Where will Conklin fit?

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:50 PM ET

Ty Conklin says he's ready to play.

While Conklin will need a green light from the Edmonton Oilers medical staff to make that conclusion official, the question that begs if that's the case is pretty straightforward. Now what?

"Yes," said Conklin, asked yesterday after morning practice if he's healthy enough to play. "My groin feels good."

Conklin, 29, was placed on injured reserve Nov. 11 for a strained groin after aggravating the injury during a conditioning stint with the Hamilton Bulldogs, an assignment that began Oct. 24.

If the Oilers intend to send Conklin to Steeltown again, they will need his permission. They'd have to activate him from IR and he would take up a spot on the 23-man roster, even while playing in the AHL. That would necessitate taking somebody else off the roster.

Likewise, if the team takes Conklin, who has appeared in just four games with the Oilers this season, off IR and takes him on the three-game road trip to Philadelphia, Long Island and New Jersey, he'll need a roster spot.

In any case, assistant GM Scott Howson said a decision on what to do with Conklin likely won't be made until Monday.

"We haven't made a decision yet on how we get Ty back playing," Howson said yesterday.

The Oilers already have stoppers Jussi Markkanen and Mike Morrison on the roster. Both would have to clear waivers if the decision was made to keep Conklin and send one of them to the minors.

The likeliest candidates to be sent to the AHL are Dan Smith, Krys Kolanos or Jani Rita. If it's Smith, the Oilers would be left with just six defencemen. Rita and Kolanos would need to clear waivers.


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