EDMONTON, AB - With the National Hockey League Trade Deadline approaching, organizations are tasked with making difficult decisions regarding player personnel.
It's an unfortunate reality of the League and Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan empathized with how difficult it can be for teams and the players who are affected.
"Leading up to it, there's a lot of scuttlebutt and rumours that float around," started McLellan. "We can say, 'Hey, they're professionals, they need to just worry about what they can control,' and that type of stuff but it is in the back of their minds. They have families, they have children, they have roots in the community, they have homes they own. They're all wondering what may or may not happen.
"While that's happening, the ones that aren't in the media are wondering also what's going to or not going to happen."
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McLellan continued to put things into perspective, acknowledging the difficulty in being uprooted swiftly.
"There's not a lot of jobs or professions where you just get moved from office to office across the border and leave your kids at home and tell them, 'I'll call you Sunday when I get there,'" he said.
"They're humans. We can pretend and we can be courageous and tell them, 'Hey, don't think about it,' but it doesn't work that way."
McLellan referenced an anecdote from his time in San Jose when the franchise made tough decisions regarding veteran players.
"We did have one year in San Jose where we had this type of scenario and we were still in a playoff position," said McLellan. "We moved Ryan Clowe, Dougie Murray and a number of players that were long-time serving sharks. They grew up as Sharks, basically. They were moved out of the lineup and youth was brought in. It disrupted the group for a while. They were popular players. They were lifers."