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Instilling a winning culture

by Meg Tilley @MegsTilley /

Changes, indeed, were made over the course of the Oilers off-season. While players retreated for a little rest and relaxation, Edmonton's upper management was hard at work.

Among the transformation this summer, Oilers fans saw the club select Jesse Puljujarvi as their number four pick at this year's draft, acquire defenceman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, days later sign NHL free-agent Milan Lucic, and add some goaltending depth in Jonas Gustavsson.  

In 82 regular season games last year, the Oilers were 31-43-8. With changes to the team itself and their new surroundings, there is anticipation that this will be a fresh start for the Edmonton team.

"I think a lot of changes - hew building, new personnel - I think guys are kind of doing a good job of turning the page and forgetting about what happened last year and the years before that and kind of focussing on what needs to be done in order to make that change in the right direction heading into this year," said Oilers forward Milan Lucic.   

The 6-foot-3, 233-pound forward knows a thing or two about being immersed in a winning culture, something he believes the team is already in the process of creating. 

"We've talked a lot about it," said Lucic. "With the opening of camp today, it's about doing it, and today, with the fitness testing and all that type of stuff, it seems like guys are coming into camp in pretty good shape which is a good sign."

"I think, you've got the right coach and you've got the right GM and you've got the right superstar to lead the way so it's just about everyone having the right attitude and the right mindset in order for that to all come together… It's something that doesn't happen overnight, but you try to do it with the right type of attitude and the right type of mindset and it all starts here today."


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