Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins coming back early

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is poised to return to the Oilers lineup Monday after offseason shoulder...

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is poised to return to the Oilers lineup Monday after offseason shoulder surgery. (Ian Kucerak/QMI Agency)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:13 PM ET

EDMONTON - Edmonton Oilers rookie head coach Dallas Eakins started his post-practice media availability Friday by dispelling an Internet rumour.

He then dropped a bombshell, completely contradicting what the team had been stating from the beginning about the status of centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

“I want to start with the terrible reporting and people who think they have the inside scoop on Nugent-Hopkins, that he’ll play next Saturday against Toronto or Thursday against Montreal, and it’s totally false,” Eakins said. “He will play Monday against New Jersey. Next question.”

So he’s looking that good to be ready to play Monday?

“Well he certainly wouldn’t be looking terrible if I just told you he was playing Monday,” Eakins replied.


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