Now that the kids have been sorted, the real thing can begin this week. The Flames have posted their A and B rosters featuring 24 skaters each and 5 goalies total. The team designations are meaningful, as group A features mostly NHLers and veteran AHLers (including Cam Cunning and Mikael Backlund). Group B, on the other hand, is all kids and hopefuls, including new guys Steffan Meyer (D), JP Lamoreaux (G) and try-out Giffen Nyren (D).
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the groupings is the inclusion of prospect tourny stand-out TJ Brodie in group A instead of far more veteran guys like Matt Pelech and Steffan Kronwall. Apparently the decision makers were also impressed with his play in Penticton and have decided to throw him in the deep end of the pool during camp to see if he can swim. Not sure what that says about Pelech’s chances however.
For the sake of clarity, here is the whole training camp group ordered by position:
The goaltenders are easy: Kipper, Karlsson, Irving, Keetley and Lamoreaux.
Items of Interest!
– A number of guys listed are injured and may not take part in TC. They include: Langkow, Stone, Howse and Macmillan.
– With Langkow hurt and a question mark to start the year, that opens the door for Mikael Backlund to make the big team out of camp. I don’t think his performance will matter one way or the other since he’s the lone, obvious choice, but it wold be encouraging to see him excel.
– Other forwards of note: Wahl, Nemisz, Rheault, Cameron, Cunning, Sutter and, if you like to cheer for lost causes, Chucko. None of them are fighting for a job on the Flames at the moment, but could be injury call-ups or meaningful pieces down the road.
– As mentioned, the injection of TJ Brodie into the mix further complicates the bottom end of the Flames d-rotation. Now it looks like Pardy and Staios will be battling Kronwall, Pelech, Negrin and Brodie in camp. I don’t expect Brodie to seriously contend for a spot given his age and the Flames obvious depth, but it’s an interesting wrinkle nonetheless.
– Henrik Karlsson is well regarded by some, but the truth is he’s never played in NA and remains a mystery. He’s going to be the Flames back up this year so a few capable starts from him during the pre-season sure would be nice.
– As Pat mentioned below, Flamesnation will be all over TC this coming week so stay tuned.