Spotted at Wiill Rogers Airport this morning, Oscar Klefbom has packed his bags for Edmonton where he will join the team in Calgary tomorrow. In the same breathe, Mark Arcobello will be boarding a plan for Oklahoma City in the biggest head scratcher of the day. The Oilers made both official this afternoon in anticipation of games played by Oklahoma City and Edmonton.
Let’s start with Klefbom.
The expectations are high for the Swedish defender, and in his first season of pro hockey he has been about as prospecty as you would expect him to be. Not overly dominate, and mostly paired with another defensive prospect in Martin Marinicin, Oscar has been the poster child for the defensive woes of OKC since early October. He’s inconsistent. That’s to be expected, and perhaps that is why the decision to reassign him to the Oilers seems bizarre.
Recently scratched (November 2nd) in a lopsided blowout by the Chicago Wolves, Klefbom was on the ice for four even strength goals. His brutal performance led to him being a healthy scratch the following game. Nelson saw the same deficiencies that we saw, and promptly sat him. But remember, this guy is still learning the N. American game. He’s a work in progress.
Good buddy, Eric Rogers, mentioned that perhaps this is a showcase moment for Klefbom, and that a trade is forthcoming that includes the big defender. If so, it will be interesting what else is attached to the bargain. He is still so ripe on the vine that you have to think he might not catch much value, and that perhaps his prospect value is still worth more within your own organization. I think he is worth keeping.
Short of being thrown to the waivers by around 30 games, former Baron Mark Arcobello, has been one of the brightest spots for the Oilers in an otherwise dreadful season thus far. Two goals and ten assists in 20 games, he has been on a pretty great pace despite those around him. He, at times, has been their only offense creator. The Oilers are clearly moving bodies to bring in Klefbom, but why this body? Acton and Gazdic are apparently too valuable to place on waivers (although Acton isn’t waiver eligible, I believe), and so they will stay. That fact alone is about as insane as they come especially when the team is anorexic on the offensive side.
Both players will not be available to their teams until tomorrow, but here’s hoping that something really good is on the horizon. This doesn’t feel really good.