EDMONTON - If there were playoffs, Sam Gagner could easily be back for them, but when there’s nothing left to hurry back for, why hurry?
So Gagner and the Oilers medical staff decided to shut him down for the last two games of the season.
“There’s still some swelling in there,” said Gagner, who’s already missed the last six with a bad hip. “I skated by myself and it felt pretty good. I just feel like, and I talked it over with the doctors, that there’s no point in pushing it. I don’t expect it to be a long term thing, a week or so after the season it should be back to 100%. It’s just a matter of letting it heal.”
He’s had MRIs and there is nothing structurally wrong, which is a big relief.
“There was a week there where it kind of stayed the same, but over the last four or five days it’s gotten a lot better.”
Still, having to hang up your skates eight games early, no matter what the circumstances, is no fun.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” said Gagner, who finishes the year with 41 points in 68 games. “You never want to end the season injured. But there’s no sense in pushing it to play the last two games. It’s just not worth it to set it back even more.”
The World Championships remain a possibility even though Gagner didn’t have a great season. But with former coach Craig MacTavish running the show he might get a call.
“If it felt great in a week and they were going to invite me, I would definitely say yes. But obviously not playing kind of hurts your chances.”