A flurry of minor activity today as NHL teams start making their final roster moves in preparation for the start of the season. For their part, the Flames have waived another three players: Derek Smith, Ben Street and Blair Jones. Street and Jones are guaranteed to be shuttled off to Abbotsford if they clear, while the Smith move may simply be to give the Flames options if "something else" happens over the next 24 hours or so.
– That something could still be the acquisition of Leafs JM Liles, who also hit the waiver wire this morning. There’s almost no chance anyone picks up Liles given his contract, so the Leafs may be decide to move when and if he clears. Toronto can probably get under the cap ceiling by demoting him to the AHL and running with less than 23 players in the NHL, but that would nevertheless leave them perilously close to the upper limit, meaning next to no cap flexibility for the rest of the season. Calgary can still make that problem go away, so it will be interesting to see if anything happens.
– As for the rest of the Flames roster, Pat Sieloff, Chris Breen (injured), Sean Monahan, Lance Bouma and Roman Horak remain with the big club currently. Breen will probably start things out on IR and there’s a faint possibility Sieloff has beat out Smith for a spot on the starting roster (although that strikes me as unlikely). Horak and Bouma will be fighting with Galiardi, Jackman and McGrattan for bottom-6 duty, so I would expect at least one of them to get a ticket to Abbotsford before the season starts.
– Speaking of Sieloff, it seems like his contract would be subject to the "slide rule": Should he spend less than 10 games in the NHL this season, his ELC will "slide" for one season, meaning even if he plays in the AHL, it won’t cost the Flames a year of his entry level contract. If true, that’s like a "free year" of pro development, and if so I like the move to keep Sieloff up a bit more, assuming he really can handle the rigors of the pro game.
– Not Flames related, but: despite their very real need at center, The Edmonton Oilers claimed Dallas tough guy Luke Gazdic off of waivers today. That gives them Steve MacIntyre, Mike Brown, Ben Eager and now Gazdic to chuck knuckles (although Brown and MacIntyre are already injured). It also leves them with a center depth chart of Taylor Hall (converted winger), Boyd Gordon, Marc Arcobello and, uh, Steve action (?) to start the year. Nice work MacT.
– Via James Mirtle, here is a list of all the players who hit waivers today. Ex-Flame Adam Pardy is amongst them. Not a lot of noteworthy guys otherwise.
– We’ll update this space with news if anything else happens.