Earlier in the week, Calgary Flames President Brian Burke aired his grievances over Dougie Hamilton trade speculation. On Sunday, the team received a Festivus miracle – Johnny Gaudreau will return to the lineup three weeks ahead of schedule.
If there isn’t a Festivus pole in the Flames locker room, someone needs to rectify that immediately.
Gaudreau took to the ice for Sunday’s morning skate without a non-contact jersey. Afterwards he told reporters he was good to go for the game against the Anaheim Ducks this evening.
“I’m ready to play,” Gaudreau said. “I think the finger’s healed up pretty well there. I’m just excited to get things going here.
“I think they did a great job with my finger and we did a great job rehabbing it. They keep tell me it’s going to be harder to break the nine other fingers than to re-hurt this one. It feels good. It feels good when I shoot. I’m excited to finally get out there.”
The Flames forward required surgery on a fractured finger after a being slashed multiple times against the Minnesota Wild. After successful surgery on Nov. 16, Gaudreau was expected to miss six weeks; it ended up being just shy of three. He missed 10 games in total. Calgary went 6-3-1 in that span.
To protect the superstar from future slashes (i.e. from Corey Perry tonight), the Flames equipment staff made modifications to Gaudreau’s gloves.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 4, 2016
(Mega Man called. He wants his gloves back.)
For comparison sake, here’s a look at Gaudreau’s old gloves prior to the slash.
Gloves are a tricky element of the equipment to modify.
Players who are incredibly gifted puck handlers like Gaudreau want as much protection as possible without taking away from their feel of the stick or adding weight. The more padding added the more restricted movement of the hands.
It’ll be interesting to see not just how long it takes for Jonathan Hockey to adjust to being back, but how his play with the puck is changed by the feel of the gloves.