As the season has gone on, Brandon Davidson has become an increasingly important piece on the Oilers blueline. The 24-year-old defenceman has gained more recognition in recent weeks due to his steady play and increase in minutes.
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan says his role as a penalty killer has bumped up his minutes recently, but that doesn’t mean Davidson hasn’t been impressive.
“When you look at our team and our minute-distribution since the All-Star break, it’s skewed immensely because of the amount of penalties we’ve taken,” said McLellan. “Brandon penalty kills, he penalty kills a lot, so his minutes are going to go up significantly in that area. But over and above that, he’s done a really good job of just being a Steady Eddie. He just gets the job done. He can play the game, a skating game, he can play a passing game, he can play a physical game. He’s got the tools that can be used in any type of environment.”
Davidson took 31 shifts against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night, playing 22:38. He’s played 25+ minutes twice since the All-Star break.
Stay tuned for more coverage.
Forward Luke Gazdic has cleared waivers and the Oilers have assigned him to the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors.
Luke Gazdic clears waivers and is assigned to the @Condors.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 4, 2016
BLOGS & FEATURES
- FUTURE WATCH: Laurent Brossoit
- FEATURE: Pouliot, McDavid & Eberle have productive debut as a line
- BLOG: Wednesday Updates from Leduc
- BLOG: Gazdic placed on waivers
- PRACTICE | On the Road Again
- PRACTICE RAW | Connor McDavid
- PRACTICE RAW | Justin Schultz
- PRACTICE RAW | Teddy Purcell
- PRACTICE RAW | Todd McLellan
The Oilers have placed winger Luke Gazdic on waivers for purpose of assignment to the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League.
Gazdic, 26, has played 28 games for the Oilers this season, recording one goal and 22 penalty minutes.
The Oilers have hit the ice at Leduc Recreation Centre for practice before flying to Ottawa today.
Justin Schultz, who missed yesterday’s morning skate due to illness, is skating.
Stay tuned for more updates, including interviews.
The lineup in the most recent drill is as follows:
- OILERS TODAY | Welcome Back
- PRACTICE RAW | Connor McDavid
- PRACTICE RAW | Jordan Eberle
- PRACTICE RAW | Adam Clendening
- PRACTICE RAW | Todd McLellan
The Oilers have hit the ice at Rexall Place for their first post-All-Star break practice.
With Taylor Hall not practicing, as he returns from the All-Star weekend in Nashville, the Oilers ran a jumbled mix of lines. Some players rushed as four instead of three.
McDavid took his first rushes between Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle. Anton Lander, Leon Draisaitl, Teddy Purcell and Rob Klinkhammer all had a rush together. Zack Kassian was with Mark Letesty and Nail Yakupov. Lauri Korpikoski, Luke Gazdic, Matt Hendricks and Iiro Pakarinen all took a rush together as well.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Connor McDavid is down with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors on conditioning loan from the Oilers during the NHL All-Star Break. While McDavid will not play any games for the Condors, he is getting more practice time in as he works his way back from the broken clavicle that has kept him away from the game since November 3.
McDavid has been cleared for full contact and that’s part of the reason he’s skating down with the Condors as he tries to expose himself to that side of the game more.
“Just take a couple of hits I think,” McDavid said. “I’m not sure how hard they’re going to be because it’s practice, but just take some bumps and get some contact and kind of test it out. I’ve been doing that for a little bit, but as you get closer you just want to feel confident in it.”
It’s a bit of an odd situation to be participating in the Oilers Skills Competition one minute, talking to the media in Edmonton the next and then packing your gear for a trip to Bakersfield the next, just for a week of practices. But that’s what McDavid is doing now, and in addition to getting extra reps on the ice with the Condors, McDavid is happy to see some familiar faces.
“I’ve been doing that a little bit, traveling with the team and practicing,” he said. “It’s a little of a different situation here, to travel so far just to get a couple practices in, but it’s good. I really like the guys down here. I know them very well just from development camp and all that. It’s good to see some of those guys again.”
McDavid is familiar with several faces on the Condors from the Oilers rookie camp and pre-season.
“I like these guys a lot. I’ve gotten to know them pretty good and to see some familiar faces I haven’t seen in a while is good.”
Condorstown becomes Connortown this week with the Oilers 2015 first-overall pick heading to Bakersfield, CA to skate with the Condors during the NHL All-Star Break. McDavid will not play any games this week for the Condors, but instead will skate with them and take more contact as he tries to come back from the broken clavicle that has kept him out of games since November 3.
“Management and I kind of came together and agreed that I’ll go to Bakersfield and go down there and skate and keep practicing. It’s a long break between now and then,” said McDavid.
The rookie centre has been cleared for full contact and hopes that with another week of intense practices he will be ready to play on February 2, when the Oilers host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rexall Place.
“It will be good to be in Bakersfield and to skate with those guys and have some high-intensity battles and some good battles and stuff like that.”
The Condors play Tuesday, Friday and Saturday this week. They are at home until Saturday, giving McDavid plenty of ice time in Bakersfield.
“The practices are a little bit more intense, with a lot of battling and stuff like that,” said McDavid. “It will be good to be involved in that and hopefully come back feeling good and ready to go for the 2nd. Obviously, with this long break, it’s not ideal to go and sit around for eight days and try to come back and feel good. I think it’s a good opportunity for me to feel good and be ready to go when I come back.”
McDavid has already been training with some contact, but that turns up a notch this week.