The Oilers will be without number one defender for longer than we initially expected. Klefbom, who has left Tuesday's win in Colorado after blocking a kick, will undergo surgery on his finger, meaning he will lose six to eight weeks of action.
Oscar Klefbom's surgery on his injured finger … out of 6 to 8 weeks.
– John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 15, 2018
We knew shortly after the game that Klefbom would be out for weeks, instead of days, but this was practically the worst case scenario.
With Klefbom off the line, the Oilers had Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson doing big heavy maneuvers on the blue line. Kevin Gravel and Matt Benning also saw an increase in minutes and Jason Garrison was inserted back into the lineup. Rookie Caleb Jones was also called to give the team another blue line option.
Of course, things will be a bit easier for the Edmonton Scale, since Kris Russell, who entered the Injured Reserve at the same time as Klefbom, returns to action, but it will be very difficult to navigate for several months without Klefbom in the top pair.
I wrote earlier today about how the trading market is preparing for rents this year. Given the fact that Klefbom would be out by February, the Oilers may try to pull the trigger for a deal that will help shore up their blue line. Obviously, you will not replace Klefbom through trade now, but adding some depth of quality would be very beneficial, as the Oilers work for life without their primary defender.