After the Oilers held their annual skills competition, Connor McDavid revealed that he will be spending the all-star break practicing with the Condors. He won’t be playing the game he loves, just practicing.
To me, having Connor McDavid go down to California to spend his all-star break with the Condors is a testament to his work ethic. Yes, I’m sure that the Oilers told him they wanted him to go down to Bakersfield during the break, but I’d also bet that he could have passed if he really wanted to. This isn’t Iiro Pakarinen that we’re talking about here. I’d think it’s fair to guess that Connor McDavid has more leash than other prospects. I like that he chose to spend his break practicing and I hope that inspired some of teammates, but that’s a story for another day.
WHAT HE SAID
When speaking to the media, McDavid spoke a little bit about being back on the ice in front of the fans and what he’ll be doing down in Bakersfield as he gets ready for his (probable) return against Columbus on February 2nd. On today’s skills competition and his nearing return, “I couldn’t be more excited to come back,” said Mcdavid who has been out since November 3rd, “today was a little bit of a tease.” I love how badly he wants to play hockey, but if he thinks HE’S excited he just try living in my brain for a little while.
When asked about what he’ll be doing in Bakersfield McDavid said that he wouldn’t be playing any games but he would “go down there for a few days, skate, and keep practicing.” The Condors play three games during the NHL all-star break and using that time to keep practicing rather than than going to Mexico for the week shows how hard this kid is willing to work. Actually, wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers selfishly wanted McDavid down with the Condors to show some of their other prospects just how hard the best of the best work on their game.
If you’re in the tinfoil hat crowd, Connor stated that he is able to participate in any battle drills that Condors coach Gerry Fleming has going on. Does that mean he was also cleared for full contact last night when the Oilers lost to the Predators, last night? Matt Henderson would tell you yes, and I would probably agree with him, but the Oilers wanted to be patient with him and I commend them for sticking to it. Anyway… “I’m cleared for full contact” McDavid said when asked whether or not he’d be doing anything physically taxing.
As for what he expects of himself upon his return the precious answered cautiously noting that “I’m basically starting over. It’s been three months.” McDavid is clearly aware that other teams are already in mid-season form (HOT TAEK), and that he will have a bunch of catching up to do, but will the impatient cesspool of the fanbase understand that? Despite stating the obvious, that he will need time to adjust to the game, I am already mentally preparing myself for when he comes back and people start calling him a bust in the comments section because he didn’t register 12 points per game.
When asked about what it’s been like being off the ice for so long McDavid put it simply, “it feels like a long time. It sucked.” You’re telling me, my friend. You’re telling me.
MCDAVID’S SEASON SO FAR