A few Oilers players have been dealing with illness, beginning on this last road trip. The Oilers were short in numbers at practice with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Luke Gazdic and Matt Hendricks among those missing in action.
Not all of the day’s absences were illness related. Head Coach Todd McLellan said Eberle and Hendricks were out for maintenance.
“Illness continues to go through the team,” McLellan said. “Anybody who was on our roster that didn’t skate today is either hurt or sick. We expect some of them to be back for Wednesday when we play against Chicago, but we’re trying to keep the sick guys away from the healthy guys just so the germ doesn’t travel. There’s others that need a little bit of healing time from wounds from the games. Hopefully we’ll have, not a full complement but a larger complement of players to pick from.”
Connor McDavid, like any other young player with an injury, is not enjoying the recovery part.
The 18-year-old centre did not make the last trip with the team, and although he feels better than he thought he would this early in the recovery process (broken clavicle), the young player is bored at home.
“He’s bored, which 18-year-olds can be when they’re not playing hockey and the team is away,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I think he’s got a great mindset right now and the mind heals the body so we’re off to a good start.”
“He hasn’t had any teammates around for eight or nine days and I’m not sure it’s real easy to go out and watch movies if you’re Connor McDavid in Edmonton right now. He’s probably a little bit bored but with his teammates back he’ll be fine.”
According to his teammate Taylor Hall, McDavid is a little “grumpy” around the house, which makes sense.
“Probably. He hasn’t had any teammates around for eight or nine days and I’m not sure it’s real easy to go out and watch movies if you’re Connor McDavid in Edmonton right now so he’s probably a little bit bored but with his teammates back he’ll be fine,” said McLellan.
McDavid has been testing his injury recently as he works to get back.
Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz has been out of commission since October 27 dealing with some back issues.
Schultz has a bulging disc but is clearly on the mend as he skated with the team for the first time on Monday.
“I skated a couple times last week by myself or with (Lauri Korpikoski),” said Schultz. “It’s good to be back with the guys. You definitely don’t feel part of the team when they’re on the road and you’re here alone so it’s good to be back.”
As for a timetable for return, Schultz doesn’t have one but the signs are positive.
“It’s been going well,” he said. “It’s been kind of slow but I feel like I’m getting close. I couldn’t tell you how long until I’m back but it’s good, I’m getting better.”
Connor McDavid spoke to the media for the first time since breaking his clavicle on November 3, against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Oilers rookie centre had surgery the next day.
“It’s definitely way better than I thought it was gonna be at this point,” said McDavid. “It’s the 11-day mark, 10-day mark or whatever. I definitely feel way better than I thought I would.”
McDavid is not in a sling and has begun working out to stay in shape while he recovers.
“It’s not like it’s a leg or anything,” he said. “It’s upper body and I’ve been riding the bike already and doing all that. Definitely well into the process of staying in shape and getting it moving again.”
Not only is he on the bike, but he’s begun testing his shoulder and moving it more.
“I did upper body today in the gym,” said McDavid. “That kind of gives you an idea of how it’s feeling and all that.”
McDavid does not have a timetable for return but is expecting to speak with doctors again this week.
“I think the main part is getting back to 100 percent,” he said. “If there is any positive to it it’s that it’s a bone and that can heal. It’s not like it’s a separated shoulder or a torn ligament or anything like that. Bones heal and just got to wait for it to feel 100 percent.”
McDavid has 12 points (5-7-12) in 13 games this season.
Connor McDavid will speak to the media shortly. Stay tuned for full coverage.
Justin Schultz (back) is rotating in at practice today.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Matt Hendricks and Luke Gazdic are not on the ice for the start of practice.
The Oilers have assigned goaltender Eetu Laurikainen from the AHL's Bakersfield Condors to HPK of the Finnish Elite League.
In his one start with the Condors, Laurikainen allowed four goals on 22 shots in a 4-3 loss to San Jose.
Oilers Video Coach Myles Fee joins Team Europe’s staff for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Fee is in his seventh season with the Oilers as the club’s video coach. He began his career with the New York Rangers in Team Services before becoming a video analyst.
Fee joins Team Europe Head Coach Ralph Krueger’s staff. Krueger was with the Oilers as Associate Coach from 2010-2012 an then was head coach in 2012-13, finishing with a 19-22-7 record in 48 games.
On Friday, the NHL announced the coaching staff for Team North America:
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today the appointment of Team North America’s Assistant Coaches: Jay Woodcroft (Edmonton Oilers), Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay Lightning), Peter DeBoer (San Jose Sharks) and Dave Tippett (Arizona Coyotes). The four assistant coaches will report to Team North America General Manager Peter Chiarelli (Edmonton Oilers), Associate General Manager Stan Bowman (Chicago Blackhawks) and Head Coach Todd McLellan (Edmonton Oilers).
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was asked about the decision to include assistant coach Jay Woodcroft on his staff.
“Woody and I have been together for a long, long time. I have a comfort in having Jay around for a lot of reasons. One, he keeps me organized. He’s a workaholic, gets a lot of work done. He understands my language and where I might be going with my thoughts and how to put things together. Technically, he can gather a lot of information. I think he’s as sharp a coach as there is out there right now,” McLellan began.
“He doesn’t quite get the recognition because of his path to the NHL but we’re very lucky to have him, not only with that World Cup team but also here in Edmonton.”
The head man for the Oilers also talked about the rest of the staff, which includes some accomplished head coaches from around the NHL.
|Photo by Getty Images.|
“A lot of experience. International experience. Coaches who have been around young players for awhile. I look at Tip (Dave Tippett) last night with (Anthony) Duclair, (Max) Domi, growing (Oliver) Ekman-Larsson. Jon Cooper in Tampa. Peter DeBoer in San Jose, he’s worked with young players in the past in Florida and New Jersey. San Jose is a bit of an older team now.
“The comfort of working with those people that I’ve been involved with in the past. We’re excited about it. There’s some teams there that have to win and our job is to go in and upset and stir the pot a little bit, see where we end up.”
Woodcroft talked about the honour of being named to the coaching staff at the tournament.
“It’s going to be a great learning experience for me, great experience for my family in my hometown of Toronto. Huge honour to have been asked to join such a prestigious coaching staff. I’m really looking forward to working with all the coaches and all the management,” he said.
The 39-year-old has worked with McLellan since 2005 when he was the video coach and McLellan the assistant for the Detroit Red Wings. McLellan then added Woodcroft to his staff as an assistant when he became head coach of the San Jose Sharks in 2008.
“I think we both have strengths. Having worked together for so long, there’s a chemistry with how we approach preparation. I think we see the game very similarly but we’re not afraid to challenge each other with new ideas.”
Woodcroft and McLellan also worked together last spring at the World Hockey Championships, helping lead Canada to a Gold Medal and undefeated record at the tournament.
“Having worked together in the past, not only in the NHL — Detroit, San Jose and now Edmonton — but internationally, there’s a comfort level with preparing a group to succeed.”
The Oilers assistant talked further about how that World Championships experience helped prepare him for the challenge that awaits next fall.
“It helped me because it was my first time on an international level. So the ability to work with players from different teams and quickly get your point across, quickly get everybody on the same page was a huge challenge. And I think Todd did a masterful job of bringing the entire group together: the coaching staff, the management group and also the players. And that’s why we ultimately had success.”
Lines for tonight appear to be:
Hall - Draisaitl - Purcell
Pouliot - Lander - Eberle
Hendricks - Letestu - Yakupov
Gazdic - Miller - Pakarinen
Nurse - Sekera
Klefbom - Fayne
Reinhart - Gryba
- BLOG: Friday practice updates
- BLOG: Oilers injury and illness updates
- BLOG: Slepyshev re-assigned to Bakersfield
- BLOG: McLellan and Woodcroft talk World Cup
- THE PANEL | Presented by Sport Chek
- PRACTICE | Friday in LA
- INJURY UPDATE | Matt Hendricks
- PRACTICE RAW | Jay Woodcroft
- PRACTICE RAW | Todd McLellan