SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers throw Gerber a bone

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:06 PM ET

The groin injury to Nikolai Khabibulin opened the door for Martin Gerber, but how wide and for how long remains to be seen.

“I stopped looking too far ahead the last year or so,” said the Swiss born netminder, who signed with the Oilers in the hope of returning to the NHL after his contract ran out in Russia. “I just want to go with the situation, make the best out of it and see what happens.

“I want to put my best effort forward here and try to help as much as I can. Basically take it day by day.”

That’s about all they can promise him. Devan Dubnyk will get the bulk, if not all, of the work if Khabibulin’s absence is short term.

But Gerber knew the situation coming in to training camp and it hasn’t changed since — Dubnyk, and to a lesser extent Jeff Deslauriers, represent the future of the club and will be given first priority.

“It was a very slim chance (he’d make the team out of camp),” said Gerber, 36. “The way it looked they were comfortable with (Dubnyk and Deslauriers). They said, ‘Just go there, play as much as possible.’

“The way it looked it seemed like I was going to be quite a while down there. Unfortunately for Nik this happened. You don’t want to see that but it’s part of the game.”

Gerber is still holding a candle for the NHL.

“I’m still in good shape, I feel great, I want to play as long as possible,” he said. “As long as you’re in the dressing room you always have hope, that’s the last thing you lose. You have to give it a shot and you never know what’s going to happen. Try your best and maybe somebody likes it. If not, life goes on.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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