Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has executed a roster overhaul in his time at the helm. That turnover has left players like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as that expected next wave of leaders in the locker room. In a lot of ways, it’s now their team. But Eberle says it’s been that way for a little while now.
“I’ve felt that way the last few years,” Eberle said at Oilers Hockey School presented by Rogers on Tuesday. “Obviously it hasn’t happened. But more so this year than anything I think we have a lot of expectations on us. I think we did last year too that’s why it was a more disappointing season than ever just because we didn’t perform. This year I will take a lot of pressure on myself and I know those other guys will too just to perform. The city has been very patient and we need to start winning some games.”
Eberle says the pressure felt by the core group of players, not only the three aforementioned, puts the responsibility on them to win above all else.
“Just to take control of the team and win hockey games,” Eberle said of what is expected. “I think more than anything this league is about winning and we obviously haven’t done much of it. I think anytime you have a fresh start and you add some pieces there is a lot of optimism and I am looking forward to training camp to get things going.”