Connor McDavid. There are very few people who do not recognize that name. Previous monikers are coming back to fruition, like the oft-used Connor “McJesus”, the genius hockey player who will be the “Messiah” to save the NHL.
And after the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, Connor McDavid’s name has become even more of a household phenomenon. McDavid led the league in scoring this past year with 100 points, winning the Hart Trophy, as well as the Ted Lindsay Award for Most Valuable Player.
In his typically calm manner, he “awe shuck-ed” his way through a moving speech, thanking all those who count the most to him including family, friends, and especially his fellow hockey players. The cheering audience was held rapt as he named off everyone he could remember in what came off as a humble and sincere nod to hockey and he did it with grace and aplomb. The League needed a cap-off of excitement such as this to carry through the off-season into what will be sure to be an extra exciting new year for the Edmonton Oilers and their fans, in fact, all NHL fans.
The 20 year-old Oilers Captain led his team to their first play-off run in 11 years. Word has it that Vegas predictions for 2018 are betting on a possible Stanley Cup victory. Oilers are 12-1 favourites, behind only the Pittsburgh Penguins, despite the fact that the Oil lost in the second round of game seven play-offs to the Anaheim Ducks in Spring of 2017.
McDavid states, “We have to realize what made us successful last year and carry it over. I think we expect ourselves to have a good year. The media and fans are going to put expectations on us, but I think we put those same pressures on ourselves”.
McDavid has also stated that he wishes to increase his goal totals next year and plans to work hard to accomplish just that, “I want to get a better shot and want to be more dangerous from the outside, definitely from that half-wall position on the power play…I’m not going to put any numbers on myself. That’s just a recipe for disaster. But definitely want to score more”.
McDavid won the Hart Trophy in his second season, the first Oilers player since Mark Messier won in 1990.
McDavid’s multiple award wins are being juxtaposed by Oilers fans on to what appears will be an exciting season for 2018. Ranging from those who respect hockey, to those who have called him lightheartedly, Connor “McJesus”, he has seemed to single-handedly have brought more attention to the game, creating new fans, young and old. Additionally, he has added to the popularity of the hockey mindset, also bringing back more eyes and ears tuned into games and hockey lore, while building a hunger in Edmonton for more and bigger wins than ever before from their Oilers hockey “Messiah”.