2014-15 Flames Main Camp Begins

Ryan Pike
September 18 2014 11:30AM

Last week was the precursor. The real thing starts today.

The Calgary Flames officially kick off their 2014-15 training camp today at Winsport. 65 players will report. By the time everything's said and done on October 7, that number will be trimmed down by 42 - to the opening 23-man roster.

Here's a quick-and-dirty look at the 65 men vying for roster spots over the next few weeks.

GOALIES

Seven goaltenders are in camp, at least to start. (Three.)

  • #1 Jonas Hiller
  • #31 Karri Ramo
  • #35 Brad Thiessen - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #37 Joni Ortio
  • #40 Doug Carr (AHL contract) - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #70 Matt Mancina (try-out) - released on 9/18
  • #72 Mason McDonald - assigned to Charlottetown (QMJHL) 9/22

No real battles here. Barring war or insurrection, Hiller and Ramo are your NHL goalies, Ortio and Thiessen probably start in the AHL and Doug Carr gets a trip to Colorado to play for the Eagles. The junior kids go back to junior.

DEFENSEMEN

There will be 22 different defenders in camp, three times as many as will actually be on the team. (20.)

  • #4 Kris Russell
  • #5 Mark Giordano
  • #6 Dennis Wideman
  • #7 T.J. Brodie
  • #15 Ladislav Smid
  • #26 Tyler Wotherspoon
  • #28 Corey Potter
  • #29 Deryk Engelland
  • #33 Sheldon Brookbank (try-out)
  • #36 Raphael Diaz (try-out)
  • #38 Nolan Yonkman (try-out)
  • #42 Mark Cundari
  • #43 Dustin Stevenson (try-out) - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #50 Pat Sieloff
  • #54 Sena Acolatse
  • #55 John Ramage
  • #61 Brett Kulak
  • #67 Ryan Culkin
  • #73 Keegan Kanzig - returned to Victoria (WHL) 9/27
  • #80 Curtis Gedig (try-out) - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #84 Eric Roy - returned to Brandon (WHL) 9/18
  • #85 Jason Fram (try-out) - released to Spokane (WHL) 9/22

Here's where things get interesting. Presuming that Calgary doesn't make any trades - which isn't a guarantee - then the opening day defensive group likely includes Giordano, Brodie, Wideman, Russell, Smid, Engelland and likely one of Potter, Diaz, Brookbank or Wotherspoon. Wotherspoon's my dark horse, as I imagine the Flames want him fully up to speed before throwing him into the NHL, so likely he starts in Adirondack. Maybe.

Yonkman has spent most of his time in the AHL over the past 8 seasons. My estimation is he was brought in as a mentor and leader for the AHL group, which includes a lot of youth and will need someone who's been through the grind of a long pro season. Don't be shocked if he signs and wears a letter in Adirondack. Stevenson's an ECHLer who's a big fella. Not sure if he offers much more than John Ramage, but I guess we'll find out.

The Flames already have a lot of defensemen under pro contracts, so outside of adding one (or two) of these aforementioned try-out guys, I can't see anybody else getting added to the pro ranks. The junior kids probably go back to junior.

FORWARDS

There are 36 forwards in camp fighting for 14 jobs. (33.)

  • #8 Joe Colborne
  • #10 Corban Knight
  • #11 Mikael Backlund
  • #16 Brian McGrattan
  • #17 Lance Bouma
  • #18 Matt Stajan
  • #19 David Jones
  • #20 Curtis Glencross
  • #21 Mason Raymond
  • #22 Devin Setoguchi
  • #23 Sean Monahan
  • #24 Jiri Hudler
  • #25 Brandon Bollig
  • #27 Sven Baertschi
  • #32 Paul Byron
  • #41 Trevor Gillies (try-out) - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #45 David Wolf - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #46 Bill Arnold
  • #47 Brandon Magee (try-out) - released to Victoria (WHL) 9/22
  • #48 Bryce van Brabant - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #51 Kenny Agostino - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #52 Morgan Klimchuk
  • #53 Johnny Gaudreau
  • #56 Mathieu Tousignant (AHL contract) - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #57 Emile Poirier
  • #58 Ben Hanowski - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #59 Max Reinhart
  • #60 Markus Granlund
  • #62 Austin Carroll - returned to Victoria (WHL) 9/26
  • #63 Sam Bennett
  • #64 Garnet Hathaway (AHL contract) - assigned to Adirondack (AHL) 9/27
  • #65 Turner Elson
  • #68 Pavel Padakin (try-out) - released 9/19
  • #71 Hunter Smith - assigned to Oshawa (OHL) 9/22
  • #79 Michael Ferland
  • #86 Josh Jooris

There are 12 forwards on one-way deals: Colborne, Backlund, McGrattan, Bouma, Stajan, Jones, Glencross, Raymond, Setoguchi, Hudler, Bollig and Byron. Then there's Monahan, who's all-but. That leaves a job up for grabs, presuming that the Flames don't bury a one-way deal in the AHL - there's four players making south of $925,000 and whose deals can be buried with no cap hit (Bouma, Byron, McGrattan and Setoguchi).

Contenders for that one available job include: Baertschi, Granlund, Reinhart and Gaudreau. If they're looking more for grit and physicality, then add in Ferland and Wolf, too. I can't see many of the try-out guys or junior kids getting a gig. Bennett could get a sniff at the NHL, but I figure he's one of the last cuts. And keep an eye on Garnet Hathaway, who impressed in Penticton and could get his AHL deal upgraded if he keeps playing well. But a prospect tournament is one thing - now they're playing with live ammo.

THE FORMAT

Last year's fun format returns! Camp will be at Winsport. The 65 guys are split into three groups - Team McDonald, Team Nieuwendyk and Team Vernon - and play regular hour-long scrimmages. The groups will, obviously, be rotated, and the players on each group will probably change based on the day, as the coaches want to see different combinations of players.

So basically, between 10 and noon on most days, head on down to Winsport and check things out. I really like the scrimmage format, as you get to see players in simulated games and I think it prepares players reasonably well for the pre-season games, which seems is how they're usually evaluated when it comes down to cut-down time.

You can find a full camp schedule on the Flames site. First pre-season games are on Sunday.

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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. You can see his hand or the side of his head on TV sometimes.
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#51 Baalzamon
September 19 2014, 08:12AM
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@BurningSensation

How do you know the Blue Jackets haven't offered him 2 years at 5? Or 5.5? Maybe Johansen is asking for 7 or 8 per over 7 years.

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#52 Skuehler
September 19 2014, 09:41AM
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Re Corrado. The hit was clearly dirty, no debate there. Corrado himself admitted to targeting Johnny. The refs did their job. No doubt some guys will remember the hit. What I think is low is that Corrado hit Johnny because he took exception to a hit on Shinkaruk. Why not go after that Flame player? Probably because it was a guy Corrado couldn't tAke out. So what a weak move to try to be a hero by laying a dirty hit on the smallest player on the ice, who had nothing to do with the original hit.

Also, nice to see so many guys healthy for camp.

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#53 DoubleDIon
September 19 2014, 09:42AM
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RexLibris wrote:

I'm not sure Davidson and Kekelainen would respond to a threat like that.

If the Flames submitted and offer sheet for Johansen it would have to be at a dollar figure that would likely cost them four 1st round picks given what Johansen has turned down thus far. To date the Jackets have offered three contracts that range from $5.3 million a year cap hit to $6 million a year.

Rumour from Dreger today was that Johansen is looking for something closer to $7 million a year.

If Burke or Treliving called Kekelainen and said they were working on an offer sheet for Johansen, Kekelainen would probably ask for how much.

If it is above $5 million, Kekelainen can probably say go ahead and take the four 1st round picks and go on his merry way.

If it is below $5 million, I think he'd have a case to argue that Overhardt has not been negotiating in good faith and the offer sheet could be dismissed and the negotiations go to league-mandated arbitration or some other route to protect the team's interest in their player-asset.

I don't believe that Johansen would be worth four 1st round picks, myself.

A call from Burke would likely only "encourage" Kekelainen to offer Johansen in exchange for Monahan and something extra.

I'm not sure that is a deal in the Flames' favour either.

Other GMs are probably staying away at this point because they are wary of picking up an unproven, but talented, kid who appears to want a sky-high contract before he's earned it.

8.4 million is the four 1st round line. Compensation is as follows:

$3,364,392 to $5,046,585 1st and 3rd $5,046,586 to $6,728,781 1st, 2nd and 3rd $6,728,782 to $8,410,976 2 1sts, 2nd and 3rd $8,410,977 and above 4 1sts

I don't think this is the year we should be exploring sheets. Draft, develop and then when you're on the edge of competing and your pick is in the 10-20 range you can begin looking at things like that.

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#54 RexLibris
September 19 2014, 10:03AM
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@DoubleDIon

Thanks, I had found compensation numbers listed as 2014, but apparently they were holdovers from the previous CBA.

The offer on Johansen would probably have to be in the range that would result in compensatory picks of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd or two 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd.

The Flames could certainly do it, and structure an offer sheet in a predatory way similar to the Weber one that would put a strong financial incentive for the Blue Jackets to walk away.

Not sure I'd do it based on Johansen's smaller sample size right now.

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#55 wot96
September 19 2014, 10:19AM
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@Baalzamon

TSN reported CBJ offered $6M for two years. I read that as $6M for each of two years as a bridge contract but maybe it was $3M for each year.

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#56 Byron Bader
September 19 2014, 10:21AM
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@wot96

Yeah it was for two years. Heard Friedman on the radio talking about how Columbus might go up to 4M per but aren't going near 6M. Or at least they really really don't want to.

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#57 T&A4Flames
September 19 2014, 10:27AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

@wot96 & BurningSensation

Yeah I may have been thinking of arbitration rights. Regardless, I siphoned through the barrage of legalese in the CBA and couldn't discern anything to support my claim of fact above.

So... yeah. Nothing to see here.

I think you all are thinking of Ryan Ellis. Johansen can get an offer sheet, pretty certain Ellis is ineligible.

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#58 Kevin R
September 19 2014, 10:32AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

"Off the top of my head I'd wager he'd be wanting a 2015 1st, Monahan or Bennett, and Baertschi, and that is a package that may not get him fired."

Ok, I think you are making my point for me, if RJ is 'worth' that, than how is it that he only wroth a 2 year bridge for under $5m?

Everybody wants to suck and blow on this at the same time. If he's even close to being worth a package of 4 first round picks, than surely to goodness he is worth more than 2 Deryck Engelland's in salary.

For the record, I'd do Monahan and the 2015 pick, and I'd be very, very, very tempted to do our next four 1st round picks for him.

If the Flames were running Johansen, Monahan and Bennett down the middle with Sven, Johnny G, Poirier and Klimchuk on the wings, it would be absolutely filthy.

I think you are over valuing RJ a little too much. I certainly wouldn't offer sheet him to lose the next 2 1st rounders let alone the next 4. But I do acknowledge the fact that RJ would be that 1st line centre we have all drooled about to build around & are praying Monahan or Bennett become that #1C. So what price to pay. If I were JD, I would want a top blue chip player, preferably a Centre. I think Bennett would attract JD's attention. Then because the Jackets are a playoff team & needing to get this season tickets sold, they need something immediately back for their top 6. I would say Hudler fits that. It gets rounded out at a 2015 2nd or 2016 1st or Sven. Nobody wants to really part with Bennett, but RJ is proven, SB isn't yet. That would be a tough trade to pull the trigger on for the Flames but probably the type of package it would take to get RJ in a Flames jersey. What is nice is the fact that the Flames finally do have the pieces to put on the table to go after a kid like this. Personally, I would only do it if it was for Hudler & SB & it still wouldn't upset me if JD told us to go pound with that offer.

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#59 danglesnipecelly
September 19 2014, 10:36AM
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backburner wrote:

I'm sorry, I don't like the whole "I was at the game" argument.

I have watched the replay of that hit many times, and he clearly throws an elbow at him.

It's not really an argument as much as it's a fact.

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#60 wot96
September 19 2014, 10:42AM
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@Byron Bader

Yeah, that makes more sense. Hope he likes sitting.

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#61 T&A4Flames
September 19 2014, 10:43AM
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RexLibris wrote:

With regards to Corrado.

I'm not a Canucks apologist, I have serious reservations about the way that franchise has behaved both on and off the ice for years now.

However, while I understand his hit on Gaudreau was a clear head shot, I don't think he is a dirty player and his vilification here seems to be outside the scope of the real player.

Nothing in his history implies that he is a dirty hitter who unfairly targets opposing players in vulnerable positions and I could find no evidence of his having been suspended before.

Relative to their number of games played, Corrado has fewer penalty minutes per game (1.19) than Ramage (1.5), Kanzig (1.65), Sieloff (1.88), and Cundari (1.44).

I think he was caught losing his man and responded instinctively. Improperly and dangerously, mind you, but likely not with premeditated malicious intent.

Still, not a bad idea to "remind" Corrado and the rest of the league that dirty hits on a player like Gaudreau, comes with repercussions.

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#62 T&A4Flames
September 19 2014, 10:49AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

On a lark, I took a team I thought was as wishy-washy talent wise as the Flames and how it would look if they dealt 4 firsts, and checked out what the package would be.

Figuring that the Flames could be reasonably projected to improve to a borderline playoff team with Johansen I figured that 4 years of Coyotes picks would be a fair comp.

Domi, Samuellsson, Murphy, and Gormley, were those picks.

Would I trade them all for Ryan Johansen? In a heart beat.

Ok, so maybe Arizona is an outlier (they picked 12, 12, 20 and 26 in those four years), who would make a better comp? Carolina?

They picked: Fleury, Di Giuseppe, Murphy and Lindholm.

Close (I'm not high on Murphy being a high-end pro, IMO it's Lindholm I think makes this a shave rather than a no-brainer), but I would still prefer to have Johansen. By the time Fleury is even able to play meaningful minutes, you'll have had all of Johansen's prime years (23-27).

So I'm not so sure 4 first round picks is entirely unreasonable for a 6'3, 225lb 22 year old C with 33-30-63 numbers, and a ppg (2-4-6) in the playoffs.

Which is why this is so perplexing for me. Everybody says he needs to prove it. What do you think he just did?

Edmonton looked like it was taking a big risk when it signed its young guns to matching 6x6 deals. With even modest projections of the cap those deals look genius in retrospect, and if Columbus were smart (I thought under JD they would be), they would gladly sign Johansen to something that feels more like 'we believe you are the future of the franchise', than 'we intend to squeeze every cheap nickel from you we can before you get tired of our incompetence and demand a trade, thus perpetuating our mediocrity forever'.

Any shortlist of players under 24 you'd want to build your team around has RJ's name appear very early on it, and the Blue Jackets - a weak market and team with a track record of chasing away it's franchise players - choose to play hardball with him.

They are blowing this. Bad.

They want him to prove it because his recent 82 33-30-63 aside, he went 107 14-19-33 in the 2 previous seasons combined. In short, he was hot garbage in the 1st two seasons. Is he really a 60-70 point guy, or is he somewhere in the middle of the 3 seasons? Thus the bridge contract.

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#63 piscera.infada
September 19 2014, 10:54AM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

They want him to prove it because his recent 82 33-30-63 aside, he went 107 14-19-33 in the 2 previous seasons combined. In short, he was hot garbage in the 1st two seasons. Is he really a 60-70 point guy, or is he somewhere in the middle of the 3 seasons? Thus the bridge contract.

Exactly. In the 2012-13 season, the guy was a borderline AHL'er (to mention nothing of the NHL) - he was a healthy scratch for the last third of the AHL season. He needs to prove he belongs. Instead, him and his agent are using Stamkos, Kane, and Toews as comparables. It's a joke.

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#64 Jake the Snail
September 19 2014, 10:58AM
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Only ONE spot open because of one-way contracts?? Baloney! Jones, Setoguchi, Byron could be waived and sent to AHL in my opinion. Like to see Gaudreau, Ferland and Granlund make the team than some NHL retreads. Also Wotherspoon too on D.

At some point in time you have to promote the young guys, suck it up and let them develop in the best league. Flames are not getting a sniff at 8th place this year... Note that I am NOT saying they should tank it to get no. 1 or 2 draft pick...who knows the young guys make provide some zip and they will improve over last year.

Giving up the future for one player - Johanson would be stupido.

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#65 Jeff Lebowski
September 19 2014, 11:01AM
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RexLibris wrote:

With regards to Corrado.

I'm not a Canucks apologist, I have serious reservations about the way that franchise has behaved both on and off the ice for years now.

However, while I understand his hit on Gaudreau was a clear head shot, I don't think he is a dirty player and his vilification here seems to be outside the scope of the real player.

Nothing in his history implies that he is a dirty hitter who unfairly targets opposing players in vulnerable positions and I could find no evidence of his having been suspended before.

Relative to their number of games played, Corrado has fewer penalty minutes per game (1.19) than Ramage (1.5), Kanzig (1.65), Sieloff (1.88), and Cundari (1.44).

I think he was caught losing his man and responded instinctively. Improperly and dangerously, mind you, but likely not with premeditated malicious intent.

So what? All it takes is one well placed headshot to derail a career.

He might not realize this until after he's laying on the ice himself thinking "I shouldn't jeopardize another player's career if I don't want to be laying here, bleeding."

Should a drunk driver who kills someone get off easy (a warning : a 5 min major ) because it was the first time they drove drunk? Not in my books. He needs to feel pain. The memory of this pain will constrain his 'instincts'. Or if it's ok for him to instinctively react, so too for any one of McGratton et al.

Corrado dishonoured himself with his cheapness. If honour means anything to him he will try to get it back by showing courage to 'take his medicine' ie give a fight

People will disagree with this, but I don't care what people think.

This is not analogous to Moore - Bertuzzi and the entire cycle of violence argument. Moore gave a fight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Bertuzzi%E2%80%93Steve_Moore_incident

My point is not continued retribution. Just put the honour back in balance. The Canucks in the Moore fiasco showed their dirty, cheap, true colours by pursuing the retribution because they suck and were getting thumped in the game.

That franchise is the embodiment of dishonour.

If Corrado is the chickensh!t coward I think he is (consider the tutelage of the franchise : rutuu, cooke, burrows etc) and won't give a fight then I would be pleased to see lots of hits on him (and if one of those hits crosses a line then he should've given a fight).

In that rookie game, VanBamBam destroyed a casuck defender with a heavy, heavy shoulder. Keep giving Corrado that until he grows a spine.

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#66 BurningSensation
September 19 2014, 11:32AM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

They want him to prove it because his recent 82 33-30-63 aside, he went 107 14-19-33 in the 2 previous seasons combined. In short, he was hot garbage in the 1st two seasons. Is he really a 60-70 point guy, or is he somewhere in the middle of the 3 seasons? Thus the bridge contract.

I'd argue that is just the public rationale they are using to be cheap with him.

The guy was taken 4th overall, and is the prototype power pivot all teams crave to build around. They gave him 1st line ice-time, 1st line wingers (at least, the best a crap team like Columbus has), and all he did was lead the team in scoring and drag them into the playoffs - all while playing on his ELC.

So, yeah.. Clearly it was a 'fluke' that a hyper talented early draft pick with size produces well when given good wingers and PP time. This isn't a case of Devon Setoguchi or Jonathon Cheechoo getting airlifted by Joe Thornton, or Mario dragging guys like Rob Brown to 50 goal seasons.

Like I said, he already 'proved it'. Columbus is just being cheap. And stupid.

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#67 backburner
September 19 2014, 12:58PM
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danglesnipecelly wrote:

It's not really an argument as much as it's a fact.

I believe you.. if you were at the game, great.

But in this case being at the game doesn't give you some special perception of the hit that the rest of us didn't see clearly on the replay.

He said "The shift before, they went after Hunter Shinkaruk and I saw an opportunity to make a hit on one of their skill players."

So, he intended to go after JG, AND he elbowed him... but we're suppose to believe he didn't mean to make a dirty hit... right. Let me guess it's Gaudreau's fault.

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#68 The Real Slim Brodie
September 19 2014, 01:48PM
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Bs that the province tried to justify the hit by saying johnny suddenly stood back before the hit..off course he suddenly stood straight he got an elbow to the face. The replay clearly shows him in full stride.. unlike the sedin hit at the end of the year johnny clearly didnt put himself in a vulnerable position. I kinda think this had something to do with revenge for the hit on sedin by byron..also this wasnt the only time during the game johnny was targeted...the others were just away from the puck where he was hauled down negating a three on one play they truly are baby canucks..dirty

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#69 T&A4Flames
September 19 2014, 03:15PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

I'd argue that is just the public rationale they are using to be cheap with him.

The guy was taken 4th overall, and is the prototype power pivot all teams crave to build around. They gave him 1st line ice-time, 1st line wingers (at least, the best a crap team like Columbus has), and all he did was lead the team in scoring and drag them into the playoffs - all while playing on his ELC.

So, yeah.. Clearly it was a 'fluke' that a hyper talented early draft pick with size produces well when given good wingers and PP time. This isn't a case of Devon Setoguchi or Jonathon Cheechoo getting airlifted by Joe Thornton, or Mario dragging guys like Rob Brown to 50 goal seasons.

Like I said, he already 'proved it'. Columbus is just being cheap. And stupid.

Well, that he already proved it is your opinion. If you're ready to give a player a 50million dollar contract after 2 shight years and 1 seemingly break out year, I'm glad you're not running our team. What's the problem taking a 2 year 4-5 mill per contract to earn that long term big dollar contract?

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#70 DoubleDIon
September 19 2014, 03:50PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Thanks, I had found compensation numbers listed as 2014, but apparently they were holdovers from the previous CBA.

The offer on Johansen would probably have to be in the range that would result in compensatory picks of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd or two 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd.

The Flames could certainly do it, and structure an offer sheet in a predatory way similar to the Weber one that would put a strong financial incentive for the Blue Jackets to walk away.

Not sure I'd do it based on Johansen's smaller sample size right now.

I wouldn't either if I'm the Flames. Just based off of the rebuild trajectory we're on. It seems there are one or two opportunities to do this each year. Two years from now may be a better opportunity. Do the standard Burke thing and give them the heads up before hand to see if you can work out a trade that works for both sides with the implied pressure of the sheet.

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