There was something just a little bit off about the Calgary Flames’ lineup against the Winnipeg Jets. With Freddie Hamilton up on emergency recall, it looked like a regular – most likely Sean Monahan, as he was rumoured to be a game-time decision – would be unable to go.
But then Monahan dressed. And so did Hamilton. And Kenny Agostino, the other recent emergency recall up with the team, sat.
Today, the Flames have cleared things up: Hamilton is the Flames’ new emergency recall, and Agostino has been returned to the Stockton Heat.
Agostino played just two games with the Flames while up on recall. He was primarily on a line with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik, and played 14:20 in the first game, and 12:46 in the second. He had three shots on net over the two games, threw three hits in the first one, and was generally held off the scoreboard.
Agostino did, however, deserve a chance to play in the NHL again – his first time in about two years. He’s currently the Stockton Heat’s leading scorer, with 42 points in 50 games, and an upcoming RFA. It’s hard to see the Flames not qualifying him, considering his contributions thus far.
He will, however, require waivers next season – but considering how little he’s showed at the NHL level, it’s hard to see anybody claiming him at this point in time.
As for Hamilton? It’s now his shot, so he best not throw it away. Hamilton played 12:04 in his Flames debut, and looked generally well out there. It’s pretty much guaranteed he’ll be in the lineup next game which so happens to be against his former team, the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs traded him to the Flames for a conditional seventh – but that condition required Hamilton playing 18 NHL games, which is impossible at this point, so there’s no harm in playing him.
Like Agostino, Hamilton is an upcoming RFA who will also require waivers, though it’s hard to see anybody claiming him as, again, he’s done little to nothing at the NHL level thus far. He’s been a great player in Stockton, though, amassing 35 points over 53 games to become their third highest scorer. And he’s only a couple of months older, so why not take an extended look at him?
The thing I’m most curious about is if the plan is to keep Hamilton up long-term, like Garnet Hathaway, or if the Flames are simply rotating between emergency recalls before Sam Bennett comes back (and if they then may even continue the practice by switching Hathaway for somebody else). It’ll be interesting to watch both how Hamilton does, and what the Flames decide to do over the final weeks of the season.