141Juuso Valimaki
Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

Juuso Valimaki out indefinitely due to injury

A major wrench has been thrown in the 2019-20 season for the Calgary Flames, and it’s only August.

The team announced today that Juuso Valimaki tore the ACL in his right knee during a training session. It will require surgery, and he’s out indefinitely.

This will mark the second season in a row that Valimaki will miss significant time with a lower-body injury, which is a very unfortunate trend. Last year, he suffered a high ankle sprain which cut into his rookie season. Due to recovery time and spending time down in the American Hockey League, he only played in two of the team’s final 60 games.

This comes shortly after the Flames bought out Michael Stone, likely meaning that Oliver Kylington will see major time in the big leagues this season, barring any major trades to bring in another player to fill Valimaki’s shoes.

He was looking to build off a rookie season which saw him score one goal and add two assists. No timeline has been set on his recovery.

    • TheBigChef

      Ristolainen is a nightmare defensively. He has been a good powerplay guy, but even if you dislike advanced stats you can’t ignore how atrocious he has been at 5v5. No matter which tool you use to look at it he is a below replacement level defenseman at 5 on 5. We don’t really need him that bad for a powerplay. With that contract, I wouldn’t touch him.

      • Beer League Coach

        From the time he was drafted he was expected to be the savior for the Sabres who have been a terrible team all the time that Risto has been there. Put him with good players on a good team and I think he would live up to all the hype that surrounded him when he was drafted. He seems to me to be the D equivalent to Cam Neely. Neely was expected to be Canucks savior when he was drafted and ended up being traded to Boston for a former all-star center. Vancouver also sent a 1st round draft pick in that trade. Neely and a 1st for a washed up Barry Pederson. And the draft pick turned out to be Glen Wesley. Not saying Risto will turn into an all star but he will show a lot better with a good team than he has shown with Buffalo.

        • Kevin R

          Risto is a big D that I thought maybe a change would work really well as well. We need someone that can punish forwards & that kid is built like a sherman tank. Your trade scenario was pretty complicated & I dont think Tre nor Tkachuk want a 1 year deal. Too much risk on both sides. Sabres could use a centre, why I thought about Janko with Brodie. Keep in mind pretty sure Sabres can put Bogo on IR to get compliant. I was actually trying to figure out how to pry Reinhart as well but it got way too complicated & unrealistic.

          • Beer League Coach

            1 year deal is not ideal for anyone. I made it a 1 year deal just to get through this season where we are tight against the cap. Ideally, it would be a long term deal from the get go.

          • Beer League Coach

            Not that complicated. Basically it is Brodie for Risto. The rest are just add ons to make it work under the salary cap for both teams. Girgensen and Janko salaries are pretty much a wash but including them helps Flames cap situation slightly. $75 K is not a big difference but is enough to make a difference on Flames cap hits for this season. If Flames could move Frolik without taking back salary that would help immensely.

    • Beer League Coach

      Thanks Kevin for kicking my trade brain into gear. Pachla on HB has reported Sabres and Risto are ready to part company and Sabres would like to add a RW. I came up with a 5 player deal but it didn’t work cap wise for Sabres. So I expanded it to a 7 player deal. All cap hits are from Cap Friendly.
      Calgary Buffalo
      Cap space before trade 7,756,625 (1,059,524)
      Brodie 4,650,400 (4,650,400)
      Jankowski 1,675,000 (1,675,000)
      Czarnik 1,250,000 (1,250,000)
      Ristolainen 3 years left on contract (5,400,000) 5,400,000
      Zirgensen 1 year left (1,600,000) 1,600,000
      Cap space after 5 player deal 8,332,025 (1,634,924)
      Buffalo also sends to Flames
      Casey Nelson 27 year old RHD 1 yr left (812,500) UFA on July1 812,500
      Matt Hunwick 34 year old RHD 1 yr left (2,250,000) UFA on July1 2,250,000
      Cap space after 7 player deal 5,269,525 1,427,576
      Valimaki (LTIR) 894,166
      Cap space after 7 player deal & Val LTIR 6,163,691 1,427,576
      Flames sign 2 RFA forwards for 1 year
      Tkachuk 6,000,000
      Mangiapane 950,000
      Cap space after trade and sign RFA’s (786,309) 1,427,576

      At this point Flames have 13 F, 8 D, and 2 G Sabres have 14 F, 8 D, and 2 G
      Maybe Tre can get Sabres to retain salary on Hunwick. Say $800,000 would leave Flames with a little over $13,000 in cap space. Flames keep 7 D on NHL roster. Put Hunwick on waivers Iand send to Stockton and keep Nelson as #7 D. If Hunwick clears waivers Flames are free of all of his cap hit. If he doesn’t clear he goes to AHL and Flames get relief for $1,075,000. Flames would have 1 extra fwd and 1 extra D man and would have cap space to call up a forward with small cap hit to sit on pop corn row. Buffalo has cap space and would gain a little more when they send 1 player to Rochester to get down to maximum roster size.

      Hope my math is correct. I didn’t have much time to double check my work. What do you think of this deal?

      • mrroonie

        I love the irony of trading Ol’ Uncle Fester’s mistake from when he traded down in the draft in 2012 for the player who was chosen with the pick he traded away.

        • Beer League Coach

          I wondered if anyone else would catch that irony. I thought of it when I wrote my original post but left it out because the post was already a long one.
          I will also correct a mistake. Hunwick is a LD; not a rightie. It is now reported that Risto has requested (maybe demanded) a trade out of Buffalo.

      • Beer League Coach

        FN formatting makes this difficult to follow. I had the numbers all nicely arranged in columns like on an Excel spreadsheet. Hope fans can follow along and understand my post.

        • Beer League Coach

          Reasons. Trade centers around Brodie and Risto. Brodie goes closer to his home and Risto gets out of Buffalo. Janko, because Kevin suggested him as part of a package and Flames can fill his spot with Dube or Zirgensen. Frolik not included because it just wouldn’t work for Sabres to take on his salary. Flames take Zirgensen to fill out fwd roster without rushing anyone from Stockton. Buffalo gives up 2 more RD because they still have 8 D after the trade and have Jokiharu in Rochester (acquired from Chicago in a trade). Sabres were over the cap before the trade and are now cap compliant. Flames sign Byng and Mang to 1 year contracts to get through this year and then can go for long term deals next year with more cap space.

  • everton fc

    Tough break, for Valimaki.

    Kylington will fare well, though. At least that’s how I see it. And one (or both) of Valiev and Yelesin, could also find opportunity, in Valimaki’s unfortunate setback. Davidson remains the #7. For now.

    So much for trading Brodie. (Can they park Valimaki’s salary on LTIR?)

  • oilcanboyd

    We managed last season without Valimaki, can do it again, but that means Brodie stays until Vali is fully cleared to play. I would like to see Yelesin push hard at training camp for a roster spot or mid-season call up .

    • deantheraven

      If Vali takes six months to recover, it might be close enough to the trade deadline to move Brodie. But that’s a gamble Tre won’t make. Vali would have to be fully recovered and playing, at least in the ‘A’ by TDL Day. Then comes the ‘hope’ he really can play at the NHL level.

  • Soupy19

    Hopefully he’s not done for the season. In fact, I doubt he’s out for the season. No doubt that Brodie now stays but maybe he’s moved at the TDL if Valimaki is healthy in March.

  • Cheeky

    This is Kylington’s time to shine, can’t see Peter’s partnering him with Brodie as they are similar style. Wondering how the pairs will look now (Ras and Oliver may partner but Peter’s won’t give them a ton of minutes together) – how would Hanafin and Brodie look together? Thoughts…

  • SgtRoadBlock

    This is big hit to the Flames in so many ways, The kid could lose 90% of this season and 1 year gone of his ELC prime years to caphit ..Valimaki is Prime for top 4 D for the Flames in the top staff eyes for years to come. will he be pron for leg injury from now on who knows..
    BT now going to do off the chart trade before camp and we could see some shockers PTO at camp
    we had like 10 D at end of the Season now we will be looking for two Dman. lol could not make this stuff up

    • SgtRoadBlock

      my hope it a phantom hurt to Exploit the Caphit in some small way… BT could be trying Leaf/ Ott tricks pipe dreaming but dam wish he was not hurt 🙁

  • Theo/14


    So I use to see articles like this one on the oilers all the time. Everyone in the comments would laugh at them. Now it is us who are the butt end of the jokes. As you can see by the authors last sentence and all the comments to follow. Still shaking my head at the lucic trade. I guess Johnny is just trying to be positive but it still sounds silly for him to say that lucic is the missing piece to a cup run.

    • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

      Lucic will spend most of next season on the fourth line or in the press box. YOU’RE MAKING WAY TOO MUCH OUT OF THIS TRADE!!! We don’t need Lucic to contribute AT ALL and we’ll still be one of the top teams in the West. Mangiapane, Dube are both primed for massive breakout seasons.

      Neal is a bum, he’s been carried by elite centres his entire career (Richards in Dallas, Malkin/Crosby in Pittsburgh, Forsberg in Nashville, etc). We’re the third team that’s given up on Neal in the last three years for a reason. He’s a lazy, soft Hockey player who can barley skate now and is apparently a locker room cancer. I’ll say it again, at least Lucic is tough, he helps give players like Johnny more ice. I look at whenever we played Edmonton the past two years, Lucic would always disrupt us from playing our real game, at least Lucic brings some unquantifiable toughness presence, Neal couldn’t even do that and he was unplayable last year most of the time.

      • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

        “Johnny said the same things about Neal”

        I don’t remember this at all. Neal’s been on three teams in three years for a reason, he’s a self entitled, lazy, one dimensional scorer that waits around for skilled centres to get him the puck. The entire league mockingly calls him “The Real Deal”, because no one can stand him…. Milan Lucic is tough as nails and most in the league respect the crap out of Lucic. Johnny is tired of opposing players man handling him and guys like Neal just watching and doing nothing to help. He knows Lucic will put the fear of god in them if they take advantage of Johnny, songs happy for this deal. And again all metrics say Lucic was the much better player last year, he’s a year younger and has actually had a 50+ Point season more recently than Neal. Neal played on a way better team last year and Lucic played with bums.

        • SgtRoadBlock

          Jonny pump Neal tires when he join this team on all hockey sites you can in goggle it… this is very common to say good things about a player joining the team… Not like he going to say dam this guy a goon that skate so slow that 46 year old Jager look faster.. would bee funny and good news to see that spice it up..all players r coached to what to say about stuff to reporters

          • Sploooosh

            @playitagainsam. sure edmonton had the best 2 scoring centers in the league last year (by points) which is an anamoly and rare to have. Good for edmonton. Calgary’s #1 (monahan) 12th in scoring, in and around mark sheifle, sebastian aho, patrice bergeron, and jonathan toews. Saying the flames doesn’t have an elite centre is kinda silly, no?

        • Theo/14

          Neal had 20 goals in every season before he came to Calgary lol I’m assuming that’s how he got the name real deal. What did lucic “putting the fear of god in opponents” do for the coilers? Basement dwellers is what. Treliving will probably end up utilizing oilers old crap d men Davidson and Peteovic. Don’t like how this is trending. But yeah…. Milan Lucic is the key lol Milan played long stretches with the best player in the world and couldn’t do a single frigen thing except kill the play. Even Rattie, Chaisson and maroon looked 10 times better than luc.

    • Zeb Zadock

      Last week I was at sylvan lake with some old buddies. Should have heard the
      Oiler fan club giving it to the flame fan club about the lucic trade. Lol flame fans are not happy about this trade. However kind of like Johnny’s interview you posted… flame fans and players alike have to say it’s a good trade. It’s sports.

      • I would actually be happy for Neal if he has a bounce back year. He was literally atrocious for us last year, no heart, no show. If he doesn’t get his poop in a group he will be bought out within 2 seasons, maybe gets another one year shot, and he gone…and that’s sad. Where’s the pride?

  • Toma41

    Dammit. I mentioned this before. This kid is injury prone. Missed time a couple years ago due to his knee. Last year due to his ankle and now the whole year coming up. No good.

  • Trevy

    Looking at the bright side, we didn’t trade Brodie and we have good depth st defense. Plus Valimaki is very young and will bounce back. Great opportunity for Kylington/Davidson

  • The Lovely Kim Wexlar

    Yikes. Looks like Brodie will be sticking around – which further complicates the cap situation and MT’s contract. Curious to see Treliving’s solution to all this…

  • BendingCorners

    I’m guessing Peters puts Andersson on the second pair with Hanifin and lets Hamonic supervise Kylington on third pair. And hopes there are no more serious injuries to the D.

    • cjc

      I suspect we’ll see similar pairings to what we saw for a good chunk of last season:


      Though I don’t think your suggestion is outlandish.

  • deantheraven

    Tre quoted in a press release, saying they’re going to be in the market. My hope is that he’s only looking for a little insurance depth, and that he has faith in the D men that are left.
    Really looks bad now, letting Fanta go and buying out Stone.
    Is Prout still unsigned?

    • Oil Spilly

      Petrovic could barely crack my oilers cruddy defence lineup last year. So if he can crack the flames lineup this is a good thing for Pacific teams including the oilers.

  • cjc

    While this certainly is unfortunate, l don’t think the sky is falling. Calgary played without Jusso for 58 games last season, and did a fairly good job in that time, too. Let’s not forget that Kylington played admirably for 38 of those games. His AHL number suggest a very good defenseman on the way.

    Also, I think this is the last nail in the coffin for the idea of trading Brodie. Though our depth will be tested if there is another injury on defense – Brandon Davidson and Rinat Valiev don’t exactly inspire confidence.

    • Abagofpucks

      now you have to sign brodie and hamonic and give them raises, or let them walk for nothing at the end of the year. and if you trade them away, you trade from weakness and get garbage in return, haha good luck. you still have to sign that turtle and the maingy kid just in case you forgot, could see tre pull a petey, lookout.

    • Rudy27

      Had mine replaced a few years back and my surgeon wasn’t pleased to hear I was on ice curling (with a stick though) within the first 4 months. Generally you are walking on it with crutches for stability within the first 24 hours. Was better than new within 6 months, other than doing a full knee bend. Sure beats the 8-12 weeks in a cast and about 14 months to start playing again like the old days.

    • oilcanboyd

      Lanny, my google from an Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialist says “An ACL surgery recovery time is different for each athlete. Some athletes may recover within six months, while others may take 12 months or even more.”

      So, not good news fans!

    • Budgie

      It depends on the extent of the repair, slight tear or total graft repair-surgery-he’s likely gone until March and it could be a season ending situation if it requires a total graft-reattach ligament –6-10 months. It isn’t even worth thinking of Valamaki for this season, if he comes back by playoffs we will be lucky. Tough loss for such a talented guy and Calgary was counting on him-he must of been doing some heavy training to have an ACL in the knee go

    • cjc

      I found one reference that suggests minimum 6-7 months post surgery before they can resume on ice activity – mitigating factors here are Valimaki’s actual knee stability (if he’s strong, he’ll recover faster), age (he could heal quicker being a 20 year old) and the actual need to rush him (low, given organizational depth). 7 months will put Val in the mid-March time frame. However, he’ll need at least a couple weeks of on-ice activities before he plays, and I think it’s likely he goes to the AHL first to get his game back. Given that this is his second major injury and the team views him as a valuable asset, I doubt there is any push to rush him into action unless they are absolutely forced to by circumstance.

  • MiamiRedhawks

    Hopefully it isn’t too bad. I dealt with an injury before and the surgeon was telling me that injuries on the ice are not as severe as those by football players since the knee injuries tend to be quick snaps versus a planted foot with a lot of pressure behind it. And for the love of god…what will it take to get rid of the some of the ads on this website…

  • LannyMac

    Tre seemed set on bringing in some help. I hope he doesn’t give a contract to an aging vet ie. Phaneuf even if it’s league min only to find out Kyl is a better defenceman. PTO the training camp roster to death but no contracts Tre similar to free agency you’re horrible at that.