The Flames release Chris Higgins from his tryout

A busy holiday Thanksgiving Monday has gotten a bit busier. The Calgary Flames announced this morning that they’ve released left wing Chris Higgins from his professional tryout agreement with the club.

The move leaves them with 26 players on their roster: two goalies, nine defensemen and 15 forwards.

A longtime NHL veteran bought out by Vancouver over the summer, Higgins was brought in to hopefully help out Calgary’s awful penalty kill. Unfortunately, he wasn’t amazing – concerns about his foot-speed were probably well-founded – and his much-touted eye for detail in the defensive zone didn’t do much to elevate his teammates.

The 26 players remaining in Flames camp:

  • Goalies Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson
  • Defensemen Jyrki Jokipakka, Mark Giordano, Dennis Wideman, T.J. Brodie, Nicklas Grossmann, Ladislav Smid, Dougie Hamilton, Deryk Engelland and Brett Kulak.
  • Forwards Linden Vey, Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Lance Bouma, Matt Stajan, Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan, Freddie Hamilton, Troy Brouwer, Alex Chiasson, Brandon Bollig, Michael Frolik, Daniel Pribyl, Micheal Ferland and Sam Bennett

Complicating factors?

  • Pribyl and Smid are injured and likely to be declared non-roster tomorrow.
  • Vey has cleared waivers and can be sent down to the AHL anytime in the next 27 days (or 10 games played by the Flames). Kulak and Bennett don’t require waivers to go down to the AHL. Bollig is currently on waivers.
  • Gaudreau and Grossmann don’t currently have NHL contracts.

All NHL clubs have to file their opening rosters with the league office by 3 p.m. MT tomorrow.

    • jupiter

      Every player in the league has the potential to become a whipping boy.It’s all part of being a pro athlete in the entertainment business.
      As fans we all have our own criteria in deciding who is living up to expectations and who isn’t.
      The writers and bloggers on FN are no different.Saying Englland Bouma and Wideman are FN whipping boys seems polarizing.I have seen both good and bad about all three players here.

      • KACaribou

        Nope. I just don’t like losers piling on someone’s misfortune or taking the easy road of agreeing with some FN writer who has no more first-hand knowledge than the people who reply.

        Or people like you who think they are taking the stand for the masses, when really you are just taking a stand which you think will be popular. That being criticizing me.

        I will keep that in mind for your future write-ups.

          • KACaribou

            I find it ironic that you writers have no trouble blasting every Flame player you take a dislike to, yet are so sensitive about me criticizing your writing likewise. I say if you can dish it out, learn to take it. I certainly take way more trashing than anyone here except WW and Train. I am okay with it. I understand the audience.

          • jupiter

            I get lot’s of trashes as well, got issues with the analysts, was pissed seeing Jooris and Colbourne being released, and fan of Janko.I have also been warned and banned for criticizing the writers. I get your points,but would probably not want to see the site turn into what goes on at ON. There are some good writers and bloggers on this site.You included.

          • KACaribou

            I appreciate that my friend. Well said. And right back at you.

            What does go on at ON? Maybe I am missing something? I only go there if something large happens like the Yak thing, or the Hall thing.

            I find the articles lengthier, and better written to be quite frank. I find the Oilers fans to be Oilers fans, but to be truthful I feel a little sorry for the poor sots.

            The great thing there is that I don’t get a series of automatic TRASHES regardless of my opinion. Here I could say how wonderful Jesus’s mother is and end up with 10 TRASHES.

            It’s pretty funny though.

  • RedMan

    When Pribyl is healthy, he will get a chance to work on conditioning and adapt to NA style and ice size, then if things look good he will get a shot at playing with Monohan and Gaudreau, unless someone has stood out in that spot.

    • KACaribou

      For all we know Prbyl won’t even make the team. If he does, bonus. And then you are probably right as the second leading scorer in the Czech league. That league is down a few levels though, so who knows.

  • RKD

    Finally someone has come to their senses and released Higgins. Higgins is brutal, with the Corporal and Higgins now gone that’s 2/3. Now it’s time to release Grossman, seriously why is he still here? Bollig on waivers finally feels like it took forever.

  • KACaribou

    Your quote not mine, “Every article you find a way to complain about the staff here.”

    Cry me a river.

    Read the s#it you guys have said about Flames players. It’s not pointing something out, it is criticizing repeatedly on guys like Kris Russell, or Bollig, or Staj, or Engellend, or many, many more. An opinion doesn’t have to be degrading. But considering the source.

    I am a counter-puncher. I didn’t start this you did.

    • If players are often players who, while on ice, produce negative results then it’s going to be a topic of discussion. It’s no different than highlighting players who definitively provide positive impacts on ice.

      This is no different then any other previous post has praised players for positive contributions on the ice. Because frankly that would be incredibly contradictory.

      • MontanaMan

        I don’t always agree with KACaribou but respect his opinion. Having said that, I don’t always agree with the writers either. So both sides need to be able to give it and take it. Bloggers coming on here complaining about someone being too negative is absurd. Now Train is another story…..

        • KACaribou

          Thanks, M-Squared.

          About Train. He has some excellent points of view from the other side, when he isn’t prodding the gullible. He just can’t seem to help himself. They make it so damned easy from what I can see.

          I make comments on ON, but try to be respectful that I am the outsider. I always think some readers might actually be interested in a view from a Flames fan.

          I am interested in a view from an Oilers fan too. It’s the old can’t see the forest for the trees thing.

    • ClayBort

      For every article criticizing Bollig and Kris Russell, there are an equal amount throwing love at Hamilton, Johnny, Gio, Brodie, Backs etc.

      It’s called being balanced. I’m sorry the analysts at FN aren’t in love with every player on a team that finished 5th last. If that’s what you are looking for, there is always Calgary Puck. It is funny how the players they criticize(and a coach you loved to stand up for) tend to find their way out of town, while the players they like take on expanded roles more often than not. It’s almost like they know what they’re talking about.

    • If you don’t like something someone wrote about Russel or Bolland because it’s wrong then dispute it using facts or examples. If you just generally don’t like people saying things that are critical then take a deep breath and remember that this is MEANT to be a site for critical thought.

      This old chestnut of “well NHL coaches know more than us so we shouldn’t have opinions” is bunk. Coaches make awful decisions all the time, deferring to them instead of thinking critically is what’s known as an appeal to authority, and if this site starts posting stories that are nothing but PR for the Flames then I for one will stop visiting because the team already has a website that does that.

      • Exactly. I come here because it actually has some critical thinking.

        I don’t know how many times it needs to be said that being critical of on ice performance has nothing to do with the player’s standing as a decent human being. Being a professional hockey player means that you are set up to be scrutinized. Whether the person scrutinizing is a professional coach or not is irrelevant.

  • With Higgins out, Teemu Pulkkinen and some other nice waiver wire options become available. Pulkkinen is the most exciting of the bunch. Condon might make for an interesting goalie reclamation project, but not necessary with Elliott and Gillies. Depth never hurts though.

  • icedawg_42

    Except – Bollig and Wideman suck, and the game has passed Stajan by. Stajan seems like an awesome guy off the ice, as does Bollig. Its not piling on, it’s just fact. They get paid many many times more in a single season than anyone on this site, will likely make in their lifetime. It’s a fact of life that the careers of pro atheletes are very short. It’s not mean to observe when they are done. They cannot keep up with the people they’re put on the ice with. I don’t need stats to tell me that, I can watch them skate and tell very easily.

  • KACaribou

    You reading some advanced stats makes you no hockey expert.

    Make note of the number of times the coaching staff on every NHL team seems to disagree with your rock solid opinions based solely on what you believe is right.

    Then consider that if 1+1=2 sometimes, but other times it equals 3 or 4 you may have some flaws in your theory.

    • You’re not wrong on the middle point and you’re right 🙂

      This discussion aside, truly. I am looking forward to this season and our discussions. Even if we clearly don’t agree on everything you’re still important to this community and the discussion.

      And I’m not trying to be patronizing or backtrack because you do belong here.

      • KACaribou

        That is very big of you to say Mike. As I said yesterday, I am in fact working for Pike. If it weren’t for my apparently agitating remarks there would be very few replies to his articles.

        That was a frik’n’ joke people!