Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney are quietly inching closer to returns

Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
On Monday evening, the hubbub for the Calgary Flames was focused on a new face: emergency backup goaltender Dustin Nickel, who dressed on short notice as Dan Vladar’s backup in a 2-1 win over Vegas. But earlier on Monday, an interesting bit of news dropped regarding a pair of injured Flames forwards.
Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney now have stalls in the Flames locker room and have begun skating.
Following Monday’s morning skate, Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg asked Flames head coach Ryan Huska about how those two players are progressing:
“They’re both progressing really well. They’re going to be a while, still. But today was the first time we’ve seen them on the ice, so they were going through some skill drills this morning. They have a long way to go yet, but everything’s been positive so far.”
Pelletier suffered a shoulder injury in a pre-season game against the Seattle Kraken on Sept. 25. Rooney suffered a similar shoulder injury in a practice on Oct. 1. Both were deemed long-term injuries, and the club has yet to really offer much of an estimate for when they might return to action. (It’s still early enough in their post-injury recovery processes that estimates wouldn’t be all that useful.)
The Flames’ first-round pick from 2019, the 22-year-old Pelletier is in the third and final year of his entry-level contract. Prior to his injury, he had been all-but-cemented into the Flames’ opening night roster. Pelletier split the 2022-23 season between the NHL and AHL rosters, really impressing with the Wranglers and showing a lot of promise in a limited role during his NHL appearances. He’ll be a restricted free agent on July 1.
Rooney, 30, is in the second (and final) year of a two-year contract he signed in free agency. Originally signed as a fourth line centre for the NHL club, he spent much of 2022-23 in the AHL with the Wranglers where he formed a great checking line with Clark Bishop and Brett Sutter. He had impressed early in the NHL’s exhibition schedule this fall before his injury. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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