The longer the weeks dragged on, the more Taylor Hall longed to get back on the ice. He had recovered from an ankle injury, put in his time in the gym — and then some.

"By the end of the summer, I was getting sick of working out. I just wanted to get back on the ice," the Edmonton Oilers' prized pick from the 2010 NHL entry draft said after skating with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky during the first on-ice training camp session at Rexall Place.

"I feel good, I feel strong, I feel like I have a pretty good base for this year. I hope that serves me well for the season. I think I had about three and half months to train this summer and last year it was about seven weeks. It was a big change."