Due to their current injury situation, the Edmonton Oilers have been allowed to recall winger James Hamblin on a short-term emergency basis.
The Edmonton Oilers are in dire straits, after a 2-7-1 start to the 2023-24 season. As of Monday morning, they have the second-worst points total in the entire NHL and look nothing like the team predicted to be Stanley Cup contenders.
As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, and this summed up the Oilers’ situation entering Saturday afternoon’s home game versus the Nashville Predators. Due to injuries they were forced to face the Predators with just 17 skaters, in what turned out to be a demoralising 5-2 loss.
Fortunately for the Oilers, help is on the way, at least on a temporary basis. As a result of dressing less than 18 skaters on Saturday, they are eligible for an emergency recall.
In this scenario, a team is allowed to bring up a player making no more than $100,000 above the NHL league minimum, which this season is $775,000. The recall is also cap-exempt, which is ideal for the Oilers given their precarious salary cap situation. (Just $377,870 at the time of posting.)
As announced by the team, they have used this situation to recall James Hamblin from Bakersfield. The winger made his NHL debut last season and went on to appear in 10 games, although he has yet to register a point with the Oilers.
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Hamblin is a solid two-way player, who is renowned for his excellent work ethic. He has a sound hockey IQ, is versatile and can help on the penalty kill if required.
The 24-year-old is off to a fine start this season in the AHL with the Condors. He is tied-second on the team with five points (three goals and two assists) through six games, while also being tied-first with a +4 plus/minus rating.
Once one of the Oilers’ injured duo of Connor Brown and Mattias Janmark are ready to return, Hamblin will be sent back to Bakersfield. Both Brown and Janmark are listed as day-to-day with their ailments. (Undisclosed and shoulder respectively.)
In this respect, it is a shame the Edmonton native is unlikely to get to play at Rogers Place in front of family and friends this time around. The Oilers are embarking on a three-game road trip, beginning with a visit to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.
Hamblin is in the second season of a two-year, entry-level contract worth an average cap hit of $807,500. Undrafted out of college, he is set to become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2023-24 campaign.