This can’t be good news for Micheal Ferland.
Early in the second period of the Flames’ 3-2 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings, Ferland threw a massive hit at Tomas Tatar – and took himself out of the game as a result.
There’s no word just yet on how bad Ferland’s injury is, but better safe than sorry: the Flames have recalled centre Derek Grant from the Stockton Heat.
Grant has three goals in three games to start his season with the Heat, the most goals of any Stockton player. He had a limited showing with the Flames over the pre-season, going pointless over three games, but played 25:43 overall, with two shots on goal.
We know Grant is, at minimum, an AHL player. Over the 2014-15 season, he scored 21 goals and 38 points for the Binghamton Senators over 73 games. He’s also a guy who has shown ability to fill in on an NHL roster if needed, as he played 20 games for the 2013-14 Ottawa Senators, although he was held to just two assists.
Those two assists are the only points Grant has put up over his 25 total NHL games. He has yet to score his first goal.
So why recall him? Well, if Ferland is injured, this leaves the Flames with just 12 healthy forwards, so a recall is necessary. As for recalling Grant specifically, it may mean they don’t intend to play their recall as much.
Markus Granlund was the Flames’ first recall when Lance Bouma went down and Joe Colborne was still injured, but he only played eight minutes in one game. That’s not good for his development. If this recall was going to be more of the same – healthy scratches and fourth line minutes – then you want to give that to the 25-year-old veteran AHL player, not the 22-year-old developing prospect. Hence, Grant gets to come up.
Furthermore, because the Flames have their established need for truculence, they need somebody in the lineup for that. Bouma is out. Ferland is likely out. That pretty much just leaves Brandon Bollig, who we can likely see draw back into the lineup as a result.
Hopefully Ferland’s injury isn’t too serious. But in the meantime, the Flames are up to 14 forwards and 23 roster players (13 and 22 presuming Ferland is placed on the injured reserve), and Grant is up in the NHL as an insurance policy.