EDMONTON - Nikolai Khabibulin will be on ice until after the trade deadline. The Oilers netminder has been placed on injured reserve after catching an ice chip in the eye during practice on Monday.
He played on Tuesday, but eye doctors took a look at it later and decided he should sit.
"It was in a drill, a shot came in, the skater went to the net and in swinging at the puck or stopping or whatever, ice chips flew up," said head coach Tom Renney. "There was an issue there with some bleeding and they decided to hold him out."
With Khabibulin on IR, the Oilers called up Martin Gerber from Oklahoma City.
ĄGilbert Brule, who hasn't played since Jan. 6, has been healthy for two weeks but can't get his foot in the lineup. With Edmonton on a brief roll, Renney's been reluctant to make changes.
"He's ready to go if I want to use him," said Renney, who'll be able to add him to the roster without demoting anyone now that Taylor Chorney is going on IR with a knee injury. "The numbers all fit it's just a matter of when I want to get him in."
They won't have to ask him twice.
"He's got a great attitude," said Renney. "He works hard and he's kept his spirits about him, which is not easy when you're not playing. We can't wait much longer in fairness to him and us. We'll make a game time decision."