Liam Reddox knows he could be on borrowed time.
Yet the Edmonton Oilers forward is making it difficult for the team to send him back to the farm.
On Sunday, Reddox set up the Oilers’ opening goal in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators. In 10 games since being recalled from Oklahoma City, Reddox has five assists.
“It’s tough, you’re always thinking about what’s going to happen when guys get healthy,” said Reddox. “But my job is to show up and work hard and hopefully make a real, tough decision for the management and coaches.”
So far, that’s exactly what he’s been doing.
With Gilbert Brule, Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky out of the lineup, Reddox has been given ample opportunity to state his case.
He’s been playing well at both ends of the ice on a unit with Andrew Cogliano and Ryan Jones.
“Tom (Renney) has shown a lot of confidence in us, we’re playing against the other team’s top line,” said Reddox. “We have a huge responsibility. With our speed and hard work, we’re getting the job done, so hopefully we can stick with it.
“I think it’s a matter of just chipping the puck behind the defence and making the defencemen turn. It’s a tough job when we’re flying at them with speed and getting puck behind them, getting in on the forecheck and working the cycle. That’s what’s making us successful so far.”
Prior to getting the call up to the NHL, Reddox had 18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points in 37 games with the Barons.
Against the Predators Sunday, Reddox, 24, helped the Oilers get on the board by chipping the puck past defenceman Cody Franson, then firing a pass out in front to Cogliano, who tipped it past goaltender Pekka Rinne.
“I had my head buried and I looked up and that big Franson was flying at me,” Reddox said. “I made a little chip because I saw the ice behind him and Cogs with his speed was flying through the middle. I was lucky enough to find him.”
Having played half the season with the Oilers three years ago, Reddox does have first-hand experience on what it takes to play at the NHL level on a daily basis.
Regardless, his play this year has afforded the Oilers time to make sure their injured forwards do not have to be rushed back into the lineup.
“I am getting more comfortable every game and trying to get better every day,” Reddox said. “The guys here have been tremendous to me, making me feel welcome. That’s a huge part of it. When you come to a team halfway through the year, sometimes it’s tough. But everyone in the room is helping me out, so it’s good so far.”