A Brief Look At Calgary’s Reserve List

One thing that raised a bit of questions over the last few days was the concept of the NHL’s Reserve List for each team. In the interest of clearing up any questions and ideally creating a nice sharable landing space for questions about the Calgary Flames’ list, here’s a quick reserve list primer.


Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it’s the list of players “belonging” to an NHL team is comprised of the following four categories, the total of which may not exceed 80 players:

  1. Pro players
    A maximum of 50; these are the active, running contracts at any given time.
  2. Signed junior players
    These are the deals that are “sliding.”
  3. Unsigned draft choices
    Players who aren’t signed yet but that the team retains their rights. Basically junior players within two years after their selection and college players for up to four.
  4. Defected players
    Unsigned draft choices who are playing in Europe. I think Chad Billins, an RFA who is playing in Europe, fits into this category, as the Flames retain his North American rights in a manner similar to how Tampa Bay (and later Montreal) retained Karri Ramo’s.

Absent from this list are players on AHL deals.

The reserve list is important because, as I learned regarding Douglas Murray, players not on an NHL team’s reserve list as of the trade deadline cannot play for that team in the post-season. This is also why any UFA college goalie, such as Boston University’s Matt O’Connor, couldn’t play for the Flames in the playoffs, but both Mason McDonald and Jon Gillies – if signed – could.


    Pro Players

    1. Jiri Hudler
    2. David Jones
    3. Mason Raymond
    4. Matt Stajan
    5. Johnny Gaudreau
    6. Sean Monahan
    7. Mikael Backlund
    8. Bryce van Brabant
    9. Joe Colborne
    10. Brandon Bollig
    11. Drew Shore
    12. Emile Poirier
    13. Josh Jooris
    14. Markus Granlund
    15. Bill Arnold
    16. Kenny Agostino
    17. David Wolf
    18. Max Reinhart
    19. Ben Hanowski
    20. Michael Ferland
    21. Lance Bouma
    22. Brian McGrattan
    23. Devin Setoguchi
    24. Paul Byron
    25. Turner Elson
    26. Dennis Wideman
    27. Mark Giordano
    28. T.J. Brodie
    29. Ladislav Smid
    30. Deryk Engelland
    31. Kris Russell
    32. David Schlemko
    33. Tyler Wotherspoon
    34. Patrick Sieloff
    35. John Ramage
    36. Raphael Diaz
    37. Sena Acolatse
    38. Corey Potter
    39. Mark Cundari
    40. Brett Kulak
    41. Ryan Culkin
    42. Jonas Hiller
    43. Karri Ramo
    44. Brad Thiessen
    45. Joni Ortio

    Signed Junior Players

    1. Sam Bennett
    2. Keegan Kanzig
    3. Morgan Klimchuk

    Unsigned Draft Choices

    1. Jon Gillies
    2. Austin Carroll (signed, but deal isn’t running yet)
    3. Tim Harrison
    4. Hunter Smith
    5. John Gilmour
    6. Mark Jankowski
    7. Brandon Hickey
    8. Mason McDonald
    9. Eric Roy
    10. Matthew Deblouw

    Defected Players

    1. Rushan Rafikov
    2. Adam Ollas Mattsson
    3. Chad Billins

    (Kenney Morrison doesn’t begin play until next season and he’s on an AHL deal right now.)

    Positional breakdown: (61 total reserve list spots used)

    • 6 goalies
    • 23 defensemen
    • 32 forwards
    • prendrefeu

      Thank you for the breakdown of the reserve list and who-is-where in their availability relative to the team.

      So if a team is in the playoffs and a player gets injured, can said team draw someone up from their reserve list? Or is it a ‘fixed’ roster at the start of the playoffs? (I’m guessing that ‘start’ would be the drop of the puck of the first game of the playoffs even if that team is not playing until a day or two afterwards?)