Photo by Steven Christy
“No more hockey prospect injuries!” I shouted at the top of my lungs on an otherwise pretty nice Monday morning. The news of Curtis Hamilton missing five to six weeks (probably more like seven to eight) via Bob Stauffer sounds eerily familiar. Only 21 games in, following an extended period of time off for ACL surgery, the left-handed forward drafted by the Edmonton Oilers will again be sidelined. And it comes at an inopportune time as he was just now beginning to A) score with regularity and B) do things that the Oilers need him to do (i.e. PK specialist). The path that Hamilton now walks will be rocky, especially within the Oilers org where he is in his final contractual season.
Hamilton was on a bit of a tear lately. Five goals, four assists, in 21 games was his best yet. On the wing with Pitlick the opposite and Martindale the center, that second Barons line was firing on all cylinders.
Ryan Martindale, knee. Oscar Klefbom, shoulder. Tyler Pitlick, knee. So many prospects, so many “nagging” injuries. The brutality of the sport we love also highlights the frailty of the young body even at its highest physical health. For the Edmonton Oilers, having these players injured isn’t good for business, nor their long-term positioning of player personnel. I’ve often wondered if teams, like the Oilers, desperately seek goodness from their players much quicker because they realize injury can always cut things short. Then again, why draft them if they are injury prone? And to a further point, aren’t they all injury prone?
Suddenly we find value in the sturdy. Guys like Teemu Hartikainen, who had his share of injuries, but seemingly overcame them quickly with little fuss. In the case of Hamilton, the knee injuries that now haunt him might, no will, push back his development. That’s not good for Curtis, and certainly not good for the Oilers.
Hoping for a speedy recovery, Curtis!