We don’t yet know when Connor McDavid will suit up for his first game back from injury, but we do know it won’t be before the NHL’s All-Star break at the end of the month.
Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan confirmed the news Saturday, saying the 18-year-old rookie “is not physically ready to play.”
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector pointed out Friday that the Oilers have a longer break than most around the All-Star weekend with a nine-day stretch between games, and that it simply wouldn’t make sense for the team to bring McDavid back beforehand.
“Then they have 12 days until their all-star break starts (Jan. 23). Their break begins four days earlier than a lot of teams. So as we get closer to that break, bringing back Connor McDavid (and then having a week off) doesn’t make a lot of sense. I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said earlier this week.
Spector projected Feb. 2 as a logical return date.
McDavid, who suffered a broken clavicle Nov. 3, is likely to travel with the team for their two-game road trip next week, when they’ll face the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks.
McLellan also gave a brief update on Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom, indicating he is also doubtful for a return prior to the All-Star weekend.