Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames assign Oliver Kylington to the AHL’s Wranglers on a conditioning assignment
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
In a move that could serve as a precursor to a return to National Hockey League action, the Calgary Flames announced on Thursday morning that they’ve assigned defenceman Oliver Kylington to the American Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers on a conditioning assignment.
Kylington, 26, was a second-round pick of the Flames back in 2015. He moved to North America in 2015-16 as a teenager, and worked his way up until he was knocking on the door for a full-time NHL role. He had a breakthrough season in 2021-22, with nine goals and 31 points in 73 games playing alongside Chris Tanev on a really effective defensive pairing.
Unfortunately, shortly after signing a new contract with the Flames, Kylington took time away from hockey to deal with some lingering mental health issues. (He disclosed in an interview with a Swedish outlet that he had been battling some challenges for awhile and felt he needed to take time away from the game to deal with them.) As a consequence, Kylington hasn’t played a meaningful game at any level of hockey since Game 5 of the Flames’ second-round loss to the Edmonton Oilers. He spent last season on the non-roster/injury reserve list and has been on the long-term injury reserve list for salary cap reasons this season.
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Kylington’s assignment falls under Section 13.9: “Bona Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exemption Conditioning Loan.” Under this section, Kylington can spent six days or three games played by the team, whichever is longer, in the AHL to determine his fitness to play, with the possibility to extend that assignment by two games at the Flames’ request. The Wranglers play Friday and Saturday at home against Henderson, and then next Thursday and Friday at home against Ontario. A disclaimer: We don’t know that he’s playing. He might just be practising. Either way, it’s a big, positive step for Kylington’s progression.
In tandem with the announcement, Kylington and Flames general manager Craig Conroy released statements:
I feel I’m in a good place with my mental health and ready to take another step forward. Returning to Calgary has been the right decision. I’ve felt tremendous commitment from Flames ownership, management, and my teammates, and I am appreciative of the support and resources made available to me. I also thank my family, friends, and the fans for their encouragement. I’m looking forward to getting on the ice in a team environment and back to my everyday life. I have missed it very much.
First and foremost, as an organization, we care about Oliver as a person. We are so happy that he has made positive progression with his mental well-being, and we will continue to support Oliver through this process. Based on his feedback, and that of health professionals, we have developed a return to play plan for Oliver. This conditioning assignment to the Wranglers for full practice integration is the next step in that process. Oliver will continue with his treatment, and we will monitor as he moves forward.
The Barn Burner Nation Vacation to Arizona presented by Alberta Blue Cross is HAPPENING from Jan 11-13th, 2024! Join the action for just $1,299/person! Your ticket includes round trip flights from Calgary x Arizona, hotels, transport and hockey game tickets! Get your tickets to the ultimate sports vacation before they sell out!
Recent articles from Ryan Pike