The Calgary Flames organization tied up the last two off-season loose-ends today, inking both Carter Bancks and Steve Begin to one-year AHL deals. The fact that these aren’t NHL contract clarifies the delay in signing both players – clearly the org wanted to keep both guys around but didn’t want to commit any NHL contract space to either of them, while I assume the players were pressing for more.
It’s the right move for the Flames in both cases. Bancks was extremely popular with Jim Playfair when the latter was coaching the the farm team, but the truth is the 24 year old doesn’t have an NHL ceiling despite his high compete level and tenacity.
It also makes sense not to burn a roster spot on 35 year old grinder Begin, who nevertheless played as well as could be expected for a career 4th liner coming off a stint in Europe last season. That said, he’s not going to get any better and the roster spot is better left to younger men with higher potential.
Begin will, of course, be unfairly maligned by some (me) as the guy who cost the Flames a chance at drafting Seth Jones because of his GWG versus the Red Wings down the stretch. Also, screw you, Jimmy Howard.