Adam Larsson gets letter as Edmonton Oilers open season against Calgary Flames
The Edmonton Oilers open the NHL regular season Wednesday night at home against the Calgary Flames, and no one is happier to see the games start to count in the standings than head coach Todd McLellan.
“For the hockey ops people, the exhibition season can be a disaster,” McLellan said Wednesday morning. “You’re begging players to play. They don’t want to get hurt. They’re waiting for the regular season. We can pretend all we want and say jobs are open, but they’re not dumb. They know where they fit and how much they get paid. They know if they’re on the team or not.”
One player who wasn’t expected to be on the opening day roster is right winger Kailer Yamamoto. The 19-year-old scored five goals in the pre-season and will play on the Oilers second line.
“I expect him to play the exact same way he played in the six exhibition games,” said McLellan. “If he succumbs to trying to change his game, it’ll show quite quickly.”
Defenceman Adam Larsson joins Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic as an alternate captain. There was an ‘A’ vacant since Jordan Eberle was traded to the New York Islanders in June.
“I was a little bit surprised. Obviously, it’s an honour to have a letter in this group. There are a lot of strong leaders in this group,” said Larsson.
“He plays hard every night. He gives up himself for his team. He takes of his teammates in and around the locker room. He accepts responsibility for his game and tries to make other’s better. Sounds like a leader to me,” added McLellan.
The Oilers expected lineup is:
Maroon – McDavid – Draisaitl
Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins – Yamamoto
Caggiula – Strome – Jokinen
Khaira – Letestu – Kassian
Klefbom – Larsson
Russell – Benning
Nurse – Gryba
The Oilers went 4-0 against the Flames last season. Catch the game on 630 CHED with the City Ford Face Off Show at 6 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.
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