Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Reckless' play shelves Gagner

Oilers centre bitter over Kassian foul

  • Print
Edmonton's Sam Gagner celebrates a goal during pre-season action on Sept. 21. Gagner was injured later in the game.

JASON FRANSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Edmonton's Sam Gagner celebrates a goal during pre-season action on Sept. 21. Gagner was injured later in the game.

EDMONTON -- When Sam Gagner talks out of the side of his mouth, he can't help it.

The Edmonton Oilers centre is giving you his straight opinions. It's just that the left side of his jaw, repaired by surgery last week, is wired shut, or almost shut, revealing just the start of a missing row of teeth.

Gagner could miss about six more weeks after being smashed by the stick of Vancouver's Zack Kassian in an exhibition game.

Kassian said he thought it was a hockey play.

Gagner, the jaw issues aside, had no trouble telling reporters Tuesday he didn't agree.

"I think it was reckless," Gagner said. "I obviously don't think he was trying to hit me in the face by any means but it's one of those plays you've got to be aware of your stick. That's all I have to say."

The setback, combined with the not-quite-there-yet recovery of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins takes a pretty good bite out of the Oilers lineup at centre to start the season.

"It's never fun to be injured," Gagner said. "I've prided myself on trying to stay healthy and trying to play through things. It's tough to be sitting out and watching your team play, especially at the start of the year when you've worked hard in the off-season to get ready then get hurt in the pre-season."

-- -- --

Mark Scheifele has a bit of a head start on many NHL rookies.

Tuesday's season-opener in Edmonton was career game No. 12 for Scheifele.

But after starting with the Jets each of the last two seasons before being sent back to junior, the 20-year-old centre suggested Tuesday morning this time will be different.

"I feel the best I've ever felt," Scheifele said. "I feel confident, I feel strong. The past few years maybe I felt a little intimidated a little and this I feel like I fit with any guy in the league, skate with anyone. I can't wait to get it started."

-- -- --

The Jets announced Tuesday they have signed 18-year-old Swede Axel Blomqvist to an entry-level contract.

The 6-6 right-winger participated in the club's summer prospects camp and also played for the Jets at the five-team rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C., in early September.

He was returned to the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes after main training camp.

-- -- --

The darling of a large group of reporters for a long conversation on Tuesday was Jets rookie defenceman Jacob Trouba, just 19.

The Michigan native was just beaming, happy to be part of the 2013-14 season-opening story.

"I always watched Red Wings home openers growing up," Trouba said. "It's pretty exciting to be part of it now. It's something I looked forward to as a kid; now this is pretty cool to be part of."

Trouba said his family members are sports nuts.

"We always liked watching sporting events," he said. "Anything Detroit sports we'd watch. Hockey was something special for me. I grew up watching (Nik Lidstrom). He's a pretty good guy to watch. I don't think I'm a Lidstrom out there but he was a special guy to watch."

-- -- --

Jets coach Claude Noel had his caution signs out for reporters on Tuesday.

Many were asking about the team's chances to crack the playoff grade this season.

"I think it's too early to start thinking about the playoffs," Noel said. "I think we have to focus on the process and focus on the task that's in front of us. For now, we're in Edmonton trying to get ourselves a first win.

"We know that all the games are important, that we have to get off to a good start. We're not looking at the big picture of things. We know there's a process."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 2, 2013 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for this week - December 8-12

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(  Standup photo)-    A butterfly looks for nector on a lily Tuesday afternoon in Wolseley-JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- June 22, 2010
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google