Is Calgary’s Roster All-But-Set?

The dust has more or less settled from the wild draft weekend, and qualifying offers for restricted free agents are due today. But for the Calgary Flames, a quick glance at the roster reveals a few things about the team’s current composition, and perhaps a hint at further moves to come.

As we prepare for Wednesday’s kick-off of unrestricted free agency, let’s see where the Flames sit.

Here’s a quick rundown of the players that, as of the beginning of the season, are on one-way deals OR are waiver eligible (and would likely be claimed by other teams) OR are 19-year-old Sam Bennett, who Brad Treliving has said recently is on the team.

  • G Jonas Hiller
  • G Joni Ortio
  • D T.J. Brodie
  • D Deryk Engelland
  • D Mark Giordano
  • D Dougie Hamilton
  • D Kris Russell
  • D Ladislav Smid
  • D Dennis Wideman
  • F Mikael Backlund
  • F Sam Bennett
  • F Brandon Bollig
  • F Lance Bouma
  • F Paul Byron
  • F Joe Colborne
  • F Micheal Ferland
  • F Johnny Gaudreau
  • F Jiri Hudler
  • F David Jones
  • F Josh Jooris
  • F Sean Monahan
  • F Mason Raymond
  • F Matt Stajan
  • F Drew Shore

So that’s two goalies, six defensemen, and 15 forwards. Everyone on this list would require waivers to be assigned to the minors except for Bennett, who can only be returned to the OHL next season. The vague timeline the media has been given regarding Smid is 6-9 months from his February surgery, which would indicate a return date of anywhere between August and November. I’d presume unless we hear otherwise that Smid won’t begin the season on the active roster.

Of this list, Shore and Ferland didn’t spend their entire year in the NHL, but they ended up on the NHL roster for a good chunk of the season and all of the playoffs. Based on their contracts and waiver status, they’re basically stuck on the NHL roster.

The Flames have 23 men that are more or less slated for their roster right now. If they’re going to make any changes to their playing roster for next season, or open up spots for anybody to make the team out of camp ala Josh Jooris, they’re going to either move somebody out over the summer, or look for a move in the fall. I don’t think anything’s imminent, but if the team wants to add somebody like Michael Frolik – for instance – or for anybody, they’ll need to open up a spot somehow via trade or the waiver wire.

Positionally, I doubt that anything happens regarding the team’s centers. That’s a strength area. The seventh defensive spot to open the season might be Tyler Wotherspoon’s, unless the team decides to retain one of their pending free agents (David Schlemko and Raphael Diaz). I wouldn’t be surprised if Treliving attempted to upgrade the wings, but it’s unclear what he would do with any of the existing personnel if such a move happened.

Let the frenzy begin.

  • RedMan

    I wouldn’t mind either Frolik or Williams if the price is right. I also heard Brandon Sutter’s name out there but not sure how much of a reality that is.

    The players I would most like to see gone is Mason Raymond, Engelland and Bollig. But one out of the three would be awesome.

    As a long shot, I would kick the tires on Johnny Oduya. Apparently he’s also kind of a mentor to Oliver Kylington it would be great to have him close to the organization as well to help with his development.

    • everton fc

      Agreed, Oduya could be a good fit for the bottom pair.

      Ideally we can move Wideman or Engelland for something

      I think Raymond is moved out along with another forward (hopefully not Byron)

      You need to allow a place on the roster every year to fight over, brings out the best in everyone!

    • Christian Roatis

      To be blunt.. if you don’t think it’ll cost much for Kessel, you’re out to lunch.

      We’re talking 2016 1st, Sam Bennett and probably some sort of roster player or more picks/prospects. Leafs – rightfully – want a kings ransom for him.

      • everton fc

        I don’t think it will cost a player like Bennett. No one’s giving the Leafs a player if similar skill, potentially, for Kessel.

        Roster player, yes. Two roster players? Probable. A 1st? Probably. But the comment on fitting Bennett/Gaudreau/Hamilton/Monahan/and eventually Brodie… Those I completely understand.

        I leave Gio out for a reason, as I still don’t see how we sign Gio/Hamilton/Monahan/Bennett and eventually Brodie, all of them anyways.

        Just thought I’d toss it out there. Always gets the thumbs-down here! Guaranteed!!

        • Truculence

          The Flames can sign their entire core without any problems -if they don’t go out and make bone-headed moves like trading for Kessel or overpaying for UFA wingers.

          The 2016-17 season may prove to be problematic, but buy-outs of Engelland and Smid would make their combined cap-hit only 2 million for that season and another 2 million for the following season. The latter year will also see the toxic contract of Raymond expire, as well as those of Matt Stajan and Denis Wideman.

          Considering Jones, Hiller, and Colborne are all likely jettisoned at the end of this year for another 10 million in savings, the Flames have enough cap-room to keep their young core and Gio for the foreseeable future.

          I really don’t understand why people make such a fuss over retaining our core. There is over 20 million in savings to be had once we jettison our expendables, we are not anywhere near the cap to begin with, and the cap will keep going up.

      • everton fc

        With all due respect, a potential 22 year old franchise-type D man just dropped in our laps for 3 picks. Nobody knows what’s going on behind the scenes and what may transpire.

        Kessel I think would be a great pick-up, especially at $6mm. I’m not adverse to that possibility, and as for $s, we could easily trade off a couple players and make it happen.

  • everton fc

    Any interest in Drew Stafford? If there is any truth to the “we need to get bigger on the wings” stuff, I might like him better than the nauseating thought of Chris Stewart. I Doubt Drew would command a ton of money or term…. He looked pretty good with Winnipeg last year…

    • Christian Roatis

      I think Stafford would be a good fit, kind of a step up above Jones, Flames could use his size.

      But I think if the Flames target another winger, they will need to add a little more skill for our second line.

      I hope Stewart is not a consideration.

      • Christian Roatis

        Fair enough, Any thoughts as to who they might be able to realistically get? I have been racking my brain because I think we might be this and a depth Dman away from something pretty great, I know I am getting ahead of myself but I am pretty jacked after the Hamilton move….

  • everton fc

    On Defence:

    Remove Smid at least for the first couple months, possibly LTIR for the rest of his contract.

    After a 50 point season many are saying to trade Wideman as his value is maxed and will never be higher. However he played so well with Russell as our top pairing for 3 months.

    Perhaps we should:

    – retain Gio / Brodie as top pairing
    – audition Morrison and Wotherspoon as Hamilton’s partner on the left side
    – retain Russell / Wideman as 3rd pairing
    – Engelland kept as 7th D-man or traded to make way for Morrisson, Wotherspoon or Nakladal as 7th D-man.

    Treliving could wait to see how the season goes and keeps Wideman if we make the playoffs OR trades him instead at the deadline, likely for a 2nd round pick at least.

  • everton fc

    Why on earth would Kessel want to come to Calgary given “..always earned”, a Canadian city with scrutinizing fans and Canadian dollar and why on earth would we want him (over Hartley’s dead body). Burke wouldn’t want the grief. You think Kessel has a coach problem, wait till Hartley tears him a new one.

    • everton fc

      1. He wants to win
      2. He’s paid in US$ anyways
      3. He can fit in without having to be “the guy”
      4. Heck yes, who won’t want to get away from that Toronto circus
      5. Get’s to play with the best Centre of his career

      • everton fc

        These reasons are why I think Kessel would do well here. And why I toss out the concept. As for Burke not wanting the grief, well… Yes he would, I think. I truly think he’d consider “the grief” for 6mill and 30 goals a season, as he did one time prior, in his past…

        Not saying I don’t agree with the rebuttals to the concept of Kessel actually coming here. But I also see potential value. Proven value.

      • Christian Roatis

        True, but I think the Hamilton deal should be treated as an anomaly not a rule.

        Acquring Kessel makes Calgary a force in the West, and a juggernaut in the near future with Monahan, Bennet and Gaudreau turning into All-Stars,but I just can’t see how it would work asset and cap wise.

          • Bananaberg

            Echo Echo. If Kessel came to Calgary he would need such an attitude adjustment and culture change. Talent up the wazoo. Fitness level – no wazoo. What does Hartley push more than anything after “earned”? Fitness!
            And Phil will be in the spotlight regardless in Calgary as the best scorer and when he doesn’t score for a few games in a row…lookout!
            His call on who he can be traded to all but insures that he will hide out in a non hockey market like Miami or Dallas. Dale Tallon probably made one of the “unacceptable to Shanahan” offers.

          • Truculence

            I’m not pushing Kessel as ‘the’ option, but only as ‘an’ option.

            In regards to the comment above, on the Flames Kessel would almost certainly be on the 2nd line and one of 3-5 players in the 30 goal range. Way different than where he is now so the expectations and pressure would be way different as well.

        • Truculence

          I agree DH is an anomaly, but the trading of any elite to potentially elite young player is an anomaly, and Kessel would be the same.

          I’m not saying Kessel is a slam dunk (i.e. issues) but he’s a proven elite scorer, very fast and would look good on the Flames. Not sure about Cap issues. It might be tough but if so would we damage the team trading Jones/Stajan/Engelland/Raymond and freeing up $s?

          Whoever the Flames take a look at, it doesn’t really matter as I think there’s more than one that can be a big upgrade. Its all a matter of degree.

  • Parallex

    Ideally this team still needs a possession driving forward to play RW. So Frolick or Williams.Put the addition with Johnny-Monahan so Hudler can be the Rookie whisperer with Bennett.

    On the blue line I say roll with Gio-Wideman, Brodie-Hamilton, Russell-Engelleand. BrodieA and Hamilton are our long term top pairing so we may as well get them paired up now.

  • Parallex

    No on kessel. If we were at the cusp of winning a cup, I would maybe take a flyer and sell our future away but we’re at year 3 of the rebuild, not NYR (who failed to win it after selling their future). But as others have said, I would like to see raymond and bollig gone as they are easily replaceable and would hope they give poirier and maybe even klimchuk a shot. I dont’ think its worth our time chasing any ufas really at this point.

  • everton fc


    – No qualifying offer to Byron despite his providing yeoman’s service during a time of need; however there’s just no room and he gets squeezed out and traded or not qualified unless he agrees to a two-way deal. He WILL be picked up by some team
    – Centres: Monahan, Backlund, Shore/Bennett and Stajan. Bennett eventually takes over the 3C spot and Shore moves to RW. Next year Bennett takes over 2C and Backlund moves to 3C.
    – Trade Bollig…with the addition of Ferland and possible addition of Smith, Bollig becomes redundant. If he can’t be traded then waive him
    – Trade Raymond in summer and Jones by the deadline … to make way for Poirier, Klimchuk, Smith, and Arnold, or possibly longer-shots Agostino, Carroll.

  • everton fc

    I also think we should look at Oshie. And obviously Frolik. Or simply give Poirier a chance to lock into that other RW spot next season.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Poirier patrolling the RW, either 2nd or 3rd line, next season. Here’s hoping, anyway!

  • everton fc

    I’d rather continue to develop from within when it comes to the wings. Shore can play RW and is getting to the age that he either needs the ice time or cut bait, but you can’t just leave him hanging indefinitely. Poirier is knocking on the door.

    If you add a Kessel you just add to the inevitable salary cap squeeze that’s coming. Once the team takes that next step and actually look like legit perennial contenders who are just “a player or two away,” then go after a Kessel or Okposo to put the team over the top.

    Too much too soon will just lead to problems.

    • everton fc

      I agree, in principal. I also know Burke won’t wait three years.

      I think Poirier will surprise us all by becoming a bonfide #2 RW in this league, with our team, sooner, than later. Shore hasn’t proven much. Yet. If he can patrol the RW in a 3rd/4th line capacity after Jones leaves, “so be it”. If those two scenarios come to fruition, we are fine.

      Jooris can also play RW.

  • Graham

    Gio, Hamilton and Brodie combined are going to be pretty close to $20 million per season. I would be looking to move Wideman and his $5.25 million contract, using the money to add a top 6 RW.

  • BurningSensation

    I still think we are thinking to ‘small ball’ when it comes to the RW situation.

    I fully believe now that BT has a trade target in mind to fil that role not named Kessel.

    My first bet would be TJ Oshie. My second would be someone as yet undiscussed, like a Burakowsky or Mantha.

    • Bananaberg

      Agree, it’s got to be a trade target for a 2nd line RW & we have to move $$$ doing it. Not sure what people are thinking when wanting bring different players in. Players like Frolik & Oduya & Stewart all will want healthy pay & term. So is going to be sacrificed to bring in these pieces.
      I did a projection for this time next year & what our roster & cap would look like going into the 2016-17 season:

      Net: Assuming Hiller plays next year & is not resigned:
      Ortio set his salary at $800K if he is just OK next year

      Gio; 7.5mill (estimating what his Avg salary will be)
      Brodie 4.6 mill
      DH 6.8mill est Avg salary
      Wideman 5.25 mill
      Engellend 2.9 mill
      Russell 3.0 Estimating his new contract I may be light on that

      Total D Cap $30mill

      Monahan 6.0mill estimated
      Gaudreau 6.0mill estimated
      Bennett 3.1mill
      Backlund 3.6mill
      Bouma 1.8mill estimated
      Stajan 3.3 mill
      Ferland 1.2 mill estimated
      Jooris 1.2 mill estimated
      Raymond 3.1mill
      Shore 1.0 mill estimated

      Total estimated Forward Cap $31.1 mill

      So that puts us at $61.15 mill without Hudler & without a bonafide #1 goaltender. We also have Bennett coming up the following year.
      So we have to be very careful of other pieces we add.

      Now, hypothetically, what if Detroit get shut out on Green, Sekera, Phaneuf. What would we have to add to Wideman to get Tatar?
      Maybe there is a fit there. I would be OK resigning Schlemko cheap & moving Wideman while he is still viewed as an offensive top 4 minute dman. Schlemko & Engellend would be fine with 8 minutes a night with the other 4 horses we have.

    • Truculence

      I agree that the Flames would probably have a couple options in mind and may be looking to do something.

      That said, I think the %s are pretty high that either Poirier or Smith or Hathaway or Carroll will be playing RW for the Flames before the end of next season. Any of the above and the “problem” works itself out from within.

  • BurningSensation

    I wonder what the cost would be for Kerby Rychel from CBJ.

    Or if it’s even worth considering. He’s a LW. Name bandied about for weeks in a quest for defense.

    • Bananaberg

      Agree with stand pat idea. Well positioned now for salary needs going forward and competitive roster next year.

      Poirier and Shore are capable, with upside. We are deep in the bottom 9. Let guys compete for the 2nd line RW spot until the right deal comes along. Centers can capably learn to play wing as well.

  • MontanaMan

    I think the Flames still need an upgrade in goal but that may be easier said than done. I’m more than satisfied with the work that Hiller and Ramo provided last year but I’m not convinced they can duplicate that effort two years in a row. Depending on what they can attract for offers, I’d trade Hiller for draft picks and resign Ramo or find a replacement for two or three years while the youngsters find their way.

  • MontanaMan

    I like the way most people are thinking on here today, except for anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to trade for Kessel.

    Frolic, Williams or Stafford would be nice pickups but the prices always go nuts for some guys. We’ll have wait to find out who might come for a reasonable contract.

    As for trades we have a surplus of forwards, 15 as was listed, someone might be taken off waivers. So better to trade a guy this summer. Maybe Raymond, Bollig, Colborne or Byron. Not sure there is a lot of appetite for any of them though. Or the Flames could sit tight and see how the next season shakes out for the first couple of months. But I get the feeling they want to continue to upgrade the current roster.

  • Christian Roatis

    Not sure how “the roster is set” can be reconciled with “always earned, never given”.

    If we have a couple of kids that kick down the door a la Jooris circa 2014, then the team will have to consider putting some of the vets down in Stockton.

    By the same token, Lucic going to the West may well mean that Engelland or Bollig stay with the team to catch knuckles. Maybe I’m overreacting on that count.

  • Christian Roatis

    I think there is a strong desire to get a couple of top 6 forwards and a better goalie. But, not an urgency yet. I don’t expect anything crazy like a Kessel deal and we may be left with hoping guys like Raymond, colborne, Jones, granlund, poirier, hiller and Ortio can get it done. A dark horse possibility for me is Agostino.

  • Christian Roatis

    Zac Rinaldo was just traded to Boston for a 3rd rounder to Philly.

    Does this indicate a potential market for a Brandon Bollig?

    Granted, he doesn’t injure guys at quite the rate that Rinaldo does, which seems to be the main thing that Rinaldo brings to the table.

    • Bananaberg

      Not sure that there’s a “rational” market with that price for Bollig…

      Just Sweeney. I think Bollig is a candidate for a cap floor team like Arizona, but they’re doing us more of a favor by taking him than we are helping them clear the floor.

  • imthedude63

    So Kessel is an elite NHL player? Who would want his attitude and his level of resiliency on this newer addition of the Calgary Flames? Hartley? Burke? Burke is a smart guy who should (famous last words) learn from his mistakes. Kessel would have fit in with the Flames 3-4 years ago but not now.

    He has lots of talent but his whining and lack of work effort is a poison to any team.

    Lets say in two hours there is a TSN breaking news where we trade for Kessel and give up some roster players and a 2016 1st rounder.95% of the Flames fan base would say WTF and all the great work done with the Hamilton trade and positive energy of the organization would be reversed. Just like Nancy Reagan said “Just Say No” to Kessel…won’t happen

  • Truculence

    What is not being mentioned is that with Hamilton on side and Wideman being told to go get dump ins and clear them as opposed to his talent for allowing forwards past him, our goals against arc going to come down dramatcally

    The youth movement is real and I am looking for big things from a couple of the kids who played on the periferrary last year. Hope I spelled that right.

  • hulkingloooooob

    well. first things first. i guess we all trust BT a lot more now don’t we!?

    loving the look of this team, but let’s not get in too much of a rush here. we want to become the next chicago, not a one and done cup winner. take our time, let prospects develop, etc…

    so here’s my thoughts for potential lines next year, assuming nothing changes.

    Gaudreau – Monahan – Hudler

    Bennett – Backlund – Jooris (or trade target RW)

    Bouma – Granlund – Jones

    Ferland – Stajan – Shore

    Byron – Arnold – Colborne

    assuming no new RW you could mess around with these combo’s quite a bit without it being too disruptive. switch jooris and hudler if you want the rookie wisperer with bennett.

    to me it’s about having enough grit (controlled chaos) on each line.
    if you switch hudler and jooris you’ve got a good mix of grit and skill in each line. backlund and bennett seem to be a really nice match. i know lots of people are gonna question granlund at 3c but i do that for three reason. 1. let him make or break his career this year, or at least his time with the flames. 2. i believe if you give him min’s and a good gritty line he could get lots better. 3. gran on 3rd line = staj on 4th which i like because i think a reliable 4th line can prove very valuable, especially come playoffs. again, stajan with ferland and shore causing havoc could be great. and he could help teach them a bit of defensive responsibility too? i’m a big fan of byron and i think colborne is well worth continuing the experiment. if it pays off we’ll be very thankful. so having those guys ready to jump in if someone else falls off is a good thing. and arnold as centre depth and a decent face off guy.

    defence is a bit more of a crap shoot. a happy crap shoot.

    heck argue all day about the combos but i think at that point it’s about chemistry for the most part and who knows better then hartley. so trust the coach. but maybe like this:

    gio & brodie
    hammer & russel
    schlemko & wideman.

    with engelland and t spoon waiting for call ups

    hiller or ramo // ortio

    now tell me what i did wrong. ha.

    • MWflames

      Well you left Raymond and Bollig out for starters.

      Wideman will definitely be shopped this summer. Thats just too much money on the 3rd pairing, and with lower minutes, will not produce as much as last year… However, I suspect interest in him won’t happen until after FA slows down. He may not be traded though because CGY can play the “we have no rush to trade him” card.

      At this point, the numbers game will push arnold and granlund to Stockton until injuries occur.

      Our RW is a little scary, and I’d say we have 2 or 3 too many forwards at this time. I suspect Ferland and Bennett have more or less earned a spot on this team with their playoff performances pending a reasonable camp. I also suspect that byron forces his way onto this team with his play now that he’s not injured all over anymore.

      I bet that BT will look to offload 2 or 3 of the following forwards:

      Bollig, Jones, Byron, Stajan and Raymond. Perhaps even Colborne. None of these guys seem very attractive to me from my armchair GM position, so this may be difficult. But really, there’s just too many bodies at this point.

      With today’s roster, this is my starting line-up:


      Extra: Shore/Raymond/Bollig


      Extra: Engelland


      I would be stunned if they didn’t move at least one forward this summer.

    • Truculence

      Somehow I don’t see Hartley breaking up the Bouma Backlund combo. If Bennet plays wing it will likely be here.

      I could see Bennett between Raymond and Jones; veteran guys who have some offensive upside. I could also see Shore getting a chance on the RW as well.

      I also see Poirier in the mix about midway through the season. If we don’t add a RW that is significantly better then I good with the competition from within.

      Did anyone listen to the interview with Loob this morning on the Fan. He thinks it would be in Kylingtons best interest this year to play in the AHL rather than back in Sweden.