Mysterious injury latest setback for Flames rookie Sven Baertschi
Leaves practice, aching from an unknown ailment
On his hands and knees in front of the visitors bench — and with nobody in his vicinity — Sven Baertschi was clearly in pain.
Just minutes into Tuesday morning’s session — at 10:45 a.m., to be exact — the Calgary Flames freshman had gone down. Favouring a leg, he was helped off the Scotiabank Saddledome ice.
After a brief perch on the home bench, the left-winger was led to the dressing-room area. He did not return.
Nor was the team able to provide an update on Baertschi’s condition, post-practice.
“A little injury,” coach Bob Hartley said. “We’re going to know more. I’m just assuming that it’s nothing bad. He couldn’t keep going, so the medical staff are working on him right now.
“We should know more (Wednesday).”
The cause remains a bit of a mystery.
No one witnessed what happened to the youngster, who had not been in the middle of any action, furious or otherwise.
“No, I didn’t see,” said Hartley. “They told me, ‘We have to get him out.’ ”
Regardless, the season isn’t starting the way Baertschi had hoped.
Hartley created a flap Friday when he’d acknowledged that the rookie might be scratched the next night against the Edmonton Oilers. Baertschi did suit up, forcing Steve Begin into the press box. He skated 5:01 on the fourth line with Blair Jones and Blake Comeau.
In four appearances, Baertschi is without a point, minus-one, with three shots.
But, as the organization has been preaching from the start, it’s going to take time for the Swiss lad to blossom into a productive everyday NHLer.
“It’s a battle,” said Hartley. “He’s a 20-year-old kid. That’s a learning process. Not only hockey wise, but also around his life. Suddenly, he has bills to pay, groceries to (buy), everything. It’s a normal process for a young man.
“We’re all around Sven. The veterans have been unbelievable. He’s a very open-minded young man. He’ll be fine, but we just have to ask him to be Sven. We can’t ask him to be Gretzky or those guys.”
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