Connor McDavid wants to get some more consistent linemates this season, but is confident that the Edmonton Oilers can get back to their 2016-17 form during the upcoming season. McDavid spoke to reporters including Luke Fox of Sportsnet at the recent Pro Edge Power training camp in Toronto, where players from all around the league come to work on fine tuning their game in the offseason. Even though the 2017-18 season didn’t go as planned, McDavid found solace in how the team kept fighting until the end of the season.
There’s just got to be a point in time where you get sick of losing, and you just don’t anymore. Guys came together. Guys were sick of how the year was going and came back to playing hockey the way it should be, the way you need to,
Those Oilers haven’t done much to address their biggest weaknesses, but did bring in Tobias Rieder and Kyle Brodziak to help out their offensive group. One other thing that may come of the addition? A stronger locker room, given that McDavid specifically notes Brodziak’s solid reputation as a good teammate and notes that the team could use his help.
- If you thought Jonathan Drouin may end up back on the wing this season for the Montreal Canadiens, he has news for you. After struggling through the transition to center last season, Drouin told Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette that he will be back in the middle when training camp opens next month. Drouin admitted that he finally started to have some fun with the position in the second half of the 2017-18 season, which showed on the scoreboard as well. 18 of Drouin’s 46 points came in his final 25 games, including nine in nine to finish the year. If he can find that kind of offensive consistency right from the start of the season, the Canadiens might finally see the player they believed they had acquired for Mikhail Sergachev last summer.
- The Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL have hired Mike Bavis as their new head coach, after losing Mark Dennehy to the AHL a few days ago. Dennehy never actually coached a game for the Nailers, accepting the position only to be poached a few months later. Bavis spent more than a decade as an assistant coach at Boston University, but will get his first head coaching job at the professional level with the Nailers this season. Pittsburgh’s ECHL affiliate missed the playoffs the last two seasons but hasn’t posted a losing record in a decade. Bavis will be tasked with taking the group back to the postseason, while also developing some of Pittsburgh’s more raw or unheralded prospects.