Calgary (Dome Beers) - In a move designed to boost the flagging moral of the suddenly nose-diving Calgary Flames, the teams 'acting' General Manager, Ken King, announced that Raitis Ivanans is fully recovered from the concussion he suffered earlier this year, and will be in the lineup and ready to go when the Flames play the St. Louis Blues tonight (Sportsnet, 6:00 pm mountain).
The Flames could use the reinforcements. The team has gone 3-5-2 during their last 10 games, a stretch that has seen the team deal with injuries to key players Brendan Morrison and David Moss. The slide could not have come at a worst time for the once resurgent Flames, as they have seen their playoff hopes all but evaporate during this stretch.
"We are not out of it by any means. I would suggest that we have an extremely capable and talented team, one that will only get tougher to play against now that we have Ivanans back in the lineup. I'm not ready to mail back those playoff ticket refunds yet." Flames General Manager Ken King said when asked about the reasons for rushing back Ivanans into the lineup so soon after getting knocked out by Edmonton Oiler pugilist Steve Macintyre.
"Ivanans is a great player, and a tough player too. He wanted to get back in the lineup and help this team. You have to love that attitude. Really, the organization doesn't get enough credit for what it does right, and signing Ivanans to that two year, $1.2 million dollar contract this offseason looks like a steal of a deal now, doesn't it?" continued King.
Brent Sutter, the head coach of the Calgary Flames, and his charges all seemed generally surprised to hear the good news about Ivanans return. "Oh shit, are you fucking kidding me? Who the hell approved that?" the clearly jovial coach said when told about Ivanans being in the lineup.
The reactions from the players was similarly light, despite the fact that the team finds itself in tough to make the playoffs.
"Ivanans? Who is that?" Anton Babchuk joked, "I'm not joking, who is that? I really don't know."
"I think he is the new equipment guy," chimed in Calgary's top line centre, Matt Stajan, who is currently enjoying a scoring streak of one point in the last 5 games. "He's the new equipment guy, right?"
"Do you think I could get him to run out and get me a new handbag? I have my eyes on a new Hermès I could just die for!"
The joy of Ivanans return to the lineup was also felt by the blueliners. Upon hearing the news that Ivanans would be the added punch for the playoff stretch drive, Robyn Regehr was so overwhelmed with happiness that he quietly began to cry. Mark Giordano angrily stormed off when he heard the news, slamming the door in the traditional Italian fashion of when one hears great news. Jay Bouwmeester remarked "I don't get paid enough to put up with this stuff." when confronted with the good tidings.
Even the Calgary Flames normally stoic goaltender, Miikka Kiprusoff, couldn't contain himself when he heard the news. "Yeah, wasn't Ivanans dead? I thought he was dead. He looked dead, when he hit the ice."
Kipprusoff's counterpart, Henrik Karlsson, began his patented fist pumping when he heard the news. "Please, someone call a doctor. It's involuntary; I can't stop. I've been fist pumping for the last month. My girlfriend left me because of it. I'm actually incredibly sad inside: I couldn't start more this season? Kipper is sporting a .904 save percentage. I miss home."
Perhaps the most animated though, of all the players in the locker room, was Flames Captain, Jarome Iginla. "Hmm...Tampa Bay has a lot of capspace. Stamkos, St. Louis, Lecavalier, and Iginla. You go tell Ken King that I like the sound of that."
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.