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Family fuels hockey passion for Edmonton Oilers forward Brad Malone

Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) and Edmonton Oilers' Brad Malone (24) collide during third period NHL pre-season game action in Winnipeg on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Pro hockey was a part of Brad Malone’s life long before he was a pro hockey player himself.

His father Jim played several years in the minors. His uncle Greg suited up for 704 NHL games.

“Looking up to those guys as a kid, it was an easy influence. I got to see how to do it right,” said Brad, who signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Oilers in July.

An older cousin, Ryan, has played 647 NHL games.

“All three of them have been great support over the years,” Brad said. “It’s fun to share stories about how the game has changed over the years.”

Malone has heard a lot about the game from his dad and uncle, but two pieces of advice stand out.

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“Rest is a weapon, or you have two ears and one mouth for a reason, so listen twice as much as you talk,” Malone recalled.

Malone, 28, will suit up for the Oilers in their pre-season game in Saskatoon Wednesday night against Carolina. He knows he’s likely to start the season in the minors but hopes to add some veteran depth to the organization.

“I came in with no expectations. Before the season, the roster is pretty much already set,” Malone explained. “I just try to come in here and change the pecking order a little bit, whether it’s one or two spots. Just trying to push from the bottom and make this team better anyway I can. I understand the role I’m in and the things I have to do.”

Malone isn’t going to light it up offensively (30 points in 176 NHL games), but he did score twice in Saturday’s win over the Jets.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers explode for four in the third to take down Winnipeg Jets

“He brings to the table what we thought he would bring. He’s a competitive guy. He plays hard,” said head coach Todd McLellan, who thinks Malone’s tenacity could lead to stick infractions with new, stricter enforcement on slashing. “We’d rather tame that than have to poke and prod an individual to try to get him going.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers coach believes NHL crackdown on slashing will see McDavid draw more penalties

The Oilers expected lineup in Saskatoon is:

Maroon – McDavid – Yamamoto

Lucic – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

Caggiula – Strome – Kassian

Malone – Kelly- Pakarinen

Auvito – Larsson

Russell – Benning

Nurse – Gryba

Brossoit

Catch the Oilers and Hurricanes on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30pm. The game starts at 7pm.

Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Oilers’ 2017 training camp.

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