Rather than take any chances with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ surgically repaired shoulder, the Edmonton Oilers will not send their centre out for any pre-season games. That also puts into question his availability for the first month of the regular season.
Nugent-Hopkins had surgery in April to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder. General manager Craig MacTavish said on Sunday that the club is still following the initial timeline, which was a November 1 return. If Nugent-Hopkins isn’t ready for the opener, the Oilers will need to find another centre. MacTavish did not rule the possibility of Taylor Hall moving from the wing but said it would be a coaching decision.