Flames recall Tyler Wotherspoon amid ‘speculation’ that Giordano may be out long-term

Sometimes no news is bad news.

It was two days ago that Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano left a game against the New Jersey Devils after being hooked by Devils winger Steve Bernier. The Norris Trophy candidate fell awkwardly, but the Flames had no update on his status after the game. They still don’t.

On Friday, the Flames recalled defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon from the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League. Meanwhile the club still had no update on Giordano’s status on Friday morning, even as rumours about his injury being a long-term situation became amplified.

“Gio’s still going through tests,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said in an appearance on Sportsnet the Fan 960’s Boomer and Rhett morning show. “We have nothing to report at this time. We’ll let the medical people do their thing.”

That, two days on, there’s no update on Giordano’s status has to be concerning. Just from my five years of experience covering hockey professionally, I can tell you that when a team waits to share information like this, it’s generally for one of three reasons: 

  1. Because a player is getting a second opinion.
  2. Team doctors are waiting for swelling to go down so they can properly diagnose the extent of the injury.
  3. The injury may require surgery, but they’re going to wait and try to avoid it.
Either way, it’s not good. It’s especially ‘not good’ when TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who may couch a tidbit of information as idle speculation but doesn’t actually engage in idle speculate ever, is passing along news like this:

Meanwhile Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Flames are ‘bracing for an absence.’

Giordano, 31, has managed 48 points in 61 games this season and was thought to be among the Norris Trophy contenders this season, if not the all-out frontrunner. If this is the end of his regular season, it’ll still have been the best season of his career. Let’s hope a truly remarkable campaign, both from an individual- and team-performance perspective, doesn’t end like this. 

  • The Last Big Bear

    I usually only take half of what Bob McKenzie says as fact.. over the years I’ve noticed he just repeats what other people say.

    The timing of this is both good and bad.

    Will the Flames decide to fill the hole by acquiring a top pairing Defenseman?

    Or decide to hold off on making any trades for rentals to make a push for the final playoff spot?

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Balls! I hope for his sake that it isn’r serious.

    I don’t think this should change BTs plans to trade GlenX. Although, maybe instead of getting a body in return, he can just choose picks.

  • everton fc

    So Russell will pair with Brodie?

    Wotherspoon with Wideman??

    Leave Engelland and Diaz “as is”?

    You can’t put Diaz with Wideman, can you??

    Will Potter actually get the call???

    • The Last Big Bear

      Agree that Diaz and Engelland stay together..no sense in creating havoc with two D pairings!!

      And maybe Russell-Wideman stick together too.

      SO that leaves Wotherspoon and Brodie…which I believe makes a good pairing too.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Gio officially out tonight. Seems long-term. It was a fun season, nonetheless. Flames will be lost tonight without their captain.

    I believe we only won like 3-5 games when gio was out last season (around 18 games). Other than his absence, he were decent.

  • RedMan

    there is a silver lining in that a rebuilding team get the chance to give young defensean an opportuity to step up.

    If you remember, Giordano had to get his chance to prove himself, so did Brodie – Wotherspoon and Potter have a chance to make a case for themselves, or at the very least demonstrate where they are at from a development standpoint.

    You can’t look at it as a “ya, but what about the playoffs” situation – injuries happen and you have to deal with them and have the depth. we are a rebuilding team… this is another great test and opportunity that comes from adversity.

    Time to shine boys – Show us your NHL ready. Who knows, maybe one of these guys grabs the reigns of a #4 spot.

  • RedMan

    Just another wild theory:

    The Flames are busy trying to negotiate possible deals for a D-man upgrade….if the news got out that Gio is gone for the season, the price will go up for getting a replacement D-man as the Flames are now desperate..so I don’t expect an update until after trade deadline…

  • The Last Big Bear

    I feel bad for Gio, he’s a very good Player.

    if the flames were in a bubble playoff I dont think they can make it w/o him.

    trade for Zbynek Michalek?

    Brodie-Michalek
    Russell-Wideman
    Diaz-Engelland
    Wotherspoon-Potter.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Brospoonie! Why not? Brodie is good enough to pair with a rookie. Minutes will have to be spread around more, but that has to happen anyway if Gio is gone for a while.

  • Rockmorton65

    To all the “Chicken Little’s” out there. Calm down. Even if Gio is out long term, that’s no reason to curl up on the floor, crying and screaming like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Even if we miss the playoffs, it’s not the end of the world.

  • Rockmorton65

    Well this just suckssss……… If I remember someone did Wowy numbers on Brody & I think he did pretty good with Wideman. Maybe Wideman moves up & plays with Brody, Diaz moves up with Russell & Tspoon slides in with Engellend. Cant put the kid on the top pairing right away, that would be just foolish. I think BT stays the course & ttys to get that 2nd pairing upgrade we all suggested. Get a 2nd for GlenX & flip a 2nd & maybe Reinhart to the Oilers for Petry or to Philly for Grossman or Coburn. I thought Mihalek was injured? Don’t need that. You can’t replace Gio as Chicago can’t replace Kane. Guys have to step up. I guess we’ll get a sneak preview to those that have suggested to trade Gio while his value is high. I think we’ll find we would be just lost on the blue line. I really wanted Gio to win the Norris, I feel so bad for him.

  • MWflames

    Looks like Brodie is drawing the englelland straw. Will be interesting to see how much better Brodie cab make him. Fingers crossed Brodie is as godly as we would all like to believe!!

    • MWflames

      Randy Sportak tweet
      #Flames had Potter with Diaz one pairing, Russell with Wideman on another and Brodie with Engelland. Unless they play 7 D, Wotherspoon out

      • piscera.infada

        Ugh, I really hope they give Wotherspoon some actual reps now. I’d play him rather than Potter right now. He needs to play, and he’s had some nice flashes at the NHL level.

        Flames also already have 3 right handed D on their bottom 2 pairings (Wides, Engelland, Diaz), so adding Potter makes it 4 righties to 2 lefties. Wotherspoon is a left-hander I think. Something to consider..

  • prendrefeu

    Any way you slice it, everything’s going to be ok.

    Gio hurt short term? Ok, he’ll be back.

    Gio hurt long term? Ok, it’s been an awesome season, keep playing to their best, playoffs: yay, no-playoffs: 1st round pick in a deep draft. Win/win.

    Bringing the kids up: Good, they need experience.

    Trading: Good, BT will show his intelligent approach to things as pressure mounts.

    No-Trading: Good, BT continues the re-build on a steady path.

    Nothing: Good, it gives the media scrum a lot of exercise holding their recorders over each other to record whatever Hartley is saying.

    It’s all good, man. Hope Giordano heals well, that the injury isn’t too bad, and… overall… it’s going to be okay. Maybe I don’t have to deal with the cold, long winters that many of you face since I’m out in California, but come on guys, all is not doom and gloom. Cheer up, buddy!

    Go Flames Go!

    • RedMan

      Well put.

      Don’t forget, this wasn’t supposed to be a great season. The Flames are playing with house money in terms of where they are and while losing Gio will really hurt, let’s not assume the team will collapse.

      If the team does fall out and stay out of the playoff picture, that is just an opportunity for a really good young player on draft day.

  • everton fc

    Michalek signed for 2 years might solve a big gaping hole in our defence while we develop the likes of Wotherspoon, Culkin…

    I think it would be wise to sign Eric Roy, regardless of how he’s doing at the moment in Brandon, which looks “not-so-great” on the offencive side, but “much better” on the defencive side.

  • Toofun

    I just posted on another thread that I’d push Diaz up to the first pairing, leave Russel and Wideman alone and give Potter and Engelland as little ice time as possible.

    Diaz skates well and has some chance at least of playing an agressive first pair role.

    I haven’t seen WOWY proof but I think Russel makes Wideman better. They’ve done ok this year so don’t mess with it.

    Engellend and Potter well… Ok, well, they’ve been in the NHL a long time and they are all we have so, um, ya, they’ll be truculent back there…