Edmonton winger Ben Eager has seen his share of NHL training camps, including ones with the Oilers this season and in 2011 and 2012.
With the Oilers looking to break their seven-season playoff drought this year, they brought in a new regime. Dallas Eakins was brought in as head coach and has made an immediate impact in the intensity of training camp practices.
Eager says the toughness of this camp is at the level it should be and compares it favorably over years past.
“This seems like a NHL camp,” said Eager. “I think it should be tough. I think the last couple of years, they were not the hardest camps and I think it showed in how we played. It was definitely not as tough as this one.
“(Coach Eakins) wants everyone in great shape and I think as professional athletes, that’s what is expected and it’s good to be pushed hard to start the season. If we practice hard, we play hard.”
Eager knows what it takes to win in the NHL. He was on the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks championship team and scored a game winner of Game 2 in the Finals that year.
It’s a positive sign for Edmonton that an experienced winner and straight shooter like Eager sees the differences this year.