If you thought the Calgary Flames’ off-season was difficult on the fans, then the preseason has been a vile curse from beyond the grave as far as injuries go. While the team has seen Olli Jokinen and Rene Bourque get a little banged up, Matthew Stajan separated his shoulder, Daymond Langkow continues to be out with a neck injury leftover from last season, and newly acquired free agent Ryan Stone has a knee injury. The Flames announced today that two more players have been added to their injured list and their return is listed as “indefinite.”
Forwards David Moss and Ales Kotalik join Stajan, Langkow, and Stone on the list and the situation in Calgary is getting to be more dire than hoped for. Moss injured his shoulder the other night against Edmonton and Kotalik injured his knee. The Flames aren’t exactly a deep team and all three of Stajan, Langkow, and Stone are centers. Moss had been getting tried out at center in the wake of all the injuries the team has seen and now you have to start wondering if center ice in Calgary is located above an unknown graveyard.
Who do the Flames have left at the center position? A now healthy Olli Jokinen, Mikael Backlund, Craig Conroy (who signed a league-minimum two-way deal), and Stefan Meyer. Conroy spent the last few seasons in Calgary so he’s not exactly out of his element there and Meyer has been a career minor leaguer.
If you’re wondering about the effects this will have on their salary cap, which they’re over at the moment, it comes as a saving grace to have these guys potentially set to give them some relief. Langkow, Kotalik, and Stajan all make $3 million or more against the cap. If any of those guys need to go on the long term injured reserve, the Flames cap problems will be resolved for a little while at least as the Flames are about $2.4 million over the cap.
(Photo: Dale MacMillan – Getty Images)