The Flames keep avoiding tough roster decisions due to injuries

Prior to the Calgary Flames game against Columbus, the chatter during Flames practices amongst the FlamesNation crew generally circulated around what bodies were missing, if any, and what the Flames would do once they finally got healthy.

You see, Markus Granlund is up on the Flames roster because of injuries, as was Derek Grant before him, and we were wondering what would happen to Granlund. Would he go to the AHL or had he impressed management enough for somebody else to get the chop?

But the decision whether to put a veteran on waivers or to banish Granlund to the minors has seemingly been postponed again – with Micheal Ferland absent from practice today – because the Calgary Flames have never been 100% healthy this season and at this rate never will be. 

Here’s a rundown of Calgary’s players that have been injured this season:

  • Joe Colborne (hand): October 7-17
  • Ladislav Smid (surgery recovery): October 7-20
  • T.J. Brodie (hand): October 7-26
  • Lance Bouma (broken leg): October 17-December 20
  • Micheal Ferland (knee): October 25-November 7
  • Jonas Hiller (groin): October 30-November 24
  • Kris Russell (hand): December 4-10
  • Michael Frolik (shoulder): December 17-January 13
  • Jiri Hudler (groin): January 5-11 (and January 16)
  • Lance Bouma (leg laceration): January 13-21
  • Micheal Ferland (upper body): TBD

While the deluge of early-season injuries allowed the Flames to get Joni Ortio, Brett Kulak and Derek Grant some NHL time (and allowed the ill-advised three goalie experiment), take a particular look at the timing of the forward injuries:

  • As Colborne is a game (or so) away from getting healthy, Bouma breaks his leg in a weird play along the boards against Dallas.
  • As Bouma is about to return from his broken leg, Frolik blows out his shoulder missing a hit against Nashville.
  • As Frolik is about to return from his shoulder injury, Bouma gets a skate gash to the leg in another weird sequence.
  • As Bouma’s about to return from his leg laceration, Ferland takes a knee to the head against Columbus.

Four legitimately bizarre injuries, in sequence, have prevented the Flames from ever being 100% healthy so far this season, and for the past two months have kept Granlund in the NHL and helped the Flames avoid tough choices regarding who should stick in the NHL and who should head to Stockton.

And it’s getting to the point where it’s almost funny, because I’m almost expecting a player to get sidelined with an injury when I hear Bob Hartley say in a media conference that somebody’s almost ready to return.

We’ll see what happens when Micheal Ferland is fully recovered from his injury or if it means he’ll be spending more time on the injured reserve.

  • FeyWest

    Hartley was saying it’s only going to be a couple of days for Ferland so the decision is going to come sooner rather than later and I expect changes after the All-Star break.

  • YYC Flames

    Line #1. Gaudreau. Bennett Poirier. Line#2. Ferland Monahan Frolik. Line#3. Agostino. Arnold Jooris. Line# 4 Bouma. Grant Carroll. Defence Gio Nakladal. Kulak. Brodie. Andersson Hamilton. See who we pick in draft and see who we trade for .

  • SmellOfVictory

    I would say that I don’t think it’s a “tough” decision to send Granlund down. He’s honestly only slightly more effective than the absolute bottom end (Bollig) forwards at this point in his career, and good lord could the Heat ever use his help.

    • everton fc

      Agreed. He hasn’t scored in ages. Faceoff percentage not improving. Give Grant those minutes. He’s putting goals in the net, on better than a point-a-game pace.

  • Burnward

    Can’t do any worse then what we got now all else fails. Weary a better draft pick. Way better than Jones or. Colborne on the top line and Bollig playing.

    • hulkingloooooob

      Couple problems with that if you mean right now, Anderson is in the chl can’t call him up mid season without an emergency, that roster is definitely under salary floor. Not to mention it being highly un likely and soft.

  • everton fc

    Poirier’s got 7 goals now. Might be time to give him a chance with the big club, with regular shifts. Sort of unrelated, Poulin seems the have taken the starting goaltending role from Ortio, and is doing well. Poulin may prove to be a good pickup; he’s only 25. Could have a future here. I hope so.

  • YYC Flames

    The problem is not line combinations. The flames need to find a true number 1 goalie and draft or trade for big young talented forwards. Frederik Andersen would look good in a flames jersey. I wonder if Anthony Mantha could be pried away from the wings. If the flames get a high enough draft pick this year there is a couple Finns in this years draft that would a great addition to the team.

  • everton fc

    My question is why is Jooris sitting? What’s gone wrong with his game that Hartley does not like him. Last year he was the poster boy for “always earned never given”. If he is a regular in the press box should they not waive him and look at someone else? (yes he might get claimed but there have been many guys go through waivers this year that have better NHL records)

  • everton fc

    The decisions next season are going to get even tougher with players like Poirier and Mangiapane likely ready to make the jump. Both are playing lights out and ready for the next step (in my opinion). Two more roster spots upfront will be needed (maybe more depending on the draft?!). Not to mention the gridlock on D. We need to move several players let the guys in our system a chance to make the team. Hopefully we can trade/buyout Smid, Wideman and Engelland. Although Engelland has improved in his 3rd line role. The future is very exciting for the Flames and I hope to see a lot of movement by the trade deadline and in the offseason. It’s nerve racking and exciting at the same time!!

    Go Flames Go.