Oklahoma City Barons: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins likely out of Barons lineup for a month
The Barons and Edmonton Oilers star expected to play for Team Canada in World Juniors Tournament in Russia
Regardless how NHL lockout negotiations evolve the next few days or weeks, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins probably won't be playing for the Oklahoma City Barons the next month.
Nugent-Hopkins, who missed 20 games with a separated shoulder his rookie season with the Oilers, is spending this week in Edmonton to have his shoulder re-examined. It's nothing serious, but he will miss OKC's two-game series this weekend in San Antonio.
If the lockout continues Nugent-Hopkins, next week, is expected to join Canada's junior national team that will play in Ufa, Russia, over the Christmas holidays.
Canada's junior world team begins training camp Monday in Calgary. The eight-team Under-20 tournament starts Dec. 26 and continues through the first week of January.
“Expectations are extremely high,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “Canada expects to win the gold medal every year. If they don't, it's considered a failure. It's like the Dream Team for that age group. The silver medal isn't good enough.
“The competition is the highest form of hockey for that age group. And it's intense. This tournament has a lot of future NHLers.”
There were reports Wednesday the NHL lockout might end as early as this weekend. If that happens, Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, defenseman Justin Schultz and a couple of other Barons would leave the American Hockey League team immediately for a makeshift Edmonton Oilers training camp.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 83313Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'
- 56374Oklahoma weather: Severe storm updates
- 33323Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
- 23846Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 23231Oklahoma Severe Storm Updates
- 8483Bounty hunters look for bail jumpers, fugitives on the streets of Oklahoma City
- 8265Oklahoma sucker-punched by second round of twisters