While there is an ever-growing list of players previously deemed to be out for the season who are now appearing likely to be available to their respective teams at some point in the upcoming expanded postseason, don’t expect young Calgary Flames defenseman Juuso Valimaki to join the trend. Sportsnet’s Eric Francis reports that Valimaki, who has missed the whole 2019-20 season, is not likely to rejoin the Flames in their qualifying-round matchup with the Winnipeg Jets or at any point in the playoffs should they advance. The risk, both to the player and team, outweigh the potential gains in this situation, and Francis does not believe that Calgary will take the chance.
Health continues to be the major issue at hand when it comes to Valimaki. The 21-year-old defenseman suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during offseason training last summer. He underwent surgery in late August. By all accounts, including that of Flames general manager Brad Treliving, recovery and rehab from ACL reconstruction is 10 months to a year.