From his home in Karlstad, Sweden, Edmonton Oilers defenceman, Oscar Klefbom, took his turn to jump on a conference call with reporters to talk a little bit about how he’s spending the time, some of his teammates, and what’s to come for the NHL.
To start off the conference call, Klefbom was asked about the Oilers’ defence and how many doubted that they were good enough to get this team back in the playoffs. In response, the team’s longest serving defenceman had nothing but props for the defensive group.
“If you’re going to win a Stanley Cup and have a good playoff run, you need all the pieces to work. This year I think we’ve had most of our pieces working really well for the big part of the year, and obviously it feels like we had a good year from the blue line.”
I think everyone on the backend did a fine job of stepping up this season, and that certainly includes yourself, Mr Klefbom.
“Obviously myself, I think I’ve played pretty solid.”
Another guy that took on a major role on the blue line this season was Darnell Nurse, and when asked about the former 7th overall pick in 2013, Klefbom was certainly impressed by the progress he’s made and described how important he is to the team overall.
“He’s very important. I think there was no surprise that he got an assistant captain this year. Well deserved. A great guy in the locker room; very professional. He’s a very strong guy and he’s very important for us on the blueline. To have him healthy and playing a lot of minutes, strong minutes, it’s going to help us in the long run.
If the Oilers are going to continue to progress then Darnell will have to keep improving too, right? You think he’s got more juice left to make it happen?
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Darnell play in the future and see where he ends up because he has a lot of potential.”
Led by the former 19th-overall pick from 2011, the Oilers defence is finally starting to take shape after some key prospects and contributors have taken on major roles and performed admirably. One of the best stories from the season has been the emergence of Ethan Bear, and when asked about him, Klefbom was as amped on the kid as the rest of us.
“I’m very impressed by Ethan Bear.”
“I didn’t expect him to play that mature and be very solid for almost every game, and that’s something that I found really hard when I came up — to be very consistent. If you’re consistent you earn your minutes, you play more, and you feel better about yourself, and you can eventually play with bigger confidence and better poise.
Personally, I’ve been super impressed by the way Ethan Bear can consistently make sneaky little plays with the puck with the same confidence you’d see from a veteran. What do you see in the kid that makes him so special?
“I’m just really impressed by how he came up and from the first minute he played with a lot of poise and a lot of confidence. I’m really impressed and I’m very happy we have him in the organization.”
Me too, Klef. Frankly, in my opinion, Bear is arguably the team’s best puck mover right now and he’s only going to get better.
It wouldn’t be an Oilers conference call with the guy being asked about the playoffs, so when Klefbom was asked about what it would be like if they are able to get back and play, he admitted that his expectations are lofty.
“If we get started again it’s going to be the best playoffs ever.”
No disagreement there. Even if they had to be played in front of empty arenas, I’d still be incredibly pumped to watch games again and I don’t even care they came later on in the summer.
“It’s going to be really weird to go in there and play in July and August and be done maybe late August and then who knows when we’re going to start next season.”
I know it would be weird to be watching summer hockey like that but who cares, right? It would be incredible!
“It’s going to be very weird, but obviously you want to go into a playoff and we deserve to be in the playoffs. I think we’ve been having a good year. This should be and would’ve been the most interesting part of the year for us.”
Absolutely, you guys deserve to be in the playoffs after the season you had. I don’t know why the universe is against us right now, but I think a lot of us are still holding out hope that we’ll be able to get something (anything) done in the (somewhat) near future. I want to see news come out that all of you boys are back in the city and started to get ready to go!
“You want to go back to Edmonton and start playing again. That’s what I’m waiting for and trying to stay in shape for. You want to go back and be around the guys, be in the locker room and obviously start playing.”
Outside of skinny dipping with Miranda Kerr, I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted something to happen more in my life. I obviously know that it’s unlikely we get what we want, but that won’t keep my from keeping my fingers crossed.
WHAT’S TO COME
It goes without saying that trying to predict how this situation will play out is a fool’s errand, but that doesn’t that we can’t still be hopeful. If this season is every going to get going again, then I think there are going to have to be a tonne of compromises coming from all sides, ya know?
“You have to be open-minded, I guess because you can hear one thing one day and the other days it’s different. We’re just going to take one day at a time here and see what’s going on because obviously everyone is feeling the way I do I think.”
To take that a step further, I think all of us would just like a little bit of normalcy back in our lives, ya know?
“It’s really weird to be home at this time and obviously, when you’ve been playing some good hockey, you deserve to be on the ice for the most exciting time of the year. We’re just going to ride this out and take one day at a time, but I think all the players in the league want to get back playing.”
Amen, Klef. Fingers and abs are crossed.
THE FULL CONFERENCE CALL
Like the others before him, Klefbom’s full call came in at just under 15 minutes so there was plenty that I didn’t transcribe, including his thoughts on heading back to Sweden and more. If you’re looking for a way to kill a few minutes of your day then the Oscar Klefbom call is certainly worth watching.
PREVIOUS CONFERENCE CALLS
- Darnell Nurse
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Alex Chiasson
- Leon Draisaitl
- Dave Tippett
- Pacific Division captains