Oilers News and Rumors: Neal, McDavid, Nygard, More

In the latest news and rumors report for the Edmonton Oilers, there is an update on the status of Connor McDavid and his rehab, James Neal spoke about last season and what fans and media should expect for this season, and Joakim Nygard thinks he’s going to be a difference-maker with his speed. What’s the buzz around Patrick Marleau and Oilers rookie camp?

McDavid On Schedule

Fans in Edmonton are keeping a close eye on the injury status for megastar Connor McDavid. Now five months into what was supposed to be a six-month rehab, people are getting a bit anxious to hear an update.

Connor McDavid
Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

The latest comes from a Marc Spector article on Sportsnet where he writes that McDavid’s agent says he’s still got a month left, so there’s really no telling where he’s at officially. All he would offer is that McDavid is on schedule, things are going well and, that McDavid has put a lot of time and effort into his summer.

McDavid’s agent, Jeff Jackson did say, “he’s doing everything in his power to be ready. So far, it seems to have worked. But, if they played in two days, he wouldn’t be playing.”

Related: McDavid’s Injury May Force Teammates to Pull More Weight

Neal Calls Last Season a “Little Hiccup”

While McDavid isn’t ready yet, one player who seems to be is new Edmonton Oilers forward James Neal. Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now and 630 Ched tweeted, “I have a strong, gut feel that James Neal is going to have a big, bounce-back season. After seeing him on-ice today he is clearly in shape.”

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Neal said about his upcoming season that he is extremely happy to be in Edmonton, he tried not to make excuses but said his body just didn’t feel right last season after back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals appearances, moving and not quite feeling ready. That’s not going to happen this season. He called last year a “little hiccup.”

He said he’s working on getting his shot dialed in again and his stick where he wants it to be. He said the rink is amazing and the dressing room, where he’ll spend 90 percent of his time is just awesome. Having already bought a house and gotten to Edmonton early, he’s never felt more ready.

Speaking about McDavid, Neal said he’s witnessed first hand the kind of time and energy the Oilers captain is putting in to be ready for the season.

Related: Val James: The Forgotten Trailblazer

Nygard Says NHL is Different, Just Not That Different

There aren’t many cases where one can find a player coming over from Europe and excelling in the NHL. At least, that hasn’t happened much for the Edmonton Oilers. The team and new forward Joakim Nygard are hoping to change that statistic.

Known for his blazing speed, the Swedish forward skated on Tuesday, then spoke with media and said he’s instantly understanding the difference between NHL and European rink sizes. That said, Nygard noted, “I feel the difference but it wasn’t that big of a difference as I thought.”

Nygard added that his speed his biggest asset and he’s hoping it’s an asset for the Oilers and leads to goals, something he feels he’s pretty good at getting.

Related: Top 12 Fastest Skaters Ever in the NHL

Former Oiler Rieder Gets Shot With Flames

Former Edmonton Oilers Tobias Rieder is getting a shot with Edmonton’s Alberta rivals, the Calgary Flames. He was announced amongst a list of players who are accepting professional tryout opportunities with the Flames this summer.

Buffalo Sabres Matt Hunwick Edmonton Oilers Tobias Rieder
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Matt Hunwick and Edmonton Oilers forward Tobias Rieder (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

It was the lack of success Rieder had here in Edmonton that led to new GM Ken Holland looking to other options, like Nygard, to fill the team speed, penalty-killing, and depth positions.

Oilers and Marleau a Real Possibility

The Edmonton Oilers have been linked to Patrick Marleau in rumors but there didn’t seem to be much stock put into those rumors. That may change now that Marleau knows he won’t be returning to the San Jose Sharks this season.

Related: What Kyle Dubas’ Interview Says About Oilers Contracts

Rookie Camp Opens Today

The Oilers’ rookies will report to Rogers Place for medicals and fitness testing on Thursday, then will play a pair of games against the rookies of the Calgary Flames, starting September 7th in Red Deer and on the 10th in Calgary.