Kylington scare shows Flames’ need to keep scouring NHL trade fits
When the Calgary Flames picked up one of the prized forwards on the NHL trade block, it all but ended the talk of adding a top defenceman.
While Ben Chiarot was part of a bigger package discussion with the Montreal Canadiens, the Flames settled for Tyler Toffoli. Having already parted with a first-round pick and prospect, the idea of a similar cost to add another upper-echelon player might be hard to swallow.
Then an incident like the one on Saturday involving Oliver Kylington takes place and puts things into perspective.
Although Kylington joined his teammates for practice on Monday and appears just fine for Tuesday’s rematch against the Wild in Minnesota, the scary fall he took into the boards on Saturday night showed how quickly a team’s dynamic can change with a single significant injury.
Kylington got tangled up with Wild forward Ryan Hartman during the Calgary Flames’ 7-3 win on Hockey Night in Canada. The defenceman spun around as they battled near the net, and his legs went skyward while he crashed heavily into the boards with his left arm, shoulder and head.
He was motionless on the ice and looked out of sorts as he gathered himself to get up. With some help, he made it to the locker-room.
Teammates were concerned and it showed on the ice as they lost focused and found themselves giving up a quick pair of goals before rebounding and locking the win away with a couple of empty netters.
So the good news could come on two fronts. One, Kylington is healthy and one of the team’s best stories and most important players this season will continue to play.
Two, it’s still important to prepare for the worst and keep shopping for impact players as the NHL trade deadline approaches.
“Pretty good,” Kylington said on Monday when asked how he was feeling.
He wasn’t willing to share much about what he was feeling.
“It was a lot of stuff. I’m just happy that I’m here and that I was skating today,” he said. “It could have ended up badly. I’m just glad that it didn’t.
“I think I was pretty lucky.”
He said he would return to the lineup “very soon.” Seems likely that he will suit up in Minnesota.
In the background, though, GM Brad Treliving is certainly scouring both his own organization and the NHL for the kind of depth they’ll need to navigate potential injuries.
“We’d like to add to the group if possible,” Treliving said on Sportsnet 960 Monday morning. “But it’s not just going and finding the shiniest toy. There’s some areas we think we can upgrade in.”
Overall, he feels good about his group. And he should. They’ve done very well.
The Calgary Flames have also been very healthy. Treliving said he’s going to continue to make sure they have the depth and talent they need regardless of the situation.
“We’re going to continue to see if there’s ways to help.”