Flames Cut 19



Brent Sutter and Jay Feaster reduced the training camp clutter today, cutting some 19 players. Most aren’t terribly surprising, with a huge bulk of the guys being assigned to Abbotsford.

Here is the list of guys who were assigned to the Heat:

  • John Armstrong (C)
  • Adam Avramenko (G)
  • Bryan Cameron (RW)
  • Justin Dowling (C)
  • Turner Elson (LW)
  • Ryley Grantham (LW)
  • Ryan Howse (RW)
  • Quintin Laing (C)
  • Logan MacMillan (LW)
  • James Martin (D)
  • John Negrin (D)
  • Jonathan Rheault (RW)
  • C.J. Severyn (LW)
  • Dustin Sylvester (C)
  • Mitch Wahl (C)

Try-outs Turner Elson and James Martin weren’t released outright, meaning they will continue to try to stick with the organization in Abby. Mitch Wahl is likely disappointed by his early departure given the fact he stuck through a couple of games last year, but the sophomore missed most of the season due to injury and probably still needs to get his legs under him. Ditto John Negrin, who at 22-years old is starting to run out of track as a prospect.

Ryan Howse managed to appear in the first pre-season game but it was clear he’s not quite ready to compete at this level. Interestingly, his linemate from Chiliwack, Roman Horak seems to have survived the first wave.

Ferland, Holland and Leach were returned to their respective junior teams as well. Both of the forwards showed relatively well during their time in training camp, but Leach was apparently well behind the pace a lot of the time. He’ll need to improve his skating to make a dent in the future.

Finally, try-out Blake Gal was released.

Sven Baertschi was unsurprisingly retained and it looks like tough guys Desbiens and P3L are still in the mix. Calgary also has a lot of defenders in camp as well, including Carson, Mikkelson, Wilson, Piskula, Smith, Henry and Brodie. The next round of cuts will be heavy on the rearguards as a result. 

  • jeremywilhelm

    Not surprised by the names on this list. Holland and Ferland both showed promise and I think next year they will get a shot at some pre-season games. Negrin was not very good and it seems he has regressed. That’s what injuries can do. I was hoping P3L and/or Desbiens would be cut but I guess unforntunatey that’s not the case.

  • everton fc

    I’d like to see Desbiens skate with some decent players. Perhaps now he’ll get a chance to skate with actual NHLers…

    He’s not a goon, and has decent hands. The Canucks fans were sad to see him go, as he did well on their 4th line when he was up last season.

    P3L won’t be cut yet. He’ll get a chance. Unfortunately.

  • RexLibris

    I’m thinking the fact that guys like Howse, Negrin, and Wahl, all forward prospects who have been with the organization for a few years now, got cut so soon is not a good sign about where their development is. Usually guys like this, veteran players with draft history, stick around a little longer than the junior eligible ones who are given a taste of the pro-leagues and sent back soon so they can get into camp on their resepctive teams. I know there’s no room for forwards on the big club but the fact that these guys were sent down right away rather than given a long look by the coaching staff suggests that they aren’t even comfortable with the trio as depth call-ups.

    From my perspective it looks like these three will be a kind of symbol of the difference between the old-guard prospects (under Sutter)and what may be a new trend under Feaster, starting with the picks this year. Even if the players don’t turn out any better it’s a lot more fun to cheer for a kid with offensive upside than somebody who is defensively sound but couldn’t put the puck in the ocean.

    • Negrin is the only guy who should be worried he didn’t stick around. Howse has never played pro hockey and Wahl had almost his entire first season wiped out by injury. They are only taking their first steps.

  • mayhemsince1977

    Not surprised by any of the cuts. I think many of the cuts may have been due to the fact that Abbotsford will not play any preseason games. The boys will need a few practices to get used to the new coach, etc.

    I expect Irving to get at least one more full game start.

    I am still having trouble with the amount of bodies in camp. 18 players already in Abbotsford and still 40 left in camp. Does anyone know where the remaining 13 cuts will go?

  • jeremywilhelm

    I think people are being pretty silly writing off Negrin, Wahl and Howse already. They are kids in their early 20s all with some injury history (or in Howses case, diet issues). It was obvious they weren’t gonna make the team this year, hell, Baertschi could score 7 goals and still not make it. The roster is set. Anyone that thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Two guys that have stuck out to me the last couple of weeks: James Martin and Dustin Sylvester. I’ve been very impressed with Sylvester’s hands, and he doesn’t back down for such a small guy. Watching Martin at the dome last night and throughout the prospect tourney, I’ve been very impressed with his poise. He handles and distributes the puck with confidence, and skates really well. Hoping he gets a shot in Abbotsford, because he could be a fun project player, rather than committing to 27-year olds like Smith, Henry and Wilson moving forward.

    Interested to see Horak stick around while Howse is sent down. Can’t help but think this training camp was a harsh wake up call for Howse. Safe to say Horak is simply sticking around so Flames brass can have another look at him, rather than it being an indication of his play to this point.

  • I liked Piskula on D for the one Flames squad. Baertschi Backlund and Hagman were also really good together. Want to see more of Reinhart, Bancks, Horak.

    Smith was awful and I didn’t like either of our tough guys out there. Bouma looked pretty fired up. Babchuck also could have been better. Liked Gio and Hannan together, they looked pretty solid.

    Stajan, Glencross, Moss looked worse than their AHL counterparts.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    At the risk of sounding negative, keeping Roman Horak around may be a way to make the whole Erixon debacle smell better. Now the team can sell the idea that the Flames received a gem in return for Erixon. I hope I’m wrong, but I really didn’t see anything from Horak to suggest he shouldn’t been #20 today.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      100% agree with this angle. erixon will be on the big club roster in a (likely) top four spot in NYC and everyone knows it. the least feast/king can do is pretend they got something in return.

      also ? from what i saw, i liked everything about turner elson outside of his name.

      • ALL THE WAY IN

        If Erixon gets top 4 defence with Rangers, I would be concerned if Im a Rangers fan, he’s unproven & could struggle to our delight. He gets top 4 due to injury to other D like Staal.
        Horak & Howse need a year of AHL, I think this was an eye opener for Howse. Negrin, Cameron, Macmillan are in a have to break out year or they wont be long in the Flames organization.
        Man I would love to see Feaster open spots for Byron & Baers but I know, next year seems to be when a youth movement makes sense.

        • It honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see Erixon slide into the top-4 for NYR. He was playing top pairing minutes in the SEL as a teenager. That’s a better league than the AHL and he’s been a key cog for a couple of years.

          You never know with kids, of course, and he may struggle with the size of the ice surface and such, but he’s as good a bet as any rookie to stroll in and be a legit contributor pretty quickly.

          • No question he has the skills top be a top 4 but there seems to be an adjustment period & to be thrust in top 4 hard minutes could rear an ugly result. Then again the buzzards would sure enjoy picking our carcus if he winds up being a Calder trophy nominee:(:(:(