Just after Chris the Intern finished his Injury Report, the Oilers announced that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been placed on the Injured Reserve. Iiro Pakarinen, who was waived back in early December, has been called up from AHL Bakersfield in his place.
The Oilers didn’t specify what RNH’s injury was, but it clearly came from this hit by Brayden McNabb in Edmonton’s game last Saturday against the Golden Knights. I’m fairly certain it’s a shoulder injury, and we know that it isn’t a concussion, which is a good thing.
Here's what sparked the fight. Clean hit on Nugent-Hopkins, who looked shaken up afterward. pic.twitter.com/al83tLUePc— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) January 14, 2018
This is obviously a really, really unfortunate break for both Nugent-Hopkins and the Oilers. Thankfully the Oilers have quite a bit of centre depth, with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Strome capable of being the top three pivots, but RNH was enjoying perhaps the best season of his career, so it’s disappointing that he’s going to miss time.
Pakarinen was pretty bad with the Oilers before being demoted. He had just one assist in 18 games and boasted the worst possession stats on the team. In the AHL, though, Iiro the Hero has been excellent. He’s played 18 games with the Condors and has nine goals and four assists. That’s good for third on the team in goals which, uh, isn’t a good thing for the Condors.
The Oilers will play their first post-bye week game on Saturday at home against the Vancouver Canucks. There’s currently no timetable for Nugent-Hopkins’ return.
Please keep our friend Baggedmilk in your thoughts as he cries underneath the table for Baby Nuge.
RNH has a bruised sternum. Not a serious problem— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) January 18, 2018
UPDATE: Apparently RNH has a bruised sternum, which makes sense given the impact of McNabb’s hit on his chest. Matheson said earlier that the injury is relatively minor and he won’t be out for very long.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Verified Twitter Account, 1/18/2018, 1:00pm MST