The six week recovery would push Gaudreau’s return to near the end of December and, looking at Calgary’s schedule, it’s possible he misses upward of 20 games.
It’s a profound loss, to say the least. Gaudreau is the club’s most dangerous scorer and a dynamic offensive producer, coming off career-highs in goals (30) and points (78). He hasn’t been great to start this season — though few Flames have, which is why they’re 7-10-1 — but he does lead the team in scoring, with 11 points.
But Gaudreau’s broken finger wasn’t the only topic of debate today.
There was also the subject of how it got broken.
The Flames were visibly displeased about the repeated whacks that eventually led to Gaudreau’s injury. Treliving said it was a slash by Minnesota forward Eric Staal in the third period of Tuesday’s game that ultimately did the damage, adding the Flames thought “there could have been a call made.”
Earlier today, Staal expressed his innocence.
Staal’s response differed slightly from that of Gaudreau’s teammate, Troy Brouwer, who said teams do in fact target star players — but added it almost always goes both ways.
“It’s an unfortunate circumstance,” Brouwer said, per the Calgary Sun. “I know in my game I give a lot of top players good whacks and stuff. You obviously don’t want to let it be happening to your team, but star players are going to be keyed on.
“It’s no different than what we do (to the opposition).”