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Matt Hendricks encouraged to bring voice to Oilers

Oilers' Matt Hendricks (23) celebrates after scoring a short-handed goal for the game-winner...

Oilers' Matt Hendricks (23) celebrates after scoring a short-handed goal for the game-winner against the Sabres during the third period in Buffalo on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:59 AM ET

NEW YORK - It wasn’t just Matt Hendricks’ grit that appealed to the Edmonton Oilers, but his leadership abilities as well.

Yet, even leaders sometimes need adjustment periods.

Just over two weeks into his tenure with the Oilers, Hendricks is beginning to feel more himself, comfortable with expressing his thoughts with his new team.

“I think the guys have been very welcoming, the organization has been very welcoming and the coaching staff the same,” Hendricks said. “They’ve all been very welcoming. They want me to be vocal, they want me to be the type of player that I am, which has made it very easy.”

It’s never that easy to come into a new room and establish yourself as a leader, especially among a young group of talented players that the team is building around.

Hendricks admitted as much, but he’s becoming more comfortable with a mentorship role.


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