Will the World Cup Impact Calgary’s Training Camp?

Training camps for the World Cup of Hockey open on September 4. Training camps for the 30 National Hockey League clubs follow shortly thereafter, and given that the World Cup will likely overlap with NHL camps for a week or two, it is likely it will have some impacts.

Of course, for the Calgary Flames those impacts are through a combination of CBA regulations and some pre-season game scheduling wrinkles early in main camp.

Under the CBA, teams are required to dress at least eight players defined as “veterans” in every pre-season game. The idea is likely to give the games a sense of purpose – players getting their game legs under them – as well as giving the paying customers a chance to actually see something resembling an actual NHL roster.

The CBA defines training camp veterans as follows:

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Based on that definition, here are the players that are considered “veterans” in terms of training camps:

  • G Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson
  • D T.J. Brodie, Deryk Engelland, Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, Jyrki Jokipakka, Ladislav Smid and Dennis Wideman
  • F Mikael Backlund, Sam Bennett, Brandon Bollig, Lance Bouma, Troy Brouwer, Alex Chiasson, Micheal Ferland, Michael Frolik, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matt Stajan, Matthew Tkachuk and Linden Vey

That’s a total of 22 players that are considered veterans. But not all 22 are likely to be available for all of camp. Jokipakka, Frolik, Gaudreau and Monahan are participating in the World Cup. And until the Flames openly declare that Smid is going to be available for camp, we should presume that he won’t be. That drops the list of available players down to 17. (The round robin for the World Cup ends on September 22, but it seems unlikely that any eliminated players would be rushed back from Toronto for pre-season games.)

The magic number for the Flames for training camp veterans is 16, as they open their pre-season schedule with the annual home-and-home pair of split-squad games with the Edmonton Oilers on September 26. That requires them to dress 8 veterans in each game, so they’ll need 16 available veteran players to do so. Given that they’re likely to have 17 available, the club signing any veteran NHL players to PTOs – as they’ve done in the past to ease the roster burden early in camp – isn’t entirely necessary. The fact that they have an extra veteran body around may allow them to rest Tkachuk, who’ll be coming off the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, or to simply rotate goalies and not be forced to dress both of Elliott and Johnson.

Other teams are likely going to be into a bit of a roster crunch because of having players away at the World Cup when camps open. The Flames don’t look to be one of them.