Flames to ban optional skates during games

By Wally Barnes 

CALGARY, AB – Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan today said that the team will no longer allow players to participate in optional skating during games.

The practice is one that both the Flames and Islanders have employed to perfection this season, and involves the players choosing if they want to skate, or simply just mail it in completely.

"We've felt for the past week that allowing the players to waltz around the ice doing whatever the hell they want may not actually be helping us achieve our long-term goals," Gulutzan told the media today.

"We were initially consulted by a group of junior age coaches who avoid building systems that might inhibit their young players."

Johnny Gaudreau is understood to have been behind the push, after seeing its success first-hand while playing at the atom level just a two years ago.  

Islanders coach Jack Capuano has not yet decided if he will follow Gulutzan's lead. Some within the organization believe he will continue to let the players do what they want because it won't matter anyway.

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