Will Connor McDavid be named captain twice in the next month? That’s entirely possible, with both Team North America and the Edmonton Oilers needing a captain.
With his GM and coach from Edmonton being among those in charge of the team, and the support of his teammates, it’d be a surprise if anyone else was named captain.
Meanwhile, Oilers veteran forward Matt Hendricks was on Edmonton radio on Tuesday. According to Chris Nichols of Today’s Slapshot, Hendricks told Oilers insider Bob Staufffer that McDavid would make an excellent captain, as “it’s going to be Connor’s team and we want him to be the leader, because … he’s the best player definitely here in Edmonton, if not the best player in the game right now.”
- Hendricks also talked about skating with Oilers new top pairing, Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson, saying they both looked good. Klefbom missed 52 games last season with a broken hand and multiple Staph Infections, and was being fitted with a custom skate this summer, but according to Hendricks “Klef is feeling good and has that big smile on his face, so that was nice to see for sure.”
- Over at OilersNation, TSN host Jason Gregor went through all 30 teams to examine who could be exposed in next summer’s expansion draft. He doesn’t believe the Oilers have many tough decisions, with McDavid and Nurse not needing protection. Gregor has the Oilers protecting Milan Lucic, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Andrej Sekera, Klefbom, Larsson, Brandon Davidson and Cam Talbot. That would leave Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, Nail Yakupov, and Griffin Reinhart exposed. Unless Maroon plays like he did at the end of last season with McDavid, or Yakupov finally breaks out, then the Oilers won’t be too fussed about the expansion draft. Pouliot is a solid NHLer, and scores at a much higher rate than you would expect (equal with Jonathan Toews and higher than Johnny Gaudreau), but Gregor believes it’s likely Vegas will look to add defense over forwards. A young, former 4th overall pick like Reinhart could be a serious consideration for Vegas. Reinhart was added at great cost at the 2015 draft, but hasn’t managed to crack the Oilers full time yet.