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GDB 66.0: Henrique, Carrick talk trade challenges after arrival with Oilers (7pm MT, SNW)

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Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
3 months ago
One of the most overlooked factors after the trade deadline is the human element. Some fans, and some media people, only see the player and not the person. Being dealt mid-season is not easy, especially for players with families. I’ve long believed the importance of fathers has been downplayed in our society. Frankly, it is well past time to lift up men who are actively involved in their children’s lives and are supportive and loving husbands.
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It is difficult getting a phone call that you’ve been traded, and in less than a day, you pack up and leave. Sam Carrick and Adam Henrique were acquired by the Oilers on March 6th. They were on the ice the next day in Columbus with their new teammates. Both players had heard rumours of a possible trade, and had tried their best to prepare for it, but once you have to actually leave, it is difficult.
They finished the road trip and have been living in a hotel in Edmonton since returning from their road trip. Carrick has two young children, and he is actively looking for a furnished house to rent. “There aren’t a lot of options,” he told me. “I will keep looking and hope to find one soon.” Carrick’s wife and kids are still in Anaheim. There is no point moving here until they have a home. Any parent with two young toddlers knows a hotel is not where you want to live full time with young kids.
Carrick said the transition inside the room has been great. He played minor hockey with Zach Hyman, and both were teammates together with Connor Brown on the Toronto Marlies. Fitting in the room has been easy, but not having his family around is a challenge. “I’m happy I was traded here, as we have a great team, but not having my family here is difficult. They would have loved to play in the snow,” smiled Carrick.
The Oilers play a different style and system than Anaheim does, and Carrick said it takes a bit to get used to it, but he is feeling more comfortable each game. Getting comfortable on the ice is much easier than off of it, especially when your only interaction with your family is via Facetime.
Adam Henrique was on After Hours with Scott Oake and Louie Debrusk on Saturday. He got emotional talking about being away from his family.

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Henrique has one assist in five games and has yet to be on the ice for a goal against. He hasn’t lit it up offensively, and while I expect he will score soon, I don’t think you can overlook the human element. It’s not like he or Carrick are sitting on the bench thinking about their families during the play, but when you go home alone and never see them it can impact a player. Ask any father, or mother, who works out of town regularly. It sucks. How much you get paid doesn’t change how you feel. It doesn’t fill the void of a hug, a snuggle or a wrestle with your children, so please don’t mention the players are paid well and should “suck it up.”
Players without kids can still struggle adjusting to their new team. Some players find instant success. There is no blueprint. But while Henrique and Carrick adjust to the new system, I don’t think we can completely ignore the family aspect. One of the main reasons Mikko Koskinen opted to play in Europe, rather than sign another NHL deal, was how difficult the 2021 season was for him. His family was unable to come when that shortened season began. He never wanted to be away from his wife and kids for that long again, and when he had the option to sign in Europe, play fewer games on the road and spend less time away from his family, he chose that option.
As I read more about the importance of fathers, I find myself much more aware of the human side in pro sports, but also any walk of life. Children need their fathers, and fathers need time with their kids. One of the best books I’ve read on the topic is The Boy Crisis. I strongly encourage you to read it. Ladies you will enjoy it as well.
When Henrique and Carrick’s families arrive in Edmonton, it won’t guarantee either player on-ice success, but I do think it will increase their happiness. And when you feel better, you often play better.

GAME DAY ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETWAY

LINEUPS…

Oilers

RNH – McDavid – Hyman
McLeod – Draisaitl – Foegele
Kane – Henrique – Brown
Janmark – Carrick – Perry
Ekholm – Bouchard
Nurse – Stecher
Kulak – Ceci
Pickard
Vincent Desharnais will sit out tonight with a hand injury, and Troy Stecher will play on his natural right side alongside Darnell Nurse. It is only the fifth game an Oilers defenceman has missed this season. That is lowest in the NHL followed by Winnipeg (17), Carolina (19), Los Angeles (25) and Detroit (29).
As noted in Game Notes, Pickard will start. It will be his 15th appearance of the season and he’s been very reliable posting a .919Sv% and 2.27 GAA. I’d expect another solid performance from him. He will also play Sunday in Ottawa, and I’d guess we see him next Thursday v. Anaheim as the Oilers ensure Skinner isn’t overworked down the stretch.
Edmonton is a much better team than Montreal, in all facets.
The Oilers’ offence and defence rank in the top-five in many categories.

Canadiens

Caufield – Suzuki – Slafkovsky
Gallagher – Evans – Anderson
Roy – Newhook – Armia
Pearson – White – Harvey-Pinard
Matheson – Guhle
Xhekaj – Savard
Harris – Struble
Montembeault
Montembault will make his 32nd start of the season. He has been steady, despite having a fairly inexperienced D corps in front of him outside of Matheson and Savard. The Canadiens will try to get the Matheson-Guhle pairing out against McDavid. Matheson is an incredible skater, and one of the few D-men who can keep up with McDavid.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers improve to 10-0 on home ice v. bottom tier teams and skate away with a 4-1 victory.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McDavid picks up two assists giving him 630 in his career in 633 games played.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Brett Kulak scores v. his first career goal against his former team.

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