This has somehow both been a long time coming, and something that should have never had to happen to begin with.
When the Flames signed Nicklas Grossmann, it was explicitly for cap purposes in order to maximize the team’s usage of LTIR, should it have been necessary to dip into through the season. Of course, injuries happen, so of course, it was; Hunter Shinkaruk would not be able to be on this team without Ladislav Smid being placed on the long-term injured reserve.
This, of course, did not mean it was necessary to actually play Grossmann. In the three games he dressed for, two were complete train wrecks. I can think of three or four goals off of the top of my head that were directly on him, and at least another instance where the goalie bailed him out. Grossmann was simply incapable of performing at an NHL level.
Yesterday, Grossmann was waived. Today, he cleared waivers. Now, he has been officially reassigned to the Stockton Heat.
So there’s that: a signing for cap purposes can no longer be dressed in an NHL lineup, as something that never should have happened in the first place. Grossmann averaged 13:01 a game – 13 minutes that could have gone to a better defenceman in every scenario.
The logic for dressing Grossmann in what could very well be his final NHL game – the one in Los Angeles – was particularly flawed: it was purely about “getting size into the lineup” (as if Deryk Engelland doesn’t already exist, is on this team, and can actually apparently jump up into the rush on occasion and have good things come from it, all while fighting people sometimes).
That size didn’t exactly help him when Nick Shore took a casual stroll around – actually, kind of through – him to set up Kyle Clifford, though, did it?
So, that’s the last of that.
Grossmann joins a Heat defence group that presently has Oliver Kylington, Rasmus Andersson, Tyler Wotherspoon, Kenney Morrison, Keith Aulie, Ryan Culkin, and Kayle Doetzel. The Heat are now carrying eight defencemen; Keegan Kanzig was demoted to the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder earlier in the day, presumably to make room for this move.
Kylington, Andersson, Wotherspoon, and Morrison have been the mainstays of the Heat’s defence, while Aulie was recently brought in to replace Colby Robak, and Culkin is presently out with an injury. We can probably expect Grossmann to get some AHL time, presumably interchanging with Aulie and Doetzel.
Hopefully, the AHL is more suited to his speed and playing levels today.