The Calgary Flames officially have 21 players on their active roster right now. Some developments tonight in Stockton suggest that might not be the case tomorrow.
Stockton Heat regulars Garnet Hathaway and Brett Kulak were not in the line-up for the club when they took to the ice against the San Antonio Rampage.
#Flames farmhands Garnet Hathaway and Brett Kulak not in the lineup for AHL’s Stockton Heat today … Headed for Philly?
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) February 29, 2016
Two notable scratches for Stockton tonight that have been regulars all year are D Brett Kulak and RW Garnet Hathaway. On the way to Philly?
— Darren Haynes (@DarrenWHaynes) February 29, 2016
Hathaway, 24, was originally signed by the Flames as AHL depth out of Brown University a couple of seasons ago, but really proved to be a pretty strong player at the AHL level. He’s a pretty consistent 0.5 points per game player and plays a physical energy game, and he was one of the last cuts at Flames training camp this year. If he can convert himself into an NHL body, he’ll be the second NCAA free agent signing in recent years that the Flames turned into a solid player. (The first was Josh Jooris.)
Kulak, 22, was Calgary’s fourth round choice in 2012 and made his NHL debut in the last game of last season. He made the Flames roster out of camp this season as an injury replacement for T.J. Brodie and looked pretty good playing almost entirely with Deryk Engelland. After spending most of 2014-15 in the ECHL he has developed into a perfectly effective AHL defender, and didn’t look out of place in the NHL.
There’s no guarantee that these two gentlemen are on their way to the NHL, but it’s incredibly unlikely that the Heat would scratch two regulars for no apparent reason while they’re fighting for their playoff lives (and are already injured depleted).
We’ll have more on this as it develops.