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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Flames' tough guy Brian McGrattan tangles with end boards; status uncertain

By on 2/22/2014 01:00:00 PM

Getting hit in the face is nothing new to Calgary Flames' enforcer Brian McGrattan, but usually it's when he's squaring off against an opponent on the other team, and they rarely get the best of the heavyweight pugilist...

...but tangling with the end boards?  That's a different story.

McGrattan caught a rut during Flames' practice on Thursday and pulled a face plant right into the end boards, the dashers getting the best of the 6' 4", 235 pound right winger, knocking him woozy and leaving him prone on the ice for several moments while the cut man - er - trainers tended to him.

Reports from the practice stated that McGrattan "gingerly glided off" under his own power, but that he didn't look good.

“I guess from what the players and what Jacques Cloutier (assistant coach) told me, he kind of caught a rut and basically fell face-first into the boards." Flames bench boss Bob Hartley He was in pretty big pain, and, obviously, we’ll probably have a report for you guys Friday morning.”

There has been no further report on McGrattan, who has racked up 95 penalty minutes so far this season, almost all due to fighting and misconduct infractions.  According to the excellent website , McGrattan has dropped gloves 10 times this season - winning each as voted for by the fans, adding a physical presence to a team in full rebuilding mode...

...but his most notable altercations this season occurred against the Vancouver Canucks, fighting Tom Sestito twice - and drawing misconduct penalties for extra-curriculars in each - and also for manhandling Canucks' coach John Tortorella in the tunnel leading to the Flames locker room after a full line brawl in mid-January as the fiery Vancouver head coach tried to confront Hartley during the first intermission.

A brawl that resulted in seven ejections and ended up costing Tortorella a 15 day suspension - but that's just an example of what McGrattan brings to the Flames.  An intense, hard-working fourth line enforcer who genuinely respects every player and every opponent, making him an ideal veteran presence for a young team in rebuilding mode.


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