Flames Shuffle Roster: Two Recalls, Two Demotions

Ryan Pike
October 20 2013 02:21PM

 

Flames Blue Jackets Hockey
- pic via Halifaxdrunk

 

After a pair of tough losses, the Calgary Flames have made a handful of roster moves in preparation for their game with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Per the AHL's website, the Flames have assigned defenseman Derek Smith and forward Blair Jones to the AHL's Abbotsford Heat. They have also summoned defenseman Chris Breen and forward Roman Horak from the Heat.

Smith and Jones both cleared waivers on September 30 and could be assigned to the Heat no-questions-asked anytime prior to October 30. Breen, on the other hand, was on a 14-day conditioning stint and had to be returned to Calgary prior to October 24 and was still on the roster. Thus, Smith's assignment may merely be a precursor to Breen going on waivers and being assigned to the farm, while Cammalleri may inherit Smith's roster spot. Long story short: expect some moves on the blueline in the short-term, waivers or otherwise.

Neither Jones or Smith played a single game for the Flames this year. Jones was recalled last week to replace the injured David Jones on the active roster, while Smith made the team out of camp as the seventh defender. Breen had 1 point in 4 AHL games, while Horak has 3 points in 6 AHL games.

After these moves, the Flames have 22 active NHL bodies: 2 goalies (MacDonald and Ramo), 7 defensemen (Breen, Brodie, Giordano, Russell, Wideman, Butler and O'Brien) and 13 forwards (Backlund, Glencross, Stempniak, Baertschi, Monahan, Hudler, Galiardi, Bouma, Colborne, Street, Jackman, McGrattan and Horak). Cammalleri, Matt Stajan and David Jones remain on the IR.

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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 Parallex
October 20 2013, 02:49PM
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Hope they both see at least a game.

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#2 Baalzamon
October 20 2013, 02:54PM
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I still think they want to put Breen in and bench Butler, at least for one game.

Odd that they'd recall Horak. I don't see why they'd do that unless they meant to play him--which probably means Jackman's out. I don't like Horak on the fourth line, but hey. Glad he's back, we could use his speed.

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#3 MC Hockey
October 20 2013, 03:18PM
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Nice to see Breen called up! Also hope he plays. I actually think Smith has done OK for Flames last year but might as well get him playing time in AHL. I agree that Butler is mediocre but apparently ok enough to stay up in NHL vs Smith....hmmm maybe because he was part of Feasters first big trade?

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#4 beloch
October 20 2013, 03:49PM
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If calling up Horak means there will be just one enforcer on the 4th line at a time I'm all for it.

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#5 coachedpotatoe
October 20 2013, 04:44PM
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Play Breen with Wideman and Ob with Russel. Horak Cammi Street? Other lines remain the same? Give Breen at least 10 games to see if he can play.

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#6 exsanguinator
October 20 2013, 05:13PM
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Keep Smith, send Butler down, keep Sven, Sean, and Jiri together. Not sure why Smith would be sent down. Probably some waiver related thing more than anything.

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#7 bookofloob
October 20 2013, 05:19PM
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Breen and Horak are almost certain to play at least once on this road trip, otherwise there's no need to call them up. Kinda surprised Blair Jones never got a sniff, but you have to figure Horak does.

Breen, I don't think he's very good, but neither is Butler, so it can't get much worse.

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#8 beloch
October 20 2013, 05:26PM
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Horak may also have been called up to keep the option of sending Monahan down open. I'm not saying that's the plan, but if the decision to keep him hasn't been made yet then a replacement center needs to be with the team just in case.

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#9 jay
October 20 2013, 05:53PM
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Flames should get Omark and steal a gem from the oilers

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#10 exsanguinator
October 20 2013, 05:58PM
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beloch wrote:

Horak may also have been called up to keep the option of sending Monahan down open. I'm not saying that's the plan, but if the decision to keep him hasn't been made yet then a replacement center needs to be with the team just in case.

I honestly do not believe that Monahan is going anywhere.

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#11 coachedpotatoe
October 20 2013, 06:20PM
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bookofloob wrote:

Breen and Horak are almost certain to play at least once on this road trip, otherwise there's no need to call them up. Kinda surprised Blair Jones never got a sniff, but you have to figure Horak does.

Breen, I don't think he's very good, but neither is Butler, so it can't get much worse.

Even if Breen is not very good this is part of the assessment and development process. I for one would rather watch a prospect who we don't know a lot about than a 6-8 defenceman who has been here for 2 seasons and we know enough about(in case anyone has doubts I'm talking about Butler)Give Breen 5-10 games and then we can assess his game.

Horak is another one we know something about and it's time to find out where he fits.

If I was coaching here's my line up: remember I would role 4 lines as much as possible:

Ramo

TJB and Gio Wideman and Breen OB and Russell

Monahan, Sven and Hudler(I would also let this line have some pp time)

Backs,Glencross, Stemp

Colborne, Galiradi, Bouma

Horak, Street, Cammi

Butler and the enforcers sit. If Cammi is not ready to play then probably McGrunt.

After 2 the Heat were tied 3-3. Just about to check the site again.

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#12 coachedpotatoe
October 20 2013, 06:30PM
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Heat get beat 9-3, 3 games in 3 nights. Brossaint plays. Ortio had a win(shut out) and loss. Heat led at one point 3-1, I wonder how much exhaustion played into it.

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#13 ChinookArch
October 20 2013, 07:35PM
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@bookofloob

Hartley hates Blair Jones more than he loves to win.

Barring a plethora of Flames injuries and Hartley getting fired, Jones will not play in a Flames jersey again.

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#14 RexLibris
October 20 2013, 08:13PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Heat get beat 9-3, 3 games in 3 nights. Brossaint plays. Ortio had a win(shut out) and loss. Heat led at one point 3-1, I wonder how much exhaustion played into it.

So basically the Heat were tied and then you went and jinxed it by checking. Schroedinger's cat, anyone? The Heat are simultaneously winning and losing, provided the results are not observed as the act alters the outcome.

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#15 mk
October 20 2013, 09:21PM
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I'm really loving Bouma so far this year. He's really fitting in well and progressing. A solid, energetic role player.

Also, he has more goals that Iginla this year...

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#16 Kent Wilson
October 20 2013, 09:35PM
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If Breen spells anyone off, it will likely be O'Brien, bot Butler. Shane played 9:31 against the Sharks the other night, which is like a forward playing 3 minutes. His average ice time this year is just over 10 minutes, which means the team is basically playing with 5 guys every night. Butler, as bad as he's been, is at around 15 minutes a night.

Up front, it wouldn't surprise me if it's someone like Jackman getting waived to make room once guys start coming off IR.

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#17 Kmp
October 20 2013, 10:01PM
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Have to figure Horak call up is to help the PK.

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#18 EducatedHockeyFan
October 21 2013, 01:29AM
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Watched some NCAA highlights, Jankowski had a nice toe drag goal, he walked though 3 defenders.In a 10-4 rout mind you. Good to see he's off to to jump to start the season.

Poirier is also on a 9 game point streak and 4th in Q scoring.

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#19 beloch
October 21 2013, 03:19AM
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@Kent Wilson

I was under the impression Breen failed to impress during the pre-season and is seen as iffy even for the bottom pairing in the NHL. O'Brian has almost 500 games of experience in the NHL, has a couple of 20+ point seasons under his belt, and is only 30. Is O'Brian really that awful? What the heck happened? Did he start drinking draino for kicks or something?

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#20 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 06:36AM
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@beloch

Breen didn't play in the pre-season. He was recovering from off-season surgery.

I'm not a big Breen guy myself. He's done well enough in the AHL but on my viewings I don't think he has the mobility or puck skills to make it at the NHL level. The org likes him more than I do, so he's probably going to get a look.

I think O'Brien is pretty awful. He's not even up to Cory Sarich's level. Hartley doesn't like him much either given his ice time. In fact, I've never seen a defender who is getting 10 minutes a night stick in this league.

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#21 seve927
October 21 2013, 07:57AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Breen didn't play in the pre-season. He was recovering from off-season surgery.

I'm not a big Breen guy myself. He's done well enough in the AHL but on my viewings I don't think he has the mobility or puck skills to make it at the NHL level. The org likes him more than I do, so he's probably going to get a look.

I think O'Brien is pretty awful. He's not even up to Cory Sarich's level. Hartley doesn't like him much either given his ice time. In fact, I've never seen a defender who is getting 10 minutes a night stick in this league.

Wow. I didn't realize OB was being used quite that sparingly. I think he looks fine as a 3rd pairing defender, and considerably better than Butler. No doubt he should always be fresh out there. I would think that's going to get pretty tough on the top 4 if we don't get somebody in that Hartley's going to play on the bottom pairing.

Random notes:

Chris Butler's teammates have a 56.3 CF% when away from him, and he has faced the easiest competition on the team.

The Flames appear to have faced some pretty tough competition overall so far this year. Opp CF% ranges from 50.5 to 52.4.

Ramo has a .925 ES SvPct.

Flames have FF% of 52.4 when tied. CF% is only 48.7 when tied. They're blocking a lot of shots, led by Butler, of course because you can't block shots when you're in the offensive zone. Their Corsi slips to 33.3% when they have a 1 goal lead.

Conclusion: With a full roster that includes Stajan, Cammalleri, Jones and not Butler, Ramo in goal, some experience playing with a lead, I think this could actually be a pretty good team.

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#22 Parallex
October 21 2013, 08:37AM
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@Kent Wilson

I'm not particularily high on Breen either but at this point I think there are 5 players (6 if you include Smith) that have both next to zero convertable value (guys that no other team will trade anything of potential value for) and are near locks to not be part of any future winning team. The 5 being Street, Jackman, McGrattan, Butler, & O'Brien... none of them are signed longterm and none of them are really above replacement level.

In my mind it's the perfect time to rotate in some of the older prospects (Your Breen/Nemisz/Horak/Cundari's)... throw some of them against the wall and see if any of them can stick at even just a low spot on the depth chart. Worst case scenario is that none of them do in which case you're no worse off.

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#23 mattyc
October 21 2013, 08:42AM
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@seve927

The only caveat in those Chris Butler numbers being that he has been saddled with O'Brien as well. As Kent alluded to, Shane O'Brien isn't very good (at all). IMHO some of Butler's struggles this year can be put at O'Brien's feet. He isn't very fast and doesn't make a good first pass.

I'm not saying none of it's Butler's fault, but I have trouble reconciling this Chris Butler with the Chris Butler 2 years ago who was surviving against big boys (albeit with JaBo).

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#24 seve927
October 21 2013, 08:54AM
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@mattyc

Butler just looks way worse than O'Brien to me. And Butler's numbers are actually worse when he's away from O'Brien, so it's not really a caveat. It's really impossible to get a gauge unless you allow them to play for a while apart. So, take last year. Butler, horrific numbers by any measure imaginable playing with guys like Brodie and Sarich, who are doing very well this year. O'Brien had good Corsi numbers in Colorado. He's only got like 4 minutes away from Butler this year and CF of 77.8%.

I don't know why Butler's gone so far downhill, but I can say without fear of hyperbole he is unquestionably the worst player in the history of the game.

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#25 SmellOfVictory
October 21 2013, 09:03AM
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I think we can all agree that Butler/SOB is literally the worst pairing the NHL has ever had. I don't think it matters which guy is actually worse than the other, as it would be a minor technicality.

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#26 seve927
October 21 2013, 09:30AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

I think we can all agree that Butler/SOB is literally the worst pairing the NHL has ever had. I don't think it matters which guy is actually worse than the other, as it would be a minor technicality.

Well, we've got O'Brien signed for another year. Maybe I'm just hoping he's not that bad.

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#27 Graham
October 21 2013, 10:05AM
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It depends whether the glass is half full or half empty; the Butler / O'Brien combo are great if you want to finish in the bottom five. Maybe we should increase their ice time, a perfect top 2 pairing if ever I saw one....(lol)

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#28 HongKongHockeyFan
October 21 2013, 10:11AM
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Random thought but was just listening to Robin Regehr get interviewed and it jarred my brain that it was amazing how much Darcy Regier got for taking on Regher's contract.

Calgary traded Regehr, Ales Kotalik and second round pick for Chris Butler and Paul Byron. And then last year Buffalo traded Regehr for two second round draft picks.

So Regier basically got 3 second round picks for taking Reghr's contract for a year and half. Regier really knows how to trade assets. It's amazing what else he got for Pommonville (a fortune), nevertheless Paul Gaustad (1st rounder from Nashville).

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#29 mk
October 21 2013, 10:31AM
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@HongKongHockeyFan

Not to mention, he really knows how to tank a team for good picks. :D

I'm very interested to see what he gets for Miller when they trade him (they will, won't they?). Vanek should carry more value, but might not get the higher price in a trade.

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#30 Parallex
October 21 2013, 10:48AM
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HongKongHockeyFan wrote:

Random thought but was just listening to Robin Regehr get interviewed and it jarred my brain that it was amazing how much Darcy Regier got for taking on Regher's contract.

Calgary traded Regehr, Ales Kotalik and second round pick for Chris Butler and Paul Byron. And then last year Buffalo traded Regehr for two second round draft picks.

So Regier basically got 3 second round picks for taking Reghr's contract for a year and half. Regier really knows how to trade assets. It's amazing what else he got for Pommonville (a fortune), nevertheless Paul Gaustad (1st rounder from Nashville).

There's a financial component to consider... he also took on Kotalik for a year (3M) + the 1.5 years of Regehr (6ishM) so in monatary terms he spent $9,000,000.00 for three 2nd round picks. Not sure I'd call that value for money. To say nothing of the fact that they spent all that money trying to go for it and ended up with nothing to show for it.

I'll grant he made the best of a bad situation but the bad situation was one of his own making.

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#31 HongKongHockeyFan
October 21 2013, 11:10AM
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@Parallex

No doubt, what you say is true as the Flames were cap constrained at the time. And yes Regehr is not the same player he was in the past but I think Buffalo got a pretty good return for him.

However, you must remember that the Sabres ultimately never paid for Kotalik's contract as he bolted for Europe. So Calgary (from what I understand to get the deal done) effectively surrendered a second rounder to get rid of Kotalik's contract. Then Calgary ultimately traded its first round pick to get Buffalo's 1st and second rounder in the following draft.

This is why I've written in the past before Calgary got Joe Colborne that it would be ridiculous if Calgary took on JM Liles contract if Leafs also through in Joe Colborne. In the end they got Colborne for a song.

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#32 the forgotten man
October 21 2013, 12:24PM
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HongKongHockeyFan wrote:

Random thought but was just listening to Robin Regehr get interviewed and it jarred my brain that it was amazing how much Darcy Regier got for taking on Regher's contract.

Calgary traded Regehr, Ales Kotalik and second round pick for Chris Butler and Paul Byron. And then last year Buffalo traded Regehr for two second round draft picks.

So Regier basically got 3 second round picks for taking Reghr's contract for a year and half. Regier really knows how to trade assets. It's amazing what else he got for Pommonville (a fortune), nevertheless Paul Gaustad (1st rounder from Nashville).

Yeah, hearing Reggie's interview this morning reinforced with me that he was not the problem on this Flames Club the past few years...Iginla and Kiprusoff were the "Attitude Problems" that poisoned that dressing room and led to the sub-mediocrity that we put up with for 3 seasons. Reggie is a straight shooter (refreshing in Pro Sports today) and for that reason alone would be great to still have with the Club working with Brodie, Breen and Sieloff etc. Worst trade that Feaster has made as Flames GM.

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#33 everton fc
October 21 2013, 01:21PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Breen didn't play in the pre-season. He was recovering from off-season surgery.

I'm not a big Breen guy myself. He's done well enough in the AHL but on my viewings I don't think he has the mobility or puck skills to make it at the NHL level. The org likes him more than I do, so he's probably going to get a look.

I think O'Brien is pretty awful. He's not even up to Cory Sarich's level. Hartley doesn't like him much either given his ice time. In fact, I've never seen a defender who is getting 10 minutes a night stick in this league.

Seems Feaster's signed two guys (B. Jones & O'Brien) that Hartley hates...

I agree, though. O'Brien would be the one to sit, over Butler.

@CouchedPotato

I like your lines below, though I think the d-men look different:

Ramo

TJB and Gio Wideman and Ruseell Butler and Breen

Monahan, Sven and Hudler(I would also let this line have some pp time)

Backs,Glencross, Stemp

Colborne, Galiradi, Bouma

Horak, Street, Cammi

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#34 everton fc
October 21 2013, 01:25PM
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the forgotten man wrote:

Yeah, hearing Reggie's interview this morning reinforced with me that he was not the problem on this Flames Club the past few years...Iginla and Kiprusoff were the "Attitude Problems" that poisoned that dressing room and led to the sub-mediocrity that we put up with for 3 seasons. Reggie is a straight shooter (refreshing in Pro Sports today) and for that reason alone would be great to still have with the Club working with Brodie, Breen and Sieloff etc. Worst trade that Feaster has made as Flames GM.

Regehr will coach someday. I agree he wasn't the dressing room issue. And he'd have been a great guy to have around the young guys.

Didn't Reggie have issues with the way Keenan ran the team? And didn't Reggie support Playfair, to some extent?

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#35 Greg
October 21 2013, 03:48PM
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Would John Michael-Liles be an upgrade on butler or OB? I keep hearing the leafs want to move him (Dreger again today)... Cap space won't be an issue for the flames next year or the year after (might be after that but his contract is done then). If Toronto is willing to give up a good asset, I don't know why the flames wouldn't seriously consider it.

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#36 Jibmeister
October 21 2013, 05:07PM
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In no way am I a fan of O'brien, but from what I've seen he's no worse than Butler, if not better. Not sure why they insist on playing Butler 5 more mins per night.

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#37 Clyde
October 21 2013, 09:13PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Breen didn't play in the pre-season. He was recovering from off-season surgery.

I'm not a big Breen guy myself. He's done well enough in the AHL but on my viewings I don't think he has the mobility or puck skills to make it at the NHL level. The org likes him more than I do, so he's probably going to get a look.

I think O'Brien is pretty awful. He's not even up to Cory Sarich's level. Hartley doesn't like him much either given his ice time. In fact, I've never seen a defender who is getting 10 minutes a night stick in this league.

John Erskine of recent times. Gord Lane in the 80s.

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