NUGENT-HOPKINS NEEDS SURGERY

Jason Gregor
April 21 2013 11:25AM

Ryan Nugent-Hopkin's season is over. He will have shoulder surgery, as early as this Tuesday in Cleveland.

He has a suspected labrum tear in his left shoulder. Last year they fixed his AC joint on the same shoulder, but now he will need the same surgery Taylor Hall had last year.

Hall's season ended on March 27th last year, he had surgery on April 3rd, and he played his first game in OKC on November 2nd, 2012.

Nugent-Hopkins might have surgery as early as this Tuesday, April 23rd, but that means he likely won't play until mid-November. Due to the lockout the Oilers didn't have to rush Hall back, and the Oilers will need to fight the urge to get RNH back on the ice next season.

Just like Hall, Nugent-Hopkin's injury dates back to junior. Hall told me last fall that the surgery process is painful, but that he felt much better, he also said he was glad he didn't have to rush back due to the lockout. The Oilers must play it safe with RNH in October and give him significant time to heal.

It is fair to ask why RNH didn't have this surgery a month ago because it was clear from the start of the season that he's been struggling. I wasn't at the morning skate so I couldn't ask him, but it is something I will ask tomorrow. I suspect the answer will be that they were the hunt for the playoffs and the doctors said he couldn't injure it any worse than it was. 

There is no chance Nugent-Hopkins will be ready for the season opener, and that means the Oilers will be without their #1 centre. I understand the Oilers wanted to compete for the playoffs this year, but I think they should have sent Nugent-Hopkins to the surgeon much sooner.

 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Spydyr
April 21 2013, 11:26AM
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Why did they wait so fisting long???

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#2 Geoff
April 21 2013, 11:28AM
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Well looking on the bright side after Hall had his surgery he was 100% good to go so hopefully Nuge is the same way!

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#3 JDP
April 21 2013, 11:29AM
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Thats what happens when you put a kid as your first line center playing against way stronger men.

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#4 Virtual_Xi
April 21 2013, 11:30AM
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well that was the elephant in the room, it was painfully obvious he was going to need shoulder surgery. A lack of centre depth this season meant he had to stick it out and now we miss him for the first part of next season...great.

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#5 Reagan
April 21 2013, 11:35AM
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No more cover ups... The truth finally comes out. Pathetic that this organization chooses not to be honest with itself and public. Time for some major moves. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic.

On my way to buy a Boston Bruins Jersey... Good thing I get center I've for free. This Oilers crap is pathetic... Maybe they will be a team and organization some day...

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#6 Eddie Shore
April 21 2013, 11:35AM
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This was an awful, short-sighted decision that now impacts next year as well. Im very disappointed in the management of personnel by the team this year.

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#7 Woodguy
April 21 2013, 11:37AM
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There is no chance Nugent-Hopkins will be ready for the season opener, and that means the Oilers will be without their #1 centre. I understand the Oilers wanted to compete for the playoffs this year, but I think they should have sent Nugent-Hopkins to the surgeon much sooner.

Another bad decision on a long list of bad decisions by the Edmonton Oilers.

Ol' 6 rings is a winner though, don't question his hockey acumen.

I hope after his MacT presser performance he's kept to pancake breakfasts with sponsors and 1st tier fans.

The playoffs were essentially out of reach after losing to ANA on April 8th.

I hope the timing of this announcement was coupled with MacT smacking everyone who kept him playing upside the head.

Just dumb.

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#8 Zack
April 21 2013, 11:37AM
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An Oiler with a shoulder injury? Is anyone surprised?

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#9 Mark-LW
April 21 2013, 11:43AM
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JDP wrote:

Thats what happens when you put a kid as your first line center playing against way stronger men.

"Just like Hall, Nugent-Hopkin's injury dates back to junior"

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#10 JDP
April 21 2013, 11:51AM
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I guess you dont watch any of the games then. I dont buy that "dates back to junior" crap either.

"Hey kid. We noticed your shoulder is hurting. Oh well...lets just wait til you play in the Nhl where the game is allot faster and rougher."

Wake up!!!!

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#11 DSF
April 21 2013, 11:52AM
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Sheldon Souray says "HI".

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#12 JDP
April 21 2013, 11:53AM
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@JDP

This organization is a joke.

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#13 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 11:53AM
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So was the decision not to have surgery fall on the player gm or coach?

I know the player wants to play but doesnt management have overriding power on a decision like this.

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#14 JDP
April 21 2013, 11:53AM
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@DSF

Yeah no kidding. I always liked him anyway. Best of luck to him!

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#15 oilers2k10
April 21 2013, 11:55AM
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could this be MacT's bold move that we've been waiting for?

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#16 DonDon
April 21 2013, 11:56AM
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Haste makes waste.

When I read: "...the doctors said he couldn't injure it any worse than it was" raises my doubts. Medically, is this really true?

The Oilers long-standing weakness at the centre position has seriously impeded the club's success. Now they will miss Nugent-Hopkins for a month at the beginning of next season and we all hope he fully recovers from the injury.

Speaking of hope, it is incumbent on Craig MacTavish that he addresses the centre problem ASAP. And the answer isn't within the current roster. Horcoff is badly slipping, Smyth was a very short-term and not particularly good solution, Belanger should be toast, Smithson is a big question mark, and what will become of UFA Gagner?

MacTavish has inherited a real mess.

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#17 Dub t
April 21 2013, 11:56AM
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Another smart decision by Kevin Lowe and co.!

Good thing we have depth at centre! We can afford to lose Hopkins for 15 games next year!

Should've shut him down earlier and got help in the centre position. Derek Roy and Steve ott for example. Neither would've cost the first round pick and would've been a half decent option until rnh was ready. Then next year we would have some depth.

Mact you have your work cut out for you. Time to get meaner. Make sure people Pay the price for running the young guys. I have no complaints about who we picked the last 3 years, the issue is allowing them to play their game without getting run. The supporting cast is abismal. Get rid of gagner, hemsky, Belanger, Whitney, potter, etc and get some tougher guys who can skate to keep up and clear room.

Honestly I wish I could punch this management group square in the face.

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#18 Rocket
April 21 2013, 11:56AM
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Oh good! Another major Oiler injury!

Why do I cheer for this team again?

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#19 DSF
April 21 2013, 11:58AM
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Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 37m

"This week is still very important for us, but getting him back a week earlier next year made the decision." - Krueger on RNH

LOL.

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#20 DSF
April 21 2013, 12:00PM
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JDP wrote:

Yeah no kidding. I always liked him anyway. Best of luck to him!

Souray and Beauchemin are the best defensive pairing in the NHL this season.

Wouldn't want that kind of influence around the young Oilers. :)

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#21 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:01PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

This was an awful, short-sighted decision that now impacts next year as well. Im very disappointed in the management of personnel by the team this year.

Maybe this is part of the reason why Dithers got the boot, y'know assesing the situation for to long instead of telling RNH go for surgery now(back at the begining of April or even saying no he cant go to the world juniors).

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#22 Minister D-
April 21 2013, 12:02PM
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I think for many (Lowetide was on top of this early), it was apparent that RNH was playing injured. And, damn it, he just wouldn't be an Oiler unless he's had season-ending shoulder injury. That's part of the deal.

This will prove a good test for MacT this summer. We now need, in some form or another, three centremen: one might be coming in the draft, but they'll also need to find solid depth guy (Smithson?), along with replacements for compliance-buyout Belanger and trade-bait Gagner.

Lander's the only guy in the system even close to taking one of these spots, unless they move Hall to C, then one summer pickup will need to be a winger (or, failing that, Toni Rajala).

With RNH down, I worry about drafting a raw C, burning a year of his ELC while throwing him into the deep end.

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#23 Racki
April 21 2013, 12:03PM
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This should spell the end of Sam Gagner..... trade rumors. I would think it would be impossible to move him now without completely crippling the team.

Not a good way to start next season, but I guess we can just hope that he has an accelerated, but healthy recovery.

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#24 JDP
April 21 2013, 12:04PM
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Apparently you need no valid experience to work for the oilers. Just ask mact and freddy cougar.

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#25 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:04PM
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@DSF

well at least its a week earlier, never know might be still in the hunt the week he comes back lol.

To me this falls under ST's faults as a gm

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#26 The Soup Fascist
April 21 2013, 12:04PM
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How much better is Gagner's bargaining position? If I am his agent I am rubbing my hands together.

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#27 JDP
April 21 2013, 12:06PM
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@DSF

Thats why they signed potter. Lol. Watta joke

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#28 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
April 21 2013, 12:07PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Maybe this is part of the reason why Dithers got the boot, y'know assesing the situation for to long instead of telling RNH go for surgery now(back at the begining of April or even saying no he cant go to the world juniors).

i think you are crazy if you think dithers had the authority to make a decision like that on his own.

tambellini took the fall, but this sort of crap is on the whole group of them.

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#29 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 21 2013, 12:07PM
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This whole thing is ugly. It smells of fear. A GM and coach fearful of losing their jobs. We've been looking at the big picture for 3 years now and the same people who continue to preach this position have a very short sighted approach to the Oilers #1 center. Asinine. Not impressed.

"The things we want to take out of this season and into next year should be visible in this week's games." - Coach Krueger

This sh*t is funny. Not ha-ha funny, but funny...

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#30 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:09PM
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Minister D- wrote:

I think for many (Lowetide was on top of this early), it was apparent that RNH was playing injured. And, damn it, he just wouldn't be an Oiler unless he's had season-ending shoulder injury. That's part of the deal.

This will prove a good test for MacT this summer. We now need, in some form or another, three centremen: one might be coming in the draft, but they'll also need to find solid depth guy (Smithson?), along with replacements for compliance-buyout Belanger and trade-bait Gagner.

Lander's the only guy in the system even close to taking one of these spots, unless they move Hall to C, then one summer pickup will need to be a winger (or, failing that, Toni Rajala).

With RNH down, I worry about drafting a raw C, burning a year of his ELC while throwing him into the deep end.

With RNH I can see Hall being moved to Center full time.

Centers when RNH comes back:

Hall,RNH,Gagner,Horcoff/Smithson

Im just glad the team has a gm that is actually willing to go do something instead of ST and his wait and see approach.

EDIT: I do expect Mact to upgrade the center position from what I put down above.

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#31 DSF
April 21 2013, 12:09PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

well at least its a week earlier, never know might be still in the hunt the week he comes back lol.

To me this falls under ST's faults as a gm

Yeah...Lowe (PRESIDENT OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS) was likely too busy polishing his 6 STANLEY CUP RINGS to notice that one of his star players was in need of surgery.

But I'm just a third tier fan, so what do I know?

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#32 Dog Train
April 21 2013, 12:10PM
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Another brutal decision by the Oilers. They seemed to know there was some sort of an issue back around the World Juniors too because they brought him to Edmonton to get it checked out. Something should have been done much sooner, we're talking about the franchise's first line center. Now we will probably be without him for at least a month of next season. I am not surprised that he needs surgery, I think everybody knew that something was wrong with his shoulder. Stupid.

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#33 Fresh Mess
April 21 2013, 12:11PM
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The Oilers flap their gums about being cautious with injured players but always rush them back to the lineup. I hope this explains why RNH looked like crap much of this season.

I would guess this means Horcoff finishes the season as 2c and Lander 3c with Smithson 4c.

With Hemsky and Petrell out it looks like Jones, Smyth, and Hartikainenn dress for the remainder of the games too.

Hartikainenn needs to show whether he can play at this level. This should be his last audition.

Any success this team has in the future will be in spite of the terrible ownership/management in place.

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#34 Rocket
April 21 2013, 12:13PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

How much better is Gagner's bargaining position? If I am his agent I am rubbing my hands together.

Yeah no kidding. I always liked Gagner but thought he was a tradable asset. Now? This management group is inept enough to still think he is the way forward.

Time will tell & maybe I'll be proven wrong but Gagner is still a question mark by my eye.

I think based on this year, his agent is going to ask for a lot.

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#35 Eddie Edmonton
April 21 2013, 12:14PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

How much better is Gagner's bargaining position? If I am his agent I am rubbing my hands together.

Get rid of Gagner. Ever since this team decided to invest in him, it has resulted into nothing but losing seasons.

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#36 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:15PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

i think you are crazy if you think dithers had the authority to make a decision like that on his own.

tambellini took the fall, but this sort of crap is on the whole group of them.

true, he did, but he did have final say on RNH playing in the worlds, surely something showed up at the pre assesment before the worlds started.

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#37 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:16PM
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@DSF

lol Im a 2nd tier fan I dont know to much either.

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#38 Eddie Edmonton
April 21 2013, 12:17PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

With RNH I can see Hall being moved to Center full time.

Centers when RNH comes back:

Hall,RNH,Gagner,Horcoff/Smithson

Im just glad the team has a gm that is actually willing to go do something instead of ST and his wait and see approach.

EDIT: I do expect Mact to upgrade the center position from what I put down above.

You're not serious, are you? Gagner as a 3rd line center? He can win a face-off or a battle against the boards, and he's your winning team's 3rd line center.

What has MacT done in the last week that showed you he is willing to do something? Already?

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#39 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 21 2013, 12:19PM
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Rocket wrote:

Yeah no kidding. I always liked Gagner but thought he was a tradable asset. Now? This management group is inept enough to still think he is the way forward.

Time will tell & maybe I'll be proven wrong but Gagner is still a question mark by my eye.

I think based on this year, his agent is going to ask for a lot.

I think Gagner's position here will be determined if the Oil can or can't get a bigger/skilled centerman this summer.

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#40 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:19PM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

Get rid of Gagner. Ever since this team decided to invest in him, it has resulted into nothing but losing seasons.

I think 6 yrs out of the playoffs and 3 years of down right brutal hockey goes beyond Gagner, its not all on him.

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#41 Eddie Edmonton
April 21 2013, 12:20PM
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Rocket wrote:

Yeah no kidding. I always liked Gagner but thought he was a tradable asset. Now? This management group is inept enough to still think he is the way forward.

Time will tell & maybe I'll be proven wrong but Gagner is still a question mark by my eye.

I think based on this year, his agent is going to ask for a lot.

6 years in the league and still a question mark? This can't be. Who is his dad friends with?

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#42 Eddie Edmonton
April 21 2013, 12:22PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I think 6 yrs out of the playoffs and 3 years of down right brutal hockey goes beyond Gagner, its not all on him.

It is not all on him, of course. But lets be real, the kid has been spoon fed for no particular reason. Was the management trying to hide the fact that they should have kept Cogliano over him, and feed him soft ice-time to make him self and them look good?

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#43 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:25PM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

You're not serious, are you? Gagner as a 3rd line center? He can win a face-off or a battle against the boards, and he's your winning team's 3rd line center.

What has MacT done in the last week that showed you he is willing to do something? Already?

At a 43% FO yes he would be my 3rd line center, I also dont see Hall playing the 3rd line center, Hall is a big minute player.

He hasnt done nothing this week because he cant do anything til after the finals but I do expect him to do way more in one summer than ST did in 3 years.

I also dont see RNH playing top line minutes til after next year.

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#44 a lg dubl dubl
April 21 2013, 12:29PM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

It is not all on him, of course. But lets be real, the kid has been spoon fed for no particular reason. Was the management trying to hide the fact that they should have kept Cogliano over him, and feed him soft ice-time to make him self and them look good?

I could be wrong but I dont think Gagner was fed "soft minutes" except for his rookie season and maybe his 2nd season.

Either way he has always put up 40-50 points every year, thats pretty good for a 2nd line centerman, and this year save for the last week he was top point getter on the team, facing the other teams 2nd and sometimes 1st line.

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#45 Minister D-
April 21 2013, 12:29PM
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On the upside: without RNH, the tank job that could land us Barkov or Monahan is now all but complete.

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#46 JDP
April 21 2013, 12:31PM
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speechless right now.

joke

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#47 Eddie Edmonton
April 21 2013, 12:31PM
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@a lg dubl dubl

But, if he has not done anything-how did you come to the strong conclusion that he is willing to do something? Or that it will be much different than ST?

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#48 oilers2k10
April 21 2013, 12:32PM
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why not put Hall at center for the remaining five games? What's there to lose? I know he wants the whole pre season to get accustomed to that position but what exactly are the remaining games for the oilers to the oilers? Pre-Season to next years pre season, perfect time to put Hall between Yakupov/Eberle and Paajarvi or somethin.

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#49 Wäx Män Riley
April 21 2013, 12:37PM
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JDP wrote:

Thats what happens when you put a kid as your first line center playing against way stronger men.

What happens? They get hurt in junior?

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#50 JDP
April 21 2013, 12:41PM
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@Wäx Män Riley

no way he should be playing on the first line. if his shoulder was hurt in junior why would they not fix it then? Dont you think playing in a bigger,faster leaque might just improve your chances just a tiny little bit of re hurting your shoulder?

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