Report: Connor McDavid is Weeks Ahead of Schedule

Mark Spector is reporting that Connor McDavid’s broken angel wing is “weeks ahead of schedule.” Together, we’re going to take a look at what that means.

It goes without saying that Connor McDavid is water to the Edmonton Oilers – without him they’re weak and on the verge of death. Last night, the Edmonton Oilers made the 26th place Carolina Hurricanes look like champions at life.

By comparison, the Hurricanes looked like thoroughbred horses, running through a meadow. The Oilers? They were like the rat that couldn’t carry pizza down the stairs. They’re fun to watch for a minute but nothing you’d want in your house long term. If hockey games could be a smell that one was a fart, and likely proof that the Oilers aren’t going to make the playoffs… again.

That brings me back to Connor McDavid. If that beautifully resculpted clavicle can mend itself back together again early enough Connor McDavid might find himself right back in the calder race. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First let’s look at what Peter Chiarelli actually said in Spector’s article.

“He’s ahead of schedule. He’s been in the pool, been lifting weights… There are no soft tissue injuries, which is important. When you get a break like that, oftentimes there is accompanying soft tissue injuries. That slows down the recovery.”

ERMAHGERD HE’S GOING TO BE BACK FOR CHRISTMAS, ISN’T HE!? HE’S GOING TO EAT THE COOKIES I’LL LEAVE OUT FOR HIM, WON’T HE?! Wait… let’s calm down. What else did Petey have to say?

“I can tell you that when it comes time, he is going to want to come back a lot earlier than what we forecast internally.”

IT’S A FESTIVUS MIRACLE! Okay, I’m doing that thing again. I’m probably getting overstimulated – I need to sit down. Feeling faint. Connor McDavid I miss youuuuuuuu. Back to the interview…

“It’ll be interesting. We’ll make the best decision for the organization and Connor.”

BAH! That’s boring. Peter Chiarelli is a tight lipped man, and you would expect him to be. Chiarelli isn’t going to tell us anything useful. This information is going to be harder to acquire than I had expected, and we’re going to have to go back to the tape. Spector also had quotes from McDavid’s agent, Jeff Jackson. What did the agent have to say?

“He’s feeling really good. He’s getting treatment, working on different things. He’s one of those athletes, if he’s told to do something he’ll do it to the N’th degree. There are no shortcuts with this kid.”

Yes, we know. Connor McDavid is a finely sculpted wonder child. What else?

“He wants to get back as soon as he can. He hates watching, and he wants to be on the ice with his teammates as soon as he can. I know it’s a cliche, but he hates it.”

HE’S AMAZING AT HOCKEY AND A GOOD TEAMMATE AND HE PROBABLY MISSES YAK TOO! Go on…

“No one is going to rush him back for the sake of having him back. If you picked a date, I’d add a week onto it. They’re not in the playoff race. They’re right there in games, but…”

But what? Are you implying that the Oilers are awful or something? Finish your thought…

“He’s like a thoroughbred. You can’t keep him in the barn. Last year (while with Erie in junior) he broke his hand. The first day after he got the cast off he was on the ice shooting. Looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. He went right into the World Junior camp.”

Alright, so I cut out a bunch of the boring filler out of the article but the point remains the same. Connor McDavid is defying expectations again. In my opinion, both Peter Chiarelli and McDavid’s agent seem to be waiting for him to blow away their expectations, even in terms of his health. And why shouldn’t he be able to? Every time someone seems to doubt Connor McDavid he shows up and proves them wrong in empathic style.

Can he dominate in the NHL? Damned right he can. Can he take over games all by himself? Got it on tape, bro. Can he gain the respect of his teammates to the point where they’re calling HIM a leader in the room? Already done, compadre. Who’s to say he can’t sit in the mirror and scream at his collarbone until that mother trucker magically heals itself? I’m not going to say never.

If Connor McDavid can convince his man boy bones to heal faster than Gord bless him. Let’s break it down: If that angel wing of his can fly by January 12th that leaves 39 games for him to chip away at the rookie scoring lead. The current rookie leader is Artemi Panarin with 23 points in 22 games, and it would be difficult to catch him, but if anyone could hypothetically do it wouldn’t you bet on Connor McDavid? Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, this player is bigger than a Calder trophy.

If he can come back with nearly half a season left to play things might change around here. The Oilers looked to be hitting their stride when McDavid went down, and I’d be willing to bet that his addition could have them reaching that level again. Will it be too late to save the season? Probably. For me just knowing that we’re a day closer to watch Connor play, and his bone is doing everything it can to help, that’s a win enough for me. After last night, I think we all need a win.

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  • Rem99

    Maybe the Oilers have to start with a “NEW” core of players? i.e. McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Kleffbom, Yakupov, Reinhart and trade the old core for some fresh players to compliment these. (old core is Eberle, Hall, Schultz and Hopkins)

  • Rem99

    It’s good to have an experienced GM running the ship. From day 1 he has gone out of his way to minimize expectations in his development and allow McDavid every chance to not feel the weight of his potential, he’s doing the same with this injury he prepared everyone including him for the worst and giving him the chance to exceed expectations. He won’t rush him on the contrary he seems to be setting him up for a fully healed return and also exceeding expectations from the original timeframe with no pressure. Refreshing from the previous management, which seem to go out of their way to heap the pressure on previous young stars to “save the season, team”.

  • Danglishish

    A lot of comments with concern about rushing McDavid back. Here’s my take – we know 2 things to be certain:

    1. The Oilers and their doctors will ABSOLUTELY not let Connor play a game until he is 100% recovered. I have no doubt about this – we have no reason to force him into the lineup when he’s 85% ready. We are not chasing a playoff spot.

    2. If Connor is weeks ahead of schedule and will be 100% recovered after 8 weeks, he will play at that time. Resting him for an additional 2-4 weeks does nothing. If he’s 100% at week 8, he can’t be 110% at week 12. No such thing. When he’s ready he’s ready.

    So I think we can all relax about rushing him back in. He won’t play until he’s 100%, and if that’s sooner than later we should be very happy about that and stop worrying about him rushing it.

    • bradleypi

      Oh well ok if you say so! As I stated earlier, its not outta the question that the oilers will rush these kids back just to smolder the flames on the tire fire that is another season over in November. They’ve done it before and I hope they dont do it again but I won’t hold my breath.

      • Danglishish

        We have legit NHL management in place this year. We have a generational talent that will be the face of the team and the league for the next 15 years. To suggest that Chia will rush Connor back to soothe the fans in the short term is not realistic. This is a GM that has demonstrated that he doesn’t particularly care what the fans think – he’s a pro and is going to do what is best for the organization.

        If it were MacT and Lowe calling the shots, I think your concerns would be warranted. Under the new management though, don’t see that being a concern.

        • Derzie

          So would MacLowe bring him back in a sling? Chia accelerating the timeline of the return of an 18 year old phenom is the definition of rushing things. If the docs say 12 weeks, use 12 weeks. They care deeply what the media, owners and fans think and they think they want their deity back.

    • Derzie

      At this rate they wont be chasing a playoff spot next year either. Improving a point per season will have the oilers in the playoffs by 2032. I say give mcdavid this year off and part of next season. Let’s be sure he is ready to step in and enjoy playing meaningless hockey for the rest of his career.

      Not a happy fan

  • paul wodehouse

    …That’s your point ?

    R N H for Shea Weber?
    …trade RNH for slim and none …y’might get none

    there’s a reason that link has the word rumors in it …

  • SSB1963

    If I’m PC, I’m going to be very judicious on the trade front………you get one chance to screw things up here PC…….count it one.

    Trading for magic beans has been tried, tested, and proven to be a sure fire recipe to get promoted to a job where you have no responsibiities………just a lot of pay! Ask MacT and Kblowe.

    If you want a job full of perks, high pay, no responsibilities, and great hockey seats……..just try and pull of a trade like you predecessors! I dare you.

  • Jay (not J)

    PC has his work to do before CMD gets back and it’s not rearranging the defence. I lost a tonne of respect for Matt Hendricks when he was skating back and chatting with McDavid (and his broken clavicle) instead of earning himself some serious penalty minutes rearranging Flyers’ faces. Ideally, the team will send a message (I know, Oilers don’t send messages, but I’m still inspired by Brownlee’s article about Mush yesterday)the first time an opposing player gets within a foot of McDavid. The team needs to be the reason that McDavid is safe out there. That has to be priority 1! One of the benefits of being right the hell out of any sort of playoff race is that the team can prioritize player protection and standing up for one another higher than getting the 2 points. Somehow though, I think that once this team makes itself tougher to play against the wins will start to come, but either way the players and coaches in this league need to know that taking liberties with Connor McDavid will negatively impact your own team.