The Edmonton Oilers are preparing to play the 2020-21 season without the services of Oscar Klefbom.

The Swedish defenceman has been dealing with shoulder issues for years and Klefbom has been found to have arthritis in his shoulder.

Holland made the comment in an interview with the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson.

“I’m planning for 2020-21 that Oscar is not playing and anything other than that will be a surprise. A pleasant surprise,” said Holland, who would have room to sign another veteran D with Klefbom’s money off the cap, but has no interest.

“Yes, we could always use one more (defenseman), but we’re fine right for now,” Holland said. “We’ve got (William) Lagesson signed. If we get (Ethan) Bear signed, then we’ve also (got) Bouchard … I’m watching how Evan’s playing in Europe. He’ll be back for our training camp.

“As for Philip Broberg, my thought is he’ll stay in Skelleftea until their Swedish season is over. Our NHL season will go way beyond that (so he can come to Edmonton). We’ve got some young defencemen.”

The news is obviously less than ideal, but not something that is a total shock. There’s been talk of Klefbom being shutdown for the entirety of the season and now, it appears that’s going to happen.

I’d imagine this means the Oilers likely won’t sign Bear until the team can put Klefbom on the LTIR. It would free up money and allow for the Oilers to sign Bear to, at the minimum, a one year deal for next season before reassessing the cap situation next year.

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