EDMONTON -- The news was surprising, to say the least.
Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins began his media session after Friday's practice by dispelling rumors that center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would be back in just over a week. Instead, he said, Nugent-Hopkins will return Monday when the Oilers host the New Jersey Devils, nearly four weeks ahead of schedule, after undergoing shoulder surgery in April.
"It goes back to what I've tried to explain a few times on injuries," Eakins said. "I think it's dangerous to put timelines on guys because one of two things happens. If we tell you four weeks and he comes back in two, then he's back too early. But if it turns into six weeks, then you think somebody screwed up with the rehab."