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.

  • 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

  • TheBigChef

    This is just so cruel. On the same day Corey Pronman ranks the Flames as the worst farm system in the league, our best “prospect”– the one we refused to give up in order to trade for Mark Stone (mistakenly so, in my opinion)– is now going to miss probably 6 months in what probably would have been his most important development year.

    Could sure use some better news today…looking to you Treliving and Tkachuk.

    • Derzie

      You wouldn’t know it from the FN kool aid but this team is in a nosedive. Positive news has been super scarce since last year’s all-star break. The only real positives have been RFA housekeeping, the goalie prospect Wolf and getting shed of Neal & Smith (of course we got Lucic & Talbot in return, oil-stench and all). Losing out on Zucker, Kadri. Weak drafting. Failure to get Chucky signed. Failure to move Frolik or Brodie. Failure to address playoff weaknesses. Our top contracts starting to look ancient and alienating our players. Our best D prospect is proving to be made of glass. The Pronman declaration. Oh and the majority of our competition got better. The arena sits on both sides of the ledger. Ay carumba.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Terrible news. I can only see one bright side to this… Kylington. I think he’s better than Peters gives him credit for and now he’ll have a chance to prove it. If Kylington was ever in the conversation as trade bait as part of a bigger deal, I’m hoping this cements his place in the Flames organization for years to come.

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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:

      Gio-Brodie
      Hanifin-Hamonic
      Kylington-Andersson

      Though I don’t think your suggestion is outlandish.

  • super6646

    The off-season that keeps on giving…. sigh*. Get well soon vali. Really concerned with how this affects his development. Can’t be good to miss two seasons with injuries now.

    I also can’t wait to see the next FN article from Pat about how Brodie is still super expendable and overrated and passed by all of our young dmen while pretending injuries never happen. 👎

  • 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.

  • 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?)

  • 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
    GFG

    • 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 🙁

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…