EDMONTON, Alberta — Connor McDavid feared the worst when he crashed into the net and limped off the ice during Edmonton’s season finale Saturday night.
A rare bit of good news for him and the Oilers: His left knee injury isn’t as serious as he initially thought.
X-rays were negative, and McDavid was scheduled to have an MRI on his knee Sunday. Results won’t be known for a day or two, but McDavid was relieved that the bones around his knee were OK after slamming into the goalpost against Calgary.
“Being completely honest, I thought my leg was in two pieces when I was sitting on the ice,” said McDavid, sporting a knee brace as he spoke to reporters Sunday. “Thankfully, the bone is OK. Thankfully, I was able to get up and with a lot of help I was able to get off.
“Like I said, we still don’t know too much, but things look fairly positive right now, but we haven’t had a picture in there.”
Out of the playoffs for the 12th time in the past 13 years and having fired its coach and general manager, Edmonton has set up an offseason that stands to see substantial changes in hockey operations. The Oilers don’t need any kind of serious injury to McDavid added to the mix.
“They pay me $100 million to play my game,” said McDavid, when asked about charging full tilt to the net in a game that didn’t make a difference to the team’s playoff chances. “Part of my game is beating guys wide and going to the net.
“I’ll have to give my money back if I stop doing that. I’m not doing that.”
Coach Todd McLellan was dismissed Nov. 20, and general manager Peter Chiarelli was fired Jan. 23. CEO Bob Nicholson has his work cut out reshaping hockey ops for the Oilers, who finished 35-38-9 despite career years from McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who scored his 50th goal against the Flames.
“It sucks,” Draisaitl said. “Obviously, you go into every season trying to make the playoffs, trying to win the Stanley Cup. That’s why you play.
“When you kind of get that taken away from you, due to our play, it’s no one’s fault but ours. It’s frustrating and, yeah, it sucks, but we have to figure this out. We have to be better as players.”