Edmonton – Tuesday may be the 3rd day of training camp, but it was the first day in the Edmonton Oilers world without head coach John McLaren, who died Monday at the age of 86.
“Only one truly special, one unique person,” said Wayne Gretzky, a serious wineman on 630 CHD radio.
McLaren was Glenn Sheather’s assistant coach for the 1984 and 1985 Stanley Cup winning teams and was promoted to coach the 1987 and 1988 Cup winners. McLaren was the head coach in the post-Gretzky post-Strell Cup champion team.
After Shedar was appointed coach of the Central League’s Wichita in 1992, the 1990s were probably McLaren’s best work.
“John ran a tough, smart team that I wanted to use the same kind of style in Edmonton,” Shatter said at a conference call Tuesday. “He (nine years old) was older than me, somewhat mature and sometimes a little more patient than me.
“But he had a focus on what he wanted us players to do. The players respect it, and it made my job a lot easier. ‘
While Shatter was the psychologist and button-down of those dynastic Weller teams, McLaren – along with fellow member Ted Green, who died in October – came up with a technical approach to Whalers game planning. All three grounds were covered together to maximize the most genuine talent of any roster to win a skate in the NHL.
“The contributions of John McLaren and Teddy Green were as important as any great player on those teams. I can suffix it. I survived it, ‘said Kevin Lowe, a former Euler one of the seven players from that dynasty who went to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Greed continued, “There was a misunderstanding, we can’t win all these championships without such a great technical team.” In those days, of course, you could run away without winning a technical (regular season) game. “We became a trained, high-tech hockey team. We won the cup because we had the talent, but you can’t win without it.”
An example: The Wheelers not only won the band box at a tight corner like the first Boston Garden, they even won their first two cups. But in the ’8 and ’90 Stanley Cup finals, Edmonton won all five of Boston’s four matches, the score was 3-3 when the fifth was a tie light.
McLaren is credited with providing a brilliant coaching game plan that could defeat the Bruins with their own enthusiasm.
“There was never a day when I went to the rink and I didn’t leave without this confidence that we didn’t have the right game plan to win the next game,” Lowe said. Even after a bad loss, “You go to practice, and you go there, ‘We’ll be fine.'”
Pom poms out
In the aftermath of the practice, Media Zoom Call, Caleb Jones and Kyler Yamamoto appeared wearing Team USA jerseys and Ryan Nugant-Hopkins and Darnell Nurse team donated red-and-white to Canada. All four represented their country in the Under-2 U tournament.
“We were able to beat Canada in a shootout in Montreal (in 201),” Jones recalled. “This is probably the most memorable game of my career.”
Jones’ career has reached a point where a full-time job in the NHL is awaited. Seth’s younger brother has been knocking on doors in Edmonton for several seasons now, and Oscar Clevebaum – a left-handed defender – is out for the season with arthritis in his shoulder, there’s a job waiting for John.
A year ago, Ethan Beer drove him to the depth chart. Looks like he won’t let it happen again.
“Last year I didn’t come to camp as early as I wanted to, and ended up sending really fast,” said Jones, who has played in the NHL game for is0 years. “This year … I knew there were opportunities. I wanted to come in, impress people and show that I was ready to take more. “
As a young player you are simply trying not to make too many mistakes. Now, the time has come for just the empty game that got him here.
“I’m not worried about making mistakes,” Jones said. “I just want to make drama and make a good impact on the game.”
Adam Larson, who was at his home early in the camp, was paired. Of course, the Larson tradition has traditionally been associated with clefbom.
Pairs, not three types
Head coach Dave Tippett says his lines will not be so fluid this year as the training camp is so low.
“You’re looking at the pair,” he said, keeping pace with the tasks he wants to see up front. This includes Ryan Newgent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid; Leon Drysitol and Kyler Yamamoto; Kyle Turis and Jesse Puljujarvi.
“I like Puljujarvi and Turis so far,” Tippett confirmed. “We will do the tumor, with one more full day of practice and two full scrimmages. I’d say with a brief camp that you’re trying to find some continuity, but the reality is you probably don’t know that all the parts fit best until you get into a few days. “
Pulzjarvi is getting some first love from his new head coach, who has spoken to him about leaving Finland and trying the NHL again.
“I think there’s a good hockey player out there,” Tippett said. “He was a young player, probably in a very difficult situation a while ago and he struggled with that. He spoke very openly. He insisted that he (his first NHL stand) did not manage very well. His expectations were higher than they should have been.
“She is OK. His English is much improved. He is a good player who will play in our league.
Newgent-Hopkins was asked if Paljujarvi had to clean the air in the dressing room while walking with the oilers after fleeing to Philand and Oulu Karpat.
“I don’t really think it needs to be touched,” Newgent-Hopkins said. “He’s here, working hard. He’s spent time and has done a lot of work in his English. He’s very good at speaking now. His attitude is, he wants to be part of this group and we’re glad to have him.”
“He is a big kid with all the talent in the world. We look forward to helping you find out. “