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McLellan wants roster to stay ready

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan wants his bottom-six forwards experiencing the final stretch

by Paul Gazzola /

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan made it clear on Sunday that he wants all the Oilers on the current roster to help contribute toward the regular season's resolution.

"We don't have to send anybody down," said McLellan. "We want as many bodies and prospects to experience this push down the stretch. We'll keep them here and try to get them in and out of the lineup."

McLellan was alluding to forwards like Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev, Jujhar Khaira and Iiro Pakarinen. Each player brings their own ingredient to the lineup and could come in or out on any given night, depending on what type of team McLellan wants to ice.

"He (McLellan) tells us just be ready and be working hard every day," said winger Pakarinen. "We didn't play bad, it's just there are new guys coming in and it is what it is. That's good that we have an extra two or three guys if something happens."

Caggiula was out of the lineup against the St. Louis Blues last Tuesday. It gave the forward a chance to watch the game under a different light. When he slotted back in on Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings, Caggiula seemed energized alongside David Desharnais and Zack Kassian.

"Just watching the game from up top, you get a different perspective of how the game is played and you realize you have a lot more time than you actually think you have on the ice," said Caggiula.

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