As the Edmonton Oilers try to find inexpensive depth players, they received some not-so-great news as Scottie Upshall — a veteran forward the team invited to camp on a professional tryout — failed his physical.
According to Sportsnet's Mark Spector, Upshall wasn't able to pass his physical due to a knee injury. Spector further explained that while failing the medical does not eliminate or negate Upshall's PTO with the team, it does pose complications for Upshall making the Oilers squad out of camp and creates an issue where Edmonton might have to look at other options.
Scottie Upshall (knee) fails medical in EDM today.— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) September 14, 2018
It does not automatically end his PTO with Oilers. But unable to participate for a few weeks, his opportunity is, for all intents and purposes, expired this fall in EDM.
The Edmonton Oilers are a team with some fairly large contracts at the top end of their roster. With names like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl making big money, their need to fill the rest of the roster with inexpensive contracts, but players who could handle third and fourth line minutes was imperative this summer. Upshall was one of the veterans the team invited along with defenseman Jason Garrison and forward Alex Chaisson.
Upshall was attending the Oilers camp with a legitimate chance of making the team. He'd successfully cracked a roster off a PTO a couple times before in his career and there were players on the team quite excited to have him as part of the group. He was also the kind of player that fits well with what Edmonton needed — veteran leadership and penalty killing assistance.
Based on his previous production, there is a chance the Oilers hold out hope he can make a recovery and Upshall was certainly excited to be skating with the team. Just prior to the news of his failed physical, Upshall tweeted, "So excited to be here for Oilers Camp!!! Can't wait to wear this jersey and get out on the ice this weekend!!"
So excited to be here for Oilers Camp!! Can’t wait to wear this jersey and get out on the ice this weekend!! @ Edmonton, Alberta https://t.co/v9aMFeaqDb— Scottie Upshall (@ScottieUpshall) September 14, 2018
Unfortunately, Upshall will have to bottle that enthusiasm and focus his energy on getting better so that he has a chance to make the team despite not playing in camp or preseason. That's about how long he's expected to be out of action.