Tough break for Souray

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

They've lost 13 in a row and Sheldon Souray might need surgery for his broken hand.

What, you were expecting good news?

No such thing as far as the Edmonton Oilers are concerned.

"We knew there would be challenges, but we never anticipated some of the ones that we've faced, obviously," said head coach Pat Quinn, who doesn't know when Souray is coming back, only that it's no time soon.

"It was bad news; it always is when athletes get injured."

Souray refused to comment on the break, sustained in his third period fight with Calgary's Jarome Iginla, but a few of his teammates were there to do the lamenting for him.

"It doesn't look very good," said Ethan Moreau. "Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, right? It's unbelievable."

After missing 16 games with a concussion after Iginla tripped him into the end boards in October, Souray is looking at another long stretch with this injury.

Fortunately, there's only seven games until the two-week Olympic break.

"He's a very valuable member of our team and to lose him like that is just unfortunate," said Tom Gilbert.

"Just the icing on the cake, I guess is the best way to describe it."

The icing was already piled pretty high with Ales Hemsky and Nikolai Khabibulin done for the season, over 300 man-games lost to injury and a handful of franchise records for futility.

"How tall is the cake?" sighed Gilbert.

"I don't think any player has ever been through this before. You try to find answers, you try to work through it. It's different scenarios every time.

"All you can do is keep coming here, try to stay positive, try to find some fun and keep battling through it."

The recovery time for a broken hand is a month or so (Teemu Selanne missed five weeks with a broken hand earlier this season), which is pressing right up against the NHL's March 3 trade deadline.

It could put a wrench in any plans the Oilers have to move the veteran rearguard this season.

In the meantime, Edmonton will also be down concussed defencemen Steve Staios and Ladislav Smid for Monday's game with the Carolina Hurricanes.

"That's too many NHLers to have out, but for us it's not who's out of the lineup, it's who's in the lineup and what we can do with that," said Quinn.

He was going to give the troops the day off on Sunday, but couldn't after watching them roll over against the Flames on Saturday.

"You couldn't have them not come to the rink and be thinking a little bit about who we are and what we're doing."

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