The Flames make nine more cuts

After much speculation, the Calgary Flames made nine cuts to their main training camp roster today.

Headed to the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League are goalie Jon Gillies, defensemen Ryan Culkin and Oliver Kylington, and forwards Matt Frattin, Mark Jankowski, Morgan Klimchuk and Emile Poirier. Cut outright are professional tryout blueliners Colby Robak and Mikhail Grigoriev.

After the moves, the Flames are down to 32 players on their camp roster: three goalies, 11 defenders and 18 forwards.


Let’s break this down by position.

In goal: Gillies gets cut (but David Rittich remains), presumably because the Flames want Gillies to play a ton in the AHL and it makes some sense to get him down on the farm and ready for action now rather than later. He was really solid in his two preseason appearances. Rittich will presumably get some more action before he joins Gillies in Stockton.

On the blueline: Culkin didn’t really get himself embroiled in the race for the open NHL job, so it makes sense that he goes down to get ready for the AHL season. Kylington showed well and was probably a dark horse for the NHL gig, but he’s barely 19 and will benefit from playing a ton in Stockton. Robak and Grigoriev looked decent in limited exhibition action, but weren’t going to supplant any NHLers (and didn’t do enough to really outshine any AHLers, to be honest).

Up front: three first round selections (and Frattin) are headed down. Jankowski is a first-year pro and needs some seasoning. Poirier was inconsistent in his exhibition outings and needs some work. Klimchuk looked fine but, like Jankowski, could use some time in the AHL to round out his game. Jankowski was better than I thought he’d be in camp, but struggled a bit with the speed of the game.

When you consider preseason performances, none of the moves were terribly shocking.


With the roster further reduced, here’s a glance at who is left in training camp:

Goalies (3):

  • #1 Brian Elliott
  • #31 Chad Johnson
  • #40 David Rittich

One cut to go, and it’ll be Rittich.

    Defensemen (11):

    • #3 Jyrki Jokipakka
    • #5 Mark Giordano
    • #6 Dennis Wideman
    • #7 T.J. Brodie
    • #8 Nicklas Grossmann [PTO]
    • #15 Ladislav Smid (injured)
    • #26 Tyler Wotherspoon
    • #27 Dougie Hamilton
    • #29 Deryk Engelland
    • #53 Kenney Morrison
    • #61 Brett Kulak

    Smid will be placed on LTIR, so functionally there are three assignments left to make. The open job is likely going to one of Grossmann, Wotherspoon, Morrison or Kulak.

      Forwards (18):

      • #10 Linden Vey
      • #11 Mikael Backlund
      • #17 Lance Bouma
      • #18 Matt Stajan
      • #19 Matthew Tkachuk
      • #20 Chris Higgins [PTO]
      • #21 Lauri Korpikoski [PTO]
      • #23 Sean Monahan
      • #25 Freddie Hamilton
      • #36 Troy Brouwer
      • #39 Alex Chiasson
      • #49 Hunter Shinkaruk
      • #52 Brandon Bollig
      • #64 Garnet Hathaway
      • #67 Michael Frolik
      • #74 Daniel Pribyl (injured)
      • #79 Micheal Ferland
      • #93 Sam Bennett

      And also restricted free agent winger Johnny Gaudreau.

      Presuming the Flames carry 14 forwards and that Gaudreau is one of them, we’ll see Pribyl placed on non-roster injured reserve and then four more assignments.

      • Sanintarious

        I think there is a good chance some of those PTO’s are still around to help participate in practices. The others are being sent to the AHL as their training camp begins soon. Grossmann, Korp, and Higgins won’t be going to the Ahl (unless they decide they want to go that route after being released).

        I don’t particularly think any of those 3 will be kept on the final roster. Just my opinion thou.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        I thought that Morrison played better overall than Kulak and Wotherspoon. Grossman still there? Really? Kulak or Spoon make the most sense to keep because of their LHS.

        Bollig, Bouma and Stajan have played the worst of the signed vets (worse to less worse). Chiasson and Vey are next. Higgins or Korpikoski for the 14th forward; pick one and move on.

        So, take a day and sit down with Bollig and Stajan. Send them down. Bouma is the 13th forward, and gets in tough games. That leaves:

        Johnny, Monahan, Bennett, Brouwer, Backlund, Frolik, Freddie, Ferland, Chiasson, Vey, Tkachuk, Shinkaruk, Bouma and Korpse/Higgins.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        For some context on Korpikoski:

        Pat SteinbergVerified account
        Gulutzan also pinpointed Lauri Korpikoski specifically when asked about players who really stepped up last night. #Flames

        • BurningSensation

          First, what you are doing is called called ‘apopharis’, and it’s the lowest form of rhetoric aside from whatever it is Trump is doing, and just after a parrot learning to swear, and a 10 year old vommitting on her keyboard.

          Second, Janko will be with the team long after Korpikoski gets filed with Setoguchi, Aaron Johnson, etc, in the ‘Veteran PTO Flameouts’ folder.

      • Craig

        I don’t know how they want to fill out their forward depths, but on Defense they really should be trying to bring in some young kids. Two defensemen are off the books next season, Engelland and Wideman. For cap purposes it would be very beneficial to be able to replace them with Wotherspoon and Kulak.

        Playing slow and not good Grossman would be very shortsighted.

        With regards to forwards I’d prefer to see young guns, like is Korpikoski really the answer? No but I don’t think he would do the damage that Grossman would do.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        Does everyone believe that Bollig, Bouma and Stajan are locks for the roster this year? It wouldn’t surprise me if one or all of them were waived. None of them have played well enough to be considered a lock.

        Props agree, trashes say they are locks.

        • deantheraven

          From your mouth to Tre’s ear…
          It would be swell if even one could be dealt, for something.

          a previous article was about “Bouma’s bounce back season”. If he doesn’t bounce back to the AHL,maybe the Flames could eat salary and deal him.

          All three are So much money for a 4th line that we could replace with equal or better talent at less than half the salary and double the skill-

          from Stockton.

      • Christian Roatis

        Hypothesis: Stockton camp opens today(?) so they wanted all their youngins there for it, but they don’t wanna ice a full roster quite yet so the PTOs are just bodies right now.

        Edit: Just noticed Sanintarious said the exact same thing. Great minds? 😀

      • KiLLKiND

        With all these cuts and being decently close to the season opener is there any word about Nakladal? He played on the Czech team at the World Cup some team should take a chance on him. Or at the very least he should have signed with a team back in Czech.

          • Captain Ron

            You and me both. I think he has a deal in place with the Flames (hopefully) and an announcement will come at or near the start of the season when all the ducks are in line and final dollars are sorted out. Funny how we don’t hear anything about him anywhere else that I know of.

          • supra steve

            If Nak signs on, they are pretty deep at D. They could move Kevin for some help up front, if it looks like they need it. Decent D are always in demand.

            They flirted with moving D. Hamilton at the draft, could that be something that Tre will be considering over the coming year if the kids continue to develop and the right piece(s) are offered?

      • OKG

        I can see why Kylington and Jankowski were cut, get them into AHL camp and all that sooner rather than later – but I think they’re both going to have great years.

      • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

        FN MODERATOR: there’s no reason to get personal. Cool your jets.

        All the garbage that people post on here, and you’re giving me grief for calling someone out for a moronic comment?

      • freethe flames

        It will be interesting to see the lines that Huska puts together. I would love to see an experiment with Mangiapane/Janko/Poirier and let them go for a period of time.

      • everton fc

        We are woefully thin on LW. Keep this in mind, as camp continues…

        We also have no first line. Even if Gaudreau signs, we have no RW to compliment him, unless Frolik’s moved up. If Gaudreau holds out after the season starts, look for Korpikoski or Shinkaruk to make the team. Frightening.

        Tkachuk makes the team and never goes back to junior.

        I think Stajan will neon the opening night roster. Not saying if I agree or disagree. “Just sayin'”. He’s a left-handed shot, though. Freddie Hamilton is a righty. So could Stajan’s fate, his sunset, be on LW, with Hamilton in the middle and Chiasson on RW?

        Bouma’s going nowhere, because, again we are woefully weak on LW. I’ll leave it at that, though it would be nice to see if he can “bounce back” on the LW with Backlund and Frolik. Still…

        Bollig will be waived. If he’s not, Brian Burke has a lot more influence then any of us wishes he had. Which is not a good thing. (Then again, he plays LW. God help us all!)

        I like Shinkaruk, and he may end up back in the “A”, as first call-up. Then again, we are woefully thin on LW, and he, too, plays LW…

        Freddie H. makes the team. Where he plays…??

        Chiasson makes the team, but for 800K a season, 1 year deal, he might not clear waivers… Still, he’ a Gulutzan signing. He’ll be on RW, 4th line.

        Hathaway makes this team. But he’s a RW. Has he played on the left-side at all, in camp?

        Vey makes this team.

        So your 14m when Johnny signs

        Vey/Hathaway (Korpikoski or Higgins could make it if one of Vey and Hathaway go down, or if Stajan is waived and re-assigned. Vey can play centre and RW, which may be beneficial if he has a decent camp. Both Higgins and Korpikoski are LWs)


        Wotherspoon (they can always call Kulak back if/when they move someone. Not sure they’ll risk Wotherspoon on the waiver-wire)

          • everton fc

            I agree. So let me try this lineup;

            If Bouma stays, Stajan and Hathaway become the 13/14 forwards. Vey goes down. PTO’s cut loose. If Johnny holds out, one of Vey/Korpikoski/Higgins sticks (Stajan has played like a PTO)

      • freethe flames

        Glad to hear that Monny was skating yesterday with the Yellow jersey hopefully he will be ready for at least one preseason skate. I’m wondering what the lineup looks like if Johnny is not signed to start the season; something like this I suspect:


        Hathaway as 13


        Spoon/Engs as extras

        Elliott and Johnson in net


        When Johnny is signed Kulak likely gets waived.(because he can clear waivers)

        Hopefully between now and then BT can earn his salary and find a way to move Wides and a prospect/draft choice for a RW who can play in the top 9.

        • I’d go with something similar, albeit under the conditions that Johnny re-signs (he will):




        • everton fc

          Kulak isn’t waiver eligible. Wotherspoon is. This may have an impact on who stays, and who goes….

          If Gaudreau’s hold out through opening night, out first line is real our second line. Tkachuk/Bennett/Brouwer may be (is?) a better line.