Connor McDavid is enthusiastic for the Edmonton Oilers' recent hires of general manager Ken Holland and coach Dave Tippett, and he's hoping it means a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"Everyone in the League wants to play in the playoffs; I am no different," McDavid told Sportsnet during an event for Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, where he surprised a group of kids at a playground in Toronto on Tuesday. "I'm dying to play in the playoffs. Dying to bring a little success back to Edmonton. I think the fans deserve it, the city deserves it. ... It's been a long stretch of not-good hockey so we have to work hard for it and dying to get back into the playoffs."
McDavid has been to the playoffs once in his four NHL seasons, helping the Oilers reach the Western Conference Second Round in 2017. He had nine points (five goals, four assists) in 13 games.
Edmonton (35-38-9) finished 11 points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. It's the second straight season they've missed the playoffs.
McDavid had 116 points (41 goals, 75 assists) in 78 games this season, second in the NHL to Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning (128 points). He is a finalist for the Hart Trophy as League MVP and the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the best player in the League as voted by the NHL Players' Association).
Holland was hired May 7. After Peter Chiarelli was fired by Edmonton on Jan. 22, assistant GM Keith Gretzky handled most of the general manager's functions.
Tippett was hired May 28; he replaced Ken Hitchcock, who was named coach Nov. 20 and was 26-28-8 in 62 games after replacing Todd McLellan after the Oilers got off to a 9-10-1 start.
"Both of those guys are so experienced and I'm excited about it," McDavid told TSN. "Stability is what we're looking for after a year where we had nothing but instability, coaching changes, GM changes. It was a wild year but looking forward to a little stability like I said."
McDavid refused to talk about the torn PCL in his left knee he sustained during the Oilers' season finale when asked about it.
The center sustained the injury against the Calgary Flames on April 6. The Oilers previously said the injury would not require surgery and that McDavid was expected to be healthy at the start of training camp in September.
"I'm not going to talk too much about that, there's lots of time for that later," he said.