Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid isn’t playing games right now, but he had to do some stickhandling Wednesday afternoon.
McDavid was on a Zoom call after being named the winner of the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award Tuesday night. He was tossed a question about the quality of officiating in the NHL.
“You do wish there was maybe a little more consistency. Obviously, that’s what we’re looking for as players. I think that’s what everyone wants, is just consistency throughout. The other sports have been able to do that for the regular season into the playoffs,” said McDavid.
“The refs have a hard job, and I have a lot of respect for them.”
In the Oilers first round loss, no Winnipeg Jet was called for an infraction on McDavid, leaving many to wonder how the league’s most dynamic player could go four games without drawing a penalty.
“I don’t think it would be fair to suggest any of these games are being decided by the officials. They’re being decided by the players on the ice, as it should be. It’s very easy to focus on the two or three calls you think they missed,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday when asked about refs missing obvious calls.
“Try going on the ice and being in the midst of everything that’s going on and making split second calls. It’s extraordinarily difficult.”
As for his second Hart Trophy win, McDavid received all 100 first-place votes. He’s just the second unanimous winner in the history of the award, joining Wayne Gretzky from 1982.
“It’s just a little feather in the cap to do it unanimously. Anytime you’re in the same breath as Wayne Gretzky, you’re doing something right,” McDavid said.
McDavid is happy to see teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sign an eight-year contract to remain with the Oilers.
“Nuge is guy who is so important, not only on the ice but in the locker room a well, and a guy I’ve become very close with,” said McDavid. “That’s a statement by him to want to be in Edmonton forever.”
The Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins deal — worth $41 million — was announced on Tuesday