A major storyline heading into the 2013-14 NHL season for the Edmonton Oilers will be the status of star forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. After elimination from the playoffs last season Nugent-Hopkins was sidelined and underwent successful shoulder surgery on a torn-labrum on April 24th of this year. Since then little has been heard from the first overall selection of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft although what has been released is that there is a timeline for his return.

In a well-publicized interview earlier this month Oilers GM Craig MacTavish stated that Nugent-Hopkins has an optimistic timeline to be ready for the beginning of the season and a pessimistic timeline for November 1st. It should be noted that Taylor Hall who had similar work done in the spring of 2012 was not cleared to play at the start of the 2012-13 season and didn’t join the Oklahoma City Barons until the beginning of November 2012.

Bob Stauffer a member of the media and team employee with plenty of integrity when it comes to insider information with the Edmonton Oilers has been advocating an October 1st arrival for Nugent-Hopkins over the last few weeks on his radio show Oilers Now. While Stauffer isn’t a completely reliable source his recent track record involving his knowledge of the team movements cannot be ignored.

Taylor Hall superstar left-winger said in an interview on Stauffer’s show on August 9th that the team had asked him to prepare to play centre to start the year. Hall mentioned that he was warned he might be playing the position for the first 5-6 games. Now assuming that the club is staying on the safe side this should indicate that the Edmonton Oilers expect their first line centre to be in game shape by the first 3-4 games to allow for some breathing room should Nugent-Hopkins need more time.