The coach didn’t split the Calgary Flames’ top line.
The Flames opened Training Camp 2.0 on Monday at the Saddledome, and eyebrows were raised when superstar Johnny Gaudreau wasn’t grouped with his usual first-line sidekicks — centre Sean Monahan and right-winger Elias Lindholm — during the morning session.
Twenty-one gents, plus a hat-trick of goalies, laced ’em up for that 10 a.m. spin. Gaudreau wasn’t among them.
Instead, he was one of eight skaters to hit the ice just past noon. There was only one puck-stopper with that pack.
A pair of players — forwards Dillon Dube and Buddy Robinson — weren’t spotted at all.
And then this …
“Circumstances that became apparent last week to us made it so that we had to split the groups the way you saw them today,” replied Flames interim head coach Geoff Ward when asked about the head-scratching roster breakdown. (This guy is a former teacher, so it’s not like he can’t divide 35 into two similar-sized squads. It would be a no-brainer, for starters, to have two netminders in each session.)