ST. ALBERT – Boyd Gordon made an appearance at Oilers Hockey School in St. Albert on Friday to skate with the hockey school participants and meet with the media for the first time as an Edmonton Oiler.
"I'm excited about playing here. I'm comfortable here. I played junior in Red Deer and I've just got to get used to the winter again but it shouldn't be too hard," Gordon chuckled as he talked about what he could add to the squad as a third-line centre who has boasted one of the best face-off percentages in the NHL over the past few seasons.
"I just want to be a reliable, steady player. I think I've established my role, what I can do and what I can bring to a hockey team. I can provide a little depth and fill in here and there for guys if they get hurt."
With the status of centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in question -- whether he'll be available to play October 1, November 1 or some point in between -- Gordon may be called upon to play some more minutes right at the start of his tenure with the team.
"I can play those hard minutes and check but you want to go out there and contribute," Gordon continued, noting however that he knows where he is most valuable. "I think with the amount of skill this team has, I can bring a little different dimension -- that's the way I play. I think I'll fit in really well here and I'm really excited to get going."
Gordon regularly played 16-, 17-, 18-minute games with the Coyotes, particularly in games where the Coyotes were leading by a goal and looking to protect a lead.
"With the skill they have, I can bring that checking (role), play the tough minutes. If you look at their lineup, their forwards are as good as anybody with their speed and their youth. I think what I can do is bring something a little bit different."
The 29-year-old centre from Unity, Saskatchewan also added that his game can bring a high-energy component when needed which should help give the team's bottom six an added dimension.
"I play high energy and play as hard as I can. I bring something a little bit different. It would be a good fit and hopefully things work out for me here."
Contrasting hockey in Edmonton to hockey in Phoenix, there's no comparison for Gordon.
"It's a complete 180 from Phoenix. Hockey's religion here and Canada's passionate about hockey. I'm excited to be a part of this team. It has a great history and to play here is a real honour."
Another 180 from Phoenix is the leadership role that Gordon will be expected to play in Edmonton. He instantly becomes the team's third-oldest forward behind Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky.
"You want to come into a new team and fit in as well as you can. I'm not overly vocal or anything by any stretch but I try to play the right way and do the right thing. I try to fit in and get to know everybody," Gordon remarked, adding his observations on his new squad.
"They're an explosive team. You don't want to turn the puck over against them. Any team with skill, you've got to play them tight and not give them any time and space. If you play strong defensively with the amount of skill that there is here, I think we can be one of the best teams in the League."