The Calgary Flames practiced this morning as they prepare for a road game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday afternoon. While a lot of chatter is likely to be about the line combinations, arguably the more interesting aspect of Glen Gulutzan’s media availability was the talk about the players that were not on the ice.
The club was without Kris Versteeg, Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan and T.J. Brodie. According to what’s been related by our media colleagues in attendance: Versteeg has been shut down, Monahan’s fate is to be determined, while Tkachuk and Brodie won’t be on the California road trip (and thus will miss at least the next two games).
On Versteeg, Gulutzan says he pushed hard to get back early to help with a playoff push.
Where the team is now, no point in him continuing to push through it. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) March 23, 2018
Versteeg missed 49 games with a hip injury which required surgery. Vague estimates from medical school websites about hip labrum surgery usually sees four to six months of recovery, so the fact that Versteeg was back well on the early side of the range is very impressive. But expecting him to be anything close to what he was with such a short recovery time is probably setting the bar too high. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent, and it’ll be interesting to see if he’s back or not.
Monahan hasn’t been great since about mid-February, coinciding with the even strength scoring on the top line beginning to taper off. With Sam Bennett and Nick Shore in camp and able to play center, there’s really no reason to have Monahan labour through anything for the remainder of the season.
Brodie and Tkachuk have both missed time after suffering upper-body injuries in-game: Tkachuk on March 11 and Brodie on March 18. Given the volatile nature of the upper-body (specially the upper-most part, the brain) and the number of healthy players on the roster, there’s really no reason to rush either player back.
Update: Per Wes Gilbertson of Postmedia, Monahan will undergo surgery and be shut down for the year.
Now shut down and awaiting surgery, Flames centre Sean Monahan finishes with career-high 31 goals and 64 points in 2017-18 campaign. From a teammate: “It’s crazy that he’s able to play at the level he is with what he’s dealing with.” Full story … https://t.co/b3YP9RFIWF
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) March 23, 2018