As the summer days slowly yield to the anticipation of another thrilling NHL season, the Edmonton Oilers are making a statement well before the official start of training camp. Captain’s skates are in full swing at Rogers Place, and the energy is palpable. With over two weeks to go before the season’s official commencement, the Oilers are already hitting the ice with remarkable enthusiasm, showcasing their unwavering commitment to the upcoming 2023-24 campaign.
What stands out most is the sheer dedication of the team, with every member of this season’s Oilers’ roster already present, including some who aren’t officially on the team yet, like Sam Gagner. It’s a testament to the team’s business-like approach, with a clear intention to start the season with fire in their bellies.
Zach Hyman, the Oilers’ winger, expressed his excitement, saying, “It’s great to be back in Edmonton. It’s earlier than usual, so it’s nice to be back. It feels like we have almost our whole team back, and we’re up and running already, so it’s fun to be back.” Hyman emphasized the team’s eagerness to kick things off as soon as possible.
The Oilers are setting a remarkable example by having all 22 players from last season’s roster, who saw NHL action for the team in ’22-23, back in Edmonton well ahead of the new season. This early reunion provides a perfect opportunity for players to reacquaint themselves with each other and integrate newcomers like Connor Brown and Lane Pederson seamlessly. Hyman noted:
“We’re returning almost our entire team, and I think a reason that we all came back is we’re all buddies. We’re all close. There’s not many new guys coming into the fold, and those that are will be able to get acclimated to the team pretty quickly.”
The Oilers’ hunger for success is undeniable. To a man, they’ve all acknowledged that last season’s disappointment left a bitter taste, fueling the team’s desire for redemption. “We wanted to be back here as soon as possible to kind of get things kicked off,” Hyman stated.
Connor Brown, one of the Oilers’ newest additions, underscored the unity and determination within the team. “Everybody is dialed in, everybody is super motivated, everybody is determined, and everybody is in it together,” Brown asserted. It’s clear that the Oilers are a tightly-knit group with their sights set on a common goal.
McDavid Set the Tone Early and Everyone Is Buying In
Captain Connor McDavid echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the importance of unity and preparation. “Everybody is in early, everybody is ready to go, get comfortable with each other and be ready,” he said. McDavid acknowledged that sometimes a team must experience losses to learn how to win but revealed that last season’s playoff defeat to Vegas has only fueled their determination.
McDavid firmly believes that the Oilers have the ideal opportunity, with players in their prime and a strong organization behind them. There’s no time to waste, and the team is taking full advantage of this moment. “We got unfinished business,” McDavid declared, capturing the resolute spirit that permeates the entire organization.
As the Edmonton Oilers lace up their skates and hit the ice in these early days of preparation, they send a clear message to the hockey world: they are ready, they are united, and they are determined to make the upcoming season a memorable one. The Oilers aren’t waiting around to get things on the right track. They’ve been working hard all summer and they plan to work harder all season.
With a shared hunger for success and a resolute spirit, the Oilers are poised to embark on a journey that will lead to a Stanley Cup.
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