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BLOG: McLellan prepares for training camp

by Meg Tilley / Edmonton Oilers

Progress always involves risk.

That was the message that Edmonton Oilers head coach, Todd McLellan, told Bob Stauffer, host of Oilers Now on 630 CHED, when they chatted, Wednesday.

Taking chances and trying something new will likely be what the Oilers training camp will be about, according McLellan.

“We’re moving guys around and we haven’t even seen them play yet!” said McLellan.

According to the newly acquired head coach, figuring out their lines will be a starting point.

“It’s an opportunity to see if there’s any chemistry amongst each other,” he said.

“Then we’ve got to look how we’re going to roll the lines out, who’s going to play against Kopitar, who’s going to play against David Backes, those types of situations. Which line can we afford to grant more risk to? Obviously we need to improve defensively as a team but we still need to score goals — and how much risk are we going to grant certain lines?

“When you look at all those situations and you put your lines together, we could be 30 minutes into day one in Leduc and we’ll already be in our minds saying, ‘You know what, I don’t think this is going to quite work.’ We have to give it a chance to give players an opportunity to try and have some success with each other.”

Finally together in Edmonton, McLellan and the coaching staff are down to business, focussing on how they’ll tackle the team’s training camp in Leduc.

“It was our first night as a staff altogether in Edmonton,” he said. “We had a good productive meeting there, laid our training camp and expectations of each other.”

McLellan says that preparation and planning will be key for the coaching staff, who although are eager to see how their strategies pan out on the ice, are first and foremost working on how what it will look like.

“Fortunately we’ve got very good erasers here!”

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