McDavid hasn’t played since April 6 when he suffered a PCL tear in his left knee after crashing into the post during the second period of the regular season finale in Calgary.
“The docs just met, and they thought it was safe to play. They knew I wanted to play. Everyone signed off on it,” said McDavid of getting the green light to play.
McDavid’s recovery has been an ongoing story for the Oilers. Two weeks ago, general manager Ken Holland indicated McDavid might not play in the pre-season at all.
“Ken said it right. Originally we thought hopefully one, maybe none. This is probably a little bit earlier, but everything’s been feeling good,” said McDavid.
“Definitely feel lucky. Definitely could have been worse. I could’ve been sitting there talking about missing a whole year.”
“We’ll get him up and going. He’s wanted to play for three weeks,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “He’s practiced hard for two weeks. He’s itching to play.”
McDavid was injured on a play in which he was driving hard to the net and was tripped by Flames defenceman Mark Giordano.
“I’ve been doing that for a long time. You hit the post and hit it in the wrong way, and that happens. I’ve gone flying into the net before and had nothing happen at all,” he explained.
The Oilers expected lineup against the Coyotes:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Gagner- Nugent-Hopkins – Neal
Khaira – Sheahan – Archibald
Chiasson – Cave – P. Russell
Klefbom – Persson
Nurse – Larsson
K. Russell – Benning
Goalie Mike Smith will make his pre-season debut after getting over the flu. He’ll play the first two periods.
The Oilers and Coyotes are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.