SUN Hockey Pool

Curious Georges

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

There was a time when Georges Laraque's name was synonymous with the Edmonton Oilers.

It may still be.

Heading into this off-season, however, the Oilers enforcer is not so sure he'll be back.

In fact, it's the most uncertain he's been about staying in Edmonton since arriving in 1997.

BAD FEELING

"More than ever I'm getting this feeling that there may be a possibility where I might not be here next year," said Laraque. "Now I'm ready for it, whereas in the past I couldn't even see that happening. But things change and they have a lot of good, young prospects coming up."

Laraque is one of a long list of Oilers who become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

He played in 15 of the Oilers 24 games during the playoffs, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

"Nobody had come up to me wanting Georges' job," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "Toughness is only over-valued when you have it and we've got it. It is my hope that we'll be able to keep it."

HIS ONLY TEAM

For Laraque, who's only ever played for the Oilers and is a huge presence in the community, it would be tough to leave.

"To be honest, it would be as hard as it was losing Game 7," Laraque said. "This team and this community have been my second family.

"It would be hard, but hockey is a business and sometimes things happen and you have no control over it and you have to move on."


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