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McDavid shoots down trade rumors, addresses injury

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If you want an idea about how dark things can get for the Edmonton Oilers, consider that in the span of a week:

1) People were wondering if Connor McDavid would soon be on the verge of demanding a trade.

And

2) Sportsnet’s Mark Spector excitedly tweeted that McDavid attended Sunday’s exit interview while not on crutches.

Yeah, these have been trying times.

But, hey: McDavid was reasonably reassuring (to use his words, “fairly positive”) about the two most disturbing ways his season ended for the Oilers, beyond the team missing the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

McDavid noted that he still needs to get an MRI, so that “fairly positive” update could still be somewhat problematic if there’s soft tissue damage/structural damage/other bad things. That said, McDavid admitted that he feared the worst, saying that “I thought my leg was in two pieces” after Saturday’s terrifying fall:

Number 97 didn’t try to claim that he was happy with the Oilers results, stating that he’d be “a loser” if he wasn’t frustrated with the way things are gone, and that he expects changes in Edmonton’s front office. But McDavid did his part to shoot down trade rumors, stating that he wants to be part of the solution, and that he wouldn’t have signed an eight-year contract with the Oilers if he didn’t want to stay.

Now, sure, “part of the solution” is a phrase that brings back some bad memories of the Taylor Hall trade … yet it’s better than McDavid giving a non-answer altogether, right?

Also: don’t expect the speedy star to change the way he plays, even after another frightful moment. As you may recall, his other major NHL injury happened because he was tripped up while going all-out.

As Ken Hitchcock said after the Oilers received Saturday’s fairly positive update about McDavid, they’re not out of the woods just yet. If McDavid suffered an injury that inhibits his speed over his career, it would be a loss for hockey fans everywhere, not just for the Oilers and their fans. So keep that in mind, and keep your eyes on PHT for updates.

All things considered, it could still be worse, though.

(Oh, and no, McDavid didn’t think Mark Giordano made a dirty play.)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

McDavid’s nightmare week continues with ugly-looking injury

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Update: Breathe a sigh of relief, Edmonton Oilers fans.

The team announced that Connor McDavid‘s X-ray came back negative, and he’ll travel back with the Oilers. He’ll then get an MRI in Edmonton. This doesn’t mean that McDavid avoided an injury altogether – later updates could bring word of structural damage, which would arguably be worse news than a break – but it’s promising news at the moment.

For those who were especially worried, seeing the actual tweet might provide comfort.

(The Oilers beat the Flames 3-1 on Saturday, by the way.)

***

The Edmonton Oilers’ season could have ended with at least one great headline, as Leon Draisaitl scored his 50th goal of 2018-19. Unfortunately, the good has almost always been accompanied by the bad for Edmonton lately, and a scary fall for Connor McDavid has people fearing for the worst.

Amateur lip-readers are wondering what McDavid said (at the 24-second mark of the Sportsnet video above) while he was being attended to after a hard, scary-looking crash into the Flames’ net on Saturday. Some wonder if McDavid said “it’s broke.”

What we don’t need to wonder is that McDavid indeed needed help off of the ice, and didn’t appear to put any weight on his left leg while he was being helped off. With this being the final game of the Oilers’ season, it would be surprising if the team played it too coy here, but it also might take a while to learn more.

As inept as the Oilers have seemed for … years now, it would be tough to imagine them allowing McDavid back into this meaningless game for Edmonton, particularly since Draisaitl got 50. But we’re talking about the Oilers here, and also a prideful player in McDavid, who likely is difficult to argue off of the ice.

Either way, this continues a brutal finish to a brutal season, for the Oilers and particularly for McDavid.

Earlier this week, McDavid made what were – by the standards of his often milquetoast quotes – alarming comments while addressing frustrations from this failed season. Now there’s at least some concern that McDavid might need to rehab an injury as the Oilers embark on what could be the most important summer of decisions in team history, or at least in decades.

Even if this ends up being a mere scare, it’s another painful chapter in a lousy season for McDavid.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.