Confirming what has been suspected for some time, Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving said Friday that he didn’t think the team would be seeing defenceman Oliver Kylington this season.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons he acquired Troy Stecher in the four-player deal with the Arizona Coyotes, which also featured the first brother swap in NHL history.
“He brings some mobility,” Treliving said of the 28-year-old Stecher, who is a close friend of Flames rearguard Chris Tanev from their time in Vancouver. “Which I thought with Oliver not being here we’ve lacked a little bit.”
Kylington was a revelation last year, turning a nine-goal, 31-point season into a two-year, $5-million deal last summer.
The 25-year-old was fourth in average ice time (18:10) with the Calgary Flames last season after rising from healthy scratch to Tanev’s trusted partner in the top four.
He’s been missed this season, sitting out for personal family reasons, and reportedly entering the NHLPA’s player assistance program.
The team and everyone around the franchise has been respectful throughout the process, with very little speculation about what Kylington and his family might be going through.
Hope of a return, however, has dwindled since January.
“I think it’s fair to say that (it’s) March 3 and Oliver is not here, I think it’d be a stretch to see him the rest of the year,” Treliving said. “We continue to sort of monitor it and work with Oliver. I don’t foresee him returning this year.”
Treliving confirmed that Kylington is eligible to be placed on LTIR, which means the salary-cap space could be used to bring up more players from the American Hockey League, or signing draft pick Matt Coronato after his NCAA season ends.
“We’ve talked about Matt Coronato,” Treliving said. “We’re going to let him worry about his playoffs and Harvard and then get to work with speaking with him at the end of the year.”