Some guys are harder to track down than others and for the last couple of weeks I've been trying to contact Oilers prospect Tyler Pitlick. He was in studio along with Troy Hesketh in July but somehow I'd lost his number and so when I was trying to touch base after the Lake Placid USA U20 camp, I was having a tough time.
The Oilers didn't have a number for him, Medicine Hat's PR man was on vacation and USA Hockey was keeping quiet. Why? Apparently the NHL isn't the only level that isn't very forthcoming with possible injuries.
You'll recall a couple of weeks back when I made mention that Pitlick failed to make the cut at the U20 sessions held by USA Hockey.
Derek Zona, one of the guys always churning out terrific work at The Copper & Blue, received word that the Edmonton 2nd round pick was hurt in Lake Placid. "Word comes from the U.S. National Development Camp that Pitlick injured his shoulder and will not continue at this camp."
I was trying to establish confirmation of the injury but USA Hockey's response was "We don't comment on injuries" which is fine, I just wanted to establish whether that was the reason he didn't last at the camp and not to find out how badly he was hurt.
I spoke with a NCAA writer named Ken Schott who is a frequent guest on The Pipeline Show. He wasn't aware of an injury but suggested that USA Hockey's "No Comment" probably meant that there was an injury of some sort.
Fair enough but I still wanted to hear it from Pitlick himself.
I finally heard back from Dave Andjelic in Medicine Hat, considered one of the top PR guys in the league, and he helped me out right away. However, a couple of calls and texts later and no reply from the player.
I finally made contact with Pitlick on Tuesday who, fresh off the golf course, sounded as though he had no idea what injury I was talking about.
"So How's the shoulder now?"
"The injury. From Lake Placid?"
"I don't... what injury?"
"There were reports that you were hurt in Lake Placid and that's why you weren't part of the group that played against the Euro teams."
"Oh. No, not really."
"Not really or no you weren't hurt?"
"I wasn't hurt."
Take it for what it's worth but players deny injuries all the time so this could very well have been another one of those situations. That said, according to Pitlick, he was not injured in Lake Placid. I'm no doctor but... he said he'd played golf earlier that day so any injury that he may have had couldn't have been much more than a bruise, could it?
I'll check with him again when the Tigers are in town before Oiler camp starts.