There are a couple of things going on in regarding the Stockton Heat’s roster that are sure to have direct impacts on the Flames’.
First, there’s the obvious: the Flames have returned defenceman Jakub Nakladal to the AHL. They now carry seven defenders, leaving 22 contracts up with the big club.
Second: Kent Simpson, who was sent down to the ECHL after Karri Ramo was sent down to the AHL, has been recalled back up to the AHL. So the Flames will almost certainly be recalling a goalie from the Stockton Heat, almost certainly tied in to Jonas Hiller’s injury from the night before.
On Jakub Nakladal
Nakladal was recalled to the Flames on Oct. 21 in a move that saw Brett Kulak sent down. Kulak had played six games for the Flames, and was looking pretty decent (albeit starting to slip in play, just a little), so it was a pretty basic defenceman swap.
We never got to see what he could do, though, as just two days later, Ladislav Smid returned to action for the first time since January. Smid remained in the lineup until T.J. Brodie became healthy enough to play.
With Brodie back, the Flames were carrying eight defencemen, leaving two as healthy scratches. That’s no good, and so it’s back to Stockton for Nakladal, and in all likelihood, back to actual playing time for him. He had three assists in two games prior to being recalled, and will bring back steady veteran leadership to the farm team.
On Kent Simpson
When the Flames finally solved their three goalie problem by sending Ramo to Stockton, additional moves still had to be made. After all, just as three goalies on one NHL team wasn’t ideal, neither would three goalies be on one AHL team.
Simpson, who had played for the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder in the 2014-15 season, was slated to be Jon Gillies’ backup in the AHL this season. With Ramo down, though, and Gillies obviously not going anywhere, he was the next casualty, and down (geographically, up) to Adirondack he went.
Simpson played two games with Adirondack, posting a .939 save percentage before being recalled to the Heat.
That leaves three goalies in Stockton again, which obviously isn’t acceptable. We’ll see soon just how long Hiller is out for, because Ramo will be making his return to the Flames.
No surprise, but Ramo will be officially recalled today. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) October 29, 2015
It’s also entirely possible this move is precautionary. With Nakladal sent down, the Flames don’t have to put anybody – say, Hiller – on the injury reserve. Assuming Ramo is brought up for insurance purposes, he can be sent back down to Stockton without having to clear waivers again, as long as he is returned within 10 games played, or 30 days since the recall.