The Calgary Flames have put forward T.J. Galiardi on injured reserve with back spasms, putting an end to what’s been a curious last few days.
Things began going sideways for Galiardi on Friday, when he was made a healthy scratch for the first time this season in a 4-3 shootout win over Florida.
“It’s his overall game,” head coach Bob Hartley explained to the Calgary Sun. “I had a few good talks with him. It’s not fun for him, and it’s not fun for all of us. My job is to make decisions for the best of the organization. TJ is a class guy — he works hard and he means well.
“But since the start of the year, his play has gone down.”
Acquired from San Jose this summer and immediately signed to a one-year, $1.25 million extension, Galiardi started well in Calgary — he had three points in his first three games — but he’s hit a wall since then, notching three assists (zero goals) over his last 19 contests.
Hartley has gone the healthy scratch route with other underachieving forwards this season — including Sven Baertschi and Mikael Backlund — but the Galiardi scratch was noteworthy because he’d appeared in the Flames’ first 22 games of the year while averaging 16:30 TOI.
(What’s more, the 25-year-old sat second among Flames forwards in hits and led all with 24 blocked shots.)
Things got worse following the healthy scratch, as Galiardi went down with the aforementioned back spasms during Monday’s practice and landed on IR. Calgary has since recalled Max Reinhart from AHL Abbotsford as a replacement forward.