Back where he belongs

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

GRANDE PRAIRIE -- Marty Reasoner is back in the fold for a second stint with the Edmonton Oilers after being dealt to the Boston Bruins for Sergei Samsonov at the trade deadline last season.

Reasoner overcame a crippling knee injury during the lockout season to put together a very solid campaign with the Oilers as a fourth-line centre and a penalty killer before being dealt to Beantown. At the time of the trade, Reasoner was coming off a bruised lung and had a shredded ear after being hit by a puck.

"That was tough on me. I had a hard time dealing with that," coach Craig MacTavish said of seeing Reasoner pack his bags.

"At that point his ear was hanging off the side of his head and he had other issues from going down and blocking shots and sacrificing his body. That's the stuff we preach here. He's doing all those things and you've got to go tell him that we're moving you on."

Reasoner, 29, isn't a player MacTavish or GM Kevin Lowe wanted to part with, but there was price to pay for the rental of Samsonov.

"We got a good player for him at the time," MacTavish said. "Marty understood it, to a certain degree. He was disappointed by it and we were disappointed to give him up, but the door swings both ways. You do the right thing and play that good, blue-collar style hockey we expect, then the door swings back."

Reasoner, who skated between rookies Stephane Goulet and Patrick Thoresen with Team Blue yesterday, is taking the trade in stride and is happy to be back. He's again pencilled in as MacTavish's fourth-line centre. "I'm like a bad rash," smiled Reasoner. "I'm back."

AROUND THE RINK ... Theo Peckham, a big defenceman out of Owen Sound of the OHL, didn't skate yesterday because of the flu.


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