It appears Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play for Canada in the 2013 world junior championship in Russia.
The Edmonton Oilers forward, who is playing for Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League during the NHL lockout, was scheduled to have his left shoulder examined Sunday, a move that's more precautionary than anything else, Sportsnet reported.
If Nugent-Hopkins gets a clean bill of health, he will suit up for Canada at the tournament, which starts on Boxing Day. Nugent-Hopkins injured the shoulder last season and had off-season surgery.
"He told me late Friday night, 'I want to play for my country. I just want to play in that tournament,'" Nugent-Hopkins' agent, Rick Valette, told Sportsnet.ca. "He wants to win a gold medal. My instincts tell me that he'll play.
"The only reason he wouldn't want to go is because of his health. He wants to play. He wants to win a gold medal for Canada."
Canada will announce the roster (of 35-42 players) for the selection camp, Dec. 10-15 in Calgary, on Monday.
NHLPA OKS PAYMENT
Cash-poor NHLers will soon have a few extra bucks in their pockets.
According to multiple reports, the NHLPA executive board has authorized a $10,000 stipend to all locked-out NHLers.
The players have already missed four pay cheques during the league-imposed lockout. Those not playing in other leagues, particularly in Europe, could be feeling the pinch of not earning a regular income.
The NHL has trimmed 422 games from the schedule, including the Winter Classic. The all-star game in Columbus was also axed.
SHOOTOUT GOES 19 ROUNDS
Boston Bruins prospect Seth Griffith scored in the 19th round of the shootout to lift the London Knights to a 4-3 win over the Mississauga Steelheads Sunday.
Griffith, who started the shootout with a goal as well, scored to win it after Mississauga's Dylan Smoskowitz was stopped. The 19 rounds needed in the shootout set a new Ontario Hockey League record.
Matt Rupert and Josh Anderson also scored in the shootout for London while Smoskowitz, Stuart Percy and Trevor Carrick had the Mississauga goals.
The result extended London's winning streak to 15 games, a league high this season.