There is still a month left in another long off-season, which is far too long as far as Jordan Eberle is concerned. One of the longest-serving players on the Edmonton Oilers’ roster, Eberle said on Tuesday that he is increasingly anxious to get back at it. He is leaner, quicker and fitter than he has been since he played his first full NHL season in 2010-11. “I’ve never felt better,” he said. Meanwhile, the off-season moves orchestrated by general manager Craig MacTavish have given the Oilers some much needed size and experience. Gone is Sam Gagner, who ended up with the Arizona Coyotes in a three-team trade that netted the Oilers Teddy Purcell. Benoit Pouliot, who had a Stanley Cup run with the New York Rangers during the spring, is among the Oilers’ top nine forwards, and Mark Fayne and Keith Aulie bulk up the back end. “The biggest thing that sticks out to me is the size that we’ve added, especially on the back end,” said Eberle, who was taking part in the Oilers hockey school on Tuesday. “Those two guys are six-three and above and, obviously, some bigger skilled guys up front. “Any time you get into August, you start getting a little antsy to get back to training camp. That’s how I feel right now, especially with the additions. We have guys who know how to win and I think they all want to play here, too. I’m looking forward to this year.” The Oilers have also made changes on the coaching side, adding Craig Ramsay and Rocky Thompson to head coach Dallas Eakins’ staff. Steve Smith is now an assistant with the Carolina Hurricanes while Kelly Buchberger was relocated to the player development arm of the club.
‘I’ve never felt better’ — Jordan Eberle
Edmonton Journal | Aug 13