As well as the Edmonton Oilers are doing, they still miss Ales Hemsky.
But they may have to find a replacement for the right-winger, who has been out with a groin injury since last playing in Montreal on Dec. 1.
On Monday, head coach Tom Renney said Hemsky might not be back until the new year.
“Groins are temperamental things in terms of healing,” he said. “I think it’s going to take some time, it could be upwards of a month.”
While Hemsky hasn’t officially been placed on injured reserve yet, Renney said the coaching staff is already considering bringing in another body.
“We’re just talking about that now,” Renney said. “I think we will at some point in time, I’m not exactly sure when.”
Although he wasn’t forthcoming with whom, either, the list of likely candidates includes Oklahoma City Barons forwards Liam Reddox and Linus Omark, who lead their team in scoring.
In 25 games, Omark has split his 26 points evenly between goals and assists to sit top-10 among AHL scoring leaders, while Reddox is right behind him with 13 goals and 23 points.
Whoever ends up getting the call, the Oilers can only hope to bring in a recruit as effective as Ryan Jones has become after being claimed off waivers in March.
“He has made some serious noise for himself, and obviously in a good way,” Renney said of Jones, who was sent down by the Nashville Predators to the Milwaukee Admirals last season. “He’s a valuable player. Certainly he has become more so because of how he plays offensively but also pays attention to the two-way game.
“It’s a dynamic that we want.”
Jones is currently tied for eighth in team scoring with six goals and three assists in 26 games.
Hemsky’s seven goals and 11 assists in 21 games lists him in a three-way tie for second in team scoring, along with Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner, while his plus-five rating is also second on the team.