Photo by Steven Christy
With his fourteen allotted days for a conditioning stint nearing a close, Luke Gazdic has been recalled by the Edmonton Oilers.
After playing this morning in the annual school day game in OKC where Gazdic scored a second period goal to tie the game, he will make his way back to the NHL squad where he will likely resume his role of Mr. Grititude. I sort of say that jokingly, but there is no denying why the Oilers like him so much (and likely why fans hate him), and it centers on his intangibles outside of putting the puck in the net or keeping opposing forwards at bay.
Regardless, his presence on the Barons fourth line left wing have been pretty good. Centered by Jujhar Khaira or perhaps Bogdan Yakimov, Gazdic found ways to beat opposition in a limited role.
Two goals on six shots is nice on the offensive side of the puck, but he was occasionally caught between a rock and hard place defensively. These moments were few and far between, but they existed.
Luke Gazdic for many seasons was your typical AHL player. Groomed by the Texas Stars, asked to do a lot of forward defending against opposing team’s toughs, he was never a guy needing to score a ton of goals, but started to trend up just enough for the Edmonton Oilers to take notice. Then he goes out and scores on his first NHL shift, and the dam of uncertainty would pour forth from that point forward. I say all of this to point out one thing – AHL minutes have always been good, and against the best comp. His NHL minutes have been even more problematic.
I know this rambling post under 300 words doesn’t amount to much, but Gazdic is back in Oil Country. Take oxygen.