Dylan Holloway and Sam Gagner set to return from injury for Oilers

The Oilers are already in an excellent position health-wise, but as per an update on Monday from coach Kris Knoblauch, it is about to get even better.

Winnipeg Jets v Edmonton Oilers
Winnipeg Jets v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages

On Monday, we wrote about how the Edmonton Oilers were in a good place entering the New Year, when it came to their injury situation. Well, it now seems like the team is about to become even healthier.

On Tuesday following practice, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch was asked for an update on the injury status of both Sam Ganger and Dylan Holloway. Speaking to the media, he said:

"Neither one of them will play tonight, but we expect them to be ready for the weekend. So, that's the plan."

This is of course excellent news for everyone connected with the Oilers. Gagner has been out recently with an undisclosed injury, while Holloway found himself placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) mid-November, with a knee issue.

As Knoblauch mentioned, assuming everything goes to plan then the duo will be available for Saturday night's home tilt with the Ottawa Senators. Of course, this is a good 'problem' for the Oilers to have.

So what now for the lineup?

This leads to the question of what changes will be made, if any? It's entirely feasible Knoblauch will not want to upset the apple cart, with the team on a run of five consecutive wins, including the last four without Gagner in the lineup.

In truth though, we find it hard to believe Knoblauch won't want Gagner back in the mix. His experience and leadership has proved invaluable during his third tour of duty in Edmonton, with the almost unexpected bonus of nine points in 18 games.

Regardless of what the Oilers decide to do with their former sixth overall draft, at least no roster moves will be required. However, it's a different case when it comes to Holloway.

That's because, as mentioned above, the 2020 14th overall draft pick has been on LTIR since Nov. 15. The question is, who would most likely have to make way for his return?

It would probably come down to a choice between James Hamblin and Adam Erne. Both have played well of late, but with Hamblin establishing himself as the fourth line centre, we suspect it would be Erne who has to make way for Holloway.

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Again though this is assuming Knoblauch does decide to make any changes for the Senators clash, and factoring in that Holloway had been a disappointment so far in 2023-24 prior to his injury. Overall though, when considering all the injury issues prior to and early on this season, the Oilers now find themselves in excellent position health-wise.