It’s not exactly “The Boys are Back in Town,” but for the first time since March 11, there was Edmonton Oilers hockey at Rogers Place.
Defenceman Matt Benning and Kris Russell, forwards Alex Chiasson and Tyler Benson and goalie Stuart Skinner hit the ice on Monday as the NHL launched Phase 2 of its Return to Play plan.
“It’s one thing to train, it’s another thing to get on the ice,” Benning said. “On your first ice session, you’re more or less trying to get your legs under you and your feet under you. I think we spent a good 15 to 20 minutes getting that part of our game dialed in.
“I felt a lot better than what I expected. Alex Chiasson took the reins on the drills.”
Benning has a lot to anticipate these days. NHL training camps could open in mid-July with the post-season tournament starting in August. Plus, his wife Janelle is due to give birth in late June. Edmonton is in the running to be a hub city for NHL games, but players would likely have to live in quarantine in a hotel until eliminated from the playoffs.
“I’m kind of conflicted on that,” Benning said.
“It would be such a tease for me that I can’t drive 10 minutes down the road and see my new baby.”
Whenever camps open, players will have to be tested frequently, perhaps even daily.
“My wife’s a nurse, so she knows how that all goes,” explained Benning. “It’s uncomfortable, but that’s part of it.
“There are players who are already on the ice. We wanted to do whatever we could and get ready for what’s ahead.”
Watch below: Some recent Global News videos about the Edmonton Oilers.