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Defenceman Oliver Kylington to miss start of Flames' training camp

The Calgary Flames say defenceman Oliver Kylington was deemed unable to take part in the opening of training camp on Thursday.

The determination was made following the team's medical and fitness testing on Wednesday. No other details were release as the Flames called the situation a private and personal matter.

Kylington, 26, did not play last season due to an undisclosed personal issue.

The native of Stockholm, Sweden has played 168 games over parts of five seasons with the Flames and has tallied 47 points (14 goals and 33 assists).

He enjoyed a breakout season during the 2021-22 campaign when he scored nine goals and 22 assists in 73 games.

Last August, Calgary signed Kylington to a two-year contract with an average annual value of US$2.5 million.

In an August, 2023 interview with Swedish Hockey News, Kylington spoke about his mental health challenges.

"There are things that have going on in the family for many years," he said, through a translator, "but which escalated to get worse and there were mental and psychological problems I suffered from."

He went on to say, "I think I dealt with the problem like maybe everyone else does, by just sweeping it under the rug and putting a lid on it.

"But for me, it led to mental illness," he said. "And I felt very bad about how I dealt with my problems and almost went into the wall and felt that now it's enough.

"I needed to face these problems we had as a family," he said, "and today I am incredibly grateful for this journey I started and then had to finish."

Oliver Kylington talked to the Swedish media about his challenging year dealing with mental health issues


Meanwhile, 63 players did hit the ice for the opening day of training camp at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Veteran players like goaltender Jacob Markstrom say they have a lot to prove after missing the playoffs last season.

“Embarrassment and disappointment,” Markstrom said.

“I want to look forward but those two words I think show up in a lot of guys heads and mind after the season but we’re looking ahead and everyone is excited and there’s a jump in everyone’s step and guys are looking good out there.”

Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom, back centre, stops Vancouver Canucks' Sheldon Dries (15) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, April 8, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck


Defenceman MacKenzie Weegar believes in the group and has no doubts they can turn things around.

“You know we’ve got the team in here you know whether guys believe it or not.  We believe it in here and I think that’s all that matters,” he said.

“So whether we’re off the radar or on the radar it doesn’t matter to us.  We know what we’ve got in there.”


Last year there were reports of the toxic culture around the Saddledome.  It ended up costing Darryl Sutter his job.

One of the first things you notice at the rink on the first day of training camp was there were a lot more smiles.  Forward Jonathan Huberdeau says having fun at the rink is important.

“I think the excitement (level) is higher,” he said.

“I mean you can just tell, Husk (Ryan Huska) it’s his first time as a head coach in the NHL.  And Conny (general manager Craig Conroy) is excited when you talk to him.”

“You can just feel the energy and it’s fun to, we just want to make the rink fun for everyone and that’s what we’ll do this year.”


For Ryan Huska, this is his first time running training camp as an NHL head coach.  He says it kind of felt like the first day of school for him.

“Coaches were excited just like the players were today and for me it was no different.  It was fun coming to the rink for me this morning and I just want to see it continue to move in that direction.”

“The energy and enthusiasm, we need to have it.  In order for our team to play the right way or the way we want them to play there has to be some buzz and some life around our room and that’s going to be important for us.”

The Flames open up the pre-season on Sunday night.  They host the Vancouver Canucks at the Scotiabank Saddledome, puck drop is 6:00 pm.

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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