and teeth. We’ve seen him skate to the bench with a dislocated right shoulder and a broken leg. Saturday, he stayed down after Miettinen lost his balance and struck Moreau in the right eye with his stick.
“We don’t have much further to say about Ethan other than he has gone to the hospital and it looks pretty serious,” coach Craig MacTavish said after the game. “He went under his own steam. It looks like the stick gave him a gash on the socket. According to the doctors you could see where it raked across the eye.”
If there’s good news, it’s that Moreau was released from hospital yesterday without surgery being required. Doctors will monitor the situation and assess damage to the eye over the course of the next week. It’s unlikely we’ll have a firm diagnosis before the team leaves for a four-game road trip today.
BUY OR SELL?
If the Oilers make a deal before Wednesday’s trade deadline, it’ll be for help on the left wing. Already looking to bolster scoring from the left side, where Dustin Penner and Robert Nilsson have been disappointments, the void got bigger with the loss of Moreau.
While I suspect the Oilers will be buyers, the challenge for GM Steve Tambellini is to fill that need without creating another hole in the lineup. As much as he’s struggled, does Tambellini trade Erik Cole, which leaves only Fernando Pisani and Zack Stortini on the right side, or keep him for the stretch drive and risk losing him for nothing as a UFA?
The latest talk in the Oilers ongoing pursuit of Jaromir Jagr is that Jagr could be free to sign with any NHL team after July 1 because his Russian League team, Omsk, is rumoured to be having financial difficulties and is considering voiding his contract. In that situation, Jagr would become a free agent.
WHILE I’M AT IT
If Cole is moved, I still think his likeliest destination is Carolina, but if the Oilers want Tuomo Ruutu, they will have to sweeten the offer with somebody like Nilsson or Marc Pouliot … Olli Jokinen is on his way out of Phoenix and the Oilers are one of many teams who have inquired about him … While Cole is Tambellini’s likeliest bargaining chip, he won’t be the biggest if the decision is made to move Denis Grebeshkov or Tom Gilbert for scoring help … The Oilers are in Ottawa on trade deadline day, so a move to acquire Senators’ defenceman Christoph Schubert would be as easy as lugging his equipment down the hall between dressing rooms at Scotiabank Place.
– In a decade covering the Edmonton sports scene, Robin Brownlee has been the news-breaker and insightful voice for sports fans in Oil Country.