Calgary Flames’ Oliver Kylington Returns to Ice After Two-Season Hiatus for Mental Health


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Oliver Kylington Returns

Back To the Flames and Calgary Wranglers in the AHL

Oliver Kylington, defenseman for the Calgary Flames, made a triumphant return to hockey on Wednesday after missing most of two seasons while he dealt with his mental health issues.

On Thursday, Kylington, who had not played in any competitive games since 2021-22 season ended, was finally welcomed back into the Flames organization.

During his time away from pro hockey, Kylington actively focused on improving his mental health through numerous sessions skating alongside injured players of the Flames.

He began his reintegration by being assigned to AHL’s Calgary Wranglers on a conditioning stint.

This move is seen as a major step towards Kylington could be back with the Flames NHL squad later this month.

In a statement released by Oliver today (Thurs), he expressed his readiness to resume playing ice hockey saying; “I feel I’m in a good place with my mental health and ready to take another step forward.”

Acknowledge the support he received during his break, Kylington recognized Flames ownership, management team, teammates, family members whom were all supportive during this phase in his life as well as friends and fans.

He eagerly looked forward to getting back into dressing rooms again and told how much he missed every day of life on ice.

Conditions for assignment and progress towards NHL return

Kylington was placed on long-term injury list which allowed the Flames to send him down to AHL for one week or three games without affecting their salary cap as granted per collective bargaining agreement. Furthermore, he may request an extension for two more matches within AHL.

His journey returning began at training camp last September for the Calgary Flames but before camp started they announced that he would not be starting because of “private personal matters.”

Therefore, aged 26 years old, Kylington did not play during 2022-23 season as personal problems kept him out altogether.

Don Maloney shared that it was expected that Kylington would be ready to compete again in the 2023-24 season when he spoke as Flames president of hockey operations.

Craig Conroy, general manager, had worked extensively with Kylington over his absence and was happy that they had done enough to have him back playing on their team.

The Organization’s Support and Co-Created Plan for Return

Flames management stood behind Kylington’s plan for mental health improvement because the club cared about him even more than it did his hockey career itself.

This was further emphasized by Maloney, who underlined the importance of his positive developments in mental well-being as well as ongoing support provided by the organization.

Conroy also expressed agreement with these sentiments by stating, “We care about Oliver as a person.”

We are very pleased to see him making progress with his mental health and will continue supporting him through this process.”

Conroy outlined this recovery strategy in conjunction with medical professionals, coach insight from Kylington and Flames’ team personnel who all assisted in designing a structured return-to-play program for Oliver.

In addition, continuous treatment and monitoring will follow during Wrangler’ current conditioning stint that represents an important milestone in Kylington coming back while ensuring smooth transition.

Previous Performance of Kylington & Possible Impact

Kylington was selected in second-round pick of the Flames during 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Before being placed on long term injury reserve after five seasons where he played one hundred sixty eight games totaling forty seven points (14 goals and 33 assists), recorded plus 30 rating then made one fifty six blocks.

The return of Kylington is a source of hope to the Flames and sportsmen undergoing psychological disorders.

His way back to the rink stresses the need for mental health to be a priority in pro sports, and underlines how pivotal system-based rehabilitation efforts can be in restoring athletes’ wellness and enabling their return to play.


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