Just like many of teammates before him, @Edmonton Oilers forward, ALEX CHIASSON, jumped on a conference call with the media to talk a little bit about how he’s adjusting to the NHL work stoppage, his family, and the championship potential he sees in the team that made him want to re-sign over the summer.
For a lot of Oilers fans, this year’s team has been the best group we’ve watched in a long time (2017 playoff crew aside), and to have another potential playoff run ripped away from us is endlessly disappointing. But on a positive note, as I mentioned, this year’s squad looked different than those we’ve seen in the past and Alex Chiasson heartily agreed.
“We’ve made some great steps this year, we’ve battled hard, we’ve had a few injuries, and we’ve had guys step up and play well. I thought our team was prepared to go in the playoffs and be a good playoff team.”
I mean, making the playoffs was looking really good when the league shut down, but that’s not to say that there weren’t some bumps in the road.
“A lot of the championship teams are not just built overnight. It takes time. It also takes experience, and sometimes you’ve got to face the lows or the highs and you’ve gotta grow as a team.”
Seeing as I’m a lifelong Oilers fan that’s seen my fair share of shitacular hockey, this answer almost feels like you’re preaching patience and probably should have been accompanied by a trigger warning. We’ve waited a long time for this team to get good and even suggesting that we need more time doesn’t necessarily fly around here. That said, you’re being generous with your time here so I’m going to let this one slide this time, alright? Alright. Back to the Oilers, tell us what’s different from this year over last?
“I think our young core players have really taken that to the next level. They’ve taken good charge of our team and we’ve added a few guys that are really good on the ice and provide a different type of personality in the locker room.”
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m trying to read between the lines on this locker room comment and wondering whether or not he’s hinting at anyone in particular. I know that there have been rumblings around these here streets that a certain someone that was traded away last summer may not have been bringing around the best vibes if you know what I mean. I’m not saying, but I might be saying.
“There’s a lot of that stuff that seems really unnoticed on the ice, but really, what goes on off the ice is a big factor in championship teams.”
Alex, tap your nose if I’m right about this off-ice stuff. I’ll wait… Oh right, I wasn’t actually on this conference call. Nevermind. As you were, good man.
“That’s one of the reasons I wanted to come back here last year because there’s a lot of things I saw in this group that I saw when I played in Washington. Again, I think we’ve earned that as a team. We’ve shown that. We’re hopeful the season comes back, that we can go play and have fun.”
I’m not going to lie to you, with each passing day it seems like the idea of finishing up the 2019-20 season is looking more like a pipe dream. That’s not to say that I don’t want hockey to come back, Gord knows I’ve already written thousands of words to say that I do, but the reality is that this COVID-19 virus is out of control and we don’t know when things are going to settle down.
Yeah, watching you boys play the game we all love would be magical and I cannot wait for the day when this can happen again, but I’m having a hard time seeing light at the end of the immediate tunnel right now. For now, all we can do is be safe, stay home, and hope for the safety of the ones we love.
“The biggest thing for me is family. My grandma, my mom and dad. My parents are healthy and doing well, but the biggest message is trying to get my point across that this COVID-19 could really impact them.”
I think anyone with older family members feels this concern to their core.
“For us, we’re hockey players but we’re also human beings. You want everyone else around you to stay healthy. I was really protective of my mom and dad, making sure they stay home, limit their trips to grocery stores and other things that they usually do. It seems like they’ve done well, finding things to do inside and outside the house. That’s what is important for me.”
Hear! Hear! But before we let you go, is there anything you can tell us just in case we all get lucky and the NHL season is somehow miraculously able to continue?
“From my point of view, I hope our team gets a chance to go and play. I think we’ve earned that as a team. We’ve played some good hockey and hopefully, when this is all over, sports, in general, may be good for the community, for the fans in North American and really around the world.”
Amen, Alex. I couldn’t agree more on all points. Be safe, good sir.
WATCH THE FULL CONFERENCE CALL
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