Jason Gregor: It’s time for Oilers to try an alternative method to end injury jinx
'Space clearing' may be the solution
EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers finally got some good news in the form of a 3-1 victory at Ottawa on Saturday and a strong performance by goaltender Devan Dubnyk, but the thrill of victory was suppressed due to Taylor Hall’s injury.
Hall injured his knee after an inadvertent knee-on-knee collision with the Senators’ Eric Gryba. Hall returned to Edmonton to be evaluated and the best-case scenario is he’s out for a few weeks. The Oilers likely don’t want to think about the worst-case scenario.
Sam Gagner was cleared for contact last week and the Oilers were a few games away from having a healthy lineup. But since their magical 2006 Stanley Cup appearance, the Oilers seem to have been infected with “freak injuryitis.”
In September, new head coach Dallas Eakins remodelled the locker-room and, in doing so, removed the ghosts of the Oilers’ past. It was the right move, but should Eakins go one step further and consider cleansing the room to rid the team of the seemingly endless dark cloud that has hung over this franchise the past seven seasons?
Here is a quick recap of the unusual injuries which have plagued the Oilers since Chris Pronger snubbed the city:
- Ethan Moreau dislocates his right shoulder throwing a punch with his glove still on.
- Sheldon Souray breaks his hand in a fight and then gets an infection that sidelines him even longer.
- Fernando Pisani is diagnosed with colitis.
- Ryan Whitney had scored 27 points in 35 games when he steps in a rut on the ice and tears a ligament in his ankle. He’s never been the same player since.
- Gagner suffered a severed tendon in his left hand while sitting on the bench when Ryan Jones jumps over the boards and his skate blade cuts Gagner.
- Corey Potter accidentally steps on Hall’s face in warm-up. Hall lost his balance after stepping on a puck and slid into the side boards. Along the way, he took down Ladislav Smid and Potter couldn’t leap clear of both players.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins trips over the blue-line and falls into the boards. He injures his shoulder, which eventually leads to surgery.
- During a shinny game, Jones gets hit with a puck in the eye and misses a month of the lockout-shortened season.
In addition, the Oilers have had a constant stream of players on the injured list. Since the start of the 2006-07 season, the Oilers have lost more than 1,840 man-games due to injuries.
The league average during that time is 1,574 man-games, but most of the Oilers’ injuries have been to their key players. Only the New York Islanders suffered more injuries to key players.
In contrast, the Boston Bruins have been then second-least injured team in each of the past three seasons and they’ve been to the Stanley Cup final twice. The Cup-winning champion Chicago Blackhawks had only 94 man-games lost to injury last season, with only one key injury (20 games for Patrick Sharp).
To assist the Oilers, I looked for at alternative options and found someone who has experience with chakras, healing and moving energy.
Diane Vander Haak is a practitioner for healing touch. She’s worked with humans, animals, businesses and even arenas.
“The Oilers could use what is called a space clearing,” said Vander Haak. “I presume they have stagnant energy in that room.”
How do you get rid of stagnant energy in a dressing room?
“I would use tuning forks to clear the energy,” Vander Haak said. “There is also an oil I would use called Abundance. It is for competitive people and it magnifies the clear intention to help manifest the heart’s desire to perform.”
The majority of people, never mind NHL players, coaches and management, question the validity of space clearing, chakras and healing. But could it help the Oilers?
“I could clear the room and each individual locker. They don’t have to believe in it, although being open to it helps. They would benefit of the space clearing just by being in the room. If I could touch them with my om forks, I could help get their fluid flowing through their spinal cord and up to their brain. They would feel good and it would bring in good energy,” said Vander Haak.
The Oilers have brought in different players, changed their training staff, altered their workouts and switched the decor in the locker-room, but the injuries keep happening.
Maybe it’s time the Oilers looked into a space clearing. What harm could it do?
You can listen to Gregor weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on TSN 1260 and read him at oilersnation.com.
On Twitter: @jasongregor
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