Oilers fans had an unwelcome surprise waiting for them today in the form of bad news for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The Oilers reported Hopkins will be flying to Cleveland today to have his shoulder examined and that surgery will likely be needed to repair it, thus ending his season. Hopkins has the same injury teammate Taylor Hall had, a torn labrum, and it’s expected he’ll miss six months of action. That means he’ll miss out on training camp in September.
Shoulder problems are nothing new for Nugent-Hopkins. He’s had issues this year stretching back to last season when he initially hurt it. They came up again in December when there were questions about him playing in the World Junior Championships. This season he’s missed just three games but it’s clear the shoulder problems have been there stretching back to February.
Since the Oilers were hovering around the playoff race most this season, the question of whether or not to get his shoulder looked at when it was hurting two months ago may not have come up. Now that they’re set to miss the postseason again, questions will arise over why it wasn’t addressed sooner.