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Flames exit season a banged-up bunch

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Those in red finished black and blue.

It wasn’t the healthiest of endings to the season for the Calgary Flames.

And those whose years were parked early were plenty.

Forward Lance Bouma’s difficult season ended with an oblique injury. Bouma was limited to 44 games played, because of a broken fibula sustained on Oct. 13 against the St. Louis Blues -- the third game of the season. An upper body injury in January also forced Bouma to miss a handful of games.

“It was a disappointing year because of injuries and the way I played most of the year,” said Bouma, who finished with two goals and seven points after scoring 16 in 2014-15. “I wasn’t very happy with it. I’m going to be better next year. I’m looking forward to a good summer of training and come back better and stronger.”

Michael Frolik, who missed 11 games after sustaining an upper body injury in mid-December, also missed the final six games of the year because of a groin injury, and Sean Monahan sustained a shoulder injury in the season finale against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Monahan had also been battling a hand injury.

The injury bug didn’t discriminate by position.

Goaltender Karri Ramo, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, missed the final 29 games of the season after sustaining a torn ACL in a game against the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 11.

“I’ve progressed a lot. I’ve started working out,” Ramo said.

“The only focus I have is rehabbing my knee. Those things will be taken care of. Everything is still really open. In a couple weeks we’ll know more. Right now I’m just focused on my knee.

“My goal is to be better. I’m confident and I’m real sure that my knee is going to be even better than before the injury and I’m going to be in better shape. The goal is to be better than when it was.”

Defenceman Ladislav Smid sustained an upper body injury against the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 17, and did not return to the ice. Smid had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck in February 2015 and played just three games after sustaining the injury on a hit by then-Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Simon Despres on Dec. 12, 2014. Smid has played 53 games over the past two seasons.

Smid wasn’t the only defenceman to have the remainder of his season wiped by injury.

Dennis Wideman, who missed 19 games of a 20-game suspension that was later reduced to 10, was injured against the Winnipeg Jets on March 16 -- his third game back -- when he sustained a triceps injury.

Defencemen Deryk Engelland (undisclosed), Jakub Nakladal (ankle) and Jyrki Jokipakka (hip) also sustained late-season injuries, and TJ Brodie was nicked up by the end of the season, too.

The injuries to Jokipakka, Frolik and Nakladal will prevent them from representing their respective countries at the 2016 IIHF World Championship in May.

“I called with my coach of the national team, but I don’t know,” Nakladal said. “I don’t think that I’m going to go there because of my ankle. It’s still bad. I would like to be ready for the summer to practice well and be ready for the season.”

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