McDavid injury update

We won’t know the official status of Connor McDavid until tomorrow morning, when GM Peter Chiarelli addresses the media, but it sounds like he injured his clavicle. “It will be long-term, he will be out for awhile,” said Todd McLellan after the game.

Here is what a sports doctor tweeted.

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TSN Insider Bob McKenzie wrote:

It could have been worse, so McKenzie’s tweet might soften the blow in Oilersnation, but it is still devastating news for a team and fanbase that has seen this movie too many times.

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It is disappointing, no doubt, but the Oilers can’t feel sorry for themselves. They need to respond they same way they did in the third period tonight versus the Flyers. They controlled the play, and scored three goals for another come-from-behind victory.

Taylor Hall finished the game with three points, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and Leon Draisaitl chipped in with two assists. That trio will need to carry the offence until McDavid returns.

The rest of the team will also need to rally and try to fill the offensive void left by McDavid. Injuries are a part of the game, and if the Oilers are going to be competitive in the future, or this season, they need to show they can compete without McDavid.

It won’t be easy, but they have no other choice. While no one centre will be able to replace McDavid’s production, certain forwards will need to step up.

Anton Lander could be promoted to the second line for the time being. Todd McLellan put him there in the third period, and he could keep him there instead of disrupting his first and third lines.

The Hall/RNH/Draisaitl trio is rolling, so keeping them together for now makes sense. The Hendricks/Letestu/Purcell trio was very good tonight as well, so keeping them in place makes sense.

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Promoting Lander means Iiro Pakarinen can centre the fourth line for now. Nail Yakupov and Benoit Pouliot need to prove they can produce with McDavid. 

When Jordan Eberle returns, which occur as early as Sunday, Mclellan can re-think his lines, and possibly move Drasaitl to the middle, but I’d be leery of moving him off the wing based on how well he has clicked with Hall and RNH.

Hall is on fire with 10 points in his last four games, and if the Oilers hope to stay close to the playoff cutoff spot he must continue to be the offensive driver of the team. He and RNH will likely be playing 21+ minutes a night for the foreseeable future.

The last thing the Oilers needed was another injury to one of their star players. It was an unlucky hockey play. It wasn’t cheap, dirty or vicious. He just lost an edge and crashed heavily into the boards. I don’t think anyone is to blame. This isn’t a “training” issue, or a lack of team toughness. 

It is simply bad luck. Maybe it is a good thing the Oilers are leaving Rexall, because the organization has had a black cloud hanging over them for the past nine seasons, and a new arena might be exactly what this team needs to end the string of injuries that have plagued them since 2010.

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  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    No retaliation. This is B.S.

    Clearly grabbed the sweater. No good news in this. We can’t ditch the season to get the first pick, Katz is going to lose McDavid sweater sales coming up to Christmas, and for every two points McDavid has been getting – he’s be getting Yak one.
    We haven’t lost one man, we’ve lost two.

  • Overreacting much ON? To be clear, I’m a die hard Oilers fan and have been since the early 80’s…

    If any of you actually watched the replay 100 times, and slowed it down, you can see that yes, Manning grabbed McD’s pants, however, the way McD’s skate moved right before he fell it was clearly a rut in the ice.

    People throwing crap out like criminal? dirty player? suspension? Get over yourselves, this kind of tugging and clutching goes on every single game (not that it’s right) and from the Oilers themselves.

    I will keep a level head here and wish McD a speedy recovery….

    PS – it probably really is Pronger’s fault somehow, as one poster suggested

  • O.C.

    Why is Gazdic in the lineup if he is not protecting our stars? He doesn’t score. He isn’t a playmaker. Hell he hardly even hits. The lack of pushback is what we have seen for years now. I guess you could say the pushback was that they won. The NHL is being dumbed down by fourth line goombas. It was a penalty all the way and until the Oilers send a message our stars will continue to be targets. So again I ask why is Gazdic here?

    • Does every one on Philly wear face shields? If they do that would explain why Gaz wouldn’t be interested in throwing em. Everyone knows Luke only fights guys who have no face shield as he can hide behind his safely

  • PlayDirty

    Do you guys realize how pathetic you sound? McCann didn’t have enough leverage to spin McDavid around like people are suggesting. And then to come up with the idea he jumped at him headfirst? Yeah, OK, he’s going into the boards at a high speed so he decides to lead with his head – makes perfect sense.

    This is nothing more than sh!t luck.

    • Canoe Ride 27.1

      Ya I kinda have to agree, while i believe there was no intent to injure, McDavid’s momentum was going towards the net not the boards. It was only being hit that changed the momentum to the boards.

      Its not like it would have been different for anyone else. Have two slow a** Gorillas hit you and ride you into the boards and see if you don’t break something.

  • camdog

    I want to call it a Bryan McCabe hockey play aka cork screw type move, but it’s more like bad luck or bad karma.

    In the McDavid threads before the season started on point projections I was thinking about typing a post about how many games he plays before he injures his shoulder. I didn’t type that post because I didn’t want to be that guy, but for some reason it happens every single year to our forwards since Pronger left.

  • BobbyCanuck

    #44 GK1980 He will continue to play the same way he has been playing once he gets back.

    Well than we can expect him to have an injury riddled career just like Taylor Hall.

    In a recent interview, Hall indicated his desire to play a full season, injury free, he said he has to make smarter decisions in high risk areas, Hall has been in the game for quite a few years now, and it has taken him this long to figure out that certain plays carry a high risk of injury.

    Could have been a lot worse, I thought he had not separated, but actually broken/destroyed his shoulder, and a major concussion on top of it. Could have easily been a career ender…we need you to play smarter

    Boys to men, welcome to the bigs Conner, learn from this.

  • Anton CP

    I usually hate poeples use the phrase “hockey play” to describe some event which led to injuries. When a phrase “hockey play” needs to be used, it actually meant “simplest excuses for a real bad intends”. I mean, Eberle got hurt was an accident when he lost his footing and bang his shoulder on board with little force but enough to cause injury so no one need to use the phrase “hockey play” because injury happens. The phrase of “hockey play” is what the reason that thugs can still have a spot in NHL. Which also is why when Torres hunting heads around the league but managers will still employ them because that they deliver “hockey play”.

    • You may not want to read the local papers today. GM and Coach both saying it was “a hockey play” . Again , they are new here but we have been watching this kind of “hockey play” for the better part of a decade or longer. Every time we played Calgary, Regher had his way with Hemsky, those “hockey plays” always left Hemsky on LTIR. No retribution then, and no retribution now. Same old, same old.

  • Hate seeing McDavid out, but think there might be a good solution for lines (apologies if it has been suggested already)…

    Pouliot – RNH – Eberle
    Hall – Draisaitl – Yakupov

    Keep the 3rd & 4th lines together, maintain the chemistry between Hall & Drai, and go back to the top line that worked so well together last year.

  • 24% body fat

    I thought Gazdic was suppose to keep this from happening. Sorry Rishaug he didn’t and couldn’t. No reason to have him in the line up. Freak accident. Don’t need a goon who can’t play hockey to protect McDavid. Bettman will do that for us.

  • BC BOY

    If you are going to direct your anger somewhere, direct it at the Rexall ice. This was nothing more than the junky ice having a massive rut that he caught.
    Thankfully we are in a new building next year.

    • you do understand that throughout a period the ice get ruts in it. EVERY ice surface gets ruts. Its those sharp metal blades cutting into the ice. Doesn’t matter what rink you are in. Ruts always happen. Especially with men, and especially when they get their skates sharpened every period. Rexall place has a uneven floor pad, but that has nothing to do with the ruts in the ice. Guess what, rogers will get ruts too. You can have the best and newest plant in the world and it won’t change the fact that while playing hockey you create ruts in the ice.

    • Oilcounty88

      Rexall is known to have some of the best ice around the league. But your probably right…that ice in the desert of arizona would have prevented an injury like this. An old building has no impact on ice quality. *shakes head*

      • I don’t think it matters how great the ice is (though it has been known rexall is not the same calibre it used to be). The injury happened at the end of the period, in a place in front of the net that had likely been chopped up for the previous 19 mins….

        has nobody here ever played hockey?

        this could have happened in any of the 30 nhl arenas and probably in the freezing cold Bruderheim or smoky lake arenas as well…

        get well soon McD

  • Rob...

    “He just lost an edge and crashed heavily into the boards. I don’t think anyone is to blame.”

    He fell because he lost an edge. He broke his collarbone because the second Philly player impeded his ability to twist his body into a better position to brace for impact. This wasn’t necessarily on purpose, but this was far from the same as Nuge’s shoulder injury.

  • fisherprice

    Yes, Manning tugged his jersey a bit, but considering how strong McDavid is on his feet it seems a little ridiculous to claim that this would have sent him flying the way he did. He clearly caught an edge at high speed.

    Some amazing comments in here though. My favourite is the novel on the previous page that implies AHL callup Brandon Manning is somehow capable of processing the game in slow motion like Wayne Gretzky, saw McDavid was in a vulnerable position and deliberately took him out with a subtle tug of the jersey and then deliberately dove (head-first at a high speed, lol) into McDavid to injure him. You guys are starting to sound like Canucks fans in here. League wide conspiracy and all that.

    It obviously sucks super hard. I’m upset about it too. But sometimes injuries just happen in a full contact league that operates at high speeds.

  • BC BOY

    I don’t see him loosing an edge. I see a defenceman pulling his shorts from behind right before a second defenceman run straight into him. Manning’s hand is clearly pulling on McDavids new pants.

  • S cottV

    While I have been pulling for the return and retention of Drai for some time, it sucks that it turns out to be, at the expense of a serious injury to McD.

    Hope McClellan looks at other options, before busting up the Hall, RNH, Drai – line. Not sure its possible, unless someone else can step up as a 4th line centerman.

    In concert with Hall and RNH doing their thing, Drai’s size, intelligence, soft playmaking hands and big reach are leading to a lot of scoring chances. In particular against larger opponents, I don’t even think that Eberle would be as effective on that line, in place of Drai.

    If no one else can play 4th line center, Drai would probably have to play in the middle, but – I don’t like the sounds of Pouliot, Drai and Yak.

    You would have to put Hall and Eberle on separate lines, to even things up.

  • Jay (not J)

    Isnt it ironic how Kevin Lowe shows his ugly face during the intermission and then McDavid goes on and breaks his collar bone. Kevin Lowe needs to find an island on Fiji and go stay there til the apocalypse.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Manning should have got 2 minutes for holding. Calm down.

    The real blame for this lies with 80s Oilers fans who clearly made some sort of horrible deal with the Devil to win all those cups. Baby boomers sell out the younger generations yet again.

  • Danglishish

    Enough with the blaming the Flyers, the ice, the building, the full moon. Let it go. He lost an edge and fell – it happens.

    As gut wrenching as this is, I’m trying to think positively.

    First of all, we didn’t expect to make playoffs this year so it’s not like our dream season is over.

    Second, McDavid will be back this season (hopefully sooner than later), so we still get to see more of him (the thought of the rest of the season without him is depressing).

    Third, I am optimistic that our team can continue to grow and learn the new system in the meantime, so that when #97 does return it will be with a team that is looking more and more like a competitive NHL team. Him coming back into the lineup will be very, very exciting.

  • XL Lebowski

    I’m hoping for McDavid that its a clean break that will heal before Christmas. Based on how good he is, that will still give him time to win the Calder. I think he’ll learn from this because he seems to be as smart as he is skilled. I’m not as disheartened as I would’ve been in the past mainly because we have a respectable coach and a new GM in charge. This ain’t the same Oilers team as last year or even the year before that.

  • Jay (not J)

    Hall and Nuge were awesome last night and I still think that this whole team is improving on a game to game basis. The most gratifying thing to see after 9 years on the hind banana is that these guys don’t quit when they’re down anymore and they don’t ease up with the lead.
    This injury sucks. But the fatalists among us (and after the last decade that’s a large slice)saw it coming since draft day. The good news is that he’s going to be coming back to a better team than he left.

  • Spydyr

    My main issue with the play is the lack of response from the Oilers players on the ice or afterwards. Whether it was a dirty play does not matter. The point is that there was no on-ice retribution. Think back to the team in the 80s – if anyone leaned on Gretzky or one of the other stars too hard there were numerous Oilers that would either take that player or one of their teammates to task for it. It did not matter if it was a clean or dirty play, the Oilers would put an end to it regardless. Until this team has enough players willing to do that for one another this will continue to happen.

    In addition, the team needs to have more players that are willing to initiate the contact and play dirty/borderlline dirty against their opposition. The Oilers have lacked that quality since the 06 team. With the instigator rule and the lack of on ice accountability now you need players that instigate rather than retaliate. And sorry, I do not mean Gazdic. He cannot play and does not initiate anything or just snap every so often and send a message to the opposing teams. The Oilers would be better off with a middleweight player that can actually initiate the physical play and handle themselves when needed.

    • TKB2677

      Lack of response? I heard a guy going off on the post game show with the same stupid comment about how the Oilers should have attacked the Flyers right after.

      Attack them for what? McDavid was going after the puck and the Flyers Dmen were trying to keep him from getting it. There was a cluster of 3 guys, they all went down and unfortunately, McDavid fell funny and took the brunt. If you did that same play 10 times in a row, he probably doesn’t fall the same way twice. So you want the Oilers to do a line brawl or target the FLyers because he fell?

      Look I am not one of those guys that think there should be no fighting. I believe fighting has a place and I agree with you that the Oilers could use more toughnes and in the past lacked a response but in this case, saying they didn’t “respond” to the defense of McDavid falling down is flat out stupid. There wasn’t a cheap shot, there was no intent to injure, it was just an unfortunate, fluke play.

  • sportsjunkie007

    A lot of these comments obviously come from people who’ve never played a single game of hockey in their lives. Fools who probably think that canned food and jet contrails are part of a bigger conspiracy.

    Nobody likes seeing one of our guys get hurt, but sadly it’s a fact of life for hockey players.

    Get well soon Connor. All Oilers fans are wishing the best for you.

  • Spydyr

    “Anton Lander could be promoted to the second line”

    Is that the same Lander with absolutely no points this year and 8 goals in almost 150 NHL games?

    Yeah, that should work out well.

  • Rob...

    So, worst case scenario McD is out for 4 months. That would leave him approximately 18 games left in the season.

    Rookie Qualifications
    To be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in more than 25 NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie.

    IF the Oilers are not in the playoff hunt and McD isn’t healthy for 4 months, would you send him down to the AHL for a conditioning stint, only bringing him up once it guarantees he’d still qualified as a rookie next season?

    • Jay (not J)

      It would be junior not the A wouldn’t it? What’s the Calder really worth? I would rather see this team as competitive out of the gates next year than sandbag themselves an ultimately meaningless individual award. McDavid is an NHL player and that’s the league that the Oilers are best served by having him play in. Forget the Calder, there’s bigger game over the next hill. Besides any time over the next 20 years whenever someone mentions this year’s rookie of the year they will parenthetically add that McDavid was injured this season. It’s going to be crummy for him because his whole career he’ll be the guy that won because the best rookie was sidelined for half the season.

      • Rob...

        You’re probably right on the Junior thing, though I don’t know if a conditioning stint is different than ‘being sent down’ for the season.

        As for what the Calder is really worth? I’d want to ask Connor that question.

        All this is moot though, as it sounds like it’ll be closer to 2 months rather than 4. I just thought it would be an interesting debate if the remaining games upon his return were within the range where a conditioning sting would make all the difference in his status next season.