Following practice on Monday, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins commented on the three-game suspension to Oilers defenceman and captain Andrew Ference.
"The League has terribly hard decisions to make. I know for a fact that they take in all angles, guys’ past histories," Eakins began. "They leave no stone unturned. So I’m always comfortable with the League’s opinion and decision."
Eakins added that the loss of Ference for the first three games of this trip coupled with the loss of Taylor Hall for two-to-four weeks due to an MCL sprain is a tough blow for the club.
"We’re going to miss Andrew for sure. You can say what you want about Andrew but he gives us 100 maximum effort every night," Eakins remarked.
"It’s not a little bit of a loss, it’s a lot of a loss in the leadership department and in the player department. It’s the nature of the beast. It’s a time where you look for certain players to stand up. We know we have guys who will do that. We’re interested to see if some others who have been looking for that role and added ice time can back up their words for it."
Andrew Ference talked about the absence of both himself and Hall from the lineup and how the team will be able to adapt to losing two core players.
"All teams around the League go through it, with missing guys and people coming up and playing well. We had the same thing last year with guys coming up from OKC and play tremendous for us. It’s just part of the deal for every team in the League. Whatever circumstance it is," said Ference.