March 29 2014 08:57PM
The Calgary Flames made a trio of roster moves today. One signing, one assignment and one recall.
Most prominently, the club has signed LW Bryce Van Brabant, formerly of Qunnipiac University. Van Brabant is big, strong, and throws lots of hits. He's about 6-3, 220, and led the NCAA in penalty minutes. He's from the Edmonton area, playing for Spruce Grove of the AJHL before heading to college. He had 15 goals and 22 points in this, his junior year. If his name sounds familiar, he was a college invitee to July's development camp.
It's a rather low-risk proposition for the Flames; Van Brabant joins the Flames in Ottawa and the clock starts running on his two-year deal (with a $1.35 million annual value). So it's essentially a one-year deal to a guy with size and physicality but unsure offensive value at the pro level. If he's good, he's an RFA you can re-up. If he's not good, you can cut bait and the deal's not all that expensive. And you get a two-week try-out to get a head-start on checking his progress to close out the NHL season.
Next up, the Flames officially assigned defender Brett Kulak to Abbotsford. Kulak is turning pro after three seasons with the Vancouver Giants. He had 60 points in 69 games with the Giants this past year. By sheer coincidence, he's from Stony Plain, just outside of Edmonton. No word on when he'll play, but he's familiar with the coaching staff, having played four AHL games last season under similar circumstances.
Lastly, the Flames have recalled defender Chad Billins from Abbotsford, presumably to replace Ladislav Smid (who left the game with an upper-body injury last night). Billins played a pair of games earlier in the season and was adequate, but it's hard to tell what he is at the NHL level quite yet. He had 40 points in 62 games with the Heat this year, representing the team in the AHL All-Star Classic.
The Flames presently have a roster that looks like this:
- G: Ramo & MacDonald
- D: Giordano, Brodie, Butler, Russell, Wotherspoon & Billins
- F: Backlund, Cammalleri, Byron, Hudler, Glencross, Stajan, Agostino, Bouma, Monahan, Colborne, Westgarth, McGrattan, Galiardi, Hanowski & Van Brabant
- Injured: Smid, Wideman, Jones, Granlund
Wideman is likely shut down for the year, while Granlund and Jones are both skating. No word on the severity of Smid's injury as of yet.