The Calgary Flames made a roster move today, likely due to some questions surrounding the availability of winger Micheal Ferland on their impending three-game road trip. The recall of Derek Grant has clarified a few things both in Calgary and Stockton, but it might have also signaled some potential cap troubles down the road for the NHL club.
Right now, the Flames have 23 active players on their roster:
- Two goaltenders (Hiller and Ortio)
- Seven defensemen (Russell, Giordano, Wideman, Smid, Hamilton, Engelland and Nakladal)
- 14 forwards (Colborne, Backlund, Gaudreau, Jooris, Stajan, Jones, Raymond, Monahan, Hudler, Bollig, Grant, Frolik, Ferland and Bennett)
There are officially two players on the injured reserve – T.J. Brodie and Lance Bouma. (Ferland is not presently on the IR.) Because of the length of their injuries, I don’t believe they count against the salary cap. Right now, the cap hit of the Flames active roster (and Karri Ramo’s buried cap hit) including performance bonuses is $66.7 million, per NHL Numbers figures.
They’re fine cap-wise right now, with about $4.6 million in space. But when they get healthy, and replace Nakladal with Brodie (a cap hit increase of about $3.9 million) and Grant with Bouma (a cap hit increase of $1.5 million), and suddenly all that space is gone. Teams are allowed to go over the cap by their bonus cushion every season, but any over-spend because of performance bonuses comes off of next year’s cap (and with next year’s cap looking pretty nasty already, they probably don’t want to hinder themselves already). As a result, I wouldn’t be shocked if they roll with fewer than 23 players for cap reasons.
Also, keep an eye on Mason Raymond: he cleared waivers on October 6 and thus can be sent to the AHL without having to go through waivers again anytime before November 5. That said, demoting Raymond would only gain the Flames $950,000 worth of cap relief.
Stockton is presently carrying 24 active players, having re-assigned goalie Kent Simpson and forward Mitchell Heard to the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder this week.
- Two goaltenders (Ramo and Gillies)
- Eight defensemen (Kulak, Kylington, Wotherspoon, Stevenson, Morrison, Kanzig, Sieloff and Johnson)
- 14 forwards (Hathaway, Hamilton, Elson, Agostino, Klimchuk, Carroll, Poirier, Shore, Riley, Granlund, Orr, Smith, Arnold and Van Brabant)
Ryan Culkin (shoulder) is the lone injured Stockton player. He’s slated to be back sometime in November.
Until the Flames get healthy, this is probably the ideal scenario for the Heat. They can rotate bodies in and out without having to worry about having way too many players around.
Calgary’s ECHL farm team has six players on their roster with contracts with the organization, though they’re all AHL deals.
- Goalie Kent Simpson
- Forwards Ryan Lomberg, Louick Marcotte, Michael Kirkpatrick, Mitchell Heard and Mads Eller.
None of these guys are prospects of note quite yet, but the Thunder have been scoring a ton, so maybe keep an eye out for these guys just in case they get brought up to Stockton.