'I expect to be out there': McDavid says he is ready for training camp
The Edmonton Oilers' training camp starts Friday, and Connor McDavid says he expects to be on the ice with his teammates.
New Head Coach Dave Tippett says the team will be cautious with McDavid in the pre-season.
"We're going to be very conservative with him," Tippett said after the players underwent physicals. "The doctors will give us the go-ahead."
The Oilers captain injured his knee at the end of last season. McDavid was seen wearing a brace throughout the summer, but he appears to be ready for the 2019-20 season.
"I expect to be out there," McDavid said when asked if he would start training camp with the team.
Tippett said the doctors will decide Thursday afternoon whether McDavid is on the ice Friday.
Another fresh start
The Oilers' Top 3 forwards—McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—expressed optimism ahead of the new season.
"I think this year with the changes and stuff—the last two years were disappointing, not where we wanted to be, but we're ready to bounce back," Nugent-Hopkins said.
"We got some really good additions and hopefully we can figure it out and find ways to win games," Draisaitl said.
Zack Kassian had a more direct message to the other 51 players at camp: "No one should be coming in here like their sh*t don't stink," he said.
The German forward had a strong individual 2018-19 season with 50 goals and 55 assists but he is focused on team success.
"That's a big mark and I'd like to hit it again, but at the same time to me, it's more important to make the playoffs in this city with this team, and hopefully we can do that this year," Draisaitl said.
The trio of forwards also stressed the importance of improving defensively, especially in the penalty kill, if the Oilers are to make the playoffs.
"Our penalty kill definitely hasn’t been great over the past couple of years, so we definitely can improve on that," Nugent-Hopkins said. "[Tippett] has always had good success with that."
Brodziak fails physical
Dave Tippett confirmed Centre Kyle Brodziak failed his physical due to a back injury and will not make the team.
"I loved having [Brodziak] around … it's too bad he didn’t pass his physical," McDavid said. "He had a great career."
The Oilers start their pre-season against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday at Rogers Place.