Announced today, the Edmonton Oilers have sent forward Teemu Hartikainen back to the Oklahoma City Barons.
His permanent spot with the NHL club seemed solidified as the lockout ended, but instead the team has turned just a bit towards Magnus Paajarvi who’s having a pretty solid two-way-typa season. Unlike Hordichuk and Eager before him, this isn’t a demotion for Hartikainen, but rather an opportunity. He still plays a key role (at least in my mind) on the back half of an already youthful Edmonton Oilers team. You could argue the case that his non-existent shoulder issue’s kept him from playing, but that’s not the truth. He’s perfectly healthy. What you can’t argue is that sitting out game after game after game is worthy of his time. Thus you send him to OKC for the final 15 or so games, let him play some really good minutes with other prospects (like Rajala and Lander), and ride out the season where he softly lands on a new contract within the organization. Fingers crossed.
Where might he fit in? Two places.
Hartikainen – Arcobello – Cheechoo is likely going to happen. Or some version of Hartikainen – Lander – Rajala. Either version of a forward line is exciting. With a little bit to prove, and some good rest under his wings, the next couple of weeks will be fun. And remember, keep calm and Teemu on.
Teemu Hartikainen assigned to #OKCBarons
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 25, 2013