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BLOG: Benning highlights offseason work and free agency additions

The St. Albert, AB product didn't let a lingering injury stifle an early start to training this offseason

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - After a handful of weeks off in April to mend some lingering issues, Oilers defenceman Matt Benning's preparation for next season is in full swing.

An early offseason start to training is a sentiment, Benning says, that's been echoed around the locker room this summer.

"I took about two or three weeks off at the end of the season," Benning said. "I had an injury I had to deal with then jumped right back into training. I've been skating quite a bit more than I did last year and I think most of the guys are in that same mindset pushing for next season."

An offseason excitement towards next season has grown with the addition of a number of new faces who can contribute in the locker room and on the ice with their utility in a number of situations.

"We're real excited about these guys," Benning added. "Kyle Brodziak has been here before at the start of his career and has a lot of experience playing around the league. I think he can really help us out defensively, and he's a great penalty killer who will be an important part of our locker room.

Video: 1-ON-1 | Matt Benning

"You have a guy in Tobias Rieder who brings speed on the wing and can get in on the forecheck and produce, and Kevin Gravel who played a bit in LA and is a solid defender. I think all these signings are a good thing and will strengthen our depth going into next season."

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