Oilers Back at it Against the Senators; Holland’s Latest; Evander Kane

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 7: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on April 7, 2021 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers have been at the front of NHL news lately, without playing a game since January 5th. In the midst of a 10 day break between games, many rumours have been swirling around the team.

Edmonton has struggled since December 1st, as they hold a record of 3-9-2 in that span. After starting the first two months 15-5-0, fans and Oilers’ media wanted answers from GM Ken Holland.

Ken Holland’s Press Conference

The Oilers’ GM was asked many questions. At the top of the list was if Coach Dave Tippet was on the hot seat, and if there was going to be a roster shake up or coaching change. Holland responded, “I believe in the coach, I believe in the leadership, I believe in our ability to win.”

He continued, “We’ve got 48 games to go, everyone knows we’ve got to hit the ground running and get something going ASAP.” “The solution has to come from within the locker room.”

On trade talks..

He also mentioned that he’s not interested in giving up key future assets, such as prospects or picks for a rental. It would have to be for a player with term.

I understand where he’s coming from as this team is on the edge of just making the playoffs at this point. At the same time, McDavid and Draisaitl are in their primes and something big has to happen soon, really soon.

Potential signing?

Near the end of his press conference Holland stated that he has spoken to Evander Kane‘s agent and that he “believes in second chances.”

Watch the full press conference here.

Evander Kane to Oilers Rumours

As I stated above: Holland believes in “second chances.” Evander Kane has had, and blown second chances maybe a few times already with other NHL teams. It’s said that he broke COVID protocol by travelling to his hometown of Vancouver with an alleged fake vaccine card. Kane’s $7 million contract was subsequently terminated by the San Jose Sharks, while he was playing in the AHL.

Connor McDavid was interviewed about the possibility of the team signing Kane in which he stated, “If fans don’t like it, or the media doesn’t like it, or whatever… it is what it is.”

Blown out of proportion..

Full quote: “I don’t think that’s a bridge we need to cross until something is more official. Right now it’s all speculation. Obviously, Evander’s an amazing player and he’s had lots of success over the past couple years, and whatever else has been going on is not something I look into that much.”

At first glance this is a bad look for the Oiler’s captain, although I believe it’s been taken a bit out of context. Connor has never been the best at answering questions from media or had to best on camera presence. Yes, he could have said something better but I believe he’s just staying away from bashing a guy who may be a teammate soon.

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In no way do I think he’s condoning or saying anything that Kane has done in his personal life, is right. It comes off as McDavid is putting winning ahead of other things but those are Evander’s personal problems, not Connor’s.

It’s believed McDavid has say in front office decisions but it all comes down to the management. A poor choice of words shouldn’t define who Connor is as a person. Especially when it’s the management’s job to address this situation to media and not his. The media needed a big story and unfortunately they got one out of McDavid.

Oilers’ Players returning from injury..

Alex Stalock:

Oilers’ goalie Alex Stalock was cleared by doctors from his myocarditis that he was diagnosed with before training camp. He’s in Bakersfield for a physical on Wednesday the 12th. If he passes, he’ll have to clear waivers to start an AHL conditioning stint.

Josh Archibald:

Winger Josh Archibald was cleared by doctors in December to exercise with a heart monitor. He will then be re-evaluated. While unlikely to play again this season, he will still be an LTIR option. He found out he has an inflamed heart muscle during Oilers’ training camp.

Dylan Holloway:

The 2020 1st rounder was skating with the Oilers this past week as a filler for players in COVID protocol. Holloway is expected to report to the AHL to start his professional career. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the winger in the NHL sometime this season, depending on how he performs in Bakersfield.

What’s ahead for the Oilers?

Dave Tippet’s club is finally back in action this Saturday at home, as they host the Ottawa Senators. Abundance of players added to COVID protocol has seen 9 games in the past 2 months get postponed.

It seems as though the Oilers are getting back to healthy and some extra rest has hopefully helped. The team has obviously struggled over the last 15 games and a turn around needs to happen.

Nothing less than at least a playoff berth will be a huge disappointment with 2 of the best players in the world on the Edmonton Oilers.

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