SportsConnor McDavid noncommittal about his status for Oilers training camp
McDavid thinks unsigned RFAs need 'one domino to fall'
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid believes the NHL's current crop of unsigned restricted free agents will reach their respective agreements in bunches. "It's obviously a unique situation where there's a lot of star players that are sitting out right now," McDavid said Monday, according to NHL.com's Mike Zeisberger. "I think it'll just take one domino to fall and they'll all fall pretty quick. But someone's going to have to set that mark." The list of RFAs that remain without a deal includes Brayden Point, Mitch Marner, Brock Boeser, Kyle Connor, Patrik Laine, Mikko Rantanen, and Matthew Tkachuk, among others.
Connor McDavid’s update on his progress from a knee injury he suffered last spring wasn’t exactly glowing with promise.
“Just working towards getting to camp,” McDavid said at the BioSteel hockey camp Monday at Varsity Arena, regarding whether he would be healthy enough for the opening of Edmonton Oilers training camp in two weeks.
McDavid injured his knee in the Oilers’ last game of the regular season on April 6 after he slammed into a goalpost against the Calgary Flames. X-rays came back negative, but McDavid later underwent an MRI, which revealed a small tear in his posterior cruciate ligament.
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McDavid said he returned to the ice about “two months ago,” but wouldn’t give a timetable about when he would be at full health.
He’s been rehabbing all summer, but the centre, regarded as the best player in the game, did not directly address questions Monday about whether he’d be ready for camp.
“Like I said, just focusing on camp,” he said.
McDavid’s Oilers have made the playoffs once in his four-year tenure with the team and that appearance was the only one for the franchise in the last 13 seasons.
Management in Edmonton was overhauled over the summer with Ken Holland named the new general manager after the mid-season firing of Peter Chiarelli and Dave Tippett replacing Ken Hitchcock as head coach, the latter having filled in after the club fired Todd McLellan last November. Veteran forward Milan Lucic was also traded this off-season to the Flames for James Neal.
Ethan Bear hungry for spot on Edmonton Oilers roster
Ethan Bear believes he's never been more prepared to make the jump to the NHL. "[I'm] way stronger and faster. I'm thinking quicker," Bear commented when he was asked about his growth over the past year. Bear, 22, admits he was his own worst enemy when it came to his development. READ MORE: Puljujarvi’s future with the Edmonton Oilers unclear after player signs contract in Finland "Just working hard every day -- I never did it before. I wasn't that smart before. I didn't really understand it," Bear admitted. "I realized where I was at. If I want to make it, I have to do something every day.
McDavid, who wore a brace earlier in the summer, appears to be moving around fine but he won’t be participating in the four-day BioSteel camp outside of completing his media availability Monday and performing some off-ice work.
“It’s progressing well, I’m making progress every day,” said McDavid, who was second in NHL scoring last season with 116 points (41 goal, 75 assists).
“Obviously, it’s taking a long time, but it’s been good.”
Mark Zwolinski is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter:
Dave Tippett’s mission is to reduce Edmonton Oilers goals against.
"We could have three 50-goal scorers, but if you keeping giving up goals like last year, you're not going to be a playoff team."