When Todd McLellan coached the San Jose Sharks, the club elevated players in a manner that was at times unpredictable. Callups weren’t necessarily by the numbers and he often mixed and matched younger men with veterans. We may be seeing the first example of this with the Oilers, as Anton Slepyshev is still here and is impressing. In response to Ryan Rishaug asking him if Slepyshev was putting himself in a good position to make the team:
- McLellan: “Yes. When I look at his game, and I watched the video again—the video doesn’t lie. He did a lot of the things we worked on today in the game. He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before. You can see it, he’s been around pro players for awhile.”
This may not be a story this fall, the numbers don’t really line up for Slepyshev. However, Todd McLellan runs a different ship and said today he’s going to bring the 20 players who give the team the best chance to win to St. Louis. Does that include Slepyshev? We’ll see. Tomas Hertl arrived quickly in San Jose and as a rookie McLellan used him in a feature role.
I feel for Ference struggles. He still battles but he's 189 pounds. There's lots of hard miles on body from taking on bigger guys.#EJLive
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) October 2, 2015
I have a different view of Andrew Ference than most, he played for my other favorite team when they were in a very good place. It sneaks up and one day you can’t close a gap and someone is yelling ‘safe is death’ and it’s about you. Very few times in life when you know without being told, it’s been too long at the fair.