It is called the U-test, and the Edmonton Oilers who have taken it do not speak of it fondly.

"It puts fear in everyone," said defenceman Ryan Whitney.

The test is a signature of head coach Tom Renney, and any Oiler returning from an injury has to take it.

Simulating 45-second shifts, it is a leg-burning exercise that Renney uses to determine whether or not a player is physically ready to move back into the lineup.

"If you don't pass, you're just ready to start crying," said Whitney. "It's four shifts of 45-50 seconds with three minutes rest. And three minutes sounds a lot longer than it is. You can't have a drop off of one to two seconds from the first to the fourth, which is what makes it really, really tough."