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Flames prospect Gillies out for season with hip injury

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames goaltending prospect Jon Gillies is expected to miss 4-6 months following hip surgery, the team announced Thursday.

"Obviously it's never ideal that he's going to be missing the time that he's going to be missing," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. "For all intents and purposes he'll miss the remainder of the season. It needs to be done. We don't anticipate any problems. The majority of his rehab will be done here in Calgary, so our people will have their hands on them and we don't expect any issues."

The surgery will take place Wednesday in Nashville.

Gillies, 21, is in his first professional season. He's 2-3-1 with a 2.31 GAA and .920 save percentage in seven games with Stockton of the American Hockey League. He last played Nov. 6. when he re-aggravated a nagging injury.

"He had a little something going on in there for a little bit that he's managed," Treliving said. "You see it now with a lot of these guys, the style they play, the butterfly. He had a little something going on and then about three weeks ago he did something to it. He went down. It looked like a benign play; it looked like a routine stop.

"We've been trying to give it some time to see if it cleared up and healed up and go the way of treatment. It got to the point where we don't want to get into next year and have this problem again. The determination was to go get it fixed."

Treliving said the procedure is not an uncommon one, citing Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko, a teammate of Gillies for the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, as goaltenders who have undergone similar procedures.

"It's unfortunate but he's a young guy," Treliving said. "We don't expect any issues. Nowadays I won't say it's routine, but it's become fairly routine for a lot of players to have this type of surgery. We expect him to be back and ready to go."

A strong season could have pushed Gillies into consideration for a spot with Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The team will need three goaltenders, but among eligible candidates only John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks, Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Garret Sparks of the Toronto Maple Leafs have NHL experience, and Hellebuyck and Sparks made their NHL debuts this week.

Gillies was selected in the third round (No. 75) in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Author: Aaron Vickers | correspondent

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