Who's Left?

Ryan Pike
October 01 2014 11:49AM

The axe fell this morning at the Scotiabank Saddledome, with the Calgary Flames assigning a slew of bodies to the American Hockey League - or to purgatory, depending on if one had a contract. Headed to Adirondack are Sena Acolatse (pending waivers), Brett Kulak, Corban Knight, Max Reinhart and Bill Arnold. Headed to an abyss of contractual uncertainty are try-out players Sheldon Brookbank and Nolan Yonkman.

The Adirondack Flames play pre-season games on Friday and Saturday against Utica, so the guys who got sent down will get into game action almost right away.

Now that the Flames are down to a lean 33-man camp roster, the big question remains: who is left?

GOALIES

Three remain: Joni Ortio, Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo.

There is zero controversy here. Ortio will go down shortly, and Hiller and Ramo will tandem things to kick off the regular season. They'll probably flip a coin or leg wrestle or something to decide who plays here on October 8 and in Edmonton on October 9.

DEFENSE

Ten blueliners remain: Kris Russell, Mark Giordano, Dennis Wideman, T.J. Brodie, Ladislav Smid, Tyler Wotherspoon, Corey Potter, Deryk Engelland, Raphael Diaz and Patrick Sieloff.

Smid, Wotherspoon, Potter and Engelland are all nursing injuries, though none of them are thought to be catastrophic. I think it's rather obvious which seven guys stick around. I think they're keeping Sieloff for extra evaluation and to have enough healthy bodies for pre-season games on the back end. Diaz is on the team, presuming he can agree to a contract.

Not skating with the main group on Wednesday morning were Wotherspoon and Potter while Smid and Engelland did take part in full practice, so my theory appears to be supported so far.

FORWARDS

The 20 remaining forwards in camp are: Joe Colborne, Mikael Backlund, Brian McGrattan, Lance Bouma, Matt Stajan, David Jones, Curtis Glencross, Mason Raymond, Devin Setoguchi, Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler, Brandon Bollig, Sven Baertschi, Paul Byron, Morgan Klimchuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Markus Granlund, Sam Bennett, Michael Ferland and Josh Jooris.

Nursing injuries and not skating with the main group on Wednesday: Backlund, Klimchuk, Jones, Granlund and Raymond. Presuming that Jones, Backlund and Raymond are good to go for October 8, that leaves three spots left-over for guys. And let's presume Granlund and Klimchuk are cut due to inactivity, so that gets the group down to 18 bodies - or seven guys fighting for three spots.

So pick three of Baertschi, Byron, Setoguchi, Gaudreau, Bennett, Ferland and Jooris for your opening night roster. I would lean towards Byron, Baertschi and Gaudreau right now based on game action, but it depends what you want. If you want guys you want to play a lot and grow, I'd probably go with Baertschi, Bennett and Gaudreau. If you're looking to fill your last actual playing spot and your extra bodies, I'd go with Gaudreau, Byron and Setoguchi, as they give you flexibility and nobody's going to be too upset if Setoguchi or Byron sits for a game once in awhile.

This is the last actual battle left for this camp, and if any of the injured trio cannot go for October 8 and goes on the injured reserve when the season begins, then things will get slightly more delayed and slightly more complicated.

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Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames since 2010. He's Senior Contributing Editor at FlamesNation, a Senior Writer covering the Flames and the NHL Draft for The Hockey Writers, and a correspondent for the Fischler Report. He's just trying to capture the spirit of the thing.
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#51 MattyFranchise
October 02 2014, 08:42AM
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aloudoun wrote:

Oh and one more thing. EA Sports predicted the bottom 5 teams are… Florida 78 New Jersey 78 Buffalo 77 Ottawa 71 Calgary 64 So there is that… Take it with a grain of salt. oh and LA wins the the cup beating Boston.

Losing cammaleri is not going to cost the Flames 13 points.

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#52 JMK
October 02 2014, 08:51AM
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Mason McDonald had 30 saves from 34 shots last night in a shootout loss to Saint John. So after 4 games he is 2-1-1 GAA of 3.74 and SV% 0.888

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#53 cccsberg
October 02 2014, 09:28AM
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aloudoun wrote:

Oh and one more thing. EA Sports predicted the bottom 5 teams are… Florida 78 New Jersey 78 Buffalo 77 Ottawa 71 Calgary 64 So there is that… Take it with a grain of salt. oh and LA wins the the cup beating Boston.

What did they predict last year?

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#54 Walter White
October 02 2014, 09:34AM
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JMK wrote:

Mason McDonald had 30 saves from 34 shots last night in a shootout loss to Saint John. So after 4 games he is 2-1-1 GAA of 3.74 and SV% 0.888

Small sample size..........but what a complete waste of pick #34........all the good D prospects that were still available.

WW

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#55 ?
October 02 2014, 09:53AM
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Primo wrote:

Agree. Johnny and Ferland are on this team now! They did exactly what had to be done in camp...they delivered!

Ortio, Granlund (concussion), Sieloff and Sven...your going down but be ready for early call up based on injuries and player movement.

To me, Sven has been one of the Flames best forwards at camp. He seems better in his own zone and looks like he has improved his 2 way game.

Sieloff has been underwhelming by my eye, but that can probably be attributed to him having played virtually no hockey for a calendar year.

Granlund was dominant in the Young Stars Tourney, if the Flames were willing to use their 4th line as speed/skill line, he'd probably be making this team out of camp (if healthy of course)

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#56 Jake the Snail
October 02 2014, 11:06AM
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theCalgaryJames wrote:

true story… I just see no scenario where I'd want Sam Bennett playing the entire season with Calgary. To me the comparable to RNH applies. I think you're flirting with seriously stunting Bennett's development if you force him into the lineup before you actually need him to make the jump. The Flames do not need Bennett to make the jump so he should play out his final year of junior hockey.

Bennett's body is getting banged up in pre-season. One more year in Junior won't hurt his development and he will be stroinger next year...will be outplaying Nugent Hopkins and be top rookie NEXT year!

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#57 RD4
October 03 2014, 07:22AM
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Stubblejumper wrote:

Of course you are correct re Czechs, Finns etc.

Main point is ...here come the Swiss! Three on one team must be a record for the NHL.

Why are you going on about the "swiss thing". Who cares what the nationality is ????? Is it not more important to bring in talent regardless of the nationality.

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