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McDavid fine with Manning being traded to Oilers from Blackhawks

Center broke collarbone after 2015 collision with defenseman, says 'he's going to help'

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid said he has no issue with the trade that brought defenseman Brandon Manning to the Edmonton Oilers from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Oilers captain, who broke his collarbone Nov. 3, 2015, when he crashed into the end boards after colliding with Manning, then a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, said he's moved on.

"Obviously it was a long time ago and that's all I want to say about that," McDavid said Monday, a day after the trade. "It's a nonissue. I think he's going to come in and he's going to help. He's a good player, a good, solid defenseman."

Manning was acquired with defenseman prospect Robin Norell from the Blackhawks for forward Drake Caggiula and defenseman Jason Garrison. He has three points (one goal, two assists) in 28 games this season, including Edmonton's 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

McDavid missed 37 games during his rookie season of 2015-16 because of the injury. Following Edmonton's game at Philadelphia on Dec. 8, 2016, the center said Manning all but admitted during the game that he injured him on purpose and called the defenseman "classless."

Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said the issues between McDavid and Manning were addressed late last season when Edmonton was trying to negotiate a trade with Philadelphia.

Video: SJS@EDM: McDavid slams the puck past Jones

"I pulled Connor aside and I asked him if he had a problem with this and he said no," Chiarelli said Monday. "He said he was a player that would help us.

"I wanted to make sure last year. I did not speak with Connor this year [but] I told him in advance that we had made the transaction."

Manning said McDavid reached out to him after the trade.

"He's happy to have me and thinks I can help the team," Manning told the Edmonton Journal. "We actually met briefly this summer at our [NHL Players' Association] meetings and for me, it's been done with for a long time. I don't think that will be an issue."

The trade for Manning was the second one made by the Oilers on Sunday. They also acquired defenseman Alexander Petrovic from the Florida Panthers for defenseman Chris Wideman and a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Petrovic has one assist in 26 games this season.

The trades addressed two major issues for the Oilers (18-18-3), who have lost six games in a row (0-6-0): They have allowed 35 goals in their past eight games (1-6-1) and are without veteran defensemen Oscar Klefbom (broken finger), Kris Russell (lower-body injury) and Andrej Sekera (torn Achilles tendon).

Sekera has been out all season; Klefbom and Russell have been out since Dec. 11.

"These aren't sexy players and neither is Drake," Chiarelli said. "These are bottom-half players that can make a difference.

"[Manning] is an established player in the NHL, he's a good, solid defender, he can make some offensive plays. From an offensive perspective, he's going to give you more. He's played longer in the League (seven seasons) and he's meaner."

As for whether Edmonton will be looking to add another defenseman before the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25, Chiarelli said, "This is about bringing in some players that can help our defense now. It doesn't mean we're not looking for a higher-end [defenseman]. They're not out there, they might be out there shortly, but right now it's too early in the season to be out there."

McDavid said Manning and Petrovic can't solve all the Oilers' problems and that the entire team needs to raise its level of play.

"Absolutely, we need to be better without the puck," McDavid said. "It's on the forwards as well. Defense is definitely a team thing, it's not just our [defensemen] or our goalies, it's our forwards, we've got to come back as well.

"We're definitely a little banged up back there for sure but I think this will definitely help."

Coach Ken Hitchcock said the trades show the Oilers are determined to stay in the Stanley Cup Playoff race. With 39 points, they are five behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild card from the Western Conference.

"We're sitting on long-term injuries on Sekera and Klefbom," Hitchcock said. "And we just didn't want to give up the ghost. We wanted to keep going at it here. We did our background on both guys and know them very well, especially Manning.

"They help us keep this thing going and all the work we've put in, we just didn't want to take another step backward. We were struggling back there. I think everybody knew it including the opposition, and these two guys are going to help us get pucks out of our zone, defend better, win 1-on-1 [battles], stuff that you need. They're going to buy us some time until the cavalry starts to come back."

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