Feb 4, 2012, 7:52 PM EDT
After a little over a month on the sidelines because of a shoulder injury, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is finally ready to return. The Calder Trophy frontrunner will join the Edmonton Oilers when they face the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
Before falling due to a rut on the ice on Jan. 3, Nugent-Hopkins had never been significantly injured while playing hockey, so returning after a month is all new territory for him.
“I’m very excited, it’s been a long time,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “I can’t really let my emotions get too high, because it’ll probably take over my game. I’m just going to try and stay even keel and just try to play.”
Because of Sam Gagner’s stunning eight-point performance on Thursday, Nugent-Hopkins’ return will not break up the top line, which also includes Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall. Instead, Nugent-Hopkins will skate on the second line with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky.
- It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT 0
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 35
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 45
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 32
- Different tune: Moore hasn’t settled with Bertuzzi, says brother 27
- Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes 25
- Kovalev compares Subban to Leetch, says he isn’t worth the money 50
- Under pressure: Rick Nash 9
- Wang sells Isles to ex-Caps owner Ledecky 41
- Report: MLSE CEO Leiweke to step down (Update: Leiweke denies move) 6