Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid will play his first game tonight since suffering a knee injury in last year’s season finale.
The Oilers say McDavid will make his 2019 pre-season debut against the visiting Arizona Coyotes.
“He’s wanted to play for three weeks. Between doctors and our organization, we just wanted to make sure everything was right,” Edmonton head coach Dave Tippett said. “He’s practised hard for two weeks. He’s itching to play.”
McDavid tore his left PCL ligament when he crashed into a goalpost in April against the Calgary Flames.
The 22-year-old centre from Newmarket, Ont., had said he hoped to return to game action during the exhibition schedule. Including tonight, the Oilers have three exhibition games left before their season opener next Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks.
“The bottom line is he’s good for the game,” Tippett said. “That skill, speed, talent is good for the game. And he’s a real good person to go with it.”
McDavid finished second in league scoring with 116 points in 2018-19, but even that couldn’t get the Oilers into the post-season as the franchise missed the playoffs for the third time in his four NHL campaigns.
McDavid led the league in scoring the previous two seasons.
This year, the Oilers have a new coach in Tippett and a new general manager in Ken Holland.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2019.
The Canadian Press