WWYDW: Next Man Up?

Poor Lance Bouma. He’s out for a while and that means there will be a new face called up in the next 24 hours to join the Flames. The Flames have a few decisions to make regarding their lineup (which has been rather lackluster lately, both in performance and construction) and this call up could hint at which way the Flames plan on going long term with Sam Bennett.

If the Flames call up a centre, I would think that Bennett will have a turn on wing for at least a little bit. Call up a winger, Josh Jooris likely becomes the fourth-line centre and Bennett continues as a centreman. Either way, this is a long period of time with Bouma out and this call-up would be getting a pretty good shot. What Would You Do Wednesday is back so let’s see who you would call up after the jump

MARKUS GRANLUND

This face says “Dress shirt and Jersey baby. Dress shirt and Jersey.”

Granlund is a very likely call-up because of the news today that the Flames are considering moving Sam Bennett back the wing, a move that I fully endorse as it will give Backlund a much, much better look in the top-six. If the Flames plan on calling up a centre, this is a pretty good bet.

As many have pointed out, Granlund seems stuck in limbo between being an elite AHL player and a replacement-level NHLer. In his two seasons in the AHL, Granlund has been almost a point a game player and scored three points in Stockton’s opener this year. If he was to get the call, this long look could be another chance for him to establish himself as a permanent NHLer. 

GARNET HATHAWAY

Aw, would you look at that, they’re teammates now!

Considered by many to be a darkhorse for the 2015-16 Josh Jooris “Obscure College Player Who Turns Into a Decent NHLer” Award, Garnet Hathaway has been impressing since last season in Adirondack. In his first year as a pro, Hathaway scored 36 points in 77 games with Adirondack and climbed steadily up the depth chart. If the Flames are looking to reward someone out of camp, they’ll likely go with Hathaway.

At 6’2, 210lbs, Hathaway as size and sneaky-good hands. Hathaway projects as a bottom-sixer in the style of Michael Ferland. For my money, Hathaway would already be up and Brandon Bollig would be on a one-way expedition to explore the Sun but I digress. If Hathaway gets the call, look for David Jones to be moved up in the depth chart. 

EMILE POIRIER

“Existential Angst on Draft Day” – Getty Images

This is a very important year for Emile Poirier. After a fantastic rookie year with Adirondack last season, Poirier struggled in Flames camp and was assigned quite a bit earlier than many expected. Poirier has fantastic speed and a good scoring touch that have led many to assume that he projects as a solid NHLEr. If he spends extended time this season in Stockton, he will be counted on as an offensive leader.

However, in his brief stint with Flames (six games), Poirier has been unable to make a lasting impression though his time was short and the Flames were in the middle of a playoff race. If the Flames call him up this time, it will be based on his previous season and draft pedigree as many in camp performed better than Poirier. Futhermore, if Poirier is going to be called up, he must be used in favourable situations and the Flames are already pretty strapped for top-six wingers. Ideally, Poirier would get the call and force his way into the top-six, solving a lot of the Flames problems all at once. 

KENNY AGOSTINO

“HEEUNNGGGHHHHHHHHHHYAAAAAA” – Kenny Agostino in this shot

Agostino might not be the first choice for a Flames call-up but if the Flames are looking for a left-winger coming off of a good first pro season, they could go with Agostino. Additionally, they might be eager to see what they’ve got in Agostino as he is 23 years old and likely have to make a decision about whether he will be sticking with the organization and what role he would play.

Agostino is quick and shoots a lot, which would make him an ideal bottom-sixer in my view. If played with a winger like Raymond and Jooris at centre, that could make for an interesting trio. I like Agostino as a player and I am hopeful he gets a shot at some point this season, even if it isn’t right now.

BILL ARNOLD

What is there even to be said about this picture? It’s surprise Bill Arnold. Stockton’s jersey should have this image as their shoulder crests.

The Flames could surprise and call up a new centreman, one who has captured the affections of FN’s AHL expert Mike Cadarette:

Arnold plays a no-nonsense game with a surprising amount of skill and I have no trouble slotting him into a bottom-six role on the Flames right now. He looked quite good last season in his first year as a pro and was looking like he would start the year at or near the top of the Flames AHL centre depth chart. That was until the Flames acquired a few veteran names like Derek Grant and Freddie Hamilton, who are eating up some of the minutes initially thought to be going to Arnold. Calling Arnold up now would be a long shot but I wouldn’t be surprised if whenever he does get the call, he sticks with the Flames. 

DREW SHORE

This picture is from a crazy angle. That’s all I have to say about it.

I figure that if the Flames choose to call up a winger, this is the most likely choice. Shore was just recently squeezed through waivers out of training camp and has proven himself to be a decent NHLer when he’s been given the chance. Shore’s good hands and strong game along the boards endeared himself to Flames brass last season after being acquired for Corban Kight from the Florida Panthers. However, too often during his brief stint with the Flames, Shore was buried on the fourth line and barely given an opportunity to posses the puck with capable wingers, a trend that I hope would end if he’s called up this time.

While Shore has been playing Right Wing for the Flames in training camp, Shore is a natural centreman which makes his call up even more likely as he would be able to move back and forth if the Flames were to change their mind about Sam Bennett. Shore’s versatility and puck skills make him a very good choive for a call-up and I would have to say he is the favourite.

SOMEONE ELSE?

If the Flames were looking for an older option, they could recall Derek Grant or Freddie Hamilton. Both players have NHL experience and are a bit more seasoned. If it’s going to be a bottom six-player who sits most nights (with Jooris taking over full-time), this might not be so crazy. 

Maybe the Flames stun everyone and call up Morgan Klimchuk. Very unlikely but he looked solid in training camp. Or perhaps the Flames call up Bryce Van Brabant who also got a short look a couple seasons ago and looked pretty decent in training camp. 

Let’s see what you think, let me know who you would call up and what kind of role you would want that player to play.