The Unlikely Emergence of Krys Kolanos


It’s appropriate a shroud of mystery surrounds Krys Kolanos in the days after his professional tryout contract (PTO) with the Abbotsford Heat expired.

Kolanos, a former first-round draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes with a reputation for being something of an enigma, was scratched from the lineup Saturday against the Texas Stars because his PTO came to an end after Friday’s game against the same Stars.

Kolanos, 30, had seven goals and 13 points in seven games and was part of a three-way tie for the team lead in scoring. The Heat have played 15 games so far, which is an indication of the torrid offensive pace Kolanos was on when his PTO expired.

Kolanos had a massive red ‘X’ next to his name on the Heat’s roster at, which means he is no longer on the active roster. According to sources with the Heat, Kolanos had been negotiating with the Calgary Flames for a contract. However, it’s unknown at this point if he was looking for a two-way deal. He is unable to rejoin the active roster without a contract, whether it’s of the two-way or minor league variety.

Kolanos, who has a history with Heat head coach Troy Ward dating back to their days with the Houston Aeros, was in Abbotsford when minor league training camp began on Sept. 23 after missing the entire 2010/11 season recovering from microfracture hip surgery. He signed a PTO with the Heat on Oct. 12 and made his debut on Oct. 28 against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

And what a first impression it was. He scored a hat trick and added an assist as the Heat dumped the Detroit Red Wings farm hands 5-1. The 13 points he notched in the seven games in Abbotsford was just two off what he put up in 27 games with the Adirondack Phantoms in 2009/10. Kolanos was sensibly named "AHL player of the week" on October 31st following his explosive debut with the team. 

Safe to say, unlike other free agent journeymmen, Kolanos has some leverage in negotiations.

    • MC Hockey

      yeah, no. not only does it hamper the organization in at least 2 ways, but you’re spending the contract on a guy who’s had 130 games at the NHL level in 8 professional years. he’s 30 and has proven exactly 0. why waste another contract on a veteran AHLer? like, there is literally no upside here.

  • Vintage Flame

    While I’m stoked for Krys that after missing a year, has had such a great start.. I have to side with Justin here.

    As a persecuted fan-base we are pretty much looking for salvation at any turn. Someone scores 5 games in a row and we’re ready to sign him and call him and hell let’s just let him Center the top line as to ignite Iginla with just that right ‘spark’

    Signing Kolanos to a Flames contract would be a huge mistake. Like Justin said, we have 1 SPC left and why oh why would we spend it on a 30 yr old that has had a good start to an AHL season.

    Keep the eye on the ball folks. w have more options coming this way and the Flames don’t need to handcuff themselves on signing an unnecessary contract, that is not going to help out the big club.

    That being said, I hope Krys signs and AHL deal and stays with the Heat.

  • Vintage Flame

    I agree with Vintage and Justin onn this one, giving the last SPC to a 30 year-old AHL’er is ridiculous. Maybe if Kolanos was 10 years younger, you could take a flyer on him, but not now. These are the types of moves the old Flames, something Darryl might’ve done, and signing Kolanos to a 2 way deal would be a sign that they aren’t really different from back then.

    @Vintage Flame- disappointing result in the Canes-Hitmen game today…:(

  • Vintage Flame

    I am not familiar with all the AHL rules or the Heat’s roster, but is there any chance Kolanos is having trouble signing a minor league deal because the Heat don’t have any more veteran roster spaces available?

    Agreed there is no reason to burn an NHL (even two way) deal on a career AHLer.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      as far as I know, the veteran rule doesn’t apply to contracts, only to dressed players. you’re allowed to have 5 dressed vets per game. there is an exemption for one player who has more then 260 but less then 320 gp.

      according to the AHL website, if you’ve played 260 combined NHL, AHL, or European League games prior to the season you’re a vet. you can’t gain vet status during the season.

      conditioning stints and pto’s are exempt, I think.

      but, looking at the heat’s roster: they have at least 7 guys (not counting kolanos) that would count as veteran. one of them (piskula) would qualify under the exemption rule. so, basically, right now one vet per game has to sit. add kk and that number goes to 2.

      • Vintage Flame

        This sounds to me like a good reason for Abbotsford to not sign Kolanos – we aren’t going to pay him if he can’t play because he is our 7th vet on the roster.

        And if you are the Flames, why sign him to a two way deal and tie up a contract. He is 5th or 6th down the line for call up (before the recent spat he would be behind Brodie and Byron, and still behind Nemisz and Bouma). And that is even if you can get your mind around paying a guy an AHL contract to sit in the press box.

        Hope Kolanos finds a home, but it doesn’t appear it will be in Abbotsford unless one of the other vets gets shipped out.

  • Gange

    So here’s the thing. What does it matter at this point? The Flames are a .500 team with an outside shot at the playoffs. They’ll have to bury Stajan at some point. They’re trying to lose Hagman. If Kolanos is a bust and only plays 5-6 games, why does it really matter?

    It’s not like this is a team on the verge of contending and you’re not committing to a Stajan-esque contract.

    Of course, ideally, I could see Kolanos playing the year in Abbottsford and then next year competing for a spot in TC. However he is 30 and it is unclear what his talent level is at this time relative to NHL calibre talent.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      because if he gets signed to an spc, then the flames can’t sign anyone else, they’re handicapped when it comes to making trades-the same amount of spc’s must be involved in both sides of the deal and the rest of the league would try to take advantage of that. this isn’t something that’s a non-issue. an spc to kolanos screws over a bunch of things.

      • Jay Feaster is the master of giving up leverage in trades. He’d find a way to do it even if we didn’t have all our SPC’s filled. So, at this point, I can’t see what they have to lose. Get this guy signed up. At the very least it improves your AHL team. Is it completely out of the question to think this guy might have turned his career around?