Weekend Open Thread: Who Makes the Jump?

It’s no secret the Flames suddenly have a lot of kids knocking on the door. In addition to established guys like Max Reinhart, Markus Granlund, Sven Baertschi, Corban Knight, Ben Hanowski, Michael Ferland and Tyler Wotherspoon, the organization is going to add Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Arnold, David Wolf, Emile Poirier, Brett Kulak, Ryan Culkin, Pat Sieloff and Kenny Agostino to the mix full time this year. Sam Bennett is a possibility as well, but for now we’ll assume the team is going to send him back to junior.


The competition is beneficial because it means whoever is able to poke his head above the fray is going to have to be pretty damn good. Nobody is making the Flames by default simply because there aren’t a lot of options.

The challenge for the org is potentially accommodating more than one or two stand-outs should that come to pass. Although Calgary has one of the cheapest rosters in the league, there is nevertheless only a couple of potential roster spots available for the hopefuls (absent trade or injury). 

Pick your Prospects

Here’s who I think will make the cut to one degree or another next season:

  • John Gaudreau (75 games)
  • Sven Baertschi (60 games)
  • Markus Granlund (30 games)
  • Max Reinhart (15 games)
  • Corban Knight (10 games)
  • David Wolf (10 games)
  • Tyler Wotherspoon (40 games)
  • Sean Acolatse (15 games)
  • Mark Cundari (10 games)
  • Brett Kulak (5 games)
  • Pat Sieloff (5 games)

Up front, Gaudreau more or less makes the team out of camp while Baertschi is a call-up who sticks. All the other guys get cups of coffee as veterans get injured or traded.  Of course, part of these predictions are role dependent – for instance, if Brand Bollig or Brian McGrattan get hurt long-term, you can assume
David Wolf is going to get the call before Reinhart or Granlund.

On the back-end, Tyler Wotherspoon is the first call-up and in-and-out of the big club lineup all year. If he takes a step forward, he could start challenging one of the bottom rotation vets for full time work. Sena Acolatse and Mark Cundari get some time because they’re AHL vets and the org will be curious to see if they have any kind of ceiling above that. It wouldn’t surprise me if Brett Kulak and Pat Sieloff get spotted a game or two out of curiosity as well.

So…who do you think makes the team?

  • Burnward

    Baertschi had 2 pro seasons and 50 NHL games and is on the final season of his ELC. He was given an NHL number by the club. He is in the put up phase of his career. Barring a poor camp showing he will be given an opportunity to put up this season.

    Granlund is the most NHL ready of our prospects. He played 3 seasons against men and had a strong showing in the AHL and during his NHL call ups. He is also on the final year of his ELC.

    Cundari fits the 7D role better than Wotherspoon who needs to play hockey. Wotherspoon gets the spot if a roster spot opens up.

    Wolf will be given a chance to make the bottom 9 to add toughness.

    Reinhart will be an injury call up and has a chance to stick. He has the benefit of filling the bottom 9 better than Granlund or Baertschi.

    I don’t see Gaudreau making the team. The management has clearly said they are going to take their time with the prospects. Gaudreau is undersized and coming out of the NCAA. Despite his skill there is no reason to rush him. No doubt he gets some games as a call up. But I think he spends the bulk of the season in the AHL.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Still waiting for our rich owners to throw money at one of the few teams that are cap strapped.We,ve been hearing about this oppurtunity for a few years now, although it appears more and more to be “a pie in the sky” type prayer.

    C’MON BT ,Pronger to Calgary for there 2015 1st round pick.

    • loudogYYC

      The Flyers don’t need to get rid of Prongers contract because they can simply put him on LTIR for the entire season. Same as the Bruins with Savard.

      I’m sure the owners are ok taking on a heavy contract because it was reported by Darren Dreger that the Flames offered to take Cam Ward off Carolina along with their 1st round pick and made the same offer to the Coyotes for Ribeiro.

      It’s not that that the owners aren’t willing, it’s that the price of doing it is high and it better be. There’s still 2 months to go before puck drop and there’s 3 to 4 teams in cap trouble. I’m sure something will go down but I doubt it’ll be huge.

      • RexLibris

        The Flyers need to be under the cap on the day the season begins and before they can put Pronger on LTIR.

        They’ll need to clear $3.061 million prior to the season starting.

        Without any ELCs they can send down and recall without fear of waivers that is going to be more difficult this year than previous.

        Without knowing all the details of the contracts, Matt Read and Nick Schultz would appear to be the best bets to waive. Read is a small winger on an expensive contract ($3.6 million) and Nick Schultz, were he picked up on waivers, wouldn’t be a crippling loss to their blueline.

        With regards to the prospect of a trade, the Flames could attempt to trade for Read (he’s a versatile LW/RW, .57 NHL career ppg). It isn’t something I’d necessarily recommend, but he’d probably be a more useful player than Bollig.

      • RedMan

        I know everyone wants to have a top 3 pick next year but there is some real intriguing opportunities. Bruins present a real interesting one where they have to move some significant salary to get Krug & Smith resigned. They are so deep on the blueline & Boychuk seems to be in line for a pretty big raise after next year. This kid has some pretty nice stats & would he ever look good in our 2nd pairing given we are pretty thin in the cupboards. What would it take to get him? Well, there will be a lineup of teams wanting him. Maybe a deal like Boychuk/Kelly & Bruins 2015/1st for Sven & our 2015 2nd?? I don’t know but to get a 30 year old hitting good numbers dman from a winning environment might be a pretty solid acquisition. Might cost us gaining some wins next year.

        If Philly need some ELC’s to move around, we have lots. Agostino & someone for Coburn??? Gonna get interesting in a few weeks.

        • loudogYYC

          Boston is currently $809,143 over the cap. Dougie Hamilton can be sent to the minors and the Bruins will be cap compliant. They can then LTIR Savard giving them just over 4 million in additional space. That probably isn’t enough money to resign Smith and Krug. I think Kelley is available, top 4 d are harder to find and replace than third line centre men. Sven has far more upside than kelley and boychuk and we control him for much longer as well. In all reality, if we did this Boychuk would be gone at the of the season to a cup contender and Chris Kelley is just another Matt Stajan. The Flames can add some depth to their blue line by taking a shot at MDZ and not have to give up an asset to do so. I think the whole using cap space to take on other teams bad contracts and getting additional assets for it is a red herring. It was sold to us by Feaster when it was clear the Flames would not be close to the cap. The only occurence of a GM offering up quality assets to take a bad contact was when Feaster gave Buffalo a 2nd to take Kotalik.

          • RedMan

            Bad contract’s for additional contract’s is a red herring indeed.

            That red herring offered up by Feaster was also offered up by Burke.Unless I’m mistaken BB communicated that there would be opportunities with strap capped teams that they would position themselves to take advantage.

            That deal with Buffalo for Kotalik was horrible.

  • RedMan

    I just dont know how Gaudreau isnt in the starting line up. seems to me that while he could dominate, there is alzo a bigger risk of injury in the AHL, which seems to be top heavy with crashbangers trying to get noticed…

    I also think Sven is back up to start the year or shortly after, and plays at least 2/3rds of the season in the NHL.

    I expect management to carry as many bodies as posible on the big club, rotating guys in and out of the press box. this allows for experience, pro exposure and a chance to analyze the game, along with the occasional breather for guys not accusstomed to the hard schedule.

    • RedMan

      I guess you haven’t noticed that the watered down NHL is also top heavy with crashbangers,about 150 of them, maybe more..

      We can thank Uncle Gary for that.

  • RedMan

    what I wonder, and would like to hear some thought on, is – who plays along with Gaudreau? he is definitely a target at his size and could use a strong linemate, but needs someone who can both pass and shoot to keep people from focusing solely on him.

    Backlund? Monahan? Bollig? Wolf?

  • everton fc

    I think Ferland has a chance to make the cut. He lasted a while last year. If he’s recovered from the knee-knock, and proves to be the offencive weapon I think he may be… He’s certainly big enough, can skate without the puck, can play defence, and will give anyone in the league a good scrap to defend his team mates. I know there’s a lot of great names on this list, and Johnny G’s going to be on the opening day roster most likely. A few roster moves could open up a spot for Ferland. And I hope the starts align to make this happen.

    I also like Wolf’s chances. I think Sven may turn out to be a bit of a bust. I so hope I am wrong, of course. Hanowski doesn’t have NHL wheels. I really like Van Brabant’s attitude, and hope he pushes an older player off the 4th line. Agostino and Arnold will need time in the AHL. Ditto Glimour. Agostino hasn’t been forgotten by this fan. And I really like Klimchuk. Wolf and Van Brabant would be an interesting line, with another hard-nosed player. A pretty good 4th line, perhaps. Young, hungry, aggressive.

    Time will tell. Soon.