Leland Irving joins Heat on a try-out



The Abbotsford Heat announced this morning that goaltender Leland Irving has been added to the club’s training camp roster. The Calgary Herald’s Vicki Hall reported on Twitter that Irving has signed a professional try-out agreement with the the AHL club.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Now, you may be asking yourself, wasn’t Irving subject to NHL waivers before heading to the minors? The answer is yes, he would normally be subject to waivers. But due to a quirk in AHL regulations, all American League clubs can sign NHL-contracted players that finished last season in the minors or were on the club’s Clear Day list.

Irving satisfies both requirements*.

*(For the record, Brett Carson could theoretically do this, although he wasn’t on the Clear Day list, as he played for the Heat due to injuries on the back-end throughout the end of the season and playoffs.)

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Under the provisions of an AHL professional try-out agreement, individuals can play 25 games per try-out and try-out deals can be re-upped once. In other words, the deal is good for a maximum of 50 AHL games. Depending on circumstances, this means that the Heat may carry Irving, Barry Brust and Danny Taylor to (a) ride the hot hand and (b) maximize Irving’s value to the club.

Note: It’s unclear if Irving faces a maximum of 50 games played or 50 games dressed, as goalies are tricky like that. Let’s assume dressed.

Calgary’s first round pick in 2006, Irving has gradually progressed since turning pro in 2008-09. He’s played with the Quad City Flames, Victoria Salmon Kings, Abbotsford Heat and the Flames themselves. He was recalled last year and, other than the blow-out against Boston, looked pretty good and got starts instead of Henrik Karlsson down the stretch.

But he was also out-played by Danny Taylor in the AHL and backed him up during the playoffs, although some of that can be attributed to Irving bouncing up and down from Calgary, and the fact that he and his wife had their first child. Regardless, getting Irving in some games this season is definitely the right thing for the organization.


    • True. Ultimately will be up to Irving and Ward though. If he can’t outplay Taylor again, Im guessing Ward will go with the guy he trusts. He certainly didn’t have any problems doing that last March/April.

  • RexLibris

    Irving could be the first confirmed career casualty of the lockout if Ward decides not to dress him.

    He’s still young and the Flames have at least done the right thing by developing him gradually, so in the event he does get waived by the team I’m certain he’d be picked up somewhere else (ie: Columbus).

    I have to agree with Domebeers though, time to decide and this would be a perfect opportunity.

    Any comments on the Flames not naming any junior-eligible players for possible recall in the event of a training camp?

      • RexLibris

        There were a few names on the Canadian teams’ lists that aren’t either.

        It just me thinking about why the Flames wouldn’t want to at least bring one in to camp.

        Musil is on the Oilers list and he is still at least two years away from the NHL. My assumption is that they want to put him through the NHL camp paces. Maybe even give him ten games so his ELC kicks in and then assign him to the AHL where they can have a more direct hand in his deployment.

        Sounds crazy and a little reckless, but stranger things have happened (in the NHL).

        Might Wotherspoon have been a possible candidate?

        Just wondering.

  • Danger


    Hope springs eternal? I’d love for him to be working for the Flames, but it’s hard to see where he could fit in… assuming that King and Feaster are here to stay for a while, which I do assume. (Unfortunately, insofar as it means missing out on JD.)

  • Danger

    Can we hurry up and snatch up JD please? Hello winning? Everyone wants to grab up players who know how to win and have done it before… why not grab JD? PLEASE?

  • Danger

    @Danger I think the thinking was that Ken King won’t step down, he’d ‘step up’ and become President of the entire Flames holdings (NHL, CFL, WHL, NLL? + new Arena/stadium?) and JD would step in as President of the Flames themselves. Seems perfect. The idea of John Davidson sitting in on meetings with the GM & Scouts rather than Ken King makes my heart sing.