Defenseman Duncan Keith will not be with the Edmonton Oilers to start training camp. The veteran took some additional time to decide to get his second dose of the vaccine and as a result, is actively quarantining which will keep him off the ice until next Friday. At that time he’ll join the team and play in the final few preseason contents.
Ken Campbell broke the Keith news on Tuesday evening and Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland confirmed the update during his media avail on Wednesday morning. As the media asked about Keith’s status, it was also revealed that one other Oilers roster member has not received the vaccine and it has yet to be determined if the player will do so, or miss games due to travel restrictions.
When it comes to Keith, Holland said he talked many times to the defenseman and it was a more difficult decision to get the vaccine. Holland said some players couldn’t wait to get it and Keith needed more time. Eventually, he weighed his options and the consequences of not getting it and did so. Holland called it a personal choice and that he fully supported the player. He’s not at all concerned about Keith missing camp, even if the preference would have been to have him with the team the entire time.
When it comes to the unnamed player who has not gotten the vaccine, Holland says that the player will still be at camp, but it will create complications when it comes to travel. If the player remains unvaccinated, he could miss up to 30 games when you consider quarantining and other issues related to the NHL rules set forth for players who did not get the vaccine.
When asked why the Oilers would have Keith in quarantine and allow the unvaccinated player to camp, Holland said he didn’t make the rules set forth by the NHL and NHLPA and that things will flip here soon enough. Short term, the unvaccinated player will be heavily restricted while Keith will be free and clear to travel with the team.
Other Oilers News
Goaltender Alex Stalock is unlikely to play for the Oilers this season. Due to COVID-related heart condition. Holland said, “He had COVID before the 56-game season and then he was cleared and was with us all year on the taxi squad. At the end of the year, we did a physical, and then he went home and did additional tests. He discovered he may have a heart condition.”
Holland also noted that a couple of the goaltenders (Konovalov and Skinner) will get some preseason games, while he said of defenseman Philip Broberg, if he can force his way onto the team great. “If not, he’ll head down to the American League and we’ll get him ready.”
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