SUN Hockey Pool

Is Rem still a gem?

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

Rem the Gem is back in Edmonton.

Rem Murray's courageous comeback from a career-threatening disorder known as cervical dystonia could see him signed to a contract with the Edmonton Oilers and wearing his old Oiler silks as early as today.

Murray, 33, arrived in town late last night on a flight from Houston, where he has been playing with the Aeros of the AHL, and he will be examined by the Oilers medical staff this morning.

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If Murray is cleared to play, he will be inked to a deal and could be in the lineup against the Nashville Predators this afternoon.

''If he passes the medical, we hope to sign him,'' Oilers assistant GM Scott Howson said. ''We've been working on this for awhile.''

Murray, a versatile forward who played 416 games with the Oilers from 1997 to 2002 before he was traded to the New York Rangers, hasn't played in the NHL since he was with Nashville in 2003-04.

He missed the final 43 games of that campaign with cervical dystonia, a condition that tightened Murray's neck muscles and twisted his head toward his left shoulder.

Murray has overcome the disorder and improved to the point where he signed a tryout deal with Houston as a free agent. He arrived last night after scoring 11-24-35 in 54 games with the Aeros.

''We're excited,'' said Ethan Moreau, one of Murray's close friends in the dressing room. ''We know what he's done here in the past. He's a guy who is underrated. He's a true pro.''

With Michael Peca ailing from a strained groin and expected to be out for at least another week, Murray is being brought in as insurance. He can play all three forward positions.

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''The guys who know him know we're getting a good friend back, but we're also getting a guy who can help us in a big way,'' Moreau said.

''At the centre position particularly,'' Howson said. ''There's going to be no transition period for him in terms of getting familiarized with what we do and how we play.

''We've watched him play in the AHL over the last month. Obviously, we have to make sure he's cleared medically to play, but that seems to be completely behind him.''


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