The Edmonton Oilers will have to get along without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the rest of January because of a shoulder injury. I can’t imagine the news will get any better when Ryan Whitney meets with team medical staff in Dallas to discuss his difficult comeback from ankle surgery.

With all the trouble Whitney has had coming back from surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right ankle, the Oilers defenseman met with the specialist who performed his procedure in Charlotte this week to try to get some answers as to why he’s still experiencing so much pain.

My understanding is one distinct possibility is that Whitney re-injured himself four games into his comeback when he took an awkward fall against the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place Oct. 25.

The fall resulted in a sprained right knee that put Whitney back on the shelf for 13 games. It might also have damaged his right ankle or foot – not necessarily the tendon that was repaired but perhaps a ligament or other soft tissue. Until the results of an MRI are interpreted by team medical staff, it’s too early to say for certain.


If that’s indeed the case, it seems obvious to me the only option would seem to be to keep Whitney, who has missed Edmonton’s last six games, out of action until the pain that’s clearly impacted his game subsides and any further damage is allowed to heal completely..

With the Oilers hitting the halfway mark in the schedule when they wrap up their road trip against the Stars Saturday, Whitney has played in just 17 games so far this season. It’s been more than obvious that he hasn’t been skating or moving like he did prior to the injury.

Before this road trip began, it was determined Whitney had tendinitis in the ankle. Rest, these last six games, was the course of action decided upon. If that condition has been complicated by further damage to a ligament in the foot, it’s a safe bet Whitney will be in for more of the same. Likely a lot more.

Bottom line, there’s a distinct possibility the Oilers will not only be without their best forward for the rest of the month, but that Nugent-Hopkins will have company in Whitney. For how long exactly, we don’t know yet.

Stay tuned.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • magisterrex

    I wonder about Barker’s injury. I wonder if it’s an actual ankle injury or if the man is getting treatment for something else. The whole thing was handled with such secrecy and with no updates, that it leads to speculation. He wouldn’t be the first NHL player to go down the wrong rabbit hole and need help to get out.

  • ubermiguel

    Whitney and the team need to put his recovery first, and frankly, the team is not going to be playing any meaningful games (aside from developing the newbies) until this October. Get well and speedy recovery Ryan!

  • Talbot17

    lol, funny people get so worked up over the FIST, its not a racial slur or a swear, why get so against it? It makes me laugh everytime i see a beautiful fist comment on here, nice to see after the oilers game where they usually crap the bed with continually more negatives then positives.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    I hate to say it, because you know… bros before hoes, and RB is the equivalent of one sweet, sweet hoe, but Soft Hands may have jumped the gun a little. 

    RB’s “NO CIGAR!” is a gateway comment into possibly some serious FISTing in good time. So props to you, RB (14th one is mine), for dangling that in front of the Movement. But now that the invitation has been sent, the Movement, much like Borat’s brother Bilo, *will* “break cage and GET DIS”!

    ***Of course I’m referring to RB’s articles as the “number 3 prostitute in all of Kazakstan”. And that ain’t too shabby at all!***

  • KidsInTheHall!

    The problem is the teams 5 on 5 play. Special teams are lighting it up, and the goal tending was great when we weren’t letting teams get in deep on us like they are now.

    We need our veterans to come back to the form they were in at the beginning of the season. We didn’t have Whitney then either. Remember Ryan Smyth’s start, Horcoff’s? Gagne and Hemsky didn’t start well I’ll give you that, but they couldn’t possibly do any worse than they did at the beginning of the season.

    Please please for the love of i-eesh-ah, do NOT start calling for another first place pick at this point (not pointing at anyone in particular, just picking up that vibe). It’s Friday, and I don’t want to cry myself to sleep on the weekends anymore.

  • I was kind of looking forward to dicing with Soft Hands and his crew, but I’m a cranky old bugger and when somebody skips right past an opportunity to have some fun and takes a poke at me, I get stubborn and ugly in a hurry.

    I was even going to phone our website tech guys to see what it would take to replicate the first comment box at the bottom of every story I write so that it automatically appeared filled out when I file my items. That would have produced a shutout of like 100-0 after six months and Soft Hands and his crew would have been absolutely spastic by that time.

    Stalin my eye. Maybe next time.

    • Stubborn and ugly is the only way we want it to be Reuben. This place just wouldn’t be the same if we couldn’t get that Bronte 5000 to short circuit once and a while.

      I enjoy your articles Robin.

      Looking back, I’m off by a couple weeks as this should have been brought up during The Airing of Grevances.

      But I feel like this has taken up far too many of the 80 Comments here.

      I think Whitney’s body has over worked the “working” parts compensating for the injured or weak parts. He needs more time to get work through this and get back to true #1 form. And if that means sitting most or the rest of this season then so be it. Third times the charm right?

      • So, should we get this back on? I’ve got the tech guys on speed dial and you have ZERO chance. NONE. NADA.

        If I decide not to cheat outright like that, I can enlist an all-star team of blockers to match up against your fingers-clenched crew and we can have at it. I’m in if you are.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Opportunity knocks for Gagne and Tuebert. Listening to stauffer at the intermission last night talk about how the Oil needed to be aware of the penalty situation and then bang 12 seconds in there 3-2. Then another penalty 3-3. Is it me or was that just plain stupidity on the players.

    Whitney. Done. Maybe for good. If thats me. Im done. I would rather sacrifice the rest of my hockey career than be sitting in a wheelchair the rest of life knowing that I could have done something to prevent it. Not saying he is going to be in a wheelchair. But man the idea that I would have to function with limited mobility would be real frustrating. He needs to look after number 1. Longterm. Life. You only get one ride.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Of course the Bronte 5000 is right, it’s always right. It is a virtual truth machine.

    Never doubt the B 5000.

    Not that it matters but the Oilers record the game after a Bronte banning is 5 wins and no losses. Put another win in the books for tommorows game in Dallas.

    Thanks OilerBill

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Give him the rest of January off and try pushing it again in Feb. If it’s still tender, try again in the fall. We’re in Hockey that doesn’t matter mode anyways.

    Yakupov/Grigorenko and Murray or bust.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    delete away brownlee . . . edit: No, let’s leave it. Thank goodness it’s 2012 because I’d reached my ban quota for 2011 and would have had to get special permission from Oilersnation headquarters (whatever cathouse Wanye is in over in Thailand) to run more readers.