The injury bug has struck the Edmonton Oilers, as word has come out that Oklahoma City Barons goaltender Yann Danis has been recalled by Edmonton. Despite Nikolai Khabibulin insisting he is healthy and has fully recovered from offseason hip surgery, the Oilers obviously do not agree with his assessment of things, and have brought Danis in to serve as Devan Dubnyk‘s backup until further notice.
Now this could be nothing, or it could be something huge. The goaltending in Edmonton is not as strong as many would like it to be, and with Khabibulin’s age and health already coming into play, and questions abounding as to whether or not Dubnyk can make the leap forward this year and prove he has what it takes to be the Oilers’ goalie of the future, this is an inauspicious piece of news for the Oilers. When you take Khabibulin out and replace him with Danis, the Oilers’ prospects certainly diminish. Danis is 13-12-3 for Oklahoma City this year, with a 2.99 GAA and a save percentage of .905; these aren’t great numbers for the AHL, let alone the NHL, so any game he starts is not likely to lead to a win for Edmonton.
If you are an Oilers fan, you have to be hoping that Khabibulin just needs another week to get ready and nothing more. If it’s too much longer than that and Danis has to play a few games to spell Dubnyk in the early going, much of the purported advantage that pundits have been expecting the Oilers to have in the first part of the season could be negated by their need to settle for a second-rate backup until the Bulin Wall can get put back together again. Hopefully this is the last the Oilers will see of the dreaded injury bug this season.