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Oilers' new boss solidifies McDavid's future in Edmonton. Doesn't he?

“In fact, I’ve a really shut relationship with Connor. It’s going to be a unique relationship now however the purpose is to maintain this group, this core group, collectively”

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It’s a seismic shift within the right here and now, however the aftershocks may be essentially the most compelling facet of the Edmonton Oilers’ new hierarchy.

In hiring Connor McDavid’s longtime agent, Jeff Jackson, as new CEO of hockey operations — second in command to solely proprietor Daryl Katz — the Oilers seem to have moved a giant step nearer to solidifying their captain’s long-term future with the group.

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McDavid’s contract is up in three years and whereas there isn’t any purpose to consider he plans on bolting, having a pal and confidant in command of the hockey group should certainly make Edmonton that rather more engaging.

Jackson actually hopes so.

“Who on this room doesn’t need him to be an Oiler for all times,” he chuckled at his introductory media convention at Rogers Place. “In fact, I’ve a really shut relationship with Connor. It’s going to be a unique relationship now however the purpose is to maintain this group, this core group, collectively. I believe there may be loads of runway to success for lots of years. That’s the purpose.

“On the finish of the day, Connor has three years left on his deal. He (and the core of the group) are all striving to win. That’s going to be the most important driver.”

Past the McDavid connections, the Oilers are getting an individual who’s well-respected and well-connected with a wealth of expertise in all ranges of hockey — eight years within the NHL, 4 years as assistant common supervisor with the Toronto Maple Leafs and 13 years as a participant agent representing the likes of McDavid, Aaron Ekblad and Alex Debrincat.

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And he’s had a singular perspective on the Oilers, paying shut consideration to the group from the surface whereas discussing the interior workings with its coronary heart and soul participant on an virtually every day foundation.

“I watched this group since I used to be a younger boy within the ’80s and had the distinct pleasure the final eight years of watching the group very intently with Connor being a giant a part of that,” stated the 58-year-old. “I’ve spent loads of time in Edmonton and I’ve watched this group evolve. I believe we’re on the verge of some nice years.”

As McDavid’s longtime agent (they started working collectively when McDavid was 15), Jackson had many sincere and in-depth conversations with the Oilers captain in regards to the state and route of the hockey membership. Now he’s ready to make a few of these visions come to life, a course of he believes is already nicely in movement.

“We’ve spent loads of time over time speaking in regards to the group and the place they’re at,” stated Jackson, including McDavid has by no means been extra optimistic about what’s taking place right here.

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“Within the current conversations we had as I thought-about this job, he looks like issues are in a extremely great place. He’s tremendous excited in regards to the season. He’s extra dialled in than ever, which is tough to consider as a result of he’s all the time that manner.

“He’s bought these guys in a great place and he feels actually good about the place every part is.”

The Oilers roster is just about set, they’re tight to the wage cap and Jackson simply walked within the entrance door, so don’t anticipate any dramatic adjustments within the close to future. Initially, he must familiarize himself with Edmonton’s hockey operations and, secondly, he is aware of higher than to repair one thing that isn’t damaged.

“I’m not coming in to reinvent the wheel with the group,” he stated. “Kenny (Holland) has achieved a incredible job of constructing this tradition for the final 4 years to the purpose the place the group is in an ideal spot.

“I’ve been across the group for eight years however I don’t know the interior workings. I don’t know all of the scouts, I don’t know the way Ken runs issues. I have to get to know all that stuff. I’ve no preconceived concepts of what I wish to do.

“We’re going to make some assessments as we go. We’re going to see how the group is doing and when it comes time to make choices, I’ll be prepared for it.”

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However placing his personal stamp on issues in some unspecified time in the future is a part of the job description. That’s why they introduced him in.

“I hope I can carry some totally different views,” he stated. “On the agent facet of belongings you do loads of your personal participant growth, you do loads of your personal scouting of younger children. We use analytics, as I do know the Oilers do. We’re going to have a look at all these issues and attempt to be greatest at school. It received’t occur in a single day however I’m going to dig in on all these issues.

“Having the posh of speaking to Connor, I understand how good this group is at loads of issues. If we are able to incrementally get higher at among the different issues, that may make a giant distinction.”

Taking the Oilers job wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment factor, however it did come collectively pretty rapidly as soon as Paul Coffey and Katz pitched it to him in late June. Jackson admits he in all probability wouldn’t have taken this kind of place with some other group than Edmonton. Having McDavid right here and seeing the place the group is in its arc made it too good to show down.

“It’s the truth that Connor was concerned with the group that Kenny put collectively and is on the verge of some nice issues. I talked to Connor about it he stated, ‘It’s best to discuss to Darryl. I believe you’ll be nice on the job. However you do what it’s a must to do.’”

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