Connor McDavid is down with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors on conditioning loan from the Oilers during the NHL All-Star Break. While McDavid will not play any games for the Condors, he is getting more practice time in as he works his way back from the broken clavicle that has kept him away from the game since November 3.
McDavid has been cleared for full contact and that’s part of the reason he’s skating down with the Condors as he tries to expose himself to that side of the game more.
“Just take a couple of hits I think,” McDavid said. “I’m not sure how hard they’re going to be because it’s practice, but just take some bumps and get some contact and kind of test it out. I’ve been doing that for a little bit, but as you get closer you just want to feel confident in it.”
It’s a bit of an odd situation to be participating in the Oilers Skills Competition one minute, talking to the media in Edmonton the next and then packing your gear for a trip to Bakersfield the next, just for a week of practices. But that’s what McDavid is doing now, and in addition to getting extra reps on the ice with the Condors, McDavid is happy to see some familiar faces.
“I’ve been doing that a little bit, traveling with the team and practicing,” he said. “It’s a little of a different situation here, to travel so far just to get a couple practices in, but it’s good. I really like the guys down here. I know them very well just from development camp and all that. It’s good to see some of those guys again.”
McDavid is familiar with several faces on the Condors from the Oilers rookie camp and pre-season.
“I like these guys a lot. I’ve gotten to know them pretty good and to see some familiar faces I haven’t seen in a while is good.”