Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins says his shoulder is “feeling good” after undergoing surgery on April 23; however, he’ll probably be wearing a yellow no-contact jersey to start training camp.
“It feels good right now but I know it’s got to heal,” Nugent-Hopkins said, per the club’s website. “I’ll let it do its thing and I’ve got to get my strength back. So there’s going to be lots of discussions with the doctor and the medical staff over the next few weeks. Just got to make sure it’s 100 percent before I go out there.”
The 20-year-old former first overall pick also said he’s “put on a few pounds” and is currently tipping the scales at between 180 and 185 pounds.
In addition, he’s been working on his shot this offseason, with good results.
“My shot feels great,” he said. “It feels probably a little bit better than last year even.”
For now, though, he can’t say if he’ll be ready for Edmonton’s season-opener versus Winnipeg on Oct. 1.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I guess time will tell but we’ll see how the next month goes and talk with doctors and go from there.
“Everybody’s going to be a little bit cautious. It’s important to make sure that it’s going to be good for the rest of my career and make sure that it’s at 100 percent at the start of the fall.”
Related: They said Nugent-Hopkins would get hurt — and so far, they’ve sort of been right
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.