Roster Chaos May Arrive In November

Following the announcement of Lance Bouma’s unfortunate injury yesterday, as well as preparing for the beginning of the ECHL’s season this weekend, the Calgary Flames organization made a few moves and announcements over the last couple days.

In the interest of clarity, here’s what we know right now, all in one spot. To spoil it a bit: while things are relatively calm organizationally right now, there might be a flurry of movement in November as players return from injury and a bunch of dominoes fall.


The Flames are presently carrying 22 healthy players on their NHL roster.

  • 3 goalies (Hiller, Ramo and Ortio)
  • 6 defensemen (Giordano, Hamilton, Wideman, Russell, Kulak and Engelland)
  • 13 forwards (Gaudreau, Monahan, Hudler, Bennett, Backlund, Frolik, Jones, Stajan, Ferland, Bollig, Jooris, Raymond and Granlund)

They have one open roster spot, but that might get filled up soon.

Here’s the injured list:

  • Ladislav Smid (recovery from neck surgery) has been skating regularly with the team in a regular jersey. He’s reportedly close, and the logical thought is that if he’s back in the near future, he gets the 23rd spot and rotates into the line-up from time-to-time. (That probably has an impact on Brett Kulak, who’s played really well on the third pairing.)
  • T.J. Brodie (broken hand) is also skating and according to Brad Treliving’s appearance on Hockey Central (on Sportsnet 590 in Toronto), he’s probably a couple weeks away. That means he’ll probably be back in action sometime in early November. That may cause some roster crunch, but right now the Flames can send Mason Raymond (waiver exempt until November 6), Brett Kulak (waiver exempt all season) or Markus Granlund (waiver exempt all season) back to the AHL without any issues. (And my guess is when Brodie returns, the Flames attempt to roll with 3 goalies, 7 defensemen and 13 forwards for awhile.)
  • Joe Colborne (broken hand) is also skating, but there haven’t been more specific updates than “week to week.” I’d imagine he’s back sometime after Brodie is, but that’s purely speculation. Colborne’s return would upset the roster apple-cart and force a move of some kind.
  • Lance Bouma (broken fibula) is out indefinitely, with the initial estimates being about three months.


The AHL club made a couple of moves this week, bumping Markus Granlund up to the NHL and bumping Ryan Lomberg down to the ECHL. They also reportedly signed Mads Ellar – Lars’ brother – to an AHL deal and assigned him to ECHL Adirondack.

Their roster sits as follows:

  • 2 goalies (Gillies and Simpson)
  • 8 defensemen (Kylington, Wotherspoon, Stevenson, Morrison, Kanzig, Sieloff, Nakladal and Johnson)
  • 16 forwards (Hathaway, Hamilton, Elson, Agostino, Klimchuk, Carroll, Poirier, Heard, Shore, Riley, Grant, Orr, Smith, Hunt, Arnold and Van Brabant)

Their injured list consists entirely right now of Ryan Culkin, who’s recovering from a shoulder injury. With a 6-8 week time-frame at the time of the injury back in mid-September, he’ll probably be back in a few weeks, which would probably coincide roughly with T.J. Brodie’s return to Calgary (and Brett Kulak being demoted), so look out for any ripple-effect moves on the farm as they suddenly have 10 defensemen in November and only six spots on the line-up card.

The Heat play tonight at home against the San Jose Barracuda.


The ECHL affiliate begins play this weekend. There are no Flames-contracted players on the ECHL team’s opening roster, but four players on AHL deals with Stockton begin the year in Adirondack: Ryan Lomberg, Michael Kirkpatrick, Louick Marcotte and Mads Eller.


Flames pick Pavel Karnaukhov missed a Calgary Hitmen game last weekend with a minor lower-body injury. It was so minor that he played the next day, so it doesn’t seem to be anything significant.

  • Cfan in Vic

    Hartley’s act is wearing thin. He is a short term motivator and his Bark is
    wearing on the players. He needs to go soon. He is arrogant and over rated really in my opinion. Too much talent to have a record like this
    already.We should be undefeated. Go Flammes.


  • Burnward

    Kulak deserves to stay….when Brodie returns put Engelland on waivers and have Kulak play with TJ! Should be a good combo. Kluak is plu/minus 0, Engelland is -1.

  • Burnward

    IS there such a thing as a conditioning stint in the AHL for Smid? Hasn’t played in ages, get some pace with Stockton. (He was never quick.) Less risky to the Flames to warm him up in AHL. Especially if Kulak chemistry is good with …even Engelland.

    • Greg

      Would make good sense if Smid could do a conditioning stint.

      I don’t see the roster crunch now that Bouma is injured, at least not in November. There’s an open spot, and granlund and Kulak are both waiver exempt, so there’s spots for all of Smid, Brodie, and colbourne.

      I hope it doesn’t shake out that way though. Kulak should stay in the top 6, and one of Smid or Engelland gets sent down. If BT is worried about them getting claimed on waivers, it should only be because he’s afraid he can’t afford an appropriate gift for whichever GM hands him that miracle.

      And this 3 goalie thing can’t still be going on when Bouma’s back. Can it?

  • Burnward

    I feel that Bollig needs to look deep inside himself and grab a cannonball and jump overboard and hang onto that sumb!tch for the good of the team.

    Master and Commander style