Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Oil Notes: Nugent-Hopkins Out 7-10 Days, Paajarvi Recalled

With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins latest injury, the Edmonton Oilers have decided to recall winger Magnus Paajarvi from Oklahoma City to take the spot of the rookie sensation. Initial indication is that Nugent-Hopkins is scheduled to be out of the lineup a week to ten days but whose kidding who. With the youngster already having missed over a month of action and the shoulder not being able to withstand nothing more then a solid jolt, I honestly can't see him missing anything less then a couple of weeks and it wouldn't surprise me in the least, if it ends up being a little more.

Nugent-Hopkins told the media that the injury wasn't a re-aggravation but rather "something above" the original injury...and this is supposed to be a good thing? Obviously, the shoulder isn't as strong as it needs to be and if the kid requires extra time to rest and heal, then he better take the time necessary to rehab it further. After hurting his shoulder in Chicago on January 2nd, RNH stated this was the first time he had really been  sidelined due to injury in his career. At this stage of the game, he clearly isn't a quick healer so the Oilers will be cautious and ensure they do not rush him back. While it would be great for the Nuge to take home the Calder Trophy, in the grand scheme of things, it ultimately means nothing.

Paajarvi will be get another shot at trying to salvage what has been a dreadful season. During his two stints in Oklahoma City, the winger has managed to collect ten points in fourteen games while being one of the team's better players. Having said that, Magnus needs to realize that he has to go into the tough areas, if he wants to find his game at the NHL level. Being a perimeter player gets players no where in this league and that is exactly what Paajarvi has done all year long.

With Edmonton's recent struggles to find consistent secondary scoring, one would think that the talented Swede is coming up to play in a top six role. If that isn't going to be the case, then I haven't the slighest clue for the recall. If the plan is to have him see more action on the third and fourth lines, then having Paajarvi come back to Edmonton is a huge mistake. He doesn't need more minutes with the Eric Belanger's and Ben Eager's of the world. He needs a solid opportunity with top six players. If he is given that chance and Magnus can't get the job done, then he needs to take a long look in the mirror and figure out what type of player he wants to be. He has all the tools in the shed to be an effective top six NHL forward but he needs to prove that he has the desire and fire within, to push himself to become a better player.

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