Wishing, hoping for return

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

The good news for the Edmonton Oilers: Jarret Stoll is slowly feeling better.

The bad news: There is no firm time-line for when the valuable centre will return from a concussion.

"I wish I could say when," said Stoll on Sportsnet last night in his first public comments since suffering his second concussion of the season in Vancouver last week.

"Some days it feels good and some days it doesn't.

"It is slowly getting better - but slowly. I could say a week, I could say five days - or it could be longer."

Without Stoll, the Oilers are missing their power-play point man, a key penalty-killing specialist and their top face-off man.

"He is a big part of the team - a right-handed centreman," added winger Ryan Smyth.

"And if you look up our depth chart we don't have any centremen on the right. Everybody has to step up their game."

Concussions are relatively new to Stoll.

His only previous experience comes from one in junior hockey with the Kootenay Ice.

Despite missing the last two games, the 24-year-old is fourth in team scoring with 39 points.

WAIVER WATCH: Oilers' assistant general manager Scott Howson offered a concise "no comment" when asked if Edmonton has any interest in re-acquiring Sergei Samsonov, who was placed on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens yesterday.

While Samsonov produced some very timely offence for the Oilers in the playoffs last year - setting up Ales Hemsky for the game-winning goal to end the Detroit series - he is in the midst of his least productive year in the NHL.

With a $3.5-million US contract, the 28-year-old has just seven goals and 15 assists in 52 games this year.

SHORT HIT: The lines of communication are open, but there is nothing new to report on the Oilers' quest to get Ryan Smyth to sign a new contract.

"We are still in the process of exchanging ideas and talking to his representative," said Howson yesterday.

The Oilers made their first serious offer to Smyth near the end of January, hoping to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

FINISH LINES: Patrick Thoresen has been demoted to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.

"It was really as simple as getting him in a game," said Howson.

"Wilkes-Barre plays at Philadelphia (today) and he'll play in that game.

"And then we will review it on Thursday and see what our needs are."

Thoresen has just two goals in 43 games with the Oilers.


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