Leland Irving joins Heat on a try-out

Ryan Pike
September 27 2012 02:45PM

 

 

The Abbotsford Heat announced this morning that goaltender Leland Irving has been added to the club's training camp roster. The Calgary Herald's Vicki Hall reported on Twitter that Irving has signed a professional try-out agreement with the the AHL club.

Now, you may be asking yourself, wasn't Irving subject to NHL waivers before heading to the minors? The answer is yes, he would normally be subject to waivers. But due to a quirk in AHL regulations, all American League clubs can sign NHL-contracted players that finished last season in the minors or were on the club's Clear Day list.

Irving satisfies both requirements*.

*(For the record, Brett Carson could theoretically do this, although he wasn't on the Clear Day list, as he played for the Heat due to injuries on the back-end throughout the end of the season and playoffs.)

Under the provisions of an AHL professional try-out agreement, individuals can play 25 games per try-out and try-out deals can be re-upped once. In other words, the deal is good for a maximum of 50 AHL games. Depending on circumstances, this means that the Heat may carry Irving, Barry Brust and Danny Taylor to (a) ride the hot hand and (b) maximize Irving's value to the club.

Note: It's unclear if Irving faces a maximum of 50 games played or 50 games dressed, as goalies are tricky like that. Let's assume dressed.

Calgary's first round pick in 2006, Irving has gradually progressed since turning pro in 2008-09. He's played with the Quad City Flames, Victoria Salmon Kings, Abbotsford Heat and the Flames themselves. He was recalled last year and, other than the blow-out against Boston, looked pretty good and got starts instead of Henrik Karlsson down the stretch.

But he was also out-played by Danny Taylor in the AHL and backed him up during the playoffs, although some of that can be attributed to Irving bouncing up and down from Calgary, and the fact that he and his wife had their first child. Regardless, getting Irving in some games this season is definitely the right thing for the organization.

 

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#1 Kent Wilson
September 27 2012, 03:27PM
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Well at least Irving will be playing some games here instead of sitting out uselessly.

Assuming he can beat out Taylor for the starting role that is ;)

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#2 Domebeers.com
September 27 2012, 03:36PM
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Even if he isn't better than Taylor he should get the starts. Flames own the club to develop their talent, regardless of what Ward thinks. If he can't play in the A let's find out; fish or cut bait.

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#3 Kent Wilson
September 27 2012, 03:50PM
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@Domebeers.com

Agreed.

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#4 bookofloob
September 27 2012, 04:04PM
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Gotta think if they're taking all these measures to get him on the team, that they expect him to play

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#5 Kent Wilson
September 27 2012, 04:22PM
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@bookofloob

True. Ultimately will be up to Irving and Ward though. If he can't outplay Taylor again, Im guessing Ward will go with the guy he trusts. He certainly didn't have any problems doing that last March/April.

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#6 RexLibris
September 27 2012, 04:37PM
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Irving could be the first confirmed career casualty of the lockout if Ward decides not to dress him.

He's still young and the Flames have at least done the right thing by developing him gradually, so in the event he does get waived by the team I'm certain he'd be picked up somewhere else (ie: Columbus).

I have to agree with Domebeers though, time to decide and this would be a perfect opportunity.

Any comments on the Flames not naming any junior-eligible players for possible recall in the event of a training camp?

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#7 MC Hockey
September 27 2012, 04:47PM
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Well...as Johnny Carson used to say...or was it just the Saturday Night Live version of him?..."That's wild and wacky stuff"

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#8 Kent Wilson
September 27 2012, 05:37PM
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@RexLibris

They don't have any kids currently in junior anywhere near NHL ready.

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#9 RexLibris
September 27 2012, 06:02PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

They don't have any kids currently in junior anywhere near NHL ready.

There were a few names on the Canadian teams' lists that aren't either.

It just me thinking about why the Flames wouldn't want to at least bring one in to camp.

Musil is on the Oilers list and he is still at least two years away from the NHL. My assumption is that they want to put him through the NHL camp paces. Maybe even give him ten games so his ELC kicks in and then assign him to the AHL where they can have a more direct hand in his deployment.

Sounds crazy and a little reckless, but stranger things have happened (in the NHL).

Might Wotherspoon have been a possible candidate?

Just wondering.

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#10 Kent Wilson
September 27 2012, 07:37PM
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@RexLibris

Wotherspoon maybe. Everyone else is either in College, overseas or in the AHL.

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#11 Brett
September 27 2012, 09:52PM
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John Davidson has stepped down in St. Louis. JD to Calgary rumours - Round 2!

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#12 Danger
September 28 2012, 07:40AM
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@Brett

Hope springs eternal? I'd love for him to be working for the Flames, but it's hard to see where he could fit in... assuming that King and Feaster are here to stay for a while, which I do assume. (Unfortunately, insofar as it means missing out on JD.)

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#13 Jai Kiran
September 28 2012, 09:32AM
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Jay Feaster's job is safe, but Ken King should be a little nervous about the JD news...

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#14 Yoyo
September 28 2012, 10:22AM
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Can we hurry up and snatch up JD please? Hello winning? Everyone wants to grab up players who know how to win and have done it before... why not grab JD? PLEASE?

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#15 Brett
September 29 2012, 04:49AM
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@Danger I think the thinking was that Ken King won't step down, he'd 'step up' and become President of the entire Flames holdings (NHL, CFL, WHL, NLL? + new Arena/stadium?) and JD would step in as President of the Flames themselves. Seems perfect. The idea of John Davidson sitting in on meetings with the GM & Scouts rather than Ken King makes my heart sing.

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