The Oilers must have feared the worst after Adam Erne’s elbow to the head of a Kraken player during Wednesday’s game, but the outcome was unexpected.
In his first game back for the Edmonton Oilers since being recalled from the Bakersfield Condors, Adam Erne made quite the impact. Literally.
Erne elbowed the Seattle Kraken’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the head along the boards during Wednesday night’s game. Some would argue the forward was going for a hit, but others would counter it sure didn’t look entirely innocent.
The incident happened during the third period prior to the Oilers’ dramatic comeback, which was completed with a 4-3 win in overtime. At the time, Erne was assessed a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.
The opinion of many was that a suspension was coming, for one or two games. However, the Oilers received some positive news on Thursday, when it was confirmed this would not be the case for the 28-year-old.
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As per the NHL, Erne has been fined $2,018.23, which is the maximum amount allowable under the NHL and NHLPA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. The money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Certainly the last thing the Oilers needed was another absence, with all the injuries they’ve already endured this season. Erne was one of three recalls which happened on Wednesday morning, as a result of two players being placed on long-term injured reserve.
In addition, the Oilers have experienced an inordinate amount of bad luck thus far in 2023-24, so they were almost due some good fortune. However, it doesn’t change the reality Erne really should have received a suspension.
In any event, while Oilers fans will expect the 2013 33rd overall draft pick to continue playing his usual physically and gritty game, it is hoped he has learned something from this close call. Despite no points so far this season in seven games, he will continue to be of importance to the bottom six for the short-term at least.