It's not exactly a secret that Kelly Buchberger is joining the Edmonton Oilers' coaching staff.
It hasn't been for a year now.
From the moment he took the job in Springfield there was speculation that the former Oiler was just paying his dues before joining Craig MacTavish with the big team.
What? You thought he went down there to be a career minor league coach?
CAT NOT OUT OF BAG
But the cat still isn't officially out of the bag as both Buchberger and MacTavish wouldn't comment on the issue yesterday at the Oilers summer development camp.
"Everybody on the outside is drawing conclusions and they're probably accurate," said MacTavish. "But it's a discussion for another day."
Asked about his plans for the fall, Buchberger would only say: "Time will tell."
Buchberger, who spent a season as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Road Runners during the NHL lockout says his rookie season as the head man in Springfield was a great experience.
"I had a great supporting cast with Jeff Truitt and David Bell," he said. "We talked a lot. A coaching staff is not just one guy, all three had an input in how we wanted to run the team. The head coach just gets to talk more and maybe discipline the guys a little more.
"But I really enjoy it. It was a challenge, no question, at certain times, but when you have players who work hard for you and a supporting cast like our assistant coaches, it made it a lot easier."
A lot of Edmonton's prospects took a big step forward in the last year, something Buchberger and his staff take satisfaction in.
"I think everybody in the organization is happy with the development of our young players," he said. "You take a little pride, but what it really comes down to is if the players really want it, they're going to make it by themselves.
HAVE TO WANT IT BADLY
"You can steer them the right ways, but if they don't really want to dig down deep and get better and sacrifice themselves, show discipline and everything else, they're not going to get better.
"I can honestly say our group of players down in Springfield, they really wanted to get better. They trained hard off the ice, trained hard on the ice, they listened, they wanted to get better."