JONES: 'It could be worse' says Edmonton Oilers coach about NHL schedule

Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger walks around the dressing room during a conditioning...

Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger walks around the dressing room during a conditioning skate. The Oiler players return to the ice at Rexall on Jan. 8. Perry Mah/Edmonton Sun

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:05 AM ET

The NHL lockout shortened schedule was expected to be quirky. But when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers it's extra quirky.

It's bizarre. It's freaky. It's way out weird.

But, if you're new head coach Ralph Krueger, it could be worse.

“I looked at ours and then I looked at some other teams. Ours isn't the worst schedule out there. We new we were going to have the big trip in the middle a long time ago because of the Brier. But we have 10 of the first 17 at home and seven of the last nine at home. It's tough with four games in each of the first three weeks. But there's opportunity there for us.

“It's not worse that expected. Having 48 games in 98 days when it comes to our young hockey team as a tremendous growth opportunity.”

After 119 days and another dozen hours after players ratified the new collective bargaining agreement, the New York lawyers finally got the memorandum of understanding signed just before midnight Saturday.

And if waiting for the


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