The trip back home to Edmonton did not give Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or his team any good news, as the diagnosis came in right away and the talented centre will be out of the Oilers' line-up for the next 3-to-4 weeks with a shoulder injury. This is definitely not the news that the team wanted to hear, as they have been struggling of late, dropping down to last place in the Northwest Division, well out of a playoff spot, as the New Year begins.
Before the end of January, the Oilers will play 11 games and we should expect Nugent-Hopkins will be in the press box for all of them, working his way into the beginning of February before coming back.
This is going to be a pretty big hit to Wayne H. in the draft, not to mention a number of teams in the sheet pool that made the trade over to him this season.
11 games on the shelf could mean missing out on 9 or 10 points (maybe even more) down the stretch, which will certainly cost Wayne, who only sits 13 points up on 5th place, as of Thursday afternoon. With Andy Greene and Joni Pitkanen already on the shelf, there are going to be a lot of games missed out on in the next little while for Wayne and his footing in the money is somewhat in jeopardy.