Krys-mas back in Phoenix

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

Krys Kolanos is back where he started.

Kolanos spent last weekend waiting to find out if he was going and where he'd be going after coach Craig MacTavish told him Saturday in Vancouver the Edmonton Oilers had put him on waivers.

He got his answer yesterday morning, just before the Oilers took their pre-game skate for last night's tilt with the Calgary Flames - Kolanos is on his way back to the Phoenix Coyotes, the team the Oilers plucked him from on waivers Nov. 11.

If nothing else, the turnabout made packing convenient. Before Kolanos went out to face assembled media yesterday, he stuffed his gear back into the Phoenix equipment bag he unpacked just five weeks earlier.

"It was an honour just to come here and be a part of this organization," said Kolanos, who took the high road despite being visibly upset about the news. "There's a lot of history here.

"This is a winning organization and a great hockey climate. I haven't been in a hockey climate in five years, since I've been in Phoenix. It's been like going from one end of the spectrum to the other."

Kolanos, 24, saw action in just six games with the Oilers after they claimed him. He was getting more press-box time than playing time, and never really did get a chance to grab a starting spot and keep it.

But the move to waivers on Saturday wasn't a reflection of a chance taken that didn't work as much it was about adding another defenceman before yesterday's midnight roster freeze. The Oilers took care of that, summoning Matt Greene from Iowa of the AHL.

"It's a little bit of a disappointment that Phoenix took him back," MacTavish said. "At the same time, you can't leave yourself vulnerable. If we got an injury, if a defenceman was going to be out for a week, that precludes us from bringing somebody else up.

"You can't play this game with five defencemen for any period of time."

Had the Oilers not summoned somebody by midnight, they would have had to go with six defencemen through the Dec. 19-27 freeze - a period that includes games against Calgary, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Minnesota - and hope nobody got injured.

"It's a great group of guys," Kolanos said. "Edmonton's got a reputation for that and it lived up to that. It's been a pleasure.

"The coach said he liked my game and how hard I worked. He said that he'd liked to have given me more of an opportunity. Everything was positive."


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