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MCDAVID LOOKED AT BIGGER PICTURE AND “MADE SACRIFICES” ON RETURN TO PLAY COMMITTEE

Connor McDavid represented the Edmonton Oilers on the NHL/NHLPA Return to Play Committee. He worked alongside John Tavares, Ron Hainsey, Mark Scheifele, and James van Riemsdyk to help establish a final Return to Play decision.

The Edmonton Oilers finished the regular season in second place in the Pacific Division. Due to the structure of the plan that was devised, the Oilers are the fifth seed and will be playing in the Qualifying Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They will play the Chicago Blackhawks, who are the 12th seed in the Western Conference Qualifying Round.

McDavid said that it was essential for him to look at the bigger picture when making these decisions. He recognized that it was important to take different ideas and opinions under consideration and try to reach a decision that was best for everyone.

“Being on that committee, you have to take a step back,” McDavid said. “You’re not pushing for the Oilers, you have to do what’s best for the League and try and keep 31 teams and 700 players happy.”



The Oilers captain was happy that he was able to be a part of the decision making process, and did not take his responsibility lightly.

“It was definitely exciting to be part of the process,” McDavid said. “There was lots of back and forth. I can’t say that everyone agreed on everything, but that was the point of the committee, to debate stuff and take it to a larger sample size, and I feel like we’ve done our job in putting together a format.”

Phase 2 of the Return to Play plan will involve teams’ training facilities opening and players can skate and train in groups of 6 or fewer. Phase 3, which will begin no earlier than July 10, will be when the training camps open.

“The first step was putting the format together,” McDavid said, “And now we’ve got to start to connect the dots."
ASHLEY SANDERS
MAY 29, 2020  (19H19)
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