The Edmonton Oilers will be without the services of Eric Belanger who has a foot injury according to Mark Spector via Twitter. Belanger is the Oilers best faceoff man and is often relied upon to take the draw late in the game when the Oilers are in need of a crucial faceoff win.
Eric Belanger seen entering rink in a walking boot. Oilers best faceoff man on shelf for now.
— Mark Spector Sports (@SportsnetSpec) February 4, 2013
It is unclear how long Belanger will be out of the Oilers lineup, who get set to host the Vancouver Canucks tonight, but given by Spector’s report of the 35-year old entering the rink in a walking boot, it’s likely to be multiple weeks.
Belanger, a fourth line center is pointless in 8 games this season and is averaging just over thirteen minutes of ice-time per game.
Often referred to as a defensive specialist, Belanger struggled offensively last season as well, his first in Edmonton, scoring just 4 times and adding 12 assists in 78 games, his lowest point total of his career.
Because of the injury, the Oilers have recalled forward Magnus Paajarvi from the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL.
The 21-year old, former first round pick, has struggled to live up to expectations during three seasons in Edmonton and as a result has ping-ponged back and forth between the big club and the minors.
He is pointless through 5 games this season and had a fine rookie year in 2010-11 when he scored 15 goals and 34 points in 80 games. Last season with the Oilers he managed just 2 goals and 6 assists in 41 games.