This in from the Edmonton Oilers, news that grinding forward Devin Shore will be out four-to-six weeks with a lower body injury: “Coach Tippett announced today that Devin Shore will miss 4-6 weeks after sustaining a lower-body injury on Friday. Speedy recovery for 14.”
1. Shore is one of Coach Dave Tippett’s favourites, a good soldier who can play multiple positions and works hard on the penalty kill. He came up big in the playffs and earned a low cost two-year deal but has struggled so far at even strength this season. He’s been getting roughed up on defence pretty good, not good for a centre whose main job is to prevent goals against, then add whatever he can on the attack. Derek Ryan has been doing a far superior job in this checking role at centre.
2. I see Shore as a marginal fourth line NHL centre, but a decent fourth line NHL winger. Unfortunately, Tippett has played him mainly at centre this year, most likely out of need, as rookie Ryan McLeod failed to step up in training camp and grab that 4C spot. McLeod looked tentative, not yet ready to bring his “A” game at the NHL level. Perhaps if McLeod is recalled from Bakersfield and gets a chance this time he’ll seize the day.