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Sports "Connor McDavid: Whatever It Takes" tells a compelling story of a super-elite athlete with an iron will

23:15  25 january  2020
23:15  25 january  2020 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

On the seventh day of Turtlegate, Zack Kassian's contract talks heating up

  On the seventh day of Turtlegate, Zack Kassian's contract talks heating up On the seventh day of Turtlegate comes news that the Edmonton Oilers are closing in on a new contract with protagonist Zack Kassian, Connor McDavid’s wingman. The rumour comes by the way of Sportnet’s Mark Spector. Talking to Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now today, Spector said of Kassian’s new contract: “The appetite is there. Listen, there’s no question the Oilers want to sign Zack Kassian. They like the player. They like the guy. He’s rehabbed his whole life here. He’s become a really good player. And the best player on the team Connor McDavid loves having him on his right side. So the interest from the team is obvious.” Weighted against that is Kassian’s impending UFA status.

‘ Connor McDavid : Whatever it takes ' shares the untold story of @cmdcdavid97’s incredible recovery from what many thought might be a career-threatening injury. Watch the doc tonight immediately following the #NHLAllStar Skills Competition on SN.pic.twitter.com/Nyp8FsqU6p.

After a delay kept Connor McDavid away from the NHL All-Star festivities, the Oilers captain arrived and spoke to the media Friday, and laughed that this

a hockey game in the snow: Connor McDavid (97) of the Edmonton Oilers swings around Morgan Rielly (44) of the Toronto Maple Leafs for a goalduring an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 6, 2020, in Toronto.© Claus Andersen Connor McDavid (97) of the Edmonton Oilers swings around Morgan Rielly (44) of the Toronto Maple Leafs for a goalduring an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 6, 2020, in Toronto.

Go figure that the first airing of the astonishing documentary “Connor McDavid: Whatever It Takes” occurred on a night all three of us at the Cult of Hockey had other commitments, but we can’t allow it to pass without commentary.

The hour-long production of local filmmaker Don Metz provides a gripping account of McDavid’s ordeal following the catastrophic knee injury he suffered last April 6. In the meaningless final game of the 2018-19 season, the Edmonton Oilers’ superstar crashed at high speed into the goal post after being fouled by Calgary defenceman Mark Giordano. Hockey fans watched in horror as the game’s brightest star lay on the ice for long moments, mouthing the words “it’s broken” before being helped to his one good leg and helped down the tunnel.

Sheahan's four points and McDavid's two goals powers Oilers past Coyotes 7-3

  Sheahan's four points and McDavid's two goals powers Oilers past Coyotes 7-3 EDMONTON — Riley Sheahan had a goal and three assists and Connor McDavid had a pair of goals as the Edmonton Oilers rode a strong start to a 7-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Josh Archibald, Sam Gagner, Kailer Yamamoto and Joakim Nygard also scored for the Oilers (26-18-5) who have gone 6-1-1 in their last eight games. Josh Archibald, Sam Gagner, Kailer Yamamoto and Joakim Nygard also scored for the Oilers (26-18-5) who have gone 6-1-1 in their last eight games.

After Zack Kassian received a two-game suspension for his incident with Matthew Tkachuk, the Flames All-Star says this isn't the place to bring up the Battle of Alberta and is actually looking forward to sharing the ice with Oilers' stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Connor McDavid intended to end the season on a high note and was determined to help his linemate and friend, Leon Draisaitl, reach The pair were buzzing that evening, generating chances on every shift. In the second period of a tied game, Connor attempted one of his patented end-to-end rushes.

The documentary picks up right from that moment with previously-unseen footage of McDavid’s painful trip down the aisle to the Oilers’ locker room below the Saddledome stands. It seems like the cameras & cell phones never missed a beat from then on, capturing a vast array of clips from the recovery process interspersed with interviews of the key participants, notably McDavid himself, Dr. Mark Lindsay, Dr. Anthony Mascia, Dr. Dhiren Naidu (Oilers team doctor), T.D. Forss, Gary Roberts, Jeff Jackson, Tracy Wilson, and numerous others involved in the rehab, as well as support people including his parents Brian and Kelly McDavid, his girlfriend Lauren Kyle, teammate Zack Kassian and Oilers executives Bob Nicholson, Ken Holland, and Dave Tippett.

McDavid opted against surgery, 10-month recovery for knee injury

  McDavid opted against surgery, 10-month recovery for knee injury Previously unknown details have emerged about Connor McDavid's 2019 knee injury. It was initially reported that McDavid suffered a small PCL tear when he crashed into the post during the final game of the 2018-19 regular season. However, the trailer for "Whatever It Takes," an upcoming documentary on McDavid's recovery process, reveals that the situation was much more complicated. The Edmonton Oilers captain's PCL was torn in half, and he also suffered torn lining on the back of his knee joint and a crack in the front of his tibia.

Watch ' Connor McDavid : Whatever It Takes ' this Friday on Sportsnet following the @NHL All-Star Skills Competition.pic.twitter.com/v9M8Hhe2Iz. ' Connor McDavid : Whatever it takes ' on Sportsnet.

But with it being a relatively new procedure and the recovery period potentially stretching the entire season, it led McDavid to go with the rehabilitation The full journey of his recovery is chronicled in ' Connor McDavid : Whatever It Takes ', a Sportsnet documentary making its debut Friday night

Collectively they were a tight-lipped group that kept the severity of the injury a well-guarded secret during the long months that followed. That radio silence continued even after the player’s return to action on opening night and up until the “great reveal” of this week’s airing of the documentary.

When McDavid talked to the media but didn’t skate at BioSteel camp in late August the fact that the PCL had been fully torn, I wrote of Oilers fans fretting:

The short version from today’s avail is that he is taking all the time available; the hope is that he’ll return to action before October 2 and be at top, breathtaking speed when he does.

Nothing here suggesting this is “Bobby Orr in 1972” territory, but until we see the young man back on the ice and in full flight, it’s impossible not to be concerned.

Little did we know…

While his initial diagnosis in April revealed a partial tear of his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), McDavid spoke of getting a second opinion from a specialist in Colorado Springs who delivered devastating news:

Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews, Oilers' Leon Draisaitl highlight full NHL All-Star Weekend rosters

  Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews, Oilers' Leon Draisaitl highlight full NHL All-Star Weekend rosters Division captains David Pastrnak, Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid were selected via a fan vote earlier this month.The announced players will play alongside each division's captains, who were named in an announcement on Dec. 21. David Pastrnak (Atlantic), Nathan MacKinnon (Central) and Connor McDavid (Pacific) were selected as captains by an online fan vote and will lead their teams in the 2020 NHL All-Star skills competition on Jan. 24 and three-on-three tournament Jan. 25. Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin was originally named the Metropolitan division team's captain, but he announced on Dec.

‘ Connor McDavid : Whatever it takes ' shares the untold story of @cmdcdavid97’s incredible recovery from what many thought might be a And frightening details they are, of an uncommon injury to his posterior cruciate ligament that posed serious risks to his future whether he chose to undergo surgery

‘ Connor McDavid : Whatever It Takes ’ will air on Sportsnet on Friday night after the NHL all-star skills competition. McDavid said before the skills competition Friday night in St. Louis that he wanted to keep the extent of the injury under wraps during his rehab to avoid “the pressure of the media asking

The doctor told me that it was actually a full PCL tear, there were tears on both sides of my meniscus, tore the popliteus [muscle] right off the bone. So at that point it was enough to have full reconstruction of the knee, full reconstruction of the PCL & the popliteus which would have been over a year recovery, & we don’t know how it would have really recovered.

Added Kyle: “At first we were thinking ok, this is an injury, we can come from back from it; and then all of a sudden there was a thought ‘I’m never going to play again’

Dr. Mascia elaborated: “ACL surgery, most athletes get back to the elite level in about 6 months. PCL is a much bigger deal, takes them up to a year.”

Oil fans remembering Andrej Sekera will recognize even the former is a best-case scenario; Sekera was out of action for 7½ months with his ACL tear two years ago, and it was much longer than that before he was “back to the elite level”. PCL surgery is more serious still, and is much less common with more uncertainty about its outcome.

With surgery already scheduled, McDavid was flown to Los Angeles for yet a third opinion. While the doctor confirmed the complex diagnosis — complete tears of the posterior cruciate ligament, the posterior capsule and of the popliteus muscle, along with partial tears to both his medial and lateral meniscus cartilage, and, oh yeah, a tibial plateau fracture — he did offer hope that the injury could be dealt with in a different manner involving intensive rehabilitation rather than surgery. No guarantees that it would work, just that it might. A decision had to be reached quickly, and ultimately McDavid and his crack team of advisors went for the non-invasive route.

Connor McDavid opens up on the scary medical decision he faced last spring

  Connor McDavid opens up on the scary medical decision he faced last spring After a late flight delayed his arrival at All-Star weekend in St. Louis, Edmonton Oilers’ megastar Connor McDavid met with the assembled media on Friday afternoon. Of course the questions on everyone’s lips were about the serious knee injury McDavid suffered in Game 82 last April. Details have been scarce until now, halfway through the following season. In a different universe, he’d still be recovering from surgery; in this one, McDavid is leading the NHL in scoring and thrilling fans from Edmonton to Everywhere in his customary fashion.

Check out this teaser for an upcoming feature called Whatever It Takes - Connor It's good to see Connor McDavid expose an alternative to knee surgery. I'm gonna try some of these rehab You can tell he’s so determined to hockey that he was rubbing his eyes bc he was upset that he’d maybe not

Maryland. Connor McDavid - Whatever it Takes . So the guy was supposed to have an invasive surgery with 10 month recovery period only to refuse it and still be leading the league in scoring?

What followed was nothing short of astonishing, as the documentary offered revealing glimpses of both the marvels of modern medical science and the rigours of training which elite athletes undergo. Not to mention discipline, an attribute McDavid possesses in spades. For example, he underwent daily treatment in a hyperbaric chamber for 40 straight days.

“The doctor cleared me to flex my quad muscle, so I’d be in there for two hours, I’d flex my quad muscle for ten seconds on, rest for ten seconds, ten seconds on, and I’d do that over and over again just trying to save the muscle.”

That accounts for about 80 of the over 1,000 hours of rehab that ruled Connor McDavid’s summer as he demonstrated a commitment to recovery that brings back awe-struck memories of Canadian rowing great Silken Laumann. In between times there was plenty of doubt as to whether they’d undertake the right decision. Would the fibres of the severed PCL bridge the gap to re-attach and heal naturally? Each time McDavid underwent an MRI the good news was slow in coming. McDavid:

“There’d be a lot of times we’d be sitting in that office, just me, Dr. Mascia and Dr Lindsay, and we’d be like ‘well, should we do the surgery or not?’ … We were in July & we were still saying ‘should we do the surgery?’ “

Finally came some good news when an MRI revealed the fibres were starting to cross the gap and reconnect. That signalled the next step in the rehab process. “Now let’s start loading it a little bit. That’s where the pool comes in, I spent so many hours in that pool it was ridiculous.”

Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers look to super-size line ups for coming Battle of Alberta game

  Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers look to super-size line ups for coming Battle of Alberta game Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers look to super-size line ups for coming Battle of Alberta game against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. The #Flames have recalled forward Buddy Robinson from the @AHLHeat. https://t.co/wHYwZdQWjy— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 26, 2020 At the same time, the Edmonton Oilers’ latest line-up includes a return of big Jujhar Khaira to the regular line-up. From Bob Stauffer of the Oilers at Sunday’s practice: Neal-McDavid-Kassian RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto Nygard-Sheahan-Archibald Khaira-Haas-Chiasson Gagner-P Russell Klefbom-Larsson Nurse-Bear K.

Connor McDavid : Whatever it Takes follows the most physically and emotionally challenging offseason of Connor McDavid ’s career. This split-second crash would set into motion the most advanced non-surgical rehabilitation ever attempted with a star athlete .

Connor McDavid : Whatever It Takes will air on Sportsnet on Friday night after the NHL all-star skills competition. Connor McDavid flew into the post at high speed, slamming his leg and requiring the trainer’s assistance to get off the ice as the Oilers played their final game of the season.

Cut to footage of McDavid in a pool wearing a flotation device, doing squats, doing more squats while lifting weights, and so on. Working, working, working.

Meanwhile, over at the office of the Edmonton Oilers, Ken Holland had been hired on as General Manager in early May, a month into the recovery process. In his words, during the interview We did talk about Connor’s injury but it didn’t seem to be all that significant.” The other participant in that process, Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson, confirmed “I gave him information, I didn’t give him all the information.” A startling admission to put it mildly.

[ Yesterday on Oilers Now Holland elaborated :

“I came on board on May 6, a month after the season ended. There was a month there of meetings between the McDavid camp and the Oilers and doctor opinions, and when I was talking to Bob Nicholson about the job I asked him how Connor McDavid was doing. He gave me a very positive report — Bob and I chuckle the odd time about this — he gave me a very positive report, and then I was a little surprised when I got on the phone a few days after I took the [job] I was on a call with Mark Lindsay and Jeff Jackson and  Gary Roberts and Dr. Naidu and T.D. Forss. When they started talking about the severity of the injury I was a little surprised.

“There was great communication between the Oilers people and the McDavid camp. Connor was incredibly committed to working day after day after day, in the gym, on the ice, in the pool, doing whatever he could do to get himself ready to get back and start the season. In June we weren’t sure the time frame, we though we’d wait until August when we’d have a better read on the time frame. Certainly it was a bit of a nervous time for me going through June and July not knowing the status of where Connor was at. Hat’s off to Mark Lindsay and Jeff Jackson and all the work they did, and to the Oilers people Dr. Naidu and T.D. Forss, and most importantly to Connor, who dug in big time and worked incredibly hard to get himself back for opening night.”

Matt Tkachuk's hit on Zack Kassian "wasn't a cheap shot" and there's no onus on Tkachuk to fight Kassian, says ex-Flames agitator

  Matt Tkachuk's hit on Zack Kassian This in from Sportsnet, ex-Flames player Neil Sheehy’s defence of current Calgary Flames agitator Matt Tkachuk for his part in Tkurtlegate. “This wasn’t a cheap shot (on Zack Kassian),” Sheehy told Flames insider Eric Francis of Tkachuk. “It was a good hit. I thought Tkachuk went easy on him, and I think that’s scary because it was a big hit.” Sheehy agued there’s no onus on Tkachuk to now fight Kassian, after refusing to fight him and taking a beat when the team’s last met on January 11th. “People try to goad you in, and call you a turtle….I think you’re anything but when you put a hit on a guy like that. The reality is there’s no reason for (Tkachuk) to fight.

‘ Connor McDavid : Whatever It Takes ’ will air on Sportsnet on Friday night after the NHL all-star skills competition. The documentary, made by longtime Oilers filmmaker Don Metz, details McDavid’s decision not to have surgery on his badly injured left knee — which he sustained April 6 during

‘ Connor McDavid : Whatever it takes ' shares the untold story of @cmdcdavid97’s incredible recovery from what many thought might be a And frightening details they are, of an uncommon injury to his posterior cruciate ligament that posed serious risks to his future whether he chose to undergo surgery

]

Of that last statement there can be no doubt. A major turning point was reached when he took to the ice for the first time, just Connor and his dad out for a little skate. It was ahead of schedule, at the suggestion of Dr. Lindsay, who observed: “That was really a pivot point in the whole summer, because at that moment he wasn’t injured for a moment, he was just out there with his father. He totally changed emotionally from that day.”

From there the documentary showed an awe-inspiring montage of McDavid training in a variety of locations employing a dizzying variety of challenging devices and techniques, not just rehabbing his devastating injury but working with specialists to establish a new level of core-body stability. It really has to be seen to be appreciated, and interested observers will get multiple opportunities to do just that, beginning with this afternoon’s rebroadcast at 16:30 MST on SportsNet. That’s just before the All-Star Game(s) where McDavid will once again captain the Pacific Division team.

So, all’s well that ends well, very fortunate news for McDavid and his family, Oilers teammates and hockey fans, not to mention Ken Holland and Bob Nicholson. That the right decision was ultimately taken is underscored by McDavid’s own words from a December clip:

To think that if I’d done the surgery I for sure wouldn’t be playing right now, there was a question whether or not I’d play before the new year, whether or not I would play this year at all. The fact that I’ve been able to play 30 games and play at a fairly high level, the team is doing well, I feel very lucky and excited for what’s ahead.”

[Note: what McDavid calls playing at “a fairly high level” sees him leading the NHL in scoring while being on pace for new career highs in goals, assists and points.]

For all of the visuals and insights about modern medicine and training techniques, the takeaway from all this is surely the iron will and determination of the elite athlete himself to power his way through this crisis. In the words of my Cult of Hockey colleague David Staples:

Edmonton Oilers are on the rise, but can they find a way to extinguish those pesky Flames?

  Edmonton Oilers are on the rise, but can they find a way to extinguish those pesky Flames? Game Day 52: Oilers at Flames Edmonton Oilers passed a major test on Friday night, but they don’t have any time to rest on their laurels. Tonight they slide down the QE2 — or should I say, fly over it — for a rematch with their provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames. In an odd bit of scheduling by the tall foreheads who concoct the NHL schedule, it is from the Flames’ perspective, the second of an away-and-home series with the Oilers; the Oilers on the other hand had an extra game squeezed in between vs. the Goliath of heavy hockey, the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers won that game 4-2, but expended plenty of energy in the process.

Your search - Connor mcdavid whatever it takes - did not match any documents. Make sure that all words are spelled correctly. Try different keywords.

Edmonton hockey fans are truly fortunate to enjoy a player whose astonishing talent is matched by his unwavering commitment to his craft. Indeed, those two attributes can no more be separated than those PCL fibres that bridged the gap to make him whole again.

___

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Edmonton Oilers are on the rise, but can they find a way to extinguish those pesky Flames? .
Game Day 52: Oilers at Flames Edmonton Oilers passed a major test on Friday night, but they don’t have any time to rest on their laurels. Tonight they slide down the QE2 — or should I say, fly over it — for a rematch with their provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames. In an odd bit of scheduling by the tall foreheads who concoct the NHL schedule, it is from the Flames’ perspective, the second of an away-and-home series with the Oilers; the Oilers on the other hand had an extra game squeezed in between vs. the Goliath of heavy hockey, the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers won that game 4-2, but expended plenty of energy in the process.

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