After Connor McDavid crashed into the boards during Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the rookie scoring leader immediately grabbed his shoulder and had Oilers fans hoping it was nothing major.
“He’s disappointed he got injured,” said McLellan post-game. “It’s his rookie year. Things are going really well and he wants to be part of the group, which he still will be but he’s just not going to wear the uniform for a little while.”
While there’s no specific timeline, coach Todd McLellan said McDavid will be out “long-term,” which, if history is any indicator, could mean he’s out anywhere from one to three months, if not longer.
One doesn’t have to go back very far to find the last major star to suffer a similar injury, as Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane suffered a broken clavicle in February 2015 as Chicago was gearing up for their post-season run. The injury resulted in Kane needing surgery, which put his timetable for recovery at 12 weeks. Kane returned in seven.
For McDavid, the timeline for his recovery will be almost entirely based on the severity of the fracture. If the injury requires surgery, his recovery could be longer. And if the Oilers want to ensure McDavid is at full-health before he hits the ice again, that could also slow his return.
McLellan didn’t see the play that injured McDavid — he and two Flyers got tangled up before crashing into the boards — as intent to injure or anything dirty.
“It was a hockey play,” McLellan said. “The group of them all came together and they he went down. I’m not sure if he lost his balance. It’s unfortunate.”
Through 13 games, McDavid had notched five goals and 12 points. He joins an Oilers injured list that already includes Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Rob Klinkhammer, Griffin Reinhart and Lauri Korpikoski.