SUN Hockey Pool

Kurtis fosters bruising

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

EDMONTON - Sam Gagner is picking Kurtis Foster to win the hardest shot competition in the Oilers’ skills competition Saturday .

Gagner has the bruises to prove it.

He sat out practice and wore a medical sleeve on his right arm Friday after taking one of Foster’s point shots on the arm. He expects to play against Nashville on Sunday, but admits it’s pretty sore.

“I woke up in the morning and was in a lot of pain, but as far as I know it’s just bruising,” said the fourth-year centre.

“Tom (Renney) said there was going to be a lot of shooting in practice, which wouldn’t have been good for my arm, so I just took the day off and hopefully it’ll feel better Sunday.”

Nikolai Khabibulin and Ladislav Smid also didn’t practise on Friday. Renney said they were taking “main-tenance days.”

Jim Vandermeer, who missed the last seven games with an ankle injury, passed all his fitness tests and is ready when they are.

STAR STRUCK: Ales Hemsky, out with a concussion, might not be able to take part in the All-Star game if he doesn’t get healthy in a hurry. The league will need a yea or nay on him fairly soon in order to arrange a replacement.

“They have to let other people know,” said Renney.

“I’d like to see him in a game. I don’t think he should go to the All-Star game without having played.

“That’s a decision for all of us to collaborate on.”

PREDS ROLLING: The Predators are coming off impressive back-to-back wins in Phoenix (5-2) and Colorado (5-1) after opening their season-long six-game, 11-day road trip with with a 6-3 loss in Chicago last Sunday.

Tomorrow’s game is the first meeting of the season between Edmonton and Nashville.

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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