We are about to get busy in a hurry, gang.
Following a handful of cuts, ending the NHL dreams of seven players for this season, the Flames are about to embark upon the busiest pre-season stretch that they’ll face: three games in three nights AND four games in five nights. We should be down to a more manageable group by that point, but for now, keep those roster sheets handy.
Remaining in camp:
- G (5): Hiller, Ramo, Thiessen, Ortio, Carr
- D (20): Russell, Giordano, Wideman, Brodie, Smid, Wotherspoon, Potter, Engelland, Brookbank, Diaz, Yonkman, Cundari, Stevenson, Sieloff, Acolatse, Ramage, Kulak, Culkin, Kanzig, Gedig
- F (33): Colborne, Knight, Backlund, McGrattan, Bouma, Stajan, Jones, Glencross, Raymond, Setoguchi, Monahan, Hudler, Bollig, Baertschi, Byron, Gillies, Wolf, Arnold, Van Brabant, Agostino, Klimchuk, Gaudreau, Tousignant, Poirier, Hanowski, Reinhart, Granlund, Carroll, Bennett, Hathaway, Elson, Ferland, Jooris
There’s 58 bodies left in camp, so there are still 35 cuts, assignments, demotions or public floggings remaining until the team opens the season on October 8.
Tomorrow, the Flames play the Arizona Coyotes in Sylvan Lake (5pm MT, Sportsnet 360). Then they host Vancouver at home on Thursday (7pm MT, Sportsnet 360) and visit the Vancouver Canucks on Friday (7pm MT, Sportsnet One). And if they’re still standing, and even if they’re not, they play the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Sunday (6pm MT, no TV). At that point, they’ll have three pre-season games left and the real battles can begin. Adirondack’s camp opens on the 28th, so expect some cuts around that time, but likely nobody terribly noteworthy.
The game group for Sylvan Lake: (Updated with Flames site’s info; my guess is that Klimchuk and Ramage are your healthy scratches)
Baertschi – Colborne – Raymond
Gaudreau – Granlund – Ferland
Glencross – Reinhart – Jooris
Tousignant – Setoguchi
McGrattan – Elson – Wolf
Russell – Engelland
Diaz – Kulak
Sieloff – Brookbank
Acolatse – Ramage
Now, obviously there’s too many guys, so some guys will sit. A D-pairing and a forward line, to be specific. Heck if I can figure out who: each pairing or line contains either a body with a connection to Central Alberta, or sombody who didn’t play a game yet.
Karri Ramo worked out on the ice before Tuesday’s practice with Curtis Gedig, Trevor Gillies, Tyler Wotherspoon, Corey Potter and Emile Poirier. (That’s the group that Sam Bennett graduated from.) Mikael Backlund (abdominal) remains sidelined and was the only player that didn’t skate, which probably indicate he’s a ways behind the rest of the injured players. Ramo was well enough to practice with the game group, and Bob Hartley indicated he may play one of the later games of this back-to-back(-to-back) stretch.
Gotta imagine Gedig would’ve probably been cut by now if he’d been healthy. He’s the last amateur try-out player remaining from the group the Flames sent to Penticton.
In other news, Providence College – home of Flames picks Mark Jankowski, Jon Gillies and John Gilmour – was named as the top team in the Hockey East conference in a pre-season poll. That’s not worth much, but it does illustrate the sky-high expectations for that team for this year. I figure if the Friars have a great season, Gillies may think about turning pro. The Flames only have a pair of goalies (Hiller and Ortio) under contract for next season.
Reportedly Flames pick Rushan Rafikov is practicing with the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl club, rather than suiting up with the MHL junior club. He hasn’t gotten into a game yet at any rate, but it’s probably a good sign regarding his development. Adam Ollas Mattsson’s Djurgardens IF J20 club is on a roll, undefeated through their first 5 games (3-0-2). He leads his team in penalty minutes (14) and is second in shots on goal (17) through the first five games, in which he has a goal and an assist.