Viktor Fasth, the injury-hit former Anaheim Ducks star, has said he is looking forward to playing for his new team, the Edmonton Oilers. The Swedish player may have moved from the team at the top of the Pacific standings to the one at the bottom, but he will at least have a shot of playing again and getting back his status as one the National Hockey League’s (NHL) leading goaltenders.
Those shots were few and far between for Fasth with the Anaheim Ducks. After a stellar 8-0-0 start to his career in 2012 with the Ducks, Fasth found himself off the ice rink and on the sidelines. He received very little ice time playing backup to Jonas Hiller and then injuries hampered what little amount he did play. Fasth missed much of this season with lower back injuries, earning him the nickname Ofasth. The name is a play on words from the word “Ofast”, meaning “fragile” in his native Swedish language. After two long stints in the injury reserves, Fasth only recently came back to competition after a reconditioning session in Norfolk, playing four games for the Ducks last week. This made the sudden move to the Oilers something of a surprise. Though, Fasth said, the move to the Oilers came as a shock, he was upbeat about the switch. The young goaltender said he was looking forward to the opportunity with the Oilers to achieve his goal, playing as many games as possible, a goal, he said, is one of many players.
Fasth could have a lot to look forward to with the Edmonton Oilers if he can stay injury free. With Ilya Bryzgalov traded from the Oilers to the Minnesota Wild, he should find himself with the opportunities to get the ice time he desires. But those opportunities, slim at Anaheim, will not be a given at Edmonton either. Ben Scrivens has just re-signed for the Oilers, a two-year contract worth $4.6 million, and will represent stiff competition. That competition could be just what the Oilers need to get themselves going again. The Oilers have a 21-34-8 record this season and sit at the bottom of the Pacific standings. Scrivens, when interviewed about Fasth’s move to the team, said Fasth’s experience and ability to get great numbers should help the team improve.
Scrivens is certainly playing his part in making that happen, as he was named the second star of the game in Tuesday night’s 3-2 Oiler’s win over the Ottawa Senators. Scrivens has established himself as the de-facto starter for the Oilers after missing out on chances of his own with the goaltending heavy Los Angeles Kings, but the goaltender hopes to lift his game as much as he can to keep his own playing goals alive. When asked about the acquisition of Fasth, Scrivens said he hoped the two could make a good goaltending duo for the Oilers.
With a chance to get his goaltending numbers up again, and his health returning, it is little wonder that Viktor Fasth is looking forward to joining the Edmonton Oilers. Fans will look forward to his debut as well. As long-suffering as Fasth himself has been, the fans look forward to a return to the glory days of the 1980s. That return still looks far away, but with a player of the stature of Fasth on board, the return of those days have the chance of getting closer again.
Commentary by Christian Deverille