The Edmonton Oilers provided an update on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Thursday, and it’s not especially promising: they deem it a “minor concussion.”
He’s out for tonight’s game against the Arizona Coyotes, and considering the stakes and his woeful injury history, the Oilers would probably wise to shut him down for the rest of 2015-16.
That’s up to the Oilers, yet either way, RNH’s injury luck has been just horrendous.
Thanks to the Hockey News’ listings, we can take a look at his long line of troubling maladies:
2015-16: Currently concussed, missed 23 games with a hand injury
2013-14 and 2014-15: He was actually relatively healthy, playing in 76 and 80 games. Still lacks a fully healthy season, however.
2012-13: Yes, the season was limited by that lockout, but he missed eight out of 48 games. Disturbingly fitting that he was placed on IR less than a month after signing a seven-year contract extension.
2011-12: Missed 13 games with an upper-body injury and seven with a shoulder injury (these issues would resurface later in his career).
Even Sami Salo probably feels a little bad for RNH looking at his past few years, especially when you consider the fact that Nugent-Hopkins is still just 22.
It’s frustrating for the Oilers, and as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted in the latest edition of 30 Thoughts, even the rest of the league is a little exasperated:
4. You could almost hear a league-wide groan when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left Tuesday night’s game in Arizona after taking a Connor Murphy hit. Don’t know if his future is in the Alberta capital or elsewhere, but it certainly complicates matters if he finishes the season injured. I’d keep him, but it’s not only the Oilers who recognize his value.
Yes, it’s frustrating, but none of this alters the wiser path toward ending his season rather than risking further head injuries.