'C' change? New Oilers coach says it's 'virtually impossible' to make decision yet

Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports

The winds of change could blow the 'C' off Andrew Ference's jersey.

He'll enter Edmonton Oilers training camp as team captain, but new head coach Todd McLellan says it's too early to properly evaluate the Oilers' leadership structure.

"It's virtually impossible for me as an individual to make a call on the leadership group and tactics that are in play here right now because I haven't experienced the team as a whole," he said on the Oilers Now podcast.

"I haven't experienced a lot of the individuals and the way they carry themselves, the way they react to certain situations," McLellan said. "Are they verbal leaders? Physical leaders? Are they both? How do they react in successful situations? How do they react to failure? How do they interact with their teammates - I can't answer any of those questions as a coach right now."

McLellan is high on Ference, based on what he's seen and heard.

"Ference is our captain right now and he's done a tremendous job of it," he said. "He is a quality individual, he stands for everything you need to have as a professional. He's well conditioned, he's well prepared, he’s got a strong belief system - so those are pretty good qualities right now in that individual."

McLellan coached the San Jose Sharks without a captain last season, and could enter his tenure with the Oilers looking to see who steps up to his liking.

Ference, for his part, has already said he has someone else in mind to fill the role if McLellan decides to remove his 'C.' He was named captain after signing with the team back in 2013.

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'C' change? New Oilers coach says it's 'virtually impossible' to make decision yet
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