On Friday, the Oilers assigned forward Mark Arcobello to Oklahoma City and recalled defenceman Oscar Klefbom. Given Arcobello's production this season, the news was surprising but necessary given the injury situation with defenceman Justin Schultz and with another blueliner banged up.
Arcobello didn't take the assignment the wrong way, understanding the need to make the move.
"I understand it," said Arcobello. "It was a roster move. It was a necessity. I am eager to get back in the lineup and hopefully it's sooner rather than later."
This morning, Arcobello didn't skate on a definitive line as the team ran the forwards in the same combinations as their game in Calgary, in which he didn't play.
The forward doesn't know if that will carry into tomorrow's game against Columbus, or if he will get his chance to return to the lineup.
"I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen for tomorrow, but I'll show up to the rink ready to play tomorrow."
Head Coach Dallas Eakins commented on Arcobello, reaffirming that he has a place on this team. However, when it comes to cracking the lineup, now that the Oilers forward group is healthy again, it is difficult for a player like Arcobello to claim a spot.
"Arco is a part of this team," said Eakins. "He knows that. He could very well be in the lineup tomorrow. We got arguing about forechecks and stuff this morning with the coaches, so when it came to the lines I just threw out how we had them last game and just left it at that.
"That's going to be Arco's battle, it's going to be a number of our guys' battle, it's going to be Will Acton's battle. Those guys that you were not sure if they were going to make the team in training camp, because it is very hard to knock guys out of the lineup who are and who have been established NHL players. They are going to have to fail greatly to take their spots."
Despite the uncertainty of Arcobello's place, one thing is certain; he belongs in the NHL and with the Oilers. Last week, Eakins told the media that he spoke with his forward and told him to get a more permanent housing situation in Edmonton.
The 25-year-old takes comfort in that reassurance but will continue to earn his place.
"It's a little bit more settling," said Arcobello. "But at the same time, I'm trying to really establish myself here as best I can. It's obviously still a work in progress, and I have to get back in the lineup first and then go from there. I'm constantly working on parts of my game that will help me establish a spot. It's a little bit of the same attitude, but it's comforting know I can get a place here and stick around for a little bit."
Arcobello has 12 points (2-10-12) in 20 games for the Oilers.
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